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This past fall I upgraded my tripod from a Manfrotto 190XB to a Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 carbon fiber tripod. I like the old one but in the intervening years I had acquired a couple of heavy lenses and wanted some additional stability.

I had heard that carbon fiber was a little warmer in winter but cold is cold at -15 degrees and the last thing I want to be doing is carrying around a tripod in cold weather without some sort of protection. On my old tripod I had used some pipe insulation and that worked very well and was cheap. However, the new tripod had a leg diameter greater than one inch and I couldn’t find any pipe installation locally with the proper diameter. In addition, when I did wrap it with pipe insulation the diameter was too large for my small hands to fit around comfortably.

What to do? The obvious solution would have been to search the major photography stores websites and look for something commercially available. That would have been too obvious. I decided to look around and see what I could find locally.

I did locate a rubber pipe insulation at Menards that would provide a nice grip and good padding when carrying the tripod on my shoulders but that had the same problem as the foam insulation. It wasn’t the right diameter and my hands wouldn’t fit around the grip.

One day I happened to be at Scheels Sporting Goods and noticed a Camo Protective Fabric Wrap that looked like it would be just the thing. However, it was $15 a roll and I thought that was a little Pricey  Later in the day I stopped at a Gander Mountain Store to see if they had anything similar. They didn’t but a helpful store clerk said that what he used for his guns was veterinary wrap. It is something you can find at local veterinary stores or at a place like Farm and Fleet.

We happened to have a Farm and Fleet in town so I stopped in later that day and found the wrap under the name  Cohesive Flexible Bandage. It is something that vets use to wrap animals legs. It comes in 5 yard rolls and is 4 inches wide. It is self adhering so I could wrap it around the tripod legs and it sticks to itself but it does not leave any residue on the tripod. I can also remove it and use it again if I wanted to. It gave me twice the amount tape compared to the camouflage tape sold at Scheels and the best part was that it was less than $2 a roll. It comes in a variety of colors but not camouflage.

I Purchased a role and applied it to my tripod. One role should do the upper legs of the tripod. It will take more if you really want to put it on thick. If you do that you will get a nice soft grip and something that will provide a cushion if carrying your tripod on your shoulder. In addition to protecting my hands against the cold It also protects the tripod legs from scratches, reduces glare, and provides a nice firm grip. It adheres to itself without adhesives although I did use a little electrical tape to make sure the ends were secure. It is also completely weatherproof.

A great find and highly recommended.

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3 Comments

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