The best monopod in 2023

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The best monopods give you extra support when using big telephoto lenses for extended periods, they can cut camera shake at slower shutter speeds in low light, and they are great for adding a little extra stability to video.

A tripod can be bulky and awkward to set up, while a monopod – though requiring a hand to steady it – is much quicker and easier to deploy. If you’re rapidly changing positions, or in an awkward space on uneven ground, it can be a lifesaver. 

A monopod is just what it sounds like – a single leg, to a tripod’s three. With telescopic sections to fold up when not in use, a monopod can be dangled from a bag or even a wrist when not in use and then deployed at a moment’s notice. It won’t provide the kind of stability required for super-long exposures but is great for giving yourself a little wiggle room with shutter speeds at a moment’s notice. 

Different monopods also offer different features. Some have more leg sections than others, some have stabilizing feet. There are also recent introductions into the field with some really interesting features, like the rotating foot on the Benro MSDPL46C SupaDupa carbon fibre monopod, or the crowdfunded MOZA Slypod Pro, which can double up as a video slider. 

If you need a bit of a primer, you can click to jump to the bottom of this page where we’ve put together 5 things to consider when buying a monopod, where we run through the main things to consider and specs to look out for. Otherwise, let’s get cracking with the best monopods you can buy in 2023!

Best monopod: our top picks

3 Legged Thing Trent

1. 3 Legged Thing Trent 2.0

Best overall
This poleaxe of a monopod can extend to more than two meters. More than anyone’s really going to need?

Benro SupaDupa

2. Benro SupaDupa Pro MSDPL46C

Best for tech
You may have thought that we’d pretty much reached a Fukuyama-style end of history with regard to the design of the monopod, but the Benro SupaDupa Pro MSDPL46C proves there’s still innovation to be found.

Moza Slypod

Best all-in-one for content creators
Moza’s original Slypod was an innovative 2-in-1 slider-come-monopod: a clever motorized device that could automatically extend at different speeds via a dedicated app. 

Best monopod in 2023

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(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

Best overall

Specifications

Material:: Magnesium alloy

Sections:: 4

Max Load:: 30kg

Extended length:: 202cm

Weight:: 0.72kg

Reasons to buy+

Extends to more than 2m

+

Impressively strong

+

Redesigned leg lockspty List

3 Legged Thing has been refreshing its monopods lately with the Punks 2.0 range, and the Trent 2.0 is an upgrade to its tallest monopod. This poleaxe of a monopod can extend to more than two meters. More than anyone’s really going to need?

 Maybe, but it’s cool nonetheless. Able to support up to 30kg of kit, the 3 Legged Thing Punks Trent 2.0 also features redesigned leg locks that are easy to operate even in the cold when you’re wearing gloves. It still measures a pretty chunky 60cm when it’s packed down (an unavoidable trade-off for all that height), but if you don’t mind carting around something a little bigger than most monopods, this is a good choice for big setups. It can also be bought as part of a video kit, with a Docz2 foot stabilizer to provide even more support. 

Read our full 3 Legged Thing Punks Trent 2.0 review for more details

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

Best for tech

Specifications

Material:: Carbon fibre

Sections:: 6

Max Load:: 32kg

Extended length:: 158cm

Weight:: 0.9kg

Reasons to buy+

Blend of twist/flip locks

+

Six sections for flexibility

You may have thought that we’d pretty much reached a Fukuyama-style end of history with regard to the design of the monopod, but the Benro SupaDupa Pro MSDPL46C proves there’s still innovation to be found. It’s a clever monopod design with a few interesting tweaks. 

First, a clever rotating foot that makes it easier than ever to produce smooth panning movements. Second, a leveling head that offers 20-degree movement in all directions – useful if you can’t quite get the monopod itself on level ground. What’s more, the leg locks are all twist-style… except for the top one, which is a flip catch. This makes it very easy to use the top section for quick height adjustments. 

All this is probably more tech than most monopod users need, and if you just want something cheap that works, there are more affordable options. If, however, you see yourself using your monopod very frequently for photography, video, or both, the Benro SupaDupa Pro MSDPL46C will suit you down to the ground. 

Read our full Benro SupaDupa Pro MSDPL46C review for more details

MOZA Slypod Pro

(Image credit: Phil Hall)

Best all-in-one for content creators

Specifications

Material:: Carbon fibre

Sections:: 2

Max Load:: up to 6kg

Extended length:: 146cm

Weight:: 1.79kg

Reasons to buy+

Clever, versatile design

+

Great level of control

+

Easy to use

+

Good finish

Reasons to avoid-

Motor noise

Somewhat heavy and cumbersome

Pricey

Moza’s original Slypod was an innovative 2-in-1 slider-come-monopod: a clever motorized device that could automatically extend at different speeds via a dedicated app. 

Here we have its big brother, the Slypod Pro, which is more powerful and sports a set of detachable tripod feet, meaning it can be now used vertically as a tripod (or tri-foot monopod) as well as a horizontal or angled slider as a boom fitted to a regular tripod. In its collapsed state it measures 650mm (without the tripod attachment), but thanks to the motor, it can be automatically extended a further 530mm to a total length of 1,460mm.

The clever bit is that you can regulate the extension speed between 0.5mm/s and 40mm/s, depending on the look you’re after. The SlyPod Pro is of limited use for stills but comes into its own as a slider or jib arm for shooting video, making the high price much more justifiable.

Read more: MOZA Slypod Pro full review for more details

(Image credit: Rod Lawton)

Best monopod for reaching up high

Specifications

Material:: Carbon fiber, magnesium alloy

Sections:: 4

Max Load:: 60kg / 132 lb

Extended length:: 202cm / 79.5in

Weight:: 677g / 1.49lb

Reasons to buy+

Huge maximum height

+

Light weight

+

Fast 4-section setup

+

Dual-size camera/head screw

Reasons to avoid-

No simple head option

Long when folded

Non-removable wrist strap

This is the best monopod option going If you need extra height with a faster 4-section design and the lightness and rigidity of carbon fiber. Due to the inclusion of Carbon Fibre, it is more expensive than 3 Legged Thing’s magnesium alloy monopods, but if height and weight are your priorities for it to make sense – otherwise, you might just as well get the cheaper Trent 2.0.

We aren’t sure if the Docz2 feet are really worth it. They add considerably to the price and might be useful indoors, but the Lance doesn’t have the stability or the adaptability of a tripod outdoors. We think it would be better if 3 Legged Thing offered a basic pan/tilt head instead or as another option.

Read our full 3 Legged Thing Lance review for more details

Vanguard VEO 2 CM-264

(Image credit: Vanguard)

5. Vanguard VEO 2 CM-264 Carbon Fibre Monopod

A carbon fibre monopod for light weight, and terrific value for money

Specifications

Material:: Carbon fibre

Sections:: 4

Max Load:: 6kg

Extended length:: 160cm

Weight:: 0.43kg

Reasons to buy+

Superb build quality

+

Spiked rubber foot

Reasons to avoid-

Lower max capacity

Long-ish packed length

It’s amazing that this Vanguard monopod is constructed from carbon fibre, given its extremely affordable price. Equipped with a spiked rubber foot for extra balance, as well as a hand strap and carabiner hook for easy transportation, the Vanguard VEO 2 CM-264 is also one of the most lightweight monopods of its class on the market, weighing just 436g. 

With a solid 6kg of capacity, it’ll handle most DSLR and mirrorless setups, and its extension height of 160cm is more than adequate for most purposes. This is an extremely solid monopod for all different types of photography.

(Image credit: Rod Lawton)

Best monopod for reaching up high

Specifications

Material:: Magnesium alloy

Sections:: 5

Max Load:: 30kg

Extended length:: 158cm

Weight:: 0.677kg

Reasons to buy+

Excellent extended high

+

Rock-solid feel

+

Clever dual-size camera/tripod screw

Reasons to avoid-

No head options

Docz articulating ball could lock down tighter

We think the 3 Legged Thing Taylor 2.0 is a really solid, no-nonsense tripod. While it might not be the most affordable, we think it is a fair price, given its generous maximum height, rigid feel, and materials. 

The Docz feet are an interesting optional extra and are available bundled with the Taylor 2.0. In our experience, they work great while they are fine on a flat surface (ie indoors), but everything gets a bit unstable if you extend more than a couple of leg sections or move to more unstable ground. However, if you’re able to hold it at the same time for static or panning shots then they work well.

We do wish the Taylor 2.0 came with an optional head though, even one with a simple tilt mechanism. Without that, it’s difficult to photograph or film things on the ground or up high, without leaning at all sorts of awkward angles.

Read our full 3 Legged Thing Taylor 2.0 review for more details

Vanguard VEO 2S AM-264TR

(Image credit: Vanguard)

7. Vanguard VEO 2S AM-264TR

Vanguard’s three-footed monopod provides a stable and versatile platform

Specifications

Material:: Aluminum

Sections:: 4

Max Load:: 6kg

Extended length:: 163cm

Weight:: 0.89kg

Reasons to buy+

Ultra-stable extra feet

+

Ergonomic twist locks

Reasons to avoid-

Relatively heavy

Longer packed length

So, it’s a monopod with three feet? Yes, we know it sounds silly, but in truth the design of the Vanguard VEO 2S AM-264TR is pretty clever, giving the monopod much more low-down stability and making it easier to get sharp shots at slow shutter speeds. It’s a beautifully engineered product all around, with smooth twist-lock action that makes it easy to secure, and there’s even a smartphone connector!

The only real disadvantage is that the tripartite foot at the bottom makes the whole thing bigger and bulkier. If portability is a real issue for you (e.g. you plan to take the monopod on some long and punishing photo hikes) then it might be worth picking one of the options on our list with a smaller footprint; the Manfrotto Element Mii at #2, for instance, is significantly lighter. Otherwise, the Vanguard VEO 2S AM-264TR is the monopod we’re happy to recommend as our number-one choice. 

Best monopods

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

8. Manfrotto Element MII

A lightweight, affordable monopod made with Manfrotto quality

Specifications

Material:: Aluminum

Sections:: 5

Max Load:: 8kg

Extended length:: 159cm

Weight:: 0.5kg

Reasons to buy+

Light, ideal for travel

+

Amazing value

Reasons to avoid-

Aluminium not carbon fibre

Doesn’t come with QR plate

Part of a relatively new range from Manfrotto, the Element MII is focused on being two things: lightweight and affordable. These, it manages with aplomb. Weighing in at a slender 0.5kg and still able to hold up to 8kg of kit, the Manfrotto Element MII is more than enough kit for any roaming photographer or videographer. 

It’s pretty simple, without fancy bells and whistles like a tri-part foot or quick-release plate, but the price is tough to argue with, and if you need a monopod from a reliable plate that you 100% know will be a good product, Manfrotto is a great bet there. We rather like the stylish red finish, too, though you can get it in black if you’re a traditionalist.

Gitzo Series 2 Traveler GM2562T

(Image credit: Gitzo)

9. Gitzo Series 2 Traveler GM2562T

A premium quality monopod that packs down small and is light to carry

Specifications

Material:: Carbon fiber

Sections:: 6

Max Load:: 12kg

Extended length:: 142cm

Weight:: 0.4kg

Reasons to buy+

Feather-light, super-strong

+

Generous maximum payload

Reasons to avoid-

Belt clip on wrist strap

Extremely expensive

The use of Gitzo’s carbon eXact fiber for the construction of this Traveler monopod is what makes it so light and easy to carry around. The six leg sections enable a max extended height of 142cm and a maximum payload of 12kg – more than enough to handle a pro-spec DSLR with a long lens. 

It also packs down to an impressively short 36cm, meaning it’ll easily fit even in hand luggage, and is therefore perfect for taking on your travels, whether for work or pleasure.

5 things to look for in a monopod

Buying a monopod doesn’t have to be too complicated – fundamentally, all you’re dealing with is a single-leg support for your camera – but there are a few things worth looking out for. It’s worth thinking about the type of shooting you’re doing and what you might prioritise based on that. Is it more important to you that a monopod is quick to set up or light to carry? How heavy is your camera setup?

Below, we’ve listed five key features to run through when shopping for a monopod. 

1. Strength and stability

A monopod must be able to support the total combined weight of your camera/lens/accessories setup. If you’re using a lightweight mirrorless camera and a small lens, this will be a pretty different proposition than if you’re using a hefty pro DSLR with a telephoto lens. 

Different monopods are constructed from different materials – most commonly aluminium or carbon fibre. Carbon fibre is stronger and lighter, but also more expensive. For a basic setup, an aluminium monopod will be more than adequate. 

2. Reach new heights

How high do you need your monopod to go? This will depend on several factors, not least of which is how tall you are yourself! Monopods that reach greater heights are useful, but more expensive, so if you’re short in stature, you can probably save money by picking up a monopod that doesn’t extend so far.

3. Lock and load

Monopod leg sections will be separated with twist- or flip-style locks. Twist-locks tend to be more secure, but flip-locks are faster. Tripod users tend to prefer more secure locks, but for a monopod, you may be better off with something that can be deployed faster, in order to take better take advantage of the monopod’s greater shooting versatility. 

4. Plant your feet

Some monopods will have additional flip-out feet for a more stable support, or a fixed rounded foot. Monopods from Vanguard tend to be notable for this, as you’ve seen in our #1 pick, though of course it does make the overall setup more bulky.

5. Grip tight

At the top of the monopod there should be a grip – on cheaper monopods it’ll likely be foam, while more expensive models will use textured rubber. As the monopod won’t stand up on its own without your assistance, it’s important that you’re able to keep a secure grip on it, so this is something worth paying attention to before you click “buy”.

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Source : https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/buying-guides/best-monopods

Auteur :

Date de Publication : 2023-10-10 09:00:00

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