Owning a convertible car has a lot of benefits such as having ample headroom, increased visibility and enjoying the wind when you have the top down. If you own a convertible car, you probably have invested a lot of time and money into it. I know for a lot of people, having a convertible car is their dream car. And while that is perfectly admirable, many car owners overlook the fact that in seconds, your asset can be destroyed or damaged.
And at first glance, you might think having a dash cam isn’t possible in a convertible. That is incorrect; you just have to be creative.
There are tons of solutions you can explore that will match your driving style and preferences. Having a dashboard camera will protect you from frivolous insurance claims or protect your safety if people harass you. Or, it can just be used to record yourself enjoying the open road.
- 2560P Discrete Mirror Dash Cam with GPS Touch Screen
- Waterproof Rear Camera
- Handles temperatures up to 167 degrees
Type of Dash Camera
In order to begin to think about your dash cam setup, you need to think about how you drive. What does that mean? Well for one, do you drive with the top down most of the time?
If you drive without the top then you’ll need to consider how much security matters to you. Depending on where you park your car, you could leave the dash camera exposed. Let’s start with what the options we tend to discourage. For one, a large dash cam might not be the best option for you. It’s all about the risk to reward ratio you’re comfortable with. But, with a large dash cam, it can stick out like a sore thumb and if you park in a shady area, there’s nothing stopping someone from grabbing your dash cam from your windshield and jogging off. There are some ways mounting your dash cam can help with that, which we will explore later.
Next, depending on the situation we don’t recommend have a dual channel or a front and back rear dash camera if you drive with the top down. Yes, technically you can get better coverage, but I believe it is a marginal benefit considering the extra cost and wiring that needs to be done. If you decide to go for a dual channel setup (two cameras), then try to find a small, waterproof rear camera that can be mounted in your license plate, just like a normal backup camera would.
Dual channel setups make a lot more sense if you often have your top on a significant amount of time.
If you are adamant about having a dual channel setup, consider the mirror dash cam option. A mirror dash cam will replace your rear view mirror and “blend in” with your car as to not draw any attention to it. With a mirror dash cam, you have the ability for front and rear coverage as well. The rear camera will be mounted to your back license plate and be discrete. The downside to this, is that sometimes the mirror dash cam just doesn’t match well with your car’s look and feel and might feel out of place.
With the top off, we recommend utilizing a dash camera with a cabin camera.
A dash cam with a cabin camera is a setup you would find in ride share vehicles. The main unit of the dash cam also has a separate camera that points into the cabin. We like this idea because even though the cabin camera is meant to only capture the immediate surroundings, often in a convertible, the camera will record everything outside of the car as well.
Mounting is a very tricky subject for dash cams in convertibles. Some people want a set and forget setup, while others want to be able to remove the dash cam and tuck it away in the glove compartment while parked. Here’s what we recommend.
Generally for a set and forget setup, we like securing the camera with 3M tape, usually included with the dash cam. The tape will first make it harder for someone to steal the camera. Secondly, the tape works well against large vibrations, bumps and wind, typical occurrences in a convertible that drives rougher.
What we discourage is using the suction cup. While the suction cup is good for portability and storage, it does not hold up well against convertible driving and sometimes the heat.
The final way to mount your dash camera is through an actual mount you screw or bolt into your car. You can try to attach it using a bracket on your rear seats, or more optimally, attach it through your trunk at your license plate.
If you are driving a convertible, you probably aren’t driving it in snow! You probably have the top down when it is nice and sunny. Depending how sunny, items on your window can get toasty really fast. And while the wind does improve airflow to electrical components, you can’t escape the sun and sometimes dash cameras overheat. What’s the point of having an overheated dash camera? Be sure to check the temperature rating for the dash cam. If they don’t mention it, it’s likely they don’t want to showcase it.
Look for dash cameras that can operate up to at least 145 degrees.
Depending on your mount, having a WiFi can be the crucial factor on deciding what setup you go with. In any case, WiFi capability is beneficial. WiFi allows you to remotely review footage through your phone, often times allowing you to download to your phone or send it over email. WiFi is a luxury feature. If you don’t have this, don’t fret, it takes a few more steps to remove the SD card and pull up on your computer. But if you don’t consistently view footage, then you don’t have to worry. In fact, most dash cam owners only review footage if they get into an accident or something extraordinary happens.
Spade 12″ Mirror Dash Cam 2560P
When looking for full coverage, you’ll want to check out this Spade Mirror Dash Cam. What we like about mirror cams is that people don’t realize it is a camera. This decreases the risk of theft and increases the technology in your car.
With this dash camera, it connects to a waterproof rear dash cam that can be mounted to your license plate. Great! The more discrete, the better.
Let’s talk about the main view. This sports a 12 inch touch screen where you can make adjustments like have a split screen or adjusting the camera angle. What stood out to us is how much coverage we found using it as a rear view mirror. It narrowed our blind spots considerably.
GPS is included which is rare and records speed, direction and map data. It also has a bunch of the dash cam features such as G-Sensor and Loop Recording. We mentioned heat earlier and you’ll be glad to know that this allows temperatures up to 167 degrees, so no worrying of overheating.
Vantrue N2 Pro
The Vantrue N2 Pro is the classic ride share dash cam setup. And while it is relatively large, this setup can still work in the right scenario. For one, since the cabin camera and the front camera are on the same unit, that means you have a 310 degree coverage of your entire car, especially with the top down.
The front dash cam can record up to 1080p 60fps or 1440p 30fps. 60fps means ultra smooth footage. The cabin camera comes with infrared night vision so low light situations aren’t an issue. The front lens uses a F/1.8 glass lens which let’s in a lot of light. The industry standard is F/2.0, which the lower number better for low light.
The biggest con about the Vantrue is the mount is a suction cup which may be a drawback for some. We didn’t experience any issues with this suction cup, but some other users have. That being said, customer support is offering a 18 month guarantee so if you need any replacement parts, Vantrue is there to support.
VSYSTO Motorcycle Dash Cam
You might be asking why a dash cam made for motorcycles is on the list for convertibles. If you think about it a little more, a motorcycle is very similar to a convertible! Mainly the fact that both are exposed to the outdoors and need to handle weather conditions.
This Dual Channel or Front and Back dash cam setup uses two 1080p cameras. These cameras are really small which is great for discreteness and creative mounting. It also includes a small center unit that is the recording unit and has a screen for quick playback. You can also select options with the screen. For easy playback, this also includes WiFi support allowing you to download and view footage through your smart phone.
As far as mounting, the dash cam includes a 3M adhesive mount. You can get creative on where you place this. Both cameras are waterproof and it still records audio.
Lifechase Dual Dash Cam 4K
The last pick is the Lifechaser Dual Dash Cam. It features a 4K front facing dash cam, along with a 1080P rear camera. There are a few things that stand out with this setup. One is that the whole unit is tiny. If being discrete is the look you’re going for, this is it. The front camera is only a few inches wide. Also, the rear camera is waterproof so it can be mounted outside of your car.
It also has WiFi for quick playback, GPS, night vision and a 170 degree wide angle. The screen is 2.4″, but a small screen is what you need with a small form factor.
You’ll want this camera setup if you are on a budget. These cameras have great video quality night or day.