Disclaimer: Benro gave us a complimentary Travel Angel tripod in exchange for an honest review. Also, some links in this post contain affiliate links and we will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our links. As always, we only recommend products that we trust and love.
First off, let us say that this post could be also titled: How chasing our camera and tripod down a mountain actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Let me tell you a story.
The Setting: Pike’s Peak a 14er in Colorado Springs, Colorado
The Characters: Logan, myself, our camera, our tripod, the mountain
So it’s the first day of our trip in Colorado and we’re leaving Over Easy, a bumpin’ popular brunch spot in Colorado Springs and we’re both discussing how excited we are to visit Pikes Peak. While we are both avid hikers, we decided that with limited time and lack of preparation for the altitude change we shouldn’t attempt to hike – instead, we decided to drive.
While heading up this beautiful 14er we frequently stopped to take pictures as there are many places to pull over.
One of the photos we took after the events took place. GoPro ftw!
Upon getting closer to the top we started to notice that the wind had picked up a little (after all, it was 10,000 ft in elevation at this point) and Logan had said that we should try to get a few photos together before reaching the top (as we knew it would be busy). At first, I was skeptical because our tripod was one that we received as part of a bundle of accessories and was extremely flimsy and lightweight. I know, expert photographers are shaking their heads in shame right now – sorry guys we’re amateurs at best. But I didn’t say much until I saw Logan whistling away setting up the tripod and noticed that the legs were swaying in the wind.
For your entertainment, here’s a play by play of our conversation to the best I can remember:
K: “Logan, we might want to skip the tripod shots at this spot. It seems really windy and I’m afraid the tripod will blow over.”
L: “Nah babe, it’s fine… the camera will weigh it down a little bit and it will be fine.”
K: “No but seriously… we might want to rethink this.”
L: “No but seriously… it will be fine.”
K: “Okay, if you’re sure.”
Well, no… it was not fine and we should have realized this long before because I am usually the one that jumps in deep without looking ahead first. I guess after being together for 6 years Logan still doesn’t realize that I can predict the future. 😉
I know… you’re dying to find out what happened next…
We take our positions and he has our camera remote in hand, Logan clicks the shutter button and we take a few photos which didn’t turn out like we’d hoped for. Still skeptical I say: “It’s okay, we can always take later or closer to the bottom where it’s not so windy.” (HINT HINT).
We try again and this time we hear a loud CRACK. We turned around to watch in horror as our tripod and camera begin to tumble down the side of Pike’s Peak. This is where my lack of judgment kicks back in. I begin frantically run and climb down the mountain in order to save our camera. Fortunately, I was fine and the camera stopped rolling after only falling a short distance. All the while, some nearby visitors are cracking up at our misfortune.
We both sit down and I begin to inspect the camera, while Logan tried to ignore the low grumbling and muttering coming from me. At first, we look at the body of the camera and the lens. Somehow nothing was damaged on the exterior. Then we turn the camera off and on again and nothing happens… Secretly I’m panicking inside, but then it miraculously turns on. Phew, sweating bullets. Then we both hear a “nails on the chalkboard” type sound as the lens to our camera is focusing – NOT GOOD.
We walk back to our truck and begin to clean our camera and remove the lens to see if there was something we could do. After turning it off and on again a few more times the terrible noise seems to sound better and the camera also seems to be fully functional. HOW? Yeah, I still don’t have a clue. But thankfully we were able to use it for the duration of our trip and when we returned home we shipped it off with our extended warranty where they did some tune-ups.
Back to the Tripod
So you’re probably wondering: “where is this going?” After inspecting our camera we began to inspect our tripod to which we noticed that one of the legs was bent and broken. We began to look on Amazon to see if we could order a new one and have it shipped to a hotel but we couldn’t figure out which one to buy and wanted to research more before making an impulse decision. We salvaged what we could and somehow managed to use our broken tripod the rest of the trip. A few months later we were introduced to tripod company, Benro. We are currently using their Travel Angel tripods and no longer have the fear of our camera taking a tumble again.
Here are some things we love about our Benro tripod:
The Benro Travel Angel fits perfectly in both my backpack/daypack (pictured below) or Logan’s daypack.
It’s lightweight, but not fragile
At roughly 3.2lbs the Benro Travel Angel doesn’t add too much bulk to our luggage but is still sturdy enough to withstand the weight and mild weather elements.
Extremely easy to set-up/take down
Just twist to unlock and you have a set up that takes only a matter of seconds!
It comes with awesome features and accessories
- Included in the kit is a triple action ball head with a quick release plate and individual controls for pan lock, drag and ball lock.
- Maximum load: 17.6 lbs (compatible with the majority of cameras)
- Reaches a maximum height of 58.9 inches and a minimum height of 15.28 inches
- One tripod leg can easily be converted into a monopod (how cool is that!?)
- Convenient carrying case included to protect your tripod
Have you ever had a travel horror story like this?