There are a number of benefits to buying a folding drone. For many of us, there is more to the flying experience of drones than just the actual flying experience. Getting a drone to and from your launch site can be difficult with larger machines, keeping things small or folding them down for portability can help.
You may think of small drones when you think folding, and we wouldn’t blame you, but many large drones fold down as well. We’ll split the list into backpack-sized and smaller drones, and then the larger machines. With that, this is our list of the best folding drones.
Why trust Drone Rush?
I’ve been a fan of flight since a young age; while I’ve had few opportunities at the helm of manned aircraft, the hours on my fleet of drones continue to grow. I enjoy putting cameras into the sky, silky smooth aerial imagery makes me happy. My goal is to help all pilots enjoy flight legally and safely.
Best folding drones
DJI Mavic 2 Pro: Best consumer drone
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is our top pick for folding drones, the reason is simple, it’s the best consumer-class drone on the market today. Make no mistake, it’s already a few years old, and there are now smaller and less expensive aircraft that can produce nearly the same quality of photos and video from the sky, but the Mavic 2 Pro remains at the top. In addition, the Mavic 2 series remain some of the only drones with all-direction obstacle avoidance sensors, making them some of the safest drones in the sky.
In terms of the fold, the Mavic 2 Pro acts like almost all Mavic drones, where the rear propeller arms twist underneath the fuselage, then the front arms fold backwards into the sides. The folded drone is small enough to slide into a (large) water bottle holder, making for simple enough transport.
Should I buy the DJI Mavic 2 Pro?
We are still huge fans of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, but we can’t deny that it an older drone, destined to be overtaken as the best drone on the market within the next year or so. Those looking to capture great images from the sky will enjoy a long life with the Mavic 2 Pro. It’s reliable, resilient, capable, not to mention easy and fun to fly.
- Superb 4K camera
- Reliable and easy to fly
- Very safe
- Capable and fun to fly
- Older drone
DJI Air 2S: 5.4K video for under $1,000
The DJI Air 2S successfully picks up the mantle of the Mavic line from DJI, offering a convenient flight package with a great camera. The 5.4K camera launches video resolution to new heights, all without compromising image quality. the Air 2S is also a valuable successor to the Air line of drones, each of which did a great job of introducing new flight features that we’ll see in future DJI drones.
Should I buy the DJI Air 2S?
The DJI Air 2S is our current top recommendation for newer drone pilots. It has an excellent camera, but not as good as the higher-end machines. It’s small and easy to fly, just not as small as some more budget offerings out there. Bottom line, the Air 2S is not the best drone on the market for specific technical tasks, but it is an overall flight package that we think is fantastic. Oh, it does have the furthest flight range of hobby drones today, 7.5miles is huge!
- 5.4K camera
- Amazing flight range
- Very balanced flight package
- Safe and easy to fly
- Very portable
- No display in the remote
DJI Mini 2: Best 4K camera under $500
The DJI Mini 2 is, simply put, the best drone under $500. We know of no other drone with a viable 4K camera in this price range, not to mention reliable GPS-enabled flight features. The other main selling point for the Mini 2 is its weight, at just 249g, you do not need to register with the FAA before you fly.
Should I buy the DJI Mini 2?
We think every pilot can enjoy the DJI Mini 2, and we plan to keep one in our fleet as well. Beginners can learn to fly on this drone, and experienced pilots can just enjoy the easy-to-fly experience. In particular, the small size makes this drone extremely portable, ready to toss in a bag when you hit the trail.
- Very portable
- Best drone under $500
- Best camera under $500
- Easy to fly
- Limited safety features
- Limited flight features
DJI Mavic Air 2: Great value 4K camera
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a reliable and capable Mavic drone. At launch, it offered one of the best cameras in the sky, and rocked class-leading flight time. The 4K 48MP camera remains a top performer, though is overtaken by the more expensive updated Air 2S. The Mavic Air 2 is an underrated drone, even on this list. It is fast and fun to fly, reliable, resilient and well supported, a solid addition to any fleet of drones, but, it’s not as accessible as the Mini 2, and not quite as good as the Air 2S.
Should I buy the DJI Mavic Air 2?
This is tough, we know you’ll be pleased with the Mavic Air 2 if you buy it, but the Air 2S is better if you want a camera drone, and the Mini 2 is far more affordable if you just want a hobby drone. Good thing the prices are accurately distributed across these three drones, so, go for it, if the price is right for you, the Mavic Air 2 is a good purchase.
- 48MP camera
- Class-leading battery life
- easy and fun to fly
- Overshadowed by newer machines
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom: Keep you distance
The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is another powerful Mavic 2 series drone. The primary focus of this version is the zooming lens on the camera. The Mavic 2 Zoom provided perhaps the very best experience with a 1/2.3-inch camera sensor. More recent drones are moving to larger sensors which we appreciate, but were never displeased with the Zoom.
Should I buy the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom?
If you can find the Mavic 2 Zoom on sale, go for it! That said, the requirement for a zooming camera is bit of a unique use-case, not unusable, but the digital zoom on more recent camera drones is proving good enough for most users. The DJI Air 2S, in particular, produces almost as good of aerial imagery, and is a few hundred dollars less. We still own and fly our Mavic 2 Zoom, and we enjoy it, you will too, if you give it a go.
- Excellent zooming camera
- Very safe drone
- Reliable and easy to fly
- Older drone
- Hard sell over more recent drones