This is a review of the ProMediaGear Pro Stix 77 Carbon Fiber Tripod (model TR424L), a tall, heavy-duty, yet lightweight tripod considering its size and functionality. Generally, this is a bigger tripod than many will ever want or need, but because the company makes such nice gear and has a variety of carbon fiber tripods, I suggest that you read on and then consider your specific needs. If you’re unsure of what you need in a tripod, take a look at Nasim’s article on choosing a tripod. If your gear is heavier and potentially more expensive, then this model will be of more interest, but regardless, ProMediaGear has multiple options available to fit your needs.
Table of Contents
A couple of years ago, I purchased a monopod from ProMediaGear (PMG) after seeing a friend’s tripod from PMG and being so impressed with it that when I misplaced my (previously) favorite monopod, I knew I wanted to buy one from PMG. The old monopod eventually surfaced, but I haven’t even thought about using it since I got the new one from PMG. You could say that the monopod purchase was a gateway purchase because it made me want one of their tripods.
I wanted a taller tripod than the one I currently have and since I knew that I wanted one from ProMediaGear, that left me two choices, the 344L or the 424L. PMG offers two lines of tripods, a line with 34mm diameter legs and a top-of-the-line with 42mm diameter legs. The first two digits in their model name are the diameter of the largest carbon fiber leg segments and the third digit is the number of leg sections (3 or 4). The L stands for “long” or taller tripod, and the 42mm model comes in at 77 inches tall. You can find a couple of tables on the PMG website that compare the different models in each series of tripods. Since the 34mm line doesn’t have the modular apex, I chose the 424L. If the 34mm line had the modular apex, I may have chosen the 344L. While I’m very happy with the 42mm, perhaps in the future PMG will consider selling the 34mm series with the modular apex design of the 42mm series.
When I bought my first good carbon fiber tripod, I selected one that placed my gear basically eye level or just slightly higher. I thought that it would be all I need. For the most part, it was and it’s lasted well over 10 years. Occasionally, I’ve needed a taller tripod such as when I’m on a hill and need height for the downhill leg(s). That’s where the ProMediaGear 77 inch 424L comes in. In the photo below, it’s set up for my height at 5’9″ tall and you can see that the top section is still retracted. Most of the time, I don’t need the extra reach but the few times that I do, I’m covered.
ProMediaGear Pro Stix 77 TR42 Specifications
Below are the key specifications of the ProMediaGear Pro Stix 77:
Load Capacity: 125 lbs
Head Attachment Fitting: 3/8″-16
Maximum Height: 77” (196 cm)
Minimum Height: 6.70” (15 cm)
Folded Length: 26.25″ (67 cm)
Weight: 6.40 lb (2903g)
Material: CNC Machined T6061 Aluminum
Quick Release: Yes
Modules: Flat Mount, Center Column or 75mm Leveling Bowl
Adapter Ports for Accessories: Yes, one on each side (1/4”-20)
Integrated Bubble Level: Yes
Material: 10x Carbon Fiber
Sections: 4 Long
Leg Lock Type: Twist Lock
Adjustable Locking Angle: Yes, 3 angles
Independent Leg Spread: Yes
Spiked Retractable Feet: Yes, Integrated, Reversible
Features and Use
With their quick release system on the apex of the 42 series tripods, PMG makes it easy to change from a flat platform with a standard 3/8-16 screw to a 75mm bowl leveling base, or to an adjustable center column. A quick twist of a lever and push the release button and the platform is loose and ready to slip the leveling base or center column in its place. Re-tighten and you’re all set. Also, located on the deck of the apex is a spirit/bubble level and on the sides are holes to attach accessories.
The legs each have a “push/pull” mechanism to unlock the legs to allow adjustment of the angle of each leg. At first, I didn’t think much about this feature but after using it, the inside or finger push side is molded so nicely that it feels far more natural and comfortable to push than to pull the release. The bracket of each leg has set screws to allow you to adjust the tension on the leg angle adjustments. I found the tension set by the manufacturer to be too stiff for my liking and a quick adjustment with the supplied Allen wrench let me easily dial it to my preference. The legs don’t quite go flat so the 424L has a minimum height of 6.7 inches.
Each segment is made of high quality 10x carbon fiber for strength while maintaining its light weight. Each leg extends and collapses with buttery smooth ease, if you’ve struggled with legs that bind upon extension and retraction, you’ll appreciate this. The all-aluminum segment leg locks are large, but not bulky. The dimpled surface not only looks great, but it also serves to make it easy to grip. The locking mechanism is smooth and only takes 1/4 turn to loosen or to tighten. Prior to buying the monopod, I feared that the leg locks would be very cold in the winter or would slip with gloves. After using it for two years, it hasn’t been an issue for me with or without gloves. If it bothers you, I’m sure you could place a wrap or some type of grip tape on it but honestly, I haven’t thought about it even one time when out in the field.
The feet are nice large, rounded rubber hemispheres that give a solid grip on any terrain. If you feel you need a spike on the end of the sticks, each foot unscrews and reverses to reveal a ground spike so there’s no need to carry a second set of feet or spikes.
The Pro Stix come in a cinchable dust bag for travel and storage and bubble wrapped inside a black ProMediaGear cardboard box. Underneath the apex securely and conveniently attached by two strong magnets, is an Allen wrench so it’s always there should you need it. A second Allen wrench was included in a bag in the packaging – just in case.
From top to bottom, everything has been thought out and engineered to please. PMG manufactures all of its products here in the USA and uses precision CNC-machined components made in the USA of T6061 aluminum and stainless steel. Billet aluminum is stronger than cast aluminum and PMG doesn’t use any cast parts.
The apex has been machined with a truss design that reduces weight while maintaining strength. Considering the diameter of the legs, its height, and strength, it’s actually a light tripod. Before getting my PMG monopod or my tripod, I asked the same friend how he liked the taller, larger diameter tripod, he said he loved it and sent me a photo of himself hanging from the apex inside the legs. While I don’t recommend doing this and I’m sure that the manufacturer doesn’t either, it does speak to the strength and quality of the tripod. This thing is solid, light and will support your gear. It is rated at up to 125 pounds which should be sufficient for most set-ups.
I’ve been really impressed with both my monopod and tripod from ProMediaGear. The twist locks work well and the legs extend and collapse super smoothly. The 42mm 10x carbon fiber legs provide a solid stable base for all my gear. If these 42mm tripods aren’t good looking enough as it is, the apex comes in 4 color choices – black, red, blue and silver. The 42mm diameter tripods aren’t small, but they’re light for their size and stability. They also aren’t cheap but they’re extremely well-built and backed by a 5-year warranty with personalized service from a company that has photographers designing and using their products. If a smaller tripod is what you desire, the 34mm series has the same quality but in a more compact and lighter size, but keep in mind the apex doesn’t have the quick release function of the 42mm series. Overall, I’ve been very pleased with my ProMediaGear products and recommend them highly.
-Excellent build quality
-Lightweight (lightest in its class)
-Strength (max. load 125 lbs.)
-Smooth and easy leg locking mechanism
-Quick-release interchangeable base
-5-year warranty (remember to properly rinse and clean / lube gear if used in saltwater environments)
-Great customer service
-Made in the USA
-Minimum height is not quite as low as some other tripods
Pricing and Where to Buy
ProMediaGear Pro Stix 77 Carbon Fiber Tripod
- Build Quality
- Size and Weight
- Packaging and Manual
Photography Life Overall Rating