Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Pedco CellPod

Versatile tripod for ultralight photography

Hikers who use their smartphones for photos—as many ultralight afficionados do—will appreciate this mini tripod designed to hold a variety of phones and cameras. Three adjustable supports hold a phone securely in place, and a universal mount threads into the base of digital cameras, binoculars and other devices. A Velcro strap attaches the unit to a tree or trekking pole.

Over the last year, I’ve tried all of these combinations with great success. The smartphone support work best with skinny phones (like the iPhone or BlackBerry), but even my beefy Samsung Galaxy fits with some adjustment. CellPod fits phones from 1 7/8 in. to 2 3/4 in. wide.

When using my CellPod and smartphone, I like the “front-facing camera” phone feature—a second camera, located on the touchscreen side, that provides convenient previews. And the CellPod’s flexible ball joint makes it easy to reposition the shot in almost any direction. With my smartphone’s timer, I can take all the photos of myself I can stand when hiking solo or group shots when no one else is around on the trail. Even when you’re not taking timed shots of yourself or your group, CellPod is a great way to steady your camera for no-blur, high-resolution photos.

Best of all, I don’t have to compromise pack weight and carrying capacity for the convenience. The CellPod weighs three ounces and takes up about six inches of room, small enough to fit in a pocket.

The Specs

Cost: $25

Weight: 3 oz.

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