It wasn't that long ago that I had a chuckle to myself when I saw someone wearing a head strap with a GoPro attached to it. I thought it looked a little weird. But as karma would have it, when I went to attach the camera mounts onto my snowboarding helmet, I realised that my helmet didn't have any flat surfaces for the mounts to attach to. Damn you slightly cool but impractical helmet! I tried all angles and possibilities for a while before accepting the fact that a direct mount to my helmet was not going to be possible.
So there I was with helmet and mounts in my hand wondering how I was going to make use of my shiny new GoPro. I have the 3-Way Grip but there are times when you want a different POV (point of view) and you don't want to carry the stick around. And then I had a flashback and it dawned on me, I was going to have to get the GoPro head strap quickclip mount.
I got over the fact that I was going to look like I worked in the mines, but my biggest concerns were whether the strap would stay on the helmet and how much movement the camera would have. I didn't want the kind of shaky footage that gives you a headache when you watch it. I checked out plenty of reviews of the GoPro head strap as well as alternative versions. As with all products, there are good and bad reviews but it seemed like a lot of the aftermarket products had issues with stability and fitting on top of helmets. I decided to spend the couple of extra dollars and I purchased the GoPro version from Amazon for $18.19US. It came with a head strap, thumb screw and quick clip. The quick clip is for ultra-low profile mounting and can be clipped onto a baseball cap backwards or any other object between 3mm - 10mm thick.
The strap is elastic, sturdy and strong, much like a goggle strap. It has a rubberised backing which helps it grip onto the helmet. It is also adjustable which means that you can use it with or without a helmet. The camera mounts directly onto the strap so no additional mounts are needed. I was worried that the strap might fly off the helmet, but after doing some speed runs, bumpy runs and having a few tumbles (on purpose of course), I was pleasantly surprised to find the camera still securely mounted on my head.
Because the GoPro is mounted directly onto the strap, the camera doesn't move around. Which means that footage is a lot smoother and more stable. Of course, if you are riding over bumps you are going to get shaky footage, but that's also the point of having POV footage right? Here's some footage taken riding a groomer with my head strap on.
The strap also allows you to attach the GoPro with the extendable arm so that you can have the camera facing towards you to capture forward facing footage and self portrait photos and videos.
And of course, the head strap means that it's not permanent. You can attach your GoPro to different helmets, caps, just your head or you can share it around.
There are three downsides to the headstrap mount. Firstly, I'm not a fan of how the GoPro head strap mount looks. It could be to do with the fact that my helmet is white so it stands out like poop in the snow but either way it isn't very discreet. I've seen the looks of confusion (maybe horror?) that people give me from behind my goggles. Maybe I'm about to start a trend? I'll go with that one for now.
Secondly, because the GoPro is mounted at the front of your helmet, I had a bit of trouble with where to place my goggles when they weren't over my eyes. It's not often that I sit my goggles on my helmet but you know, those times when you're blowing your nose or have an itchy eye, it really is much easier without your goggles on. There is the option however, of unbuckling your helmet and lifting the helmet and goggles up at the same time. For me, that was ok for about two seconds before the weight of the GoPro kicked in and the helmet and goggles started sliding back down onto my face. Really annoying when you're in the middle of blowing your nose!
Thirdly, is where your goggle strap goes. You can wear your goggles over the GoPro head strap or under it, you just have to make sure that both straps are on tight and secure. If you happen to have a goggle clip on the back of your helmet like I do, then you could clip your goggles in first and then put the head strap over the top.
The alternative is to wear your goggles under your helmet which I have seen a lot of people on the slopes doing lately. It comes down to personal preference which you prefer but I found that the adjustment clip on the goggle strap dug into my head and felt uncomfortable. There are now helmets which have been specifically made so that you can wear your goggles underneath your helmet, such as the Anon Talan which I am sure would be much more comfortable. Check out the different variations that I tried out below. You can click on each image for a larger view.
If you can get over the look of the GoPro head strap and the fact that you may not be able to temporarily take your goggles off, then this is a great option. The stabilisation is excellent and you get the same POV footage as you would with any fixed helmet mount. The beauty of it not being fixed, is that it's versatile. It can be used with or without a helmet and you can share it around. I've even seen people affix it to random objects to capture footage. For the small price tag, I'm totally happy with my purchase. And it saved me from having to buy a new helmet.
Let me know what you think in the comments below! Do I look like a dork? Do you have any ideas on how to get over my goggle issue? I'd love to hear from you.
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Jen spends most of her time following Mick around the mountain, often unintentionally off jumps and cliff drops. Currently on a mission to prove that you’re never too old to try freestyle. Aside from snowboarding, a little obsessed about tattoos, CrossFit, saving animals, learning to play the guitar and clean eating. Web designer and digital marketing nerd.