Joby GorillaPod 3k Pro Review

Howdy folks, today I’m going to be covering my impressions of the Joby Gorillapod 3k Pro after owning it for about a year. Previously, I’d always use those really cheap, poorly built $15 tripods (you know the ones I’m talking about), but they always failed on me.

Why You Can Trust Me

Chance (that’s me) has been practicing photography for 10 years and has been a paid professional for most of it. I’ve obviously used dozens of tripods over the years, but this is my favorite so far. I’ve had my GorillaPod for about a year. (read how I review/test gear).

So, in this review, I’ll be sharing my long-term impressions and whether or not I think (as a professional/traveling photog) this is a good travel/vlogging tripod. Let’s dive in.

  • Surprisingly sturdy and strong
  • Lightweight and quite compact
  • Super bendy and versatile legs
  • Nice ball head/tilt features
  • Legs can feel a bit stiff (hard to move)
  • Might be a little expensive for some

Verdict: An awesome little travel tripod that’s small enough to be clamped onto any bag. Strong, sturdy, and versatile. Great for anyone from vloggers to ultra-light travellers. Highly recommended (affiliate link!).

joby gorillapod 3k pro on balcony
Kinda looks like it’s doing a dance move.

Build Quality

So, first up, this is a travel tripod, so let’s talk about the size and weight! I threw it on my scale and the 3k Pro weighs about 16oz (463g) and measures roughly 12in (30cm) long when the legs are properly set up (I’ll explain later).

That’s pretty darn small. When hiking, I just strap it to the side of my Osprey bag and, when I’m just going out to exclusively shoot photos, it latches onto the bottom of my Peak Design sling.

In terms of pure build quality and longevity, this thing is an absolute beast. The legs are made out of aluminum (including the “joints” that pivot and move) and I’ve found that the whole tripod just feels good. Trust me, there’s no cheap plastic on this thing.

Earlier this year, I took the tripod along on a two-month Europe excursion, so it has seen a lot. I’ve used it on sandy beaches, crushed it in the luggage compartments of trains, and probably dropped/knocked it into things more times than I can count. But it’s still in great shape, so from my experience, I have no doubt that this thing is built to last.

What can it hold?

As for weight handling, Joby officially claims the GorillaPod 3k Pro can hold up to 6.6lbs (or 3kg, hence the name). For comparison’s sake, their 1k model holds 2.2lbs (1kg) and their 5k model holds, you guessed it, ~11lbs (5kg).

That being said, I run a light setup so I haven’t pushed it even close to its limits. The most I’ve done is throw my rather “standard” mirrorless setup on top. My personal (typical) setup consists of my a7iii along with the rather large Tamron 28-75mm F2.8. My camera and lens together are roughly 2.6lbs (1.2kg) so I am quite far away from coming even close to hitting the weight limit.

Keep in mind that if you add accessories, such as a flash, large microphone, etc., you may actually come fairly close to hitting the upper limit, but with just a camera + lens, I don’t think you’ll have any issues with weight.

Tripod Legs

Now, let’s talk about the legs! As you might expect, the legs on the 3k Pro are GRIPPY. Really grippy! In their marketing pictures, they show the tripod wrapping around trees, chairs, people’s arms, etc., and trust me, it can!

I’m always strapping down my 3k Pro to all sorts of weird surfaces like crumbling stone walls, door handles or even car spoilers to lock down my long exposures. I’ve hung it upside down, sideways, you name it and this tripod has done it.

With that being said, the legs are quite stiff and can be tough to move. Once you bend this thing out of its “original” position for the first time, it can be a bit hard to get back into place. The reason for this is that in order to keep it stable and safe when your precious camera is mounted on top, the legs need to be stiff in order to not slip and slide.

joby gorillapod 3k pro with bendy legs
The legs are VERY bendy and hold their position incredibly well.

Tripod Head

Moving to the top of the tripod, we have a tilt and panning head. Both the tilting (ball head) and panning operations are controlled by a single screw knob. Unscrew it slightly to loosen everything or screw it tighter to tighten everything. Very simple and minimalistic but very functional.

I’ve found that both the tilt and pan features work pretty well. Motion while panning is incredibly stable and smooth, and the ball head works great. Vertical photos (or video) are a breeze.

On the very top of this whole mechanism sits the actual tripod plate. It’s Arca Swiss compatible and easily removable by turning another knob on the top. This quick-release system is awesome because it allows you to just keep your tripod plate on your camera so you can just pop it onto the tripod at a moment’s notice. I typically just never remove my tripod plate from the camera for convenience.

Speaking of which, the tripod plate, unlike some cheaper models, doesn’t require any silly or special tools to screw into the camera. There’s just a small D-ring sort of thing on the bottom that lets you screw it in with your fingers.

tripod plate on bottom of sony a7iii
The tripod plate is easily removable and doesn’t require any special tools (or a coin or anything like that).

Final Thoughts

Before we round out this review, let’s quickly look at the other GorillaPod models. I think the 3k Pro is a happy medium, but you may find the other models to be more appropriate for your setup.

The 1k model supports 2.2lbs (1kg) while the 5k model supports a whopping 11lbs (5kg). The only difference between the 3k and 3k Pro is that the aforementioned model comes with the tilt/ball head.

All in all, I’m really happy that I settled on the 3k Pro.

Conclusion

So yeah, in case I didn’t make it painfully obvious, I’ve been generally quite happy with my GorillaPod 3k Pro. Not only is it a great travel-friendly tripod, but it’s also awesome for video. I’ve recently gotten into vlogging a bit (YouTube channel) so having this hyper-versatile tripod has been a blessing in the long-term.

Anywho, if you’re interested in picking one up for yourself, I’ll leave purchase links below. Thanks for reading, and I hope you end up liking your little tripod as much as I do!

Buy from Amazon <– affiliate link, which means I get a (very) small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for the support! <3