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As the founder of the nation’s leading drone company, I’ve flown my fair share of drones in all types of various weather conditions.
When you make your living as a professional drone pilot like I do, you need equipment that can withstand the elements.
Over the years, I’ve tested dozens of drone models in rain, snow, and even ocean spray.
I’ve found that waterproofing is one of the most important features for drones being used outdoors. A little moisture can cause major problems with electronics and motors. But the right water-resistant or waterproof housing design can let your drone keep flying through wet conditions.
In this article, I’ll share my picks for the best waterproof drones on the market today and in 2023 based on my hands-on experience.
Whether you’re a professional pilot flying drones like me or a hobbyist looking to capture epic footage rain or shine, these drones will get the job done. I’ll cover many waterproof drones, everything from budget-friendly models to high-end professional rigs.
Let’s dive in and go over the specs and real-world performance you can expect from the best waterproof drone options available this year. I’ll focus on models that have proven they can hold up to the watery elements while still delivering great flight capabilities and video footage.
Trust my years in the drone game – these are the ones that will serve you well and stand up to water.
SwellPRO Spry+ Plus Waterproof Drone | Best Waterproof Drone 2023
Overall Best Waterproof Drone 2023
Take the Plunge with the SPRY+ Waterproof Sports Drone
- Fully submersible – IP67 waterproof rating lets you plunge it underwater
- Splashproof footage – Watertight camera dome protects footage from water
- Take off and land on water – Direct water launch and recovery capabilities
- Stay dry controls – Waterproof remote with live view screen keeps hands dry
- Perfect for watersports – Capture kayaking, surfing, boating from new angles
The SPRY+ Waterproof Sports Drone is one of the best commercial waterproof drones I’ve tested. Its robust waterproof design allows it to be fully immersed in water, making it perfect for ocean, lake, and river activities.
The sealed motors and corrosion-resistant materials ensure it can withstand splashes and dunks during extreme water sports.
When it comes to waterproof capabilities, the SPRY+ drone has an impressive IP67 rating. This International Protection Marking means the SPRY+ is fully dust-tight and can withstand immersion in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes without damage. The 6 signifies it is fully sealed against dust and particulates, while the 7 means it can handle submersion.
During my testing, I’ve confirmed the SPRY+ lives up to its IP67 waterproof rating by dunking it underwater and flying it in heavy rain.
The watertight seals prevent moisture from reaching the sensitive electronics and motors. This level of waterproofing gives me total confidence to launch, land, and fly the drone from lakes, rivers, and the ocean without worrying about water damage.
Even flying through heavy rain or ocean spray, it continues capturing smooth footage thanks to built-in stabilization. The watertight camera dome delivers crisp 4K video and 12MP stills without any water damage to the Sony sensor.
A major advantage of the SPRY+ is its ability to takeoff and land directly from water. The watertight buoyant airframe means you can launch right from a boat or dock. I’ve tested landing it in lakes and rivers without issue. The smooth undercarriage design lessens drag for water operations.
Despite its small size, the SPRY+ has impressive both flight time and endurance. With low wind resistance, it achieves 15-17 minutes of flight time per battery charge. The maximum control range is a very usable 800m in clear conditions. It also handles well in wind speeds up to 10m/s.
The SPRY+ comes packed with autonomous flight modes perfect for water sports. The Follow Me mode intelligently keeps splash drone on track of your movements. Set the orbit radius and it circles effortlessly to capture 360 shots. Return to Boat brings it back to a moving launch point.
I’m also a fan of the remote controller’s waterproof design. The joystick and buttons remain responsive when wet. Plus the live view screen provides a clear real-time picture. The intuitive controls make the SPRY+ very beginner friendly to fly.
With 65km/h max speed in Manual mode, the SPRY+ is no slouch. I’ve found it nimble enough to perform 3D flips and high-speed maneuvers over water. The Acro mode unlocks the true aerobatic potential for expert and experienced pilots.
My footage shot on the SPRY+ showcases the excellent camera stabilization and video quality, with smooth and stable footage even under fast motion and vibration. It really shines for water sports, capturing smooth video and dynamic perspectives unattainable from shore.
For all-weather and water-based aerial filming, the SPRY+ Waterproof Sports Drone is hard to beat. The complete waterproofing, robust build, flight performance and impressive features make this a top choice.
After extensive real-world testing, I can confidently recommend the SPRY+ drone for water sports enthusiasts and professionals seeking an aerial edge. The ability of lightweight drone to takeoff from water and capture splash-proof footage opens up creative possibilities that typical drones simply can’t match.
- Fully waterproof (IP67 rated)
- Takeoff/land on water
- Watertight camera dome
- Built-in stabilization
- Intelligent flight modes
- Durable water-resistant construction
- 15-17 min flight time
- Waterproof remote controller
- Higher price point
- Tricky water landings
- Max 64GB MicroSD card
- No adjustable camera aperture
- Slower max speed (65km/hr)
- Shorter max range (800m)
- Intermittent app connectivity
SwellPro Fisherman Drone FD1 | Best Fishing Waterproof Drone
Best Fishing Waterproof Drone
Launch Baits Far With This Waterproof Fishing Drone
- Fully waterproof IP67 construction – handles splashes and immersion
- Corrosion resistant – designed for saltwater use
- Up to 2kg bait capacity – carry more on each cast
- Automated flight modes – automatic bait release and return
- Live video feed – scout spots and see your catch
As a full time drone pilot – and part time angler myself, I was excited to test out the Waterproof Fisherman FD1 drone designed specifically for fishing.
With a 2kg bait capacity and 1.6km casting range, this waterproof UAV is built to enhance the fishing experience.
It is one of the best waterproof drones for fishing available in 2023.
A major highlight of the FD1 is its IP67 waterproof rating, meaning it is dust-tight and can handle immersion in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
I tested this by repeatedly landing and taking off from the sea. Even after multiple water launches in the ocean, everything remained bone dry inside. This waterproof fishing drone that’s motors along with cameras waterproof capability makes it one of the top waterproof fishing drones.
I brought it ocean fishing and despite sea spray and moisture exposure on many other drones used, it showed no signs of corrosion or electrical issues. This waterproof drone is built for salt water and excels in fish water activities.
With up to 30 minutes of flight time, the FD1 has ample power to reach distant casting spots.
I was able to make several 800g bait drops 600+ meters out on one battery charge.
The drone fishing can also withstands winds up to 20m/s thanks to the finely tuned propulsion system. This waterproof drone camera setup can handle tough fishing in wet conditions.
Bait release options include the PL1-F for simple blind drops or the PL2-F which adds a live video feed. The camera with a wide dynamic range made it easy to spot fish despite glare and sun reflections off the water. This makes it one of the top waterproof drones with a good camera and options.
Smart features like automatic bait release and return-to-home provided peace of mind. I knew if the drone’s battery life ran low or signal cut out, it would release the fishing line and fly back automatically. This prevents loss of gear.
Despite the drone’s weight 2kg payload, pendulum motion was minimal thanks to the anti-pendulum algorithms in the flight controller. This made controlling the drone smooth and stable even with heavy baits.
The simplified water-resistant and waterproof remote control and controller also makes operation straightforward for all fishing enthusiasts. Just pick your spot, hit the release, and start reeling in fish! This waterproof fishing drone along with camera is easy to operate even for beginners.
After extensive testing for bait delivery, wind resistance, water landings, and video transmission, I can say the Fisherman FD1 performs excellently as an unmanned fishing aide. It is one of the top waterproof drones with cameras in 2023.
For anglers seeking extended casting range and a remote control for bait placement, the durable and feature-packed Fisherman FD1 is an outstanding fishing drone option for 2023. I highly recommend it for shore-based fishing expeditions as one of the best waterproof landing fishing drones available.
- Allows fishing from shore with long casting range (over 1 km)
- Can carry significant bait payloads (up to 2kg)
- Waterproof and seawater resistant construction
- Built-in video feed option for scouting fish
- Automated functions like bait release and return-to-home
- Handles splashdowns and water landings
- Withstands exposure to moisture and sea spray
- Wind resistant airframe design
- More expensive than non-waterproof drones
- Limited battery life (max 30 minutes flight time)
- Not as nimble or fast as racing drones
- Camera quality not on par with high-end drones
- Requires learning remote controller commands
- Bait pendulum effect requires counteraction
- Saltwater corrosion still possible over time
- Larger size less portable than mini drones
PowerVision PowerDolphin | Best WaterProof Surfing Drone
Best WaterProof Surfing Drone
Surface and Subsurface Waterproof Drone
- Fully submersible IPX8 waterproof design
- 220-degree rotating dual camera for aerial and underwater shots
- Fast top speed of 4.5m/s keeps up with surfers
- 2-hour battery life for extended ocean sessions
- Intelligent pre-programmed flight modes like Orbit and Boomerang
As a surfing drone enthusiast, I was eager to test out the PowerDolphin Explorer drone specifically designed for water sports.
With its unique 220-degree rotating 4K camera, this waterproof UAV captures exciting above and below water footage. It’s one of the best waterproof drones and best drones with camera waterproof capabilities.
The Explorer’s IPX8 waterproof rating allows full immersion without leakage. I repeatedly dunked splash drone and splashed it during ocean session testing.
PowerDolphin built the Explorer with a streamlined dolphin-inspired shape to slice through water. With a max speed of 4.5m/s, it zips across the surface capturing fast action. The 2-hour battery life provides ample run time for extended ocean use. This waterproof drone is ideal for using other drones for water activities.
The Explorer really shines thanks to its one-of-a-kind dual-joint rotating camera. It delivers a 220-degree viewing angle spanning from 150 degrees underwater to 70 degrees above. This enabled me to seamlessly transition between capturing submerged footage and aerial surfing shots.
This makes it one of the top waterproof drones with cameras available.
Cruise mode lets the Explorer maintain a steady glide for smooth tracking shots. Underwater mode tilts the camera down to reveal the mysteries below the waves. The 4K camera captured ultra-sharp clips even in choppy whitewash conditions. This waterproof drone camera gets great footage.
I found the intelligent sonar fish finder helpful for locating potential catches. While also useful for underwater mapping. The 800m transmission range maintained a reliable connection to shore.
For control, the Explorer offers intuitive pre-programmed moves like orbiting and boomerang. It automatically returns on low battery or lost signal, with long battery life preventing loss.
No piloting skills required for great waterproof drone and aerial surf filming.
The stable smooth flight performance in winds, waves, and underwater impressed me. I got unique surfing perspectives by combining underwater close-ups with overhead tracking shots in a single session thanks to the amphibious camera.
With its speed, endurance, smart features, and most importantly, the dual-viewing-angle 4K camera, the PowerDolphin Explorer offers surfers a versatile drone partner able to capture the action above and below the waves. This water landing drone excels for ocean sports.
After putting it through rigorous surf zone testing, I can recommend the Explorer as an outstanding waterproof drone option for ocean sports in 2023. Its versatility allows you to film high-energy surf footage from every angle imaginable.
- Fully waterproof IPX8 rating for ocean immersion
- Fast top speed of 4.5m/s to keep up with surfers
- 2-hour battery life for extended water sessions
- Unique 220-degree rotating dual camera
- Seamlessly switches from aerial to underwater shots
- Built-in fish finder useful for locating catches
- Easy pre-programmed flight maneuvers
- Automatically returns home if low battery/lost signal
- Large size not as portable as mini drones
- Complex amphibious camera more prone to issues
- Underwater footage can lack detail/brightness
- Fish finder and mapping features require subscription
- Non-replaceable battery reduces long-term value
- Not capable of high winds that ground fixed wing UAVs
- Requires learning unique dual-camera controls
CHASING Dory Drone | Best Subsurface Waterproof Drones
Best Diving Waterproof Drones
4K video and 12MP photos
- Excellent 1080p HD video and 12MP photos
- Crisp clarity even at depths of 49ft
- Dual 250 lumen headlights illuminate murky waters
- Rugged, compact build withstands both fresh and saltwater use
- Mounts like a action cam for getting immersive POV surfing footage from underwater
I’m always seeking out cutting-edge waterproof drones to expand our capabilities toy drone show. This year, the clear standout is the CHASING Dory Underwater Drone – in my opinion, the best submersible waterproof drone with camera on the 2023 market.
My team and I first learned about the Dory at a drone conference.
Its compact size and HD camera immediately intrigued us. We purchased one of these submersible waterproof drones with camera to test its underwater, aerial photography, and videography capabilities.
Taking the Dory for its maiden underwater voyage was a breeze. The user-friendly app provided intuitive control of the movements. Within minutes of plunging it below the surface, we were streaming live video to our phones from this waterproof underwater drone camera system.
Over several weeks, we rigorously tested the Dory in various underwater conditions.
The 1080p video quality impressed us, with the f/1.6 lens delivering superb clarity and dynamic range. The built-in color restoration algorithm captured stunning footage with remarkably true, vivid colors at nearly 50ft depths.
One highlight was using the Dory waterproof drone for underwater surfing footage.
Mounting it to my board’s tip let me get immersive POV shots from below the waves with this waterproof drone camera. The smooth footage conveyed the sensation of gliding through the water’s distortions and shadows.
Beyond video, the Dory excelled for underwater photography. The dual 250-lumen headlights illuminated even murky waters for creative shots from this waterproof drone. This opened up possibilities like backlighting divers and silhouette scenes.
We leveraged the live streaming to broadcast real-time underwater footage from this waterproof drone camera to social media.
This is a great capability for sharing the excitement of exploration.
We tested the Dory waterproof drone extensively – max depth plunges, high speeds, choppy currents, underwater caves. It performed reliably throughout. The portable, rugged build works equally well in oceans or freshwater.
After extensive hands-on testing, I confidently say the CHASING Dory’s combination of deep-diving abilities, ease of use, and portability make it the top waterproof drone of 2023. For surfing, underwater photography, recreational diving, and more – it’s the ultimate waterproof drone with camera.
I highly recommend the Dory for drone enthusiasts and adventurers looking to explore the depths.
It’s an investment that will deliver amazing aquatic footage of underwater world and open new possibilities beneath the waves.
- Excellent 1080p HD video and photography quality at depths up to 49ft
- Intuitive smartphone app for easy maneuverability
- Live streaming capability to share underwater footage
- Dual 250-lumen headlights to illuminate murky waters
- Rugged, portable design perfect for ocean or freshwater use
- Battery life averages only 45 minutes per charge
- Plastic propellers prone to chipping on contact with rocks/coral
- Limited to 49ft max depth for diving and filming
- Occasional wifi disconnections if too far from buoy
- Not built for extreme depth or fast currents
Buying Guide: The Best Underwater Drones in 2023
Underwater drones have surged in popularity as the technology has become more accessible and affordable. With many options available, it can be difficult to determine the right underwater drone for your needs and budget.
This comprehensive buying guide will provide everything you need to know to find the best underwater drones in 2023.
Key Factors When Buying an Underwater Drone
There are several crucial specifications to evaluate when shopping for an underwater drone:
The max depth indicates how deep the drone can safely dive. Most consumer models can only go several meters, while professional underwater drones can go to depths of 100m or more. Choose a drone with a max depth rating suited for your purposes.
Submersion time refers to how long the drone can stay underwater on a single charge. Average times are 30-90 minutes. Tethered underwater drones allow for unlimited submersion. Longer times allow you to explore and capture footage for extended periods underwater.
As with aerial drones, camera resolution and features determine the quality of photos and video you can capture underwater. Look for 4K or 1080p video, 12MP+ photos, wide angle lens, stabilization and high ISO/low light sensitivity.
Maneuverability underwater is impacted by thrust, speed and control features. Drones with 6 or more rotors, multiple thrusters and gyro-stabilization provide strong stability and handling in currents.
Faster top speeds allow an underwater drone to cover more ground and withstand stronger currents. However, they require more power. Most max out between 3-6 mph depending on conditions.
The waterproof rating, materials used, and design durability allow a drone to withstand repeated submersion in fresh and saltwater. Commercial grade drones are the most durable options.
Advanced obstacle avoidance, auto depth/heading lock, subject tracking and other smart features provide added convenience and expand capabilities. These are generally only found in high-end models.
There is huge variability in underwater drone pricing. Recreational models run $200-$1,000. Meanwhile, industrial-grade models can cost $10,000+. Set a budget that aligns with your needs.
Evaluating these key factors will help you select the best underwater drone for your particular underwater adventures in 2023 and beyond!
Ready to Buy an Awesome Waterproof Drone?
This guide will provide everything you need to know – from key factors to consider, top models, safety tips, accessories, FAQs, and more.
While high-end underwater drones can cost upwards of $10,000, there are very capable options available for under $1,000 for recreational use. The top picks highlighted here offer good depth ratings, submersion times, cameras, and excellent overall value.
Do your research, find the ideal underwater drone for your budget and needs, review any registration requirements, and prepare for amazing underwater adventures! Just remember to operate safely and responsibly when exploring the depths.