I (finally) went trekking last weekend after the restrictions eased. We start trekking, and just 4 hours in, we’re exhausted by the sheer weight of the equipment.
Quite a pickle, right? Well, it was rather late but I did manage to taunt my friend’s laziness to plan his shoot. He had carried along with a monopod, we could’ve avoided lifting the heavy tripod and had a much finer time trekking.
If you’re wondering what makes a monopod a worthy investment, it’s the monopod’s ability to stabilize the camera in a jiffy without having to carry the excessive weight of a tripod. If you’re planning to go on a long shoot, take a quick scan through this buyer’s guide on the best monopods in India so you don’t end up tiring yourself out like we did.
- Best Monopods in India (2021)
- 1. Best Overall: DIGITEK DPMP 172B
- 2. Best Runner Up: AGARO 33417
- 3. Best Build Quality: Manfrotto MMELEA5RD
- 4. Best from Osaka: Osaka VCT 892
- 5. Best Lightweight: AmazonBasics WT1003BB
- 6. Best for Portability: Manfrotto MMCOMPACT-BK
- 7. Best Under 1000 (INR): Sonia MPL 09
- 8. Best Premium Looking: Powerpak Mono X5
- 9. Cheapest Option: Prolite PL
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Monopods in India (2021)
Before we jump in, let’s get some important considerations nailed that will help you choose your ideal monopod:
- Weight: Low weight is undeniably a non-negotiable feature on a monopod. Heavy monopods can defeat the purpose entirely. While anything beyond 1.5kg is no good, monopods that weigh less than 250gm may be flimsy. Extremely low-weight monopods might even bend when fully extended when you mount a heavy camera. To sum up, aim for a weight between 250gm to 1.5kg.
- Height: You want a monopod that meets you at eye level. Slightly lower is still fine, since the camera will sit on the head and still meet you at eye level. But if you’re 180cm high, and your monopod extends only up to 140cm, that’s going to be a problem. You’ll need to crouch to take your pictures, and that’s certainly not comfortable.
- Maximum load capacity: As a rule of thumb, your monopod should be able to hold at least twice the weight of your heaviest equipment, such as a spotting scope, lens, or camera. This is not set in stone, of course. There’s some leeway here, but this is what you should ideally aim for.
Alright, let’s jump in.
1. Best Overall: DIGITEK DPMP 172B
This monopod from DIGITEK is perfect for heavy-duty use for some of us who like to rough it. It packs in a whole bunch of other goodies, too. Let’s dive in and take a look.
The DIGITEK DPMP 172B monopod has a collapsible design. The monopod’s handle rotates downward, legs contract, and all ports fold in, making it super compact and portable. It also comes with a zip bag that keeps your monopod safe and shiny.
It has a 3-leg base that offers stability when you place it on an uneven surface, a flip lock that holds your camera still, and a foam grip for a secure handle during use. The monopod’s load capacity maxes out at about 10kg, but I’d recommend sticking to below 7kg to leave a decent margin of safety.
It holds most devices fine including video cameras, still cameras, digital cameras, GoPro devices, and smartphone adapters and scopes.
The only concern with DIGITEK’s monopod—the weight. A monopod that is not easy to carry around is pretty much a deal-breaker for casual users. Fortunately, the weight is not excruciating and settles at 1.3kg. The product comes with a one-year warranty that covers manufacturer’s defects only, which means the warranty will not apply to physical damage.
Although slightly heavier than other monopods, it offers a whole array of other features like compatibility with almost any photographing device, a 3-leg base, and a decent 10kg maximum load capacity. The features outweigh the marginally excess weight, so I’d definitely recommend this to someone who travels frequently with a monopod.
- Super compact when folded
- Decent maximum height of 170 cm
- 3-leg base and a foam grip
- Sufficient maximum load capacity of 10 kg
- Marginally overweight
2. Best Runner Up: AGARO 33417
AGARO seems to be aiming to become the jack of all trades with a presence in pretty much any space out there, including monopods. Its 33417 monopod has a lot to offer, but let’s discuss what’s good vs. what’s not.
The monopod stands tall on a conveniently retractable metal spike that makes grounding it a breeze and offers a firm grip on uneven terrains such as dirt, gravel, and grass. The monopod has 4 leg sections that allow quick height adjustment, with the monopod touching about 65 inches when fully extended, and 21 inches when fully retracted.
It’s lightweight enough at 560 grams to carry around without exhaustion, has a wrist strap that allows you to carry it around hands-free, and a rubber grip that offers a secure hold. The monopod also comes with a carry bag and a smartphone holder for when you want to take some snaps on your high-res mobile camera.
AGARO offers a one-year warranty on the 33417 monopod. While the maximum load capacity is clearly quite low, this is a great choice for those who want to keep their expenditure to a minimum while still bringing home a moderately feature-heavy monopod.
- 4 leg sections
- Retractable metal spike
- Comes with a carry bag and a smartphone holder
- Pleasingly lightweight at 560 grams
- Maximum load capacity of 3 kg is a big constraint if you have heavy equipment
3. Best Build Quality: Manfrotto MMELEA5RD
The MMELEA5RD is a Lightweight Element Monopod from Manfrotto is a dream. It’s priced accordingly, but it’s certainly worth every rupee. Let’s look at why.
The design is ergonomic with a handgrip and a wrist strap to fasten your monopod firmly to your hand. The monopod features a reversible screw (1/4” and 3/8”) that allows for connecting both a camera or head. It has a twist-locking mechanism which means you won’t have to deal with the (rare) possibility of a flip lock snagging on something.
The monopod has interchangeable feet. You can switch between rubber and spiked feet based on where you’re shooting; a smooth surface or grassy terrain. It holds up to 15kg load—that’s mighty impressive for a monopod that itself weighs half a kg.
This is without a shadow of a doubt the best monopod on our list. It’s simple and powerful. It does come with a bigger price tag, but so do all monopods that offer similar features. The monopod comes with a one-year limited warranty but excludes coverage for subsequent physical damage.
If you want the absolute best for yourself, look no further and add this Manfrotto monopod to your cart, provided your budget allows for it.
- Reversible screw that allows attaching both a head and camera
- Interchangeable feet
- 15 kg maximum load capacity
- Pleasingly lightweight at 0.5 kg
- Priced steeply
4. Best from Osaka: Osaka VCT 892
The Osaka VCT 892 is another monopod that sits at the center of the price spectrum but is loaded with some cool features. Let’s look at what these are.
To begin with, the Osaka monopod has a removable base that enables using the monopod as a table-top tripod. The monopod swivels 360° and tilts 45° in all directions, which means you’ll be able to switch between landscape and portrait modes fairly simply. The monopod has 3 sections that are equipped with a flip lock and extend the monopod to a maximum height of 198 cm.
The monopod itself weighs a meager 600 grams, which is less than most mobile phones. However, its maximum load capacity is a mind-boggling 8 kg and accommodates all SLRs, video cameras, and camcorders. Yes, an 8 kg load capacity is only slightly above average, but considering the tripod itself weighs about 60 grams—this is nothing short of an achievement.
The only hiccup with the Osaka monopod is its fragile, thin legs. They are obviously designed as such to minimize the monopod’s weight (as is reflected in its 600-gram weight). However, this makes it less suitable for uneven surfaces.
Osaka does not offer any warranty on this product. If you’re someone who likes having a swivel and tilt-capable monopod, this is your best bet. Plus, it weighs practically nothing and still manages to hold about 8 kg of weight.
- Swivel and tilt capability
- Excellent maximum height of 198 cm
- Holds up to 8 kg of load
- Extremely lightweight at 60 grams (quite easily a con for users with heavy equipment)
- Thin legs
5. Best Lightweight: AmazonBasics WT1003BB
Let’s clear one thing right out of the gate—this product is a pack of 2. This monopod is one of AmazonBasics offerings, which are usually fairly priced and hit the sweet spot between pricing and features. Let’s look at what it offers.
The AmazonBasic WT1003BB has 4 extendable legs that firmly grip the monopod in place when in use with its non-skid rubber foot and retractable spikes. It extends to a decent height of 170 cm and features a cushion grip for a secure hold and an adjustable wrist strap.
You’ll be able to mount most digital and still cameras (weighing up to 3kg) with the monopod’s 0.6cm universal thread mount. The monopod itself is made with supremely lightweight aluminum which weighs 445gm, making it effortless to carry around while you’re traveling.
However, the build is rather fragile. If you like roughing it, be careful, you’ll almost certainly end up breaking it. Unfortunately, the product is not covered by a warranty. Nevertheless, this is a great product for someone looking for just a basic monopod without having to spend a fortune on fancy features. If you want to slide down the budget scale further, take a look at the feature-light AmazonBasics WT1003.
- 4 extendable legs
- Non-skid rubber foot and retractable spikes
- 0.6cm universal thread mount
- Appropriate weight of 445 grams
- Not entirely durable
6. Best for Portability: Manfrotto MMCOMPACT-BK
Another product from Manfrotto on our list, although from the opposite end of the price spectrum. This monopod comes at 10 percent of the cost of Manfrotto MMELEA5RD but still manages to dazzle the buyers with the utility it provides.
The monopod from Manfrotto is as compact as they come. It features a rounded rubber handgrip for a firm handle while you shoot at picturesque locations and a protective cap that secures the thread while transporting the monopod.
Pushing the weight scale up to a meager 330 grams, this is Manfretto’s lightest monopod. Unfortunately, the monopod does not work with professional video cameras or DSLRs, which could be a big put-off for some buyers. The load capacity, too, is a problem. At 1.5 kg, you can only mount a smartphone or basic equipment on the monopod.
Manfrotto does not offer a warranty on this product. Given that this is a Manfrotto product, you can trust it to do what it promises. It clearly outlines its inability to handle larger cameras and any cameras that weigh over 1.5 kg. However, it has all the basic features that will serve you delightfully well.
- Protective cap to secure the thread while transportation
- Extends up to a good 145 cm
- Fairly priced
- Below average weight of 330 grams
- Does not work for DSLRs
7. Best Under 1000 (INR): Sonia MPL 09
The product comes from Osaka’s sister brand Sonia, both of which belong to Mahajan Industries. They have introduced several low-cost monopods jam-packed with features. Are they worth your time? We find out.
The Sonia MPL 09 monopod stand has 2.2 feet when folded and extends up to a significant 5.1 feet. The design is straightforward with anti-slip flip locks attached to the monopod’s base. However, it doesn’t have rubber padding or foam so you may find it challenging to get a firm grip.
The monopod is not all that lightweight either at 1.30kg, but carries loads up to 8kg just fine which is ample to hold most cameras.
You also get a dual-thread adapter—1/4” and 3/8”—at the top of the monopod which means you can choose to mount a head or mount a camera directly. While the sturdy legs do a good job of keeping the monopod grounded, its heavy weight contributes to the stability as well.
The Sonia MPL 09 monopod adds in all the essentials of a standard monopod and eliminates the unnecessary features to offer buyers a solid bargain. At its price, the monopod is practically a steal. Budget buyers, this one is especially great for you. However, if you want something a little less heavy at a similar price tag, check out the Sonia MPL 01 monopod.
- Maximum height of 155 cm is a welcome feature
- Hold devices up to 8 kg
- Dual thread adapter allows directly mounting the camera
- Sturdy base
- Priced attractively
- Lack of rubber padding
8. Best Premium Looking: Powerpak Mono X5
This is a bare-bones offering from Powerpak that cuts to the chase and offers a practical camera holding solution. Let’s look at what it brings to the table.
The Powerpak Mono X5 has a thicker-than-average aluminum body and a foam handle that offers a secure grip. It extends up to 170 cm which is actually more than what some monopods offer.
It has 4 extendable legs for a well-balanced shoot on a flat surface. Conversely, it has metal spikes that are useful for outdoor shoots on grassy terrain. Also, the metal spikes are covered by the monopod’s rubber feet so you don’t end up damaging your flooring when indoors.
It has a 1/4” universal thread that allows you to mount pretty much any digital or still camera, video camera, and scope. It’s excellent for carrying around because it weighs only a meager 490gm—that’s probably less than how much your backpack weighs. A monopod bag forms part of the package, too. All this, at a delightful price.
Powerpak offers a one-year warranty on the Mono X5. This is another great option for budget buyers who want a functional monopod without the additional, often unnecessary features. This monopod manages to bring the price below the acceptable threshold without compromising on the basics.
- 170 cm maximum height is impressive
- Pleasingly lightweight at 490 grams
- Metal spikes for outdoor shoots
- Comes with a monopod bag
- When fully extended, it may not hold heavy devices well
9. Cheapest Option: Prolite PL
Our final product comes from Prolite. It’s a basic monopod that is priced at the bottom of the barrel. Perfect for casual monopod users who occasionally like to carry a monopod on trips. Let’s look at what it does for you.
The Prolite PL monopod sports a well-built, metal body that is pretty compact when folded, and delightfully long at 157 cm when extended. It wears a foam grip around its body to offer a firm, secure grip and features a dual-mounting thread adapter—1/4” and 3/8” screw mount—so you can mount a head or directly a camera on the monopod.
The extendable sections are held securely by the monopod’s Italian flip locks. Even when fully extended, the Prolite PL will comfortably hold itself and the device given its sturdy metal build and 1.2 kg weight.
That is pretty much it in terms of what the Prolite monopod has to offer. It’s more than justified given its price, though. If you’re shopping at the lower end of the price spectrum, this monopod should definitely stay on your radar.
- A good maximum extended height of 157 cm
- Dual-mounting thread adapter
- Italian flip locks
- Well-built body
- A tad heavy
Frequently Asked Questions
It depends on how tall you are. The primary purpose of your monopod is to lift your heavy photography gear so you don’t have to. If you buy a monopod that’s shorter than your eye level, you will either have to crouch and take pictures uncomfortably or lift the (possibly) heavy camera and again, take pictures uncomfortably.
Always aim to buy a monopod that meets at the eye level when extended fully.
Well, you don’t need your Levi’s trousers either, but you purchased it because it offers some sort of value. Monopods are great for outdoor shoots and help you take still pictures without having to lift your heavy camera as you position yourself for a perfect shot.
If you’re low on budget and still believe a monopod could help you, we have some excellent budget-friendly options on the list that can help you strike a perfect balance between utility and price.
Tripods are the three-legged siblings of the single-legged monopod. Tripods are more expensive, and often are more capable than a monopod. If you want to take selfies outdoors or go on a wildlife photography session where you leave the camera on sight and walk away, tripods are your sole option.
For most casual users, though, monopods are ideal. They cost far less and offer many similar benefits of eliminating camera shake and taking the camera’s weight off of you.
If you buy a monopod thinking it’s just a stick that holds a camera and so I should buy the cheapest one that’s available, you’re in for a terrible surprise. It’s only when you carry a heavy monopod on a trip like I did, or break its base, will you realize that you could have invested just a little more and brought home a more durable, lightweight monopod.
While the ones we have added to the list are undeniably the best that are available in India, you’d want to take a moment to scan through their features and the price to see which will serve you best.
Manfrotto’s MMELEA5RD, I believe, is the strongest contender with a twist-lock mechanism, interchangeable feet, 500gm weight, and an above-average maximum load capacity of 15kg. That being said, it does come with a large price tag. If you’re looking to hit the sweet spot between functionality and price, take a quick look at the AGARO 33417 and the Osaka VCT 892, both of which are extremely lightweight and come with a slew of features.
If you’re aiming to minimize your spending, Powerpak’s Mono X5 and the Prolite PL will be your ideal choice. When buying a monopod, think about how you’ll use it on your trips. If spending a little gives you a lot more useful features (i.e. useful specifically for you), I recommend going for it.
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