Best Travel Tripod - 2017 Reviews and Top Picks
Are you tired of the sunrise and sunset photos you take while traveling turning out bad because you can’t hold the camera steady?
You may even have a tripod at home but it’s probably too big and bulky to take with you. It this is the case with you it might be time for you to look into buying a tripod that is specifically made to take with you when you travel.
Taking quality photos is a hobby that many people enjoy. As a result of that you can find many travel tripods in the photo marketplace. You will simply be amazed how much better your holiday photos look when they are taken with a camera that rests on top of the best travel tripod.
In this article we will tell you a little bit more on the best uses for travel tripods and we will also do some reviews on some exceptional travel tripods.
Here Is a Quick Look at Some Very Good Travel Tripods
Up to 47”
– A lightweight 1.3 pounds
Up to 57”
– Weighs less than 3 pounds
Up to 62”
– Compact and lightweight design
Up to 55”
– Simple setup and takedown
Up to 45”
– Super lightweight
Best Travel Tripod Reviews
Here is what we feel are some of the top model travel tripods you can buy:
Here is a very good travel tripod from Zecti. It is an extremely versatile piece of photo shooting equipment to say the least. You can mount everything from photo taking smart phones to cameras on top of it. Best of all you can easily take it with you anywhere you go.
One of the main factors of being able to take a tripod with you when you travel is compact size. When folded this tripod is less than 16 inches long. That means it will easily fit in most backpacks, overnight bags and even in many large purses. You never again have to be without a tripod for taking photos no matter where you go.
The weight on this travel tripod is ideal too. It weighs only a scant 1.3 pounds. That means it’s no heavier to bring with you as you travel than an extra pair of jeans. When you combine its weight with its compact size you get one very portable piece of photo shooting equipment.
This tripod is made using sturdy aluminum alloy with protective rubber accents. The tripod mount features a quick release plate so you can easily attach your smart phone, digital SLR camera or other device to it also. Overall we were really impressed by all the design features that were built into this versatile travel tripod.
- A lightweight 1.3 pounds
- Under 16” when folded
- Can mount anything from smart phones to cameras on it
- Adjusts anywhere from 16 to 47 inches
- Just a little on the short side
- Some plastic parts are not well made
If you look at the photos of this nicely built travel tripod you can see there is nothing cheap about its construction. It features some classic styling and is put together in a craftsman like manner. We really like how sturdy it seems to be built and the quality of the parts used in its construction.
The height on this tripod is a big bonus too. Most travel tripods to not extend up to 57 inches like this one does. That makes it convenient to photos over walls, fences and other objects which might normally get in your way.
Not only does it extend up to a generous height but it folds down nice and compact too. It is only 14 inches long when in its folded state. The travel tripod itself weighs a little less than three pounds too. So it’s no big deal to take it with you as you travel by car, train, or on an aircraft.
It sets up and takes down easily and is compatible with a large variety of the most popular camera brands. This travel tripod is also nicely backed by a full six year warranty from the manufacturer.
- Weighs less than 3 pounds
- Only 14” when folded
- 6 year warranty
- A generous 57” height when extended
- Legs are stiff when setting up
- Carrying case could use improvement
Here is a high quality travel tripod that is great to have along on any trip. It sets up easy and provides a great platform to take photos that require longer exposure times. This travel tripod can also be easily converted into a monopod too.
One of the best features you get with this travel tripod is its height. It can be extended so that your camera sits up as high as 62’. That will save the backs of many taller photo takers that like to use a tripod when shooting pictures.
This is a very stable photo shooting platform too. All of its legs have non-slip rubber feet attached to the bottom of them and these legs lock firmly into place too. The adjustable center pipe also adds to the balance of this tripod when taking photos.
This tripod is a little too heavy to use in situations where you have to walk or hike long distances but for normal car or plane travel it works great.
The manufacturer will also let you return this travel tripod within 45 days no questions asked. That gives you some time to try it out to decide if you like it or not. After the 45 days are up you then will have a standard 12 month warranty period on it.
- Compact and lightweight design
- 15” folded length
- Great for taller photo takers
- Dual use as a tripod or monopod
- Plastic threads make adjusting the screws a little tough
- At 4 pounds it’s a little heavy for backpacking and hiking
This is a great piece of photo shooting equipment. Bonfoto has done a very good job with the design of this elite travel tripod. Everything about it speaks of quality and precision construction. You would be hard pressed to find a better tripod to travel with.
This is an extremely portable travel tripod. Since it only weighs 2 ½ pounds it will not tire you out carrying it even over long distances. When folded it is only 15 inches long too. That makes it easily storable as a carry-on in an aircraft or in a small bag for the beach.
Bonfoto has made this tripod tough too. It gives you the sturdiness of steel with the light weight of plastic. It can do that because it’s made out of sturdy carbon fibers. That also guarantees you that this product will last you a very long time.
This tripod sets up and is taken down easily too. In a matter of minutes you can be taking photos or have it packed again to travel to your next photo shooting destination.
The aluminum ball head is easy to adjust and you can also change camera plates very quickly. Bonfoto backs this travel tripod with a full one year warranty.
- Simple setup and takedown
- 15” length when folded
- Strong and lightweight carbon fiber construction
- 360 degree panning
- Needs to be weighted when windy
- Just a little taller height would have been nice
This is one of the more interesting travel tripods on our list. It may not be as sturdy as some of the other travel tripods we reviewed but it’s definitely the most easily transported one of them all. The design is well thought out and it’s the ideal photo taking companion to have with you for those rare moments you shoot photos with a tripod.
We mentioned how portable this travel tripod is. That is because it only weighs 10 ounces and is a short 14 inches long when folded. Think of it as being as easy to pack and take along with you as a large banana. It really is that easy to carry.
It is not as flimsy as you would imagine either. It is made out of sturdy aluminum with rigid plastic accents. Even the ball head camera mount is made out of polymer plastic to make it lightweight yet sturdy.
You definitely have to handle this travel tripod with a little TLC but you will not find and easier or lighter one to take with you to shoot photos. It is perfect for anyone that only requires using a travel tripod occasionally.
- Super lightweight
- 14” length folded
- Aluminum and polymer plastic construction
- 45” set up height
- Needs to be setup just right to be stable
- On the short side even when fully extended
The Benefits of Using a Tripod When Taking Photos
With the advances in today’s digital SLR camera technology it is more important than ever to have a tripod with you when you want to take quality photos. Easy to use digital SLR cameras enable amateur photo takers to experiment with shutter speeds they would have never even thought about using before.
Here are some the benefits that come with using a travel tripod to assist you in your photo taking:
Taking long exposure photos
When you use a slower shutter speed a camera mounted on a tripod is an absolute must. Pictures such as those taken at sunrise and sunset are almost impossible to take by simply holding a camera in your hand.
Many people have a lot of group photos that don’t have them in the picture. Why is that? It’s because someone had to take the picture. If you have a camera with a timer and set it up on a travel tripod then nobody has to be left out of the photo ever again.
Improves artistic quality
When you are snapping photo after photo with your camera you are losing a little as far as picture quality goes. When you use a travel tripod it naturally slows you down and subsequently improves the quality of your photos.
It helps with macro shots
When you are taking a close-up photo it is extremely difficult to keep the camera steady. A travel tripod eliminates the chance of this movement that often interferes with taking high quality close-up pictures.
It tires you out less
Cameras with zoom lenses and video cameras can get a little heavy after using them for a while. When you let your tripod hold the weight this is no longer a factor. Some een have hooks to rest your camera bag and other equipment on.
Best Travel Tripod Buying Guide
You don’t just want to buy the first travel tripod you come across. Take your time shopping and get one that fits your travel and photo shooting needs perfectly.
Here are the most important characteristics of a travel tripod to consider when looking to purchase one:
Being lightweight is an essential characteristic for any tripod that you will take with you when you travel. This is especially true if you are doing such activities as backpacking or hiking where photo taking will be involved. Even when taking pictures just around town it is much more convenient to have a lighter weight tripod with you. So make sure you know the weight of any travel tripod you are thinking about purchasing.
Here is another important characteristic of any travel tripod that you purchase. It does not matter how lightweight a travel tripod is if you can’t fold it up into a size that will allow it to fit in a travel bag or backpack. A good travel tripod should fold up into a size between 13 and 16 inches. At this size they are very convenient to easily take just about anywhere with you.
Height when extended
As you were reading our reviews of travel tripods you may have noticed they come in all different heights when fully set up. This is something that is very important to consider. There is some photo taking situations where a taller tripod is absolutely necessary.
If you will be using your travel tripod for a long period of time and you are a tall person the height of your tripod will most assuredly be important to you. If you have a travel tripod that is too short your back will may start to hurt if you shoot photos hunched over the whole time.
The height of your tripod when set up is much more important a factor than most people give it credit for.
Stability when setup
The whole point to having a tripod when you take photos is to overcome the instability of taking a photo while holding a camera in your hands. If your travel tripod is wobbly when you go to use it then it defeats the purpose of why you set up that tripod in the first place. So purchasing a travel tripod model that is adjustable and stable is an absolute must.
Stability can be a problem with some of the lighter travel tripod models too. Such things as high winds can make them unstable when using them. You may even have to weigh some lighter model tripods down because it affects them so much.
Ease of setup and takedown
You want to spend time taking beautiful pictures when you travel not having to get aggravated taking your travel tripod up and down. That is why it is important to get a travel tripod that is easy to set up and take down.
Look for features such as easy threading adjustment screws, twist lock legs and easy folding joints that will make setting up and taking down your travel tripod so much easier.
Ease of use
You want a travel tripod that is easy to use as you are taking photos also. That means you want such features built into it as the ability to adjust the camera angle and quick release plates that will allow you to rapidly change between picture or video taking devices.
Having a versatile travel tripod is a big advantage to you also. It’s always nice if your travel tripod is set up so that you can mount other devices besides cameras on it also. If your travel tripod can hold such things as camcorders and cell phones it will make it that much more fun to use.
Just because you need your travel tripod to be lightweight does not mean that it can’t be a durable product to. Not to mention that when you pack your travel tripod you can’t be sure that you bag or backpack won’t get some rough treatment as you travel. Look for travel tripods that are constructed using such strong materials as aluminum alloys, carbon fibers and rigid polymer plastics.
There are a few little things that can be added to a tripod to make it a little nicer to use. Extras such as a handy carrying bag, equipment hook or bonus attachments can make your travel tripod that much nicer to use. So make sure you know all that you are getting in the package with any travel tripod model you are thinking about purchasing.
A good warranty is always a nice thing to have to give you some peace-of-mind when you make any purchase and it’s no different with travel tripods. Even though travel tripods are not considered and expensive purchase in most cases they certainly are not disposable items either.
So try and find a travel tripod with the longest warranty possible. It’s even better if you can find one with a warranty that lets you return it no questions asked up to a certain amount of days. That way you can test your travel tripod and get another model if it’s not to your liking.
Our Top Travel Tripod Choice
Having a tripod with you when you travel is definitely a big advantage if you like to take zoomed in photos or photos that require a high exposure time. As far as having a travel tripod that is easy to take along with you any of the models we reviewed will work well. There was one model that did impress us more than the rest. That was the Bonfoto Carbon Fiber B671C Lightweight Travel Tripod.
We made this decision based on the most important qualities a good travel tripod needs. The things we considered were weight, folded length, durability, ease of use and stability when set up. This is the only model travel tripod on our list that was made of strong and lightweight carbon fibers. Its 15 inch folded length was comparable to the others as was the ease of photo taking adjustments with it. This tripod also provided a very stable platform when a camera or other devise was mounted to it.
If you are looking to purchase a new travel tripod this is a model that you surely want to take a closer look at before making your purchase.