Why JOBY GorillaPod is the best travel tripod – travel gadget review

BY Lisa 

|  25 October 2021

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!

two different sized black tripods standing on a table

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.

Tourists standing in front of a large statue with the head missing from the photo

Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janiero, 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.
gorillapod 1k + phone mount

Gorillapod 1K - This price includes the phone clamp.

gorillapod 3k

Gorillapod 3K

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.

Click to play

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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.

camera attached to gorillapod tripod that is standing on uneven rocky ground

Summit of Mt Lesueur, near Jurien Bay (West Australia)

photo of a female sitting on a rocky cliff
camera attached to gorillapod that is placed on the rear of a car

Waddy Forest Hall, near Coorow (West Australia)

female sitting in front of a white door of an old rusty iron building

When there is no flattish surface around, you can become creative and wrap the legs around anything.

camera attached to a gorillapod tripod that is wrapped around a steel bar

Summit of Mt Lesueur, near Jurien Bay (West Australia)

female standing on rocky cliff with arms in the air
camera attached to a gorillapod tripod with the legs wrapped around a wooden post

Iain Wilson Nature Trail (West Australia)

femaled walking along a path surrounded by low lying shrubs

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.

Bonus feature:

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.

A smartphone attached to tripod standing over rocky ledge

Yardie Creek Gorge Trail - near Exmouth (West Australia)

Summarising the pro’s and con’s

Pros
  • It is lightweight.
  • Folds up compact to fit easily into a handbag or backpack.
  • The rubber foot grips provides adequate stability on most surfaces.
  • The legs are flexible enough to mould into any shape but also rigid and sturdy enough to stay in that position. 
  • Also, the flexible legs enables you to wrap it around any structure for those tricky shots. No longer need a flat surface.
  • Purchase the kit that includes the ballhead, for panning and tilting. It has come in so handy for all those uneven surfaces.
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with a carry bag or cover. So I would store it in an old sock or cloth cover to prevent the metal screw from digging holes into my clothes or other items.

Verdict – should you buy the JOBY GorillaPod tripod

Product Rating Summary

It's light and sturdy. Value for money as the tripod lasts for many years of use.

And the price is so affordable, compared to the large, heavy professional tripod stands.

Overall Rating: 
5/5 stars

Quality

usefulness

price

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.


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  • It is a great little tripod. I was given one years ago as a gift and love it! Although my photography hubby seems to have claimed it ❤️

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