PolarPro makes two variants of the Apex, the Minimalist Tripod Base and a version with a ball head built-in. I’m looking at the PolarPro Apex Minimalist Tripod Base here. The advantage of this option is that you can use your favourite tripod head – a ball head is the most natural partner.
At a little under 24cm in length, the Apex Minimalist Tripod Base is a mini tripod.
Unlike the average mini tripod, the Apex can hold a maximum payload of up to 11.3Kg / 25lb. However, at 456g / 16oz without a head, it also weighs more than the average mini tripod. For comparison, the Gitzo Mini Traveller weighs 265g /9.3oz while the Manfrotto Pixi weighs around 190g / 6.7oz – and they have a type of head built-in.
As the Minimalist Tripod Base is supplied legs-only, it’s important to check the payload of the head that you plan to use. The Benro VX20 ball head, for example, weighs 280g/9.88oz and has a maximum payload of 9Kg/20lb, so if this is mounted on the Apex, the maximum payload becomes 9Kg.
Perhaps the most unusual feature of the PolarPro Apex is that its leg angle adjusters have stainless steel teeth like a gear system. This enables each leg to be set to one of 13 different angles.
To adjust the leg angle, you turn the knurled knob to release the lock, move the leg and then relock it.