GoPro Action-Camera Housings and Mounting Solutions
GoPro must be considered one of the industry leaders when it comes to action sports video. Their HERO camera line is praised by athletes in practically every action-sports field. Their cameras are versatile enough to be used in water, snow, sand, and mud. Since they’re used in a plethora of conditions by a variety of athletes, photographers, and videographers, it makes sense that GoPro offers dozens of different mounting solutions and housings for their HERO3 camera. Most of the mounts and housings are also compatible with the older GoPro HERO cameras as well. Read more to learn about many of the latest GoPro housing and mounting options available for action-sports enthusiasts.
Skeleton Housing and Wrist Housing
When you purchase a GoPro HERO3 Black or Silver Edition action camera, it ships with a durable waterproof housing that’s submersible to a depth of 197 feet (60 m). This housing works well in a variety of environments and conditions. However, it presents a few problems when it comes to connecting cables. It also tends to fog up in high humidity, or when there is a sudden change in temperature. To avoid this issue, GoPro recommends using their specially designed Anti-Fog Inserts that can be dropped into the sides of the housing to prevent fogging in cold weather and humid environments.
These issues can be eliminated with GoPro’s HERO3 Skeleton Housing. Intended for use in dry conditions only, the Skeleton Housing features open side panels, which provide access to all cable connection points on the HERO3. This allows you to make the necessary connections for live-feed video or an external microphone. The Skeleton Housing also supports enhanced audio capture at low speeds from the built-in microphone, thanks to its open-panel design. The open panels also act as vents to keep the camera cool. Plus, the charging port remains accessible so you can charge and record while the HERO3 remains in the housing.
Another new housing option is the GoPro Wrist Housing. While I would consider this a mount more than a housing, it does include a modified version of the HERO3’s waterproof housing with connection points for the included wrist strap. Like the housing that’s included with your HERO3 camera, the Wrist Housing is submersible to a depth of 197 feet (60 m). However, it also features a neoprene wrist strap that can be secured to your wrist or to a kayak paddle, hang-gliding pole, and a variety of other sports gear. The Wrist Housing supports hands-free video and photo capture. Plus, it includes a strap adapter that allows the housing to fit over gloves and jackets so you can use it while skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. Another innovative feature of the Wrist Housing is its folding design—you can wear it around your wrist with the camera folded flat like a wristwatch. When you’re ready to record, you can flip the camera up and start capturing hands-free footage. The housing’s flat lens cover supports maximum image sharpness above and below water as well.
The Frame Mount
The Frame Mount is designed to be used with the HERO3 out of its waterproof housing. It's mainly intended to be used away from water, on the open road. Since it features an ultra low-profile design, the Frame Mount allows you to record while traveling at high speeds, with little wind noise created by the mount. It also ships with a flat adhesive mount and a curved adhesive mount, which means that you’ll be able to attach it to almost any flat or curved nonporous surface, on your car or motorcycle. The mount is also compatible with the LCD Touch BacPac and the second-generation Battery BacPac. Plus, you can purchase extra flat and curved adhesive mounts as needed.
The Suction Cup Mount
Another HERO3 mount that works well for recording video at high speeds is the Suction Cup Mount. Although this mount has a more bulky profile than the Frame Mount, it is still a good choice for recording at high speeds. The powerful suction cup will easily attach to your car body, car windshield, motorcycle, boat, truck, etc. In fact, GoPro has given their word that this mount will hold securely at speeds up to and even above 150 mph. You can use it with the waterproof housing or you can use it in conjunction with the Frame Mount for a more low-profile housing option. The Suction Cup Mount also includes a short extension arm for when you’re working in a compact mounting area.
The Side Mount Kit
From what I’ve seen of the Side Mount Kit, I’d say that it is one of GoPro’s more versatile mounting solutions. You can use it on vehicles, helmets, and a variety of other sports gear. It provides a unique perspective as well, since you can get it down low to the ground and shoot from the side. Plus, with the mount’s three-way pivot system, you can easily adjust the mount to achieve your desired shooting angle. You can use this mount with the HERO3’s waterproof housing or with the Frame Mount.
Handlebar/Seatpost Pole Mount
As an avid city biker, this is one of my favorite GoPro mounts. The Handlebar/Seatpost Pole Mount allows you to attach the HERO3 (or any other GoPro camera model) to virtually any point on your bicycle. Of course, it also works for any other pole or bar with a diameter between 0.75 and 1.4 inches. This makes it perfect for ski poles as well. You can secure the mount to your bicycle handlebars, the seat post, the chain stay, the head tube, or even most bicycle forks as well. Plus, like the Side Mount Kit, this mount also provides the three-way pivot system for locking your camera into the perfect shooting angle.
Roll Bar Mount
GoPro’s Roll Bar Mount is similar to the Handlebar/Seatpost Pole Mount. However, it gives you the option to connect your GoPro HERO camera to much thicker bars, ranging from 1.4 to 2.5 inches in diameter. This makes it ideal for ATVs, car and truck roll-bar cages, dune buggies, tractors, dirt bikes, boats, and any other bars that fit into that diameter range. This mount works with any GoPro HERO model and it supports the three-way pivot system as well.
GoPro’s Surfboard Mounts are designed for a wide variety of water sports enthusiasts—not just surfers. While they’re compatible with surfboard mounting, they can also be mounted to boat decks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, sailboards, sea kayaks, and other water-sports equipment. The mount also includes an FCS plug, which allows you to mount your HERO camera to the FCS center-fin socket on your surfboard. GoPro includes two mounts in each package and each mount also comes with a camera tether for added security.
Helmet-and-Head Mounting Options
GoPro offers a variety of mounts for almost any type of helmet. The model designed for general use is the Helmet Front Mount, which can attach to a variety of action-sports helmets for skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, motocross, and more. It allows low-profile positioning of your camera on the front of your helmet, similar to the way a headlamp would be mounted. What sets this mount apart from other third-party helmet mounts is its ability to fold out and down for capturing self-portrait action shots and video. GoPro also makes a Vented Helmet Strap Mount for attaching any HERO camera to your bicycle helmet. They even offer an NVG Mount, which allows you to mount your HERO camera to the night vision goggle mounting plate on most military or police helmets. If you’re looking for a head-mounting solution and you don’t plan on wearing a helmet, the Head Strap Mount provides an alternative. It’s ideal for climbing, hiking, swimming, and other sports where a helmet is usually not worn.
Another unique mount in GoPro’s vast mounting arsenal is the Chest Mount Harness. This one-size-fits-all mounting option goes around your core and over your shoulders, so you can securely attach any GoPro HERO camera directly to your chest and capture interesting POV footage without having to wear a helmet mount. Plus, action shot from chest level—as opposed to your head—includes a wider range of motion that features your arms and your equipment. Ski poles, bicycles, and more will all be included in the shot when you’re wearing the Chest Mount Harness. This should make for more interesting footage, since it includes some of your own body and equipment movement in each shot.
Attaching Your GoPro to a Tripod
Anyone that’s serious about shooting high-quality action-sports video will surely want to interlace stunning panoramas of scenery and time-lapse shots in between your action shots. To do this, you’ll need the GoPro Tripod Mount. This handy mounting option attaches to any GoPro HERO camera and it features a standard 1/4"-20 tripod thread on the bottom for securing the camera to any standard tripod. When used with the Wi-Fi Remote, the Tripod Mount allows you to set up and capture shots from up to 600 feet (180 m) away.
This list offers a good introduction to the variety of GoPro mounts and housing options available. However, if you have more questions or want to see the full list of GoPro compatible mounts and housings, be sure to check out the B&H website or stop by our SuperStore in Manhattan. You can also speak with a B&H sales professional on the phone at 1-800-606-6969 or chat with a customer service representative using the B&H Live Chat service.