I am a geek at heart and love gadgets for hiking but also for technology. I've experimented with all sorts of ways to produce good videos for YouTube (still working on that one!), but I have finally found a tripod that works for me.
I have used gadgets such as a StickPic (a mount that attaches to your walking pole so that you can take some great video at length. In theory, this is a genius idea but in reality, it is a pain to use and the footage was very shaky.
I then spent a fortune on a series of Gorillapods including the JobyPod and various cheap versions of this style of tripod. Everyone on YouTube was raving about these, but mine kept breaking! On more than one occasion my phone fell off a fence or out of a tree – which did not fill me with confidence.
The Manfrotto Pod was excellent quality
I resorted to a mini tripod and after extensive research, I had heard great things about the Manfrotto Mini Tripod. I absolutely love this tripod. The build quality is excellent and the results are stable footage. There are a couple of negatives about this tripod though. You can really only create footage from a flat surface. For example, floor shots, or if you can find a flat rock or wide enough fence then you may get some higher angles, but it is very limited. The Manfrotto tripod is built with good quality materials, but this simply means it is very heavy. Being heavy means that is was not comfortable for me as I keep my phone & tripod attached to a holster on my sternum strap for quick access. Back to the drawing board.
I then tried a lighter tripod with a pistol grip and promises of very steady footage. It was ok, but not brilliant I was soon frustrated with the inability to create a variety of angles. I ended up being creative with a pop-socket attached to my phone and balancing it in trees etc.
My perfect mini-tripod – Ultrapod
After stumbling on a YouTube video from another hiker who was raving about the Ultrapod I thought I would give this a go. I liked the idea of the Velcro strap and it was also extremely light (57g) so would fit on my sternum strap holster easily. When it arrived I was a bit concerned about the quality of the build as it is lightweight plastic and felt very flimsy. But, I had nothing to lose as it was inexpensive (£15 on Amazon). I've been using this tripod now for nearly a year and I am still on my first one! The velcro strap is brilliant and you can attach the tripod to trees, walking poles, fences, posts and a whole range of things to get a different perspective and angle on your videos.
They have now launched the Pedco UltraGo, which weighs a little bit more (97g) and the velcro attachment seems to have a better storage facility. If you have used this tripod then I would welcome your comments.
With all of the tripods, I use this in conjunction with a mobile phone mount that has a cold shoe on the top and the side for fitting lights and microphones as well as camera clips.
You can find the products below:
1. Ultrapod – https://amzn.to/38Dv4Pt
2. New Ultrapod 2 – (Ultra Go by Pedco) – https://amzn.to/2McMBGH
3. Holster / Camera Clip – https://amzn.to/3hkQwg5
4. Manfrotto Mini Tripod – https://amzn.to/38ASaX3
5. IGadgets pistol tripod – https://amzn.to/34Mwarc
6. Mobile phone mount – Manfrotto – https://amzn.to/3oBZw38
When looking at any type of gear, the most expensive is not always the best for your needs. I have previously spent money on GoPro's, Osmo Pockets and other expensive action cameras and I still ended up using my phone more than anything else. You just need to use what works for you.