I’m going to be reviewing the best bike helmet cameras. I will go over the top 7 and their features, so you can get an idea of what one is right for you. These are all great options but it’s important to find the perfect camera that suits your needs!
After testing over twenty different bike cameras, we concluded that the GoPro Hero9 is the absolute best for image quality, stabilization, and accessory options.
Finding the best bike camera is no easy task, of course. There’s no one-size-fits-all option.
Some need a helmet camera to record their rides for insurance purposes because they bike to work or school. Others want a camera with all the frills, so they can create immersive videos that other cycling enthusiasts will love.
If you’re in that second category or want an action camera for more than just your bike helmet, there’s no doubt that the GoPro Hero9 is the best option. It shoots 5K video and has a laundry list of extra capabilities, but it’s pricey and might be more than many cyclists need.
An older GoPro model might work better with your laptop or smartphone, depending on its age. And, if you’re just recording for insurance purposes, something with fewer features may be ideal.
Regardless of why you want a bike camera, though, you’ll find the perfect one on this list.
Keep reading to find the best bike helmet camera for every situation.
The Top 7 Best Bike Cameras
GoPro owns the market when it comes to action cameras, and there’s no doubt their products are top-notch. Yet, they come at a high price point and may have more features than you want or need.
You can read our full review on the latest GoPros below, as well as our review on several other bike camera models that are sure to impress.
If you’re not sure of what you want in a helmet camera, though, skip down to our bike camera buying guide. There we’ll discuss all of the features in-depth, so you can determine your ideal camera type.
1.GoPro Hero9 – Best Overall
GoPro as a brand is virtually synonymous with action and adventure cameras. So it’s no wonder that their newest model, the GoPro Hero9, is our top pick. With 5K video quality, excellent image stabilization, and a massive number of mounting options, this helmet camera is a cyclist’s dream come true.
The GoPro Hero9 features not one but two screens and with great bike camera display and image quality. The second one is in front, next to the lens, making it easy to vlog if that’s your thing. The lens itself is removable so that you can add lens filters if you want, and if you don’t like the front screen, you can turn it off, extending the camera’s long battery life.
It can also act as a cycling safety cam apart from your favorite action camera.
Speaking of battery, the Hero9 has impressive battery life, at a full three hours of possible recording. It also has four preset shooting modes, even allowing you to record in slo-mo. Plus, it features a HyperSmooth function that provides incredible image stabilization regardless of the terrain!
On top of all that, the Hero9 offers a time-lapse setting, allowing you to speed up race laps for a more intriguing video. And, because it’s a GoPro, there are an endless number of mounting options. If you don’t like it on your helmet, you can also mount it to your handlebars or chest.
The only downside to the Hero9 is that it might be ahead of your other equipment. Downloading 5K videos and photos is tough on computers even a year or two old. You can reduce video resolution to make it easier to download and edit, but that sort of defeats the purpose of a camera with such high-end features.
2.GoPro Hero8 – Runner Up Best Cycling Safety Cam
If a GoProHero9 is out of your budget or creates videos outside of your computer’s capabilities, their slightly older model, the GoPro Hero8, is still an excellent choice. The GoPro Hero8 shoots in 4K but otherwise matches many of the Hero9’s features.
It has incredible image stabilization, plenty of mounting options, and a waterproof body. It doesn’t have the battery capacity of the Hero9, but it still can record a lengthy 70 minutes.
If you’re deciding between the Hero8 and Hero9, the weight is something to consider as well. All of the extra battery life in the Hero9 adds 30g of weight, which can make a hefty difference if you’re competing in a race.
Plus, the Hero8 is slightly more affordable, so you get a high-end camera at a far better price. And, you’ll be able to utilize it fully because most computers and smartphones can handle 4K resolution, whereas 5K is still entering the market.
3.AKASO V50 Camera – Best On A Budget
GoPro cameras are excellent, but they come with a significant price tag. In truth, there are much more affordable helmet cameras available, and many of them still have all the bells and whistles you need.
The AKASO V50 is the best option for a budget helmet camera that doesn’t sacrifice necessary features. It offers 4K resolution and electronic image stabilization which is suitable for most biking endeavors. This camera also has voice control features, so you can make adjustments without stopping your bike.
It comes with a waterproof case ideal for rainy weather or riding in areas where puddles could create a splash. The AKASO V50 also has a 2-inch touch screen, so you can review what you’re filming on your ride.
On top of that, this affordable camera features a wristband remote for easy access to controls and slow-motion video capabilities.
It might not be as intuitive to use as a GoPro is, but with a bit of patience, you can easily master its controls. Given the lower price point, the learning curve isn’t too big of an obstacle.
4.SonyFDRX3000 – Best For Mountain Biking
Mountain biking comes with jumps, jitters, and shakes as you navigate rugged terrain. So, you need a camera with top-notch image stabilization. Otherwise, your videos won’t turn out.
We love the SonyFDRX3000 when it comes to crystal clear video despite trail conditions. That’s because this camera features optical image stabilization, a step up from the electronic image stabilization that many other cameras feature.
It also features a ZEISS lens which minimizes image distortion inherent to wide-angle captures. On top of that, the camera is splashproof without a case. Add on the extra housing it comes with, and it can handle just about anything. The included housing offers dustproof, shockproof, and waterproof capabilities.
The Sony FDRX3000 shoots in 4K and offers a time-lapse feature. Of course, it will be hard to see what you’re shooting on this camera’s itty-bitty screen, but with built-in wifi, you can always view the footage on your smartphone instead.
This camera is compact, lightweight, and stable, making it the perfect pick for bumpy trails.
5.Garmin VIRB Ultra30 – Best For Performance Capturing
For high-quality, 4K video on a camera that connects to all your other performance tools, look no further than the Garmin VIRB. This camera features G-Metrix, which is Garmin’s term for its built-in GPS and external sensors that connect to your heart rate monitor, power meter, and everything else!
On top of that, this Garmin camera features voice control and a remote app. So, you can control your camera through your smartphone if you’d like. Of course, the controls on the camera itself are also straightforward to use. You won’t have a hard time getting this camera up and running.
The only downside to the Garmin VIRB is its battery life. It doesn’t last more than an hour, maybe an hour and a half tops. That means, for longer rides, you’ll need to carry backup batteries.
6.Dragon Touch Action Camera – Best Included Accessories
If you’re looking for a helmet camera that you can use right out of the box, the Dragon Touch Action Camera might be perfect. Not only is it super affordable, but it comes standard with all the accessories you might need like a helmet mount, waterproof case, batteries, and remote control.
It doesn’t have higher-end features, like a Zeiss lens or the GoPro9’s second screen. But it does offer slow-motion recording, wifi capabilities, and 4K resolution. Where it really lacks is image stabilization. This camera will work for rides on paved streets or smooth trails, but we wouldn’t take it on rougher terrain.
Still, given the price and all the included accessories, this action camera is a great choice. It might not be a GoPro, but it can definitely record your ride.
7.Drift Ghost X Action Camera – Best HD Option
4K is the new standard for video recordings. Still, if you’re only sharing videos with family and friends or want to use your camera for insurance purposes, 4K resolution might be too much.
With an HD camera, you’ll get a much longer battery life, faster downloads, and the video quality is only a little lower. That might explain why the Drift Ghost X action camera is still so popular.
This little camera offers a rotating lens so you can align your shot regardless of the angle you mount your camera. It also is water-resistant without a case, and, perhaps best of all, it features a 5-hour battery life.
Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest camera to use. It has a menu that’s far from intuitive, and the app that connects to it isn’t all that great. It also has less than fabulous image stabilization, so we wouldn’t use the Drift Ghost X for mountain biking at all.
That said, the price is relatively low, and the battery life is truly amazing. So, if you need a camera but don’t care about the highest possible resolution, the Drift Ghost X is a great pick. Just don’t expect it to measure up beside a GoPro or Sony FDRX3000.
8.VSYSTO Portable Helmet Camera – Best No-Frills Option
If you’re not sharing your videos but instead want a helmet camera for insurance reasons, the VSYSTO Portable helmet camera might be your best bet.
This camera doesn’t feature a screen or special features, like slow-motion recording or time-lapse capabilities. It’s not going to give you a video that’s easy to edit or share, but it will record everything. It will even overwrite your memory card automatically as it fills. So, it’s ideal for filming daily commutes in case of an accident or crash.
The VSYSTO connects to your smartphone via an app, but there’s also a USB port should you prefer to connect to devices that way. It’s very easy to use; just plug it in and press record. But keep in mind the battery life is only 2.5 hours long, so you’ll need to recharge it regularly if you’re using it for a daily commute.
Cyclists tend to want bike helmet cameras, also known as action or adventure cameras, for one of two reasons. You may want to share your adventures with friends and fellow cycling enthusiasts online. Whereas some can also double up as cycling safety camera.
Alternatively, you may be searching for a bike helmet camera that will act as an insurance tool. If you use your bike to commute to work or school, a bike helmet camera can be helpful in the event of a crash.
If you’re in the former category, you probably want an action camera that provides an immersive experience for your viewers. Conversely, those who want a camera for insurance purposes will care less about viewing quality and more about basic functionality.
No matter which category you fall in, though, there are several things to pay attention to. Below, we discuss the most important helmet camera features, so you can decide what you need and skip any expensive extras.
Not all bike helmet cameras have screens, and they’re really not necessary if you’re using your camera for insurance purposes. However, if you’re trying to create immersive cycling experiences for your online following, a screen is a vital feature.
Screens allow you to see the footage you’re recording right away, so you can make adjustments in real-time. Without a screen, you might find yourself disappointed in your recordings. It’s all too easy to record at a strange angle or with a spot on the lens, making the resulting video useless.
High-end adventure cameras feature 4k, or even 5K video quality, which is sharper than HD. Of course, the super clear image comes with a hefty price tag, and many cyclists find they can get away with FHD (full high definition or 1080p).
Buying a camera that doesn’t support HD videos isn’t really an option in today’s market. Most cameras will support either HD or 4K. If you need professional-level videos, 4K is the way to go. But, if you’re just sharing on social media with friends, HD is a perfectly acceptable option.
Most bike helmet cameras have wifi connectivity and don’t require any wires. Some of them have ANT+ or Bluetooth connectivity as well.
Having Bluetooth or ANT+ connectivity is ideal if you’re creating videos to share. With Bluetooth or ANT+, you can connect your camera to your cycling computer, heart rate monitor, or power meter, allowing you to add your stats to your video footage.
Some bike helmet cameras boast built-in editing software or a compatible editing app.
If you want to create videos to share with friends online, you might get by with built-in editing software. On-camera editing tools are also fantastic if you want to share your videos on the go. If you’re using your helmet cam as a travel diary or something of that sort, it will let you create quick edits before you share your video with the world.
However, if you’re looking to create professional-level recordings, you’ll need to invest in higher-quality editing tools. And, of course, if you’re using your camera for your commute, you don’t need any editing software at all.
All bike helmet cameras come with some form of image stabilization, but they don’t all perform the same. There are two ways that most bike helmet cameras can create the illusion of a stable image when you’re on the trail or road:
- Digital or Electronic Stabilization
- Optical Stabilization
With digital or electronic stabilization, software inside the camera senses movement and attempts to eradicate notable shakes. Unfortunately, digital stabilization usually means you sacrifice a bit of image resolution.
With optical stabilization, there are moving elements inside the lens that shift to counteract jerks and bumps. It’s the same image stabilization method you find in most smartphones and it won’t cost you image resolution.
That means optical stabilization is more effective than digital stabilization, but you may not need it if you stick to pavement and smoother streets. However, if you’re mountain biking, where major bumps and jumps are inevitable, seeking a camera with optical stabilization is a good idea.
Having an inbuilt GPS on your helmet camera may seem like an unnecessary feature, but it can be useful in certain situations. If you’re making a multi-day bike trip, for example, having a GPS on your camera allows you to create intriguing photomaps.
An inbuilt GPS adds geotags to every image or video. You can then use an app like Strava to create a photo map to share on social media.
Field of View
Field of view is determined by the space between the lens and the image sensor in your camera—the bigger the space, the narrower the camera’s field of view.
By definition, action cameras capture as much action as possible without a direct aim. In other words, they have a very wide field of view (FOV). This is important to capture all of the action in each scene, but it comes with a significant downside.
Wide angles inherent in a wide FOV distort the image, making your videos look off. To fix this, the best bike helmet cameras feature distortion control. Distortion control will limit distortion but also will reduce the field of view. Some cameras, like the GoPro models, offer multiple settings so you can control this feature. With others, you’re at the mercy of the camera’s designer.
The GoPro Hero9 blows other bike helmet cameras out of the water. The video quality it produces is unmatched, and the second screen is a game-changer for vlogging purposes. Plus, it has an impressive 3-hour battery life and incredible image stabilization.
Of course, the Hero9 isn’t for everyone, which is why there are so many other great options on this list. And, you can purchase all of them on Amazon with just a few clicks. Use the links in the article to navigate to Amazon and buy your next helmet camera. Doing so supports reviews like this and makes buying your camera that much easier!