Review: TriPad Tether Table
One of the things I love about running Camera Dojo is getting to see new and interesting products all the time and quite often they are just way too goofy and sometimes never make it into production. Other times you see a product and you can’t believe nobody has ever come up with it before because its simple, effective, and obvious as soon as you see it…such is the case with the TriPad tether table.
The TriPad tether table is such an incredibly simple design that its hard to imagine that we haven’t seen variations of this for decades. For me, the issue wasn’t whether or not the design was good, but would it really be sturdy enough to securely hold my gear while I worked so I just had to try it out.
The TriPad is designed to be a portable work table that is simply placed over the top of your tripod and slides down until it is securely positioned around the legs. Photographers that shoot directly to their laptop can use the TriPad as a workstation for their laptop without having to have a second tripod or light stand to hold their computer. This makes shooting go much easier if you need to move the tripod around as your laptop just goes right along with you.
At different types of events, the TriPad makes for a handy tabletop for holding gear or a notepad for taking notes, names, shot lists, etc. Since the two pieces of the TriPad come apart easily, it stores flat and will even fit into the outside pocket of some larger camera bags.
I think it actually took more time to get the TriPad out of its shipping box and then out of its product box than it takes to set it up. The TriPad “top” part has a hook shape on one side and a small tab shape on the other. You simple slide the hook part into the table and then snap the other side in. Once you have figured it out the first time the process takes all of about one second to assemble or disassemble.
Since the TriPad is designed to be used with your primary tripod, no extra tripod or stand is required or costly horizontal mounts like other tether tables require.
Next just slide the assembled TriPad over your tripod aligned with one leg of the tripod in each corner of the TriPad mount.
I have found that I use the TriPad far more often than I ever expected I would, simply because of the convenience of having a small table handy all the time. Even when I am not using it with a laptop on it, I will often use it as a convenient place to put lens caps, batteries, memory cards, etc instead of trying to juggle everything in my hands or camera bag. Since the TriPad will mostly fit into the pocket of my Think Tank Photo Airport International 2.0 I tend to just stuff it in there and take it with me everywhere now.
I am also a sucker for things designed for multiple purposes and even if the goal was to only design a table for tethered shooting, its multi-use aspect has really appealed to me. Add to that the two slide-out panels, the left side with a cut-out to make it a secure cup holder, and the other to expand your working area and you have a very well engineered product.
All of the coolness of a product like the TriPad can easily be lost if the price is too high. With other tether tables costing around $180 plus the cost of an additional C-Stand or tripod (I wouldn’t use a regular light stand unless it was a 10′ one because of the small footprint on smaller ones) my expectations of a ridiculously high price point where squashed when I learned that the retail price was only $99.95. Since the TriPad is designed to work on your primary work tripod, there is no extra cost making it an exceptional value.
I was able to find the TriPad on Amazon for $89.95.
The only thing you have to watch out for is compressing the legs of your tripod in and having the TriPad slip down, that’s really a pretty simple thing to keep in mind. Aside from that one thing, the TriPad is an excellent design that fills a need for a portable worktable that doesn’t take up any additional space when you are working. Whether you use it for tethered shooting or just a portable table, the TriPad is an excellent addition to your camera equipment.
TriPad Website: http://gotripad.com