The Frio Coldshoe Adapter Review

December 20th, 2010 by admin

There's a new kid in town in the cold shoe department!  From the same awesome guys that came up with the Orbis Ring Flash adapter, comes the all new Frio Universal Cold Shoe Adapter.  This cool gadget will connect any hotshoe flash to any 1/4-20 threaded stud and it connects very securely.

The Frio is made of a hard, durable plastic, is very light weight, and is smaller than the standard plastic shoe that comes with most flashes.  This little guy is so small that you can literally pack 10 of these in any bag and take up little to no space.

But does it work, you say?

Let's check it out…


As stated above, the Frio simply screws on to any 1/4-20 threaded stud (which is pretty much standard on just about all light stands, tripods and just about anything else you can attach a flash to), and the flash hotshoe just slides right in.

The Frio has a "dual locking" mechanism in that there is a plastic tab that you have to push down to get the flash in the shoe, then it has a slot that picks up the locking pin mechanism on just about every hotshoe flash.

I used mine on an umbrella swivel adapter (as I do with all my shoe mounts).  Because the Frio has a metal threaded insert and not a plastic one, you get a very secure fit to your stud mount.  Also, you can wrench it down pretty well without fear of stripping the threads …not so with plastic threading.

You can see in the photo below that the Frio is approximately half the size of the standard plastic cold shoe that comes with your flash.

Just to test the Frio's actual strength out, I turned my flash over to a 90 degree angle.  Not only did it not even budge, I actually banged on the flash a little to see if I could jostle it out …to no success.  I also attached a beauty dish to my flash (not pictured) to see if it could withstand the extra weight, which it did with no issues.

I also tried the Frio with a few other quirky flashes I have and they all mounted right in with no issues.  I can tell you this, I will be replacing all of my existing cold shoes with the new Frio.

You can read more about the Frio and purchase it at the OPG Store.

Hope you check these because they really rock!

Learn more about John, view his portfolio and check out his blog at John Adkins Photography



The Outdoor Photo Gear Blog is an outdoor photographer's resource for photo and camera tips about photography in nature, wildlife and other outdoor settings. Throughout the blog you'll find great articles on composition, lighting, general photography and imaging techniques used by professional photographers.

The Outdoor Photo Gear Store sells great photography equipment and accessories for the wildlife, landscape, and nature photographers. If you haven't visited The Outdoor Photo Gear Store to see all great camera and flash accessories for the avid outdoor photographer, you should check out all the great gear we offer.

4 Responses to “The Frio Coldshoe Adapter Review”

  1. Chet says:

    Hi John,
    Just purchased two Frio Coldshoe adaptors. I need to screw it into an adaptor that also has an opening to hold an umbrella. My current flash shoe/umbrella adamptors on my existing light stands do not have a male thread joint to attach to the female Frio. Can you suggest such an adaptor to hold both the Frio adaptor and an umbrella?

    • GeorgeS says:


      First, check the umbrella mount bracket. The shoe might be removable. (I expect that it is on the Interfit and Westcott brackets sold by Outdoor Photo Gear, as the shoe is obviously a separate piece.) There are also umbrella brackets that use a standard 5/8″ stud. You can get studs with a range of ends, including a 1/4″-20 threaded male. (The swivels usually come with such a stud, sometimes with a shoe mounted on it, but that can be removed.) I don’t know if it’s appropriate to mention another seller, but Adorama sells several of these. Search on “swivel mount” and you should find several for as little as $16-17. These are probably heavier than the Interfit and Westcott brackets OPG sells but they are more versatile. For example, the stud rotates, so it’s easy to adjust the direction the flash points. You could aim it toward the subject for direct flash (or with a softbox) or backward into an umbrella.

  2. Dave Tong says:

    Quite agree with your strength/security assesment. I’ve had folks asking why do I bother buying this when almost all flashes come with a stand anyway. Well, I’ve had horror stories trying to use the flash stand on a light stand/tripod when it’s not parallel to the ground… Frio it is.

  3. Kevin says:

    If you plan on using them outside on a lightstand and can’t guarantee your lightstand won’t fall, then be warned…….if your lightstand does in fact fall, they will adorn your trash can!

Leave a Comment