The Benro KoalaPod is a versatile, flexible mini tripod (opens in new tab) designed that will help you capture content wherever you are. It can be used with a compact camera, a small mirrorless camera or with your smartphone using the bracket provided. There are traditional three-leg versions of the Koalapod, or a five-legged version. We tested the latter, which as two flexible accessory arms included - these can be attached to the tripod and used to mount a microphone and/or an LED light or monitor.
A ball head attachment makes it really easy to angle the camera exactly as you want and you can tighten it up so that your equipment is secure. The phone mount is able to accommodate phones between 4.8cm and 10cm and it can be angled in almost any direction.
Benro KoalaPod: Specification
Weight : 0.22kg
Ball diameter: 22mm
Closed length: 26.5cm
Head type: Ball Head
Leg diameter: 16
Leg sections: 1
Leg type: Round
Load capacity: 1.5kg
Maximum height: 21cm
Top plate diameter: 3.2cm
Benro KoalaPod: Key Features
Flexibility is the main key feature of the Benro KoalaPod. While you can use it as a standard tabletop tripod when its legs are straightened out, it's really designed to be used in hard-to-reach places.
Whether you're a photographer, filmmaker or a bit of both, the KoalaPod is great for capturing content that needs to be shot from interesting angles or somewhere there are no flat surfaces. While bendy tripods are nothing new, the design of the KoalaPod is a lot better than the Joby GorillaPod for example. At first glance, it might seem like you can only wrap the legs of it around relatively thin surfaces but you can in fact extend the legs so that they are longer and can fit around bigger objects (more on that later).
Another great addition to the KoalaPod is the additional two flexible legs it comes with which can be attached to an accessory such as a light or mic and screwed directly onto the KoalaPod.
Benro KoalaPod: Performance
While the Benro KoalaPod is designed to be used with either a compact camera, mirrorless or a smartphone, I personally wouldn't trust it with my Sony A7 III (opens in new tab) - even if the payload is 1.5kg. It's ideal for use with a phone or even a small camera such as the Canon EOS M50 Mark II (opens in new tab) or the Panasonic Lumix LX100 II but there's no way you'll find me attaching the KoalaPod to a tree with my main camera mounted to it.
It works really well as both a table top-tripod or wrapped around something. It is a bit more difficult to wrap it around something chunky such as a drainpipe due to the length of the legs. Even with the extended legs, it didn't feel all that secure which is a slight limitation but something you can learn to live with.
Benro KoalaPod: Build and handling
The KoalaPod is made of really sturdy, flexible rods covered in easy-grip rubber so that it's comfortable to hold and helps keep it in place. The ball head can easily be tightened and you can quickly move it from landscape to a portrait position.
The one thing I found really frustrating about the KoalaPod is that while it's advertised as having extendable legs, I couldn't work out a way to make easily them longer. I thought you might be able to use the accessory arms as extensions but there is a male screw on each end so you can't actually attach them. It seems like there are too many male attachments and not enough female - the only way I could extend the legs is by removing one of the tripod legs altogether and using that as the extending leg.
That aside, the tripod felt really secure regardless of whether it was on a flat surface or wrapped around something. It's easy enough to bend and straighten the legs and quick to attach accessories. It's a little fiddly tightening the ball head once in position but so long as you grasp the actual tripod tightly with on hand, you can make it really secure.
It comes with a metal auxiliary ring that can be slipped over the tripod legs to help keep them in place and ensure they don't slip in the middle of filming and a quick-lock clamp so you can attach two legs together for extra strength.
Benro KoalaPod: Verdict
If you're an on-the-go content creator, travel blogger or even a fitness coach I can really see the advantages of the KoalaPod. For the price, it's much better than most tabletop tripods and it's especially useful if for example you're in the gym and you want to record a workout as what you can attach it to is pretty limitless. Even just using it as a standard table-top tripod, it feels more secure than you might imagine or you could just use it as a small selfie stick for those moments where you want just a little more background than you can achieve with your arms length.
As I've mentioned previously, I wouldn't trust it to take the weight of my Sony A7 III with a lens attached even though it's advertised as being able to take the weight but for a phone or smaller camera, it's perfect.
It packs down into a small drawstring bag that'll easily fit in a tote bag or rucksack making it great for taking on holidays or to festivals - basically anywhere you might want to be able to take photos hands-free or from unconventional angles.
Whether you're a professional or an amateur, this would make a great addition to a mobile content creation kit. It won't break the bank, it feels like it's well made so will last a long time and you'll be able to get more interesting shots.