I love my GoPro. Between being tiny, powerful, virtually shockproof, and able to be mounted on anything, anywhere, it rocks. Even though there are a number of other action cameras on the market, it’s the accessories that make the GoPro a better investment. The knockoffs are getting better, but all of these (save two) are made by GoPro themselves.
Here are five of my personal favorites.
A Tripod Mount
Simply put, this mount is so critical it should come in the box when you first buy a GoPro. Since it doesn’t, pick one up and attach it to any standard monopod or tripod you already have. No need to up the kludge factor when spending less than $10 will attach it properly and easily.
A Reach GoPole
If you don’t already have a tripod or monopod, this single-purpose pole has plenty of uses. Plenty of knockoffs abound, but if you’re looking to buy something specifically for your GoPro, a Reach GoPole would be it.
Extending between 17 to 40 inches, the three-pronged GoPro mount is already part of the pole – all you need is the waterproof case (or The Frame, if you’re not going anywhere near the water) and you’re golden. Way to be minimalistic there, you videographer.
Note the company makes a few other poles for more specific purposes – the Evo extension pole floats, while the two-piece Arm extension kit extends any existing mount by 8-16″ — great for those skydiving selfies.
A Head Strap Mount
Ideal for those helmet shots or documenting whatever you’re staring at, the Head Mount ends up being surprisingly comfortable and fits fine, even over a motorcycle helmet.
The Sticky Mounts
These are dangerously addictive – they’ll stick once and remove cleanly, but they’ll go fast! It (should) go without saying, but the 3M adhesive sticks best to a clean, dry, surface – clean the object off first, then apply using some pressure between the mount and object.
Note that GoPro sells a kit of curved and flat mounts, but other kinds with different adhesives are also available – get the surfboard ones for the strongest connections, the regular mounts for average strength, and the instruments ones for a more easily removed tab (seen above). Reuse the plastic mount, not the sticky part (that’s one-time-use only, sorry)
Perhaps the most boringly-named accessory of all, this piece of plastic securely attaches the GoPro to whatever mount you choose. Unlike the waterproof case or the skeleton backdoor, there’s no loss in sound or worry about the case fogging up when using The Frame.
I didn’t realize this when I bought it, but there’s actually two Frames inside the box – one for the GoPro without an LCD backpack, and one with. As a little bonus, there’s also a lens cap inside – perhaps it should be in the original box, but it’s a nice touch here.
Of course, not every accessory is ideal for every person or situation. While most of the extras I’ve bought for my GoPro have been useful, there are at least three that I won’t be bothering with again.
Yeah, it’s officially made and licensed, but I’ve yet to see a video using this chest mount I wanted to watch. Think about it – your torso bounces more than anything else when doing anything active. You’ll cinch it up really tight to ensure it doesn’t bounce around, which means either A: chafing, B: limited range of motion, or C: you’re always fiddling with it.
The rig isn’t heavy, but look at the camera-to-rig ratio for crying out loud… the bulk isn’t great for travelers.
The Wrist Mount
The number of angles is limited to what your wrist can do, which isn’t a whole lot. Right now, hold out an arm and try to point the top of your hand forward. Go on, try it.
You either have to drop your wrist forward (which strains the forearm and makes it difficult to hold anything in the hand) or twist your arm around, like you’re showing your watch to someone else. If you’re using this wrist mount to get your reactions, it might be OK — as long as you don’t need your hands for anything…
A Super-Cheap Pole That Uses Tension to Hold the Gopro in Place
Seen in electronics markets across Southeast Asia (and presumably the world), these are usually about $15 – $20 USD, and come in two pieces – the pole and the tension cradle, for want of a better term. It’s actually meant for phones or compact digital cameras, though, and won’t work nearly as well if your GoPro is in any sort of case.
The markets display them as being useful for GoPro, but don’t fall for it! The biggest tipoff is the brightly colored rubber tab, which you grab to open it up. It’s fine for other cameras, but I wouldn’t trust my GoPro or phone to this thing.
Want to take kick-ass photos with your GoPro? Read our detailed guide to doing just that!