While it’s true that taking handheld photos has become easier these days, finding the best tripod for travel will make your overall photographic experience that much more enjoyable.

Our goal at The Adventure Junkies is to provide with you the right tips and tools to help you find a tripod that best suits your needs and style of photography.

Bear in mind that, when traveling, you will need to keep your photo gear as light as possible, yet carrying a tripod may be the most important accessory in your backpack, especially if you want to take your photography skills to the next level.

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THE BEST TRIPOD FOR TRAVEL – QUICK ANSWER

  1. Oben CT-3535 Carbon Fiber
  2. Manfrotto MKBFRA4-BH Aluminum
  3. MeFOTO Backpacker
  4. Sirui T-025X Carbon Fiber
  5. Vanguard VEO 265AB
  6. Slik Sprint Pro II
  7. 3Pod Orbit 3 Section Carbon Fiber 
  8. Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB
  9. MeFOTO Roadtrip
  10. Benro Aero 4 Video

 

 

 

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FIND THE BEST TRIPOD FOR TRAVEL

PICTURE
TRIPOD
BEST USE
WEIGHT
PRICE
RATING
PICTURE
TRIPOD
BEST USE
WEIGHT
PRICE
RATING
Oben CT-3535 Carbon Fiber
Lightweight
1.9lb
$$$
5
Manfrotto MKBFRA4-BH Aluminum
Lightweight
5.2lb
$$
3
MeFOTO Backpacker
Lightweight
2.6lb
$
4
Sirui T-025X Carbon Fiber
Lightweight
1.9lb
$$
3
Vanguard VEO 265AB
Budget
3.3lb
$
3
Slik Sprint Pro II
Budget
1.9lb
$
4
3Pod Orbit 3 Section Carbon Fiber
Overall
4.1lb
$$$
5
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB
Overall
5.2lb
$$
4
MeFOTO Roadtrip
Overall
3.5lb
$$
4
Benro Aero 4 Video
Overall
5.7lb
$$$
4

 

 

TRIPOD FOR TRAVEL 101

 

7 THINGS TO CONSIDER TO FIND THE BEST TRIPOD FOR TRAVEL

 

1. SIZE

A light-weight tripod that easily fits in your carry-on bag or backpack will make all the difference.

While traveling, you will be moving around constantly and you may even be catching flights from one destination to another. That’s why it’s always easier to carry a compact tripod that you can take with you anywhere, including the airplane’s cabin.

The best tripod for travel should be 24 inches (60cm) or less when folded. Ideally, look for one that actually folds up to 20 inches (50cm).

Why? A compact tripod will not only be easier for you to carry around but, if you’re flying to a different destination and you don’t want to check your camera bag at the airport, it is required to keep the height to these legal measurements.

 

2. WEIGHT

You also need to take the tripod’s weight into consideration. Is it light enough to be able to carry around?

Back in the days, tripods used to be made of aluminum. They were heavy and bulky, and a hassle to travel with. That’s why, in recent years, manufacturers have started marketing tripods that are made of titanium, carbon fiber or even magnesium.

While these tripods are much lighter and easier to travel with, they’re also more expensive. So, when choosing the best tripod for travel you will also need to consider whether weight is a determining factor for you.

If you’re not going to be traveling around so much and only need to take your tripod with you occasionally for night photography, you may be able to save a few hundred dollars by carrying a heavier, yet more affordable, aluminum tripod.

 

MAXIMUM WEIGHT IT CAN HOLD

Lighter tripods may not be able to hold your camera’s weight. As a result, your photos may come out blurry due to the shakiness created by the tripod’s motion.

When looking for the best tripod for travel, pay close attention to the maximum weight the tripod can hold and then take a look at the gear you carry with you. An ideal tripod for travel should weight approximately 4 pounds, including the head, and be able to hold your camera body’s weight as well as the lens.

 

3. TRIPOD HEAD

Some tripods include the head, while others come as a separate accessory. When looking for the best tripod for travel, try to look for ball heads as they are more compact and tend to be lighter than the three-way heads. But, what is the different between the two?

 

BALL HEADS

A ball head is a small device that mounts to your legs and the bottom of your camera. The reason why it’s a called a ball head is because, as the name implies, there is a ball that is adjusted and can rotate 360 degrees, making it easier to fold and take photos of your subject.

Panning will ball head tripods also tends to be easier and smoother.

 

THREE-WAY HEADS

Three-way heads do not provide as much precision as ball heads do because you can’t move your camera around 360 degrees and panning can be a little more limited. However, they do provide more stability as they tend to be built better.

 

4. TRIPOD LEGS

You will also need to consider the legs when looking for the best travel tripod. These days, legs can fold up to 180 degrees allowing to bring down the size of the tripod to 24 inches (60cm) or less.

Additionally, most tripods have four to five-section legs. The more leg sections the tripod comes with, the less rigid the tripod will be. Always look for a tripod with four-section legs to ensure more stability and avoid any unnecessary shakiness.

 

MONOPOD

Does your travel tripod come with a detachable leg? Manufacturers are now adding this feature to travel tripods and, depending on your style of photography, having a detachable leg may come in really handy.

Monopods are particularly useful to shoot wildlife photography as they are lighter and easier to lift when needed.

When purchasing the best travel tripod with a detachable leg, be sure to check that it is easy to assemble/disassemble. Sometimes, these types of tripods come with manufacturer’s defects and once disassembled, it’s practically impossible to bring it back to its original state.

 

5. DURABILITY

How well is the tripod built? As a travel photographer, it is important to take durability into consideration when choosing the best tripod for travel.

You will be moving around to different countries, facing different climates and weather conditions. That’s why it is critical to find a tripod that will pass the test of time.

It’s worth investing a little more money on your tripod to make sure it won’t fall apart at the slightest wind.

 

6. OTHER FEATURES

Tripods these days come with all sorts of features. Most of them include a bubble level, which is convenient to shoot landscape or seascape photographs as you always want to make sure the horizon stays, well, level.

If you’re an outdoor photographer, you may also want to consider tripods that include spikes you can easily attach to your tripod’s legs and then nail to the ground for additional stability.

 

7. COST

At the end of the day, it all comes down to how much you’re willing to -or can afford- invest on your gear. Can you find a tripod with all of the above features that stays within your budget?

Always look for tripods that are sturdy to guarantee maximum stability and durability, even when that means you may have to give up on some of the features listed above.

Carbon fiber or titanium tripods may be a little more on the expensive side than the aluminum ones, but it’s always worth investing on a tripod what will last longer and will help you keep your gear light-weight as you travel around the world.

 

best travel tripod

Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/iofoto

 

TRIPOD FOR TRAVEL REVIEWS

 

1. BEST LIGHTWEIGHT TRIPODS

OBEN CT-3535 CARBON FIBER

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

WEIGHT: 1.9lb (0.9kg)

MAXIMUM HEIGHT: 39in (100cm)

LOAD CAPABILITY: 9lb (4.1kg)

MONOPOD OPTION: Yes

PROS: Lightweight, compact, sets up quickly

CONS: Price

 

 

 

MANFROTTO MKBFRA4-BH ALUMINUM

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

WEIGHT: 5.2lb (2.4kg)

MAXIMUM HEIGHT: 48in (123cm)

LOAD CAPABILITY: 9lb (4.1kg)

MONOPOD OPTION: No

PROS: Fits into carry-on luggage, lightweight, firm grip

CONS: Not very sturdy with heavier DSLR cameras

 

 

 

MEFOTO BACKPACKER

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

WEIGHT: 2.6lb (1.2kg)

MAXIMUM HEIGHT: 51in (131cm)

LOAD CAPABILITY: 9lb (4.1kg)

MONOPOD OPTION: No

PROS: 360-degree panning, compact, sturdy, price

CONS: Does not include monopod option, difficult to set up

 

 

 

SIRUI T-025X CARBON FIBER TRIPOD

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

WEIGHT: 1.9lb (0.9kg)

MAXIMUM HEIGHT: 51in (130cm)

LOAD CAPABILITY: 9lb (4.1kg)

MONOPOD OPTION: No

PROS: Ultra compact, legs fold 180 degrees, includes ball head

CONS: Not sturdy, not that easy to set up

 

 

 

 

2. BEST BUDGET TRIPODS

VANGUARD VEO 235AP ALUMINUM

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

WEIGHT: 3.3lb (1.5kg)

MAXIMUM HEIGHT: 56in (144cm)

LOAD CAPABILITY: 3.3lb (3.5kg)

MONOPOD OPTION: No

PROS: Ultra compact, extra low photography option, firm grip

CONS: Can’t hold heavier DSLR cameras

 

 

 

SLIK SPRINT PRO II

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

WEIGHT: 1.9lb (0.9kg)

MAXIMUM HEIGHT: 63in (161cm)

LOAD CAPABILITY: 4.4lb (2.0kg)

MONOPOD OPTION: No

PROS: Lightweight, compact

CONS: Not sturdy, can’t hold heavier DSLR cameras

 

 

 

 

3. BEST OVERALL TRIPODS

3POD ORBIT 3 SECTION CARBON FIBER

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

WEIGHT: 4.1lb (1.9kg)

MAXIMUM HEIGHT: 68in (175cm)

LOAD CAPABILITY: 4.4lb (2.0kg)

MONOPOD OPTION: No

PROS: Versatile, includes spikes, lightweight

CONS: Price, a bit on the heavier side

 

 

 

VANGUARD ALTA PRO 263AB

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

WEIGHT: 5.2lb (2.4kg)

MAXIMUM HEIGHT: 68in (173cm)

LOAD CAPABILITY: 15.2lb (6.9kg)

MONOPOD OPTION: No

PROS: Ideal for travel, compact, includes case, sturdy

CONS: Not the most durable

 

 

 

MEFOTO ROADTRIP TRIPOD

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

WEIGHT: 3.5lb (1.6kg)

MAXIMUM HEIGHT: 61in (156cm)

LOAD CAPABILITY: 17.6lb (8.0kg)

MONOPOD OPTION: Yes

PROS: Well built, light, compact, sturdy

CONS: Legs only lock in one position

 

 

 

BENRO AERO 4 VIDEO

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

WEIGHT: 5.7lb (2.6kg)

MAXIMUM HEIGHT: 52in (133cm)

LOAD CAPABILITY: 17.6lb (8.0kg)

MONOPOD OPTION: Yes

PROS: Ideal for video, portable, sturdy

CONS: Not easy to set up, on the heavier side

Top 10 Best Tripods For Travel of 2017 – Outdoor Photography Tips and Ideas  - Photography Equipment – Hiking Photography Articles – Nature, Wildlife and Landscape Photography Posts
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