Small tripods usually have small capacities, but the unusual design of the Platypod could just buck the trend. An update to the original, the Platypod Pro Max can handle up to 300 pounds, yet only packs 13 ounces on its own.
The Platypod Pro Max, like the original, isn’t designed to replace a traditional tripod, the developer says in the Kickstarter campaign. Instead, the Max is used much like a tabletop tripod for low-angle shots, with its flat design expanding the capacity well beyond what the typical compact, three-legged system can handle.
Like the original version, which had a 90-pound capacity, the Platypod is rather simple. Made up primarily of a piece of aluminum about 5mm thick, the device features a titanium bolt that can be used with any standard 3/8-16 tripod head. The flat design lends more stability than raising the tripod head off the ground without being too bulky to slide into a bag.
While the Platypod will simply sit on a surface, the Max also includes four spikes, stored via magnets, that can be pounded into or used to grip uneven surfaces. On the opposite side, the spikes have rubber feet with smooth surfaces. Two longer openings allow users to adapt a tripod head for belt use — like for strapping around posts or fences. Extra openings allow the Max to attach to a quick release system as well.
Compared to the original, the Max has a wider base — closer to the size of an iPad Mini while the first version was about the size of an iPhone.
The Kickstarter project is being headed up by Larry Tiefenbrunn, who created the original Platypod after he couldn’t find a portable tripod big enough to handle professional-level gear. The campaign has almost reached its $30,000 goal after just a few days. The Max is expected to list for $99, with early backers getting the product in October with a $69 pledge.