Three Points of the Compass last shared his electronics gear list in 2020. At that time I mentioned the low profile my phone had on its tripod when used for photography. It was suggested that I look at Quad Lock products. I looked, I liked, I purchased.
Quad Lock phone cases and accessories are designed in Australia and manufactured in China. They made their name with cycle mounts for phones but have expanded beyond that market. Cases and accessories are available for a wide range of phone models as well as an adhesive mount for any that fall outside their compatability range. Having looked at their products online I purchased a replacement protective case for my Samsung S20+. The Quad Lock case (SKU: QLC-GS2OP) is constructed from TPU/polycarbonate and has a thin microfibre buffering liner inside. In common with my previous Olixar case, the Quad Lock protective case is smooth to the touch however phone handling is then mostly based around one particular snap-on accessory facility.
To fit the new case to my phone it was a simple slip off of the old case and clip on the new, it took ten seconds. The front lip of the case is a snug fit that curves round to the front of the phone’s face well. This curves round a little further than the Olixar case yet still permits full touch control across the width of the screen. There is little chance of the phone slipping out unintentionally. The soft covered buttons on the side of the case perfectly align with those on the phone as does the camera surround on the back. Which is, of course, as they should.
Quad Lock cases have a centrally placed circular mounting system on the back in to which various mounts can be inserted, twisted through 45° and locked in place. There are different mounts for various activities such as running and cycling. I purchased two- a simple Ring Stand and a Tripod Adapter. There is no screen cover included so I left the glass protective cover from my previous Olixar case in place. There is a slip on TPU ‘poncho‘ available from Quad Lock but I am still considering whether I want one of those as fitting it does affect screen sensitivity.
Quad Lock Phone Ring/Stand (SKU: QLA-RNG)
While it was the Quad Lock Tripod Adapter I was most interested in, as I was making a purchase anyway, I decided to try out the Quad Lock Phone Ring/Stand as well. I am glad I did as it is simple add-on and works just fine. Once clicked into place it is firm with no sloppiness. The central metal ring swings out and is perfectly sized for one of my massive digits to fit and the phone can now be firmly held in the hand. This is particularly helpful in colder and wetter conditions. Usefully, the ring will also swing open further to act as a phone stand on flat surfaces. My main reason for switching to this case and accessories is to take photos on trail. On a level surface with no vegetation, the ring stand is sufficient in itself to support the phone.
“If you like it, put a ring on it”
The ring stand comes with a well-made metal mitten hook, what Quad Lock call a mini-carabiner, to attach keys, but I am not using that for that purpose as I don’t want keys dangling from my phone. If the ring is being frequently removed to fit a tripod adapter then a mini-carabiner could be useful to then clip the ring to the pack rather than immediately lose it, it is pretty small and easy to misplace.
I use a Qi wireless charger at home and the case is compatible with that, however the ring has to be removed to use this, which is a bit of a nuisance as I am constantly picking my phone up from the charge plate and forgetting to then snap the ring back in. I plug in to the USB-C connector to charge on trail to avoid the power loss experienced through wireless charging, so this is not an issue when backpacking.
Quad Lock Tripod Adapter (SKU: QLM-TRI-2)
The Quad Lock tripod mount is the accessory that was of most interest to Three Points of the Compass. The ring stand is first twisted and removed and then the polycarbonate Tripod adapter inserted, twisted and locked in to place in the Quad Lock case. It takes five seconds. The Tripod adapter can be used with the phone in portrait or landscape mode. There is no ball and socket head in this set up, if I want that then it is to the tripod itself I must look.
.The phone is locked in place with the tripod mount and not simply gripped as with the Joby Grip Tight clamp so cannot slip out.The plastic tripod adapter is 100mm tall and 25mm wide with a standard 1/4″ tripod thread on the base so can be used on just about any standard tripod fitting. This new set up now positions my phone a little higher than the extremely squat position that my previous Joby Grip Tight and Joby micro tripod combination positioned it.
It appears that Joby is no longer making their handy little Micro stand, which is a pity as it is extremely compact and at 25g there is not a lot out there to rival it. The Grip Tight phone clamp and Micro tripod are still available as a combination but it looks as though that is all new old stock
I also looked at a small selection tripods suitable for lightweight backpacking for use with my phone and tripod adapter, in particular the Pedco Ultrapod and Ultrapod II as I had been missing the swivel head facility with the Joby tripod. Small tripods can be surprisingly weighty and I simply cannot justify the weight of others that I have seen, particularly as a tripod is carried throughout a hike yet is infrequently used. Have a look at that post for some size and weight direct comparisons.
|Quad Lock rear case for Samsung Galaxy S20+||46g|
|Quad Lock phone ring/stand||9.7g|
|Quad lock Tripod adaptor||19.6g|
|Carabiner supplied by Quad Lock ring/stand (not required)||2.9g|
|Olixar rear case for Samsung Galaxy S20+||33.4g|
|Joby Grip Tight phone camp/tripod adapter||19g|
|Joby Micro tripod||24.7g|
There are very obviously similar products from other suppliers however Three Points of the Compass is impressed with the simple and efficient appearance of these particular Quad Lock accessories alongside their clean lines and excellent build quality and it was a good call in my comments box (thanks Paul).
The Quad Lock and Tripod Adapter are sold bundled together as a ‘Capture Kit’ which cost me £34.90 with a further £13.95 for the Ring/Stand, so not particularly cheap options. Though I did get a small discount offered while debating whether to complete my purchase. I will be using the Quad Lock phone case and tripod adapter for all hikes in the near future but am still deliberating on which of my mini tripods to include. If you are interested in any of the Quad Lock products yourself, click here for a first purchase 10% discount when ordering.