Gear We Love – GorillaPod Travel Tripod

To explore exotic locales during the world’s most extraordinary nature journeys requires specialized gear.  And to photograph them, well, the gear list continues.

Today I bring you a great alternative tripod for those adventures when you have strict luggage limitations, don’t have a need for a full tripod setup, yet still wish to have the ability to use a tripod for a handful of shots during your adventure.

Allow me to introduce you to the GorillaPod 5K.

a flexible travel tripod

As I mentioned, there are many times that I don’t need, nor do I have the space for, a full tripod.  However, you never know what amazing blue hour or night photography scene might pop up over the course of a multi-day nature photo adventure.  Thus, weighing in at just about one pound, the small but mighty travel tripod is a great thing to bring with you no matter where you go.

the cool blue of post-sunset silhouettes the baobabs of madagascar

You’ll notice a few things right off the bat…

First, its tentacle-like legs are indeed fully moveable.  That is, they can be bent and contorted to match whatever surface you are photographing from.  Some people even use these bendable legs to wrap around handrails, street signs, or bicycle handles.

a travel tripod with flexible legs

Second, you’ll see that this specific model has a ballhead mount.  You can save a few ounces and a few dollars by getting this tripod without the ballhead, but I don’t recommend it.  What you’ll quickly find, without the head, is that you spend far too much time adjusting the feet of the tripod to get it perfectly level.  With the ballhead, all you need is to configure the feet in a stable orientation, and leave the leveling to the ballhead.  It saves you a lot of time and takes any frustration out of the equation.

the salkantay range of the andes in early morning blue dawn light

Finally, you’ll notice that on most websites, you can order a similar-looking tripod for different weight limits.  For instance, if you’re using this primarily for smartphones, you can get away with a much smaller unit.  However, if you have a DSLR, mirrorless, or even advanced point and shoot, you will be best served to buy the biggest one here…allowing for up to 11 pounds to be mounted.  Otherwise, if you undergun it, you’ll watch the tripod slowly slag under the weight of your camera, which renders it rather useless.

the narrows in Zion National Park with golden lighting and beautiful water of the virgin river

So there you have it—another one of my favorite pieces of gear I’ve found over the years. The Joby GorillaPod is flexible, lightweight, and a life-saver when you don’t have the need or the space for a full tripod, but are expecting to take at least a few low light photos of your adventure.

Cheers, and be well,

Court Whelan Signature