Best Travel Tripod

Best Travel Tripod

What characteristics should the best travel tripod for photographers have? Compact folding size, optimal extended size, durable material, being lightweight, has a high-quality head and reliable strong legs, etc. Here is a short but informative review of 10 best travel tripods that meet all the requirement above.

best travel tripod

Best Travel Camera Tripod for Photographers

There are a plenty of high-quality travel camera tripods for every purpose and budget. If you’ve decided to buy a tripod for travelling and destination photography, here is a list of ten stable and popular travel tripods for photographers.


1. Gitzo GIGT1545T Traveler

the best travel tripod gitzo View Prices on Amazon

Material: Carbon Fiber
Weight: 2.34 lb
Maximum Height: 60.2 in

Pros+
  • Can be opened in no more than 20 seconds
  • The presence of a hook at the bottom of the centric column for hanging some weight
  • Even and accurate head goes precisely in between the legs
  • For a closer to the surface shooting the column in the center may be taken off
  • Build of high quality
Cons-
  • High price
 

I don’t deny that Gitzo GIGT1545T Traveler is the best compact travel tripod, which is worth its money. The lightweight, as well as the small size, are its main advantages. Besides, with such a sturdy construction, you are sure to depend on it in any situation and, with its high capacity, you will get a maximum result. Additionally, if you extend it, the legs will stand solidly on the surface. I won't argue with the statement that the product is rather expensive, but the price is totally justified by the long life of the device. Don’t forget to buy the best camera bag to transport your tripod and other photography gear.

the best travel tripod gitzo

2. MeFOTO Globetrotter

best compact travel tripod globetrotter View Prices on Amazon

Material: Carbon Fiber
Weight: 3.7 lb
Maximum Height: 64.2 in

Pros+
  • The steadiness is increased with a centre rod for extra weights
  • The ability to alter configurations and be arranged with ease
  • Despite the extended height, the size is quite compact
  • The presence of the even and steady ball-mount head
  • Freely and fast operated twist locks
Cons-
  • With a singular levelling bubble located on the ball head, a camera can go out of level, in case you move it
  • Not a reliable
 

Its features are the inverse retraction and the capability to be transformed into a full-size monopod without additional tools. SO, you don’t have to buy a rolling camera bag http://fixthephoto.com/rolling-camera-bag.html to transport your tripod to another country. The best mini tripod for travel is presented in a number of colors, such materials as carbon fiber or aluminum. Furthermore, its twist-grip leg locks can make you not buy it, but actually, it is well-built and durable.

best compact travel tripod globetrotter

3. Manfrotto MKBFRA4-BH BeFree

best manfrotto travel tripod View Prices on Amazon

Material: Aluminum/Carbon Fiber
Weight: 3 lb
Maximum Height: 56.7 in

Pros+
  • A comfortable bag
  • Can be placed to a stand art size backpack
  • Quick latches
  • The slimness of the structure allows serving as a monopod
  • The smart design
  • Durability and sturdiness
Cons-
  • The compact but breakable ball head (can be substituted)
 

This Manfrotto monopod might be an excellent variant for those who search for the best lightweight travel tripod. 5 different colors, the construction is solid, it can be carried at length without any difficulties.

best manfrotto travel tripod

4. BONFOTO B690A

best compact travel tripod bonfoto View Prices on Amazon

Material: Aluminum Alloy
Weight: 2.6 lb
Maximum Height: 53.5 in

Pros+
  • Swift fastening and disassembling the camera without unexpected falling due to the standard 1/4" screw
  • Safe clip and a quick release mounting plate
  • With the presence of inverted central axis, you can accomplish macro or low angle photos
  • The flip leg lock is adapted to the required height easy and fast
Cons-
  • The absence of detachable caps on the feet
 

It is the best cheap travel tripod, but still includes a variety of useful functions. It gives you an opportunity to switch between shots fast and take pictures at each and every angle. Among its benefits, I would like to highlight a sturdy and reliable structure along with a 3-way head.

best compact travel tripod bonfoto

5. Tycka TK101

best travel tripod 2018 tycka View Prices on Amazon

Material: Aluminum Alloy
Weight: 3.64 lb
Maximum Height: 65 in

Pros+
  • The transition into a monopod is done in one motion
  • The build is aimed at a long-term life
  • The legs may be swiftly adapted to whichever length and angle
  • A clever design
  • Can be transformed into quite a compact item
Cons-
  • Can be hard to rotate a base on the top
 

Compactness, solidness and high capability – what else is needed from the best travel camera tripod? You can place this model in the portable bag which comes with the kit, as the product can be retracted to a size of 18 inches. Apart from this, any time you take a photo, it will turn out excellent owing to the specifically devised ball-head with 360° rotation. This is the best small travel tripod for about $100 which you can bring around with ease to all types of photoshoots.

best travel tripod 2018 tycka

6. K&F Concept TM2324

best travel camera tripod k&f View Prices on Amazon

Material: Aluminum
Weight: 2.97 lb
Maximum Height: 61.61 in

Pros+
  • The presence of adjustable parts and 3 various angles for the legs
  • Very solidly constructed (even in extreme weather conditions)
  • Can be easily retracted
  • Features a spring hook for extra weight
  • Affordable price
  • Fluid ball mount makes it easy to handle
  • Lightweight
Cons-
  • The head ball is made from plastic
 

Hardly any tripods may be compared with this model which has great reliability, cost effectiveness and is very mobile. Additionally, this is the best travel tripod under 100 and is rather compact. K&F Concept TM2324 can fit into the comfortable portable bag that comes together with the kit. The maximum height is 62'' (1560 mm) which simplifies standing shooting and maintains necessary steadiness to avoid blurred photos.

best travel camera tripod k&f

7. ZOMEI Z699C

best travel tripod for dslr zomei View Prices on Amazon

Material: Carbon Fiber
Weight: 3.3 lb
Maximum Height: 60.0 in

Pros+
  • The ball head is easily handled
  • Convenient to use
  • Smart price
  • Much higher than the majority of similar travel tripods
  • Leg spikes that may be folded
  • Possible to be utilized in any place and arrangement
Cons-
  • Slightly tight locks on the legs
 

This best carbon fiber travel tripod possesses a number of benefits, starting with the reliable material and smaller weight in comparison with the aluminum alloy. Moreover, its reasonable price will certainly amaze you. If you are searching for a lightweight but budget travel tripod with remarkable functions and performance, needless to say, this one is a great model.

best travel tripod for dslr zomei

8. Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB

best tripod for travel vanguard View Prices on Amazon

Material: Aluminum
Weight: 5.38 lb
Maximum Height: 68.1 in

Pros+
  • A hook for extra weight and steadiness
  • 3 various legs angles
  • Multi-Angle Central Column system involves the centric column to be shifted from 0 to 180° angles in horizontal and vertical positions 
  • Can go both rather high and low
  • Properly aligned and noticeable bubble level markers
  • In one swift motion the centric column is safely relocated
  • Instant Swivel Stop-n-Lock (ISSL) System
Cons-
  • Trying to go through cramped places with the fully extended legs might cause a challenge, as they are a little wide in full extension
  • If you use a long lens (250 mm), the weight might lead to the slight ball head joint tilt
 

Tripods from this manufacturer are widely known for their exceptional steadiness and usability. The most important advantage of this best travel tripod for DSLR is that you can adjust its legs both in angle and in height. Its additional features are an anti-shock ring and an ability to be retracted to 28.125 inches. In comparison with previously mentioned tripods, it is slightly heavier – 5.38 pounds. Nevertheless, the adaptable legs make the tripod an excellent variant.

best tripod for travel vanguard

9. JOBY GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead

best mini tripod for travel View Prices on Amazon

Material: ABS Plastic, Stainless Steel, TPE, Zinc-Aluminum
Weight: 1.68 lb
Maximum Height: 14.69 in

Pros+
  • An ability to handle bulky cameras
  • Very sturdy build
  • Lightweight
  • Highly adaptable to different items or devices
  • Capacity to go rather low
Cons-
  • The height is not enough for eye level photos, you will need an extra surface
  • After a long period of usage, legs can eventually become unsteady
 

Relocate its legs to do even weird positions. It is the best travel tripod for mirrorless cameras that are not too heavy. Also you are free to purchase the Gorilla pods that come in various sizes, for instance, for DSLR or Go Pro cameras. Don't forget to keep in mind that the strength of a model depends on the heaviness of the camera.

best mini tripod for travel

10. Benro TSL08AN00

best benro tripod for dslr View Prices on Amazon

Material: Carbon Fiber
Weight: 2.2 lb
Maximum Height: 57.6 in

Pros+
  • Good construction
  • Retracts to the compact size and, as a result, can be placed into a small bag
  • Affordable
  • There is a spring-loaded hook for hanging the camera bag or heavy item for extra steadiness beneath the centric column
  • For a quick arrangement and takedown process, locks are closed and opened without additional rotation
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy and steady
Cons-
  • You have to remove your camera to control the level, as it is concealed
  • Unless you let a ball head go, your camera can't be moved
 

This model is the best Benro tripod for DSLRs. It comes both in aluminum and carbon fiber. On the whole, it is a notable variant for those photographers who are always on the move and change places quite often. A very demanded tripod among street photographers.

best benro tripod for dslr

Top 10 Best Travel Tripods

Image Camera Features  
the best travel tripod gitzo
Gitzo GIGT1545T Traveler
OUR CHOICE
  • Carbon Fiber
  • 2.34 lb
  • 60.2 in
Check PRICE
best compact travel tripod globetrotter
MeFOTO Globetrotter
STEADY CONSTRUCTION
  • Carbon Fiber
  • 3.7 lb
  • 64.2 in
Check PRICE
best manfrotto travel tripod
Manfrotto MKBFRA4-BH BeFree
LIGHTWEIGHT
  • Aluminum/Carbon Fiber
  • 3 lb
  • 56.7 in
Check PRICE
best compact travel tripod bonfoto
BONFOTO B690A
BEST PRICE
  • Aluminum Alloy
  • 2.6 lb
  • 53.5 in
Check PRICE
best travel tripod 2018 tycka
Tycka TK101
  • Aluminum Alloy
  • 3.64 lb
  • 65 in
Check PRICE
best travel camera tripod k&f
K&F Concept TM2324
  • Aluminum
  • 2.97 lb
  • 61.61 in
Check PRICE
best travel tripod for dslr zomei
ZOMEI Z699C
  • Carbon Fiber
  • 3.3 lb
  • 60.0 in
Check PRICE
best tripod for travel vanguard
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB
  • Aluminum
  • 5.38 lb
  • 68.1 in
Check PRICE
best mini tripod for travel
JOBY GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead
  • ABS Plastic, Stainless Steel
  • TPE, Zinc-Aluminum
  • 1.68 lb
  • 14.69 in
Check PRICE
benro tripod travel
Benro TSL08AN00
  • Carbon Fiber
  • 2.2 lb
  • 57.6 in
Check PRICE

How to Choose the Best Travel Tripod?

First of all, you have to decide why you need a travel tripod. You can use any tripod for traveling but some models are specifically designed for this purpose. As a rule, an ordinary tripod can support a camera quite satisfactorily in most cases. However, there are some points that make the best travel tripod an indispensable thing: small weight, optimal dimensions, durability, flexibility, and reliability.

Key Features

  • Compact folding size
  • Optimal extended size
  • Durable materials
  • Not too heavy
  • High-quality head
  • Reliable strong legs
  • Overall sturdiness and optimal load capacity
  • Secure locking mechanism

1. Compact Folding Size

best tripod for travel

What are the sizes of the best compact travel tripod in the folded form? Can you fit it in your backpack? It is more convenient to use a tripod that you can bend. However, you should take into account that small models are less durable. Folding size should not be more than 21″.

2. Optimal Extended Size

To make the work with a tripod convenient for you, it should be extended to 50 inches. Your framing options will be limited by a small tripod but it is not relevant for tabletop models.

3. Not Too Heavy

best tripod for travel

It is not the most pleasant thing to carry a heavy tripod all day long no matter how good it is. Naturally, the best lightweight travel tripod is quite expensive. The less lightweight the equipment is, the more comfortable it is to carry and cheaper to transport by plane. However, the tripod should be heavy enough to avoid a camera shake. The ideal weight is 2.2-3.3 lbs.

4. Durable Materials

The most popular materials are carbon fiber and aluminum. A distinctive feature of carbon fiber is its strength and lightness. In addition, it resists rust in wet conditions. This incredibly durable and reliable material is used in other industries, such as engineering and spaceship-building. Though, this material for the best travel tripod DSLR costs more than aluminum.

If the best carbon fiber travel tripod is too expensive for you, choose the aluminum one. Such models are slightly heavier but this metal is cheaper and handles the elements perfectly. Although carbon fiber tripods are slightly stronger, aluminum ones will surprise you with their reliability. If you want to get the best cheap travel tripod, have a look at the aluminum models.

5. Reliable Strong Legs

best carbon fiber travel tripod

The stability of the tripod depends on its legs. Therefore, it is very important that they function well after a multiple compaction/extending work in dirt or water. You should remember that tripods that have legs with fewer sections are more reliable and their setting is much simpler. The best camera tripod for travel has no more than 3-4 leg parts.

6. A High-Quality Head

best budget travel tripod

Buying the right head is equally important as purchasing a tripod itself. The main function of the head is to keep your camera steadily attached to the best travel camera tripod. It should be fairly light, strong, and compact. It should allow you to fold the tripod to reduce its size. The head can affect such parameters as weight and carrying capacity. Almost all models can be easily removed from the tripod and replaced if necessary. You can also move it around up to 360°. As a rule, modern ball heads provide this feature. Quick release plate and bubble levelers are the signs of good heads.

7. Overall Sturdiness and Optimal Load Capacity

There is no doubt that a good tripod must bear a considerable load. This is another aspect that must be taken into account when choosing the best travel tripod for DSLR cameras. Tripods vary in level of a load capacity. However, this parameter should not be taken literally. If your tripod has a rating of 15 lbs, it does not mean that you must attach a 15-pound camera to it. The 15-lbs camera should be safely held in an upright position with a tripod having such a carrying capacity. However, it does not ensure keeping the camera in still position. Therefore, it is important that the capacity of your tripod is higher than the weight of the gear that you intend to load on it. As for travel, you will hardly use too bulky and heavy camera, so choose the best small travel tripod with optimal load capacity.

8. Secure Locking Mechanisms

Most modern tripods have legs that are hollow tubes and you can easily pull one into the other. As a rule, they consist of four or five sections. Currently, the most used types of locking are twists and flip locks. Lever system is used in old-fashioned models. The advantage of this option is that you can make corrections if the lock is slightly loosened. In addition, it is highly reliable. However, such systems have their drawbacks. First of all, it is susceptibility to dust and dirt which violates the effectiveness of the best travel tripod locking. Nowadays, a twist lock that belongs to a new generation of blocking mechanisms is very popular. They are very thin and easily adjustable.

Why Do You Need the Best Tripod for Travel?

As many modern cameras are equipped with various functions and picture stabilization programs, photographers often consider buying a tripod unnecessary waste of money. However, there are some reasons to buy a tripod.

Reasons to Buy a Travel Tripod:

  • Travel weight limits
  • Self-portraits
  • Extend your photographic range
  • Better photos under bad light conditions
  • You can take photos anywhere

1. Travel Weight Limits

When preparing your camera bag for a regular trip, you often encounter various restrictions. That does not matter if it is a family or business trip. You always need to mind the restrictions on the size and weight of the luggage beforehand. Moreover, you will need free space for other personal things that you want to take with you. Therefore, the best mini tripod for travel will be an excellent way out of a difficult situation when it comes to packing your luggage.

2. Self-Portraits

best tripod for travel self portraits

Are you a self-photography fan? Do you like getting up before sunrise and taking amazing pictures on the magnificent landscape background? Isn’t there anyone to help you at this moment? A tripod can become your real helping hand in this case. It allows you to set your camera at the right height, to choose the best angle, and get excellent photos. The best travel tripod extends your abilities and gives you more opportunities to shoot yourself in the most stunning way.

3. Extend Your Photographic Range

best travel tripod for long exposure shots

Besides self-photography, a good tripod helps you cope with other tasks. It is very difficult to take good photographs of the stars, wide panoramic views, to catch sharp landscapes and light trails of passing cars. Moreover, HDR-photography, long-exposure shots, macro pictures, and some other kinds of photos look considerably better if you use the best travel camera tripod. It gives you a wide range of opportunities in various fields of photography and can significantly improve your photos quality. It is just unreal to take some pictures without a tripod. It can be an important key to your success.

4. Better Photos Under Bad Light Conditions

best travel camera tripod

Sometimes taking good photographs can be rather challenging, especially when the light conditions are poor. As usual, such problems can occur during night photo sessions or when you shoot in the caves, museums, dark rooms, etc. Using the best travel tripod for photos can greatly make the shooting better. If you work without a tripod, holding the camera yourself, the shortage of light can be improved by reducing the shutter speed. At the same time, ISO speed will increase and your photographs may lose their clarity. A tripod won't let your camera move, so a shutter speed can be at the right level and ISO will be lower. Your pictures will be much cleaner.

5. You Can Take Photos Anywhere

best small travel tripod

You can set the best light travel tripod at any heights and angles. It gives you a chance to control the equipment, take amazing images and realize your fantasy and imagination. It is extremely important if you have to work in non-standard locations.

Summing Up

In case you face the problem of picking up the best tripod for travel, I strongly recommend you to keep in mind your own priorities, wishes and aims, the characteristics of your camera and an amount of money you have. Each and every tripod presented in the list possess the most demanded features, they will serve you for a long period of time and won't let you down in any situation.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more