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Product Review – Unruly GoPro Cases

On a search for some new GoPro accessories, I came across a company called Unruly, a small company that is growing in success with the help of kickstarter.com.  If you haven’t heard of Kickstarter.com, it’s a platform to help gain funding for creative projects, Unruly being one of the 30,000 successfully funded projects, raising $35k with an original goal of $25k.  After seeing pictures of the products Unruly puts out, I was starting to understand how they were able to exceed their goal. Having some background in machining and producing camera accessories myself, I know how much time and effort can go into products like this so decided to check out their products further.

The Unruly Headcase Pro mounted on John Swift and Steve Olliges' Trophy Truck
The Unruly Headcase Pro mounted on John Swift and Steve Olliges’ Trophy Truck

Unruly sent me their HEADCASE PRO (retail $318), HEADGEAR ($148), the round R Lense Ring ($48) and square S Lense Ring ($68) lenses to try out.  When I opened the box everything was packaged nicely, even including neoprene bags in which you can store the cases.  This attention to detail was something that impressed me right off the bat.

The first case I tried out was the HEADCASE PRO.  The stock GoPro can fit with the supplied spacer or you can also use the extended battery pack, LCD backpack or Wifi backpack.  You can install the stock GoPro lens on the front of the case or you can go with their larger, round or square lenses.  The round lens is threaded so you can screw on 55mm UV filters for more lens protection, or you could easily use one of the many different style camera filters that are on the market.  The square lens mount uses standard 2”x2” filters.

The Unruly Headcase Pro with the round lens addition
The Unruly Headcase Pro with the round lens addition

To put their products to the test, I used them to film at the BITD BlueWater off-road race in Parker Arizona.  I put the HEADCASE PRO on both John Swift and Steve Olliges’ Geiser Trophy Truck.  There are nine ¼” threaded holes on the case so the mounting options are limitless.  I used a KW Machine Works camera mount that I already own and it worked perfect for this application.  After the race there was a branch of a bush stuck behind the camera, which tells me they must have hit one at some point during the race, but the camera was still in place and looked fine even after a couple hours of brutal racing.

Unruly Headgear mounted to Steve Olliges' class 8 Ford
Unruly Headgear mounted to Steve Olliges’ class 8 Ford

Next, I tested the products further at the SNORE off-road race in Primm Nevada.  I mounted the HEADGEAR, using the same KW mount, on the Mark Newhan built class 8 Ford.  The HEADGEAR uses the stock GoPro case, which slides into the machined slots and is held in place by the supplied allen bolt.  It adds more protection for your GoPro, and also offers more options with eight ¼” threaded holes for mounting.  Once again, the Unruly case held up great at this race, just as expected.

Unruly Beartrap top latch, also shown with the round lens
Unruly Beartrap top latch, also shown with the round lens

Another product Unruly is producing is the BEARTRAP for the Hero 1&2.  This is a stronger top latch made out of plastic and they also have a limited version machined from aluminum (the BEARTRAP PRO).  The BEARTRAP will be shipping in a few weeks and they are accepting orders now.  250 of the BEARTRAP PRO’s were produced and they have 125 left.  I have broken a few of the stock plastic latches myself over the years and am pleased someone understood my frustration enough to design something sturdier.

During my time testing these Unruly products, GoPro announced their new Hero 3 line of cameras.  I spoke with Clark from Unruly and they just received the new Hero 3 and plan to produce a HEADCASE PRO 3.0 and HEADGEAR 3.0 right away.

Overall, Unruly has released great products and I look forward to using them more in the future.  At the $318 price point for the HEADCASE PRO, it’s not cheap, but I think it’s a must have if you are putting your GoPro in extreme conditions like most of us do.  Really, what’s the point of having a GoPro camera, if you can’t take it out for some extreme fun?  I have lost a few cameras by using them as ground cameras at desert races and I feel much more confident that my GoPro cameras will be better protected now that I am using the Unruly HEADCASE PRO for future filming!

As a special offer to our RDC viewers, Unruly is offering a 20% discount on any purchases over $100.  Use the code “RACEDEZERT1012” in the comments section of the PayPal purchase on their web site.

Check out all of the Unruly products on the web at http://www.lifeisunruly.com

  • D
  • November 2, 2012
A protective case that costs more than the product it's designed to protect....