GoPros are remarkably rugged, especially with the standard housing. But you’ll still want to add some protection if you’re traveling or storing your camera. It’ll help prevent the lens from getting scratched and minimize the chance of a knock doing some damage. And it’s a way to keep all those accessories that seem to pile up, like spare batteries, remotes, mounts, bolts, cables, and memory cards all together and organized so you can find them quickly when the action’s heating up and you need them fast. It also keeps all those fiddly GoPro adapters separate from your other camera gear so you don’t end up grabbing the wrong thing when you’re trying to get the shot.
There are all sorts of options for cases for your GoPro. Here are some of the best ranging from simple and inexpensive to practically indestructible.
NB: The HERO9 Black comes with a case included.
Smatree SmaCase Cases
This is probably the best-selling case for GoPros out there. And there’s a lot to like. It’s small, practical, light, and inexpensive. It’s not waterproof or crush proof.
The pre-cut EVA foam is designed to fit one camera, but you can fit two if you need to by giving up some of the space for accessories and mounts. There are spaces cut out for a couple of spare batteries and other miscellaneous mounting clips, but this is a small case, and there’s definitely a limit to how much you can fit in it.
The lid has a mesh pocket for cables and memory cards. It closes with a zipper, and the outside case is semi-rigid and pretty strong. There’s a cloth handle on the outside and a lightweight carabiner clip. There’s also a choice of colors. And if you want something even smaller, there’s a G75 model that is a bit smaller.
This is a good option if you want to keep things simple and inexpensive and will most likely be putting your case inside another bag or luggage. Available at Amazon.
CamKix GoPro Cases
This case by CamKix is pretty similar to the Smatree one. It’s still semi-rigid, locks with an all-around zip, has a carry handle and comes with a carabiner clip. It’s not waterproof or crush proof.
But this CamKix case is more flexible because you can customize the recesses in the interior foam yourself to whatever layout takes your fancy. Have one camera and lots of accessories? No problem. Just want to carry half a dozen GoPro cameras? That’s fine too. It comes in three sizes–small, medium, and extra large–with the amount you can fit in each one being different, of course.
This is a good option if you want simple and inexpensive but also want more flexibility in the interior layout or need a larger case. Available at Amazon.
Thule Legend GoPro Cases
The Thule case are fundamentally similar to the two above, but they take the quality up a notch along with the level of protection. A semi-hard shell offers what Thule calls crushproof, and the interior uses better quality foam. It’s not waterproof.
The light blue interior is more than to look pretty, too–it helps the black mounts etc stand out better, so you’re not trying to find black accessories on a black background in low lighting. The lid pockets close with zippers and are transparent, making it easier to find things while also keeping them stashed safely away.
There are two sizes. The smallest, the TLGC-101, is pretty small and is designed for one camera and a handful of accessories. A bigger (and a bit more expensive) model, the TLGC-102, offers quite a bit more room.
This is a well-made case that shows the thought and care that’s gone into designing it, and it offers better protection than the models above. Available at Amazon.
Shineda Small Water Resistant GoPro Case
This case is small, light, and simple. But its distinguishing feature is that it goes to great lengths to be water resistant. It’s not waterproof, as such, in the way that the Pelican cases are, so you can’t just submerge it, but with a water-resistant zipper and treated lining material, it’s good for splashes and rain. It’s always worth bearing in mind, though, that with even so-called waterproof zippers can end up being the weak link in an otherwise good water repellent system.
But if you’re after simple and inexpensive and plan to spend a lot of time at the beach or boating, this is a good option. Available at Amazon.
UKPro POV40 Waterproof Case for GoPro
This is a slimline hard case that is shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof up to a depth of about 3 feet. A nice touch with these models is that the lid’s inside pocket is large enough for an iPad, making it a good option for carry-on. It’s either sold with a hand strap or a should strap–be sure you’re getting the one you want.
You can find them at Amazon.
Smatree SmaCase GA700-2 Case
This is a hard case that takes the basic idea of a Pelican case but adds some bells and whistles designed specially for GoPro cameras. It’s crushproof, waterproof, and dust proof. There are no zippers to get jammed, and it floats.
It offers excellent protection, but that comes at the expense of bulk, so it’s not as easy to just throw in your bag. On the positive side, you can fit quite a bit in this, with the top shelf coming out and exposing a storage tray underneath. The foam is pre-cut to shape.
This is a good option if you’re after top-shelf protection and want plenty of room for accessories. Available at Amazon.
Pelican cases are the gold standard of hard cases. I’ve been using a variety of sizes of Pelican cases for over a decade and have never had the slightest issue despite putting them in for some pretty unforgiving treatment, including dropping them in the ocean in Antarctica and hauling them up Kilimanjaro. And then there’s the treatment that airline baggage handlers dish out, which is in a league of its own. These things are crush proof, dust-proof, and waterproof. They’re very, very tough. I’ve never tried driving a tank over one, but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if it came out unscathed. But that toughness does come at a price: they’re bulky and fairly heavy even empty.
Pelican cases come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They have a range of different sizes with precut foam designed for GoPro cameras. For a GoPro, 1200 is a good place to start. If you need bigger, the 1400 works well. They come in a variety of colors from discrete black to high visibility orange. They’re sold with or without foam that you can customize, so make sure it specifies in the product description. You can also buy the foam separately if you decide later you want to use a different layout. And customizing the interior is easy thanks to the foam being perforated into small blocks that you can easily pull out to create all sorts of recess shapes.
They don’t come with many bells and whistles–just a rock solid case and a foam interior. If you want the best protection for your GoPro, the Pelican cases are hard to beat, and the can be surprisingly cost-effective. GoPro-specific cases are available at Amazon and B&H Photo. The standard customizable versions (Amazon and B&H Photo).
GoScope Pro Flex Case
The GoScope case is a bit different to the others. All of the other cases I’ve mentioned here are your fairly traditional two-part case with a lid that flips up. This one is like a satchel that rolls out. While it is quite well padded and its exterior is water-resistant ballistic nylon, it’s not crushproof or waterproof. And there are large gaps that sand and dirt can get in (although the padded compartment designed for two GoPro cameras seals well with its own velcro flap). Despite that, it has quickly become one of my favorites for its versatility.
It has a number of nicely thought out features. The interior is bright orange, which makes finding black accessories quickly much easier. The roll-out section has all sorts of different sized pockets and elastic holds for mounts, cables, memory cards and even special slots for the bolts. But you can’t fit larger accessories like spring clamps. There’s a hook on one end, so you can hang the whole thing up in the same way you can hang some toiletry bags. And there’s even a slot to hold an extension pole (like the company’s signature GoScope) or bobber, which is something I’ve not seen on any other cases.
I like this case for everyday convenience and versatility. If I’m going somewhere that I need something really rugged, I’ll reach for a Pelican 1200 or 1400. But for day-to-day travel and use, I like this one. It’s available at Amazon.
Riseful RollPro III
The Riseful RollPro takes the roll-up theme to the next level and dispenses with some of the usual characteristics you think of with a “case”. But it’s eminently functional, with cameras and accessories rolling up like an old-fashioned Australian swag.
It fits 3 GoPros, and there are pockets and loops of various sizes and it offers a lot of versatility in what you put in there and how you arrange it. And once you get on site, you can lay it all out so it’s all in front of you.
It’s available at B&H Photo.