Best Backpacking Tripod

Best Backpacking Tripod

Being a travel photographer, I know how hard it is to find the best backpacking tripod that is affordable, lightweight, and durable. This tripod has to be light enough to carry it for hours, but at the same time heavy enough to withstand strong winds. It must be compact enough to fit into your backpack, but tall enough for comfortable eye-level shooting. You will tell me that such tripods don’t exist, but I’m ready to prove you wrong. Yes, such tripods are rare models, but I managed to put together the list of the 10 best tripods for travelling.

10 Best Backpacking Tripods

I’ve done extensive research and tested many of the most popular tripod models to help you find the best tripod for backpacking for DSLR cameras. In the list below, you’ll see the tripods that offer great value for money. There is worthy photography gear to consider in every price segment; that’s why the included variants range from $50 to $600.


1. Gitzo Traveler Series 1 GT1545TUS

best lightweight tripod for backpacking

 

 
 

Price: about $630
Weight: 2.3 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 8.6 x 16.7 x 60.2 in

 
Pros+
  • Tubes are made of carbon
  • Legs can be folded in reverse
  • Feet that save space
  • Center column isn’t tall
  • A shoulder strap is included
  • Very sturdy
  • Made to last for a long time
Cons-
  • Expensive
 
 

What I love about this tripod is that you can fold the legs in reverse. It makes for a folded height of just 16”. The maximum height of this hiking tripod is 60” and its weight capacity is around 20 lbs. In my experience, this is a durable device. It survived multiple backpacking and hiking adventures and never let me down. Undoubtedly, this gear is a good fit for travel shooting. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a reliable travel companion.

Read about the best travel tripods for extreme photographers who are going to take breathtaking landscape photographs. If you take photos with your smartphone, read about the best iPhone tripods. If you have a limited budget, choose the model from our best tripod under 100.
 


2. Zomei Tripod Z818

zomei tripod z818

 

 
 

Price: about $110
Weight: 3.7 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 20.5 x 5.1 x 5.1 in

 
Pros+
  • Ball head moves smoothly
  • Secure lock on the legs
  • Great weight capacity
  • Easily adjustable knobs
  • Built-in level on the camera plate
  • Can serve both as tripod and monopod
Cons-
  • It’s hard to switch between the tripod and monopod modes
  • Bubble level isn’t clear
 
 

You can invert and fold the back legs of this tripod so that they’re only 18”. This space-saving feature explains why it’s so easy to carry the Best Zomei Tripod around. It can also be transformed into a full-scale monopod. The tripod was designed in such a way that it’s compact and enables you to take great shots anywhere you want. A carrying bag that comes with the set protects the tripod and makes it easy to transport. The mount includes safety lock, which means you don’t need to worry about it while dealing with a quick-release plate. There’s even a 360-degree panoramic mode that lets you capture nature’s beauty.


3. Sirui Travel Tripod T-025SK

sirui-travel-tripod

 

 
 

Price: about $230
Weight: 2.16 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 12.6 x 3.1 x 3.1 in

 
Pros+
  • Portable
  • Very lightweight
  • Quality construction
  • Fits into a standard bag
  • Pan and tilt are provided with the separate knobs
Cons-
  • Knobs are a bit small, so it’s hard to regulate them
  
 

This is an upgraded version of the bestselling Sirui T-025X, the main advantages of which are lightness and portability. This is probably the best tripod for hiking and for those travelers who want to reap the benefits of an average-sized tripod while minimizing the weight to carry around. The quality materials guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience, and the legs mechanism works smoothly. The tripod is extremely user-friendly; it can be unfolded in just 20 seconds.

Check out the best tripod for DSLR that you can easily use for your digital camera.            
 


4. Zomei Tripod Q555

zomei tripod q555

 

 
 

Price: about $67
Weight: 2.9 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 4.5 x 19 x 5 in

 
Pros+
  • Anti-slip
  • Quick-flip leg lock
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Adjustable leg angles
  • Quick release plate
Cons-
  • Locks are made of plastic
  • The level isn’t visible with some cameras
  
 

This backpacking camera tripod is compact, lightweight and high-quality. Overall, it’s perfect traveling equipment. The legs are extendable and feel secure enough to withstand light winds. At the bottom of the middle bar, you’ll find a hook for more balance if the weather gets worse. The foam grips on the legs become very handy in case you’re a fan of shooting outdoors when it’s cold and damp. Three-leg positioning allows working with various angles and different kinds of uneven surfaces.

If you need a tripod to take beautiful interior and property photos, read about the best tripod for real estate photography.
 


5. Manfrotto Travel Tripod BeFree Advanced

manfrotto travel tripod

 

 
 

Price: about $320
Weight: 3.59 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 18.2 x 5.4 x 5.3 in

 
Pros+
  • Original superior design
  • Simple setup process
  • Multifunctional
  • High-quality construction
  • Center ball head
Cons-
  • Hook at the base of the middle column is absent
  
 

This tripod went through thorough testing by me. I looked for a lightweight tripod for backpacking, which I could unfold to normal size and which wouldn’t cost me a fortune. The Manfrotto Travel Tripod offers exactly what I need: It is easily folded and fits into a backpack. There are a few variants to choose from; you can opt for aluminum or carbon, depending on your preferences. The carbon fiber model manages gear up to 17 lbs; the legs material grants support, yet doesn’t weight a ton. The side pull selector ensures a simple setup; you don’t have to guess where to press to start shooting. The tripod is also quite versatile due to the difference in minimal and maximum height: 16” vs. 59”. The tripod’s head has autonomous control knobs, typical for Manfrotto’s products.


6. Benro Travel Angel 2

best adventure tripod benro travel angel 2

 

 
 

Price: about $400
Weight: 3.99 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 24.6 x 5.7 x 56 in

 
Pros+
  • Rubber and spiked feet
  • Isn’t afraid of dust and water
  • Fast locks
  • Compass is integrated
  • Separate locks for the ball and pan
Cons-
  • Rotary foot lock isn’t very convenient
  
 

This isn’t exactly an ultra lightweight tripod but some of its features became very beneficial during my long hikes. The extra heaviness was completely worth it as I was able to use one of the legs as a monopod. Nine-layer carbon material minimizes the tripod’s weight without undesired compromising on the sturdiness. There’s also a possibility of adding some balance by hanging a heavy case on the special hook at the center column. The rubber feet simplify the work on almost any surface, including ice, wood, tile and lawn. You don’t have to buy a separate shoulder strap or carrying bag; they come with the set.


7. K&F Concept Travel Tripod

best travel tripod under 100 k&f

 

 
 

Price: about $80
Weight: 2.43 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 20.8 x 5.3 x 5.3 in

 
Pros+
  • A carrying case is included
  • Quick-flip leg lock
  • Ball head rotates 360 degrees
  • Rubber anti-slip feet
  • Bubble level
Cons-
  • Can’t serve as a monopod
  • Bubble level isn’t always precise
  
 

I would say that this is a real steal considering the price tag. It’s one of the most lightweight tripods, having a weight of just 3 lbs. The tripod in a folded state is 18” high, which is quite convenient for backpack traveling. K&F Concept is a perfect combination of portability and practicality. It also provides the necessary stability. The maximum height is 62”, making standing position less inconvenient, and the minimal height of 16” guarantees that you’ll be able to shoot at different heights. No wonder that this one was a favorite of mine for quite a while.


8. Tairoad Travel Tripod

best tripod under 50 tairoad

 

 
 

Price: about $40
Weight: 3.16 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 20 x 4.4 x 4.2 in

 
Pros+
  • Fast release plate
  • Flip-up leg locks
  • Gravity hook
  • 3-way pan-head
  • Small dimensions
  • Safe and durable
Cons-
  • Lacks a bubble level
  
 

You can get this cool hiking tripod for an affordable price. It is absolutely suitable for trips. I love the carrying bag for safe and convenient transportation of my equipment; there is a special shoulder strap, so you can easily reach the tripod. In addition, this best backpacking tripod is very simple to carry around. The flip-up locks at the aluminum alloy legs ensure quick assembly. The main advantage is the possibility of using the tripod on uneven surfaces during outdoor photo shoots. The security is at a high level, and the release plate works really fast. I highly recommend it for travel lovers due to its low weight and ergonomic design.


9. 3 Legged Thing Equinox Leo

tripod backpack 3 legged thing

 

 
 

Price: about $280
Weight: 4.65 lbs
Product’s Dimensions: 15 x 5.5 x 5.5 in

 
Pros+
  • Detachable monopod
  • 21:1 is the maximal load-to-weight ratio
  • Parallel locking system
  • Diverse mounting points
  • Lucie Technical Award winner
  • Extremely compact dimensions
Cons-
  • Very little ball head
  
 

I think this is the best backpacking tripod for those who wish to get decent gear at a moderate price. Its unusual design is suitable for a great variety of functions. As a result, this tripod can satisfy the demands of different users. Talking about the main advantages of this model, I want to emphasize the exceptional payload capacity. Although the tripod is made of chip aluminum, it can be called a good-quality product. It won’t take more than several minutes to mount a DSLR on it. Legs can be adjusted at 23-, 55- and 80-degree angles. The center column ensures excellent flexibility.


10. Pedco UltraPod II

best mini tripod pedco

 

 
 

Price: about $19
Weight: 4 ounces
Product’s Dimensions: 7 x 2 x 2 in

 
Pros+
  • Durable
  • Impressive payload capacity
  • Lightweight and small
  • Packable
  • Adjustable
  • Steady
Cons-
  • The Velcro strap becomes weaker over time
  
 

If you are looking for the best lightweight tripod for backpacking, pay attention to this flexible model. Although it costs only $20, this tripod can compete with much more expensive models. The tabletop-style device is characterized by minimal weight, adjustable legs and small ball head. I find it to be very useful due to the possibility to fix it on any surface or object. The device never slips, thanks to the vinyl feet.


10 Best Backpacking Tripods for Photographers

IMAGE NAME LENSES  
best lightweight tripod for backpacking Gitzo Traveler Series 1 TripodOUR CHOICE
  • Carbon fiber
  • 2.3 lbs
  • 8.6 x 16.7 x 60.2 in
CHECK PRICE
zomei tripod z818 Zomei Tripod Z818
  • Aluminum
  • 3.7 lbs
  • 20.5 x 5.1 x 5.1 in
CHECK PRICE
sirui-travel-tripod Sirui Travel Tripod T-025SKBEST UNDER $300
  • Carbon fiber
  • 2.16 lbs
  • 12.6 x 3.1 x 3.1 in
CHECK PRICE
zomei tripod q555 Zomei Tripod Q555 BUDGET
  • Aluminum, aluminum alloy
  • 2.9 lbs
  • 4.5 x 19 x 5 in
CHECK PRICE
manfrotto travel tripod Manfrotto Travel Tripod
  • Carbon fiber
  • 3.59 lbs
  • 18.2 x 5.4 x 5.3 in
CHECK PRICE
best adventure tripod benro travel angel 2 Benro Travel Angel 2
  • Carbon fiber
  • 3.99 lbs
  • 24.6 x 5.7 x 56.02 in
CHECK PRICE
best travel tripod under 100 k&f K&F Concept Travel TripodBEST UNDER $100
  • Magnesium, aluminum alloy
  • 2.43 lbs
  • 20.8 x 5.3 x 5.3 in
CHECK PRICE
best tripod under 50 tairoad Tairoad Travel TripodBEST UNDER $50
  • Aluminum alloy tube + ABS environmental plastic
  • 3.16 lbs
  • 20 x 4.4 x 4.2 in
CHECK PRICE
tripod backpack 3 legged thing 3 Legged Thing Equinox Leo
  • Carbon fiber, magnesium alloy
  • 4.65 lbs
  • 15 x 5.5 x 5.5 in
CHECK PRICE
best mini tripod pedco Pedco UltraPod IIMINI TRIPOD
  • Glass-filled nylon resin and aluminum
  • 4 ounces
  • 7 x 2 x 2 in
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose the Best Backpacking Tripod?

The best tripod for backpacking has two very important features that are irrelevant for full-sized tripods: minimal weight and compact design. It’s obvious why these two parameters would be most vital for photographers who travel a lot. However, there are some other tripod characteristics you should pay attention too, too.

Characteristics to pay attention to:

  • Weight
  • Ballast hook
  • Height
  • Dimensions
  • Quick release plate
  • Ease of use
  • Optimal load capacity
 

1. Weight

best hiking tripod weight

Any experienced photographer who wants to purchase the best hiking tripod looks for a model with minimal weight. It’s of primary importance if you plan to hike or travel with a backpack. No one wants to drag around a 20-lb tripod all day long. An important point to remember here is that tripods that are made of carbon-fiber are lighter than those that are made of aluminum alloy.

2. Ballast Hook

Even a backpacking camera tripod must provide good stability. Many photographers think that only a heavy tripod is a steady one. The general belief is that the heavier the device is, the better stability it offers. But that’s not always the case. You can find a lightweight option with a ballast hook and attach additional weight to achieve the same level of stabilization.

3. Height

best hiking tripod height

It is clear that you need an ultra-lightweight tripod, but this device should also be comfortable to use. The height of the best tripod is a very variable parameter. It depends on the height of the user. I recommend you to calculate by deducting 15 inches from your height. The resulting number correlates to the minimum height of the best tripod for you.

4. Dimensions

compact hiking tripod

Don’t ignore the size factor. If you need the best professional tripod for traveling, it simply must be very compact. The ideal variant is a tripod that is big enough for comfortable shooting and, at the same time, one that is easy to transport. Don’t forget that the folded height differs from the minimum height.

5. Quick Release Plate

best hiking tripod quick release plate

Another useful feature of a lightweight tripod for backpacking is a fast-release plate. Such a system gives you an opportunity to attach a tripod adaptor to the base and snap the camera into place in a matter of seconds.

6. Ease of Use

If you plan to purchase your tripod on the web, it can be really difficult to understand whether it is easy and convenient to use. It’s a good idea to read reviews written by professional and amateur photographers. They always mention how long it takes to set up and fold away a tripod.

7. Optimal Load Capacity

best hiking tripod

Whether you are looking to purchase the best lightweight tripod for backpacking of the premium category or the best budget tripod, pay attention to the maximum load your tripod can take. These devices are rated for a load-bearing indicator. Opt for the models that have a load capacity much higher than the equipment they must hold.


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Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.

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