Being a person that so far hasn’t caught GAS or gear acquisition syndrome, I tend to buy very little equipment unless I really need it.

On a recent short road trip, I met up with an old classmate and her husband. I found out she was quite an enthusiastic outdoor photographer for their hikes and they use a mini tripod/selfie stick.

Something Small And Light

I didn’t get the opportunity to ask what tripod she used but I thought that was really useful a tool to bring along. I’ve a large heavy Manfrotto tripod which I almost never carry out because it is large and heavy.

Looking around my local e-commerce apps, I found several options from Xiaomi, Ulanzi and even one from the Huawei. While I knew Xiaomi sell all kinds of gadgets, I didn’t know they have mini tripods.

I settled on the Ulanzi MT-44 because I wanted to use it with my micro 4/3 camera and my smartphone.

Weighing in at just grams and 31.5cm folder (a bit over 12 inches), I find the tripod easy to pack away.

I prefer to have things as light as possible because if I’m need to walk or hike, I usually carry a small backpack with essentials like a water bottle or two, and occasionally my camera.

The weight tends to add up as the day progresses, which is why I’ve avoided bringing a tripod so far.

The tripod comes with a ball head that is strong enough to hold a dslr provided you don’t use a long heavy lens.

There is also a built in smartphone holder that can handle the width of my Poco F5 with the transparent protection case.

The tripod can be used as a selfie stick or a monopod too. Fully extended, I measure it at 150cm or just under 5ft.

However it is wobbly even with a smartphone at full extension and would not use it fully extended.

Using it as a selfie stick it quick convenient. You just pull it out as it is being held by friction alone.

The tripod legs on the other hand have a locking mechanism with red aluminum locking ring. A nice touch of color with the sliver ball head for a unobtrusive tripod on the go.

Having used it both indoors and outdoors, I found the mini tripod quite useful for both my Lumix G5 and my smartphone.

By extending it slightly with the legs closed, I can use it as a selfie stick. It can extend and easily hold smartphones up to 3 or 4 feet without issue.

For a heavier camera, I can comfortable extend it about 2 feet.

One Thing I Wish For

Having use my Manfrotto that come with a quick release plate, I find that screwing in the 1/4 inch screw for camera a bit of a hassle.

I know it is to reduce weight and probably cost. Most likely the tripod/selfie stick is targeted towards people using smartphone than say a camera.

Ulanzi does have a more expensive model the MT-43 with a quick release plate, but this is targeted towards camera users vs smartphone users.

I got the MT-44 for around US$25 and depending on where you are located in the world, you can probably get it slightly cheaper or a bit more pricey.

The nicer stronger MT-43 goes for just under US$70 on their website.

Stay posted as I give my long term review after using it for a few months.