The GoPro, no matter what version you have, is probably the best accessory you can take on any travel. It can take shots of almost anything and anywhere. Of course, you’ll need additional gear to make the most out of this tiny device.
There are literally hundreds out in the market right now. From new lenses, domes, lights, and cases, there are many ways to customize your GoPro to take that shot exactly the way you want it.
The most basic one, however, is a GoPro tripod.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Picks for Best GoPro Tripods
Tripods or mounts are basic accessories that any GoPro lover, professional or not, should have. It’s one of the most common accessories as well from high-end brands to imitation products. It’s pretty overwhelming to look for a tripod that works for you, so we’ve compiled the best ones. Including many that will fit right in your GoPro backpack!
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Great Standard Tripod
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Best Overall Choice
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The Joby Gorillapod is one of the best of the many “gorillapod” variations in the market.
Gorillapods are a popular accessory for any gadget, even mobile phones. While it’s not as tall as a standard tripod, gorillapods are favored by many because you can attach it to basically anything. The flexible legs can hold the camera onto anything it can wrap around. Trees, railings, benches can now be tripods for your convenience. It’s one of the most imitated accessories, which makes finding a good one tricky. Badly made gorillapods fail to grip objects, have loose bearings, or can’t even hold the camera up.
The Joby Gorillapod solves all these. Its legs stand at 10 inches, but its grip and balance are perfect. It also has a ball head, which allows your camera to tilt up to 90 degrees and rotate 360 degrees. It has a bubble level so regardless of how awkward your makeshift tripod is placed, you can always angle your camera to align with you correctly.
It comes with two quick-release clips as a standard mount for GoPros, as well as the standard ¼ inch-20 tripod clip so it works with all action cameras and can be attached to any tripod.
For something so small, it’s not completely portable. Because of how the legs are made, it’s very bulky and can sit in awkward positions. There’s no carrying pouch so you need to get one because this won’t fit in standard bag pockets. Also, because it’s made up of mostly movable parts, bad handling can break the tripod. Twisting and turning the legs too much will eventually loosen the legs.
The CamKix 3in1 Kit comes with a small tripod that also collapses to make a useful handgrip for shooting video. Because it has a standard screw mount on the ballhead, it can also be used for standard cameras as well as phones with the provided attachments. So, it is a GoPro, phone and camera tripod all in one.
In terms of attachment, the kit comes with a GoPro mount and thumbscrew, as well as a handgrip that can hold smart phones and other cameras.
There’s very little you can complain about this kit. It’s absolutely value for money, and the tripod itself is well-built. However, less attention seems to have been placed on the peripherals.
The MeFOTO Classic Aluminum Backpacker Travel Tripod Kit is a good full-sized tripod made for the traveler in you.
It’s lightweight and can be folded into its own travel bag. There are many kinds of adjustments you can make on different parts of the tripod so you can not only take the best photo, but your tripod can adjust to the environment you’re in. It also comes in different colors for more fun.
The ball head at the top is functional and versatile. It allows for 360-degree panning. The integrated panning scale creates accurate and level panoramas so you can capture breathtaking sceneries around the world. The three-leg base can be locked in two positions independently. This allows you to adjust and setup the tripod in cramped spaces or uneven ground. The middle pole can be extended from 16.5 to 51.2 inches. At the bottom of this pole is a spring-loaded recessed hook where you can hang additional weight. This way, even if your pole is extended to full length and will remain stable and won’t topple over. There’s a separate pan and head lock so you can lock the camera into the right adjustment.
It’s meant as a generic camera tripod, so it doesn’t come with a GoPro mount. While it’s packable, it’s not very compact either. It packs wide instead of long and won’t fit many slip pockets in regular backpacks. The locking mechanism is also a bit problematic as if you extend the legs and keep it unlocked, there’s not stopping mechanism and the legs will come loose.
There have been reports that Amazon ships tripods without the ball head. However, this is a shipping defect and you can request the ball head from MeFOTO if you happen to get missing parts. The MeFOTO tripod comes with a 5-year warranty to protect your purchase.
The Neewer Carbon Fiber Tripod and Monopod is a versatile full-sized tripod with a solid build and a relatively good price.
What makes this tripod sell is its new generation high-density carbon fiber tube. It’s a highly technical material that makes this tripod extremely sturdy and reliable without adding a ton of weight. This kind of material usually retails for over $500, but the Neewer version comes at just under $100. It’s easy to carry and packs into its own travel bag. It also has an included allen wrench so you can adjust the tension of the connectors on the pivots of the tripod.
The moving pieces adjust and slide very smoothly and are easy to operate. The legs can be set in 3 angles – 90 degrees, 45 degrees, and 30 degrees. This makes for excellent stability and setup on any kind of grounding. The legs are also extendable via a twist lock.
The tripod extends from 17.7-63 inches. The middle leg is covered in foam padding and can be detached from the frame. You now have a monopod you can use on your travels.
The ball head is well-made and functional. The tension rate of the tripod is 26 lbs but it’s sturdy enough to carry as much as 90 lbs. It does, however, miss a lock that limits the adjustment of the ball head. There’s also no scale or level that will tell you how much the camera is rotated. It does have a bubble level to ensure that your camera is aligned properly.
It doesn’t include a GoPro mount, but it includes an Arca Swiss plate for mounting other regular cameras.
If all you really need is something to take photos of you instead of asking a stranger to do it, then the Smatree Adjustable Jaws Flex Clamp Mount is a great alternative.
There are definitely a lot of tripods in the market, but if your needs are simple, then your tool should also be simple.
It comes with a threaded ball head so you can screw on your GoPro at any time. This ball head can tilt and rotate 360 degrees. The gooseneck extension is flexible and can be bent and twisted in any direction. At the longest extension, you can get up to 13.4 inches of length. The clamp has a 2.3-inch opening which you can attach to just about anything too. In many ways, this is an easier attachment than the gorillapod because you don’t need to find a circular object it can wrap itself around. The clamp can hold on to tree branches, railings, table tops and even other tripods.
While it’s a great accessory, it obviously has a lot of limitations compared to a full tripod. The gooseneck doesn’t come off the clamp, so it can be a packing issue on how to bend it the right way to fit in your bag. The clam has a strong grip, but at certain angles, the weight of the GoPro can cause the clamp to come off.
GoPro cameras can essentially be attached to any tripod. Some tripods already come with a GoPro mount, some come with a GoPro threaded ball head, and some come with a standard tripod screw that can be applicable to a wide range of cameras. Make sure you have the necessary mounts for your GoPro and other cameras you want to use the tripod with.
The length of the tripod really depends on what you need it for. Casual photographers who just need to capture vacation photos don’t really need to deal with the length and the bulk of full-sized tripods. However, if you want more professional-looking photos, go for those with telescopic poles that can reach the heigh you need.
Taking a tripod on a trip is tricky, especially when you’re sensitive to weight. Most tripods are light, but they fold and pack in different ways. While many tripods collapse and fold, most of them will remain bulky and shaped awkwardly.
The point of having a tripod is taking more stable photos without the shake or the unsteadiness of your own hand. This again depends on what kind of photos you will need. Simply attaching a GoPro to a fixed object can sometimes do the trick. However, if you need panning shots and awesome panoramas, find a GoPro that will give you more flexibility and smooth panning functionalities.
Whether you’re a professional photographer or a beginner, the Neewer Carbon Fiber Tripod and Monopod is an excellent accessory to have. Built with premium materials and includes many attachments usually sold separately from other tripods, this choice will give you the shots you’re looking for regardless of where you are in the world.
If you want good photos without the hefty price tag, the CamKix Premium 3-in1 Kit gives you almost all the great things about a full tripod at a lower cost.
For casual travellers, take the Smatree Adjustable Flex Claw Clamp. It’s cheap, you can throw it into your bag, and it does the job of taking stable photos.