Probably one of the top picks for a good travel accessory! The Smatree Adjustable Jaws Flex Clamp Mount is basically a gooseneck type clamp for your action camera or your cell phone that you can attach to pretty much anything that fits in between the “jaws” of the clamp.
The adjustable gooseneck is 13,4″ (34cm) and you can flex it any way you want to. It stays in the desired position and you are ready to shoot some great footage. The Smatree Adjustable Jaws Flex Clamp Mount is a simple mount – you have the clamp, the neck and the ball head.
Smatree Adjustable Jaws Flex Clamp Mount Clamp.
The clamp is surprisingly big and clamps down pretty hard, the edges have rubberized edges with anti-slip ribs so it has better grip and will prevent it from slipping. I used it on a beer bottle and it clamped down on the bottle neck and stayed there for 30 minutes for me to take time-lapse video. The clamp opens up or about 2.3 inches (6cm) and if you release it on your fingers rapidly you will scream bloody murder 😀
Ok, so it`s not like putting your fingers in a car press that turns cars into metal cubes but it does have a fairly strong grip. Depending on what you clamp it down to and how you can even use it to mount your DSLR – I used it with a Canon 550D with a large 10-22mm wide angle lens and I attached it to a table upside town. With heavier cameras, it`s a good idea to mount upside down so the goosneck doesn`t have to fight with gravity.
Smatree Adjustable Jaws Flex Clamp Mount screw
The screw end of the mount is pretty simple really – you have the standard 1/4″ screw sticking out with the adjustable plate to secure whatever camera you are using. You can further adjust the angle of the camera using the ballhead that can be fixed and loosened from the rotating ring. The ring has nice “edges” to prevent your fingers from slipping so you can apply decent force when securing the camera angle.
The ball actually has small carvings that fit the inside of the fixator ring so the strongest hold you get is when the ball is perfectly straight up. Most of the times i found that it`s not even neccassary to adjust the ballead because you will be doing most of the angle adjustments using the bendy neck of the mount.
How it behaves on the battlefield?
So it`s time to talk about how the mount withstands everyday use and is it something that will find it`s way into my gear bag?
I had the Smatree Adjustable Jaws Flex Clamp Mount with me on a trip to Thailand so I was extremely picky of what I can take with me because the baggage weight limit is something we all have to struggle some time. The good thing is that the Smatree mount really doesn`t weigh much nor will it take much room in your bag, plus, you can bend it in any way you want to fit with the rest of the gear.
I had it with me on most of my day trips and even when I didn`t want to carry around m gear bag I threw it in the beach bag because its small and will substitute a tripod and on some cases a selfie stick. Since the clamp opens up pretty wide it was easy to find stuff to clamp it down to from trees to tables and car mirrors. One thing you need to pay attention to is that rough surfaces are way better than smooth, but that`s kind of how life works and not the fault of the clamp 🙂
Btw, I did use it on a beer bottle that is pretty slippery and not even cylindrical- I wanted to take a time-lapse video of magical Thai sunset with my smartphone and had nothing but wide beach and some flimsy bushes so a bottle buried in sand combined with the Smatree clamp pretty much saved the day that evening.
Here`s the setup!
One of the cool things about this product is that it`s so fast to deploy! This gives you a lot of creative freedom because you might not even bother to set up a cool angle if it takes you 5 minutes to set up. So a quick clamp solution is great if you want to get a funky angled shot fast and then move on.
Here`s something I tried with the GoPro attached to an oar of a sea kayak and to my surprise it didn`t fall off with moderate paddling. When putting some more elbow grease in it the clamp of course, fell off due to the force of moving the oar in deep water.
The neck of the clamp is surprisingly sturdy and stay the way you mold it for hours and hours when using it with your GoPro or your smartphone – btw, you can get the smartphone holder with it too that you can use with any tripod or any smartphone (unless it`s a bigass stupid giant smartphone that doesn`t even fit in your pocket).
Curling the nech up in a circe will give you more stability when using it on car for example or when using it in windy conditions.
So are there any negatives? Some, but i would say they are not the negatives of the product itself but the laws of physics rather. Since the neck is not stiff it is not “windroof” the straighter up it is the more it moves in wind. You can bend it down to make it smaller and perhaps let the neck rest on something to give extra stabillity but the fact is that if you need something that will not move get a tripod.
But you have to be reasonable here, this is a lightweight portable and crazy adjustable mount so you can`t expect it to be as sturdy as a 100 dollar heavy-ass tripod so you have to weigh the ups and downs and make a decision. I actually left my tripod home in favor of the Smatree Adjustable Jaws Flex Clamp Mount – well I did take my Manfrotto 5″ mini tripod with me.
So what?s the price?
What I love about Smatree Adjustable Jaws Flex Clamp Mount
- Strong clamp
- Adjustable in any direction
- Fast to deploy
- Shaky in wind
Things I don`t love
I was struggling with this because the movement in the wind is noticable but I`m not sure if I can put this down as a negative. It`s like whining that a motorbike only has two wheels – ifyou want four wheels get a car 😀
So I`m putting the wind shakyness into “Things I dont`t love” in brackets and into “Neutrals”
- (Shaky in wind)