Vanguard VEO AM264TR £80, $100

NPhoto - - Gear Zone - www.van­guard­world.co.uk

Not only is this the least ex­pen­sive mono­pod of our six, it’s also the most por­ta­ble, tip­ping the scales at just 900g and boast­ing a col­lapsed length of 56.5cm. It’ll still ex­tend to a use­ful 163cm, though, and it even shapes up well as a walk­ing pole thanks to an er­gonomic han­dle.

The ba­sic fixed head won’t per­mit pan­ning, so you’ll have to ro­tate on the stiff ball-and-socket base to track a sub­ject, but at least this can be locked to keep the Veo ver­ti­cal. It prob­a­bly wouldn’t be your first choice for shoot­ing video or pho­tograph­ing mov­ing sub­jects, though.

You also get a trio of flip-out feet which are use­ful for sta­bil­is­ing the mono­pod on loose ter­rain, but they’re less ef­fec­tive on slop­ing sur­faces thanks to the ball joint’s re­stricted ar­tic­u­la­tion.

Small touches like the domed cover cap for the head make this a com­fort­able walk­ing com­pan­ion

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