Joby travel tripod /monopod /selfie stick

TLDR: A great (almost) pocket sized tripod/monopod with some neat features. Great for phones and small compact cameras and includes a Bluetooth release. The only negative is that the Bluetooth release fell off its holder and was lost. Weight: 164g. Cost: around £35 (July ’20). The Joby GripTight mount is available separately or as part of the kit. Weight: 20g. Cost separately £22.98
About a year ago I decided to go a bit minimalist with camera kit when out hiking. Normally I’m carrying a Canon 70D DSLR, a couple of lenses, a mini tripod, lots of batteries, a waterproof cover for the camera and an external microphone for when I’m recording video. I wanted to try using a small weather-proof camera and my phone. Hiking alone and wanting to include myself in shots inevitably means some kind of selfie Stick plus I wanted some features of a tripod.
The Joby JB01549-BWW TelePod 325 Telescoping Tripod, Extendable Monopod, Selfie Stick with Ball Head – to give its full name, is a very versatile bit of kit. It weighs in at 164g and extends from 190mm (7.5″) when folded to a maximum of 535mm (21″).

Folded down, the rubberised legs fold together into a really comfortable hand grip with a wrist strap for a bit of security. In this configuration it makes a great camera grip for both normal use and as a short selfie stick when talking to camera when on the move. There should be a clip on one leg holding the Bluetooth remote however I have removed it due to the loss of the trigger. I believe the bracket holding the remote has a design fault as it fell off way to easily and was lost. luckily a quick google found me a replacement.

Fully extended to a full height of 535mm (21″) the tripod is a little top heavy however this can be remedied by pushing a tent peg through the slot at the bottom of each leg of the tripod to anchor the tripod and create quite a stable platform for filming pieces to camera. I have also used releasable cable ties to anchor the tripod to fence posts and tree branches and of course the cable ties go back in my pack when I am finished.
My Lumix DC-FT7 weighs in at 320g and its perfectly at home sitting on top of the ball and socket mount.

As a selfie stick it is simply a case of folding in the tripod legs and as can be seen in the picture at the top of this article, the ball and socket head is fully adjustable to ensure your camera or phone is at the correct angle. The telescope sections can be opened as needed with a simple twist to lock them in place.

I purchased this Joby GripTight bracket separately however it is available as part of a kit including the tripod and bracket. You can see it extended and holding a phone in the headline picture above. The bracket extends, it is spring loaded and holds any device up to 75mm (3″) wide and folds flat for easy storage and transport. The mount is a standard thread fitting any tripod or monopod.
The bracket weighs in at 20g and costs £22.98

Small and mighty Montane

TLDR: A great lightweight and comfortable alternative to a day pack for a short day if conditions allow. It has 4 pockets along with two side pouches for the two 500ml bottles supplied with the pack.

  • Provides a total of 6l of storage.
  • Water resistant but as the seams are not taped and the zips are standard, sensitive gear needs to be in a waterproof bag.

The Montane Featherlite 6 is a recent addition to my kit cupboard. I wanted something as a light day pack for shorter hikes where I need minimal kit without a full pack on my shoulders – no matter how small.

As the name suggests this is a 6 litre pack and it comes with the two 500ml bottles as shown.

This is the only pack I own that fits on the kitchen scales and it weighs in at 430g.

The harness utilises Montane’s “Air Mesh Plus” system on the harness with i wide belt with two straps each side terminating in a single belt clip.You can also see the top loop which along with the 4 loops on the front of the bag provide attachment points for other items such as a waterproof jacket in a stuff sack.

Once adjusted properly this pack sits on the hip very comfortably and in my opinion it is more comfortable than a traditional small day pack.

In addition to the two elasticated pockets for the water bottles, which have a neat elastic retainer to ensure the bottles stay in the pack, there are two pockets in the main body and a pocket on each side of the waist strap.

A USB battery goes in the front pocket and there is still room for more small items.

I use the main top-opening pocket to hold tech, snacks and a map / guidebook. Last time out that included a wrap, 2 snack bars and a bag of trail mix and one of the bottles as I used one of the bottle pockets to hold my Joby TelePod and Rode VideoMicro microphone. Even with my pocket First Aid kit in the mix too there was still a little space to spare. At the back of the main pocket there is a slip pocket a little larger than a passport. This pocket also has a key clip.
The left side mesh side pockets on the belt has a zip, I use this for my Panasonic Lumix DC-FT7 camera (it’s everything proof). On the right there is an open mesh pocket which is great for a Silva Compass.
Overall I like this bag, as I said earlier it is really comfortable to wear and the pockets are reachable without having to take it off. Whilst it is “heavily water repellent” to quote the response I had from Montane Customer Service, it would really benefit from some kind of rain cover – it’s a little niggle I happily ignore.

Here’s my summer lowland walk load out for this pack, the only addition is a waterproof jacket which packs into its own pocket and hangs off one of the kit loops on the pack via a small carabiner and the packet of peanut M&Ms I ate setting up the shot (oops!).

Manufacturers link: https://www.montane.co.uk/packs-c98/featherlite-6-p781