Peak Design has gotten a lot right with its popular Travel Tripod. What began as a humble Kickstarter campaign quickly blossomed into a carbon fiber miracle that addressed the major pain points for tripod users at the time. Its fast deployment speed and portability are just a few of the many attributes that continue to earn a place in the hearts of creatives everywhere. If you're not familiar already, let's get you up to speed with the Peak Design Travel Tripod and why you might consider it for your mobile workflow.
One of the key pain points the Peak Design Travel Tripod addresses is "dead volume." This occurs when you fold up a tripod: the legs come together at the bottom and leave a lot of space at the top. This is a result of the hinges extending from the tripod chassis, or spider. It's less of an issue if the tripod has a center column, or if the legs reverse, but an issue, nonetheless. Peak Design designed the Travel Tripod with a chassis and triangular-shaped legs that fold together when collapsed, making it significantly more compact.
Read More: The Tripod Explained
When it comes to getting set up for the perfect shot, speed and efficiency are everything. Cumbersome twists and dials not only take up space, but they also take time to use. The Travel Tripod exclusively uses a flip-lock mechanism for a more compact collapse and faster deployment speed. With four flip locks in total, each lock is intentionally spaced to allow for simultaneous disengagement, going from collapsed to upright in mere seconds. This efficiency is aided by legs that do not need to flip 180° away from the center column, distinguishing the Travel Tripod from options that fold up around the extended center column.
Read More: The Pros and Cons of Travel Tripods
We've touched on the Travel Tripod's compactness through its optimized design and operation, both of which make it a portable, desirable choice. Without the pesky knobs and dials, the streamlined body can easily slip into the side pocket on most camera bags and backpacks. It packs down to 15.5" and extends to a maximum height of 60" when the center column is raised.
Available in either carbon fiber or aluminum alloy, the models weigh 2.81 lb and 3.44 lb, respectively. That’s astoundingly lightweight, considering that each model can support up to 20 lb of camera gear. The Travel Tripod is more than sufficient for your standard travel configuration and promises to be the least burdensome part of your pack.
The Travel Tripod incorporates a ball head with a single friction ring to lock down your camera when it’s positioned. The head notably features three notches for rolling toward a vertical position from landscape to portrait, but only one notch will give you a true portrait setup. With the ability to accommodate Peak Design standard plates and most Arca-type quick-release plates, the ball head's quick-release system offers a good amount of flexibility. Two notable quirks are that the head does not have a separate panning function and requires you to extend the center column slightly to maneuver it. If that doesn't sound like your jam, you can easily replace the ball head with your own using an adapter.
Read More: How to Choose the Right Tripod Head
From everything we've touched on thus far, the Travel Tripod is a thoroughly engineered device. The desire to meet the user seems to underlie many of Peak Design's choices, whether it's being as compact as possible or allowing for many different accessories. This convenience extends to other features, as well, like the concealed mobile mount.
Yes, you heard right. By removing the center column weight hook, users can access a smartphone mount for on-the-fly use that's sure to come in handy. Other parts are removable, too, meaning you can service, clean, and replace components as needed. You might not find yourself replacing parts too often, though—the Travel Tripod is weather resistant and quite rugged.
Are you a Peak Design Travel Tripod fan? What are your priorities when picking out travel gear? Let us know in the Comments section, below.