The Best GoPro Gimbal Stabilizer for Stunning Photos and Videos

By Ryan | Gear & Stuff

Jul 30
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Good travel photography or videography is all about being on the move and capturing once in a lifetime shots which are never likely to be repeated.

For the very best, it means only the best equipment will do. This is no different when shooting on a GoPro. As with shooting via any camera, some shots call for the best GoPro gimbal stabilizer.

What is GoPro Gimbal?

A gimbal is a type of motorised stabilizer, with a three axis system. The mechanical nature of the gimbal means that your shots will be steadier than with a non-motorized stabilizer, combating the well-known issue of motion blur with the GoPro.

Finding the Best GoPro Gimbal

Finding the right gimbal stabilizer for the type of videography or photography for your style can be painstakingly time-consuming, with hours of research, shortlisting and reading reviews online or in magazines, before finally selecting your preferred gimbal.

To save you the time and effort, we’ve gone to the liberty of compiling a list of features that you should be looking for in a travel photography gimbal.

We then detail a selection of the best GoPro gimbal options currently on the market based on these features.

This will give you an idea of what an ideal gimbal should include, and what you should be looking for when conducting your own search.

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.


5 Things to Look For in Your Future GoPro Gimbal

Listed below are the primary features that your new GoPro gimbal should tick off above anything else. These will help with functionality, comfort, lasting use amongst other things.

#1 Lightweight

bset gopro gimbal lightweight

From Amazon

Firstly, you will be travelling with your GoPro; you will have luggage allowances and your own personal abilities in terms of carrying equipment.

Because of these restrictions, your chosen gimbal will need to be as lightweight possible. The other reason for this is that you are likely to be using the stabilizer by hand. A heavy gimbal will limit your filming time and could even cause injury if mishandled.

A lightweight gimbal will allow you to film for as long as you need, as well as causing limited disruption to your baggage limits or personal strength. Lightweight materials include titanium, aluminium and some alloys, amongst others.

If you’re buying in-store, make sure to test out the product you’re thinking of purchasing before you buy it. Bring your GoPro and ask if you can perform a demonstration. Get a feel for if you’re tiring as time goes on or if you think you’d be comfortable using the gimbal long-term.

If you are buying online, check reviews and the listed product weight before you purchase. See if anyone has complained about the weight of the item or maybe made positive comments about the item’s portability.

#2 Durable

best gopro gimbal durable

From Amazon

Equally as important as weight is durability. You don’t want to be buying a new gimbal every six months, especially if you are venturing on a long trip where replacements or repair shops may be hard to come by.

Often it can be equated that a durable product is likely to also be a heavier product, and many will compromise on durability for portability. This doesn’t need to be the case. There are many gimbals made of both tough and lightweight materials, such as the above mentioned metals and alloys.

The reasons for a gimbal needing to be durable are multi-fold. When travelling, you are likely to be putting your trust in airport baggage control, or some form of transport department where handlers may not be as conscientious as you would be. A poorly designed gimbal may snap or crack in this situation, or the bearings may loosen, ruining the product for future use.

We can all be clumsy sometimes too, we may be filming and extra focused on a take and not see a rock. We may trip, we may fall, or we may simply drop the gimbal and GoPro as a natural reaction for self-preservation.

You need to be sure that if that ever happens your gimbal will stand up to the fall and come away from the incident with minor scratches.

#3 Compact

best gopro gimbal compact

From Amazon

As with the need for a lightweight design, the product should also be compact.

A GoPro is a small piece of equipment, perfectly portable and designed precisely for taking away in hand luggage or to be tucked into a tiny corner of your checked luggage.

The same should be the case for your gimbal. If you are serious about filming, chances are a gimbal isn’t the only piece of kit you’ll be carrying, so it’s important that your gimbal doesn’t take up more space than necessary, in turn forcing you to leave other kit at home.

More than just for initial transport to a set or destination, you will need your gimbal to be compact for daily use; for it to tuck into a kit bag or attach to a utility belt when not in use. Half of the issue with finding good kit is having to compromise with other pieces on a shoot, purely for transportation, especially if you are a one-man-band without caddies, doing the majority of filming yourself.

#4 Handheld

best gopro gimbal handheld

From Amazon

It seems self explanatory, but often we jump to buying products without truly questioning how they will be used.

The only option for a gimbal is to be handheld, to truly utilize its fullest strengths, so you need to make sure that your choice is at most two handed, but preferably one handed.

The reason for the specific focus on handheld-ability is that due to the dexterity of your hands and wrists, you have the most control with them, and the more of your body you use with a stabilizer, the more rigid your shots will be.

To utilize your full creativity with the GoPro, make sure your gimbal offers you as much flexibility as possible.

#5 Comfortable

best gopro gimbal comfortable

From Amazon

Comfort is a huge factor in deciding which gimbal to choose. Ergonomic designs will ensure that alongside lightweight and handheld features, your comfort comes first. If you’re looking to spend hours per day filming, you do not want to be dealing with blisters or sores after the first day.

Look for designs where brands are clearly considering comfort. Gel grips are excellent, as they absorb any strains and allow for a more lubricated hold of the handle. Foam grips are equally capable of absorbing your hand’s movements and strains, but are a little less durable than gel, depending on the type of foam. Although they are easily replaceable compared to gel grips.

Plastic or metal grips are also a viable option, but mainly if they have been carved for hands to hold. This reduces the amount of slip when filming for long periods of time, helping to keep your skin in the same place and not rub against the surface.


Check Out Our Top 5 Best GoPro Gimbal

Now that we’ve outlined the features we look for in GoPro gimbals, it’s time to list our five favourites that are currently on the market.

1 – Opteka X-Grip

best gopro gimbal

From Amazon

Professional handheld gimbal with shoe mounts for extra kit such as flash and lights. Foam handle for comfort.

Pros

  • Professional style gimbal stabilizer.
  • Durable design with impact absorbent plastic frame.
  • Fits a whole host of cameras, meaning you can film with a number of options.
  • Cushioned, padded handle for comfortable filming over long shoots.
  • Made for all GoPro generations and models.
  • Multiple colourways for style differences.
  • 345g (12.2oz) product weight means lightweight carriage.
  • A little bulky, but still compact enough to fit in most hand luggage or kit bags.
  • Shoe mounts offer opportunity for attachments such as microphone, light and flash, for professionals and amateurs alike.
  • 1 year warranty for product support and guarantee of quality

Cons

  • A little bulkier than the rest, with a non-compactable frame, which some may find off-putting.

2 – GoPro 3-Way Grip, Arm and Tripod

best gopro gimbal 2017

From Amazon

3-in-1 design for flexibility and plurality of uses. Compactable design with comfortable handle. Waterproof for action shots.

Pros

  • 3-in-1 design as a stabilizer, extension arm and tripod for ultimate control of shots and takes.
  • Handle is detachable and doubles as a comfortable grip for hours of shooting.
  • Tripod stored in the handle as separate entity, making for compact storage.
  • Waterproof design for use in all sorts of action scenarios in and around water.
  • Official GoPro design, meaning product is specific to all models and generations of GoPro.
  • Foldable arm means super compact design, can be stored almost anywhere.
  • Multiple joints for flexible shooting of angles of your choosing.
  • Metal composit provides durability for multiple uses without wear.
  • Black colourway is sleek and stylish, matching most GoPros

Cons

  • As a three-way option, it may be trying to do too much with one frame. Purists may prefer that it did one job very well rather than a few jobs pretty well.

3 – Evo GP 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal

best gopro gimbal evo

From Amazon

3-axis technology removes chance of distorted or bumpy video. Strong alloy composition to decrease chance of wear or breakage.

Pros

  • 3-axis precision offers professional and cinematic style shooting.
  • Compatible with multiple generations and models of GoPro.
  • High-power, high-torque motors provide the best in the business at stabilization.
  • Built-in charging cable offers opportunity for even longer shooting without stopping (up to 5 hours extra battery life).
  • Multiple shooting modes provide differentiation of styles with each take.One year warranty guarantees quality.
  • Super lightweight design, weighing just 640 grams (1.4lbs).
  • Design is etched for strong grip.
  • Sleek design will slot nicely into kit bags, hand luggage or carry-on luggage with minimal disturbance

Cons

  • May be a little complicated for beginners, with multiple shooting options. Is also a little more expensive due to its high quality features.

4 – CamKix Stabilizing Hand Grip

best gopro gimbal 4

From Amazon

An all-in-one stabilizer, grip and tripod, works for both GoPro and smartphone models. Perfect for budding film makers and photo takers.

Pros

  • Clever dual mount for both GoPro and smartphone models offers multi-angle shooting.
  • Smartphone connection can give you full screen visual of your GoPro shots via the GoPro smartphone app too.
  • Super lightweight design for all day filming.
  • Ergonomic rubber grip for long-term comfortable shooting.
  • Grip offers stable and steady shooting to eliminate distortion or motion blur.
  • Comes with tripod adapter as separate item.
  • Slim design and telescopic pole affords easy storage in all forms of luggage.
  • Extremely lightweight design at 204 grams (7.2 oz) for unnoticeable carriage.
  • Compatible with a number of GoPro models and generations.
  • Durable handle and grip for peace of mind of years of usage

Cons

  • More mounts could make for more problems down the line over a simpler product.

5 – Lanparte LA3D 3-Axis Gimbal

Slim and lightweight gimbal is compatible with both GoPros of all models and generations and countless other camera types.

best gopro gimbal 5

From Amazon

Pros

  • Slim and lightweight gimbal is compatible with both GoPros of all models and generations and countless other camera types.
  • Super professional stabilizer with detachable and wired gimbal handle and mount for ultra-stable shooting and minimal blur.
  • Additional charging dock for up to 8 hours extra charge whilst filming.
  • Built in GoPro mount and 1/4” thread for multiple camera options.
  • Telescopic handle for extended reach.
  • Compactable design can be stored in just about any form of luggage or carry bag.
  • Ultra lightweight for easy and comfortable carriage.
  • Ergonomic handle for comfortable use for long-term filming.
  • Durable metallic design allows for multiple uses with minimal wear

Cons

  • It’s a professional option and is a little more expensive than other models, which may put some amateur filmmakers off.

And Our Pick of The Best GoPro Gimbal Is...?

Five great options for GoPro gimbals have been outlined, with our favourite being the Opteka X-GRIP.

The reason for this being our pick of the bunch is due to the sheer professionalism of the product.

Its gimbals, detachable and utterly top quality, give it the edge over other options on the list.

Due to its professional standard, it can be pricey which may put amateurs or budding filmmakers off, but for professionals it’s the premium option.

For those who are budget conscious, the official GoPro option is our favourite. Its waterproofing allows travel videographers to explore the full extent of their chosen landscapes; lakes, rivers, cenotés, snowfall or torrential rainstorms.

Overall, all of the above options would be excellent picks for users of all abilities and statuses, and choosing one will fall purely down to your individual preference.

If you have any experience with the above gimbals, why not drop us a comment below and let us know your opinions?

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Ryan Smith, a solo traveler, and founder of MrAbroad.com with a bunch of friends. I love going outside, reading books and talking to people.