HOW TO: Photographers Comfort

Handling a tripod with metal legs that are close to a cold outside air temperature has always been a challenge for me. In the winter, setting up the tripod and then composing shots is difficult because my hands get cold.

When it is warm outside, carrying a metal tripod on my shoulder is not the most comfortable thing to do either. One way to alleviate the discomfort of tripod tubing on a shoulder or cold feel of the metal legs, is to cover them with some kind of padding.

My wife gave me a set of tripod leg wraps from OP/TECH USA this year. The wraps, or covers as they are sometimes called by other manufacturers, insulate the cold legs from bare hands, and help cushion the tripod when carrying it on your shoulder.

Covers, pads or wraps also help protect the tripod from dents and scratches. They are easy to install, lightweight, very durable and can be washed with damp cloth if they get dirty.

With padding on the legs of my tripod, my hands no longer become numb from the cold metal. And in the summer, it will be way more comfortable carrying the tripod when trekking about the countryside.


  1. January 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Great idea, David. I might check them out. I don’t have to worry about the cold metal, but the legs can sure make my bony shoulders uncomfortable. 🙂

    • January 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks Bob, the padding really does help…a lot!

  2. January 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I have used insulated pipe covers that are available at the hardware store – they are used for covering hot water pipes! they might not fit on all tripods, you can cut them to any length you need, or want; there is no fancy logo or name, but it seems to work just fine!

    • January 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm

      Excellent idea…inexpensive but effective. That’s what I liked about the covers from OPTECH…no logos and they are not expensive. Some brands are downright outrageous!

  3. January 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    This is wonderful… I will check too, but to be honest I don’t have any experience yet in such a hard winter days with my camera… Thank you dear David, I’ll note this in my mind. With my love, nia

    • January 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      They really do help if you have to carry your tripod long distances!

  4. Steve
    January 16, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Great advice David! Cold metal+bare skin=not much fun! Stay warm!!

    • January 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      You’re darn right! My fingers get cold/numb really quickly so anything I can do to deter that, helps. Heated gloves are next in the budget!

  5. January 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

    • January 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      You’re welcome Jennifer, padding is a good thing!

  6. January 16, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Sounds like a great product for several reasons. Thanks for posting!

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:11 am

      Yepper, hands and shoulders really appreciate them too!!!

  7. Nandini
    January 17, 2012 at 6:16 am

    I don’t have any tripod, hehe. But these sound comfortable and great! Thanks for sharing this, David! 🙂

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Nanadini, you don’t have a tripod?? You better go shopping for one even if it is a super lightweight travel variety. Or even a monopod which are less expensive. The really do help in composition and help do away with fuzzy photos. Yes they are super comfortable!

  8. January 17, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Leg warmers for a tripod – cool!

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:18 am

      I never thought of them as leg warmers but am going to call them that from now on!!! Love it!!!

  9. January 17, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Leg warmers for a tripod – ha ha! These are a great idea, David – thanks for mentioning this. I wish you warm hands and happy photographing!

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:20 am

      I’m going to call them leg warmers from now on, thanks to you and Teri. My hands and shoulders are already best friends with the tripod now!

  10. January 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Good tip on the leg warmers! I just got a carbon fiber tripod which I love. Needed as lightweight as possible due to neck and back issues. I also got a great sling camera bag designed to carry a tripod on the side of the bag. These have helped a lot.

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:23 am

      I love this leg warmer thing! Carbon fiber would be a great thing but budget constraints are saying not yet. I use a sling bag also and really like the way it works!

  11. January 18, 2012 at 4:19 am

    Your wife is very thoughtful 🙂 Nice padding, I never owe a tripod 🙂 I have a very small one, but never used it, I should try some time to se the difference 🙂

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:25 am

      She is a keeper for sure!!! You should try the tripod sometime…they make a big difference. Or even a monopod. I like the monopod because of the mobility it offers. You can also use them as a walking staff.

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:48 am

      Thanks for thinking of me Nia! I will have to look into this!

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