GoPro Hero 3+
Long the highest-profile product in this competitive category, the GoPro Hero 3+ camera may look like you’re auditioning for a role as a Telatubby when you mount it on your helmet, but—as our tests reinforce—it still remains one of the category’s top contenders. A variety of settings and mounts offer versatility, and the video clarity (the real purpose of getting a helmet cam) is stellar. Minor hits like the two-hour battery life and no direct on-boarding monitor show that there’s still room for improvement, however.
Ranking just as high as the GoPro (with a score of 90 out of 100) in our extensive testing, the Drift Ghost-S offers some serious resolution (1080p at 60 frames per second) but our tester found it easier to use that the Hero 3+. A serious battery life (3.5 hours) and an overall rugged architecture help it stand above the rest of the cams that we put through the ringer, but the six-ounce weight is a bit heavier than others. The price? Like our rating, it’s also a tie with the GoPro at $400.
The Virb scored ten less than the GoPro and the Drift, but at $350 this camera should appeal to the slightly more cost-consciences. The camera’s limitations—like the inability to tilt the lens and the fact that it’s merely water resistant—may explain why this one is slightly cheaper.