Occasionally, a product shows up that you didn't know you wanted or needed. But when you try it, you wonder how you ever lived without it.
Platypod is one of those rare products. And the company's latest iteration, Platypod eXtreme, takes an already solid “platform” the Platypod Max, and incorporates a healthy dose of weight reduction, user feedback, and common sense refinement.
The result is what may likely become a permanent addition to your camera bag.
So, what is a Platypod eXtreme?
Basically, it's a small sheet of flat, strong metal with an arc-welded 1/8th inch male threaded mount to hold the tripod head of your choice or other accessories.
As well as several standard ¼ 20 threaded holes for attaching almost any conceivable bit of kit to.
There are also unthreaded holes on the eXtreme (indicated by a little drill icon) that accommodate #8 or #10 wood screws if a more permanent installation is required.
The Platypod eXtreme improves on the design of previous models by adding attached adjustable feet and legs. It's a simple pull-twist move to quickly set the legs into position. Eliminating the need to remove the included spiked feet and attach them manually as in previous versions.
The spiked legs are threaded so you can remove them from the spring-loaded mounts, and screw them into any of the 7 provided ¼ 20 holes on the platform, for added flexibility or stability.
Or quickly rotate them independently to use either the rubberized feet (to protect delicate surfaces),
or the sharp spiked ends for added grip and stability where necessary.
There are slots on the device to facilitate strapping and securing it to locations like posts or trees. Just strap it on, and use one or more of the spikes to add stability and tension. There are also thoughtful carabiner slots for attaching and carrying it externally on your belt, a backpack, or your camera bag.
I carried the device constantly while traveling for the past few weeks and surprisingly, it replaced my traditional tripod in many situations. Substantially lightening my load.
Uses for the device are seemingly endless. It can be used for everything from holding lighting for macro photography, to supporting your camera in tight situations where using a traditional tripod would be impractical or inconvenient.
Or use it to get those extremely low angles that would require disassembly and reconfiguration of transitional tripods. The Platypod eXtreme comes with several accessories including a high-quality pouch for carrying the eXtreme, a carabiner, the spiked legs, the leg caps, etc.
Again, this is one of those rare products that you wouldn't know you needed until you use it. After that, it becomes a permanent part of your kit.
You can check it out over on Kickstarter.com. It's already fully funded and the campaign (with all of the backer perks) ends on May 9th, 2022.