I’ll just say that among the monopods out there that are under $20, the Dolica WT-1003 is a fantastic monopod for its price and quality.
I. INSIDE THE BOX
Inside the box is a Dolica Lightweight Monopod with a bag. The monopod has three levers for extension and has the rubber footing on the bottom that can be twisted up to reveal the spike (for outdoor use).
Compared to the Vivitar Monopod, they are the same size. In fact, they look very much the same with the levers having different line length but everything from top to bottom is the same with the exception of the grip. If you want a thicker grip, then the Dolica is perfect. If you want a thinner grip, then go for the Vivitar. I prefer the thicker grip to hold on to when using my camera.
As for the Opteka, I prefer the connections of the Dolica and Vivitar to my Pistol ball head grip but in terms of build, the Dolica is the better of the three because of the build and the thicker grip.
My setup is using a Canon DSLR on an Opteka Sidewinder pistol grip using a variety of lenses and this monopod has held on to my equipment PERFECTLY! I have extended it high…but had no need to shoot that high yet. I have used it while up on the short ladder but still, no need to have it extend to the maximum. Also, I’ve learned from certain Tripods that you go to maximum, you can have some breakage. I haven’t had that problem with the Dolica but if you don’t need to use the maximum, then don’t. Otherwise if you need more height and will be using a heavy lens, then you may want to go with a thicker monopod (and of course, more expensive).
I have never purchased a Dolica product but this is my first time using one and it’s their monopod. Of the three, the Dolica is better and for your money’s worth, you get a pretty sturdy monopod, with a thicker grip and also a bag for less than $15.
Of the under $20 monopods that I have used, the Dolica WT-1003 monopod is the best! Highly recommended!