Friday, August 2, 2013

Neoprene Vest and Camera Harness

I've been trying to come up with a good way to mount my GoPro onto my dogs for ages. I've found an okay way to attach the GoPro to Koira's collar so it dangles under her neck, simply by using a hair tie to attach it. It dangles too low for Pallo to be comfortable wearing it like that. Not ideal, but it works well enough for Koira to take still photos. What it doesn't work for is video. The dangling-from-a-hair-tie method is way too unstable to make anything close to a watchable video.

Custom Neoprene Vest with GoPro Pocket-6664
Just looking cute

I recently decided to make Koira a neoprene vest. She gets chilled when swimming, even on hot days, simply because she refuses to come out of the water. Eventually, she gets so cold that her entire body is violently shaking. I figured a doggie wet suit would be just the thing.

Then I thought, hey, a neoprene vest would make a pretty stable mount for the GoPro too...

Custom Neoprene Vest with GoPro Pocket-6668
Nice, snug fitting vest that doesn't hinder movement but provides stabilization to the camera

There isn't a way to attach the GoPro to the front of this vest, but it works great when mounted on the back. I think it is about as stable as a dog mounted camera can be, really. The vest fits very snugly, without hindering movement. Since the vest is so snug, the GoPro has very little camera shake. Most of the shake comes directly from the dog's movement.

Custom Neoprene Vest with GoPro Pocket-6661
Koira is happy to sit, swim, or do pretty much anything while wearing it

I think I need to reinforce the current velcro closures with some small snaps, since the velcro can come loose if Koira moves suddenly, like jumping off the dock into the water. Overall, it worked really well on our trip to the river, though. The velcro even held well enough as long as I made sure to really rub it together well, and Koira never actually lost the vest even when some of the velcro came loose.

Custom Neoprene Vest with GoPro Pocket-6665
The front velcro closure. I think I will add a snap to it.
So, what do you think? Does your dog need their own wet suit? Or how about just the awesome camera holding ability of it? This first vest taught me a lot about how best to make these, but even so, I am totally thrilled with how this first one turned out. The only down side so far is that it is, of course, too hot for Koira to wear this during the summer other than when playing in the water. So I'll have to wait on getting some first hand flyball footage until the weather cools down.

In the mean time, how about a dog's-eye-view of some dock diving at the river?


  1. That's a lovely suit! I think Finn would love a wet suit but Charley - - not so much!

  2. are so clever! We just ended up getting the GoPro chesty mount which works for Mr. B (though we don't do the super-active adventures). Love the video!

  3. So cool to get the dog's eye view!

  4. You're basically a genius in my eyes now.

    Elli needs a wetsuit - she does the same violent shaking thing when we play on hot days. It's really awful to watch... because she still wants to go in the water so bad, haha. Ah, dogs with no blubber to keep them warm, am I right?

  5. SlimDoggy Jack wears a size XL if you feel like making another vest.

  6. love the video! the vest looks great. And of course your model is adorable :-)

  7. Very clever of you...the vest is cute and it seems to fit very well...Love the dogs-eye-view of the dive

  8. Nicely done! If you decide to make more, I'd want one for Karma. Quasar is probably too small to mount a GoPro on.

    I've seen tactical harnesses for military/police dogs for sale, and they have a semi-rigid plate that runs down the dog's back, and then the camera mount is on a pole that comes up from the back to bring the camera up over the head. They mount that pole quite a bit further back than you did, to get it away from the movement of the shoulders. Here is one example.

  9. Want to make us one of those? Ha, ha. We got a GoPro and need a way to mount it to Chester and Gretel. I saw a Kurgo Harness for a GoPro at Superzoo and bought one. The metal mounting plates are too big though and dig into the back of their necks and the front one sits right on their pointy chest bones. We need to come up with something else. We would need a breathable mesh one though because neoprene would get too hot hiking.

  10. That vest is a great idea. We mounted a Go Pro onto Audi using packing tape and his little jacket. It wasn't very sturdy though. Always fun to see the world from a dog's perspective!

    Also, we will have to keep you posted on where we end up in the States. I will try to let you know ASAP so that we could possibly figure something out.

  11. Wow, the vest looks awesome, what a great fit. Koira looks like a supermodel. Great job and it's cool to see dock diving from a dogs perspective:)

  12. You look Great in your diving vest, great color! Great design! Humphrey needs an extra large! On second thought, Humphrey would just lay on the dock and sleep! Stop bye and say HI!

  13. Love the vest, you made it fit perfectly! Koira looks ready for action. :)

  14. great ... happy to see one more application of neoprene well DuPont scientists invented Neoprene on April 17, 1930. Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that is produced by polymerization of chloroprene. Neoprene is used for fly fishing waders. it provides excellent insulation against cold. now neoprene has become a favorite material for lifestyle in laptop sleeves and remote controls.Yamaha also using neoprene for musical instrument making.
    To know more

  15. Custom Neoprene Vest with GoPro Pocket-6664 ...