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Ryan Giebel | 10.24.2018

Mountainsmith Trekker Fx Camera Monopod specs

  • Weight: 10.5 oz
  • 57-inch maximum height
  • Max load up to 160 lbs
  • Spring loaded anti-shock system
  • Double cam twist lockout adjustment 
  • Adjustable fabric wrist strap
  • Camera carry weight capacity: 3 lbs

Where to get it

The Bottom Line: For any hiker looking for an easier option than carrying a tripod and who also wants the external support that is vital for many hikes, the Mountainsmith Trekker Fx offers a satisfactory and novel option.  From a quick glance at other competitors, there does not appear to be a viable trekking pole that offers a monopod attachment such as this one, placing the pole in a league of it's own.

I have never been one for use of trekking poles, but with the birth of my first child, the load I was carrying suddenly grew dynamically. The weight placed added strain on my legs as I negotiated obstacles on the trail while also struggling to resist any momentum swings my daughter may exert on the kid carrier. To further complicate matters, I had a camera and lenses to carry. Any photographer looking to capture landscapes knows a tripod is often a must; if not, then at least a sturdy hand or a level rock. Hiking to a summit with a tripod can be cumbersome, and doing this with a child even more so. A compromise is offered in the Mountainsmith Trekker Fx, where a monopod provides support to steady a shot while also offering stability in a hike.

Granted, a monopod is not the same as a tripod, but for any amateur photographer with kids or someone looking to simplify their retinue of hiking gear, the Mountainsmith Trekker Fx provides an excellent option. I found them on sale and jumped at the chance to try them out. At the time I was living in Downeast Maine, so I quickly put them to use in Acadia National Park and in the numerous public lands that dot the Bold Coast region north and east of Acadia.  

The foam grip and fabric wrist strap provide comfortable support in either hand with a large foam knob on the top that can be unscrewed to expose the mount for a camera. Below the screw is a washer that can lock the camera in place when in use; otherwise, the foam knob provides a safe cover to use while hiking and negotiating obstacles. The camera bolt fits 0.25-20 SAE and locks in place so well that I have left it attached to continue along the trail a little further, saving time on the mount and dismount without any fear of loosing my camera off the top. 

My Mountainsmith Trekker Fx uses a twist lock system to secure three pieces into place; however, other versions appear to have a flip lock. I prefer the twist lock for stability and durability, but this could very well be preferential between hikers. The pole stows to a convenient 28 inches while it extends from 47 inches to 57 inches to provide a decent height for most hikers. As this trekking pole is meant to serve as a photographer's monopod, as well, I would have preferred more height in order to reach different angles while positioning the point into a crevice or particular angle, but this would also possibly change the portability of the trekking pole.

Providing versatility for a hiker with photography equipment or other weighted attachments, the Mountainsmith Trekker Fx provides an excellent external stability option for anyone looking to log rugged trails underfoot and bring their camera gear along.


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