They're a great winter camera accessory, but do you really need tripod leg covers ?
Of course not. Just like padding on your bike seat, you could ride without it, but it could be a pain in the A$$. In the case of tripods, it's not quite that dramatic of a difference.
Tripod leg sleeves insulate your hands from the bitter feel of a frigid carbon fiber or aluminum leg on a cold winter day. These leg covers also give you some cushion from the pressure of your tripod as you carry it on your shoulder.
There are two well known sellers when it comes to covers for your tripod legs. They are the Lensocat company and OP/TECH.
You can do a comparison of leg covers by reading reviews on two different options.
The LegCoat on the right comes in several different color options.
The OP/TECH, on the far right, is about half the price and comes in black.
LensCoat make a large variety of products to protect your camera, lenses, and accessories, including their line of LegCoat tripod covers.
The LegCoat wraps are made from closed cell Neoprene and are designed to wrap around the upper leg of your tripod.
The inside back is designed to prevent slipping which is the biggest complaint photographers have with the traditional leg sleeves that come with tripods.
The camouflage color is particularly popular with wildlife photographers. Pay attention to diameter and length when ordering these tripod leg sleeves. When you consider that some tripods cost $500 or more adding protective leg covers is a worthwhile investment and makes them more comfortable to carry and handle.
OP/TECH makes cheaper tripod leg protection. The material is quite similar to the pipe insulation tubes you can buy at your local hardware or home improvement store.
These leg covers also come with Cordura® stockings to cover and protect the insulating material. Also know for straps, lens pouches, and a variety of other camera equipment accessories, Op/TECH products are made in the USA.
Want to save money on your tripod leg covers?
How about a do-it-yourself project?
This is probably one of the easiest do-it-yourself projects there is. You only need foam pipe insulation tubes, a knife, and the right kind of tape.
Even if you are clumsy with tools and averse to being handy, you could give this project a try with little risk. You can use Google or Youtube for the specifics.
Just be careful with your choice of tape and how much you apply. There's nothing worse than sticky adhesive breakdown or a hot day.
On the other hand, if money is not issue and you want the look of a professional, the manufactured leg covers are a good route to take for a winter camera accessory.
Professional tripods can cost up to $400 or more, so you can justify spending $30-$50 dollars on comfort and protection.
Shoot more photos.
Watch less TV.