3 Legged Thing Punks Corey and Travis Tripods

      Photo Review 9.0

      In summary

      Both tripods come highly recommended because they score well above the average for build quality, durability and ease of use. Not unexpectedly, you will pay a premium price for such high quality. However, there’s really nothing to compete with either of these tripods on the current market when it comes to weight-to-payload ratio.

      Full review

      For most of the past two weeks we’ve been playing host to Corey and Travis, two compact tripods in the Punks range from British tripod designer, 3 Legged Thing. Corey is the entry level micro-traveller model, while Travis is more of a general-purpose tripod. Both are compact and relatively light in weight with  multi-section legs secured by a proprietary Bubble Grip twist-lock system and interchangeable ‘footware’ to suit different terrains. Both tripods are capable of supporting just about any mirrorless or DSLR camera and lens combination and can even be used for medium-format cameras like the Fujifilm GFX-50s.

      The Punks Corey (left) and Travis(right) tripod kits, which include the AirHed Neo ball head. Travis is shown in the ‘Anarchy’ colours. (Source: 3 Legged Thing.)

      3 Legged Thing is a relatively new entrant to the market, having been established by Danny Lenihan back in 2010 in the town of Stagsden, Bedfordshire. You can read about the company here. The tripods are designed and engineered in England but the two models we received were labelled ‘Made in China’.

      In Australia, both tripods are normally sold in kit format, with the AirHed Neo ball head attached. They are available in two colour options: grey with Equinox Copper (orange) accents and blue AirHed or matte black with accents of British Racing Green (the ‘Anarchy’ version). Each tripod comes in a tough nylon carry bag, which is packed in a smart cardboard carton with prominent lettering in ‘punk’ style graphics.

      In its folded configuration, Corey measures only 35 cm in length, while Travis is 10 cm longer.
      In this illustration, Corey is shown in ‘Anarchy’ livery. (Source: 3 Legged Thing.)

      The differences between the two models are small, but significant. Corey packs up smaller thanks to five-section legs, while Travis, with four-section legs, is a little cheaper and can take a heavier load. The table below highlights features that are similar and different in both models.

      Corey Travis
      Material Magnesium alloy
      Max. load capacity 14 kg 18 kg
      Kit weight (incl. AirHed) 1.5 kg 1.6 kg
      Leg sections 5 4
      Max. leg tube diameter 23 mm
      Column sections 2 1
      Folded length 350 mm 450 mm
      Max. height with AirHed 1.5 metres 1.65 metres
      Max. height without column and AirHed 1.18 metres 1.39 metres
      Minimum height 185 mm 195 mm
      Monopod max. height with AirHed 1.5 metres 1.71 metres
      RRP ($AU) $323 $293

      Both tripods are supplied with a Toolz carabiner, which carries the necessary 4 mm hex key and screwdriver you need for unscrewing and re-attaching removable parts and attaching accessories to the D-ring. This handy tool can also be used as a key ring and bottle opener as well as for adjusting other photographic products (or even assembling flat-pack furniture).

      We were also provided with the QR11 L bracket (RRP AU$83), which is designed to fit most cameras (mirrorless and DSLR) and is also supplied with the Toolz carabiner. As well as giving the camera a better grip, it makes it easy to swap the camera between landscape and portrait orientations without requiring the ball head to be re-adjusted

      For larger cameras and cameras with battery grips attached, a full body bracket, the QR11-FBC is available at AU$93 (RRP). Both brackets are available in Equinox Copper or Eclipse Metallic Slate (grey) colours and both feature an adjustable base screw and side opening for cable door access plus strap connectors on the base and upright ends.

      Accessories like magic arms, adapters, microphones and lights can be attached via the threading at the top of the vertical arm on the QR11 L bracket. (Source: 3 Legged Thing.)

      The vertical arm of each bracket can be unscrewed with the supplied Toolz device, enabling it to be packed flat in a camera bag or briefcase. A tapped 1/4-inch thread in the vertical arm can be used for mounting accessories like magic arms, cold and hotshoe adapters, microphones and lights onto the camera.

      Footwear accessories include (clockwise from top left: Bootz, Heelz, Stilettoz and Clawz. (Source: 3 Legged Thing.)

      Both tripods come with Bootz feet but three other types of ‘footwear’ are available as options: Heelz, Stilettoz and Clawz, each designed to provide stability on different substrates. The replacement feet can also be used when the tripod is in monopod form.

      Who are they for?
      Which one you choose will depend on how small you need the tripod to pack down and the maximum weight of the equipment you expect it to support. Corey’s compact size and relatively light weight of 1.5 kilograms makes it a good choice for travellers. Either in its bag or out of it, Corey will fit easily into a suitcase and can also be attached to the side or back of a smallish backpack.

      The slightly larger Travis tripod bridges the gap between travel tripods and more professional models. Designed for general use, it works better with a medium-to-large backpack because it’s a bit longer than Corey and marginally heavier but it can carry four kilograms more.

      Build and Ergonomics
      Both Corey and Travis are made from aircraft grade magnesium alloy, which is both very strong and relatively light. Both tripods look and feel very solid and a cut above competing models in build quality.

      When packed, the legs are flipped up around the head, which is enclosed in a soft nylon drawstring bag. The entire kit is enclosed in a larger drawstring bag, which has a carry-strap attached and comes in heavier gauge nylon.

      Extending and retracting the legs on each tripod is easy, involving a simple twist of the bulbous locks that connect each section. A twist in the opposite direction locks the leg firmly into position.

      Unlike some cheaper tripods, both tripods’ legs can be set to different angles with click-in positions at 23 degrees, 55 degrees and 80 degrees. A spring-loaded pull-down lock at the top of each leg releases the leg so it can be tilted in or out. Again, once locked, the leg will remain in the set position.

      The system is simple in concept and we found it easy to use, requiring minimal force to adjust the leg sections and lock them securely into place. We had no problems with setting up the tripod during the period of our review; nor were there problems with maintaining overall stability.

      Because it has more leg and column sections, Corey provides a little more flexibility when it comes to height adjustments, although its overall range is a little less. With its copper-coloured joints, the Corey tripod we received looked smarter and more eye-catching than the subdued Travis ‘Anarchy’ model (which would be a better colour choice for photographers who wanted to avoid attracting attention).

      Fitting a mirrorless camera to either tripod was easy and it was almost as easy to mount a DSLR, even though the quick-release plate that forms part of the AirHed Neo is rather small. The Toolz carabiner that comes attached to the Tri-Mount Plate includes a convenient fitting for screwing the plate onto the base of the camera. It’s also easy to remove the quick-release plate once the plate lock on the head is released.

      The plate lock is a conveniently-sized screw knob that, when turned one way extends the plate’s edges outwards, enabling the quick-release plate attached to the camera to be mounted. Turning the lock in the opposite direction moves the plate’s edges inwards, clamping the plate into place. It’s very simple and the camera is held securely.

      The Travis tripod in use, showing the Toolz carabiner hanging from the Tri-Mount Plate.

      The Tri-Mount Plate has cutouts which can be used for attaching a strap, the Toolz carabiner or another compatible accessory.  Its central bolt has 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch threads and can be removed and reversed, as required.

      Spirit levels are embedded in the end of the quick-release plate mount as well as in the plate lock knob, allowing users to check whether the head is level in all directions. The camera platform sits atop the ball head, which is contained within a solid casing. Feeding into this casing are a ball control lock and a pan control knob. When these are released, the head can be rotated freely. A calibrated scale in the pan base enables users to re-set the orientation to its original position at the end of a pan and control the degree of the head’s movement.

      At the base of the central column is a D-Ring with a removable base that has a loop for attaching a carry strap or a ballast bag for stabilising the tripod in windy conditions. To remove the central column you unscrew the D-ring and loosen the collar at the top of the column. This lets you pull out the column and remove the collar completely.

      Removing the D-ring from the base of the central column (circled in red) lets you pull the column out when converting the tripod into a monopod.

      The Tri-Mount Plate can be unscrewed from the other end of the column and then screwed directly into the canopy at the top of the legs. In this position, you can extend the legs outwards until the base of the AirHed is roughly 12 cm above the floor (or ground) for worm’s eye view shooting.

      Converting the tripod to a monopod is simple. One of the legs on each tripod has an orange band just below the catch that indicates the monopod leg. This leg can be unscrewed from the hinge and attached to the centre column (which has been removed from the tripod) to become a monopod.

      The band identifying the removable leg of the tripod is circled in red in the illustration above

      To remove the leg, flip it towards the tripod head and unscrew it.

      A screw thread on the leg (indicated by the arrow) allows it to be attached to the central column.

      Attaching the column and leg (circled in red) to convert the tripod into a monopod.

      You can click here to view videos on converting tripods to monopods, cleaning tripods, changing footwear, removing and inverting the centre column and other maintenance tasks. Instruction manuals are also available for downloading from this page.
      We tried fitting the QR11 L bracket to two cameras: a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, which we estimate should cover the range of cameras used by most readers who would purchase one of these tripods. With the Canon camera, the vertical arm of the bracket came up hard against the strap attachment of the camera and the only way a secure fitting could be achieved was by removing the camera strap. This allowed the strap loop to slip into the opening at the top of the vertical arm, which could then be aligned close to the camera body.

      Close-up showing the Canon EOS 5D Mark II fitted with the QR11 L bracket mounted on the AirHed Neo on top of a Travis tripod.

      With the Olympus camera, the tripod mounting sits well forward on the base plate, which means the QR11 L bracket is also pushed forwards. The strap loop on the left side of the camera can just fit below the lip of the larger slot on the vertical arm, although it has to be pointing downwards. In place, the bracket and camera integrate quite solidly and the camera strap can be pulled into the slot to keep it out of the way.

      Close-up of an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II fitted with the QR11 L bracket mounted on the AirHed Neo on top of a Corey tripod. The camera strap has been looped back through the slot in the bracket.

      The base of the bracket slots into the top of the AirHed Neo where the quick-release plate would otherwise fit. It is held securely by screwing in the plate lock.


      The usability of any tripod depends on three factors:
      1. How easy it is to extend and retract the legs and lock them into place.
      2. How easy it is to attach the camera plus lens.
      3. The overall stability of the set-up.
      4. How portable the set-up is when you need to move it.

      We found both tripods ticked all of these boxes. Which of the pair you choose will depend on your needs and your budget. Travellers will be drawn to Corey, while photographers looking for a durable general-purpose tripod might prefer Travis.

      Both tripods come highly recommended because they score well above the average for build quality, durability and ease of use. Not unexpectedly, you will pay a premium price for such high quality. However, there’s really nothing to compete with either of these tripods on the current market when it comes to weight-to-payload ratio.

      Regardless of which tripod you purchase, it’s worth shopping around before you buy. Our search of online prices in Australia yielded a range between AU$269 and $313 for Corey and AU$250-$279 for Travis. You won’t save money by shopping off-shore because most of the off-shore re-sellers’ sites we visited had prices that fitted within or fractionally below these ranges, once currency conversions had been made. By the time you’ve added shipping costs, you’ll end up paying more for each tripod than you would if you bought it locally.


      Material: Magnesium alloy
      Load capacity: 14 kg (Corey), 18 kg (Travis)
      Leg sections: 5 (Corey), 4 (Travis)
      Column sections: 2 (Corey), 1 (Travis)
      Max. leg tube diameter  23 mm
      Leg lock type: Rubber-coated twist type with weight-balanced parallel locks
      Leg angles: 23º, 55º, 80º
      Spiked/Detachable Feet: Yes; replaceable Heelz, Stilettoz, Clawz and Bootz accessories available
      Removable centre column: Yes
      Features: One leg can be detached and converted to a monopod, camera boom, microphone boom, lighting arm, selfie stick or other similar function.
      Head type: Detachable, AirHed Neo magnesium alloy ball heads; with Arca-Swiss quick release plate, bubble level and 1/4-inch camera mount thread; Base diameter = 143mm, Ball diameter = 36 mm, weight = 298 grams
      Maximum Height with AirHed: 147.5 cm (Corey), 165.1 cm (Travis)
      Maximum Height with column removed, without AirHed: 118 cm (Corey), 139 cm (Travis)
      Minimum Height with AirHed: 18.5 cm (Corey), 19.5 cm (Travis)
      Folded Length: 35 cm (Corey), 45 cm (Travis)
      Weight (incl. AirHed): 1.5 kilograms (Corey), 1.6 kilograms (Travis)
      Distributor: Blonde Robot; blonde-robot.com.au; (03) 9023 9777


      RRP: AU$323 (Corey), AU$293 (Travis)

      • Build quality: 9.0
      • Features: 9.0
      • Stability: 9.0
      • Versatility: 9.0