Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit tripod review

Is the Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit really worth investing in over a cheaper alternative? We put it to the test.

Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit Tripod
(Image: © Kimberly)

Space Verdict

The Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit is a lightweight yet surprisingly sturdy travel tripod that enables you to shoot anything, anywhere. The ideal tripod for traveling and vlogging.

Pros

  • +

    Flexible legs can grip around almost anything

  • +

    Great for travel

  • +

    Very lightweight and portable

Cons

  • -

    Not for super heavy setups

  • -

    Legs can be a bit fiddly

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We think you cannot get more portable than the Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit tripod. Portability is a big factor when it comes to finding the right travel tripod.

Key Specifications

Payload: 3 kg load capacity 

Weight: 463 g

Head type: Arca-Swiss compatible Ball Head

Height: 30 cm

Leg type: Flexible legs, non-extendable

Material: aluminum, rubber

It’s the perfect solution for photographers and vloggers on the go and weighing in at only 463 g it’s ideal for traveling and it will easily fit in a suitcase as it's only 30 cm long.

With its flexible gripping legs, you can attach it to almost anything, meaning you can get those angles and perspectives that you just wouldn’t be able to get with a regular tripod. It also has a maximum payload of 3 kg, which is actually more than enough for a regular mirrorless camera and lens setup, particularly with mirrorless cameras being a lot lighter than DSLRs. It features a precise 360-degree pan and 90-degree tilt to get the camera at virtually any angle and switch between portrait and landscape with ease.

Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit Tripod Review: Design

  • Flexible rubber gripping legs
  • Very lightweight
  • Small & compact

Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit Tripod

(Image credit: Kimberly)

Design-wise, The Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit is a great little tripod, perfect for travel photographers and vloggers alike. It’s incredibly small and compact, measuring just 30 cm long, meaning it’s easy to fit in the side pocket of a camera bag or even in your hand luggage when flying. It’s also very lightweight and portable, weighing in at 463 g, making it a pleasure to carry around with you when shooting. It also has machined aluminum sockets, rubberized ring and foot grips, and a removable Arca-Swiss ball head. There are two control knobs on the head, one to loosen and tighten the quick-release plate clamp, and another to control the ball head.

The main selling point of this tripod, though, is the flexibility of the legs. This allows the tripod to wrap around and grip onto pretty much anything, anywhere, making it an extremely versatile tripod capable of things that full-size tripods cannot do. This, coupled with the 360° pan and 90° tilt, means you can get the camera into basically any position and angle. This is not only great for photographers who want to get those unusual, hard-to-get shots, but this design feature makes it a fantastic tripod for vloggers and videographers, too. 

You can also get a separate mount to attach your phone to the GorillaPod, opening up possibilities for other content creators too, not just photographers and videographers.

Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit Tripod Review: Functionality

  • Easy to grip around things with flexible legs
  • Can hold up to 3kg weight
  • Ball head with panning capability 

Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit Tripod

(Image credit: Kimberly)

As we mentioned earlier, the main star of the show with this tripod is the functionality of the flexible legs. However, as much as the flexible legs allow you to do, we did notice that the legs can be stiff and difficult to move at times. The ball and socket attachment at the head end is simple to move, but the joints down the legs appear to be a little more difficult. Though, to an extent, they need to be. If the legs were too flexible, they likely wouldn't grip onto things as well as they do, so there does need to be an element of stiffness to them. We just noticed that sometimes they felt a bit sticky, so it was difficult to get them into the exact position we wanted, and it took a few attempts to get the positioning right.

For such a small tripod, it’s surprisingly sturdy. It’s designed for premium mirrorless cameras, and it can hold up to 3 kg of weight, which is more than enough to hold the weight of a full-frame mirrorless camera with even a long and heavy telephoto lens. In many instances, it’s just a case of doing a balancing act by distributing the weight evenly so it doesn’t topple over. 

The GorillaPod also includes an Arca-Swiss compatible ball head with a 90° tilt and 360° panning capability. Not only is this great for any type of videography you’re wanting to shoot, but it also means there are virtually zero limitations on how you can set it up because you can get the camera into basically any shooting position possible. 

Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit Tripod

(Image credit: Kimberly)

Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit Tripod Review: Performance

  • Legs can be fiddly to get level on flat surface 
  • Easy to set up 
  • No drooping or falling over 

Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit Tripod

(Image credit: Kimberly)

Overall, we think the Joby GorillaPod performed very well. When we tested it, it was very easy to set up and start shooting. As it's a small travel tripod, there aren’t any legs to extend, making it much quicker to get going than with a traditional full-size tripod. The only difficulty you may encounter is attempting to straighten the legs after they have been wrapped around or gripped to something else. And as there’s no spirit level on it, it could be tricky to make sure your shot is straight and you don’t end up with any wonky horizons. Thankfully, many newer cameras do have an in-built spirit level that you can see on screen, so there are ways to combat this. You just need to be careful that it’s level enough not to topple over and destroy your camera or lens, as some customers have reported this happening in Amazon reviews.

We found that once set up, it held its position incredibly well, with no drooping or sagging whatsoever. Though due to its size and lightweight, it probably wouldn't hold up well in strong winds unless it was gripped onto something, so that’s something to be mindful of when you take it out shooting. We tested it with a heavy camera and zoom lens weighing around 1.5 kg, so around half the weight load, and there was a little trial and error when wrapping the legs around a railing to make sure that not only was it secure enough but also that the weight was distributed evenly. Once it was in a good position, though, it was very secure. We also noticed that the quick-release plate does need to be secured very tightly, as it did almost slide out on a couple of occasions. 

Should I buy the Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit Tripod?

Buying any piece of photography equipment comes with pros and cons, but we think that for everything it does, the Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit is definitely worth investing in, provided it suits the type of content you create. Many of the customers who have written Amazon reviews have said that they initially bought a cheaper version, which either broke after a few uses, wasn’t good quality, or completely fell over and ended up ruining their equipment, and they ended up buying the Joby one in the end anyway. 

This tripod is definitely a perfect fit for travel photographers who need lightweight, portable, and versatile equipment, as it ticks all of those boxes. It would also be great for vloggers and videographers who want to be able to shoot video on the go without lugging huge recording systems around. However, if you tend to shoot more landscape or astrophotography, or just have a very heavy camera and lens setup and need something sturdy, this tripod may not be the right one for you, and you may want to opt for something a bit bigger and more stable with a higher weight load.

If the Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit Tripod isn't for you

The Joby GorillaPod definitely isn’t for everyone, so if after reading this review you feel it doesn’t meet your needs, here are a few other options to consider.

For an excellent travel tripod at the higher end of the price spectrum, you might want to check out the Peak Design Travel Tripod (opens in new tab). It’s incredibly small and lightweight yet still being a full size tripod, so if you don’t need to attach your tripod to things then this would be a great investment.

Another great travel tripod worth considering is the VANGUARD VEO 3GO 235CB Travel Tripod (opens in new tab). It’s very light at 1.2kg and still has an adequate payload, more than enough for a DSLR and a host of different lenses.

For a travel friendly tripod that sits at the more affordable end of the spectrum, definitely check out the Manfrotto Element MII Tripod (opens in new tab). This tripod is great for heavier setups (up to 8kg), and will hold its own in strong winds and adverse weather.

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Kimberley Lane
Contributing writer

Kimberley Lane is a landscape & seascape photographer living in South Wales. Originally using photography as a way to cope with health issues, she aims to portray a feeling of calm and peace through her images. Her work has been featured in a number of national photography magazines.