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Mountainsmith Parallax Pro, LEKI Photo Carbon Speedlock and StickPic review
Written by Jason Elliot   
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Mountainsmith Parallax ProCapturing nature through photos and video is an exhilarating experience during high-adventure excursions. The "oohs" and "awes" when you show your shots to friends, family and coworkers makes the hard work of capturing the outdoors worth it.

Here's a few choices to make your photo taking and video shooting a delightful experience outdoors.

Mountainsmith Parallax Pro

Mountainsmith produces a handful of photo-specific packs, and the Parallax Pro Daypack is the largest in the group.

The pack has close to a dozen sections to organize video, photo and audio gear. The section can be custom-tailored, because the partitions are attached by Velcro. Move the partitions about, so the Parallax Pro fits large telescopic lenses, multiple SLR bodies and larger camcorders. The internal dimensions of the pack allows for 32 liters (1952 cubic inches) of storage.

A separate compartment has a padded pocket that fits an iPad or a slimmer laptop. The Parallax Pro's beefy waist belt has two roomy pockets ideal for stashing often accessed items such as a GPS, smartphone and energy gels. A tripod is securely attached to the rear of the pack

The Mountainsmith Parallax Pro won't be mistaken for a multi-day backpacking pack, but it does have extras to make it a functional daypack. A few compression straps - one on the side and the other on the pack's bottom – stabilize your load. And the back panel is grooved to allow airflow and wicking perspiration. (MSRP $189)

LEKI Photo Carbon SpeedlockLEKI Photo Carbon Speedlock

The new LEKI Photo Carbon Speedlock doubles as a hiking stick and a monopod. Adjustable from 69 to 170 cm, the Photo Carbon Speedlock's three clamps secure tightly. The clamps did not fail through heavy use in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains and the trails of Western Pennsylvania.

The versatile handle on the Carbon Speedlock allows for a few various way to use it. Adjust it to the traditional length to meet your arm bent at a 90 degree angle. Or shorten it so it fits under your palm, and use it like a cane.

The handle on the LEKI Photo Carbon Speedlock unlocks and twists off to expose a screw to mount a camera or camcorder. Instead of relying on the steadiness of your hand to capture some epic backcountry shots, let the camera mount do the heavy lifting. (MSRP $150)


Taking pictures of you may seem vain, but solo treks require some ingenuity to get your mug in a shot. The StickPic is an answer.

Screw your camera on the Stickpic's locking nut and slide the plastic ring over the tip of your trekking pole, so your camera faces you. Set the timer on your camera, press the shutter button, and extend your trekking pole on front you. You'll be guaranteed to get some shots of you with a stunning outdoor background.

Use the StickPic also as an extension of your arm to get shots that you could not get previous. The USA-made StickPic is available to fit nearly all trekking poles and is an inexpensive addition to your photo kit. (MSRP $13.99)

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Jason Elliot

JElliotJason Elliot is the Editor and Publisher of Elliot has established a respected following with the top industry professionals and gearheads for his nonbiased reviews of outdoor gear and apparel. Elliot is a regular contributor to, and other publications on top of his editorial and writing role with

Elliot left a successful fifteen-plus year management career that he worked at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies to pursue his passion for writing about the outdoors. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from La Roche College.

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