Best Flexible Tripod for DSLR – Check Out Our Favorite Brands!

The human mind, while amazing, has its flaws, and among them, is our inability to remember everything in our past. Luckily for us, previous generations have made it possible to capture that perfect moment, that serene landscape, our perfect selves, in the art we know as photography.

Technological breakthroughs now allow us to capture even better shots to immortalize these memories; however, there are times where our limitations get the better of us. Once upon a time getting that perfect shot was nigh impossible if you were unable to climb a tree, or get higher up the ground, or stand still for hours on end—then came the flexible tripod.

So, whether you’re looking to take an amazing landscape shot of the horizon, a hyper-lapse of your trip to the mountains, or get that perfect angle for your loved one, we’re here to help you find the perfect flexible tripod for you.

Our Top Pick

In terms of value and best bang for your buck, we’d have to pick the GorillaPod 5k Kit by JOBY. Hands down, the features, flexibility, durability, and overall ease of use make it the best flexible tripod on our list. It might be a bit pricey and geared towards professionals, but it serves as a great middle-ground between budget options and professional-grade tripods. Even if you end up purchasing a higher-grade tripod in the future, the GorillaPod 5k kit will likely stay in your photography kit. 

Review of the Best Flexible Tripods for DSLR

JOBY GorillaPod 5k Kit

JOBY innovated the camera accessories niche, and as a company, they’ve been around for over 12 years now. With their philosophy, “great design starts with a user-centric approach, is functional yet playful, and enhances people’s lives.” The latter philosophy shines in the JOBY GorillaPod 5k Kit

Key Features

  • Professional-grade sling strap for DSLR
  • Lightweight, compact, and durable
  • Fits easily into your pocket or handbag
  • Flexible legs that provide a stable platform for your camera
  • Rubberized foot grips and ring for increased stability

What We Like About This Tripod

We like how appropriate the name GorillaPod is for this flexible tripod. With a maximum capacity of 11 pounds or 5 kilograms, this well-built and durable stand can carry not only your DSLR camera but also large accessories and lenses such as a telephoto lens. Making the GorillaPod 5k Kit an excellent accessory for all the professional photographers out there.

What We Don’t Like About This Tripod

If you’re only starting, we don’t advise purchasing the GorillaPod 5k, especially if you’re on a budget. It is definitely on the pricier end of this list, and there are less expensive alternatives depending on your needs.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact but durable design
  • Professional-grade
  • High weight capacity
  • Stable on any surface

Cons

  • Pricey

The GorillaPod 5k is worth its price, as it aims to provide the necessary support for professional photographers that require large lenses or accessories for their tripod. If you’re a professional, then this is a must-have in your photography kit; otherwise, we recommend the less expensive options on this list.

Overall Rating – 5 of 5

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LOHA Flexible Tripod

LOHA isn’t exactly a well-known brand, and they mostly dabble in camera accessories for DSLRs and mobile phone cameras. What makes them stand out is their price. If you want a cheap but reliable flexible tripod, then LOHA deserves your consideration.

Key Features

  • 12-inch flexible tripod with bendable legs and rubber footing
  • Ball head design for increased stability
  • Compact and lightweight design

Compatible with any cameras, GoPros, SLR, and DSLR

  • Lifetime warranty

What We Like About This Tripod

The LOHA flexible Tripod is cheap, and it does its job well, there really isn’t anything special about it, but at this price point, you really shouldn’t expect too much out of it.

What We Don’t Like About This Tripod

LOHA advertises this tripod as having a maximum capacity of 6 pounds, but after a bit of testing, it may not be that high. We don’t recommend going anything past 4 pounds, camera body and lens combined.

Pros

  • Incredibly low price
  • Flexible, stable, and compact design
  • Universally compatible
  • Built-in level feature

Cons

  • Not durable
  • Does not carry six pounds

We included the LOHA Flexible tripod as a budget option for those looking to get stable shots on their DSLRs at a great price; however, if your camera is quite large or you don’t want to risk your kit on a cheap build, then there are other options available. Consider the LOHA a beginner, budget-friendly tripod. It’s great but something you probably won’t stick with for too long.

Overall Rating – 4 of 5

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Manfrotto MVH5202A (546BK-1) Tripod

Considering the previous budget option that we gave, we decided to add an option for the other end of the price spectrum. We’re going to say it outright, the Manfrotto MVH5202A Flexible Tripod is not for the casual photographer and only for those that don’t put the budget into consideration. However, if you’re looking to take great photos and capture amazing videos, this is a top consideration. 

Key Features

  • 4lbs/7kg capacity for cameras
  • 8 bs/4kg head counterbalance support
  • Two-stage aluminum legs with mid-level spreader
  • Spiked feet for maximum stability
  • 75mm ball mount
  • Features two easy link connectors for monitors and accessories

What We Like About This Tripod

We love taking videos, and the professional features of the MVH5202A tripod along with the rigid and durable build ensures that you can deploy it anywhere and take clear, stable, and pristine videos and photos wherever you find yourself.

What We Don’t Like About This Tripod

It is incredibly expensive, more so than the GorillaPod 5k, we would only recommend this for true enthusiasts or professionals. Moreover, unlike most of the tripods on our list, this one isn’t portable, and you can’t just stick it into your bag. The tripod does come with a carrying bag to compensate, though.

Pros

  • Durable, rigid, and stable design
  • Two-stage legs and mid-level spreader for flexibility
  • Compatible with HDSLR cameras and accessories
  • Comes with easy link connectors for monitors and accessories
  • Professional-grade features

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not very portable

If we haven’t made it abundantly clear, the Manfrotto MVH5202A is amazing and gives unparalleled stability for your videos in any environment, but you do have to consider the price seriously and if it outweighs its features.

Overall Rating – 4.5 of 5

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3Pod Orbit Aluminum Tripod

If you’re looking for more carry weight than the Manfrotto and JOBY tripods offer, then you should check out the 3Pod Orbit Aluminum Tripod. The manufacturer claims that it can hold up to 18 pounds of gear, which is pretty amazing considering its price. So, if you’re looking for a budget option, look no further. 

Key Features

  • Flexible Aluminum legs that extend up 69 inches
  • Weight capacity of 18 pounds
  • Orbit Overhead Shot System for increased versatility
  • Each leg has an angle lock for flexibility
  • Foot spikes and rubber feet for proper grip on different surfaces
  • Flip-lock mechanism

What We Like About This Tripod

The weight capacity on the 3Pod Orbit Aluminum Tripod is quite high for its price range. Normally, tripods with a weight capacity of 18 pounds are on the range of $500-700, making it an incredible bargain if you use plenty of hefty accessories.

What We Don’t Like About This Tripod

Our problem with this tripod is the lack of gear hooks, while it may have a high weight capacity, the inability to add additional weight on the tripod to make it more stable isn’t a good thing.

Pros

  • High weight capacity
  • Relatively cheap considering its features
  • Orbit Overhead Shot System provides all sorts of unique photography angles

Cons

  • Unstable at maximum height or weight due to lack of gear hooks

At its price, the 3Pod Orbit Aluminum tripod is a definite bargain due to the number of features available, its weight capacity, and the versatility it provides as far as types of shots you can capture. We don’t recommend pushing it to its maximum height or weight though, but other than that it’s a great tripod.

Overall Rating – 4.5 of 5

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JOBY GorillaPod 1K Kit

JOBY makes a second appearance on our list, mostly because they have a wide variety of flexible tripods for multiple uses, carry weight, and device compatibility, and we decided to include what we feel is their starter DSLR flexible tripod.

Key Features

  • ¼-20 Mount flexible Tripod with ball head for advanced and mirrorless DSLR cameras
  • Precision ball head for 360-degree panning and 90-degree tilt
  • Lightweight and compact build that easily fits in your pocket
  • Rubberized foot grips and ring easily attaches to any terrain
  • Composed of medical-grade ABS plastic

What We Like About This Tripod

We’re big fans of JOBY’s GorillaPod product line, the durability, flexibility, and the fact that a lot of companies try to imitate their design shows how great the GorillaPod is. The 1k variety is at a great price point, and you don’t need to be a professional to use or afford it.

What We Don’t Like About This Tripod

While incredibly flexible, the maximum height is an issue. If you’re looking to make higher shots, you’ll need to find a stable platform or railing to wrap the tripod around as a base to get a great shot.

Pros

  • Portable and can easily fit in your pocket or handbag
  • Rubberized grips and ring provide incredible flexibility and stability on any terrain
  • Durable build
  • The ball head allows for greater shot versatility

Cons

  • You can’t use larger lenses with your camera on this tripod
  • Its size means you have to find a good vantage point to get high elevation shots

The JOBY GorillaPod 1k is at a great spot, in that you can use standard DSLR cameras on it and its price doesn’t make it unaffordable to the newbie or the photographer on a budget. While you won’t be able to use a telescopic lens with your camera on the 1k, at least you’re assured that the build is sturdy and your camera won’t come crashing down to the ground when you attach it to a tree branch.

Overall Rating – 4.5 of 5

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Flexible Tripod Buying Guide

The sheer number of flexible tripods out there can make the casual photographer balk at the idea of selecting the right one for their needs. Moreover, the number of imitations and cheap knockoffs make it incredibly easy to purchase the wrong one.

If like us you’ve had a flexible tripod malfunction, or worse, break while on a shoot with your camera hanging on a railing over a mountainside, you’ll become a bit more cynical when selecting the right flexible tripod. That’s why we’ve come up with this buying guide to help you determine what to look for in a flexible tripod.

Weight Capacity

If you use multiple accessories, weight capacity becomes one of your chief considerations. If you’re a budding photographer and use your DSLR with a standard lens, then you’re probably looking at a weight capacity of 1kg (2.2 lbs.) or an extreme 3kg (6.6 lbs.)

If you’re a professional and you use multiple lenses and accessories during your creative escapades, then you’d want to go for a bit more carry weight, similar to the Manfrotto and the 3Pod tripods we discussed above.

You might be asking, why not just go for the highest weight capacity tripods? First, tripods with higher carry capacity are more expensive, second, using a tripod with higher weight capacity with a lightweight camera will force you to add additional equipment to provide balance to the tripod.

Quality of Materials

While most flexible tripods are made from plastics to afford them the flexibility they require to get the job done, it is important to note that not all plastics are the same. Some are more durable than others, and you would do well to identify the type of plastic that the manufacturer used on the tripod’s legs.

Of course, flexible tripods with aluminum bodies are more durable than their plastic counterparts but can be more expensive. However, the added security is always welcome—after all, you don’t want to have your expensive DSLR camera and lens crashing to the floor because you decided to skimp on your tripod.

Camera Compatibility

Check the connection point on the product specs; standard DSLRs require a ¼-20 standard tripod mount. Most tripods have these mount specs, and most cameras will mount them without any problem, but there are exceptions, so make sure you check first to make sure you don’t make an incompatible purchase.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, our review of the best flexible tripods currently on the market and a quick buying guide to help you find the appropriate one for your needs. Remember, think carefully on your purchase as a flexible tripod is not only an investment to expand your creative options—it also holds the life of your DSLR in its feet. Don’t make the mistake of purchasing a cheap alternative and end up destroying your DSLR camera.

We hope our efforts help you out in your search for a flexible tripod and that your purchase enhances your next creative endeavor! Whether it’s a photo of an immaculate horizon, a pristine landscape, or a group photo, may you immortalize that memory in the best possible way using your flexible tripod.

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