A few weeks ago, over on my facebook account, I posted a message asking folks to share any insight they had into the lightest weight tripods out on the market.
I had some pretty amazing feedback from the post, including comments from folks that rarely comment on facebook – it turned out to be a product search that more than a few folks seemed to be interested in.
A few comments lead to me search down a few tripods that seemed to meet the requirements I had, but they ended up being discontinued or way to expensive.
While researching one of the ones suggested, I came across a tripod called the ZIPPOD 45 and decided to take the risk of buying one to see how it would work out.
I had only a few requirements:
- Close to 50 inches in height
- Max payload of only about 5 ounces
- Collapsable legs
- Does not use hiking poles, branches off the ground, guyline or such things.
Basically something we as ultralight hikers can quickly pull out and use for our smartphones, but not a DSLR level/worthy tripod.
A number of recommendations came forward, and all of them lead me to the ZIPPOD 45 Inch Tripod, which I picked up on amazon.com for $29 bucks (currently $26 bucks) which I was able to buy thanks to my Patron supports!
When the legs are fully extended it is 45 inches (115 cm) in height, so about 5 inches shorter than I wanted. After using it, it has not seemed to be that big of a deal to have it be a few inches shorter.
When the legs are fully collapsed it is 14 inches (35 cm) in height, which is not all that bad. For comparison the ChromeDome umbrella is 25 inches (63 cm), so about half the height of a ChromeDome.
The weight of just the tripod is 331 grams / 11.67 ounces / 0.73 pounds.
This makes for a combined weight of just 353 grams / 12.45 ounces / 0.78 pounds.
So a sub 1 pound (by a fair bit) tripod that is super fast to setup, takes very little pack space, and can be used with just about any phone/pocket camera.
In the end what I wanted was a tripod that was not so freaking heavy and big that it could support a DSLR camera, but instead just the ~5 ounce phones and pocket cameras that many of us use these days out on the long distance trails. While the ZIPPOD 45 is never going to stand up to strong winds, and does not have adjustable leg height, these are just the expected trade-offs for a tripod that is specific focused. I do not, and never will, be out on the long distance trails with some 5+ pound camera setup, so my needs are very specific focused. The ZIPPOD 45 meets the needs I have. While adding an additional 353 grams (0.78 pounds) to my pack setup is not something I am going to be doing on every hike, or even most of them, when I do want to take something with me to do video shooting, it seems like it is about the best that is going to meet my needs. I am still a huge fan of the Pedco Ultrapod II but it too is specific use focused, and for those times when I need something a bit more, it looks like the ZIPPOD 45 is going to be the piece of equipment going with me.