With a wealth of travel tripods on the market, trying to choose what’s best for you can be a challenge.
There’s a lot to take into account: height, weight, how small it packs down — and whatever other bonus features the manufacturer might have squeezed in.
The 3 Legged Thing Corey Tripod (part of their Punks range) with AirHed Neo Ball Head creates a nice balance and has a couple of Easter eggs included that make it a rather classy piece of kit.
Having used the Punks Corey over the last couple of months, it seems ideal for those who want a compact tripod for lightweight travel, all without breaking the bank.
Let’s take a closer look at it in this review.
Table of Contents
3 Legged Thing Punks Corey Tripod Specs
- Good height for a travel tripod
- Packs down surprisingly small
- Grippy, swappable feet
- Ball head is silky smooth
- Useful included multitool
- Twist locks are satisfying and easy to use
- Loads of bonus features
- Not as light as a carbon fibre tripod
- Twist locks slower than snap locks…?
- Could be taller (compared to others)
- Max Height: 1.5 m / 59 “
- Max Height without column: 1.18 m / 46.3 “
- Min Height: 185 mm / 7.25 “
- Monopod Max Height: 1.5 m / 59 “
- Folded Length: 350 mm / 13.67 “
- 5 Section Legs / 2 Section Column
- Load Capacity: 14 kg / 30 lbs
- Tripod Weight: 1.5kg / 3.5 lbs
- Leg Angles: 23º, 55º, 80º
- Max Leg Tube Diameter: 23 mm / 0.91 “
- Arrives complete with AirHed Neo Ball Head
- Arca-Swiss compatible quick-release plate
- Three spirit levels
- One leg unscrews to become a monopod
- Feet can be swapped out (alternative feet bought separately)
- Handy tool included
- Aircraft-grade magnesium alloy construction
With companies trying to save weight, travel tripods can sometimes feel a bit flimsy and cheap. This one is anything but. There’s a reassuring solidity and precision to the construction which is surprising given that it’s definitely not a heavy tripod.
The magnesium alloy gives you a sense that it will take a beating and has been built to last. In addition, the Punks Corey has a load to weight ratio of 9:1 making this tripod one of the sturdiest on the market for its size.
Every aspect of the 3 Legged Thing Corey Tripod is a satisfyingly tactile experience, from the five-section telescopic legs that glide into place, to the ball head that feels like it belongs on a much more expensive model.
The panning has been dampened, allowing precise movements, and locking it off doesn’t risk adjusting it inadvertently.
Every twisting part offers a subtly increasing amount of resistance before becoming tight.
The legs fold down into place easily. The twist locks are beautifully smooth, tightening them requires a relatively small turn, and the feedback gives you a reassuring sense that they’re not going to slip.
In addition, the grippy rubber means that the rain won’t make them slippery to use, and the rubber feet — which 3 Legged Thing call Bootz — stuck to every surface that I tried them on.
Size & Handling
With any tripod, there’s a relationship between its folded size and its maximum height; in short, expect tripods that offer more height not to pack down as small.
The 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey Tripod finds a good middle ground, packing down to just 13.7 inches (35 cm) while offering a maximum height of 59″ (1.5m).
This is more than adequate for the vast majority of travel uses, and with the tripod height of 1.5 m / 59 ” and me being a shade under 5’10 inches (1.78 m), this puts the camera just under my chin.
At this height, with the centre column fully extended, you’d expect a lot more wobble. The 3 Legged Thing Corey has a little bit of give but still remains impressively stable.
Because the legs fold out to 80º, this tripod also drops quite low — particularly if you take out the centre column and mount the ball head and collar directly onto the part where the three legs hinge together.
It takes a little bit of unscrewing and rescrewing, but this will get you down to 7 inches (18 cm), or even 4 inches (10.2 cm) if you take the ball head out too. That’s impressive.
Being a travel tripod, you can’t horizontally mount the centre column, but this is possibly one of the few features missing from a tripod that packs in its fair share of bells and whistles.
Being magnesium alloy, it’s not as light as a carbon fibre tripod (which would be much more expensive), but it’s still not a lot of weight to add to your bag.
If you’re looking for a carbon fibre tripod in the Punks range, there’s also the Billy, which we reviewed here.
(You can read more about the differences between aluminum and carbon fiber tripods in this guide.)
Leg Locks & Joints
The legs on the Corey have three positions and you’ll need to relieve the upward pressure on the shoulder lock very slightly to make it easier to press and then move the legs.
The shoulder locks are metal on metal but they have a little bit of play as part of their functionality, and this can feel slightly out of place given the precision design of every other part of this tripod.
The leg locks on the Punks Corey are satisfying to use. When extending, you can grab all four locks together (though you will need a fairly large hand) and twist them together, speeding up the locking/unlocking process.
Flip locks (i.e., a small lever instead of a twisting mechanism) can be quicker but they have the disadvantage of adding bulk (and noise!) and may work loose over time, requiring more maintenance.
Once locked, the leg sections feel secure but without being difficult to unlock. Some very precise engineering has gone on here, especially given the feedback that you feel as you tighten and untighten each lock.
The 3 Legged Thing website discusses the different types of grips they have on their various tripod models, and the rubber and texture is clearly an area that has been given a lot of thought during the design process.
- Need something stronger? Check out the 3 Legged Thing Charles 2.0 heavy duty tripod
The 3 Legged Thing Corey comes with its own AirHed Neo Ball Head which can be removed and swapped out with a bit of unscrewing. Operation is smooth and it comes with three spirit levels to help you ensure that your camera is perfectly lined up.
A smaller knob unlocks the pan, and the larger knob unlocks the ball itself. Untightening very slightly allows you to make more subtle adjustments rather than the whole head becoming loose immediately.
At the base of the ball head, you’ll find degree markings to help with your precision when constructing panoramas.
Value for Money
The 3 Legged Thing Corey with AirHed Neo Ball Head sells for around US$200.
Given the height, weight, size, stability, and build quality, it’s fair to say that the Corey offers excellent value as a travel tripod, and that’s before you consider all of the extra bells and whistles that are included.
One of the legs unscrews completely to become a monopod, and you can also attach the center column to extend it further. This then also allows a choice of thread — ¼ inch or ⅜ inch — which means you can easily attach audio gear and use the monopod as a boom pole for a microphone.
The tripod ships with a handy tool that has a built-in carabiner so that it can stay clipped to your tripod collar, or you can attach it to your keyring. This tool will tighten up any shoulder connections that might work loose, as well as making it simple to screw and unscrew your L-bracket.
Speaking of which, I bought myself a 3 Legged Thing L-bracket to go with the Corey’s Arca-Swiss compatible quick-release plate. I’m more comfortable using an L-bracket rather than the included baseplate and I’d recommend this if you shoot a lot in portrait orientation.
In addition, the feet — a.k.a Bootz — can be swapped out and 3 Legged Thing sell a couple of other options depending on which surfaces you expect to encounter on your travels.
All in all, it’s great value for money and a highly recommended purchase if you’re willing to invest in a product that offers much more than competing models.
3 Legged Thing Corey Tripod | Conclusion
The 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey Tripod with AirHed Neo Ball Head is an excellent choice when it comes to selecting a travel tripod.
It’s built to last, is satisfying to use, and includes a raft of nice touches that show the care and attention that went into its design.
I particularly like the tactile feedback you get from this tripod, whether it’s twisting the leg locks or adjusting the ball head. It allows you to be precise while also feeling secure in knowing that nothing is going to slip.
The 3 Legged Thing Corey Tripod packs a lot into a compact form and will serve you well for years to come.