In case you’ve been living under a rock the past 3 years, GoPro action cameras have become huge. They started out as a gadget for surfers to record their rides, but are now popular in many other kinds of sports including fishing and hunting.
Hunters have increasingly started using GoPro cameras to capture footage of their hunts. I mean, it makes sense when you think about it. Anyone who is passionate about what they do wants to share their experiences with others. Hunting is no different from Surfing in that sense.
A GoPro Hero is ideally suited for hunting. They are very compact, waterproof, and take killer High Definition videos. They do, however, have one glaring issue that all hunters should consider, and that is the lack of concealment.
The stock waterproof case is made of shiny, clear plastic. While that is good for seeing the LED’s that tell you it’s recording and if the Bluetooth is on, it’s not ideal in hunting situations. Animals will no doubt be able to see reflections off the camera, and your hunt will suffer because of it.
Below I will give you the dirt on using skins, a GoPro Blackout housing review, and one awesome custom housing.
Good: Vinyl Camouflage GoPro Skins
The answer, at least for me, was a vinyl camouflage skin that I got from Amazon.
It comes in a die-cut sheet, perfectly sized for wrapping over the waterproof housing. This particular skin is from a company called Weapon Armor. They offer skins for every GoPro model, in several styles of camo.
Just be sure to be careful when you’re applying the vinyl. Any edge or wrinkle you leave on the application is an opportunity for it to start peeling off or attracting dirt.
Better: GoPro Blackout Housing (Hero3+ Only)
If you don’t want the trouble of applying a vinyl skin to your GoPro, you have another option, and that is called the Blackout Housing.
The reflective clear plastic is replaced with a new all-black matte finish plastic housing. It’s not exactly cheap, but it looks badass. The matte finish will not reflect light nearly as much, and it will definitely help you conceal your camera outdoors.
One drawback is GoPro is only producing the Blackout for the Hero3+. For the thousands of people who own a Hero3, you need to look elsewhere. Another thing to note is that the GoPro Blackout housing is designed differently from the standard Hero3+ waterproof housing. This presents several challenges.
One, the backdoor is not compatible with a Battery Backpac or LCD screen accessory. This is a strange move by GoPro, but not all that surprising since they do want to sell you accessories. Two, the latch mechanism is a different design, and some people are complaining about it being too difficult to latch and unlatch.
Finally, the black plastic has been causing WiFi connection problems with some users. While the WiFi is working fine with the clear housing on, the blackout has seen the WiFi occasionally disconnecting.
If those points make you want to go in a different direction than the brand name housing, then you might like the next option.
Best: StuntCams Camouflaged GoPro Housings (Hero3 and 3+)
My personal favorite is the custom painted waterproof housings from StuntCams. Instead of using a different colored plastic, they take the field proven standard waterproof housing and put on a high quality coat of spray paint, followed by 2 coats of clear sealant to prevent the paint coming off.
There are no stickers that peel off during use, and they are truly a matte finish. As one reviewer said – “The (GoPro) blackout housing reflects a lot more light than this matte black housing”. And the paint is very durable. Users have seen minimal paint scrape off, even after months in the bush.
There are 3 awesome looking finishes available including a Blackout, woodland camouflage, and desert sand camouflage. Just look how awesome those paint jobs are! One bonus feature of using the standard stock housing is that unlike the blackout housing, you can unscrew and replace the lens should it get scratched while out in the field.
I hope you found this little mini review helpful. There is truly an option for adding camouflage to your GoPro, for any budget. The vinyl skins are decent for the cost, and the official Blackout housing from GoPro is a step up but will cost you more. And for those you who can afford a little bit more, the StuntCam camo housings will really get the job done.