The VAVA dash cam is the perfect way to document roadtripping adventures with 1080p HD photo & video captures, instant snapshots, a real-time mobile app, and on-the-go social media sharing.


I wrote this sponsored post for the VAVA dash cam. All opinions are mine.

I was enlisted by VAVA to test a pre-production (prototype) unit of their latest product, the VAVA dash cam. Over the past week, as you will see, Jerry and I have tested virtually every feature of both the cam and its mobile app. VAVA launched its Kickstarter campaign for the VAVA dash cam this week to overwhelming success. In just 24 hours, the campaign has almost tripled its initial goal and sold out the first of its doorbuster deals.


VAVA Dash Cam


Regular readers know we typically do not do product reviews on Backroad Planet. In fact, I have not written a product review since 2013. But when I learned about the VAVA dash cam, I knew I would have to make an exception.

I have wanted a dash cam for a long time, and now that I have one, there is no going back.

I am hooked!

Every vehicle should be equipped with a dash cam.


Note: All videos are shot in high-definition, so for the best visual experience, please navigate to the lower right corner of the frame, click the gear icon and adjust the video quality setting to 1080p HD and click the square icon to expand to full screen.

I believe the times in which we live all but dictate that every vehicle be equipped with a dash cam for three main reasons:

• protection – dash cam videos record activities inside and outside vehicles for proof in litigation

• posterity – dash cams record special moments during road travels

• pleasure – dash cams capture planned and serendipitous events such as carpool karaoke and sunsets

Roadtrippers should invest in a dash cam today!


If you are a roadtripping enthusiast like we are, do not even hesitate to place a dash cam order today. With a dash cam, waypoints and destinations will no longer be the only parts of your road travels documented in photos and videos. Now you will be able to capture special moments while actually on the road. If you are a travel blogger, you will have the opportunity to share on-the-go photo and video captures so your readers and social media followers can vicariously travel along.

The VAVA Dash Cam


Because this is my first outing with a dash cam, I have no experience to draw from nor comparisons to make. All I know is that the VAVA dash cam has exceeded my expectations in every way.

Copy of DSC_9752

The VAVA dash cam has more features and capabilities than I can cover in this review, but here are a few highlights that  impress me the most:

• a Sony IMX291 lens for 1080p HD quality photos & video

• 140° wide-angle lens to capture a full range of vision

• 360° swivel capability to shoot from any angle both inside and outside the vehicle

• a built-in mic for quality audio recording

• integrated GPS for logging and tracking trips on the mobile app

• easy portability for use with rental cars and other vehicles

• a G-sensor to auto-detect and save footage from unexpected motions, such as break-ins, when car is unattended

The VAVA Dash Cam Mobile App (iOS & Android)


The VAVA mobile app is the ideal way to control and manage the dash cam. It allows you to capture timeless moments inside your vehicle or stunning scenery on the outside. Mobile app features allow users to:

• wirelessly access the VAVA dash cam

• view the camera’s field of vision in real time

• track your driving route with GPS

• capture in-the-moment photos & 20-second videos remotely at the press of a button

• transfer photos & videos to your mobile device via a dedicated Wi-Fi channel

• view, add filters, and share photos & videos to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email

I shared the following image directly from the VAVA mobile app to the Backroad Planet Instagram account earlier this week.

The Instagram post was automatically shared to Backroad Planet’s Facebook page and also to Twitter.

Photos


The next sequence of images are all VAVA dash cam snapshots taken with the mobile app. I captured photos at various locations and times of day to demonstrate the cam’s adaptability. All of the photos are original and unedited.

Driving I-4.

A Florida backroad.

Driving toward sunset.

Roadside pullover at 6:00 pm with my travel buddy Axle.

Inside Car Videos


The following video series includes four 20-second clips captured with the mobile app inside our vehicle while on a drive to the small town of San Antonio, Florida, for dinner. The mechanical noise you hear is the snapshot feature in action. All videos are original and unedited, and no digital stabilization has been used.

This was our first time ever using a dash cam, hence the experimentation and awkwardness. Actually, its not that different from our dialogue during any given road trip.

Reminder: All videos are shot in high-definition, so for the best visual experience, please navigate to the lower right corner of the frame, click the gear icon and adjust the video quality setting to 1080p HD and click the square icon to expand to full screen.

An awkward video about awkward videos.

Come on, news media. Let them rest in peace!

I downloaded this 3-minute video segment from the VAVA dash cam continuous archive. It is not a snapshot video, although you can hear the snapshot feature in action. I had pulled over to practice using the mobile app, so please forgive the multiple selfies. This video also demonstrates how the camera swivels 360° in any direction.

Outside Car Videos


This is probably my favorite clip, also a 3-minute archival download. Immediately after the right turn, the scenery on the country road is aglow in the evening sun. Apologies for the repeated mechanical sounds. I was taking lots of snapshots with the mobile app.

The video quality in this clip is a bit over-exposed due to driving into direct sunlight. Still, I wanted to include some dirt road footage.

I was impressed with the visual quality of the video on a dark country road. The sound has been muted because copyrighted music was playing on the stereo. Night footage with city lights and oncoming headlights is less than optimal due to the direct glare.

VAVA Dash Cam Installation


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With only five components, the installation process is fairly simple and can be completed in 15-20 minutes. The most involved part is running the power cable from the camera around the windshield, under the dash, and to the power source. We were able to tuck the cable into crevices throughout the car interior so that it is virtually hidden from sight.

My 2009 Mercury Mountaineer has three power outlets: one in the front of the center console, one inside the console, and one behind the console in the back seat area. We decided the installation would look better if we ran the cable between the center console and the passenger seat, tucked out of sight between the plastic shell and the carpet, and plugged into the rear outlet.

Final Observations


In the space of a week, the VAVA dash cam has become an essential tool in documenting our road travel adventures. With 360° swivel high-definition photo and video captures, Backroad Planet readers will now have a window to authentically experience our life on the road. I cannot imagine roadtripping without it!

I learned by trial and error that the VAVA dash cam records video continuously in 3-minute segments while connected to a power source. When the SD card is full, it will begin replacing the oldest video files. The VAVA dash cam ships with a 32 GB SD card, but I recommend purchasing a 128 GB SD card, not just for greater storage, but also to allow the user time to download important footage before it is deleted.

In most vehicles, power to 12 volt DC outlets (cigarette lighters) is disconnected when you turn off the ignition. My SUV, a 2009 Mercury Mountaineer, is one of the rare vehicles that continues to power all outlets even when the vehicle is not running. If you have one of these vehicles, be sure to disconnect power to the camera manually before exiting, or the VAVA dash cam will continue to capture video. I will not confirm nor deny that this happened to me.

While using the VAVA dash cam pre-production unit, we had two minor issues:

• the charger did not fit snugly into the outlet, and occasionally slipped out

• the remote snapshot button, an alternate method for capturing images, functioned inconsistently

In communication with the production team I was assured that designers are aware of these issues and that they are being addressed before mass production of the VAVA dash cam begins in May 2017. Kickstarter backer units will be fulfilled by June 2017, or earlier.

Although the VAVA dash cam integrated GPS accurately tracked and logged our travel routes on the mobile app, it appears at this time that location geo-tagging is not recorded in snapshot metadata. That is a capability I would like to see added to VAVA dash cam in the future so users can document exact locations of their snapshots.

But all things considered, I maintain that the VAVA dash cam is a roadtripper’s best friend.

Well, almost . . . .


We Would Love to Hear From You


We enjoy dialogue with our readers, especially when they share their recommendations for road trip accessories. Do you have a dash cam, or do you plan to purchase one in the near future? If so, we would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. We invite you to leave your comments and questions below, and we always respond!


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The VAVA car dash cam is the perfect way to document roadtripping adventures with 1080p HD photo & video captures, instant snapshots, a real-time mobile app, and on-the-go social media sharing.


Helpful Links


VAVA Dash Cam Kickstarter Campaign

(get one for your road trip starting at $99)

VAVA Facebook Page

VAVA Dash Community: A Facebook User Group

Howard Blount is founder and editor of the travel web site Backroad Planet. He has traveled internationally since boyhood and lived abroad in Mexico, Chile, and Paraguay. Now his passion is navigating the roads-less-traveled of this amazing planet in search of anything rare and remote. On the stuffy side, “Mr. Blount” has been a writer, consultant, and published author with the likes of Simon & Schuster and McGraw-Hill. Recently retired from a 35-year career as a middle school teacher, Howard enjoys spending his time on anything that includes mountains, waterfalls, dachshunds, gospel choirs, books, restored classic movies on Blu-ray, HDTV, autumn, sandhill cranes, hot springs, Florida springs, rain and other gloomy weather, log cabins, cracker shacks, abandoned sites, unearthed history, genealogy, museums, documentaries, To Kill a Mockingbird, scenic and historical sites, castles, cathedrals, the Civil War, cold sheets, National and State Park Passports, quotes, the Rambos, Dionne Warwick, Steely Dan, Doobies, Diet Pepsi, Fish City Grill, anything Apple, all things British, Jesus, and lists. And on a random note, Howard is a fourth cousin once removed to Truman Capote.

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