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Gear Review: Joby Gorillapod 1K

Joby Gorillapod 1K

The Joby Gorillapod 1K is an innovative tripod that has caterpillar-like arms that can bend into any shape.

For outdoor photographers, like myself, the Gorillapod provides the ability to set up a tripod in uneven terrain. The unmatched adaptability is really what makes this tripod stand apart from the rest.

Joby Gorillapod 1K

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Joby Gorillapod 1K

We purchased the Gorillapod 1K with our own money.

Joby makes it really simple by naming their tripods by how much weight they can hold. So the Joby Gorillapod 1K is rated for cameras up to 1kg (2.2lbs).

And for reference, my camera is a Sony Alpha 6000, which at 500g is a medium-sized camera. So, it’s roughly half of the maximum weight tolerance of the tripod. So my experience with the Gorrillapod 1K is entirely shaped by my experience with the Sony a6000.

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For larger camera’s they offer 3K (3kg) and 5K (5kg) versions.

And they also offer a smaller Gorillapod for mobile devices

Joby Gorillapod 1K


The tripod itself (with ballhead) weighs 195g , which makes it a very palatable weight, even for backpackers.


This is a small tripod and it definitely lacks in height.  If you can’t find something to place it on or wrap it around, then you will be forced to put it on the ground. The max standing height is about 8 inches once you account for the angle of the legs.

Joby Gorillapod 1K
Joby Gorillapod 1K


Flexibility is probably the biggest advantage of the Gorillapod.  The legs can be bent in endless combinations to fit into all kinds of uneven terrain.  The most common setups are a standard tripod stance, wrapped around a branch or pole, or curved into a “selfie-stick”.

The ball head can spin 360 degrees and also tilt 90 degrees to accommodate portrait orientation.

Joby Gorillapod 1K


This tripod can be very stable if the center of gravity is kept low and weight is evenly distributed between the legs.  But in more uneven setups, the balance can become questionable. This is especially true for heavier cameras. The tripod legs definitely hold their shape under the weight.  But they are short so the camera has to be kept relatively centered.

Joby Gorillapod 1K


The plastic seems relatively durable for the weight.  The rubber grip rings on each joint don’t show any signs of wear after a year, and the joints themselves have remained as firm as ever.

Joby Gorillapod 1K


The tripod and ballhead both have a standard ¼” screw.  There is a quick-release plate available for the 3K and 5K models, but NOT the 1K.

Joby Gorillapod 1K

What I Love About The Gorillapod

  • The flexibility of the Gorillapod is relatively unmatched among tripods.  It has helped us get photos in lots of tricky situations. As far as I know, there is no other tripod that has a similar style of bending legs.  For me, this puts the Joby in a category all it’s own.
  • I love how light and portable this tripod is.  I basically never take it out of my hiking pack.  And like the common saying in photography, “the best camera is the one you have with you”, the same goes for this ultra-portable tripod.  Even though it’s not the absolutely lightest mini-tripod, it more than makes up for it in flexibility.

What I don’t Love

  • The tripod is somewhat limited by the surroundings.  Sometimes there is a rock or tree in just the right place to put the tripod.  But a lot of times, there’s not, and you have to settle for just putting the tripod on the ground. And sometimes I can’t capture the shot I’m after from such a low vantage point.  This is especially true for photographing people up close because the low camera angle is often unfavorable.
  • All of the leg bending becomes tedious.  Sometimes it takes a while to find the perfect shape to balance the tripod.  And then I always try to straighten out the legs so it fits into the side pockets of my hiking pack.  The endless leg bending can become a chore. However, most travel tripods require some kind of setup time.
  • The tripod usually can’t be mounted onto larger trees.  Because the legs are so short, any tree or branch wider than a baseball bat is usually too thick to wrap around.  
  • There are some features that it is lacking.  There is no bubble level or quick release plate, though Joby does sell a quick release plate for their larger versions of this tripod (3K and 5K).
Joby Gorillapod 1K
I found a little hole in this tree to hook the leg into


I find that the benefits of the Joby Gorillapod 1K outweigh the negatives by a good margin.  There really isn’t another tripod that can compare to its versatility. So even despite several quirks and limitations, there’s no close competition.  I highly recommend this tripod to anyone who shoots photos and videos in an outdoor setting. It’s the best outdoor adventure tripod.

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