Best Extended Batteries for GoPro HERO7 Black, HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, and HERO (2018)

While there aren't a lot of options for external batteries for the GoPro HERO6 Black and HERO5 Black, there are some. Here are the best options I've come across for powering your GoPro for more than a couple of hours at a time.

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.

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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

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.

You can find them at Amazon and B&H Photo.

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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.

Wasabi Extended Battery

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.

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.

Pros

  • Compact. From the front, it retains the GoPros’ small size (most of the battery sits behind the camera)

Cons

  • 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.

Oumers Side Power

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.

Pros

  • Waterproof when used in the housing. It’s a dive housing rated down to around 150 feet (45 meters).

Cons

  • 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.

Wasabi Power Clutch

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.

Pros

  • 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).

Cons

  • Not waterproof.
  • Best for hand-held shooting and not really suitable if you plan to mount the camera on something else.

Standard External Powerbank

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 one of these off-the-shelf options.

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.

Pros

  • 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).

Cons

  • Not waterproof.
  • Cumbersome, with multiple moving parts and points of weakness. Best suited to static filming.

In Use

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.

Images and product information from Amazon Product Advertising API were last updated on 2019-10-18 at 20:48.

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This post was last modified on September 4, 2019 10:47 am

View Comments

  • Hi Dave, Great article, thank you. I do have a follow up question though. I have a GoPro Hero6 Black and I film long road bike rides for a virtual cycling website. Some of the rides I have planned are in the 4-6 hour range. For these ride I have 2 different Anker Power Banks (6700 and the 20100). While I can not find the amperage output on the 6700 the 20100 says it outputs at 4amps. Will the excessive outputs damage/overheat my GoPro? Anker's website says the Power Bank will only output at the rate the charging item (GoPro) will accept. Does that sound sound reasonable or should I splurge on a Re-Fuel? Thanks for your time

    • In my experience, there should be no problem. The modern power banks do adjust for the device, and having used many power banks, including more than a few Anker ones, I've never run into an issue with them.

  • Hi, thanks for a good in depth article. However I am in the UK and most retailers will not ship a battery from the USA to the UK. And most of these ideas do not appear on the relevant UK sites.
    Any ideas, for suppliers in the UK
    I am mainly interested in the Oumers Side Power outfit for a Hero 5 Black.
    Many thanks
    Mike

    • Aside from Jessops and Amazon.co.uk, I'm not sure what the best bets would be. Neither of those seem to be showing it as stocked. None showing up on Ebay.co.uk either, unfortunately.

  • I am shooting helium balloon into space as school project experiment. I need an extra source of power for his gopro 7. We bough a waterproof housing with extended sidepower and later found out it is for gopro 5 and 6 and therefore will not fit his gopro 7. What are the options here? What kind of side power to can use which will allow the camera to record the flight of the balloon. Thanks for advice.

    • Which specific HERO7 model is it? If it's the Black, the battery for the 5 & 6 should work. If it's the Silver and White, I'm not aware of any off-the-shelf option available for those yet. I assume it's essential that it's waterproof, but if that isn't a priority perhaps you could jury rig something by strapping on a small USB battery like this. Making that waterproof isn't impossible, but is a bit tricky because you need the camera's USB port exposed to attach the power. The other approach is a DIY solution putting both camera and battery in a small Pelican case and cutting out a lens port, but that might end up too bulky for what you want. There are off-the-shelf versions of that, but they'll probably end up costing nearly as much as a new camera world.

  • Great and correct info.I have two of those you mentioned (Wasabi Power Clutch and Wasabi Extended Battery).Each has it's use depending on conditions being used however I prefer the Power Clutch with use of Saramonic SR-XM1 microphone. Battery slides in cold shoe,orientated 90 degrees, on top of case and tie strap it down for stability.If you have to remove back cover of case the cold shoe needs to be moved back 90 degrees because it prevents the door from opening.In my usage water does not present a problem.Keep up the good work on providing info and I will give you my inputs that you can give out to other users if you care to relay.Thank you. Dave

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