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Gear

Field Tested: The Flipside Grip, a Built-In “Tripod” for Your Smartphone

Basics

The Flipside Grip is a stick-on, fold-out tripod for your smartphone. It has a ring so you can retain the phone with a finger while testing, and three tripod legs (one big, two small) that let you set it up, self-supported, to film yourself, watch movies, or take photos in various orientations; you can also use the tripod arms to clip it to the air vent in your car for GPS navigation on your phone.


Pros

Convenient—it's always there, right on your phone/phone case // Easy to use—the arms fold out and then back in smoothly and without hassle // Durable so far—plastic components have heft to them and haven't bent, broken, or fatigued after months of use // Adhesive backing has been bomber so far

Cons

Adds weight and girth to your phone (it's 2" x 3" by 0.25") // If you get a new phone or phone case, you'd need to buy a new Flipside Grip


Our Thoughts

For "camera-lazy" folks like myself, who like the idea of filming ourselves or others out climbing but are too lazy to hassle with a tripod or propping the phone up on whatever sketchy set-up we can jury-rig in the field, the Flipside Grip is a great option, and it has made me more likely to film short clips. It's super-easy to use, has been durable and reliable, and provides a nice, stable base for your phone-camera. The three different tripod "arms" make it easy to get just the configuration you need out climbing, too, where you're often working with sloping hillsides, uneven talus, etc. as your filming locales. For only $20, if you like to film with your phone, you may as well get one.


Size Reviewed

n/a

Price

$0

Brand

Triptech Gear


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I’m not much of a “filming myself” guy, but it’s not because I don’t see value in it—it’s nice to play back and then be able to see, dissect, critique, and then brainstorm how to improve the technical aspects of your climbing. No, it’s mainly because I’m lazy and I’m also a mediocre photographer. When I’m out climbing, I just want to climb, and photography has never come naturally to me so I just sort of back-burner it. I might snap an occasional iPhone photo of a friend here or there or take videos of my kids, but that’s about it.

Out in the field, portable little tripods have let climbers film themselves when climbing solo, or even in a group—think of the untold bouldering videos up on YouTube and the multiple camera angles. Or the video of the send, in which there’s one climber, maybe one spotter, and two or three people following along holding smartphones: a whole gaggle of would-be videographers.

Flipside Grip
The Flipside Grip, with my phone tilted vertically on one of the tripod arms.

One little tool that makes this all a bit easier is the Triptech Flipside Grip, which is essentially a stick-on plastic “tripod” that adheres to your phone or phone case. It has one big “arm” so you can set your phone up horizontally on a table or your lap or wherever to watch movies, and then two smaller arms facing the other way that let you prop it up to film (these also slide into your car’s air vent, if you’re using your phone’s GPS/maps feature to navigate while driving). I’ve used the smaller arms the most, propping the phone up vertically to film myself out in the Flatirons, Colorado, and few times at my home gym. I have no complaints, really: the adhesive backing has been solid, with no delaminating; the plastic components have been tough and strong; the phone stays propped up and is totally stable while filming; and the arms are easy to unfold and fold back in, even with big, clumsy climber fingers like mine. The only downside to consider is that the Flipside Grip is 1/4″ thick, so adds some girth to your phone, plus a bit of weight; if you like your phone to be as small and light as possible, for on-route carry, like on multi-pitch climbs, it may not be for you.

The Flipside Grip only costs $19.99, which isn’t much, especially if you plan to have the same phone or phone case for a while. Sure, this is just another gizmo, but it’s an effective one that has been easy to use and has made me more likely to create video out climbing. And as we all know, the world needs more climbing videos! On that note, below is a video made in Fern Canyon, the Flatirons, Colorado, using the Flipside Grip, of a traverse just below the Slab. Sorry, the video is 4 minutes long—my next bit of homework is to learn how to edit….