Battery life is not a strength of GoPros (or of GoPro competitors, for that matter). If you get two hours of shooting time out of one you’re doing well. Most of the time you’ll get significantly less, with some shooting modes and features eating into battery life more than others.
So if you’re wanting to get more than an hour or two of shooting and don’t want to be juggling spare batteries all the time, you might be interested in the options for extended battery life with these cameras.
Many of the older GoPro models had a port on the back panel that could be used to attach a GoPro BacPac extended battery to the back of the camera. That port is not on the newer models like the HERO7 cameras or the HERO6 Black and HERO5 Black, so the BacPac batteries are no longer an option.
Nor is it an option to use the internal battery space. That’s a small space, and there’s only so much juice the current lithium battery technology can cram into a space that size. The standard GoPro internal battery is rated for 1220mAh.
There aren’t a whole lot of options for extended batteries that are compatible with the HERO7 Black, HERO6 Black, and HERO5 Black, but there are some. All of the current range are external batteries that supply the charge through the camera’s USB-C port on the side. That means removing the side door, which in turn means that the camera itself is no longer waterproof. Some of the options overcome that by including a waterproof housing that goes over the whole thing; some don’t.
Of course, you can just plug in any old USB powerbank and use that as an extended battery, and that’s one of the options listed below. But that’s not always a practical solution for various reasons.
So there are some other options worth considering. Which works best depends on how you want to use it. Do you need it to be waterproof, for example? Or do you need it to remain minimalist in size? Some of the options have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to considerations like those.
When it comes to these external batteries, ones that work on the HERO5 Black will also work just as well on the HERO6 Black and HERO7 cameras–they all use the same USB-C port. For internal batteries, the HERO7 Black, HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, and HERO (2018) all use the same battery. But the HERO7 Silver and White have hardwired internal batteries that aren’t removable.
DigiPower ReFuel ActionPack
- Waterproof. And it does it without the downsides of using a separate housing.
- Large-ish battery rated to 5000mAh.
- Solid package that makes it useful for action environments.
- Adds extra bulk and weight, making it less than ideal for situations where weight and size are critical.
- Extended battery doesn’t itself charge with USB-C fast-charging.
This is my current pick from the current crop of external batteries for GoPros. It has a few things going for it: it’s waterproof, it has a good-sized battery (5000mAh), and although its still adds quite a bit of bulk and weight compared to the camera by itself, it’s still a relatively compact and manageable option compared to some of the other options here. I’ve posted a detailed review separately.
It’s a battery embedded into a frame mount. A swinging arms over the top locks the whole thing securely in place. And it comes with both a standard GoPro attachment point or a standard tripod mount. It manages to be waterproof without encasing the whole thing in a separate housing, and the design gives you access to the camera’s own buttons and touchscreen as normal. While I haven’t gotten quite the shooting times the company claims, I’ve gotten close, and it’s a lot more than the in-camera battery.
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Wasabi Extended Battery
- Compact. From the front, it retains the GoPros’ small size (most of the battery sits behind the camera)
- Not waterproof. Waterproof housing not yet available.
- Back screen obscured. You can’t see or use the camera’s back screen. The battery completely covers it.
This was one of the first extended batteries be released for the GoPro HERO5 Black. It’s also compatible with the HERO6 Black. Wasabi have made quite a name for them over the past several years as a maker of high-quality but cost-effective third-party batteries and power supplies.
- Boost your HERO6 or HERO5 runtime with 2500mAh of extra power
- Get 4+ hours of recording time! Not affected by firmware updates
The battery is rated for 2500mAh and it comes with a frame mount to hold it securely in place. I have a hands-on review of the Wasabi Extended Battery here. For now, it’s not an option if you need something waterproof because they’ve not yet released a waterproof housing that’s compatible. Another important consideration is that it completely obscures the camera’s back screen.
You can find them at Amazon. I bought mine from Blue Nook, but that seems to have been folded into the main Wasabi Power website.
Oumers Side Power
- Waterproof when used in the housing. It’s a dive housing rated down to around 150 feet (45 meters).
- Can’t use the camera’s touch screen controls (but you can still see the back screen for viewing.)
- Can overheat in some conditions.
- The housing can fog up in humid/damp conditions.
This battery sits alongside the camera. The camera and battery combination then goes inside a waterproof housing. You can find them at Amazon.
The battery is rated for a capacity of 2300mAh (nearly double of the standard internal battery). It has an integrated USB-C plug, so there’s no need for a separate cable to connect to the camera–it just plugs right into the side. The dedicated housing that comes with it is what holds the two pieces securely together.
The result is simple to use, although the side-by-side layout makes the whole thing significantly larger and bulkier, which isn’t going to be ideal for every mounting situation. But if you need a waterproof extended battery, it’s about the only practical option for now.
You’re not alone if you haven’t heard of this brand–I hadn’t either. But I bought one to try out, and it has been working as advertised for me. I’ve posted a detailed review of the Oumers Side Power here.
Wasabi Power Clutch
- You get a battery and grip in one.
- Large capacity battery (5300mAh).
- Compatible with any GoPro (or any other camera that can powered by USB, for that matter, provided to add a mounting adapter).
- Not waterproof.
- Best for hand-held shooting and not really suitable if you plan to mount the camera on something else.
This battery takes a different approach. Rather than being something that attaches snugly to the camera, it’s an external 5300mAh battery that’s shaped as a hand grip. So it’s a combination of a battery and grip. The biggest downside is that it’s not waterproof.
You can find them at Amazon.
I’ve posted a more detailed review of the Wasabi Power Clutch here.
- CAPACITY :: Get 5200mAh of extended CLUTCH power -- in your hand and when you need it; Premium cells for...
- COMPATIBILITY :: Works with all GoPro mount cameras (GoPro MAX, GoPro HERO11, HERO10, HERO9, HERO8,...
Standard External Powerbank
- Widely compatible. Pretty much any external USB powerbank will work.
- Not limited to the GoPro HERO7 Black, HERO6 Black, and HERO5 Black (so long as you switch the cable to the one the camera uses).
- Not waterproof.
- Cumbersome, with multiple moving parts and points of weakness. Best suited to static filming.
You can also just plug in any old USB powerbank as well. Just make sure to use a cable that has a USB-C plug to go into the camera.
This approach adds maximum flexibility in many respects. If you want to add a battery that has over 20 times the capacity of the standard GoPro battery and get many hours of shooting, you can. But it also adds some complexity, at least in terms of creating a secure, portable package. And it’s not waterproof on its own without some creative DIYing for a housing or an off-the-shelf option.
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If you’re looking for suggestions, I’ve been impressed with Anker’s offerings, which range from high-capacity, larger batteries like this one to highly portable but smaller-capacity batteries like this one. I’ve also put together a post on some of my favorite powerbanks.
All of these batteries connect via the camera’s USB-C port. When using them, the external battery first charges the internal battery, and the camera is actually powered from the internal battery (ie. it’s not bypassed). Once the external battery is depleted, the internal battery will continue powering the camera until it too is depleted.
It is also possible to power the camera only with an external battery. Here’s more on that.
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