Guide To Camera And GoPro Mounts For Kayaks
Capturing our adventures on camera has become part of our everyday lives now, especially with the rise of social media. And kayaking is one of those activities where recording your adventures can be even more exciting.
But when you’re looking for camera mounts for kayaks you need to know what to look for. So we’ve put together this guide to help give you little more information about them, as well as give you a look at some of our favorites.
Top Camera Mount Picks:
Epic Video: GoPro Kayak Footage
Ways To Use A Camera (inc. GoPro) While Paddling Your Kayak
Taking a camera with you on a kayaking trip may sound daunting to many of you, particularly if you’ve spent a lot of money on your camera. The last thing you want is for your new gadget to take a dive.
But with a mount, you can continue to paddle while you capture images or movies. The mount takes away the need for your hands to be in control of the camera and gives it a secure place to sit while you’re on the water.
With a camera mounted directly on your kayak, it can capture both still and moving images, depending on your camera settings, either of yourself while you’re paddling or of the view around you.
Many of the kayak mounts can be easily installed on your yak and can be also be easily removed, allowing you to remove both the camera and the mount, if necessary.
You’ll find that some will be designed to work with mounting systems on your yak and others may use other attachment methods, such as clamps or suction cups.
Video: Scotty Camera Mount Installation
Having a camera attached to your helmet can let you take images of the view you can see in front of you. The downside to this is that if you move your head a lot, the videos you capture may not be easy or smooth to watch.
There are straps with mounts that can attach to your helmet to hold your camera or GoPro in place.
Another way of using your camera while paddling is to mount it on the strap of your backpack or life jacket. A backpack mount can let you capture images while keeping the camera close to your shoulder.
What Else Do I Need To Think About?
Before you hop in your yak with your camera, you may want to think about some of the features that might be useful for both your camera and the mount.
If you’re taking your camera on the water, it can be a good idea to make sure it’s in a water resistant case if it’s not waterproof on its own.
You might also want to make sure that the case can float or that you attach some kind of tether to your camera that will prevent it from sinking to the depths or floating away.
Gear Tracks/Mounting Points
When you’re choosing a mount for your kayak, you may want to consider the features you have already installed on your yak. You may have gear tracks and accessory mounts where you can easily install a track mount and compatible camera mounts.
You might find you need to purchase adaptors in order for a track mount to work with your gear tracks. So check on your vessel beforehand, so you can be sure you buy the correct mount.
If you don’t have gear tracks and want to avoid drill down mounts, a suction cup mount or clip mount may be more suitable (especially for inflatable kayaks), as it shouldn’t require any additional hardware in order to set it up on your yak. You may also find some clamp mounts or curved adhesive mounts that could work. Adhesive mounts should be waterproof or water resistant for attaching to a kayak.
You will likely find that some camera mounts will be specifically designed for certain cameras, such as GoPros. This can mean that some mounts may not work for a particular camera, so it’s always a good idea to check that the mount can work with a range of different models or with your specific camera.
Many of the mounts will be compatible with a range of cameras that have a standard tripod mounting point, which you’ll usually find underneath your camera.
Consider how long you’ll be on the water and how long you’ll be shooting for. Having your camera on for the duration of your trip will likely mean your battery will drain faster.
Another thing you might want to think about is the storage of your camera. Choose an SD card with higher storage if you don’t want to run out of space, as it may be tricky to switch SD cards while you’re on the water.
Best Kayak Camera Mounts
1: Scotty #135 Portable Camera
The Scotty 135 mount can be attached to any pole with a diameter between ⅝ inches and 1 ⅜ inches, so it can give you the flexibility to mount it to whatever you want. It can also be mounted to all Scotty brand post mount systems. However, you may need an adapter to use it with other kayak track systems.
This mount is designed to work with standard cameras as well as sports cameras and GoPros. It can turned and rotated in all kinds of positions for your best filming angle, and this also means it can be swiveled out of the way when you’re not using it.
You can also use it to mount a compass or other device.
2: GoPro Head Strap Mount
This GoPro helmet mount can be one of the best GoPro mounts for wearing on your head, as you can wear it directly on your head if you don’t need a helmet. This can make it ideal for all types of kayaking, even with inflatable kayaks. You can even wear it over a backwards baseball cap.
This is a compact GoPro mount that’s designed to fit most head sizes, with an adjustable head strap. It has a low-profile design and the QuickClip attachment and head strap mount is compatible with all types of GoPros.
However, this is not the best GoPro mount for impact activities so it might not be suitable for extreme whitewater kayaking.
3: Peak Design Capture Camera Clip & Standard Plate
This Peak Design camera clip is a chest mount that can be attached to the strap of a backpack. Unlike some others on the list, this can also be used to hold a DSLR camera and it's incredibly rigid. This can be ideal for wildlife photographers as it can give you quick access to your camera to capture those epic shots.
As well as backpacks, it could be attached to some life jackets if you have suitable straps. But it may not work with all life vests and may not be suitable for all paddlers if you don’t have any straps to use.
This is a durable chest mount that comes with a lifetime warranty and can even hold up to 200 pounds.
4: GoPro Suction Cup
The GoPro Suction Cup is the official suction mount from GoPro and is designed to work with all GoPros.
This suction mount doesn’t require any mounting hardware as it features a durable suction cup that you can attach directly to any flat surface on your kayak. Ideal if you don't like drill down mounts.
The suction cup is designed to stay in place on various objects, from cars to boats, and is built to stay on at speeds of over 150 mph, so it should stay on your kayak without any trouble.
This waterproof mount features adjustable arms, so you can capture the perfect angle. It also comes with a Quick Release base, so you can quickly remove the camera for different types of shots, and a standard base.
5: GoPro Chesty Performance Chest Mount
This GoPro chest mount might be the best GoPro mount for whitewater kayaking or other more extreme activities, as it’s designed to stay securely on your body. This chest mount is made for GoPro Hero cameras and can be an easy way to film without mounting directly to your kayak.
The harness is lightweight and adjustable. It can be worn over life jackets and other bulky clothing. It’s padded and breathable for comfort and the mounting plate is centered on the harness for capturing the perfect shot and point-of-view footage.
However, the chest size can only go up to 46 inches so it may not be the best mount for larger paddlers.
6: YakAttack Articulating Mount
The YakAttack Articulating track system mount is designed to be easy to install, with a YakAttack Screwball for mounting to track mounts on a fishing kayak. It can also be installed with other track systems from Scotty Fishing Products but doesn't include the LockNLoad base. Other kayak gear tracks may require an adapter to be installed correctly.
This quality mount features a ¼-20 camera ball so it’s designed to be compatible with most cameras. It also has a GoPro attachment.
A nice feature of this track mount is that you can swivel the mount to different angles to get the best shot for your footage, whether you’re using an action camera or a standard camera.
However, this mount can only handle cameras less than 3 pounds in weight.
7: RAM Tough-Pole 24” Action Mount
This Ram Tough-Pole mount features a 360-degree swivel function for capturing the best shots from the best angles. It’s designed to work with Ram mounts on track systems, specifically the Tough-Track.
This mount is 24-inches long so it can give a good view above your deck, which can be useful for capturing the moment you reel in your prized catch on a fishing trip. It can also be folded down for storage.
It features a 2-prong universal camera adapter to fit most action cameras, including GoPros. But it’s not designed for standard cameras.
8: GoPro Jaws Flex Clamp Mount
The GoPro Jaws Flex Clamp Mount can be one of the best GoPro mounts for installing on a kayak without needing additional hardware, unlike some other GoPro kayak mounts. This can be easily clamped to a point on your deck and features a removable neck. It can grip securely to irregular-shaped objects that are between 0.25 inches and 2 inches in diameter.
This can be mounted to the rim of a cockpit or the gunwales of a canoe. However, it may not work with some sit-on-top kayaks that have no suitable attachment point. In this case, adhesive mounts may be more compatible.
It’s designed to work with all GoPro cameras but will not work with standard cameras and may not work with other brands of action cameras.
Taking your camera with you when you’re paddling can give you the opportunity to take great photos and capture your adventures on film. Whether it’s wildlife photography or action shots, having mount on your kayak can be pretty useful.
Make sure you think about how and where you will mount your camera to your yak and make sure you keep your camera safely protected while you’re on the water.
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