Last Updated on December 1, 2021 by worldoftravelswithkids
So you are thinking of getting the best GoPro for kids or a GoPro for family travel? I’ve shared here some of our practical experiences when using a GoPro for Kids. This is basically the information I WISH I’d had access to before I forked out for the very highly recommended GoPro HERO5.
Oh yeah, spoiler alert, we bought the GoPro Hero 5 rather than a cheap GoPro alternative!
I am not a tech-savvy person, and thus prior to buying this particular model of GoPro I did loads of research online and bought a number of different accessories. After numerous videos and blogs, I was convinced I needed these. Did I actually NEED them? Read on, I might save you some money!
This post may contain affiliate links, from which we would earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. More info in my disclaimer.
So you want to Buy the Best Go Pro for Kids?
I have to be honest, I am a pretty frugal parent. Nor am I very tech-savvy – so when I started considering a kids GoPro, it was a pretty big deal.
In short, kids these days tend to be far more comfortable with technology than their parents, and they, therefore, see the world differently. I want the best for my kids and thought having access to the latest technology was pretty important. On the other hand, a GoPro camera for kids costs several hundreds of dollars, which seemed like a big investment for a kids’ action camera!
Best GoPro for Kids Comparison Table | + Alternatives
|GoPro Hero 5||4K video, 12MP photos, waterproof to 33 feet, voice control||Click here|
|GoPro Hero 9||5K video, 20MP photos, waterproof to 33 feet, intuitive screen||Click here|
|GoPro Max||3 cameras in 1, 360 video & 260 photos, HyperSmooth recording||Click here|
|GoPro Hero 7||4K & 1080P video, 12MP photos, waterproof to 33 feet||Click here|
|GoPro Hero 8||4K & 1080P video, 12MP photos, waterproof to 33 feet, many modes||Click here|
|VTech Kidizoom Action Camera||Top brand; mountable & waterproof; fun games, frames & effects||Click here|
|Akaso Brave 4 Action Camera||4K & 1080P video, 12MP photos, waterproof case, 5 x zoom||Click here|
|OurLife kids’ Action Camera||Great value price, ideal starter camera, 3 color options||Click here|
|Dragon Touch Action Camera||4K & 1080P video, 16MP photos, waterproof case, 4 x zoom||Click here|
|Crosstour Action Camera||4K video, 20MP photos, waterproof case, 8 x zoom||Click here|
What are the Pros And Cons of a GoPro for Kids?
The Pros of getting a GoPro for kids
Go Pros are Sturdy and Durable
The GoPro is an action camera, so it’s designed to take a bit of rough and tumble. Now, obviously, a limit does exist regarding what you can do to a GoPro and have it survive. We’ve had a kids GoPro for a number of years now, and it’s survived a considerable amount of being bashed about.
Go Pros are Little and Compact
When we were considering buying the GoPro (for kids, but also for family travel) I could not believe how small it was. It fits into the palm of my hand and, it turns out, that because the GoPro is little; it is perfect for small hands and fingers.
Go Pros are Waterproof and go Underwater
Hands down the waterproofing is why a kids’ GoPro camera is the best. It’s also what the kids use the GoPro for most. They love taking the camera into the water and taking goofy pictures of themselves swimming. Also, they like snapping photos of marine life when we are snorkeling.
Go Pros can take some Funky Pictures
It is true that kids see the world differently from adults, and the GoPro really helps with that. There are a number of different lens angle settings, including a really wide-angle lens. I know that some people out there don’t like the wide-angle lens, but my kids and I love it.
You can Mount Go Pro Cameras
One of the major positives of a GoPro camera is that they are mountable as well as little. That means that if you have the right accessories you can clip them onto your hat, shirt, backpack strap, or bike handles. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the options for mounting a GoPro are only limited to what you can buy.
In terms of a GoPro camera for kids, having a mount on their hat means that they can take photos without having to carry the camera. You know how kids get tired of carrying cameras. Well once you invest in this particular action cam for kids, that problem is solved!
You can Take a Kids Go Pro Everywhere
Seriously, the GoPro is so small you can take it everywhere. It easily fits in the bottom of my purse or handbag and is a lot smaller than my phone. Although I still have that with me as well… because you know… it’s my phone!
Film Footage can be Very Steady
Honestly, I have not encouraged my kids to take much footage with the GoPro. However, if you film with a gimble, you will find that the video comes out high quality and not at all wobbly!
The Cons of getting a GoPro for kids
Go Pro Cameras are not Point and Shoot
Point and shoot cameras are often the easiest cameras for kids to use. In my experience, that is not what a kids’ GoPro is like.
A Go Pro Camera for Kids Requires Learning
If you are not very tech-savvy and your kids are younger, be prepared to do some learning. Teens, however, will probably manage by themselves!
I think I am a fairly typical 40-something mother, and can manage with new technology, while not exactly embracing it. As a bit of a dinosaur, I can capably learn when given a push and a little time.
So I can’t just watch one or two tutorials on how to operate something and then go straight out and use it. Especially not when, for most of the time, my traveling companions are curious and active as well as impatient. In real life, there is simply no time to “play around” with the settings.
SD Cards can Quickly Fill Up
Related to the settings issue – do make sure you use the film and photos on lower resolution settings. Otherwise, you will find you fill-up the card very quickly indeed.
Someone Needs to Edit all the Video Footage (Or not!)
Again this depends on your kid’s age/s. Don’t get me wrong, I love to encourage the kids’ creativity and autonomy by letting them making little videos. On the other hand, they have been known to film 20 minutes of their feet, accompanied by a strange little commentary.
As a busy mother of 3, I find myself needing to delete footage to make space. So do bear in mind that you’ll have to manage the kids GoPro (unless they are older).
One downside, I’ve found is the battery life. You need a spare (or battery pack) if using your kids’ GoPro a lot – especially when out exploring with limited access to charging facilities.
Voice Commands are COOL
We love that the voice activation allows us to capture family pictures that we wouldn’t otherwise get. However, while the voice commands are a definite bonus of a GoPro for kids, you might also find that it doesn’t work so well with the children themselves. They don’t always speak particularly clearly, so that makes the voice commands more difficult to use.
Our Top Tips before letting the kids “GoPro”
Is “to Go Pro” actually a verb? Probably, in this day and age. That’s why I have let my kids have free rein with the family GoPro. Ok, so the photos aren’t the most beautiful, but they are learning important technological skills.
I am now a single mum, following the devastating death of my partner. Between us, our family owned a GoPro, a Drone, a DSLR camera, and our iPhones. As a solo mum of 3, I have only got two hands and so much attention. Most of the time, I only take my iPhone on outings as the DSLR is another thing to carry. Therefore in this world – of perhaps too much tech – I’m happy for the GoPro to be the kids’ camera.
Should I call it the Kids Go Pro?
With kids aged ten and under, the family Go Pro still very much belongs to “the family”, rather than being the kids’ GoPro. Over time, that has changed. Now they’re older and my daughter has responsibility for the camera. This means that she looks after an expensive piece of equipment – which I think is an important part of growing up.
Discuss Responsibility before giving the Kids a GoPro
The GoPro for kids is NOT a toy. If we wanted to get them a toy kid-friendly action camera, we could have. There are a few on the market, like the VTech Kidizoom, that are made specifically for kids.
The VTech one is meant to be an action camera for younger kids, aged between four and nine years old. Or there is the Akamate Kids’ Action Camera, a waterproof GoPro alternative for kids that comes in different colors.
Learn Which are the Best Settings for the Kids’ GoPro
Always make sure the camera settings are used in such a way that you don’t end up with excessive amounts of unwanted photos or footage.
Consider Planning Photos in Advance
With its voice activation, there are some cool pictures you can get as a family. Why not brainstorm about some of the things you could do together?
- Using a mount, attach the camera to a tree branch or even the top of a playground (be creative!) and lay on the ground looking up. Or lie in a circle, with your heads touching!
- In a reversal of the picture above, stand above the camera in a circle.
- Walk towards the camera, step by step. It makes a good family shot, especially if the little kids are running ahead.
To Make it Stronger, Keep the Frame on the GoPro
The Go Pro has a frame, which is used for mounting it onto various GoPro accessories. I personally keep the frame on the camera at all times, as it can help protect it from bumps and drops.
The best GoPro for Kids | 5 Top Options
GoPro Hero 5
The GoPro Hero 5 is the one we have, and it’s been brilliant overall. It’s durable, waterproof up to 33 meters, and can capture great video footage in 4K as well as 12MP photos.
It’s easy to use, as there’s an intuitive touch screen and voice control. This works well with older kids and adults, if not always the younger members of the family! This one is also live streaming and GPS enabled, and you can share your results via Bluetooth, WiFi, or USB.
- Operate via hand or voice
- High-quality photos and video
- Share video & images via live streaming, Bluetooth, or USB
- Limited battery life
Now we jump from an older model to one of the latest GoPros. Even though it’s been superseded by the GoPro Hero 10, this is probably the best kids action camera out there. In general, it attracts better ratings than the 10.
The upgrades are to 5K video and 20MP pictures. The Hero 9 will also select the best photos for you, saving you all that time sifting through the rubbish the kids might have captured on camera. With outstanding clarity and an easy-to-use display, the stability and connectivity of the GoPro Hero 9 are really impressive. Plus the images are incredibly Insta-worthy!
- Ultra intuitive screen
- Unparalleled videos & photos
- Impressive stabilisation
- Higher price
The GoPro Max is another contender as the best action camera for a 10-year-old or older tween or teen. With this model, you effectively get three cameras for the price of one, as users can shoot fully immersive 360-degree footage.
You can of course also capture high-quality video and pictures. It’s ideal for any budding YouTubers or even established Vloggers. Even when there’s a lot of movement, the stabilization ensures professional-grade, seamless, cinematic style footage – even in slow motion.
Live streaming at 1080P is also enabled. The battery life on the GoPro Max is really good too. Also, 270-degree panoramic images can also be captured.
- 360-degree video footage & 270 photo capture
- HyperSmooth stabilization system
- 1080P live streaming
- Less control for wider shots
GoPro Hero 7
A GoPro Hero 7 offers a step up from the Hero 5 but at a more affordable price than the Hero 9. Like the 5, it’s waterproof to 33 feet, and it’s also tough and robust enough for kids to handle without breakage.
This is one of the most popular GoPro models, capturing sleek 4K video footage and 10MP pictures. In burst mode, it can take up to 15 shots in a mere second.
Portrait orientation is ideal for fans of Snapchat and Instagram, while a timer makes it possible to get everyone into the shot. Including Mumma – aka the photographer. The Hero 7 also has a voice control mode.
- Effective HyperSmooth function
- Ideal for live streaming
- Fun TimeWarp feature
- Slo-mo must be seen via app or software
GoPro Hero 8
The GoPro Hero 8 is a more recent model and comes packed with interesting GoPro kid ideas such as TimeWarp, HyperSmooth, LiveBurst, and NightLapse.
With live streaming at 1080P, kids and adults alike can also send clear, as-it-happens footage to their friends, neighbors, or extended family while on holiday. The image stabilization and digital lenses work very well, further enhancing the video and pictures captured.
While it’s not as powerful as the Hero 9 and therefore the images are not of quite so high quality, the Hero 8 is ideal for those who want to spend a little less.
- Relatively affordable
- Lots of fun features
- 1080P streaming
- Not the best battery life
Alternatives to a GoPro Camera | 5 Best Products
Vtech KidiZoom Action Cam
So if you want a GoPro for kids that’s waterproof but cheaper, you need a lower-cost alternative. VTech Kidizoon cameras have been incredibly popular for so long, and this waterproof action version builds on that success.
Kids can go down to a depth of six feet underwater, and can also mount this camera to a skateboard, scooter, or bike for capturing action footage.
This product is ideal for kids between four and nine, who will love the fun frames, effects, and games included as well as the ability to record footage and take pictures.
- Leading kids’ camera brand
- Tough, waterproof & mountable
- Fun effects, frames & games
- It will be outgrown (but probably will work well as a hand-me-down for other kids in the family)
Akaso Brave 4 Action Camera
This Akaso 4K action camera looks more like a GoPro, and maybe the best GoPro camera for kids who might damage the real thing. This is simply because it’s far more affordable to buy or replace!
With 4K video, 20MP pictures, and 1080P resolution, it’s a serious contender. It can also be used as a waterproof camera but will need to be carefully sealed into the included waterproof case first.
The battery life isn’t the best, but if you want a decent action camera to start the kids off with this is a solid option.
- 20MP photos & 4K video
- 1080P resolution
- Requires case for waterproof use
- Limited battery life
Ourlife Kids’ Action Camera
This product provides an alternative to the VTech as well as the GoPro. It’s aimed at younger kids and comes with a very attractive price tag. If you simply want younger children to have fun while getting started, this camera could be ideal.
It comes in blue, pink or purple, and is recommended by the manufacturer for kids aged from six to 15. I cannot see a child who’s reached double figures using this, to be honest, but for those in single figures, it’s a good starting point.
There are some fun filters, effects, and frames for kids to play with. It also comes with a waterproof case and a mounting kit.
- Great value for money
- Ideal starter set
- 3 colors
- For younger kids only
Dragon Touch 4K Action Camera
Like the Akaso Brave 4, the Dragon Touch one also attracts pretty positive reviews and has an up to 4 x zoom option.
Again you need to use the waterproof case when diving beneath the surface, which can be a bit fiddly for impatient kids. Once fitted, though, a depth of up to 30 meters is possible. Its remote control, however, is not waterproof.
There are lots of interesting modes to play around with, such as time-lapse, slow motion, white balance, and image rotation. Finding out what all these do could keep the kids happy for hours!
- Lots of fun modes
- Up to 4 x zoom
- The waterproof casing needs fitting
- The remote control is not waterproof
Crosstour 4K Action Camera
This is a surprisingly stylish-looking camera for the price, and it has some features that could rival a GoPro. One of the best is the 8 x zoom, which beats that on any of the other cheaper GoPro alternatives. An image stability system also helps to reduce blurring.
Again you need to place it in the waterproof case before using it beneath the surface, but this 4K action camera produces decent pictures and video footage.
- 8 x zoom
- 4K and 20MP video & photos
- Image stabilisation system
- Have to fit waterproof case
Which Go Pro Accessories do you Need?
This floating hand grip is good for filming on land, as it helps keep your hand steady. If it’s dropped in the water (as kids do) the orange end of the handle comes to the surface, making it easy to locate. This is a great GoPro kids accessory.
An alternative to the GoPro Handler Floating Grip is the GoPole Bobber, though there’s not normally much of a difference in price.
Firstly, let’s mention that the Dome Port is not a GoPro product. It is a split housing that works with your GoPro, sitting in front of the camera lens. When used on the waterline, the camera – located inside the Dome Port – photographs what is above the water’s surface while reconstructing a “virtual image” of what’s below the surface. I understand that the Dome Port is responsible for many of the very cool water pictures posted on Instagram.
Don’t think that you are going to just pop on a Dome Port and start taking “to die for” pictures, though, as this requires a lot of practice. The port itself is pretty huge and also a quite fragile-looking piece of equipment. We have carried one in its box and packaging so far. Ours measures 8inches (20cm) x 7.5 inches (19cm) x 5.5inches (14cm) high – which is a lot of space in a suitcase or backpack.
Practice how to use the Dome Port BEFORE you go on holiday or reach that gorgeous destination. Learn how to keep the lens clean – or be prepared to! You can also photoshop the images, as for me I couldn’t always get a clear shot.
This shot we got in Fiji is amazing, but it took a lot of work! It took maybe 50 attempts, and a few by-passes with the kayak. All the while, Mumma was jumping neck-high waves. The moral of this story is – it’s often far from easy to get the perfect shot.
Which other GoPro Accessories can you Buy?
Time-Lapse Rotating Tripod Head
We found a time-lapse tripod head quite tricky to use, but many owners love it. Particularly for taking video footage. It is highly compatible with the GoPro.
We bought a GoPro strap mount as it was a multi-purpose item that could be used with a backpack, scuba BCD, life vest, Camelback, etc. Additionally, the quick-release plate lets you quickly remove the camera from the mount.
GoPro Casey Carrying Case
The GoPro Casey is an official accessory which we bought, and it is an amazing carry case. It is weather-resistant and has a semi-rigid shell for protection. The case includes a custom compartment that I used to store DSLR lenses in as well as other GoPro accessories.
It does keep all your GoPro pieces in one place, but will of course take up a little more space in your bags. Before we got the case, we stored the GoPro inside one of my socks!
Which is the Best Go Pro for Kids?
So… did I mention earlier that I am not tech-savvy? Oh, I did…?
Yes, that’s right I am a normal Mumma who finds tech overwhelming. I am not going to make recommendations here about what is the “best Go Pro for kids”, because quite simply there are loads of buying guides out there that explain the different types of Go Pro cameras. As with many families, budget is an important consideration, and how much you want to spend on your kid’s action camera!
In short, older kids are going to enjoy more functionality. They are, presumably, going to be more reliable (and not lose or damage it). Smaller kids (like those under 8 years old) don’t need all the functionality and really just want to play. I seriously think you don’t have to spend a lot of dosh (money) to get a good Go Pro for your kids.
As I said, we have a Go Pro Hero 5, and it is functional and sturdy. If and when I buy a new GoPro for kids, then likely I would get the Go Pro Hero 7 as I understand that it has a better screen. I don’t know about the kids but one of the most challenging things for me is the lack of a screen or finder to work out what I am taking a picture of!
How much Tech do you Need? Really?
Before heading on holiday, we always need to make a firm decision about which tech to take. Is the destination appropriate for a drone or more action-oriented? Would it lend itself to taking great photos with our Canon 6D? Obviously, if there is underwater action involved, packing the GoPro is a no-brainer.
However, making decisions like these can change our family holiday into something a little less spontaneous. This was something less enjoyable about some of our trips. I do love using the Go Pro when traveling, but I don’t like dealing with all the footage later. It’s something to consider before you invest.
I always feel happy when we use the Go Pro with the floating handle on outings like this.
The Verdict – What is the Best GoPro for Kids?
If you have the budget, and the inclination to learn to use a new camera, then a Go Pro for kids can be absolutely awesome. I would opt for a GoPro, rather than another type of action camera that has a little less functionality and quality.
To date, our GoPro has held up well in the sometimes less than careful hands of my kids. We have some great pictures to show from our travels as a result of using the GoPro, documented through the eyes of a child!
If you do want to spend less money or have younger kids, some of the cheap alternatives to a GoPro are ideal for starting out with, although they will outgrow some as they get older.
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