Let me save you the trouble and show you why the JOBY GorillaPod is the best travel tripod. The hardest aspect of travelling solo, is getting yourself in your photo’s. You see a beautiful vista with snow capped mountains or light blue lakes or turquoise coloured beaches and so you take many photo’s. But there’s no one there to take the photo of you standing precariously on a rock in the foreground.
This is when the GorillaPod tripod comes to the rescue. I’ve tried a few light weight tripods over the years. Take a look below at my very first travel sized tripod - the one on the right!
But the GorillaPod is the best one I’ve used so far. So I feel compelled to share my experience with fellow travel groovers.
Why do you need a travel tripod?
A selfie stick is great if you want your head to be the main feature of the photo. Or to simply show proof ‘I’ve been there’. However, what if you want a more artistic photo, or to blend into the scenery.
Using other tourists or bystanders to take the photo is risky business. As you can see, this tourist completely chopped off the head of the most famous statue in Brazil.
Now I prefer to ask other tourists that are holding a DSLR camera themselves, as they should have a better idea how to frame a shot rather than a quick point and click.
It’s better than trying to find boxes or boots to stack up, or a flat rock.
Therefore, solo travellers need versatile tools such as the GorillaPod to take photos anytime, anywhere, with yourself in it.
Specs & Features
The stands comes in different sizes, depending up the weight of your camera.
- Starter Kit – consists of a smartphone clamp, GoPro mount and torch light mount.
- 1K – to hold small cameras and devices weighing up to 1Kg (2.2lbs) capacity.
- 3K – holds devices weighing up to 3kg (6.6lbs).
- 5K – perfect SLRs with zoom lenses, with 5kg (11lbs) capacity.
- They also offer variations such as the Pro series made of aluminium for mirrorless cameras, magnetic stands and a video version complete with a video head for panning and tilting. Plus they have a special design for mobile phones only.
As my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 camera weights 830gr, I purchased the GorillaPod 1K, rated for 1kg. I was still able to attach a mobile phone to it. Read the bonus feature below for details.
Lets now take a look at the features:
- Has a standard ¼”-20 threaded screw adapter, which is compatible with most cameras and some GoPro’s.
- Flexible legs that bend, twist and turn so you can wrap it around any structure or adjust to uneven surfaces.
- A ballhead for panning and tilting - extra position control.
- Has a leveller to help you adjust straighten the angle. However, I think the new models may not have this feature anymore.
Check out the video below for a visual on the features.
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Using the GorillaPod
I found using the GorillaPod so easy to use. I can set it up on any surface. As I love to hike, to set up my camera level on any shaped rock is a time saver.
When there is no flattish surface around, you can become creative and wrap the legs around anything.
As I’m all about light packing, it makes sense that I must use a lightweight tripod. I love how lightweight the GorillaPod 1K is. It weighs less than 200grams. I can hardly notice any extra weight in my backpack. Plus the small size is a bonus. It fits into any type of bag that I use for the day.
Once set up, the tripod has never fallen over with my camera on it. Therefore, it truly holds 1kg well.
In addition, after five years of use and throwing it into my backpack, the flexibility of the tripod legs have never weakened.
You can buy a smartphone clamp to hook your phone onto the tripod too. The adapter screws on the top where normally the camera goes. Then place the phone inside the spring adjustable bracket. I found the bracket always firmly held the phone in place if I took off the foldable phone case/cover. Otherwise, it would fall out occasionally. Sometimes I use it as a mini selfie stick.
Summarising the pro’s and con’s
Verdict – should you buy the JOBY GorillaPod tripod
I highly recommend the GorillaPod tripod. It’s obviously of high quality standard as it still works like brand new after five years. It’s useful and practical. I can place my camera virtually anywhere. And its nice to be in some of my photos!
Click on the below links to check out the finer details and to purchase. This travel gadget will last many years in your travel bag. Let me know if you have tried a GorillaPod or perhaps a different brand.
This price includes the phone clamp.