In case you’re not aware – GoPros don’t float! Yes, newer models are waterproof, and older models come with a watertight case, but they all sink like a stone in the water.
We all want to protect our precious cameras from sinking to the bottom of an ocean or lake, which is where floating GoPro handles and grips come in.
There are a variety of floatation devices made for GoPros and other action cameras. I’ll break down the different types, why you need one, and review some of the best options available.
Quick Answer: 5 Best Floating GoPro Handles
- Best Overall: GoPro The Handler Floating Hand Grip
- Runner Up: MiPremium Waterproof Floating Hand Grip
- Budget Pick: AmazonBasics Floating Hand Grip
- Telescopic Pole Handle: CamKix Waterproof Telescopic Pole
- Pistol Grip Handle: Suptig Trigger Waterproof Pistol Shutter
Why do you need a floating GoPro handle or grip
Beyond just floating in the water, the high-viz colors used by most floating handles will increase the visibility of your camera, and make it easy to spot on the surface. This will make it quick and easy to recover in choppy conditions.
Many floating handles also have an integrated wrist lanyard – keeping your camera safely tethered to your wrist. A good handle will also enable you to get better quality footage than trying to hold the body of the camera itself. This is especially useful for filming action sports like kayaking, wakeboarding, and surfing.
Most floating handles use the ‘quick-release’ base, which allows you to quickly and easily to swap your GoPro to a kayak mount, selfie stick or tripod.
If you’re still not convinced, take a look at this video of a diver recovering six GoPros plus tons of other gear in a riverbed:
Best Overall: GoPro The Handler Floating Hand Grip
The official floating hand grip from GoPro does an incredible job keeping your camera afloat and enables you to shoot worry-free around the water. It’s well-made, durable, and extremely buoyant. If you’re looking for a handle to use around saltwater and sand then this is the one for you.
It might cost a couple bucks more than other models, but you can be confident knowing your expensive camera won’t come loose from the mount.
The foam handle is buoyant and comfortable to hold for long periods of time. It’s designed to flip butt-end up when submerged in water, which exposes the bright orange part of the handle so it’s easy to spot. The wrist lanyard is also comfortable and convenient, allowing you to shoot for hours at a time without worry.
The quick release base allows you to speedily switch between different mounts.
- Compatible with all GoPro HERO cameras
- Quick release base makes it easy to swap between mounts
- Durable and comfortable foam handle provides a secure grip
- Bright orange bottom cap makes it highly visible in the water
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Runner Up: MiPremium Waterproof Floating Hand Grip
This versatile, lightweight grip is comfortable and has a number of added features that make it especially useful around water. The air-tight compartment inside the handle can be accessed by unscrewing the base – allowing you to keep valuables like cash, keys or batteries inside. Alternatively, it can be filled with water, making the entire mount neutrally buoyant – and perfect for filming while diving.
The textured EVA non-slip grip provides a secure grip and works just as well underwater as on dry land. At the base of the handle is a brightly colored butt, which will float on the surface making it easy to spot amongst the waves.
Included with the floating handle is a double mount – allowing you to attach two separate cameras or smartphones at the same time. This allows you to film in both directions simultaneously, or it can be used to attach an underwater light. The mount tilts in 180 degrees which provides a huge range of shooting possibilities.
- The multi-purpose hollow compartment can be used for storage or flooded with water for filming during deeper dives
- Brightly colored handle butt end is easy to spot on the water
- Double mount comes included
- Other accessories included: universal smartphone holder, universal camera adapter, 12 anti-fog filters, wrist strap, carabineer and thumb screw wrench
Budget Pick: Amazon Basics Floating Hand Grip
If you’re looking for a floating GoPro handle that gets the job done and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, then this is the grip for you. It’s compatible with all GoPro models and provides a sure grip even in wet conditions.
The large diameter octagonal-shaped rubberized grip gives you an extra secure hold – and is comfortable to hold for hours at a time. It also works well outside of the water, making filming on dry land a breeze.
A wrist-strap attachment allows you to tether the grip to your wrist. A carabineer is also included, but it has a tendency to unscrew the base and cause water to leak in, so you’re better off using it with the wrist lanyard.
The body of the grip is a bright yellow color, which makes it easy to spot in the water.
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- Compatible with all GoPro camera models
- Large diameter grip is comfortable to hold for prolonged periods of time
- Includes wrist strap, carabineer and standard thumb screw
- One year AmazonBasics limited warranty
Telescopic Pole Handle: CamKix Waterproof Telescopic Pole
This floating handle is sort of a hybrid between a floating GoPro handle and a selfie stick. It can be used as either a standard compact floating grip or the clear plastic extender can be added allowing you to adjust the pole length between 6.7” and 15.7”.
The hollowed out hand grip can be used to store important items like cash, SD cards or batteries. It can also be filled with water, creating a neutrally buoyant compartment ideal for filming while diving.
The telescoping pole section is made from durable transparent plastic, making it seemingly disappear in photos. This makes it perfect for capturing water sports footage. A cradle for holding a GoPro WiFi remote is built into the bottom of the telescoping pole section, which makes taking selfies a breeze.
An adjustable wrist lanyard and tripod connector are also included.
- Two in one functionality – can be used as a standalone floating hand grip or with the extendable telescoping pole
- Hollow handle can be used to stash valuables or filled with water for neutral buoyancy
- Clear plastic telescoping pole great for taking photos around water
Pistol Grip Handle: Suptig Trigger Waterproof Pistol Shutter
This unique pistol-grip floating handle gives you the ability to take photos or video by pressing down on the trigger. This makes it perfect for one-handed use, allowing you to capture action footage while surfing, waterskiing and other watersports.
The grip is made of durable non-slip material, providing a sure grip on the mount. Its attachment area allows for a wide variety of setups, including mounting a waterproof dive light directly above the camera.
The handle’s design allows you to see most of the rear screen while you’re using it – which means you’ll still be able to shoot top-quality footage.
A mini tripod is also included, allowing you to film yourself or take selfies. Keep in mind that the mount will sink with the tripod is attached – so be sure to remove it before dropping in the water.
- Unique pistol-grip design makes one-handed usage easy
- Hollow handle allows valuables to be stashed inside
- Includes mini-tripod which can be screwed into base
After investing several hundred dollars into a nice action camera, spending a few extra bucks to make sure you don’t lose it to the bottom of a lake is a no brainer!
Before taking your new camera and float out on the water, it’s a good idea to test it out at home in a sink or tub. It’s better to discover any potential defects before you’re in deep water.
Also, keep in mind that most floating handles are designed to hold one action camera at a time. If you plan to add extra accessories to your mount, be sure to test its buoyancy with these accessories attached.
Lastly, go with brightly colored floating GoPro handles whenever possible. High-viz colors like neon orange or yellow are much easier to spot on the water’s surface than darker tones.