TrailPix Ultralight Tripod

P1020601

Over the last few months, I have been trying to take my photography/videography a bit more serious when backpacking. In doing so, I realized that a tripod is key for certain types of shots, so I started looking around for something that was both effective, and lightweight. I had used the Joby Gorillapod for some time, however, I wanted something a bit taller, without having to attach it to a tree limb or whatnot. During this time (thanks to Brian Green), I was put in contact with Andy, from NV8 Design.

Andy is the creator of the TrailPix Ultralight Tripod. Andy realized that for those of us that carry trekking poles when hiking, we are already carrying 2/3’s of a camera tripod to begin with. So, he got to work on designing a plate that could incorporate the trekking poles we already carry, with one other leg to create an actual tripod. What he came up with is what he calls the TrailPix Ultralight Tripod.

The TrailPix comes in either a “universal” design, or a “custom” design. The universal design (as seen in the photo above) has oversized holes drilled in the plate and uses thumbscrews to lock the pole tips into place. The custom design has holes in the plate that are specifically sized to certain sized trekking pole tips. As well, there are also 2 different methods in which one can fashion the third leg. One option is to simply use a piece of string tied to the TrailPix, then staked out to the ground. Another option is to use the additional accessory pole as an actual third leg.

Andy was kind enough to provide me with a prototype TrailPix a few months back and I have been using it for a while, mostly on day hikes. I like that he has created something that is simple, and relies on other gear that I already have. This allows me to carry the least amount of weight necessary. Speaking of which, the final production run of the Universal model he sent me weighs in at exactly 2 oz on my scales. Of course though, I will still need to add a ball head to this, and if I would like a quick connect plate, that is also additional weight. (The weights on these will depend on the specific model that one chooses.)

As I said, I love that this is such a minimalist design, and requires the use of other items I am already using to complete this. However, that can also potentially be a downfall. For example, almost all of my shelters require my trekking poles to erect, which means if my shelter is set-up, then I will be short at least one leg for the tripod. For just one missing leg, I could still come up with other methods, such as using a found stick, or maybe even 2 pieces of cord, or even a tree. On the other hand, if I am carrying the accessory pole, I can use simply pull the pole apart and use 3 of the sections to make a shorter tripod, but it will still be quite sturdy.

Andy is passionate about his design, and has decided to put his idea up on Kickstarter to try to help get the project off the ground. If an Ultralight Tripod is something that you have been looking for, and you already use trekking poles, then I would definitely suggest heading over to his Kickstarter page and checking it out for yourself.

UPDATE: I received an email from Andy tonight (4/16/04) and it looks like he has officially created the TrailPix online store! A huge congrats to Andy for meeting his Kickstarter goal, getting those rewards shipped out, and then pushing on and creating an actual online store to sell his “Ultralight Tripods” in! Check it out:

TrailPix

Thanks for stopping by!

~Stick~

Disclaimer: Andy has provided me with both, a prototype TrailPix, as well as a final run TrailPix for the purpose of personal feedback. However, I am not obligated to write about his product, nor am I being compensated for it in anyway. I am just trying to help spread the word about an interesting product… 

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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6 Responses to TrailPix Ultralight Tripod

  1. Linda says:

    Brilliant! This innovation covers so many needs of the UL hiker. Light, compact, utilizes existing poles, holds full format cameras, and is a good height. It is exactly what I have been looking for. I wish the greatest success for Andy and his company. I for one will be a customer.
    Thank you so much for posting this Chad. A great and informative blog as always
    Linda

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    • Stick says:

      Linda,

      It is great to hear that you are excited about this product! And thanks for helping support Andy. As well, feel free to share the project so others can find out about it too! I hope that he far exceeds his goal for this project… 🙂

      ~Stick~

      Like

  2. vizcara says:

    hey chad great review of what I think is a big leap in some gear for the trail. considering how I make my living in Ye real world “photography” I have to give this product a big thumbs up just by seeing this review. the fact that it can hold a full DSLR with a medium sized lens says a lot. it’s a win win For me as most bring their trekking poles And if not or in your case they are being used as tent poles you can bring along 2 or 3 of the accessory poles per individual needs or needs of the adventure. the fact that you can use it as a “selfie” tool is great as well. even with bringing 2 or 3 of those accessory poles it would still be lighter then a regular tripod of that height. also he should consider allowing the accessory pole he is selling with it to be able to break down in 3 or 2 sections to be used in a smaller or shorter size. some thing like this is used already for rifle men in the military we used to use our spare tent poles for this same basic principles for shooting. great photos by the way. good choice on the Nikon system I use canons but you made a good choice.

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    • Stick says:

      Great to hear another photographer’s opinions about the TrailPix. As for the accessory pole, they are 4 piece poles, and they do come attached like that of a tent pole. Their is simply a piece of shock cord inside them. This can easily be cut so that the poles are able to be completely separated, however, then there is the issue of them staying attached when needing them to. I found that by simply putting a small bend in the ends of the sleeve, this created enough friction to hold the poles together, but I doubt this would last long. Eventually, it would get loose again I would imagine.

      Anyway, it looks like Andy has exceeded his goal in the first day, which is awesome! I hope that he continues to gain support for this project. Please feel free to share his Kickstarter project on other sites.

      Thanks again for stopping by!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  3. jdrower says:

    Chad
    I met with Andy a couple of months ago and borrowed some of his prototypes and while I agree with all you say about the product, in the end, I enjoy hiking with my friends and the times I want to take a selfie are pretty rare. If there’s a shot I want, there’ll usually be someone that comes by to accommodate me. Andy’s a nice guy and I wish him well. It is certainly fun to see what crowd-funding items are out there. It enhances my confidence in American ingenuity.
    Best to all, JD
    PS Great visuals on the Olympic Journey. Put a smile on my face to see all that beauty and hear the pleasure in your reactions.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      JD,

      That is cool that you got to meet Andy. I have only exchanged emails, but he seems like a nice enough, smart man. As well, I have been using his TrailPix on occasion for the last few months, and I like his idea. Personally, I think I would like his custom more than the universal, due to lighter weight and even less fiddle factor, but I think both options have a lot to offer.

      And yeah, I loved my time in the Olympic NP. It was worth treasuring, which is why it took me a bit of time to get up on my blog… Great place though, and look forward to getting back out there one day! 🙂

      ~Stick~

      Like

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