Scrap that bulky tripod for easy-to-use Pakpod

By

The Pakpod quickly adjusts to any level with the turn of one knob.
The Pakpod quickly adjusts to any level with the turn of one knob.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Two things about me as a photographer: I hate tripods and I will never tell another photographer what they must carry with them. Both changed when the Pakpod arrived in the mail.

Weighing 15 ounces, the PakPod has legs that can quickly extend and lock in crazy asymmetrical positions with the turn of a single knob. Legs extend and lock with the push of a button or can be anchored to the ground or even the ocean floor with flip-out stakes at the feet.

Flip-out stakes at the feet help you secure Pakpod to any surface.
Flip-out stakes at the feet help you secure Pakpod to any surface.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Tripods are handy, especially for video, to stabilize a camera, but can be bulky to carry and unruly to adjust, especially if you need to lower the camera to ground level. A good, sturdy tripod that can adjust to any level can run well over $100 and dedicated video tripods even more.

Pakpod is a must-have piece of gear. Even for me. There, I said it.

Pakpod will retail for $99 and launches today on Kickstarter, where early backers could snag one for $79 and get it by December.

The Pakpod was invented by avid outdoorsman and scuba diver Steve Underwood, who said he never could find a lightweight tripod versatile enough to adapt in challenging environments.

There are 36 different tie-down points on Pakpod.
There are 36 different tie-down points on Pakpod.
Photo: Pakpod
ABS plastic and stainless steel components make it waterproof.
ABS plastic and stainless steel components make it waterproof.
Photo: PakPod

Folded up, the Pakpod is about the size of a forearm and easily fits in a car’s glove box or the lens compartment of a camera bag. It’s ABS plastic frame and stainless steel components make it waterproof and freeze-proof. There are 36 different tie-down points.

Check out the video below to see the many situations Underwood has used his invention and the variety of ways it can be adjusted – and with just the twist of one knob.

I see the Pakpod as especially valuable to the photographer who has both stills and video clients. Anyone who uses GoPros or other action cameras will find this as ideal companion gear.

The photographer who hates tripods will love the Pakpod.
The photographer who hates tripods will love the Pakpod.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

I particularly love how it flattens out for shooting at ground level or for use as a steady-cam rigging with handles and the third leg pressed into the chest.

I have a rickety metal tripod in a closet corner and there it shall stay. It’s free to whomever wants to come pick it up.