Intro: Hands Free Tripod Carry
If you're active, travel, or have a strap-phobia kinda like me - you're constantly looking for secure, convenient, trouble-reducing ways to carry your gear.
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With my upcoming UK epic journey - so was I. Found a decent budget carbon fiber tripod so I wouldn't be weighed down, but hanging it from a shoulder strap still allowed it to flop around too much for carrying into heritage sites, long journeys, etc.
Seems like a lot of tripods now-a-days have a hook under the center post to hang weight bags from for stability. I tried hanging the tripod from my belt with that, but the "hook" is too shallow to trust while climbing stairs or any real activity. Mine unscrewed right out, and with a common photography thread adapter, I was able to put a better hook on it and it's PERFECT!
I'll detail how it worked for me, and hopefully you will be able to adapt it to your model.
Step 1: Adapters and Assembly
After unscrewing the existing hook, I was fortunate to find the thread pattern on the tripod was 3/8-16. There are tons of 3/8-16 to 1/4-20 adapters on any auction or web sales sites. So my parts list is simply as follows:
Step 1 is to determine your situation by unscrewing the hook assembly and determing for sure what the thread pattern is. Mine being the above, I screwed in the adapter, and then the U-Bolt.
I put the shrink tube over the exposed threads because I didn't really want my belt grated away from them chafing on the leather. A little flame action and it looks pretty factory. The hook is deep enough, and the heat shrink grippy enough to still stay secure.
Step 2: Finished and Thoughts
To me it's one of those slap-my-head projects (the simplest ones usually are, eh?). It's extremely stable on my belt and does not flap around a bit. It's all of 2lbs so it's not a burden but I'm glad I will be able to keep the tripod handy for the few times I'll need it while traveling.
The hook can still allow a weight bag, so I didn't lose that feature either. The U-Bolt doesn't stick past the collapsed legs, so it won't snag things during general transportation. Pretty much a win-win in my book.