Recommended Travel Tripods

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Recommended Travel Tripods

The travel tripod conundrum is a cruel reality of physics and practicality. The larger and heavier a tripod is, the steadier it will hold a camera. The larger and heavier a tripod is, the less likely you will ever want to carry it around or take it on a trip. Why are we left with a photographic reality like that which makes the tastiest food bad for you?

Tripods come in all shapes, weights, heights, and styles. If you are new to the world of tripods, please check out The Tripod Explained article before reading further. Here we are going to recommend travel tripods for the photographer. First, we must ask, “What makes one a ‘travel’ tripod?”

Well, any tripod is a travel tripod if you are willing to travel with it, but some tripods are designed to fold up into a compact package that, in some cases, can fit into a carry-on bag. They are also designed to be lighter than their full-sized counterparts. Usually, they have four or more leg sections, legs that can fold up around the center column, or a center column that drops down between the legs for transport. In general, they do not extend to the same heights as full-sized tripods, so get ready to bend over while shooting. Other than those features, the travel tripod is basically the same as any other three-legged camera support.

I visited the B&H SuperStore and picked the brains of the store’s tripod experts, got hands-on with all of the different options, and have compiled this list of the 12 travel tripods shown here, in price order, with the highest priced (as of press time) first.

Gitzo GK1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head

Well, it really doesn’t get any better than the Gitzo GK1545T Series 1 Traveler Tripod and Center Ball Head, travel tripod and Center Ball Head, and the price would certainly indicate that. The entire design of the Gitzo travel tripod is based on maximizing its thin profile. The odd-shaped head is purposely curvy to accommodate the legs when inverted for transport. Gitzo travel tripod legs are narrower than much of the competition, but generally maintain higher load capacities. O-rings seal the top of the twist locks to keep debris out, the legs can be set at one of two angles, and the chassis is made of magnesium. The center ball head is a fine complement to its gorgeous legs and features a separate pan lock knob, screw lock for the Arca-type compatible plate, and a tungsten disulfide coating for silky smooth action. Like Manfrotto, Gitzo sells individual parts for its tripods, so if you wear out a component, it can be replaced.

Gitzo GK1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head  
Gitzo GK1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head

The slightly higher-priced alternative has slightly larger legs, and a 26-lb capacity; the GT2545T.

Gitzo GK1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 22 lb
  • Max. Height: 64.4"
  • Min. Height: 12.6"
  • Folded Length: 16.7"
  • Leg Sections: 4
  • Weight: 3.2 lb

Peak Design Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod

If you’ve been kicking around the Internet on photography blogs, you are likely still bouncing in the ripples caused by the giant splash the Peak Design Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod made when it landed on Earth. In the world of three-legged supports, there is innovation and then there is revolutionary innovation. The Peak Design tripod represents the latter with its triangular-shaped legs, integrated tripod head, and 5-section legs that can be released simultaneously. The center column reverses for low-angle shooting and this travel tripod folds down to a compact water-bottle-sized 15.5" without having to reverse its legs.

Peak Design Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod 
Peak Design Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod

An aluminum version is also available.

Peak Design Travel Tripod

  • Load Capacity: 20 lb
  • Max. Height: 60"
  • Min. Height: 5.5"
  • Folded Length: 15.5"
  • Leg Sections: 5
  • Weight: 2.8 lb

Manfrotto BeFree GT XPRO Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with 496 Center Ball Head

Building on the deserved popularity of the BeFree tripod line, Manfrotto has assembled the flagship version of the BeFree travel tripod in the form of the BeFree GT XPRO Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with 496 Center Ball Head. A sleek design and paint scheme makes the tripod attractive to the eye, and a new innovative chassis allows the center column to be inserted at 90-degree angles for lateral applications. Backed by Manfrotto’s quality reputation and the ability to replace parts, this tripod will be a companion for years and years of traveling. The tripod has a 22.1-lb load capacity, extends to almost 65" and collapses to 16.9". Low-angle shooting? The removable center column allows you to shoot at a height of 3.5". The M-lock leg twist-locks feel great in the hand.

Manfrotto BeFree GT XPRO Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with 496 Center Ball Head
Manfrotto BeFree GT XPRO Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with 496 Center Ball Head

The BeFree GT XPRO is also available in aluminum. And the non-XPRO versions are fantastic as well and available in carbon fiber and aluminum.

Manfrotto BeFree GT XPRO Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with 496 Center Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 22.1 lb
  • Max. Height: 64.6"
  • Min. Height: 3.5"
  • Folded Length: 16.9"
  • Leg Sections: 4
  • Weight: 3.9 lb

Benro Rhino Carbon Fiber Three Series Travel Tripod with VX30 Head

You need to give credit to Benro, who snuck a full-sized tripod, with full-sized specs, into this list of recommended travel tripods with its impressive Benro Rhino Carbon Fiber Three Series Travel Tripod with VX30 Head. Standing at almost 69" when fully extended, it is the tallest travel tripod on this list and its 44-lb load capacity also tops the group—by a large factor! The Rhino has reverse folding legs for storage as well as a reversing center column for low-angle shooting. Speaking of leg angles, you can adjust the degree of spread at any desired angle with the Auto-Hold Leg Trigger.

The tripod looks great with awesome carbon veneer and tasteful aluminum accents on the chassis and head, and the VX-series ball heads have a rare dual-panning functionality. For additional versatility, one of the legs detaches to become a monopod.

Benro Rhino Carbon Fiber Three Series Travel Tripod with VX30 Head
Benro Rhino Carbon Fiber Three Series Travel Tripod with VX30 Head

The Rhino series comes in a few flavors with different heights and load capacities.

Benro Rhino Carbon Fiber Three Series Travel Tripod with VX30 Head

  • Load Capacity: 44.09 lb
  • Max. Height: 68.75"
  • Min. Height: 19.3"
  • Folded Length: 19.45"
  • Leg Sections: 4
  • Weight: 4.54 lb

Benro MeFOTO RoadTrip Pro Carbon Fiber Series 1 Travel Tripod with Ball Head and Monopod

Make it a two-peat for Benro with, as a tripod expert at the SuperStore put it, the “Swiss Army knife of travel tripods”—the Benro MeFOTO RoadTrip Pro Carbon Fiber Series 1 Travel Tripod with Ball Head and Monopod. From the outside, it looks like your standard, yet beautifully designed, travel tripod. But start poking around a bit and you will find the following features: a removable leg that serves as a monopod, boompole, or selfie stick (which can also be joined with the removable center column for extra reach), invertible center column for low-level shooting, a tabletop tripod leg set hidden in the center column (or a tripod foot for the monopod leg or center column), a convertible phone holder QR plate for using your smart phone atop the tripod head, ballast hook and, if you need to fix something in the field, a built-in tool set featuring a screwdriver and hex wrench attached to the removable tripod feet.

Benro MeFOTO Road Trip Pro Carbon Fiber Series 1 Travel Tripod with Ball Head and Monopod 
Benro MeFOTO Road Trip Pro Carbon Fiber Series 1 Travel Tripod with Ball Head and Monopod

The Road Trip PRO comes in aluminum and in several colors. Similar in design and versatility are the smaller Benro MeFOTO BackPacker and the larger Benro MeFOTO Globe Trotter.

Benro MeFOTO Road Trip Pro Carbon Fiber Series 1 Travel Tripod with Ball Head and Monopod

  • Load Capacity: 17.6 lb
  • Max. Height: 61.8"
  • Min. Height: 15.6"
  • Folded Length: 15.16"
  • Leg Sections: 5
  • Weight: 3.0 lb

Explorer Photo & Video TX-VK Voyager Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with Ball Head and Monopod

Joining its larger sibling on the full-sized tripod list, the Explorer Photo & Video TX-TK Voyager Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with Ball Head and Monopod is a solid and good-looking travel companion with impressive specs. With the second largest payload capacity of the travel tripods on this list, the TX-TK Voyager sheds a leg for use as a full-sized monopod and is equipped with a short center column to facilitate low-angle shooting. Accessory ports on the chassis allow you to add gear to the rig with a 3/8"-16 or 1/4"-20 thread. The black carbon fiber and aluminum hardware’s contrasting shades make the unit look fantastic and modern.

Explorer Photo & Video TX-VK Voyager Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with Ball Head and Monopod 
Explorer Photo & Video TX-VK Voyager Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with Ball Head and Monopod

Explorer Photo & Video TX-VK Voyager Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with Ball Head and Monopod

  • Load Capacity: 30.9 lb
  • Max. Height: 60.2"
  • Min. Height: 6.5"
  • Folded Length: 13.8"
  • Leg Sections: 5
  • Weight: 2.71 lb

Manfrotto MT190XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod Kit with 494 Mini Ball Head and RC2 Quick-Release System

One look at the Manfrotto MT190XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod Kit with 494 Mini Ball Head and you can tell that the Manfrotto folks spend a good bit of time on design. The MT190XPRO3 is a direct descendant of the popular 190Go! tripod series, but that does not keep Manfrotto from incorporating a modern look into its designs. The innovative design of the center column allows it to be rolled quickly to the 90-degree lateral shooting position—very rare for a travel tripod. The leg-angle locks are little pieces of sculpted art, and the twist locks have snazzy red top and bottom accents. This is a good-looking tripod with innovative design attributes.

Manfrotto MT190XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod Kit with 494 Mini Ball Head
Manfrotto MT190XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod Kit with 494 Mini Ball Head

Want a carbon fiber alternative? Check out the Manfrotto Element Carbon Fiber Small Traveler Tripod.

Manfrotto MT190XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod Kit with 494 Mini Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 8.8 lb
  • Max. Height: 66.4"
  • Min. Height: 7.0"
  • Folded Length: 26.6"
  • Leg Sections: 3
  • Weight: 5.1 lb

Sirui T-025SK T-0S Carbon Fiber Tripod with B-00 Ball Head

One trip to the Sirui display in the B&H SuperStore and you will see that this is a company dedicated to designing and building travel tripods. The very lightweight (1.8 lb) and compact (12.2") T-025SK T-0S Series Carbon Fiber Tripod and B-00 Ball Head is a fine tool for the traveling photographer with a small DSLR or mirrorless camera. Rare among travel tripods, this Sirui has a 2-section removable center column for low-angle shooting down to 3.1". The twist-lock leg design is straightforward and the overall feel of the unit is that of quality. The cleanly designed head is Arca-type compatible and has a separate pan lock knob.

Sirui T-025SK Carbon Fiber Tripod with B-00 Ball Head
Sirui T-025SK Carbon Fiber Tripod with B-00 Ball Head

The aluminum alternative from Sirui is the T-005SK T-0S Series Travel Tripod and B-00 Ball Head.

Sirui T-025SK T-0S Carbon Fiber Tripod with B-00 Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 13.2
  • Max. Height: 42.5"
  • Min. Height: 3.1"
  • Folded Length: 12.2"
  • Leg Sections: 5
  • Weight: 1.8 lb

Oben CT-3535 Folding Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-208T Ball Head

When it comes to versatility, look no further than Oben. You can tell that the company likes packing the maximum number of features into each tripod it markets. Built for mirrorless and small DSLR setups, the Oben AT-3535 Folding Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod and BE-208T Ball Head is no exception. Where do I start? Brought your Oben tripod, but need a monopod or selfie stick? Done. Just unscrew one of the legs. For low-angle shooting, the kit comes with a removable center column and optional included short center column. Also included are retractable spikes, strap, bag, tools, and quick-release plate. The BE-208T head has a separate panning lock, bubble levels, and an Arca-type compatible quick-release plate.

Oben CT-3535 Folding Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-208T Ball Head  
Oben CT-3535 Folding Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-208T Ball Head

The aluminum sibling to this tripod is the Oben AT-3535.

Oben CT-3535 Folding Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-208T Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 9 lb
  • Max. Height: 51.6"
  • Min. Height: 8.6"
  • Folded Length: 12"
  • Leg Sections: 5
  • Weight: 2.5 lb

Oben AT-3565 Folding Aluminum Travel Tripod with BZ-217T Ball Head

Exactly like the Oben tripod mentioned above, the Oben AT-3565 Folding Aluminum Travel Tripod and BZ-217T Ball Head is supremely versatile but has a larger load capacity. The AT-3656 comes with a removable leg for monopod/selfie stick uses, retractable spikes, removable center column, short center column, strap, bag, tools, and quick-release plate. An advantageous 20-lb load capacity means that you can mount up a heavy DSLR and zoom lens. The BZ-217T head has adjustable friction semi-coaxially mounted on the main knob, a separate panning lock, bubble levels, and an Arca-type compatible quick-release plate.

Oben AT-3565 Folding Aluminum Travel Tripod with BZ-217T Ball Head
Oben AT-3565 Folding Aluminum Travel Tripod with BZ-217T Ball Head

A carbon fiber alternative is the CT-3565 and BZ-217T Ball Head.

Oben AT-3565 Folding Aluminum Travel Tripod with BC-217T Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 20 lb
  • Max. Height: 61.8"
  • Min. Height: 9.1"
  • Folded Length: 6.1"
  • Leg Sections: 5
  • Weight: 3.7 lb

Slik Sprint Mini III Travel Tripod with SBH-100 DQ Compact Ball Head

A recently updated classic! I am sure many customers might see the price of the Slik Sprint Mini III and SBH-100 DQ Compact Ball Head and think that this is the budget buy of the group. Well, it is, but version II racked up a 4.5-star rating with 114 reviews. Version III is even better. At only 1.9 lb, this Slik weighs less than some stainless water bottles. It is not a tall tripod at 42.4", but that helps add to its stability so it can handle a small DSLR or mirrorless camera system. The dual-lock center column is reversible, but the legs do not invert around it for storage. Regardless, it packs small and the fact that you do not have to reverse the legs to set it up saves time. Each leg has a foam pad and the four-section legs have flip-locks. The center column is two-part that allows for low-angle shooting and the ball head has a single lever and proprietary quick-release plate.

Slik Sprint Mini III Travel Tripod w/ SBH-100 DQ Compact Ball Head
Slik Sprint Mini III Travel Tripod w/ SBH-100 DQ Compact Ball Head

Slik Sprint Mini III Travel Tripod with SBH-100 DQ Compact Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 2.2 lb
  • Max. Height: 42.4"
  • Min. Height: 6"
  • Folded Length: 13.2"
  • Leg Sections: 4
  • Weight: 1.9 lb

I hope this helps you find the travel tripod that best suits your needs and accompanies you on your next adventure! Of course, if you have any questions, post them below or feel free to stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969, or contact us online for a Live Chat.

Read more about tripods in these Explora articles: The Tripod Explained and 10 Recommended Full-Size Tripods.

 

98 Comments

Hi,

I’m a bird photographer and my heaviest travel setup is a Z9 + 500f4,fl,ed + 1.4 ext + wimberly 200, about 15lbs. I use a Gitzo sys5 locally but would like something smaller and lighter for air travel.  I looked into the Gitzo series 2 travel pod but Gitzo says 300mm lens max. The series 3 looks good but pricey and getting big. What can you recommend?

Thanks

Hey Stephen,

Great question! I would think the Gitzo Series 2 would work for you with a 26lb payload. I see where the Gitzo site mentions the 300mm maximum and I wonder if they are referring to an f/2.8 lens or something smaller. It would have been great if they had been more clear there.

Most travel tripods are going to be challenged by a 500mm focal length lens, but the Gitzo is going to be as good as any at giving you the stability you need. I would suggest trying it out and, if it's not stable enough, you could return it to B&H following their return policy.

Standing by for follow-ups!

Best,

Todd

Hello, I am new to photography and have no idea what I am looking for. I have a Fujifilm XT30 with a 23mm f2 lens and a zoom lens. I need something lightweight to travel and hike around. I am 5'10" and budget conscious. What would recommend tripod? Thank you.

If you are looking for an economically-priced, yet good-quality tripod, depending on your budget, I would recommend either the Vidpro AT-77 VentureMaxx Professional 77" Aluminum Travel Tripod with Ball HeadB&H # VIAT77, the SmallRig CT-20 Aluminum Tripod with Ball HeadB&H # SM3474C, or the slightly shorter K&F Concept BI234M Lightweight Magnesium Travel/Vlog Tripod with Ball HeadB&H # KFBI234M, for your usage needs.  For more information, you can see the following link by either clicking directly on it or by copying and pasting the link into your internet browser's address bar:

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1669916-REG/vidpro_at_77_venturemaxx_professional_77.html

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1740932-REG/smallrig_3474c_ct_20_aluminium_tripod.html

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1680750-REG/k_f_concept_kf09_101_bi234m_lightweight_travel_tripod_compact.html

I have a Canon EOS 90 and a Sigma 100 - 600 lens.  Unfortunately, I have to be budget conscious.  Will the Oben AT-3565 Aluminum Travel Tripod and BZ-217T Triple-Action Ball Head handle this setup?  Thank you.

Hi Norman,

That BZ-217T head has a capacity of 20 lbs—well more than that camera/lens combination, so you should be good.

A note to consider: You will be shooting at an equivalent focal length of 960mm with your EOS 90D and the Sigma zoomed to 600mm. Even with heavy duty gear, even the smallest movement of the camera and lens will be noticeable—even a puff of wind will impart movement to your image, so don't extend the tripod legs all the way, be sure to use a remote release, keep a weather eye on your shutter speed, and, if possible, hang some weight off the tripod's center column hook to increase stability.

Thanks for your question and thanks for reading!

Best,

Todd

Glad you've included the Sirui 025.  Got mine at B&H.  It is excellent for hiking and for travel.  But I use it without the center column mast, and for greater stability I often only extend the thinnest leg sections a couple of inches.  Thus it is height limited.  But I'm of short stature, old and shrinking.

I'd add to the list the Sirui 254 and 284 which are substantially more "substantial".  I use the 284 with an Arca p0 reverse ballhead & a Novoflex Q Arca type clamp.  This rig weighs 3 lbs. + change, is far more stable than is the 025.  It goes low for close to ground use.  Could save weight with a lighter ballhead, but the Arca p0 is so sweet!  It fits in my carry-on roll bag, even with the head attached.  It has 4 section legs which deploy faster than do those with 5, and probably also improves stability (fewer joints).

I much prefer tripods w/o center column.  Center columns should only be extended in circumstances of absolute need.  The rest of the time they are only in the way and restrict low level shots.  Taking the time and trouble to reverse them, then using the camera upside down where top plate dials cannot be seen, is just a nuisance which interferes with work in the field; nuts!

Hi Richard,

I am glad you agreed with one of my picks and I appreciate you sharing your experience with some different Sirui tripods! Great stuff!

I agree with you about the lower section extension as well as the center column. In my mind, the only thing a center column is good for is stopping the folded legs from crossing each other! :) I even got a short center column for my Induro tripod to try to lighten it, but, for some reason, it didn't fit...must have been for a different series.

Thanks again for sharing your tips and thoughts and thanks for reading!

Best,

Todd

 

I have been using the Gitzo 1545T Travel tripod for the last 10+ years and never bought another one. If you invest in a good one, its durability tested by time will even out your cost in the long run. This tripod is Carbon fiber and is light, easily packable even in your hand carry. I have used this during my workshops, Safari tours and Patagonian treks. Its telescoping legs have endured the swamps and ice snows but never fractured or rusted.

 

Hi Amor,

Good stuff! You have an awesome tripod that you can easily pass down to your offspring or gift to a friend as part of your estate! :) Of course, let's hope you get decades more use out of it before then!

Thank you for reading!

Best,

Todd

I recently bought a Sony RX10 M4 from you (which I love) and am interested in a very lightweight travel tripod mainly for bird photography. I bought a cheap Sunpak - 2001UT 48.9" tripod a couple of years ago and paid for what I got. I need one with fluidity and sturdiness. I used the Sunpak yesterday to video 2 Great-horned owlets and a couple of other birds and they were all quite shaky and it wouldn't hold my camera in place as it slowly drooped downwards. Thank you in advance.

You may wish to consider the Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra Aluminum Tripod with 804 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head,  BH # MAMK290XTA33 which is definitely sturdy enough for your RX10 IV and offers plenty of height. 

 

https://bhpho.to/3Pj8ajF

Hi, I am looking for a tripod that works the best with Sony Mirrorless cameras. We go on different adventures such as mountaineering, backcountry camping and kayaking trips. We are 6 2" and 5 2". We are looking for: 

-Travel-friendly 

-Light-weight 

-Does not take up too much space in backpacks 

-Steady and sturdy legs intended for different terrains 

-Does not break the bank 

Any suggestions? Thank you! 

Which tripod works best for macro photography/flower photography, ffor a Canon EOSRP?  Would like a travel-friendly, light-weight, and flexible tripod.  Thanks

Hello! I am looking for a tripod for travel, with low weight but steady, easy to carry on a back pack. Don´t have a clear preference on the legs adjustment system. I have a Nikon D7500, sometimes I do some astrophotography and use a Sigma 100-400 lens (that is heavy!). Any suggestions? Thanks a lot in advance! I live outside the US and I don´t have the chance to go to the store!

A great option to consider for a travel tripod is the Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Aluminum Tripod with 494 Ball Head (Lever Locks, Black), BH # MAMKBFRLA4BK which can definitely hold the weight your current DSLR/lens combo. 

 

https://bhpho.to/3GqMPSg

I am looking for a steady, quick to set up (twist lock) travel tripod that is light weight and easy to carry in the back pack. I intend to use it in tough windy terrains including the oceans and deserts. Lever release ball head that supports L bracket is the preferred option. I am 5 11" with a mirrorless camera system.

Any suggestions?

Hello Aseeb,

We recommend the Sirui W-2204K20 Carbon Fiber Tripod with K20X Ocean Runner Ball Head Kit, BH # SISUW2204K20 which has a heavy load capacity, is within your height, offers twist lock legs and the ability to use it in bodies of water easily. 

 

https://bhpho.to/2YlNXF1

I'm looking for a lightweight tripod for my Canon 310XL. I'm new to super 8 and am curious as to whether the options on this list are compatible with my camera or if I need to get an older tripod specifically for super 8 cameras? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Hi Conner - 

 Your CANON Super 8 type 8mm movie camera weighs in at just over one pound with the batteries installed. You will not need a "dedicated" tripod for this camera as it features an industry standard 1/4"-20 threaded female bushing.  The tripods featured in this article are for photography cameras however.  Here is a travel tripod recommendation for film/video cameras.
 

 

Oben Lander AT-3565 5-Section Aluminum Travel Tripod System & TVH-108 Video Head

B&H # OBATTVH108 

Key Features

  • 8.8 lb Capacity Fluid Drag Tripod Head
  • 501-Type Quick Release Plate
  • Spring-Loaded Counterbalance System
  • 5-Section Tripod with 3 Leg Angles
  • 360° Pan, +90° to -90° Tilt
  • 16.7 to 62.7" Height Range/Twist Locks
  • Monopod Leg Conversion/Reversible Column
  • Reverse-Folding Legs
  • Folded Length: 16.4", Weight: 4 lb
  • Spiked Feet & Rubber Feet

 

Looking for a extreme slender and rather small travel tripod with the requirements:
- no (fixed) center pod (so a form-design like the 'Xiletu XLS 284C' or the 'Aoka CMP163CL')
- no-knop leg-extention-system (so with legs like the 'culman neomax', 'fotopro X-Aircross 1C', 'fotopro BETA-4C' or 'fotopro MS-4K'
- carbon-legs and no plastic ballhead (so NOT like the extreme weak 'fotopro MS-4K' but slightly sturdier)
- extended size between 90cm and 135cm
- loadbaering of +-1,5kg is ok for me (my camera+lens is +-1015 grams)
- weight under 1kg

Need it for month-long backpacking-wildcamping trips.
Trips where I don't have space over in my backpack for thicker tripods
and limit my backpack-volume/weight to aitplane handluggage.

My previous month-long trip was to several Cape verdian islands and next planned is to South-Myanmar.

A tripod that comes to mind for your needs is the Manfrotto Element Carbon Fiber Small Traveler Tripod (Black), BH # MAMKELES5CF, which is extremely compact, lightweight and with a higher load capacity than 1.5kg.

 

http://bhpho.to/2WI3sDi

 

Hi, I am looking for a Tripod kit to go with Canon EOS R camera along with100-400 lens, which also has a monopod conversion feature. Since I will be travelling, I need a light, small and sturdy tripod. Can you kindly recommend some tripod kit (including head) that does not break the bank? I mostly shoot landscapes, birds and portraits. thanks

The Benro Tripster Travel Tripod is a great option.  It has an 18 pound load capacity, is affordable, light weight and can be converted to a Monopod.  It is a great choice.

https://bhpho.to/33Y90xm

Hi, I am new to photographer, I brought a Canon M50 with kit lens, I would like to get a tripod,which one would you recommend for a beginner?

Hi everyone, I don’t know if B&H is still reading comments on this article as I know it’s pretty old, but if you guys are, help! I’ve been shopping for an upgrade to my travel tripod, a MeFoto aluminum, and every single person I know and trust recommends something different:  a Sirui, a Manfrotto carbon fiber, a Gitzo, or the new Peak Design that’s (eventually...) becoming available. I’m 6’1”, need it for hikes/landscapes, and use an A7Riv & A7Riii but sometimes with long lenses (70-200 f/4, 100-400). I know I’m tall, but with flip-out screen of the Sonys, I’m more concerned about the weight of the tripod+head than anything at this point. Even the MeFoto aluminum I have now is just a little too heavy for longer hikes. Thanks in advance to anyone who wants to give an opinion!

All of the brands that you have been recommended are good options.  Unfortunately, for a combination of your height and ensuring you have a good maximum load capacity, there are not a lot of tripods that will be lighter in weight compared to the MeFOTO tripod, which weighs approximately 3.7 lbs.  My favorite option would be the the FEISOL CT-3441S Travel Rapid Carbon Fiber Tripod with CB-40D Ball Head, B&H # FECT3441SB40, which is my favorite option, which weighs 3.1 lbs, has a maximum height of 73.6 inches, a folded length of 16.9 inches, and a maximum load capacity of 33 lbs.
.
A few other options I would recommend that would support the weight of your equipment, but which would be similar or lower in weight and should still be relatively tall enough for your height would be the Gitzo GK1542-82QD Mountaineer Series 1 Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head, B&H # GIGK154282QD which weighs 2.8 lbs, has a maximum height of 62.6 inches, and a load capacity of 22 lbs, the Gitzo GT1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head, B&H # GIGK1545TKT, which weighs 2.34 lbs, has a maximum height of 60.2 inches, and supports 22 lbs, the 3 Legged Thing Punks Brian Travel Tripod with Airhed Neo Ball Head (Carbon Fiber, Bronze/Blue), B&H # 3LBRIAN (my second favorite option for your height), which weighs 3.1 lbs, has a maximum height of 73.6 inches, a folded length of 16.14 inches, and supports 30.86 lbs.
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For a more economical option, the Sirui W-1004K10 River Runner Tripod Kit,  B&H # SISUW1004K10, and the Manfrotto Element Carbon Fiber Big Traveler Tripod (Black), B&H # MAMKELEB5CF, would also be good options for your usage needs.  The Gitzo options would be the lightest option, the FEISOL and 3 Legged Think would be the tallest at its maximum height, and the Sirui and Manfrotto would be a decent blend of height, weight, folded length, and price. 

It's a shame that Gitzo has such horrible customer service. I've tried to reach them several times and they have never responded. Sturdy products but too bad if you have any sort of problem with one.

Hi I have narrowed down my choices to the Gitzo GT1545T Series 1 Traveler and the Gitzo GT1555T Series 1 Traveler.  There doesn't seem to be much of a difference except max height and folded length.  I will be shooting with my canon 5d mark and canon 16-40mm lens mostly in Patagonia where there are high winds.

Thanks for the write up. Im heading over to NZ in a couple of weeks and im contemplating getting a carbon fiber tripod as its good to bring carry on. I was reading this guide [link removed] and they speak of the Manfrotto MKBFRC4-BH. However after reading this post, I am leaning more towards the Sirui T-025X as it is nearly half the weight. In your exsperince is the stability and rigidity on par with similar Manfortto tripods?

Yes, the Sirui tripod would be similar in stability and strength compared to the Manfrotto tripod.  Unfortunately, both the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod, B&H # MAMKBFRC4BH • MFR # MKBFRC4-BH, and the Sirui T-025X Carbon Fiber Tripod with C-10S Ball Head, B&H # SISUT025X • MFR # SUT025X, have been discontinued and is no longer available for purchase.  The Sirui T-25SK T-0S Series Travel Tripod with B-00 Ball Head (Black, Carbon Fiber), B&H # SISUT025SK • MFR # T025SK, would be the most current replacement to the T-025X.  It is a tad bit shorter with a 53.8 inches (136.7 cm) maximum working height, has a shorter 12.2 inch (30.99 cm) folded length for transport/storage, and weighs 2.2 lbs.   While not half the weight of the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (which weighed 2.4 lbs / 1.1kg), and the older Sirui T-025X weighed 2 lbs (0.9 kg), the new Sirui T-25SK weighs 2.2 lbs (1 kg) but would be stronger than the Manfrotto tripod with a maximum load capacity of 13.2 lbs (5.99 kg).  It would be a good alternative to the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Tripod you originally inquired about above.  The Sirui A1205 Carbon Fiber Tripod with Y-11 Ball Head, B&H # SIA1205Y • MFR #A1205Y, would be another alternative.  It has a maximum height of 55.1 inches (140 cm), has a folded length of 14.6 inches (37.1 cm) for travel/storage purposes, and has a stronger maximum load capacity of 22 lbs (10 kg), while only weighing 2.2 lbs (1 kg).  Both would be recommended for your stated usage.
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Hi, this will be the first time buying a tripod. It is for travelling throughout Europe, mainly cities but some off the beaten track, and needs to be light and compact for overhead bins. I have a Nikon D5500 with zoom lenses and a much lighter Sony A6000. I am 5'4" if that makes any difference. Not a pro, just an enthusiast.  Any thoughts?  Thanks so much for your help.

Hi, I can not understand how to choose the height of the tripod to be comfortable, my height is 5.9.? Can you advise?  I'm looking for my first tripod for light travel . My camera is not big it is Fujifilm xt1 and weight with a lens is about 2 lb. And because I am living near the sea, where strong winds, I am thinking about steady and from carbon fiber. 

Typically, the height of a camera is about 3-4 inches (3.5 inches in the case of the Fujifilm XT-1 Mirrorless Digital Camera), and the distance from your eyes to the top of your head is approximately 3-4 inches.  Also, the typical tripod head is between 3-5 inches tall.  As such, you would subtract 3-4 inches from your height to find your eye level.  In your case, your eye level would be If you are 5.9 feet tall (which is 70.8 inches), your eye level would be between 66.8-67.8 inches, which is the height at which the camera's viewfinder would need to be to reach eye level.  You may then subtract the height of the camera from this number to find the required maximum height for a tripod that has a head (in your case, a tripod with a maximum height of between 62.8-64.8 inches).  If you are only purchasing a tripod, and will purchase the head separately, you would subtract the height of the head from this number to find the maximum height needed by the tripod (in your case, 59.8-61.8 inches).  So, if you want a tripod with a head that would be near camera height while you are standing up, you would want an option that has a maximum height between roughly 63-65 inches tall.  If you are buying the tripod and the head separately, the tripod should have a maximum height between roughly 59-62 inches tall.  Hope that helps.
 

If you are looking for a carbon fiber travel tripod that would work for your usage needs, the MeFOTO RoadTrip Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod Kit (Black), B&H # MEC1350Q1K, the Oben CT-3561 Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-117T Ball Head, B&H # OBCT3561117T, the Oben CT-3581 Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-126T Ball Head, B&H # OBCT3581126T, or the Davis & Sanford Traverse TR684C-36 Carbon Fiber Tripod with Dual Locking Ball Head, B&H # DATR684C36, would all be options that would be close or slightly taller than your usage needs.

 

 

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This imformation was so helpful for someone like me, who lives over a 100 miles from a good photography retail shop.

Glad we could help, Ron! Let us know if you have questions and thanks for reading!

Great article and information on travel tripod options. I will be using a Canon 1dx with up to a 70-200 and can’t decide between the Gitzo Series 2 or the updated Befree Advanced Aluminum Travel Tripod from Manfrotto that’s not in the article. Is the Gitzo “worth” the extra cost compared to the new Befree for travel purposes? 

Thanks!

Hi Joe - 

For my money, given the very wide gap in cost, the Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Aluminum Tripod with Ball Head (Twist Locks, Black), is an easy choice.  If you intend on using a travel tripod on a very regular basis,  on rugged terrain, and in inclement weather conditions, then the  Gitzo GIGT2545T Traveler Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod makes more sense, given its more robust build - especially concerning its GH1382QD Series 1 Center Ball Head.

The Slik Sprint Mini II sounds like what I am looking for - light, compact, and quick set up.  I use a a T3i with a Tamron 16-300 lens. While the set up is not particularly heavy, I worry about how stable this tripod will be with the moment caused by having a bit longer lens on it.  Will this tripod provide a reasonably stable platform for me?

Hi Eric,

If you were just using the Canon T3i and the Tamron 16-300mm exclusively, then the Slik Sprint Mini II GM would be just fine. However, if adding another lens that is heavier in the future, you would be better off with the Vanguard VEO 235AB, as it is not much longer when folded, taller when opened and holds up to 13.2 lbs.

I am going to South East Asia and have a Sony a7sii and I am using a Sony 16-35 T lens and am trying to purchase a light weight tripod. Any suggestions?

Appeciate the helo.

-Engelbert

Hi Engelbert, 

Among the models discussed in the article, the Manfrotto 190Go!, B&H # MAT190GOC4TB is a great model to consider, due to its load capacity and height.

I'm going backpacking this weekend and want to bring my Canon T3i with me and a tripod. My current tripod is the Dolica GX-Series. I love all the features it offers but it's a little heavy/bulky for a backpacking trip/traveling in general.

Would you recommend anything lighter and more compact? Thank you! 

Why don't you include information on where the items are manufactured? I don't buy anything online that I don't know where it is made.

Hey Kevin,

I guess I will take your question as a suggestion and I'll try to edit the article in the near future.

For your reference here are the manufacturing locations I have at the top of my head:

Really Right Stuff - USA

Gitzo - Italy

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for the great article.  I have the mefoto road trip and am going to sell it mainly because of the set up time and but seems awkward to me while walking around.   I hate the twist lock legs and  I really want the quick release legs. I am looking at the Slik Sprint Mini II GM (big sister to the mini at 1.96 lbs).   My real concern is walking around with my canon 5ti with 17-85 Sigma lens on it.  I read below that WK would not walk around with the Silk Sprint Mini with the camera on it.  Have others have experience with this.  I do night photography and walk from area to area on riverbanks.  Having to take my camera off every time would be a show stopper.   Thanks for any help

Hi Maryann,

I can see the concern that WK had about carrying the Slik Sprint Mini II GM while the camera is mounted to is, being that it only holds up to 4.5 lbs.  I would personally be more comfortable doing so with a tripod that has a heavier load capacity. If you were departing from your MeFOTO tripod, but wanted something with the same load capacity but with flip lock legs, I feel that the Vanguard VEO 235AB would be a solid choice.

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