The 3 Legged Thing Patti 2.0 joins the British tripod manufacturer’s range of ‘Punks’ tripods as the last to be upgraded to Version 2.0. As such, it follows in the three-legged footsteps of the Corey, Travis, Billy and Brian, all of which made it to 2.0 a while ago. As with her siblings, Patti has a similarly punk moniker, this time named after rock lioness Patti Smith (not to be confused with Mrs. John McEnroe). She’s available in two color options, black and blue (but unbruised) or ‘darkness’, which is matte black from head to toe.
Whereas other tripods in the Punks range have a beefy maximum load rating of between 14kg and 18kg and come with a fully grown AirHed Neo ball head, the Patti 2.0 has a still very respectable 10kg load rating and features a slightly downsized AirHed Mini ball head. The design focus aims on creating a tripod that’s not only travel-friendly but also beginner-friendly and budget-friendly. That’s a whole lotta friendliness for a ‘punk’.
|45.5cm / 17.9"
|Maximum operating height
|163cm / 64"
|Minimum operating height
|18.5cm / 7.25"
|Max monopod height
|166cm / 65.3"
|1.7kg / 3.7lb
|10kg / 22lb
|Sections per leg/center column
|4 / 1
|Maximum leg section diameter
|23mm / 0.9"
|Locking leg angles
|Bag with shoulder strap
A key update is that, as with other V2.0 tripods in the Punks range, you can convert the Patti 2.0 for monopod duty. In this case, it involves unscrewing the detachable leg and joining it to the removable center column. The conversion is quick and easy, in keeping with the tripod’s ‘beginner’ status. To remove the center column, you just need to loosen the adjustable height locking clamp, remove the weight hook from the bottom and pull it out. As previously, you can also invert the center column for ultra-low-level shooting, with the camera inverted. But let’s talk height.
The pricier 3 Legged Thing Corey 2.0 is the smallest in the Punks range and shrinks down to just 36.1cm when folded. That makes it small enough to fit inside a camera backpack or daily bag. The Patti 2.0 folds down to 45.5cm, so it’s a bit more of a handful for carrying around. Even so, that’s a shade under 18 inches and very manageable. An upside is that the Patti 2.0 has a more lofty maximum operating height of 163cm rather than 146cm. Measuring 6 feet 5 inches myself, I find that a worthwhile trade-off, as I can use the Patti 2.0 without needing to stoop. In monopod mode, it stretches even further to a maximum height of 166cm.
Typical of current and recent travel tripods, the small stowage size is based on folding the tripod by fully extending the center column and swinging up the legs, so that the feet encompass the head. It’s a neat trick that’s pretty much universally adopted nowadays.
Here’s another question – flip or twist? The Patti 2.0 is the only tripod in the Punks range to feature flip locks instead of twist locks. Whether that’s more beginner-friendly or not is open to debate but they’re certainly easy to operate. When the 4-section legs are fully compressed, you can grab a handful of all three flip locks for each leg and release them with a single gesture, which saves time and effort.
Further feature finery includes 3 Legged Thing’s typical Tri-mount plate. This has three hollowed out spurs for attaching accessories or for channeling cables for tethering or connection to other bits of kit.
And speaking of attachments, the canopy features a threaded socket for fixing extending arms and accessories like a microphone, LED lamp or monitor screen.
The AirHed Mini ball head is small but sturdy. It has an Arca-Swiss-type quick-release plate that includes two anti-mishap security screws, which are removable if you feel the urge. The main locking screw for the camera attachment lacks the usual D-ring but a multi-function tool is supplied with the tripod, or you can use a spare coin if you have one in your pocket.
For head adjustments, there’s a single locking knob with 3 Legged Thing’s usual ‘Rock’ and ‘Roll’ positions. As such, loosening the main clamp gives access to a full range of movement but there’s no independent pan-only release. On the plus side for panning, the head has a calibrate scale for accurate adjustments. And to keep things on the level, there’s a bubble level at the top of the tripod legs and a spirit level built into the head.
Build and handling
Carbon fiber is usually the preferred option for keeping the weight of tripods down to easily manageable levels. But for smaller ‘travel tripods’, the differences are often fairly minimal. The magnesium alloy construction of the Patti 2.0 equates to a kit weight of 1.7kg including the ball head, which is still very travel-friendly. There’s an upside here as well in that, unlike with carbon fiber, magnesium alloy won’t shatter with an accidental knock.
The flip locks are intuitive and easy to use, as are the center column twist-lock and 3-position spring-loaded leg angle locks. The latter is really useful if you’re shooting on uneven terrain or working around obstacles, with locking angles of 23, 55 or 80 degrees. The selection of wider angle also has the bonus of increasing stability in low-level shooting.
The ball head works with smooth precision and, even though there’s only a single locking clamp and no independent friction adjustment, the roll-off in friction when releasing the clamp incrementally caters well to cameras and attached lenses of varying weights.
Down below, the tripod feet feature rubber pads, which are well suited to wide-ranging terrain, from soft surfaces to a rock and a hard place. For off-piste applications, the feet can be unscrewed and replaced with optional Heelz, Clawz and Stilletoz footwear, available as optional extras.
Lightweight travel tripods can be notably notorious for their flimsy nature. In a bid to make them lightweight, there’s often a compromise in rigidity and they can be prone to literally swaying around in the breeze. Despite its lightweight construction, the Patti 2.0 has good rigidity and resistance to unwanted flexing. That holds true even when extending the 4-section legs and center column to achieve the maximum operating height. The screw-in weight hook at the bottom of the center column enables you to add ballast.
The ball head has a similarly solid performance. It might be ‘Mini’ by name but it’s more of a ‘maxi’ when it comes to delivering a solid platform, delivering the minimum of sag and flexing. Overall, the Patti 2.0 gives a solid shooting platform from its lowest to tallest operating height, and works well as a monopod too, saving the need to carry two separate supports.
Any travel tripod is a bit of a balancing act. You want it to be sufficiently small and lightweight to carry around and to stow away in your baggage, while also offering a useful maximum operating height with a decent payload rating. You also want it to be your inflexible friend, with good rigidity. That’s actually a pretty big ask. Despite being aimed at beginners and priced accordingly, the Patti 2.0 ticks all the boxes on a dreamy wish list, while adding trick features and funky flourishes, while also being easy to use. We found the affordable Patti 2.0 to be a strong performer and very easy to live with. It’s a punk by name, but not by nature.