If you are a photographer or snapshot enthusiast, you probably often find yourself in situations where a tripod would come in handy. This is especially true when you wish to include yourself in a group picture. The problem is that lugging around a tripod everywhere you go can be somewhat inconvenient. What if you had a tripod that stowed easily in a gear bag and could stick to almost anything? The MonsterPod claims to do just that. Let’s see if the claims are true.
The MonsterPod is a circular shaped item that has a diameter of 5 inches and weighs in at 6 ounces. Protruding from the center of the pod is a standard tripod sized threaded post. This post is attached to a ball-joint for easy angle adjustments. The top of the MonsterPod base is covered in what appears to be nylon and mesh.
If you remove the included base cover and flip the MonsterPod over, you will find the substance that claims to allow it to stick to ‘almost anything’. The substance is a viscoelastic polymer otherwise known as PodGoo.
The PodGoo is pliable but firm and not particularly sticky or gooey.
Ok we’re almost ready to give the MonsterPod a try. But first you’ll notice the special loop sewn into the outer cover. This loop allows you to obtain leverage when you are peeling the pod off whatever you happen to stick it to.
First you connect your digital camera by screwing it on to the threaded post. You want to make sure that your camera weighs less than 20 ounces. For my testing, I used my brand new (I bought it for my CES trip) FujiFilm FinePix F30 digicam.
You can then swivel or adjust the angle of the camera by pushing it forwards, backwards or sideways. At this point you’re ready to use the MonsterPod. I took mine outside on a sunny but chilly (42 degrees F) afternoon to find some things to stick it to.
The first object that I tried was a big rock beside my garage. Using the instructions included with the MonsterPod, I pressed the base firmly on to the rock and ‘walked’ my fingers around the base to try to stick it to the uneven surface of the rock. After several seconds of this activity, I pulled gently on the camera to see if it was attached. It wasn’t. No matter what I tried, I could not get the MonsterPod to stick to the cold but dry rock. It would sit on the rock though and I had no fear that it would topple over due to the wide base.
The next object I tried was a big Poplar tree in my front yard. Again, I pressed it firmly into the creviced bark surface. This time it stuck just fine! I double checked, pressed all around the base again and then stepped back several feet to take a few pictures. You can barely see it stuck to the tree in the middle of the picture above on the Left. The picture on the Right is a close up. No sooner had I snapped a couple of pictures and started walking back to the tree, that the camera and Pod fell to ground. The camera hit the rocks around the base of the tree and suffered a dent. I decided to keep trying objects and worry about the dent when I got back into the house.
I tried to get the MonsterPod to stick to my HughesNet satellite pole. Nope, didn’t work.
I tried to get the MonsterPod to stick one of the support posts for the roof over my front porch. Nope, that didn’t work either.
Success came when I stuck it to the fender of my 1991 GMC Sonoma pickup truck. Out of all the objects that I tried, this one seemed to work the best.
I was also able to get the MonsterPod to stick to the painted wood siding on my garage. And with that, I headed back indoors to check the wound on my Fuji camera.
First of all, check out the PodGoo base after all of my testing. Yuck, tree bark and other assorted bits of gunk. According to the packaging that came with the MonsterPod, it is washable. I tried to wash off the debris but was not very successful.
Here’s my poor battle worn camera. It still works just fine, but it sucks that it is damaged now :o( To say that I’m a little grumpy and angry with the MonsterPod is an understatement. A quick visit to their website revealed something that made me even more grumpy. There is a video clip on their home page that shows a CNet reporter demoing the MonsterPod. The thing is, the PodGoo doesn’t look like the PodGoo on mine at all. The one in the video looks very much like Silly Putty. Very elastic and gooey looking. I’ve had my MonsterPod since 1/19. Maybe they updated them since then and failed to inform me, I don’t know. All I can say is that I would NOT trust the MonsterPod to stay stuck to anything but very slick surfaces such as clean painted vehicles, windows, etc. Unfortunately I had to be the guinea pig…