Pakpod came on the radar for me a while ago and you can take a look at the overview HERE. Toda is a new day and it`s time to tell the truth – how does the Pakpod Tripod perform in real life. So here it is: the full hands-on review of Pakpod Tripod.
Pakpod Tripod key features
- Lightweight: 15.5 ounces
- Length when folded: 12.75″
- Waterproof and freeze-proof
- Patented, one-twist locking system
- Easily stashable in a small bag, pack or suitcase
- Legs rapidly extend and retract with the push of a button
- Legs move independently through a 180 degree range of motion
- Constructed from high-impact ABS plastic and stainless steel
- Rotating feet stake into grass, dirt, sand and snow
- Unparalleled level of versatility
- 36 tie-down points
Pakpod Tripod hands-on
The thing with good tripods is that they are expensive. And you want to be kind to your expensive tripod and soak it in salt water or in the sand because it gets stuck in the camps and the legs don`t fold that smooth anymore etc.
The second issue is that they are heavy to carry around. If you are a photographer with shitloads of expensive camera gear with a DSLR and 5 massive lenses you need a sturdy and heavy tripod but what if you are an adventurer who only carries a GoPro and wants a tripod that can handle everything a GoPro can handle?
Enter, Pakpod Tripod!
Pakpod is light, durable and is able to take any shit you throw at it exactly what you want from an action camera tripod. It has one drawback but a lot of good, so let`s start with the good and leave the bad stuff for last.
Weighing only 15.5 ounces (440 grams) this is really, truly a light tripod. When you strap it to your gear bag you will barely notice it and if you want to pack for traveling you will not waste precious weight limits that can cost you. The arms of the tripod are made of really light plastic and instead of full round tubes the legs are square, with only three sides, so it saves even more on weight.
I haven’t thrown it in fires or driven over it or done any extreme stunts with it but so far it has been in fresh water, salt water, sand, gravel, snow, fallen off trees and taken semi-heavy loads with DSLR cameras with heavy lenses. It has minimum moving parts so the`s only a few places sand and dirt can get into.
- The arm fixing clamps – metal clamps with springs that lock into the slots in the tripod arms.
- The telescope sliders – dirt can get in but since the arms are “an open system” unlike the closed tubes on other tripods, the drt can b washed out very easily.
The key thing about the Pakpod Tripod is the spikes of course. There are spikes at the end of the tripod arms that make this tripod a truly unique piece of equipment. You can use them to secure the tripod to the ground, you can use them to grab on to nooks and ledges to attach the tripod to trees or rocks or any other surface that has even the tiniest edge for the tip of the spike to grab onto. Or, you can even hang the tripod upside down to even a clothesline if needed.
The spikes can be changed to either Black ABS plastic spikes that have relatively sharp ends but are still safe. They are perfect for after surfaces like sand or dirt and can grab onto smaller nudges.
Green ABS plastic spikes are more family-friendly and are not as sharp as the black ones. They are still capable enough to be used on sand and dirt.
The metal spikes are the hardcore ones for more tougher surfaces.
Using the tripod is easy – You have a standard tripod screw at the top so you need to screw your DSLR straight on or if you use a GoPro you can attach a tripod mount.
Use the metal clamps to adjust the length of each leg separately and pull out the spikes if needed. If the spikes are folded into the arms of the tripod you have a large oval footing for better stability. The angle of the spikes can be adjusted to almost 360 degrees so you can have the spikes on the sides of the arms. The Spikes hold their position well but if in extreme conditions you might want to tension the screws to make sure they won’t slip. For this, you have THREE mini tools inside the arms so you will always have them with you if needed. And if you lose one, like I did you still have 2 spares.
Locking the arms in place happens by turning the top part clockwise. This locks all the three arms in the positions they are in.
I have one issue with the Pakpod Tripod. Since it doesn’t have a ballhead or any way to adjust the camera angle other than with the position and length of the arms I sometimes found myself in situations where I had to sacrifice the best camera position on the field to get a better frame. The problem is bigger if you use a DSLR but with a GoPro, you at least have the option to adjust the angle of the tripod mount. If you add a pivot arm this problem disappears completely. You can adjust the tripod mount to aim high or low and tweak the pivot arm to get the horizon level.
What I love about Pakpod Tripod
- Very Light
- Quality materials
- Customizable spikes
- Can be used ANYWHERE
- Can handle a heavy DSLR
- Easy to maintain
- With a DSLR it can sometimes be wobbly, especially when arms fully extended
Things I don`t love
- No ballhead or option to adjust the angle of the camera on top of the tripod. Can be fixed easily though…
Pakpod Tripod – Final Verdict
I love it! The best thing about it is the freedom to attach the tripod to almost any surface. Traditional tripods need a semi-level ground but Pakpod Tripod can be set up on walls, underwater or upside down to branches. It`s really lightweight and perfect for any GoPro user!