Joby GorillaPod Original Review – Tree Hugging Camera Tripod

Last Updated on 06/03/2022

If you are looking for a lightweight camera tripod to take traveling then you might find this Joby GorillaPod Original Review to be just what you are looking for.

Joby GorillaPod Original review


Joby GorillaPod Original Review

The Joby GorillaPod Original is a flexible camera tripod which can do everything your classic tripod can do and more. It has three legs, a spirit level, and quick release clip like any other tripod. But instead of extendable legs, Joby tripods are constructed of ‘tentacles’ of balls and sockets with a massive range of movements. Durability is something this portable camera stand certainly doesn’t lack.

The GorillaPod is able to grip and wrap around objects in awkward positions that were previously inaccessible to standard camera tripods. With a flexi grip style tripod, you open up a whole new range of photographic opportunities with angles and viewpoints you never even considered before. The grippy legs and feet adapt to almost any surface and can be manipulated into the shape you need on any terrain.

For this Joby GorillaPod Original Review, I tested the tripod around trees, rocks, fences, in water and even on my head with a GoPro. If you are still on the hunt for a travel camera tripod then please forget about selfie sticks and get one of these!


Joby GorillaPod Original

  • DIMENSIONS – 3 x 3 x 15 cm / 1.18 x 1.18 x 5.91 in
  • WEIGHT – 45.3 g / 1.5 oz
  • MAX LOAD – 325 g / 11.5 oz
  • CONNECTION TYPE – 1/4″ – 20 standard tripod mount
  • DESIGNED FOR – Point and shoot camera’s
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  • Lightweight and portable
  • Super flexible and able to adapt
  • Fast setup and legs fold away when not in use
  • Rubber grips for stability
  • Reliable ABS plastic, stainless steel, TPE materials
  • Able to support at least 7 x its own weight
  • Quick-release clip
  • Lock ring to keep camera firmly attached
  • As far as I can tell – totally waterproof


How do Joby GorillaPod’s work?

The Joby GorillaPod Original is made up of over 80 plastic components which have been thoroughly tested to stay durable and reliable over long periods of time. Each leg has ten ball/sockets which rotate independently to give you a wide range of movements and angles. You can easily manipulate each one into any shape that suits your platform much faster than any other tripod with the help of the built-in spirit level. You can also wrap the legs around objects to get unique camera angles whereas before you might have had to use duct tape or settle for a lesser shot.

Joby GorillaPod Original on rocks

Who is the Joby GorillaPod Original for?

Designed for use with compact cameras, it is perfect for things like GoPro‘s, CSC camera‘s, and compact video cameras. Photography enthusiasts might use this as their go-to compact tripod whereas professional photographers would likely keep one in their kit for special shots. The reason I bought this particular tripod was to pair with a GoPro whilst traveling, and for this purpose, it did everything I ever needed it to.

Because the Original GorillaPod is so lightweight and portable, it is one of the best travel tripods for backpacking. It has also become very popular for extreme sports and adventurous photographers because it can get places other tripods can’t. Whether you are trying to get that long exposure image of the stars or capture the high-speed rush of downhill mountain biking, the Joby Gorilla Tripod will always give you a steady, balanced shot.

Joby GorillaPod Original blue

What can the Joby GorillaPod do?

This tree-hugging tripod can grip onto just about anything and provide instant support on uneven ground. You can wrap the tripod around rocks, tree branches, hiking poles, and any other object in any position that you want. No more fiddling around with flimsy extendable legs to get the balance right – simply manipulate the legs into position, make sure the spirit level is centered, and you are good to go.

With the quick-release plate, you can quickly set the tripod up and slide the camera into place in just a few seconds. This also enables you to leave the tripod in position while removing the camera to check images and settings before replacing it to the same spot. The simplicity of the design makes it fast and easy to use without being a burden to carry.

Does the Original Joby GorillaPod Work with SLR’s?

The short answer to this is yes and no but let me explain. There is nothing to stop you using the Joby Original GorillaPod with your DSLR camera, however, it does have a limit to the weight it can safely support. If you overload the tripod with a heavy camera, the structure might not stay fully rigid in all positions and you will be limited to using the camera very close to the ground. It is worth knowing that I do currently use the Nikon D3400 which is very compact and lightweight so to be sensible, I would say that anything bigger would probably be too heavy.

If you are buying a flexible tripod to use with an SLR camera then you should, without a doubt, get the Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom instead. You can also use the SLR-Zoom tripod with any other type of camera, it is just built to be more robust and heavy-duty – giving you the stabilization that a professional camera deserves.

Anything Else?

I have had a lot of positives to talk about in this Joby GorillaPod Original Review but what about the disadvantages, are there any?

One thing that this tripod cannot do is give you a height above one foot from ground level. This can sometimes be an issue if you are on flat ground and are looking through the viewfinder at a subject much higher up than you. It just means you have to get very close to the ground to get a good view and often means lying down completely, luckily most outdoor photographers don’t mind a bit of dirt!

While some people may hear this and be put off, optimists might look at it and realize that this tripod will actually go lower than most tripods will. Allowing you to get closer to ground level for things like macro shots or nature photography. There are so many ways to use something this flexible and more often than not you can find something to lift the tripod off the ground if you need to – like resting it on your backpack for instance.

Joby GorillaPod Original review on a fence


I have been using this tripod for about 2 years now and it continues to do everything it said it would on the tin. The design and build quality are solid, withstanding a constant battering in my backpack as well as being a popular toy for young children who think it’s an ‘alien spaceship‘. Everything works as well as the day I got it and I have used it in places like the ocean, on volcanoes, and the beach, showing that it is built to last and will not let you down.

Like I mentioned earlier, I got this tripod to use with a GoPro and have continued to use it ever since. As nothing more than a photography enthusiast or amateur photographer at best, I rarely, if ever, take my big tripod out on outdoor adventures or trips abroad. It simply isn’t practical. But I do still need a tripod if I want to come home with some decent quality photographs, and the Joby GorillaPod Original is perfect for that.

At just 45 grams, you barely even notice you have it with you. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in outdoor photography and doesn’t already own one. They cost around $19.99 although check the price below for current deals and are worth every penny. If you are getting one to use with a DSLR camera then check out the Joby GorillaPod Hybrid instead.

How Much is it?

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Joby GorillaPod Original review wrapped around branch

9.5 Total Score
Joby GorillaPod Original Review

If you are looking for a lightweight camera tripod to take traveling then you might find this Joby GorillaPod Original Review to be just what you are looking for.

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This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

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