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13 Best Monopods for Cameras in 2022 (& What to Look for!)

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Monopods are becoming a must-have piece of equipment for many photographers. Professionals in sports, portrait, and wildlife photography all swear by the monopod. And finding the best monopod for your camera will help you improve your photography game.

Our list of the best monopods for cameras saves you from doing arduous and boring research. We have the best monopods for all photographers. There are monopods for beginners and professionals. And we have a monopod for every budget.

Woman taking a photo with a camera on a monopod
© Teo Lazarev (Depositphotos.com)

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Monopods vs. Tripods

Monopods and tripods both serve the same purpose in photography. They give a photographer stability with their camera, giving them more control over their camera settings. Monopods and tripods act as a platform for the camera. This means the photographer doesn’t have to support the camera with their hands while shooting.

The main physical difference is that a tripod has three legs and a monopod has one. The three-leg system allows the tripod to stand independently, holding the camera in place. A monopod has one vertical leg and can’t balance on its own.

While a tripod gives you excellent stability when taking a photo, erecting it and taking it down again can be a nightmare. And this is especially true if you have to move a lot to take pictures. You can move it erected with the camera attached, but this is far from an ideal solution.

The monopod gives you the stability you need to get the shot. But you don’t lose any mobility. The vertical leg stabilizes the camera while you take a picture. And then you’re free to move your position as and when you need to.

Tripods remain popular with landscape, portrait, and fine art photographers. But sports, action, and wildlife photographers need to be more mobile when shooting. And the monopod has provided them with the perfect solution.

The monopod has become an essential piece of camera gear for photographers in these fields. Sports photographers can shoot night events, with the monopod allowing them to use slower shutter speeds. They can keep their ISO low. And they can move about with the action on the field.

It’s the same with wildlife photographers working at dawn and dusk. They need more freedom with the exposure settings. And it’s also about supporting the weight of the camera. These types of photography also require telephoto lenses. These are bulky pieces of equipment. And the monopod takes the weight so your arms don’t feel fatigued.

Man walking through a field carrying lots of camera equipment
© Mauvries (Depositphotos.com)

What to Look For in a Monopod

The budget is the first thing you need to think about when buying any camera gear. And the monopod is no different. Thankfully, there are high-quality monopods in every price bracket. There is a difference in quality between the top and bottom of the scale, but there is something for everyone.

Your camera is your most valuable piece of equipment. You need to make sure the monopod you buy can support the camera and lenses you use. Look at the maximum weight limits. And go for monopods made from strong and durable materials. Avoid cheap plastic models. Trying to save money here could cost you dearly in camera damage later.

Consider the type of photography you do. Do you need something lightweight and mobile for moving around a sports field? Or do you want something more sturdy for more precise shooting? Knowing this will help you choose the weight and the material of the monopod.

Many monopods have features some photographers will like. There are ball-head joints for changing shooting angles. Some have quick-adjust telescopic legs for changing height and position. And some have padded feet so the monopod doesn’t slip. They’re all features you may or may not want in your monopod.

Man in a bucket hat taking pictures of a sports even with a telephoto lens
© Miflippo (Depositphotos.com)

The 13 Best Monopods for Cameras

Now we’ll look at the monopods. We’ve compiled a varied list that has monopods for any type of photographer. If you want to shoot sports photography, animals in the wild, or pristine portraits, we have a monopod for you.

1. Manfrotto XPRO+

Manfrotto XPRO+ Monopod product photo

  • Extended Height: 79.92″ (203 cm)
  • Retracted Height: 30.71″ (78 cm)
  • Weight: 4.63 lbs (2.1 kgs)
  • Build Material: Aluminum

The Manfrotto XPRO+ is the best camera monopod on the market right now. It isn’t the cheapest. But it offers the best balance in quality and price. It’s a multipurpose monopod, supporting DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. And it can be used for photoshoots and videos.

Manfrotto has been making a name for itself as one of the best manufacturers of camera accessories. And this XPRO+ monopod is a prime example. The build quality is excellent with a strong aluminum body. There’s a bit of heft to it, which adds stability and security. But it’s not so heavy you’ll feel fatigued when you need to move.

The maximum height is 79.92 inches (203 cm), so it’s suitable for photographers of all sizes. And you can even shoot above your head if necessary. And you can keep the camera attached when retracted, using it as a stabilizer for shooting video.

The stereoscopic leg is adjusted using quick power locks. They provide a secure grip when attached, so the head doesn’t slip down. But they’re quick and easy to release when you need to make a change.

The Manfrotto XPRO+ monopod has mini tripod legs at the base for extra stability. It won’t support a full load of a camera and lens on its own. But it keeps your shots steady and avoids unwanted camera shake. The tripod base is connected with a ball joint, making it adaptable to uneven surfaces.

2. Vanguard Veo 2S AM-264TR

Vanguard VEO 2S AM-624RT monopod for camera

  • Extended Height: 64″ (162 cm)
  • Retracted Height: 21.5″ (54.6 cm)
  • Weight: 1.96 lbs (.89 kgs)
  • Build Material: Aluminum

The Vanguard Veo 2S AM-264TR combines fantastic build quality and versatility. It’s durable and lightweight, built for the hard-working life of a professional photographer. This camera monopod offers excellent value for money, with an action-orientated design and reasonable price tag.

The central pole is made of aluminum, which is both strong and lightweight. The telescopic leg gives you an excellent height range, making it a suitable monopod for photographers of all ages. And the easy-twist leg locks are a simple and reliable solution for adjusting the height. There are no fiddly locks, so you can erect or retract your pole in seconds.

The Vanguard Veo 2S AM-264TR has tripod legs at the base for extra stability. The legs are retractable, so you can fold them away when moving to your next shot. And the main pole is connected to the base with a flexible joint for pivoting the monopod. This gives you the stability you need when working on uneven surfaces.

The maximum load weight is 13.23 lbs (6 kgs). That’s enough for a professional-grade DSLR camera and a large lens. And the monopod adds less than 2 lbs to the total weight, making it easy to move when shooting. The lightweight and retractable frame also make it perfect for travel photography. And the wrist strap is another handy feature.

This option from Vanguard is also a great monopod for smartphone photographers. There’s a smartphone connector that holds your phone in place. And the light weight of the phone means the monopod can stand unaided. Or you can use it as a selfie stick. And with the Bluetooth remote, it’s perfect for selfies or travel blogs and vlogs.

3. 3 Legged Thing Punks Trent 2.0

3 Legged Thing Punks Trent 2.0 monopod for camera

  • Extended Height: 79.5″ (202 cm)
  • Retracted Height: 23.6″ (60 cm)
  • Weight: 2.13 lb (.96 kg)
  • Build Material: Magnesium Alloy

The camera monopod from 3 Legged Thing gives you one of the longest extended ranges. But it’s also one of the most lightweight monopods for its size. It gives you excellent bang for your buck, with a reasonable price tag and fantastic stability. The Punks Trent 2.0 is worth considering if you’re looking for the best monopod for photography.

This monopod is stripped-down and simple. But I mean that as a positive. You position your camera directly on top, and the four-piece monopod allows you to get stable shots. It can support a staggering 66 lbs (30 kgs) of gear. That’s more than enough for heavy camera bodies and big lenses. You can rest easy with the Punks Trent 2.0.

The height is easily adjusted using the twist locks found at the bottom of each leg section. The starting height is 23.6″ (60 cm), which is expandable to a massive 79.5″ (202 cm). That gives you incredible scope and flexibility for getting the high-angle shots you want. And despite the height, the magnesium alloy frame is light and easy to carry.

The base of the monopod has a detachable rubber foot. It gives you additional grip on slippery surfaces and is ideal for many types of terrain. And it can be swapped for other foot accessories if you need something different.

This monopod is simple in design but highly effective in application. It gives you tremendous height and can support any camera you need to use. It’s durable, portable, and helps you get sharp shots in trying conditions. It’s an excellent monopod for photographers and videographers.

4. Manfrotto Element MII

Manfrotto Element MII monopod product shot

  • Extended Height: 62.6″ (159 cm)
  • Retracted Height: 16.9″ (43 cm)
  • Weight: 1.48 lbs (.7 kgs)
  • Build Material: Aluminum

There’s no surprise that Manfrotto is again featured so highly on our list. Their equipment is some of the best on the market. And the Manfrotto Element MII is another superb camera monopod. It’s more affordable than the XPRO+ model. But you still get quality and stability.

The aluminum body is lightweight, compact, and easy to transport. It weighs only 1.48 lbs (.7 kgs), making it perfect for travel photography or landscape expeditions into the wilderness. And it’s small enough to fit in your backpack when reduced to its smallest form.

The central column is made of 5 sections. And you adjust them for height using the waterproof twist locks. The twist locks are uncomplicated, making changing the height a straightforward and quick operation. That’s helpful if you need quick mobility to capture the pictures you need.

The base has three foldable feet, giving you extra stability for sharp shots. The three feet each have their own rubber foot for grip. And the base is attached to the main pole with a pivoting ball joint. It can cope with any terrain and gives you the flexibility you need as a busy photographer.

The aluminum construction might be lightweight, but it’s also robust and reliable. It has a maximum capacity of 35 lbs (16 kgs). That’ll support your DSLR or mirrorless camera and a large lens. Whether you shoot sports, nature, or action photography, you can’t go wrong with this Manfrotto Element monopod.

5. Gitzo Series 2 Traveler GM2562T

Gitzo Series 2 Traveler GM2562T monopod for camera

  • Extended Height: 55.91″ (142 cm)
  • Retracted Height: 14.17″ (36 cm)
  • Weight: 0.89 lbs (.4 kgs)
  • Build Material: Carbon Fiber

As you can tell by the name, this camera monopod is built for photographers who travel. It’s small and incredibly lightweight. The build quality is first-rate, but it isn’t cheap. The Gitzo Series 2 Traveler GM2562T is a premium product with a price tag to match. Photographers who purchase this monopod don’t regret it, but you need the right budget.

The body is made of hollow carbon fiber tubes consisting of five separate sections. And each leg section has a twist lock, so they’re quick to release and easy to tighten. Together, the whole monopod weighs only 0.89 lbs (.4 kgs), which is feather-light. And the wrist strap provides extra security when moving around for shots.

The maximum height is 55.91″ (142 cm), which is plenty for most photographers. And when retracted, it’s small enough to put in your travel bag. Despite its small frame, it can support gear weighing up to 26.46 lbs (12 kgs). It can’t hold the heaviest camera and lens setups. But that’s enough for travel photographers when they’re on the road.

6. Benro MSD46C SupaDupa Monopod

Benro SupaDupa Monopod product image

  • Extended Height: 72″ (182 cm)
  • Retracted Height: 16.5″ (45 cm)
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs (.59 kgs)
  • Build Material: Carbon Fiber / Stainless Steel

The SupaDupa monopod from Benro is another versatile option for enthusiasts and professionals. It sits in one of the middle price brackets, so it’s not the cheapest monopod. But the robust construction demonstrates that the SupaDupa monopod is worth the money.

It gives you plenty of height with a maximum reach of 72 inches (182 cm). That’s enough for most photographers. And it folds down to a portable size to easily fit in your travel bag. The main leg sections are made of ultra-lightweight carbon fiber. And even though there are stainless steel elements, the overall weight remains low.

The central legs have waterproof twist locks for easy tightening and loosening. And leg locks are also dustproof, giving you extra protection in testing environments. This protection prevents the threading from becoming blocked with grit and sand, keeping the twist-action smooth. You also have a fast-action flip lock for the main leg section for more security.

7. Manfrotto 290 (Carbon Fiber)

Manfrotto 290 carbon fiber monopod product photo

  • Extended Height: 59.4″ (150 cm)
  • Retracted Height: 19.29″ (49 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs (.5 kgs)
  • Build Material: Carbon Fiber

The 290 model is one of the more simple designs from Manfrotto. But this simplicity is precisely what some photographers are looking for. It’s usable and uncomplicated. And the build quality is as good as you’d expect from Manfrotto.

There are aluminum and carbon fiber models of the Manfrotto 290 monopod and both are excellent. But while the aluminum option is cheaper, the overall quality of the carbon fiber model is worth the extra cost.

The 290 camera monopod can carry a weight of 11 lbs (5 kgs). That’s not the heaviest load, but it’ll support professional standard cameras with lens attachments. The height range isn’t record-breaking, but a max extension of 59.4″ (150 cm) is more than enough for most photographers.

The individual leg sections are tightened and released with aluminum flip locks. They’re quick to release and easy to tighten when you need to readjust for your next shot. It also has a rubber leg warmer design and a wrist strap for extra security. And the bottom of the pole has a rubber foot that grips on uneasy surfaces.

8. Sirui AM-326M Portable Monopod

Sirui AM-326M monopod product photo

  • Extended Height: 61″ (155 cm)
  • Retracted Height: 15.6″ (39 cm)
  • Weight: 0.9 lbs (.4 kgs)
  • Build Material: Carbon Fiber

This compact and portable monopod from Sirui offers excellent value for money. It’s small and light enough for your travel bag. But it has a robust construction, so you know it will survive the trip intact. It’s an ideal monopod for travel and adventure photographers.

The total weight is only 0.9 lbs (.4 kg), so you’ll barely feel it in your backpack. But the carbon fiber frame is strong enough to burden a max load of 22 lbs (10 kgs). That’s not the strongest on the list, but definitely enough for your travel cameras.

The six sections have twist-leg locks. And a half-turn twist of the lock gives you a controlled release so you can get the exact length you need. The foam grip on the upper section makes the monopod a pleasure to use. And the rubber foot at the bottom allows you to get a steadier shot indoors and outdoors. The wrist strap is another thoughtful feature.

9. Manfrotto Compact Extreme 2-in-1 Monopod

Manfrotto compact extreme 2-in-1 monopd

  • Extended Height: 51.57″ (130 cm)
  • Retracted Height: 16.14″ (41 cm)
  • Weight: 0.71 lbs (.32 kgs)
  • Build Material: Aluminum

This aluminum model from Manfrotto offers something for small and lightweight cameras. It has a max weight capacity of 2.2 lbs (1 kg), meaning it can’t support heavy cameras and large lenses. But it’s perfect for compact cameras, smartphones, and action cameras.

Despite the weight limitations, you still get plenty of reach with the 51.57″ (130 cm) maximum height. And the four leg sections have a quick-release flip lock for rapid changes. The top section has an aluminum ball head for smooth panning and tilt movements.

It’s one of the most affordable Manfrotto monopods if you want to shoot video or stills. The price is very reasonable, and the build quality is excellent. It’s not a monopod for professionals. But it’ll give amateurs the enhanced stability they need.

10. Neewer Extendable Monopod

Neewer Extendable monopod

  • Extended Height: 66″ (167 cm)
  • Retracted Height: 20.47″ (52 cm)
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs (.5 kgs)
  • Build Material: Carbon Fiber / Aluminum

Neewer is another brand that’s built a solid reputation for photography accessories over the last few years. And this extendable monopod is definitely worth your consideration. It’s a well-made piece of equipment with an affordable price tag. It doesn’t break any records for height or capacity, but it’s a respectable piece of photography gear.

The five central poles are carbon fiber. And they’re adjusted with the water and dustproof twist locks. When fully extended, you get a maximum height of 66″ (167 cm). And it’s quick and easy to make adjustments when shooting. You attach your DSLR or mirrorless camera directly to the top. And there’s a foam grip and wrist strap for security.

The base has three foldable feet for extra-stable support on all terrain. They’re strong aluminum stands with rubber feet for grip. And the flexible joint between the base and the pole gives you 15 degrees of tilt. It’s supportive and flexible enough to get the shots you need.

11. 3 Legged Thing Alan 2.0

3 Legged Thing Alan 2.0 monopod product shot

  • Extended Height: 56.3″ (143 cm)
  • Retracted Height: 17.32″ (44 cm)
  • Weight: 1.35 lbs (.62 kgs)
  • Build Material: Carbon Fiber

The Alan 2.0 monopod from 3 Legged Thing is a beast. It doesn’t have the highest expandable reach. But it does have a load capacity of 132 lbs (60 kgs). That’s genuinely impressive for a monopod. And it’s much more than most photographers and videographers need. It’s also a solid piece of kit you can rely on.

The central poles are tough carbon fiber. And the upper section has a rubber grip area making it easy and comfortable to handle. Each leg section has a twist lock to release and tighten. The twist-action on the leg locks is smooth, making height adjustments easy even when you’re in a hurry.

The Alan 2.0 comes with a detachable rubber boot. It provides the grip you need in any environment. And it can be replaced by other 3 Legged Thing accessories. You also have the tri-mount plate at the top for your camera. The Alan 2.0 isn’t cheap, but it’s one of the toughest photography tools you’ll find.

12. Avella CD324 Monopod Kit

Avella CD324 monopod kit product image

  • Extended Height: 71″ (180 cm)
  • Retracted Height: 27.55″ (70 cm)
  • Weight: 5.95 lbs (2.7 kgs)
  • Build Material: Carbon Fiber

The Avella CD324 Monopod isn’t the lightest option. Nor is it the smallest monopod on this list. But it’s a solid piece of photography gear. And definitely worth your consideration if you make videos.

The central leg sections are made of carbon fiber. And you have strong flip locks that release the sections when you need to make a change. The head has a quick-release plate for your DSLR or mirrorless camera. And there’s a control handle for effortless tilting and panning.

The base has aluminum tripod legs you can unfold for additional support on tough terrain. The legs are connected to the central column with a ball joint, so you can rotate and tilt the monopod without losing stability. You can also attach the quick-release plate onto the tripod base to make a mini tripod if the monopod is too long.

13. Koolehaoda Compact Monopod

Koolehaoda compact monopod with case and spike product photo

  • Extended Height: 61.4″ (156 cm)
  • Retracted Height: 15″ (38 cm)
  • Weight: 0.94 lbs (.43 kgs)
  • Build Material: Aluminum

The Koolehaoda Compact Monopod is a great option if your budget is tight. It won’t be able to support a full-time professional on the job. But it’s an affordable option for amateurs using smaller and lighter cameras.

It’s a lightweight piece of gear, weighing only 0.94 lbs (.43 kg). And it gives a reasonable max height of 61.4″ (156 cm), which is enough for most photographers at this level. The maximum load weight is 22 lbs (10 kgs). That’s plenty of leeway for adding heavier lenses to your camera.

It folds down to 15″ (38 cm), which is small enough for your camera bag. The upper section has a foam grip area for comfort. And the base has a rubber foot and metal spike to get a grip on the ground beneath you. The Koolehaoda Compact Monopod won’t be stealing any headlines any time soon. But it’s an understated success if you need a monopod on a budget.

Man with long hair and a cap using a camera on a monopod
© Jump Story

Conclusion

Monopods are vital pieces of equipment if you need stability and don’t want to restrict your movement. They allow you to use lower ISO settings and slower shutter speeds. But you’re not trapped in one place like when using a tripod.

And there’s a monopod for everyone. You can shoot sports or wildlife photography. You can use a monopod for photography or video making. And there’s a good monopod for every budget.

Our top pick for the best monopod is the Manfrotto XPRO+. It’s a professional model, but you won’t regret it if you have the budget. But any other the monopods come recommended by us. If you find the monopod that suits you best, you’ll be a happier photographer.

If you’re using a monopod to stabilize your shots of wildlife in the field, check out our Wonderful Wildlife ebook to take your wildlife shot to the next level!

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