by Diane Spicer
This Streamaroo smartphone tripod review gets you up to speed on how, and why, to use your phone for hands-free video photography on your next hike.
Hiking For Her receives many requests for reviewing outdoor gear for camping and hiking.
But not many of them make the short list to be reviewed.
The whole purpose of this website is to share the gear that works hard for us on a hiking trail.
Why waste your time on something that I don't use myself?
So think of this review as a conversation between two hiking buddies, me and you, walking down a trail as we test out two Streamaroo hat mounts for our smartphones.
As we hike, you learn that Streamaroo asked for a review of its hands free video products, and that I didn't have a clue about these smartphone video accessories.
You point out the large camera case around my waist, cradling my hand held video camera. Evidence of the fact that I already capture video on my hikes!
Then I share my frustration with using it:
This Streamaroo smartphone tripod review, written by a complete newbie to hat mounted smartphones, was motivated by a desire to quickly and easily capture video of trail time.
These products were tested during a 14 mile hike on a rocky, muddy spring trail with two short bushwhacks off trail to see waterfalls.
If you read about my experiences in this Streamaroo smartphone tripod review and decide to purchase one of their products using this link (no longer active)
Hiking For Her will receive a small percentage of your purchase price.
Does this mean that I will slant this review, just to convince you to buy one of these camera hat mounts?
Ha! No chance at all.
This review is intended to put a clever solution to outdoor photography in your hands, and nothing more.
Another Streamaroo review is available here, testing their GoPro or other action camera hat mount.
Some of the images included in this review are provided by Streamaroo, and are marked as such.
Other images, taken by Hiking For Her, are noted.
All comments, opinions, and musings about recording "capture what you see" POV videos using Streamaroo hat mounts belong to Hiking For Her.
Now let's get to it.
In this Streamaroo smartphone tripod review, you'll read about the results of a side by side comparison:
The camera mount works the same way for either hat, keeping the phone securely locked down.
More details on that in a moment.
Of course you're wondering if these gadgets will fit your phone.
The camera mounts accommodate smartphones of these dimensions:
The mount itself:
Now go get a ruler. I'll wait right here :)
The hat mount does exactly that: firmly mounts your camera to the top of your head, on the brim of your hiking hat.
Sounds a bit dicey, I know.
No worries! The sturdy metal tripod quickly clips onto, or is screwed securely into, your ball cap style hiking hat.
It is designed to hold your phone tightly in place, yet allow you to adjust the camera angle.
The weight of the clip + phone is distributed across the hat brim, so you will feel it but not be unduly burdened by it.
Full disclosure: The first few minutes will feel a little awkward, but you'll quickly adjust to having something attached to your hat.
I wouldn't recommend that you whip your head from side to side, though. You're a gentle unicorn.
If you use the Streamaroo VideoMount Hat for your smartphone, you will work with the installed camera mount to get yourself up and running.
Use the photo of the red hat below as a reference for this process.
Now your hat is ready to receive your phone.
You're going to utilize the "shelf" attached to those vertical bars, just like the smartphone above.
That's it! Your phone is mounted and will not slide around.
Super fast to assemble, and the parts are sturdy and large enough to handle even with cold hiker's hands.
If the mounting directions I've provided in this Streamaroo smartphone tripod review don't make sense to you, revisit the process using the clear, helpful instructions (stepwise words + photos) included with the mount.
The process has even fewer steps if you are mounting a smartphone onto your own (grommet-less) ball cap:
This pulling motion will require a bit of effort, as it should. You don't want a loosey goosey connection, right?
See the black rubber security band (flipped toward the Streamaroo logo)? It's what holds your phone tightly to the mount, as described above.
Picture yourself pulling it upwards, attaching it to the rubber grip - the black nub sticking up from the horizontal silver metal bar above it.
Now you've created a snug little resting place for your phone.
Here's what the completed process looks like:
These secure connections eliminate wobbling, with no chance of losing your technology under low impact conditions on a hiking trail.
Tip: Make sure your hat is adjusted to fit snugly on your head before you attach your camera and put on your hat.
There are several ways Streamaroo can add enjoyment to your hike.
Let's take a look.
A Streamaroo camera mount easily converts your smartphone to make hands free photography a fun part of your outdoor life.
Use this clever device to:
These well designed hat mounts eliminate the need for a separate video camera.
Streamaroo hat mounts can provide entertaining videos for your social media accounts (see mud puddle example above).
I encounter many hikers who wish their spouses, offspring and friends would hike with them.
Maybe a few Streamaroo videos would tempt them onto the trail! (or not, depending on what's recorded - maybe leave out the slug close ups)
And I really wish I had known about Streamaroo when I rafted the Canning River in Alaska.
A Streamaroo hat mount would have solved both of those problems, and provided me with some great video of being on a wild Alaskan river.
I never thought of myself as a photographer until I discovered how fun and easy it is to take videos on my hikes.
But in writing this Streamaroo smartphone tripod review, I learned a few new tricks.
Who knows? You might have a photography gene just waiting to be expressed, too!
And if you have any up and coming hikers in the family, what a great gift this would make.
I envision myself using this camera mounting equipment to:
I plan to compare the phone videos with my hand held video camera footage, too.
Every piece of hiking gear has down sides.
This Streamaroo smartphone tripod review strives to be fair and balanced.
Here's what I had to get used to with the Streamaroo hat mounts.
I am very particular about the hat I wear on a hike.
So I was a little concerned about whether the clip would dent, scratch, or tear my hat brim.
It was with some trepidation that I pulled the metal tripod clip onto my hat brim, but am happy to report that after taking it off and reattaching it multiple times there was very little sign of wear and tear.
The weight of the device did cause me to hold my head differently.
There was also a mental adjustment (the "unicorn horn" effect mentioned above).
To adjust to this new hiking style, I learned to "load" the hat so it felt better, as you can see in the "slightly askew" phone placement below.
Bottom line: Play around with your hat + phone combo at home until it feels right for you, then tackle a trail.
There is no way the camera was going to fly off my hat during my low impact hiking: on a trail, at a steady pace, minus any huge elevation drops forcing me to look up and down with every step.
Would I recommend that you use this hat mount for your smartphone for medium or higher impact activity?
Not the clip on style. But keep reading...
This is a common problem for outdoor photographers: keeping expensive electronics from getting wet while capturing video.
There's also the safe, dry transportation issue to overcome.
As you can see from the photos in this Streamaroo smartphone tripod review, there is no protection from the elements in this set up.
So I would not use my Streamaroo camera mounts during a rain hike.
I've gotta be honest: The hat which Streamaroo provided was huge on my head.
Even with my hair piled on my head, I had a tough time seating it securely.
The Velcro closure at the back was as tight as it could be, but I still felt somewhat insecure about having my camera on top of the hat.
This will not be a problem for those of you with a lot more hair, a lot more cranium, or both. The amount of Velcro you have to work with is more than generous.
In Hiking For Her's opinion:
A more pressing concern: because I couldn't get the hat feeling 100% secure on my head, I really felt the forward tipping weight of my phone (an iPhone 5).
So my personal preference on a routine hike?
The Streamaroo hat is constructed with heavy duty high quality materials.
However, it lacks venting, so if you're hiking in hot, sunny conditions you will sweat in this hat.
A few lessons from physics apply here.
The lighter your phone, the lighter the load on your head, and the more frequently you will want to use your Streamaroo tripod.
Another gravity tip:
The two different smartphone mounts in this Streamaroo smartphone tripod review are suitable for different levels of interaction with gravity.
I would trust the smartphone mount clipped to my own hat for straightforward trail work, or sitting/standing quietly in place (low level stuff).
VideoMount hat is more suitable for moderate level activities on a hiking
trail, such as scrambling off trail.
Just a few more tips to get the best Streamaroo experience during your hike:
You need to mount Streamaroo on a ball cap with a sturdy brim.
If you use a protective case on your phone, remove it before using the tripod.
Practice attaching the tripod, and the phone to the tripod, several times at home before you're on the trail.
To find the right angle for your photos:
Mount your phone with the screen facing your hat, not facing forward.
There are no down sides to bringing Streamaroo along on your next hike!
This company provides a durable, convenient way to shoot videos using your existing technology.
Their smartphone mounts have a small footprint inside your pack, and are very lightweight and weather resistant.
I already have several hiking applications I can't wait to try with my smartphone mounts.
As much as I tried to be clear, fair and balanced in this Streamaroo smartphone tripod review, I might have left out a detail which is important to you.
Select the smartphone option that makes sense for your style of hiking, and go Streamaroo-ing!
Streamaroo Smartphone Tripod Review