Gearing Tripod review
February 21, 2022
- + Impressively stable
- + High quality construction
- + Easy to maintain
- + Uniquely versatile design
- + Excellent ball head
- - Slightly slow to set up
- - Expensive
Price as Reviewed:£924.00
Andy Westlake tries out a high-quality tripod that's designed and assembled in Britain
Gearing tripod at a glance:
- £924 (tripod), £210 (ball head)
- 142cm max height
- 60cm packed length
- 1.4kg weight
- 20kg rated load
We live in an age of waste, with many products expected to be used for a few years and then just discarded. Few are designed to be remotely user serviceable. So it’s refreshing to find a small, young and female-led British company trying to buck this trend with a high-quality tripod that’s built to last and designed to be easy to maintain in the field.
It’s also impressively multi-functional, as the legs are all removable and can be used as trekking poles, or as the basis for a monopod.
The Gearing Co. Tripod: Key features
- Removable legs: All three legs are removable. You can join one to the centre column to form a monopod, or use them as trekking poles
- Feet: Unusually, the legs come fitted with carbide tips that have push-on rubber boots. They can be swapped out for longer spikes
- Trek Kit: This £35 kit comes with a pair each of handles, spikes and snow baskets, for making fully-featured trekking poles from two legs
- Carry bag: Gearing offers a cordura case with a carry handle and shoulder strap. It boasts a clever roll top to take different sized heads
However, the Gearing tripod is undeniably expensive, especially if you add in all the accessories. So what do you get for your money? Well, this is a four-section carbon-fibre affair with a choice of four leg angle settings, selected using large semi-automatic levers. It comes fitted with a short centre column, allowing low-angle shooting down to just 21cm and a maximum height of 142cm. If this is too low, it can be upped to 158cm via an optional £40 extender.
Unscrewing the end of the centre column reveals an ‘Easter Egg’, in the shape of a mini tool kit with ten interchangeable magnetic bits. These clip into the head attachment screw, with the centre column acting as a handle. Ingenious.
The leg sections are particularly easy to take apart and clean if you get sand or grit inside. However, this has been achieved by using simple twist locks that lack an anti-rotation mechanism for the leg sections. This means you have to unlock, extend and lock each section sequentially, making the tripod slightly slower to set up than most. But it’s not difficult; you just need to adopt a systematic approach.
Gearing’s matched Lightweight Ball Head must be bought separately, for £210. It is, however, superb. It weighs just 298g but will happily support a high-end full-frame mirrorless setup. I’m especially impressed by its friction control, which is perhaps the best I’ve used.
Once you’ve set the friction to match your kit using the large inset lever, you can adjust your composition easily and precisely, and then lock the camera down using the outer sleeve. It also has an independently locking panning base and an Arca-Swiss type quick-release clamp, complete with bubble level.
Given that this is a first product from a new company, naturally there are a few caveats, but they’re really very minor. Firstly the centre-column hook unscrews a bit too easily, and I once had it fall out while I was out shooting. I added a small O-ring to discourage it from coming off.
Secondly, a small thread adapter is required to construct the monopod. If it gets stuck on the leg, you’ll need a spanner to remove it, and if you don’t have one to hand, the tripod will be rendered useless. It’s also rather smaller in diameter than either of the parts it joins, but that’s a cosmetic, rather than functional complaint.
The Gearing Mini tripod
Installing an optional Mini Leg Kit (£223.50) onto the central ‘heart’ gives a compact but sturdy table-top tripod. It’s adjustable from 12.5cm to 36cm in height via unusual spring-loaded legs and weighs 665g.
Alternatively, you can buy this setup as the Gearing Mini Tripod for £432.
Gearing tripod: Our Verdict
I’ve used the Gearing tripod a lot since getting my review sample, simply because it’s so very good. There’s no doubting the quality of materials and construction, and it’s every bit as sturdy and effective at dampening vibrations as my similar-sized carbon-fibre Gitzo. The ability to convert the legs to trekking poles should especially appeal to outdoorsy types who don’t want to carry any more kit than necessary on a hike or expedition.
The stumbling block for most potential buyers will of course be price, but this is the kind of product that should last for decades. It’s a significant investment for sure, but if you’re prepared to buy into the company’s philosophy, you won’t be disappointed.