Some of you might remember our article on the Joby Gorilla Pod and how impressed we were with a tripod option without the hassle of heavy weight in the pack. Well we think we’ve found an equally ingenious option!
The Trail Pix is the brainchild of Andy Stough a professional engineer from Cary, NC, USA so there’s obviously no question of the quality here. So what is it I here you ask. It is simply a pocket sized machined base that uses poles (trekking or otherwise) to form a tripod.
TRAILPIX USES YOUR TREKKING, SKI, OR TENT POLES TO FORM A DSLR-CAPABLE TRIPOD.
We were given two incarnations to gear test, The Custom and the Universal.
The Custom is the lightest option coming in a lightweight 30 grams! But there are a couple of trade offs, first you’ll have to ensure your poles fit this custom base, and that they’re not fixed length poles. I had no problem with my Lekis, and it should work with most major manufacturers including Black Diamond (except Z-poles), Wilcor, Outdoor Products, Koppen, Gossamer Gear, Mountain Smith, and Exped.
In order to complete the tripod you’ll have to purchase the accessory pole, a collapsible pole by TrailPix, which folds down like a tent pole for easy storage in your pack. Both together give you a net weight of 105 grams!
The Universal is as you’ve probably guessed much more versatile, you can use almost any kind of pole but the trade off is a bigger and heavier (68 grams) piece of kit. You can also use the accessory pole with this option, and would have to be used if you were on a solo walk. But if you had at least one more person with you with trekking poles, then you have your three poles for a tripod!
As a tripod we were happy enough with it’s performance. Accompanied with the heavy duty ball head for extra manoeuvrability on the camera angles, we tested it out on the mountains with the Lumix TZ20 and the Cannon EOS 6D DSLR, and it coped perfectly well on long exposures and night photography. The heavy duty ball head is not included in the price, as most serious photographers will have one already.
I went out with Dave Roberts from Mud and Routes on a night nav to test it out against it’s nearest rival, a DSLR Groilla Pod and we found the TrailPix felt more like a tripod, though both obviously have differing functionality. You can check out our findings here.
Although primarily a tripod, it can also be used as a bipod, monopod, or ground (flat level) mount. Or as Andy pointed out to us, you could turn it into a boom and join in with the new craze which is the “selfie”!
The two options made available by Andy need research before you choose the TrailPix that suits you, so be sure to consult this quick guide table below and his FAQ page.
This is the kind of kit we like at Tryfan’s Blog, born from a need and brought to fruition by someone who knows what adventurers want. If you’re after a lightweight tripod option and already venture out with trekking poles, then this ticks the box! Even if you’re only looking for a light table top mount for your camera on your travels, the custom with ball head could well fit the bill.