Man­frotto 685B Neotec £125, $190

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -­

Most monopods are con­ve­nient, but the 685B goes one bet­ter and ditches con­ven­tional leg clamps in favour of a su­per-speedy pis­tol grip de­sign. Sim­ply squeeze the trig­ger and the three-sec­tion leg will fall out and lock wher­ever you re­lease your grip. There’s even a sec­ondary safety trig­ger to pre­vent ac­ci­den­tal col­lapse.

This is the only mono­pod here to have a con­ven­tional base with no flip-out feet. In­stead, there’s a sin­gle pedal that en­ables you to hold the base steady with your foot and then ex­tend the mono­pod with one hand. You’ll want to keep this for use on sta­ble ground.

Large-di­am­e­ter tub­ing will hold a hefty 8kg of kit at up to 170cm, yet the mono­pod it­self weighs in at just 1.08kg. The col­lapsed size is not as com­pact as some of its com­peti­tors, though, at 74.5cm.

It’s not cheap or par­tic­u­larly ver­sa­tile, but the Neotec sure is fast to set up and start us­ing

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