Paddleboard with GoPro mounted on the side

The 10 Best GoPro Accessories for Beginners

By John Ericson Accessories, CamerasNo Comments

So, you’ve got your new GoPro and you’re pretty excited about everything you’re going to do with it. You’ve seen all the amazing video footage, photographs, and time-lapses, and are just itching to get out there and create something awesome.

Hold up, though, for just a minute. As good as the latest GoPros are, it’s the accessories that really make the difference to the kind of footage you’ll end up with. As a beginner, it’s hard to decide which ones are worth buying: with so many different options, it can be quite overwhelming to figure it out.

You may need a particular type of mount to hold the camera steady and at the right angle, or a specific bracket that fits onto your handlebars, or even a set of lenses that let you shoot in challenging lighting conditions.

You’ll need to consider what happens when you’re out shooting video all day: how do you avoid running out of battery power or not having enough storage space for all that high-quality footage you’re creaing?

Basically, you need to ask yourself which are the best GoPro accessories to buy that will improve the quality of the video you’re creating, without spending a fortune on gear you don’t need. And that’s where we come in.

Which GoPro Accessories Should I Buy?

For those just starting out with a new GoPro, we’re aiming to answer one simple question: which GoPro accessories are the best ones to buy? Ultimately, we want to help you get the most from your new action camera without overwhelming you with options.

Every accessory we recommended will help you to take better videos or photos in a wider range of situations, by helping you safely mount your GoPro in unusual places, protect it from damage, and ensure longer shooting times.

Many of the GoPro accessories listed below work across all models of GoPro cameras, but as with any piece of technology, changes and improvements to the current model often result in incompatibility with earlier versions. Where this is the case, we’ll make it clear which model(s) a given accessory works with.

After plenty of discussion and debate among our team, here’s our the list of the best GoPro accessories for beginners that we wished we had when we started out.

Screen Protection: Hero 9/10 Screen Protector for GoPro

Screen Protection: Hero 9/10 Screen Protector for GoPro
  • Size: Fits the HERO9/10 screens
  • Weight: 3.6 ounces
  • Compatibility: Hero 9/10
  • Best for: Protection from nicks and scratches

Your GoPro has three pieces of glass that are prone to nicks and scratches: the LCD screen on the rear of the camera body, the smaller LCD on the front of the camera body, and the lens itself.

As a new GoPro owner, you’ll be amazed at just how easy it is to drop your camera or bump it against sharp objects. Unless you’re extremely careful, your camera will go flying off bicycles, cars, motorbikes, and just about any object that you care to attach it to or balance it on.

There are various ways to protect your GoPro from this sort of damage, but a screen protector is the most effective, since it doesn’t rely on the camera being inside a case all the time. As an added bonus, you’ll reduce the amount of screen glare you’ll endure in very sunny conditions.

This kit comes with three sets of protective H9 tempered glass for your camera. They’re designed to be sacrificial: as your camera sustains scratches and damage, you just replace the covering each time. It’s a whole lot cheaper than replacing a lens or screen!

Along with the glass itself, you’ll also get a few extras to ensure a better installation experience. They’re both intended to help remove any hint of dirt, dust, or grease from whatever you’re attaching the screen protector to: it’s vital to have as clean a surface as possible before you start.

Two soft cleaning cloths, one wet, one dry, degreases and removes any debris that might affect your view, while the dust removal stickers are great at removing any specks that still remain on the lens afterward.

A couple of minor points worth noting: the large LCD screen protector won’t fit if you have the media mod installed, as the protector is just slightly (around 1/16th of an inch) too big. You may also find the touch-screen controls a little less sensitive after installing the protector.

Despite the minor inconveniences, however, none of us would consider using our GoPro without screen protectors installed. It’s a very small amount to pay for the protection on offer.

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Mount & Tripod: GoPro Max Grip + Tripod

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Mount & Tripod: GoPro Max Grip + Tripod
  • Size: 9-22 inches
  • Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Compatibility: All GoPros
  • Best for: Travel footage

It’s always worth having a way to control your GoPro when it’s some distance from you, which generally means using some sort of extendable pole or grip.

It’s almost impossible to find an action video online that doesn’t include shots where the camera is being held at a short distance from the person filming. You can get by with a basic selfie stick, but are better off with the GoPro Max Grip: it’s more robust, and has a built-in tripod so you don’t always need to carry a separate one.

As a camera grip, it’s excellent, giving you the confidence to extend the camera away from your body without the fear of dropping or losing it. It is simple to use, with a twisting locking mechanism that’s straightforward to open and close.

With a little bit of trial and error, you’ll find that 360° shots are well within your capabilities, even as a new GoPro owner. You just want to ensure that you don’t move too quickly, otherwise, the background becomes a blur.

Everyone I spoke to recommends having at least one extendable grip in your bag, as it is probably one of the most-used pieces of kit.

Bear in mind that this grip doesn’t come with a lanyard, nor does it float. If you plan on using your GoPro to shoot any action in or near water, we have a different grip that we recommend instead: check out the Floating Hand Grip below.

The only real downside is that although there’s a tripod built in, it’s not all that stable, and only really works well on a perfectly flat surface. I certainly wouldn’t use it in a high wind either. In short, it’ll be fine in ideal situations, but isn’t a replacement for a dedicated tripod for most people.

Even so, if you plan to shoot any sort of travel footage where you wish to speak to your audience while providing them with a view of your surroundings, this grip will become an essential part of your kit.

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Mount and Clamps: GoPro Magnetic Swivel Clip

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Mount and Clamps: GoPro Magnetic Swivel Clip
  • Size: 1.2 x 3.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Weight: 2.6 ounces
  • Compatibility: All GoPros
  • Best for: Finding unique angles to shoot from

After your extendable grip, a swivel clamp will be your next-most useful accessory. It allows you to simply clip your GoPro to anything that offers a great perspective to your shot, whether that’s your backpack, a piece of furniture, a tree branch, or a fence. The uses for this clamp are limited only by your imagination (and the laws of physics).

The built-in magnets also let you attach the clamp to any reasonably flat piece of metal, from a car bonnet to a fridge door. Be careful to check that the weight of the camera doesn’t drag the clip vertically down, though, if you don’t want to end up with your GoPro on the floor.

This clamp truly does let you set up your camera to capture the unique perspectives that give videos or photographs a much more interesting look and feel.

But, and it’s a big but, don’t use this clamp for high-speed vehicle footage. The magnets aren’t nearly strong enough to resist the aerodynamic forces generated as the vehicle moves through the air.

I’d recommend only using this clamp for footage where you’re not moving much above a walking pace. For added security, also be sure to attach a lanyard between the camera and a fixed part of the vehicle in case it comes off.

If you’re looking for a mount that can be used for high-speed, exterior vehicle shots, keep reading: we have a recommendation for that as well.

When using it as intended, however, this stand is great. The 360° locking swivel let you accurately position the camera to get the exact angle you want. The jaws are serrated and, combined with the strong spring, provide a pretty secure attachment to whatever you decide to clip it to.

Clipping it to a slippery material such as the edge of a motorbike windscreen isn’t ideal, though, as the teeth can slip and cause the camera to shake and lose focus.

The clip is small enough to fit into your camera bag or a side pocket of your rucksack, so it’s a convenient piece of kit to carry around with you while you’re traveling. When I’m taking my camera anywhere, I seldom travel without a swivel clip: it’s such a versatile tool and I use it almost daily.

It also works with all GoPro HERO cameras, so you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues if you trade up for another, newer model.

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Water Use: GoPro Handler Floating Hand Grip

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Water Use: GoPro Handler Floating Hand Grip
  • Size: 1.9 x 1.5 x 7.7 inches
  • Weight: 4.5 ounces
  • Compatibility: All GoPros
  • Best for: Use on or near water

If you are serious about filming in or around water, then you need to have a way to keep from seeing your GoPro disappear into the murky depths if you lose your grip on it. The number of sob stories doing the rounds from those who have lost their GoPro in a lake or river should give you pause for thought.

And the problem gets worse when you head for the sea. It’s as if there’s a GoPro-eating monster that lies just offshore, waiting for the unwary. That’s why this floating handgrip with the bright orange cap is a necessity.

Apart from being ultra-visible, even in choppy water, it has a wrist strap to prevent it from falling away from you if you do drop it. That’s more difficult than usual thanks to the foam-covered handle, which makes the GoPro Handler super-grippy and comfortable to hold for extended periods.

It doesn’t get slippery or slick, so once it’s attached with the buckle mount, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll lose your camera to ocean. If you’ve ever wondered how to safely carry a GoPro when you’re in or around the water, then this is the answer.

It’s a small, compact universal grip that easily fits into your camera bag and can be used with any generation of GoPro. Ever since getting one of these grips as a present, it’s traveled everywhere with me, and for good reason.

Despite the strap and foam grip, I’ve managed to drop it in the ocean not once, but twice! Each time I’ve been able to fish it out with a boat hook, once while sailing, and once after having it knocked out of my hand while fishing from my kayak.

If you plan to use your GoPro anywhere it could potentially fall into deep or swift water, we can’t think of a single reason why you wouldn’t want one of these in your accessory kit.

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Power: Dual Battery Charger + Battery for Hero 9/10 Black  

Power: Dual Battery Charger + Battery for Hero 9/10 Black
  • Size: 1.8 x 1.5 x 2.3 inches
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • Compatibility: Hero 9/10
  • Best for: Extended and off-grid use

When I first started using my GoPro, running out of battery was one of my biggest problems.

It always happened at the least convenient time as well, usually towards the end of the day when I was in the groove and the light was perfect. If you travel a lot, especially if it’s off the beaten trail, you’re going to want to keep a charger and spare batteries in your bag.

This particular charger comes with an extra battery, but I would consider buying at least one more so that you have three batteries charged and ready to go at the start of the day: one in your camera and two waiting in reserve.

Be aware though, that you need to buy a charger that’s matched to your GoPro’s batteries, since there are slight differences between model.

The charger does its thing relatively quickly, so you should have your batteries fully charged in 2-3 hours depending on exactly how flat they were when you started.

The only negative for me is that the charger only comes with one extra battery. I would have preferred to have a pair of them in the pack, since there’s space on the charger for two batteries at once.

To get an idea of how long a battery will last, expect around 70 minutes when you’re shooting 4K at 60fps, and around 110 minutes at 30fps. The quality isn’t as good with the latter, but when you’re short on battery life, it might be a tradeoff you’re happy to make.

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Water Use: Waterproof Protective Housing for HERO9/10 Black

Water Use: Waterproof Protective Housing HERO9/10 Black
  • Size: 3..3 x 1.6 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Compatibility: Hero 9/10
  • Best for: Scuba diving

Even though all GoPros are waterproof down to 33 feet (10m), which covers them for snorkeling and most water sports, there are numerous reasons why a dedicated waterproof housing is a good idea.

If you plan on taking your GoPro down to scuba diving depths, an underwater housing is essential. Depending on which model you get, the housing is good down as far as 196 feet (60m). That’s beyond recreational diving limits, so your camera should remain intact on any dive you do.

When you’re not diving, the housing also provides additional protection against damage. Even major falls and other impacts will generally still leave the camera intact, even if the housing itself is cracked or damaged beyond repair.

As a new owner, placing your GoPro in a protective housing prevents damage from mud, flying stones, and other accidental impacts that are part and parcel of obtaining interesting footage in the great outdoors.

It’s worth remembering that once your GoPro is secured inside the housing, you may not be able to access all the functions on the touch screen. However, you can use the optional skeleton back door to reach the touch screen while the camera is in the case.

Just be aware that if you decide to fit the skeleton door, the housing will no longer be waterproof, and you’ll be limited to 10 meters as if your camera had no housing. It’s a useful approach for damage protection, but not for diving.

If you have a helmet or grip mount, you can still attach the camera while in the housing, using the thumbscrew.

We’ve seen a few reports that the shutter button sometimes jams below 130 feet (40m). I haven’t dived this deep to test it out for myself, but it doesn’t seem to be a common occurrence, and is likely an issue that can be dealt with under the lifetime warranty.

Because the size and shape of GoPro cameras has changed over time, the waterproof case has changed over that time as well. Make sure you pick up the right one: cases are available for the GoPro Hero 5,6, and 7, Hero 8 Black, and Hero 9/10 Black.

Camera Mounts and Clamps: SNAP Mount PRO

Mounts and Clamps: Snap Mount
  • Size: 5 x 4 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Compatibility: All GoPros
  • Best for: Extreme external footage

When I want to make sure my GoPro will stay firmly attached no matter how bumpy the ride, the versatile SNAP Mount Pro is my go-to option. My favorite accessory by far, the powerful magnets provide an extremely strong mounting point in a wide range of situations.

I’ve used them on my car and yacht and, despite enormous pounding and wind force, they’ve never let go. If you want to capture road-level footage, the mounts adhere firmly to the metal panels on your car, and withstand speeds over 75mph (120kph).

The Snap Mount Pro kit comes with the mount itself, two adapters, a quick-release backplate, a rubber mat to protect your car’s paint job, a lanyard, and an anodized aluminum thumbscrew.

If you plan on traveling anywhere by car or motorbike, the mounting plates make the task of attaching your camera to the exterior surfaces of a vehicle a quick and safe option. The footage you can obtain using them is impressive, and really helps take your videos to the next level.

You’re not limited to vehicular use, of course. Be sure to try out options like attaching your GoPro to your clothing (by putting the metallic back plate behind your shirt and the camera in front), or clamping it firmly to a metal balcony railing for a gorgeous sunset timelapse.

Although I haven’t used these mounts underwater, those that have report that they work just as well. It would be a good idea to rinse them thoroughly in fresh water if you do decide to use them in the sea, though, to prevent salt corrosion over time.

When not in use, the fitting folds against the camera body unobtrusively, allowing you to continue using the camera. It even acts as a small stand for flat, non-metallic surfaces. When it comes to versatility, it doesn’t get better than the Snap Mount Pro.

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Power: Anker Powercore Essential 20K PD Power Bank

Power: Anker Powercore Essential 20K PD Power Bank
  • Size: 6.2 x 2.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Compatibility: All GoPros
  • Best for: Extended or off-grid use

If you plan on spending more than a day or two away from a power source, a good portable battery is an absolute must. It lets you charge up a variety of devices, from phones and tablets to headphones and, of course, your GoPro.

You can use it one of two ways: charging the battery inside the GoPro, or plugging in the USB charger we mentioned earlier and charging one or two batteries at once. This considerably extends the time that you can be away from traditional charging sources when camping or traveling far from the nearest wall socket.

While virtually any power bank will do the job, our current recommendation is the Anker Powercore Essential 20K PD. You can use it to charge your GoPro batteries several times, and still have enough juice left over to charge your phone as well.

This PD in this model stands for Power Delivery, which means faster charging for many phones and other devices that support this standard when using the USB C port. There’s an older-style USB-A port as well, giving compatibility with pretty much any mobile gadget you’re likely to have.

The power bank itself can also recharge relatively quickly, which is still somewhat unusual for higher-capacity power banks like these. With the right kind of charger, the power bank can charge from empty to full in as little as 3-4 hours from your vehicle or a wall outlet.

Compact and relatively light for its capacity, the power bank fits easily into your camera bag or day pack. It’s been a lifesaver for for me when traveling in parts of Africa and South America where electrical blackouts were common. Just remember that you can carry this onto an airplane as hand luggage, but not in your stowed luggage.

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Storage: SANDISK 128GB MicroSD Card

Storage: SANDISK 128GB MicroSD Card
  • Size: 0.6 x 0.4 x 0.04 inches
  • Weight: 0.2 ounces
  • Compatibility: All GoPros
  • Best for: Extended recording

Let me state right from the start: when it comes to recording video, you just can’t have enough storage available.

Without a doubt, the most frustrating part of using a GoPro for me is the fact that I will generally run out of storage at the most inconvenient moment. As a result, I highly recommend that you obtain a high-capacity memory card. In fact, get a couple.

The other problem you’re likely to encounter is that your memory card will, at some point in its life, fail. In general, lower-quality memory cards fail earlier and more often than higher-quality cards. SANDISK cards have a reputation for quality, and are what I always buy.

They’re not the cheapest, but the slight extra expense is more than worth it when you consider the upsides of using a card that you can rely on. Trust me, you won’t appreciate having saved a few bucks when your card fails after a long day of recording!

Storage cards are rated for a certain read/write speed, so when buying your extra cards, be sure to choose those that are fast enough for the job you’re asking them to do. For best results, I’ve found that UHS speed class 3 (U3) and video speed class 30 (V30) memory cards work well.

128GB cards are about where the sweet spot is at the moment for capacity versus price, and you’ll need at least two for a full day of filming.

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Mounts and Clamps: SeaSucker Low Profile Vacuum Mount

Mounts and Clamps: SeaSucker Low Profile Vacuum Mount
  • Size: 4.5 inches
  • Weight: rated to 120lbs
  • Compatibility: All GoPros
  • Best for: Intense/risky recording situations

As good as the above SNAP mount is, there are occasions when you need something even stronger. When you have to guarantee your GoPro is going to remain attached no matter what you do, it’s time for the SeaSucker vacuum mount to come out.

Rated to hold 120lbs (54kgs) of weight, they were originally designed for mounting bicycles to the rear door of motor vehicles. Unsurprisingly, they don’t have much difficulty keeping an action camera in place!

I usually use these mounts to stop heavy items from moving around on board my yacht, and attaching a GoPro was a no-brainer. The mounts worked perfectly even in extreme sea-going conditions, and helped ensure some absolutely stunning footage as a result.

The strong vacuum suction mount is easy to attach, and has never let me down. Ever! The suction cups are manufactured from UV-resistant rubber, while the metal components are stainless steel. Ours have lasted very well, with no corrosion or loss of holding power despite having seen plenty of action in heavy offshore seas.

If you are looking for a mount that will withstand everything nature has to throw at it, especially in the sea, then grab one of these for your kayak, boat, or surfboard.

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Main image via marekuliasz/Shutterstock.com, product images via Amazon

About the Author
John Ericson

John Ericson

Once the owner of a small computer repair shop, John swapped fixing tech for writing about it when he hit the road to travel. A lover of backcountry hiking, language learning, and good wine, he dreams of a smartphone battery that lasts as long as his Nokia from the early 2000s.

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