Review: AmazonBasics Travel Tripod [Upd. Nov. '16]
Another benefit of turning to iPhone photography was that all my photo gear suddenly became a lot lighter. My 8 lbs and 26" tripod that I carried around when I still used a DSLR had its day. Thank you for serving me so well.
I looked for a light and compact travel tripod for my iPhone. As I'm 6.3 ft tall, I wanted a tripod that would extend to a comfortable height for operating the iPhone camera.
After looking at some options I ordered the Amazon Travel Tripod and have used it ever since for my trips from San Francisco to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and everywhere in between.
The AmazonBasics Travel Tripod is a good choice for iPhone photographers
I bought and use this tripod for two reasons: It's light and compact. The tripod is made of carbon fibre and therefore it is enjoyably light. It weighs just 2.45 pounds compared to my DSLR tripod which weighs almost twice as much.
It conveniently folds to a size ideal for travellers. At 12.5" folded, it fit's nicely into a small backpack or any other carry on luggage. Folded, the entire tripod even fits into the back pocket of my Revolution eVest!
Amazon says the AmazonBasics Tripod is designed for a maximum load of 8 lbs, which is more than enough for your iPhone. Just to give you an idea, you could mount 10 iPhones to this tripod and still that's less than a fourth of the maximum load.
What you get when you buy the AmazonBasics Travel Tripod
Each leg of the carbon fibre AmazonBasics Travel Tripod has 4 segments and each of them is locked into position with a rotating leg lock. The feet are made of rubber and provide an excellent footing on all kinds of surfaces.
The centre column has two segments and is invertible. It comes with a hook that you can use to attach a stabilizing weight in windy situations like I did with my backpack at the Hraunfossar waterfall in Iceland.
The compact ball head allows you to fully rotate your iPhone 360 degrees and tilt it 90 degrees for great portrait shots. It has a bubble level that helps you to easily adjust your iPhone camera for perfectly levelled shots. It has three screws to firmly lock your iPhone into position. The first one is for horizontal rotation. The second for screwing down the ball head itself and the third one for the quick release plate.
A small but great detail is that the quick release plate has an additional knob to prevent it from accidentally sliding out. After unscrewing, you have to press the knob to remove the plate. So your iPhone is perfectly safe.
You also get a carrying bag; and this is my only criticism: The shoulder strap of the bag is a little too short for my taste.
Mounting the iPhone to the Amazonbasics travel tripod
To mount the iPhone to the tripod I use a Joby Griptight mount for smart phones. Be careful to order the correct size! The Griptight mount is available in two sizes, depending on the size of phone you use. For smaller smartphones, order the regular size. For larger phones like the iPhone 6/7 plus, you will need the XL version.
As the mount is flexible, you don't need to buy a new one when you upgrade your smartphone. No matter if the phone becomes a little bigger or smaller, the Griptight will still work. What I really like about the Griptight Mount is that it works even if your Smartphone is in a case! Some tripod mounts require you to either remove the case or even to use a special case.
For me, the AmazonBasics Travel Tripod is the perfect travel tripod for my iPhone photography. It's light, compact and stands firm on all kinds of surfaces.
If you plan to use the tripod for low light shots, at night or long exposures, think about getting a wireless remote shutter for the iPhone. I use and reviewed Muku Shuttr, a small bluetooth remote shutter release that works with all major camera apps.