Do You want to be able to photograph longer exposures, while traveling? To capture the milky way, the landscape or even just simple light trails, a tripod is often times needed to get the perfect shot.
A tripod is also an ideal helper to shoot during the night or darker hours, as it can reduce the need for higher ISO tremendously.
If You have already a tripod at home but are going for an adventure, then the tripod You are currently having might not be perfectly suitable for traveling. It might not fit easily in the baggage and due to its size and design, it is also not allowed as cabin luggage.
To help You out which travel tripod You should be choosing, here are 7 tripods that are great for traveling.
Overview of the Best Travel Tripods
Max Height: 158cm
Collapsed Height: 60,5 cm
The Inexpensive Choice
Max Height: 142cm
Collapsed Height: 40 cm
Joby GorillaPod Focus
Max Height: 29cm
Collapsed Height: 29 cm
The factors that are considered, are first and foremost the weight and size. A tripod for traveling needs to be light, to be able to carry around easily. Trust me, You might be ambitious and think that a few hundred grams won’t make a difference, but once You are on a hike for a few hours, You will notice the difference at the end of the day very easily. Therefore, all of the following tripods are very lightweight.
In a similar vein, the size does matter. When I am traveling, I want to be as flexible as possible and don’t want to be limited in movement by my tripod. I guess You are the same and value a smaller size of the tripod too. You can store them more easily, they fit in most camera backpacks or are simply strapped on it. You won’t run into any problems at the airport, or while quickly packing to get the next taxi.
But this doesn’t mean, that just because the following travel tripods are small and light, that they might be a little more unstable. Newer and smarter designs allow combining all the great features a tripod should have. They are stable, small and of low weight.
So don’t hesitate and have a look at the list and see if the specifications are exactly what You are looking for.
- Weight: 1,5kg
- Max Height: 154cm
- Collapsed Height: 34cm
- Maximum Capacity: 13,6kg
- Available: Amazon
Can use spikes
Big Knobs are easy to operate
Very Light and Stable
Comes with a smart multi-tool
Top plate needs to be tightened
There are lighter Tripods
The 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey is a tripod that doesn’t seem like it could fly, yet it has some aircraft material. The body is made of a very high-quality magnesium alloy, that is also used in aircraft designs.
With a load capacity of more than 13 kilograms, You can easily use a big DSLR in combination with a larger telelens. For even smaller mirrorless cameras, there is practically no way how You could ever exceed the weight limit.
Although the tripod is called “punk” the design choice is rather conventional, but it does a very good job. Combining a black body with the orange just looks good and the tripod does stand out with a little bit of color.
The head is very nicely done with two different levels that You can use to adjust the direction and angle, the camera is facing. With such a stable mount, You can easily experiment with levitation photography or other “trickery” where a very stable frame is needed.
Some may call it oversized, but for most, it is just about right. The knobs are big in size and make them very easy to operate, even when You are using gloves in cold winter.
What makes this tripod even more suitable for cold weather and other difficult underground are the very generous rubber feet. With them, You won’t have any problem to stand Your ground even on slippery surfaces.
Do You feel like changing the feet for some spikes, so that You can use the tripod also in snow? Then You have absolutely no problem doing so with this tripod.
The 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey is a great tripod for traveling. You can turn and twist the legs in any direction and really fold the tripod to minimize the storage space that is taken by this tripod.
I would recommend this tripod especially for travelers that are going to photograph in colder regions and might face some harsher undergrounds, that are usually a bit more problematic for tripods.
You can swap out the feet for spikes, You can even photograph in snow or any other underground without a stable foundation.
The knobs are of high-quality and easily operatable with big gloves.
If You are searching for a small, stable and high-quality tripod – this is Your choice.Check The Price on Amazon
Video of the 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey
- Weight: 1,7kg
- Max Height: 163cm
- Collapsed Height: 41cm
- Maximum Capacity: 12kg
- Available: Amazon
Can use spikes
Can add additional Weight
360° Panorama head
Ball Head could need improvement
Leg sections limited in angles
The MeFoto Globetrotter Carbon has 5 leg sections that can be retracted and moved independently. With a capacity of around 12kg You are able to carry most DSLR setups and only if You are really fancy with heavy gear, this tripod might come a little bit too weak.
If You want to shoot 360°C, the ball head of this tripod is ideal to achieve a very steady picture that will let You take high-quality panoramas without having to worry about any weak spots.
This travel tripod is available in many color options from black, to blue, green and red. One highlight is the carbon fiber look, that has a very high-tech look to it.
Are You often using a tripod in cold or very warm regions? This tripod made a very smart design choice by adding a foam grip to the monopod middle section which doesn’t heat up or freezes down to an unbearable temperature in the cold.
You are also able to tilt the head and lock it in different angles, while the camera is being secure.
If you are an adventurous photographer and shooting in difficult weather conditions, the MeFoto Globetrotter can be adjusted to suit Your conditions.
The legs can be spiked up and feature high grip rubber. This makes it easy to move the camera even in difficult weather conditions.
Are You worried that wind might shake the tripod too much for Your long exposure landscapes? Then You can add additional weight to the center section of the tripod to increase the stability.
Travelers who want the complete package without having to worry about anything else. The tripod comes with a small bag where You can transport the travel tripod. Of course, You can also snap it on most camera bags and just carry it that way. With a folded size of only 41cm, the tripod is very easy to carry around.
Especially the weather and dust resistance does convince any traveler who chooses to photograph “off the grid”.
Are You shooting panoramas more often, then the 360°C panning head does come in handy for You.Check The Price on Amazon
Video Review of the MeFoto Globetrotter
- Weight: 1,5kg
- Max Height: 150cm
- Collapsed Height: 39cm
- Maximum Capacity: 8kg
- Available: Amazon
Minimun Height of 15cm
Easy and fast to setup
No Center Weight
Not convertable to a Monopod
Using an overall carbon fiber design makes the Vanguard Veo very lightweight. On the other hand, the load capacity of a maximum of 8kg is nothing special. You are able to load most DSLRs with a small telelens or mirrorless cameras, but if You have a very bulky setup, the weight capacity might become a problem with this travel tripod.
One strong point though is its easy handling. Instead of moving the legs to find the perfect position, You only need to move the center column to set up the tripod.
Another advantage is the low angle You are able to shoot with. With a minimum shooting height of 15cm, You can go really low and find unique viewing angles. Being stable folded with a length of 39cm, the tripod is also a little shorter, than most others.
Like most other tripods, the legs are separated into different sections. With these 5 sections, You are able to reach a maximum height of around 150cm.
The vanguard Veo is available in a lot of different material choices and colors. The CB in the product name stands for carbon, but You can also go with aluminum if You prefer a little more color on the tripod.
In addition to the tripod, You are also able to purchase bags and other accessories that follow the same design and work very well when combined together.
The Vanguard Veo might be lighter than others, but the stability is still good. Featuring rubber feet and three locks for the multi-action ball head, You always have full control over the tripod.
Even when shooting from the lowest angle at a height of 15cm, the tripod makes a good impression.
Spikes can also be added to the setup, but have to be purchased separately.
Two things that are a little disappointing though is that the tripod doesn’t have the option of adding weight to its center or let it convert to a monopod.
Travelers who are seeking new perspectives. The legs of the tripod can be bend to a short height of only 15cm, allowing You to shoot stable from a low point of view without having to lay the camera on the floor.
If You have a setup consisting mainly of mirrorless cameras, it is unlikely that You run into any problems because of its weight restriction. In case You prefer to shoot with DSLRs, You should consider the weight limitations and make sure to not have a too heavy equipment.
All around, the Vanguard Veo is a very balanced tripod that can be used very universally and does a good job while being on a hike.Check The Price on Amazon
Video Review of the Vanguard Veo
- Weight: 1,1kg
- Max Height: 142cm
- Collapsed Height: 40cm
- Maximum Capacity: 4kg
- Available: Amazon
Perfect for Traveling
For Mirrorless/Compact Cameras
Weight Limitation of 4kg
Not the most stable one
Are You searching for a very compact and lightweight tripod that doesn’t add a lot of weight to Your equipment? The Manfrotto BeFree is surely one of the lightest tripods out there that You can take on Your next trip.
Manfrotto is also a household name that is associated with high-quality tripods and the BeFree is no exception to it and has a clear focus on traveling photographers.
The 4kg loading capacity doesn’t sound a lot, but if You only have a standard DSLR and the kit lens, or a mirrorless setup, then the limitation of 4kg might still be enough for You.
The Manfrotto BeFree doesn’t come with much design choices and keeps true to its black and unobtrusive design, so if You are looking for a very colorful tripod, then You have to search for another alternative.
One of the advantages of the Manfrotto BeFree is clearly how neatly it can be folded together, which shows how smart the guys at Manfrotto have their target group in sight. With this design, You can pass every carry-on luggage and take the tripod with You.
You can imagine, with only being 1,1kg heavy and being able to carry only up to 4kg, the tripod is not the most stable one.
It is best used with mirrorless cameras or even compact cameras.
The quick release system of the ball head works well and allows You to switch gear efficiently. In return, it doesn’t offer the same security as the more stable tripods of Manfrotto.
The BeFree is clearly at travel photographers and does convince me with its very lightweight and clever design choice, which lets the tripod fold into a very small setup. You are able to carry the tripod in most carry-on luggage and while on a trip, the weight doesn’t put much strain on You.
If You want to take the tripod and simply snap a lot of pictures, the camera can be locked in very quickly on the ball head.
On the other hand, the stability isn’t very convincing so if You are planning to use a heavy DSLR setup, this travel tripod might not be for You.
In case You are using Mirrorless cameras or even compact cameras, then the BeFree might just be perfect for You. It is easy to set up and Manfrotto is known for its high-quality.Check The Price on Amazon
Video Review of the Manfrotto BeFree
- Weight: 0,5kg
- Max Height: 29cm
- Collapsed Height: 29cm
- Maximum Capacity: 5kg
- Available: Amazon
Can be kept on the Camera
Flexible and yet stable
Weight Limitation of 5kg
Do You want a really flexible tripod that can be folded in literally every direction possible? Then the Gorilla Tripod by Joby is probably the most flexible tripod out there, that can bend in any direction and put around any object. That’s right, You can not only put the Gorilla on the ground, but the feet provide so much friction, that You can twist the tripod around some poles and put Your camera on it.
Of course, the maximum height is not really anything where the Gorilla Tripod stands out and with only 29cm it can be a little bit annoying, but since You are able to wrap the tripod around any larger object, You can get a little creative to get Your shot.
The Gorilla Pod doesn’t stand out in terms of design when it comes to the colors, but the joints, definitely are something special. In case if You are wondering if the joints become weak very quickly, You can be assured, that the German TPE that is used is a very robust design choice.
The tripod is not only convincing on the bottom half but also on the top, You get a full 360° panning ball head, that can be tilted to a 90° angle. This allows You a maximum of movement, to try out every perspective that You may need.
When looking at the Gorilla Tripod, the most interesting question is probably how this thing can hold a camera with a weight of up to 5kg. The answer is, it does work really well.
The aluminum legs and the special joints are able to hold up an impressive weight while being flexible. Being flexible in this case doesn’t mean weak and You are able to twist and turn the joints while relying on the camera to be safe.
The Gorilla Tripod is ideal for photographers who don’t need a very high viewing point. In case You do so, You might need to be a little bit more creative and search for other objects that You can put the tripod on.
Many photographers are also using this tripod as a permanent addition to the camera. Instead of mounting and de-mounting the camera every time after its use, they just carry the camera around including the small foldable legs.
This makes it great if You are hiking and want to get some shots quickly in before the group leaves. You don’t need a long time to set up the Gorilla tripod, just put it on the ground and You are ready to go.
For simple traveling, this is one of the best and innovative choices. Don’t make the mistake though and go for one of the cheap imitations. The original design is often imitated, but they sure don’t reach the top-notch quality of the Joby GorillaPod.
The Gorilla Tripod can also be often seen for Video productions of so-called “Vloggers”.Check The Price on Amazon
Video Review of the Joby Gorilla Tripod Focus
- Weight: 1kg
- Max Height: 149cm
- Collapsed Height: 42cm
- Maximum Capacity: 7kg
- Available: Amazon
Carbon Fibre Design
Rapid column increases Vibration
Gitzo is known for its really great tripods and they are producing one of the highest levels of quality that You can get. The Gitzo GT1542T is a tripod where they focused on making the perfect tripod for traveling.
Being very light and yet being able to carry up to 7kg is established through a complete carbon fiber design, which is light, yet proves to be very strong. It combines everything a travel tripod should need, it is light, strong and doesn’t lose anything of its stability or flexibility.
The tripod doesn’t come off as very fancy and its strengths are definitely in the inner side of the tripod. From the outside, it does look very standard with a setup that can be compared to a lot of other tripods as well.
There are a lot of different designs and models available from Gitzo, but I believe the 1542T is the best when it comes to traveling.
The carbon fiber has been set to be coming from the best aerospace technology and while this sounds more like a marketing trick, there is some truth behind it. Combined with the vibration absorbers, You get a very stable setup, even when not on the best ground.
You can walk around nearby and slight shocks will simply be absorbed by the multilayer design of the legs.
The tripod can be folded very low on the ground and still shows its full strength.
Travelers who are putting a lot of value on the quality of their tripod. Admittedly, the Gitzo models do come with a little heftier price than other models, but You still get very good value for the money.
The GT1542 is very light, thanks to the carbon fiber design, yet it can carry up to 7kg of gear. It can be folded nicely and is very compact, so if You are searching for a very safe place for Your expensive DSLR to put on, the Gitzo 1542 is made for the traveler that is a little more ambitious when it comes to his photography.Check The Price on Amazon
Video Review of the Gitzo GT1542T
- Weight: 1,2kg
- Max Height: 158cm
- Collapsed Height: 60,5cm
- Maximum Capacity: 3kg
- Available: Amazon
Weight of 1,2kg
Maximum Heigt of 158cm
Suitable for Videography
Not very compact
Capacity of 3kg
For quite some time now, Amazon has been producing their own products. The focus of their Amazon Basic products is to sell a very good price-performance product that is very affordable. The Amazon Basic Lightweight Tripod does follow this philosophy very tightly.
It might not be specifically designed for traveling and does have quite some size, but given the low weight, You can still carry it around for the whole day. Since this tripod costs less than $30, I found it only fair to include it as an alternative for photographers, who are traveling on a very tight budget.
The maximum capacity is not really great, but it is still enough for a simple DSLR and lens. Anything more special should go with a heavier investment.
The design isn’t very revolutionary and in fact, is often very inspired by regular tripods of other manufacturers. This design decision also applies to the Amazon Basic tripod and it features a very long center column.
Other than that, You shouldn’t expect a tripod that wins the next design contest. It is clearly designed to follow the functions and this is a reasonable decision.
Although one can be quite skeptical about what You can expect for less than $30, the Amazon Basic Tripod has more than 6,000 positive reviews and a lot of purchasers are praising the good functionality and stability they get, although they expected much less.
The tripod features braces, which are often seen in tripods that are used for heavier gear. On the Amazon Basics tripod, these braces are doing a good job of increasing the stability as well.
Photographers who travel on a very tight budget, but still want a very good product. Good photography gear doesn’t need to be expensive. There are great point and shoot cameras for under $300 available and there are tripods out there for less than $30 that do a good job.
The Amazon Basics tripod is a good fit when You are traveling and have no problem storing the 60cm folded tripod. If You are flying, this might be a deal-breaker but if You are traveling by car then the length shouldn’t be one major concern.
With this lightweight tripod by Amazon, You are definitely getting great value for the money You are spending. If You are just starting out and have invested in a first basic DSLR or mirrorless camera with a light lens, then this tripod is a good fit.
It is also very well suited for shooting videos since the panning arm is longer than usual.Check The Price on Amazon
Video Review of the Amazon Basic Tripod
How a Tripod can improve Your Photographs
Are You believing that a tripod won’t change the way You are photographing and don’t have an idea what they are good for?
Well, they are practical for a lot of different photography styles and if You want to experiment a little bit and want to be more serious in Your photography, then I recommend You to try shooting with a tripod.
It can make a lot of a difference and even if You are not going for a particular style, a tripod can help You composing a picture.
Here are a few things that You can try out with a tripod.
Do You want to take pictures of the Milky Way, or search for other great astrophotography? Then a tripod that is good for traveling is definitely needed. Near cities, there is too much light pollution and therefore to get a good shot, You need to drive far away from any light source.
After finding a good spot, You need to setup Your tripod and do a long exposure of the sky. Don’t be disappointed if the picture in the camera doesn’t perfect just yet. It does need some post-processing to bring out the true beauty of the sky.
With a tripod and a long exposure, You are fulfilling the requirements, that are needed for shots like these. If You don’t want to have star-trails, but want to get a perfectly sharp shot, You need to move the camera in accordance to the sky, to avoid any trails. Do to that, You need a good tripod that lets You move the head and the heads that allow a 360° panorama shot are especially good for that type of photographs.
The landscape can sometimes be a rough terrain and to smoothen it a little bit and giving it a special touch, You can use longer exposures, to smoothen streams of water or even sky.
At first glance, it might not make a lot of a difference, but if You compare Your own shots, that You have taken with the tripod, or from Your hands, You will notice a clear difference.
It doesn’t always have to be extreme but an exposure of a few seconds already helps in creating a visually more appealing landscape photograph.
You can also get a little bit more creative and use a tripod while photographing people. With slightly longer exposures, You are able to blur out some of the movement of the people walking around, while keeping the scenery and background perfectly sharp.
There is practically no limitation in using the tripod here. A smaller tripod though is definitely more helpful and does allow You to stand even in the busiest spots, without causing too much trouble.
Experiment with exposures from maybe 1/10 of a second to a few seconds and see which of these styles makes You the happiest and does fit for the scene. You are able to create dreamlike pictures that can have a very special atmosphere, all with the help of just one small travel tripod.
If You are traveling abroad or simply are traveling by airplane then there are some limitations when it comes to the carry-on luggage. I wouldn’t trust my photography gear to be thrown in the big belly of the airplane and instead, prefer to carry everything with me while flying.
One restriction that You can often find is the size and most airlines have a limitation that the length shouldn’t exceed 55cm. So if You are planning to go on a trip with a tripod, make sure that the folded length is shorter than 55cm. For convenience, the minimum length has been noted in all of the tripods here.
Another factor is, of course, the weight. If You already have a big DSLR or mirrorless camera, including some lenses and other photography gear, the last thing You want is to carry around a tripod that weighs a lot also. A few extra 100 grams doesn’t sound like a lot, but it does add up and more so, during a lengthy day, where You are carrying the tripod around.
Try to save weight wherever You can and have a look at the travel tripods. The Gorilla Tripod is the king in this section and recommended if You are traveling a lot. Keep also in mind, that airlines have weight restrictions and even just a few extra kilos can be very expensive. So instead of saving some money and investing it in an inexpensive tripod, that weighs more, just invest a little bit more money in some high-quality carbon fiber tripod instead.
Hopefully, this article will answer Your questions and the next time You are on a trip, You don’t have to leave Your tripod at home, because it is just unfit for traveling. All of the travel tripods presented here are light, compact and are very robust. What does Your budget allow You to spend and how heavy is the gear that You are placing on the tripod? These are the questions that You should ask Yourself before ordering one of the tripods.
Have fun traveling and I wish You all the best photographs with this set of travel tripods.