After quite a while of looking for a product to fill a big gap in my work, I found a solution that works for me.
Over the weekend I was capturing some family footage in a park. Had my T3i on a smaller tripod (Manfrotto MKC3-H01) that has a quick release pate and hand grip. Having to move around capturing some very young nieces and nephews, I found that if I left the legs retracted, camera on tripod, and the camera neck strap on my neck and secure, that I could do come amazing things on the fly.
Grabbing two of the short legs gave me some nice stable handles for shots, one leg extended for a monopod, two legs against torso for platform, Angled shots, overhead shots, low shots, and a few others. Seemed to really be comfortable as well, without giving up the safety for the camera that is always in the back of me head.
Tripod runs about $55.00 new, picked a couple up at Best Buy last year.