In order to get the best action camera for skiing and snowboarding you’ll have to consider a few things before making a purchase. I’ll show you what’s most important and my top picks for the year.
Powering down a mountain isn’t a small thing these days and if you are capable of capturing that on video, that’s even better. Skiing and snowboarding are increasingly popular winter sports, winning thousands of fans each year.
Maybe it is the thrill of conquering snowy and dangerous slopes when you’re so close to getting an injury or even worse, meeting the Grim Reaper, but the thing is that many people become addicted to skiing and snowboarding and they routinely visit popular ski resorts to experience brand new adrenaline rushes!
If you’re addicted to skiing and snowboarding too, now it is the perfect time to boast about your adventures. Wouldn’t be really fun to post a video of you skiing on a very inclined slope while finding your way between large trees and even a lazy bear? Of course it would! To do this, you need a camera specially designed for the purpose.
Skiing and snowboarding cameras offer similar performances to standard cameras, but they are designed to withstand the rough and tough of traveling distances at high speeds.
One of their main advantages is that they are waterproof and more rugged, so they can be used on virtually any type of weather condition and at any altitude.
Some of these cameras are so tough, that in the unfortunate cases in which you fall from your skis, you can use one as a self-defense tool against a hungry bear.
If you’re new to buying winter sports cameras, make sure that you read the following buying guide.
You’ll find out more details about skiing and snowboarding cameras, how to choose a good one within your budget range and what you can do with it.
How to Choose the Best Action Camera for Skiing and Snowboarding
It is important to remember the following aspects and prioritize what’s more important for you. In other words, the best camera for you is the one which fits your needs perfectly, not necessarily the most expensive one.
I wrote a detailed article on how to choose the best action camera, make sure you check it out. Here are a couple of things you need to consider when buying.
A skiing and snowboarding camera can cost you something between 100 bucks up to several hundred dollars. It is important to set a budget right from the start, to avoid overspending. Later on when you become more experienced, you can also invest in camera accessories such as gimbals, more spacious memory cards and so on.
As mentioned earlier in this article, a winter sports camera is designed to be tougher. For example, it might feature a durable rubber frame which makes it waterproof and resistant to shocks and vibrations.
Make sure that you look on the market for cameras which are known for their durability and resistance to wear and tear. If you go for a rugged camera, in case you fall in the snow or you accidentally drop it on the ground, it will absorb shocks better and still remain operational, so your investment is protected.
It is wise to check out the operating temperatures of your camera too. Skiing and snowboarding cameras should be able to work just fine even when it is freezing cold out there.
Ease of Use
Most skiing and snowboarding cameras can be connected to your smartphone and you can control them remotely from your device. This is a good feature, however, it would be wise to be able to easily operate your camera without your phone.
When you have a long slope ahead of you and 2 ski poles in your hands, you don’t want to be forced to take out your phone to take a picture.
Therefore, great skiing cameras come with over-sized buttons which are easily accessible even when you have gloves in your hands. This will allow you to change settings quickly, snap pictures as well as start or stop the video footage.
Speaking of video footage, this is one of the most important aspects related to your skiing and snowboarding camera. Some devices are capable of filming in 4k resolution which basically captures the most details from the scenery. However, prepare to take out more money from your pocket if you go for this camera.
If you don’t necessarily aim for top video performance just yet, you can do just fine with a camera which films in full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels) which is still very detailed.
Lower resolutions also come with the advantage that the overall video footage takes less memory space, so you’ll be able to capture more videos before the memory card is full.
Here’s a YouTube video by MountMedia showing the best settings to use on a GoPro Hero6 Black while skiing/snowboarding:
It is wonderful to be able to capture pictures using your rugged skiing camera and all of them can do that. The quality of the picture is directly related to the quality of the sensor.
For example, some cameras come with a 12MP sensor which is still very good for snapping pics. If you are looking for even more details, go for a more advanced sensor (over 20 MP), but again, be prepared to invest more in your gadget.
Larger sensors have more benefits, like higher resolutions and improved low-light shooting.
Once you have set your preferences for video and picture settings, it is time to look at the battery of a skiing and snowboarding camera.
This aspect is equally important because the larger the battery, the longer your videos.
Most cameras come with rechargeable Li-Ion batteries (just like your smartphone) and they can hold from 1,000mAh up to 1,500mAh or even more.
If you want to film really long videos, go for batteries with the highest mAh specifications. You can also check my article on how to extend your camera battery.
Size and Weight
Most skiers and snowboarders prefer relatively compact and lightweight cameras for obvious reasons. It is easier to mount and wear a smaller camera than a heavier one, right?
Unless you specifically need a heavier camera (which might accommodate more battery life), you’ll be fine with smaller ones which make you forget you’re actually having them on your helmet.
Since I mentioned helmet, the mount options are the next thing you need to become interested about. Some cameras can be mounted on your helmet (the most common method) while others can be attached to your body.
You can experiment with both of these options and see how you feel. If the camera doesn’t come with an included mount, it is paramount that you shop for a very durable one separately.
You don’t want to lose your camera while skiing or snowboarding, do you?
I have wrote an article on the best GoPro accessories for skiing and snowboarding, make sure to check it out.
Electronic Image Stabilization
Especially if you’re more experienced when it comes to filming your snowy adventures, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go for a camera which offers electronic image stabilization.
This basically means that the software inside the camera works hard to make the video footage smoother, resulting in a better viewing experience when you replay the video.
My Pick for 2018
Now you know more about what to look for when looking for a winter sports action camera, but I don’t want to let you completely in the dark and lacking inspiration.
Let’s talk about the GoPro Hero 6 Black which is one of the most popular and practical skiing and snowboarding cameras available on the market these days.
GoPro Hero 6 Black
My Rating: 4.9/5
It is a well-known fact that GoPro cameras offer some of the best pictures and videos, but what exactly makes this device so special? Here are 5 superior traits of this amazing gadget:
- Excellent video capabilities – the Hero 6 Black is capable of recording video footage in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second which is twice more than most standard cameras. If you’re filming in full HD resolution, the frames per second can go up to 240!
- Superb image stabilization – as mentioned earlier, image stabilization is crucial to create smoother videos and the Hero 6 Black has one of the best technologies on the market. You’ll love each video you record and be able to capture more details than ever.
- Waterproof up to 10m (33 feet) – The Hero 6 Black camera is designed to go underwater and it can survive depths of up to 33 feet without requiring a case. Obviously, this qualifies it as an ideal camera for skiing and snowboarding too.
- 5GHz Wi-Fi connectivity – Feel free to send your videos and pictures to your computer faster than ever before. The built-in 5GHz Wi-Fi connectivity is 3 times faster than the previous Hero model and it can save you a lot of time when transferring files.
- Updated user interface – the Hero 6 Black delivers a better user experience and allows you to easily access the main functions of this device using the incorporated 2 inch display. Replaying video footage or adjusting video settings is now a piece of cake.
The GoPro Hero 6 Black is currently one of the most appreciated cameras because it is suitable for both beginner and advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Although it has a slightly expensive price tag, remember that you are getting a quality item which delivers stunning videos and pictures, so the price is justified.
Remember that this product is also backed up by a warranty policy from the manufacturer, so your investment is protected.
Apart from the Gopro Hero 6 Black which I currently consider it the best in this list, there are more high-quality cameras which are worthy of your attention.
Here are a few of them:
GoPro HERO5 Session
My Rating: 4.8/5
This is another excellent camera from GoPro which comes with impressive features. It is designed for both beginner and experienced skiers and snowboarders.
If you currently don’t have such a flexible budget to afford the HERO 6 Black yet, this model provides you a great option without compromising on quality.
Here are the key features of this camera:
- 4K Video – shooting video footage in 4K resolution has become standard for many GoPro cameras and the HERO 5 Session is not an exception. Recording in 4K allows you to capture as much details as possible and the resulting videos will look amazing on a laptop or TV set.
- 10MP Sensor for Photos – when you want to capture stills, the 10MP sensor is up to the task and can produce great photos. You have the possibility to shoot in Single Mode, Burst Mode or Time Laps Mode.
- Compact and Lightweight – this camera is seriously small, so make sure you don’t lose it while traveling. Thanks to its compact size, the camera can be used on many mounting options and it is very easy to operate. For example, a simple press on the shutter button makes it start and record automatically.
- Waterproof up to 33 feet – whether you use it to record your skiing adventures or you want to dive deep and say hi to colorful fishes, this camera is your safest bet. It can be submersed in water up to 33 feet (10m) deep and it will still operate flawlessly when you get back on dry land.
- Voice Operation – talking to the camera and giving it commands is useful when you have your hands busy with the ski poles. This gadget also incorporates dual mics which means that it can record a high-quality soundtrack.
GoPro Fusion 360
My Rating: 4.9/5
The GoPro Fusion 360 is another exquisite model from GoPro. This camera features a rugged construction and it is capable of shooting 360 degree video footage.
Although it has a slightly high price tag at the moment of this writing, it provides unique features and it is a must-have for those who want to record good videos.
Here are its main features:
- 360 degree video capturing – this camera features 2 lenses which capture images from all directions and combine them together to create a 360 degree spectacular video.
This unique feature is highly appreciated by photographers and it allows you to get as many details as possible into your film. You are capable of recording 5K videos at 30fps or 3K videos at 60fps.
- 5K resolution videos – Many GoPro cameras can shoot in 4K resolution, but the Fusion model captures video footage at a resolution of up to 4992 by 2496 pixels.
This is possible thanks to the 18MP sensor which is also capable of producing awesome stills at a resolution of up to 5760 by 2880 pixels.
- Waterproof down to 5 meters (16 feet) – once you mount this camera to your helmet, you can use it for skiing, snowboarding or underwater adventures. Its solid and rugged construction make it waterproof down to a depth of 5 meters or 16 feet.
- Control + app allows you to control your GoPro with your phone – synchronize your GoPro with your smartphone and use the Control+ app to see previously recorded videos, view a preview of the shot or share your videos with your friends.
- Enjoy superb image stabilization – this camera features an enhanced image stabilization software which makes every video you shot smooth as silk. This type of technology offers “Gimbal-like stabilization”, without actually incorporating a Gimbal.
Garmin Virb 360
My Rating: 4.9/5
The list of 360 degree cameras continue with the magnificent Garmin Virb 360 camera which offers additional unique features.
This premium gadget is compact and lightweight, ideal for filming different types of adventures such as when you go skiing, snowboarding, kayaking or scuba diving. Here is why I highly recommend this camera:
- Shoot videos at an impressive 5.7K resolution – If the GoPro Fusion can go up to 5K, this model from Garmin can go even higher at 5.7K when it comes to video capabilities.
You can shoot at 5.7K and use desktop stitching to put a 360 degree video footage together or record at 4K resolution and use the incorporated in-camera stitching technology this gadget comes with.
- The built-in 15MP sensor delivers spectacular shots – This camera also comes with a 15MP sensor which captures fascinating spherical images. Thanks to the incorporated image stabilization, your photos and videos will also be crystal-clear.
- The HyperFrame Director Mode allows you to reframe your videos – using this technology you can actually reframe your videos with wide angles, excellent camera pans and more. The user interface is also intuitive and very easy to use.
- Waterproof up to 10 meters (33ft) – sinking to see the fishes? Take this camera with you to create amazing video content as it is waterproof to depths up to 10 meters or 33 feet.
The superior construction and protection against water droplets automatically make this camera ideal for skiing and snowboarding too.
- Use voice control to operate the camera – voice control is extremely useful when you have your hands busy. Once you have strapped this model from Garmin to your helmet, you can use a wide variety of voice control options to make the camera start recording video or capture a still image.
Kodak Orbit 360
My Rating: 4.8/5
If you think 360 cameras can’t get more exciting and advanced than that, have a look at the Kodak Orbit 360 camera which features dual sensors to capture unique 360 degree stills and videos.
This camera from Kodak comes with accessories in the package and if you go for the satellite pack, you also benefit of Bluetooth remote and a useful selfie stick.
Here is what makes this camera so special:
- Capture superb 360 degree videos in 4K – the two lenses of this camera work together to capture and stitch up superb 360 degree video footage in real time.
You can also use the other capturing modes such as the 197 Degree 4K Ultra Wide Mode and the 235 Degree Dome Mode to create spectacular video content.
- Dual 20MP sensors – the front and back of the camera are equipped with 2 powerful CMOS sensors, each boasting up to 20MP. These sensors help you snap exquisite spherical stills anytime, anywhere.
- Upload your content on Facebook or YouTube – this camera streamlines the uploading process to various social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.
You can use the free Pixpro Mobile app to upload videos and photos to your personal accounts by just following a couple of simple instructions. This app offered by the developer is available on both iOS and Android devices.
- The Satellite Pack comes jam-packed with goodies – you probably already know that each good camera includes accessories which accentuate its capabilities.
This is true with the Orbit 360 model from Kodak which includes a selfie stick, lens covers, pouches, battery recharger, a remote control device and even a tripod. Go for the Satellite Pack if you want to take advantage of all these accessories.
- Weatherproof and suitable for all environments – although this camera is very advanced, its electronics are well protected inside the futuristic white case. As a result, you can use this camera on any weather condition as it is waterproof and dustproof.
Garmin Virb XE
My Rating: 4.8/5
If you’re still rooting for a high-quality skiing and snowboarding camera, but don’t actually fancy a 360 degree one, check out the Garmin Virb XE.
This model is extremely rugged and can be used on pretty much all weather conditions. It also boasts a relatively smaller price tag which makes it accessible to a broader range of customers.
Here are its strong points:
- 1080p video footage @60fps – although this model doesn’t film in resolutions higher than full HD (1080p), it still produces amazing video content with a frame rate at 60fps. One of the advantages of a smaller resolution is the fact that you can film more before the memory card gets full. If you fancy videos in slow-motion, this camera can capture them at a frame rate of 240fps.
- G-Metrix enabled – G-Metrix basically means that the camera has a built-in GPS as well as multiple powerful sensors that record interesting data during your adventures. For example, this model from Garmin can tell information about your altitude, heart rate, G-force (useful when skiing on dangerous slopes) and more.
- 12.4MP CMOS sensor – using this sensor you can capture stunning still images with lots of details. Granted, this sensor is not the best out there, but it still does a great job in all lighting conditions, so take advantage of it.
- Bluetooth connectivity – one of the main advantages of this camera is that it supports Bluetooth audio which basically means that it can connect to external microphones or headsets and capture high-definition audio soundtracks using Bluetooth connectivity.
- Waterproof up to 50 meters (164 feet) – This safety feature is valid without a case and it basically makes this camera suitable for a wide range of activities such as skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, scuba diving and more. Make sure that you get yourself a durable mounting system and you’re good to go!
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30
My Rating: 4.9/5
Garmin is a prestigious manufacturer of action cameras and I want to include yet another model from this brand – the Garmin VIRB Ultra 30.
This action camera is available in 2 buying options and it features a color LCD screen, something that the other cameras I mentioned up until now didn’t have. Check out its entire list of features:
- 4K video @30fps – you have the ability to shoot videos in 4K resolution as well as 1080p videos at a whooping 120fps. This allows you to experiment and try multiple recording methods to find one which really suits your needs.
If you feel really adventurous, try the 720p @240fps slow-mo recording option which will definitely produce breathtaking video content.
- G-Metrix enabled – I explained what G-Metrix does when I talked about the Virb XE model from the same brand. This camera features multiple sensors including a GPS which keep track of your heart rate, elevation and other important factors. It is a good idea to use these stats to monitor your adventures and see how fast your heart was beating during your skiing session.
- LCD color touchscreen display – finally a camera with an LCD display where you can play back video footage! This model incorporates a rather small LCD display with a size of 1.75 inches, but it is sufficient to access the most important features of this gadget quickly and easily. Moreover, even when the waterproof case is on, the LCD screen is still fully operational.
- Superior image stabilization – cameras which offer image stabilization produce much better video content and this model from Garmin features such technology. However, keep in mind that the image stabilization is active if you record video up to 1080p.
- Waterproof with the included case – If you use this camera underwater without the case, it is very likely that it will get damaged, so make sure you always use the included waterproof protective case to keep your gadget safe.
My Rating: 4.8/5
This is another superb camera I wanted to include in this “best of” list because it supports 4K video recording and it has an attractive and eye-catching design.
The Bandit model from TomTom boasts a mid-range price tag and it is compact and lightweight, making it ideal for filming video footage in various outdoor environments. Here are its highlights:
- 4K video footage – shoot videos in 4k resolution as well as 1080p resolution, depending on your needs. This is possible thanks to the built-in 16MP sensor which is also capable of taking fascinating still images.
- Long battery life – the manufacturer boasts a battery life of up to 3 hours of continuous filming if you use the included cable-free Batt-stick which apparently prolongs battery life. This is an impressive feature and one of the reasons this gadget is so popular among skiers and snowboaders.
- Monitoring your stats – just like the Garmin models which use G-Metrix, this camera from TomTom comes jam-packed with sensors that display important data such as altitude, G-force, speed and others.
- Waterproof up to 40 meters (131 feet) – despite being compact and lightweight, this camera is also solid as a rock and it can still function perfectly at 131 feet under water. Its rugged construction makes it ideal for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Use the included GoPro mount adapter to secure this camera to your helmet when practicing your favorite sports.
- Use Bandit app to access all its features – the manufacturer has released the Bandit app which is compatible with iOS and Android devices. This app allows you to play back your videos, share them with your friends and adjust the settings of the camera quickly and easily.
Company: Xiaomi Yi
My Rating: 4.5/5
If you are looking for an affordable action camera which can film video footage in 4K resolution then the YI 4K+ might be what you are looking for.
This compact camera packs multiple technologies and connectivity options and also features a generous LCD display.
However, keep in mind that it is not waterproof on its own, so you’ll have to use a waterproof case when skiing to protect your valuable gadget.
Here’s some of its best features:
- Shoots 4K video @60fps – moreover, this camera features 12MP sensors made by Sony and we all know that this brand makes high-quality optical devices and lenses. The camera is also capable of shooting in full HD resolution and the resulting video content and images are spectacular.
- Exquisite electronic image stabilization – electronic image stabilization is a must when recording video footage at high speed such as when you’re skiing or snowboarding. This camera uses EIS even for video shot at 4K with up to 30fps. As a result, your video clips will be much smoother and attractive to your audience.
- 2.2 inches touchscreen display – if you’re a big fan of cameras with a good ol’ touchscreen display then this camera might be suitable for you. The screen is also covered with Gorilla Glass, making it more resistant to shocks and hits, and it can be used to easily access this gadget’s main functions.
- Long battery life – the battery capacity is 1200mAh which is really impressive for such a compact device. This means that you can capture video footage with a 4K resolution for up to 70 minutes. This camera also features an USB Type C port which basically means that it will get charged faster and you’ll be able to transfer videos and images to your computer quicker.
- Voice control capabilities – tell your camera what to do because this one is listening to you! Apart from voice control features, this camera also supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity which makes it a reliable and modern action camera for skiing and snowboarding.
My Rating: 4.6/5
If you’re just now beginning to discover the beauty of filming your skiing and snowboarding adventures and you’re looking for an affordable, entry-level action camera, the Eken H6S might be excellent for you.
This camera boasts a reasonable price tag and it comes with multiple features and accessories, so obviously, it couldn’t be left out from this list. Here are its key features:
- 14MP sensor which films in 4K – there are multiple resolutions you can use to capture your winter sports adventures such as 4K@30fps, 4K@25fps with electronic image stabilization, 1080p@60fps, etc. All of these are possible thanks to the 14MP sensor made by Panasonic.
- Electronic image stabilization – this camera also comes with EIS and it is usable up to 4K@25fps which is still good. Needless to say, keep the EIS active all the times when you are filming to enjoy the best results.
- Ez iCam App – the manufacturer also gives you the option to download the Ez iCam App on your Android or iOS device to control your camera remotely.
Use this app to see a live preview of your shots, share the video content with your friends as well as making advanced recording adjustments. The camera even comes with a HDMI port, enabling you to play back your videos directly on a TV set.
- Waterproof up to 100 feet – when the camera is inside the protective waterproof case, you can take it with you under water to a depth of up to 100 feet.
This also qualifies the camera as a good candidate for skiing and snowboarding because bad weather won’t damage your precious device.
- Multiple accessories included – you get the best bang for your buck with this camera as it comes with 2 rechargeable batteries, tripod, 170 degree lens and other goodies. You rarely see so many products at such a reasonable price, so take advantage of that.
My Rating: 4.6/5
The final model in our list is the SJCAM SJ7 camera which is equally interesting and impressive as the other cameras. It is destined to people who want a moderately-priced camera with plenty of accessories to record all their outdoor sport sessions. Here are the advantages of this camera:
- 4K and 1080p video – the 12 MP sensor is capable of capturing video footage in 4K as well as 1080p resolutions. The still images are interpolated to 16MP for greater details and the overall quality of the videos and photos is very high.
- Waterproof up to 100 feet – this model can be submerged under water or used in various weather conditions such as snow or rain when it is protected by its waterproof case. The protective case keeps the camera intact even at 100 feet under water.
- Multiple accessories included – this is another action camera where you get a lot for your money. For example, this gadget comes with many types of mounts such as bicycle mount, flat mount, small tripod, protective cases, soft cloth to clean the lens and more.
- Excellent battery life – the rechargeable battery has a capacity of 1,000mAh and it is backed up by a warranty period of 6 months. The camera itself comes with warranty as well which stretches up to 12 months.
- SJCAM app – you can also take advantage of the free SJCAM app which is compatible with Android and iOS devices to play back captured videos, make adjustments or share your content on your favorite social media platforms. This camera also pairs well with the SJCAM watch and SJCAM selfie stick, giving you multiple opportunities to operate it remotely.
Choose the Best Action Camera for Your Winter Sports!
I genuinely hope you liked this list and probably have already spotted your favorite camera. If you are currently a beginner and don’t want to invest a lot of money, opt for mid-range cameras which offer basic features such as recording in 4K resolution.
Once you become more experienced with using action cameras, you can progress to more advanced models which allow you to capture spherical photos and 360 degree videos which are extremely addictive to watch!
If you still have troubles picking the right camera, try to jot down a list of priorities – aka what interests you most in an action camera.
Ask Yourself the Following Questions
For example, are you interested in top-notch video and photo quality? Go for a 360-degree model. Are you willing to spend up to 1,000 bucks for a high-end camera or would you settle for one worth several hundred dollars?
Do you already have your own mounts or want a camera which comes with plenty of mounting options in the package?
Do you want to record long video footage of 60 minutes or more?
In this case, going for a camera with a large built-in battery might be the right thing to do. Lastly, is voice control important and useful to you or you always operate your camera manually?
Once you get an answer to these questions you’ll know exactly what type of camera is more suitable for you. If you’re currently more accustomed with a traditional-style camera, you probably might want one which also comes with a touchscreen display as it allows you to easily play back videos and adjust camera settings.
Practicing winter sports is an exciting activity which deserves to be shared with those you love and care for. This is where a good action camera comes into play and can bring you and your friends closer.
In the long run, you can actually start monetizing your hobby, posting more and more videos of you skiing and snowboarding and attracting a broader audience on popular social media networks.
Everything starts with your desire to try new things and capture them in digital format for eternity. Choose the right camera for you and you can take your skiing and snowboarding experiences to the next level!
I hope you found the above list and information useful. If you have any questions then please leave a comment in the section below 🙂