Gorilla Pod Review: Flexible Tripod is Perfect for Vacation Photos

The Gorilla Pod is one accessory everyone should take on vacation this summer. This tripod makes it a cinch to take photos of one very important thing no matter where you go: yourself.

Travelers often shoot incomplete family portraits, relegating one family member to the task of hitting the shutter. The most typical alternative is to ask strangers to take photos with cameras they’ve never handled before. The results can be less than desirable and it’s not the best idea to hand over an expensive camera or smartphone to a complete stranger. Traditional tripods are just too bulky for most people to lug around.

Enter the Gorilla Pod, an incredibly flexible plastic tripod that can be used just about anywhere. While most tripods stand alone and elevate the camera as high as possible, Gorilla Pods are petite. They’re designed to sit on any surface and attach to taller objects to get a higher perspective.

I used a pair of Gorilla Pods during a recent trip to Kauai to take photos of my family and the scenery. I even took a few self portraits when I was by myself. I also brought my big fancy Oben tripod for a specific purpose, but it didn’t leave the hotel the entire trip.

To capture long exposure photos at sunset I attached the Gorilla Pod SLR Zoom to the railing outside our hotel room’s window. This allowed me to shoot longer exposures with my Nikon D800. This technique smooths out the water and creates a dreamy effect. Using the tripod also means I can shoot with a lower ISO, which means less noise.

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Here’s one of the photos I shot with the Nikon D800 and Gorilla Pod SLR Zoom from that window.As you can guess by its name, this Gorilla Pod model is designed for larger cameras.

I found out that my son’s stroller doubles as a great mounting surface for the Gorilla Pod SLR Zoom. The Nikon D800 is heavy enough that I wouldn’t want to attach it to the stroller’s handles without a counterweight to balance things out. While my boy slept, he unknowingly served as the counterweight and helped me take the above shot.

TheĀ  Gorilla Pod Original is designed for point and shoot cameras, such as the Olympus Tough TG-820 IHS and Canon PowerShot S100 I brought on the trip. The smaller Gorilla Pod is small enough to fit in a pocket or leave attached to a camera without getting in the way when worn around your neck.

Some digital cameras can be set to take several photos after a countdown time, which is perfect when kids are involved. I’d much rather use a self timer than deal with hurried hotel staff or other guests. I generally prefer taking candid photos whenever possible, but I also like having a handful of posed photos of the whole family. It’s even better if everyone’s eyes are open and there’s a smile or two.

I wrapped the smaller Gorilla Pod around a tree to take the family photo above. During the trip I wrapped the smaller Gorilla Pod around handrails, poles and rocks to take family pictures.

If you like the idea of the Gorilla Pod, be sure to buy the appropriate size. The smallest model can handle cameras that weigh up to 11.5oz, while the largest can handle 11 lb. cameras. If your camera outweighs a Gorilla Pod it’s in danger of malfunctioning and crashing to the ground.

The original Gorilla Pod has an MSRP of $19.99, but is available for just $11.50 at Amazon.com. The larger Gorilla Pod SLR typically sells for $49.95 ($44.95 at Amazon.com).

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