Camcorders

Polar Pro PowerPole juices up your GoPro while keeping you in the action

Don't want to worry about battery life when recording your next adventure? This fully funded Kickstarter project might be the answer.

polar-pro-powerpole-product-photos03.jpg
Sarah Tew/CNET

The Polar Pro PowerPole is a kill-two-birds mount for GoPro cameras.

Similar to poles made by UK Pro, the main purpose is for one-handed recording of yourself or giving you more reach when you need the camera higher, lower, or somewhere in between.

But Polar Pro takes it a step further by building a rechargeable battery into the pole. Why would you want that? Because the last thing you want to do in the middle of recording is stop to put in a fresh battery. The PowerPole keeps the camera powered while recording or lets you charge it up in between shoots.

The aluminum-alloy pole is made of three sections that when fully collapsed starts at 17 inches and can be extended quickly extended to 30 inches (43.2 to 76.2 cm). Despite having a battery packed into it, the pole is relatively well balanced with the weight of an attached camera.

polar-pro-powerpole-product-photos08.jpg
Sarah Tew/CNET

The mount on top is the standard three-prong one used on GoPro housings. Just below the mount are two full-size USB ports. If you're going to charge while you're using the pole, you'll need to use the skeleton housing or GoPro's Frame mount so you have access to the Mini-USB port.

Using these housings does mean the camera won't be fully protected from water and dust while in use. And even if you used it with a dive housing, the PowerPole is not waterproof. The full-size USB ports as well as a Micro-USB port for charging the internal battery are protected by rubberized coverings, so they're safe from splashes and light rain and snow.

I had a little hands-on time with a prototype and it seems like a good solution for anyone who gets frustrated by having to stop the action to swap out batteries. If you were planning on buying an extension pole anyway, this might be the way to go.

With the Mini-USB cable running from the camera it looks like a bit of a kludge, but it works and its 5,400mAh battery promises to keep you recording for up to eight hours. And since it has two ports, you can power up your camera on one and charge a smartphone or other device off the second port.

There are just a few days left on the Kickstarter if you want to pick one up for $119, $20 less than its retail price. (Those of you outside the US will need to pledge an additional $29.) Of course, there are other pledge levels that will get you extras like mounts for GoPro's wireless remote control or your smartphone.