August 9, 2015 Comments (0) Photography Gear

Review : Manfrotto Off Road Walking Sticks

manfrotto with X100

We have been putting the Manfrotto ‘Off Road’ photographic focused walking polls through their paces the Lake District hills. The Off Road walking sticks are incredibly light and feature comfortable handgrips and a wrist strap that offers additional stability.

The walking polls are engineered from lightweight aluminum tubes and close telescopically into three sections with a simple twist-to-lock mechanism. There is a maximum extension level clearly marked and the legs can be pulled out easily in order to clean or dry after a wet day in the hills.

Manfrotto walking sticks

Off Road Photography

The top of one pole’s handgrips features an integrated camera mount with quick wheel attachment. This comes with a cover while it isn’t in use but it quickly converts into a lightweight and convenient monopod.

Remarkably the Manfrotto Off Road polls can carry a payload of up to 2.5kg that is perfect for mirrorless systems and action cameras. It is ideal for ideal for Compact System Cameras, Action Cameras. The image below shows the monopod attachment.

Manfrotto offered walking pole review

 

As you would expect, removing the cap and attaching a camera is a very simply process and it is definitely better to screw the poll into the camera rather than the camera on to the poll. I was using a mirrorless camera system when in the hills and found it practical enough to attach the camera and leave it on the poll all day.

I would definitely suggest detaching the camera strap, I didn’t on the first day out and found the dangling strap not only an inconvenience but I also managed to capture a photograph of the strap when the winds picked up.

manfrotto offered with go pro

Manfrotto Walking Sticks with GoPro

The Manfrotto walking polls work perfectly with a GoPro camera, all you need is a tripod adaptor and you have your very own video boom. Given how light the GoPro cameras are it is possible to walk all day with the camera attached to the poll. Paired with the GoPro remote key you also have your very own walking poll selfie stick (if that is what you are into).

As the ground was so wet I was able to push the monopod into the soft ground not only for additional support but it also allowed me to set up a 10 second timer group shot. The image below shows the Manfrotto pole holding the X100S camera, the ground was really soft after the rain but obviously allowing a monopod to free stand isn’t risk free so be careful with your camera, this isn’t something we obviously recommend.

manfrotto offroad

Supplied Accessories

The feet have spiked bases but are provided with rubber covers for excellent stability on most types of ground. The walking sticks come also with a pair of baskets ideal for wintery conditions. Currently there are three colours available to match the Manfrotto Off Road bags.

Conclusion

The first thing we noticed was the cost of the Off Road walking polls, if you ever walk around outdoor shops in Keswick you will know that you can pick up a pair of walking poles for less than £20. Hold the Manfrotto polls and you will instantly realize these are a different league. The Off Road polls are as a light as they are strong, the design is built for longevity and the camera attachment makes it the perfect companion for the hiking photographer.

Links

Manfrotto Off Road Walking Polls

Summary

If you use walking polls and carry a mirrorless or action camera into the hills then the Manfrotto Off Road walking sticks are definitely worth considering adding to your wish list.

Total Score 90%

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