When I first saw the Splat flexible tripod in person, I was immediately brought back to my youth watching Nickelodeon and its logo featuring an orange splatter of slime.
The folks at Miggo were kind enough to send me a review unit to put through the ringer and see just how well it holds up against a heavy DSLR. I warned them that I would be putting their product through tough tests, especially after having been disappointed by so many flexible tripods in the past.
Expecting them to change their minds, I was surprised to see their package in the mail a few weeks later. They not only sent a Splat, but one of their aqua stormproof holsters, as well.
I went in to the process fully expecting it to fail tests in all but the most ideal of situations. Needless to say, I was wrong.
Strength and Durability
When it comes to flexible tripods, the one thing you don’t want is to have it come loose while your expensive camera equipment is locked to it.
You want it to hold your gear steady and strong so that a small bump or a strong breeze won’t send your camera crashing to the ground.
I decided to put the Splat to the test with my 29.3oz Sony RX10, a moderately heavy DSLR bridge with an awkward center of gravity due in part to the heavy glass used in the lens.
The Splat not only held my camera while danging from a tree upside down, it did so while I was pulling on it with a significant amount of force.
The arms on the splat are a lot stiffer than they look, and it takes some doing to bend them. Once you have them wrapped around something, like a tree branch, they don’t let go very easily.
The Splat’s silicon exterior gives it some added grip on smooth surfaces. There are even little bumps on the feet that keep it from sliding around on table tops.
Now granted, the Splat isn’t going to hold your camera in place while you’re dangling from it like a cartoon character holding on to a twig overlooking a canyon. What it will do is keep your camera where you want it without a lot of wobble or give to disrupt your shot.
One of the cool things about flexible tripods is how versatile they are, thanks in part to their flexibility.
For example, you can bend all of the Splat’s legs down and use it as a monopod for more stable video shooting, fold them up and around the camera to give it some added protection on the road, and of course wrap around objects that would be impossible with a rigid tripod.
The Splat is super flexible. The interior is a metal material that bends just about every way you could want it to, and unlike the ball-joint design of a Gorilla tripod, it is thin enough to slip in to tight spaces.
One of the little quirks about the Split that I noticed when I received it was a little hole in the middle of one of its feet. I found out that this little hole actually serves a dual purpose. It enables you to mount the camera to the foot rather than the center as it comes configured (the camera mount comes right out).
Doing this with a heavy DSLR is ill advised as a single arm has a lot less holding power than having your camera in the middle of three of them.
However, one thing you can do is use this hole to mount your Splat on the wall. A wide-headed nail and a little creativity, and you have a perfect wall mount for your camera. This is great for surveillance shots.
The Splat comes with a standard ¼”–20 screw that includes a locking ring that makes it easy to tighten the screw without a penny. In spite of everything the Splat has proven already, this is perhaps my favorite feature.
The Splat starts at $19.99 for GoPro, action, and point-and-shoot cameras and goes up to $24.99 for the larger SLR version made for larger DSLR-style cameras.
At this price, it provides a decent value. Its biggest competitor in the market, the GorillaPod, prices about $10 higher depending on where you are buying from.
I found the Splat to be surprisingly strong and adequately grippy, but its real value is in its versatility as it can serve so many different roles in your camera bag.
If you’re in the market for a flexible tripod, the Splat is absolutely worth considering.