NEED TO KNOW: How to choose a selfie stick

Buying advice and reviews of Christmas 2014’s hottest travel gadget

Selfie lifestyleGo to any tourist hotspot and we guarantee that you’ll see a selfie stick. Not only are these extendable sticks great for taking impromptu selfies, but using a selfie stick can get you a great angle. Attach your smartphone to the holster, raise it above your head and – hey presto – you’ve got a unique kind of selfie.

Top buying tip

Put ‘selfie stick auto shutter button’ into Google, or just go for the best – and by far the least annoying – selfie stick, the Looq.

Looq Selfie StickGreat in crowds

Selfie sticks aren’t just for selfies. They usually measure about 50cm in length, and can get you a great shot even when you’re surrounded by people; simply raise it above everybody’s heads and take the shot. A selfie stick is also great for composing panoramas.

Useful for video

As well as helping you get a better, more unusual angle during videos, a selfie sticks can also help you keep a smartphone steady. However, choose your selfie stick wisely because there are two distinct types.

Bad selfie sticks

Most cheap selfie sticks are monopods that make you to use the shutter delay on your smartphone, which is poor advice since the taker will be looking at the phone’s screen, not the camera.

Good selfie sticks

The better ones have an Auto Shutter Button. It works either by a cable that goes into the phone’s earphones slot, or uses Bluetooth (though Bluetooth models have been controversial in South Korea). Either way, these selfie sticks give the user a shutter button to take a picture, which can be easily operated by a thumb. The latter type of selfie stick is SO much easier to use. The Looq Monopod Selfie Stick is a great example of the second kind of selfie stick; it works really well. You can buy it here. TravGear has no affiliation with it whatsoever, we just think it’s by far the best/best value; most cheap selfie sticks are plain annoying.

05 SnapUpgrade your selfie stick

If you’ve got a monopod selfie stick with no remote trigger button, don’t despair. Several Bluetooth remotes are available, such as the QDOS Q-PIC Bluetooth selfie remote and Snap iPhone Remote Control (which adds a kickstand for a smartphone). These do a similar job, though they do occasionally need recharging. Some simple monopod selfie sticks – such as The Selfy Stick – bundle a Bluetooth selfie remote.