The Universal TrailPix, two trekking poles, and one additional pole make a tripod capable of holding a compact or small DSLR camera. The TrailPix consists of a triangular and mostly flat piece of aluminum with three holes in it for trekking poles. Thumbscrews secure the poles in place. A lighter weight model is available without the thumbscrews.
- Connects to trekking poles and cameras with minimal hardware
- Works with most trekking poles
- Can be attached to small cameras directly
- Is typically used with a ballhead
- Weight: 2.4 oz (68g)
- Camera Mounting Screw: ¼”-20
- MSRP: $40
Performance of the Universal TrailPix Tripod
Recently I completed an eleven day backpacking trip at the Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico. I enjoyed the once in a lifetime experience with my son and some scout friends. I wanted the image quality from a DSLR camera. Since all the members of the crew used trekking poles, I was able to create a tripod using the TrailPix.
Before the trip, I ordered the TrailPix and searched for a ball head. The manufacturer of the Universal TrailPix sells two different ball heads, but both appeared undersized for a DSLR camera. I found the Really Right Stuff BH-25 to be an excellent fit, but also expensive. I opted for the Joby Ballhead X typically sold with the Joby Gorillapod but also available separately for just $43. It is very serviceable but is slightly too large to mount directly to the TrailPix. A spacer made from a section of curtain rod readily solved this problem. The Joby Ballhead X and a quick release plate for the camera weigh 9.26 oz (262 g). Assembled, the Universal TrailPix, Joby Ballhead X, spacer, and lanyard weigh 11.6 oz (330 g).
The TrailPix makes it possible to get shots that are almost impossible without a tripod. Group pictures are an obvious use. The Universal TrailPix also works well for sunrise and sunset shots. I even used it for astrophotography.
- Setup and use are quicker than field improvised solutions.
- Hanging a weight from the center of the tripod improves stability. I used an MSR dromedary bag.
- Three poles are necessary. I made an accessory pole from an old tent pole, but the manufacturer sells a ready-made pole.
- Combined with an appropriate ballhead and trekking poles, the TrailPix makes a workable substitute for a traditional tripod.
- The Universal TrailPix is lightweight. The user can select a ballhead and thus, effect the total weight of the device.
- A traditional tripod is potentially more stable and faster to set up.
- There is limited ability to adjust the height of the tripod.
- Trekking poles aren’t always available. They may be holding up the tent when you need the tripod.
- The thumbscrews make small marks on the trekking poles.
I am very pleased with the Universal TrailPix, and will continue to use it for hiking when bringing a regular tripod is not possible. I would opt for the BH-25 ballhead from Really Right Stuff instead of the Joby Ballhead X if I had no budgetary constraints. The Joby ballhead works well but is not the lightest option available. For use with a compact camera, I would choose one of the very small ballheads available directly from TrailPix.
Taking a tripod into the backcountry expands photographic options. The Universal TrailPix keeps the weight and bulk of carrying a tripod at a manageable level.
Many options are available for attaching a small camera to your trekking pole. Most are only suitable for small compact cameras and are more of a monopod arrangement. The TrailPix is unique in its ability to provide three legs and enough support to hold small to mid-size DSLR cameras.
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