Best Travel Tripod

Many people are drawn to photography these days. In the past few years, it has really flourished as a craft—both as a hobby and a business. And with the latest innovations in this field, a lot of things that used to be too impossible to achieve are now made possible with just a few clicks and a little bit of creativity.

The camera itself has improved in a lot of ways in the recent years. This improvement applies to the accessories that come with the camera as well, such as the lenses and tripod.

The tripod is considered one of the important things that a photographer needs. There are scenes or events that are made easier to capture when the camera is resting on a tripod.

It’s one of the things that help create a commendable image quality. It’s also the reason why photographers take time to decide which tripod they need to purchase to tailor fit their style and their needs as a photographer.

Travel tripod: Unboxed

One specific type of tripod is the travel tripod. Its usual features include stability which allows you to elevate the camera at least 50” from the ground while keeping it as steady as possible. Another feature is being able to fold the entire tripod into a more compact size, and be as light as 4 pounds, all components included.

What makes an excellent tripod is the balance between these two properties. To put it on a checklist, these are the advantages that one can get by using a good quality travel tripod:

  • It provides stability and reduces, if not avoids, camera shake when using it for long exposures
  • Allows you to use very small apertures in order to get maximum depth of field
  • It gives you enough time to slow down and think about the subject which gives you better image quality
  • It allows you to manage image alignment when taking pictures with bracketed exposures, especially for high dynamic range photography
  • Gives you the advantage to capture your subject at the best angle
  • Allows you to rest your hand and wrist

The most important feature of a travel tripod, aside from the durability of its material, is its portability. Travel photographers, or those who love outdoor photography, need a portable tripod. In other words, it needs to be lightweight and a space saver.

It should easily fit in a backpack or a carry-on bag, and it should be light enough so it won’t slow you down. This kind of tripod is common among travel photographers, photojournalists, wildlife photographers, and even backpackers. There are a lot of products that you can choose from on the market—which is both an advantage and a disadvantage.

Materials

Since the discussion is about a tripod that averages around 4 pounds with all of its components included, one of the things that you must consider is getting a tripod made with durable and lightweight materials. There are two major types of tripod.

Aluminum is a popular material for tripods but other materials are being used as well. The latest models of tripods are keener about using carbon fiber as their main material for construction.

Every photographer has their own preference, and it usually depends on their intended use and their photography style. Putting these two materials side by side would give you a clearer picture of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Carbon fiber vs. aluminum

Aluminum is a cheaper and a more abundant material. It is very durable and can withstand ever-changing weather conditions. However, it is a lot heavier than a tripod made out of carbon fiber. In fact, aside from the price, the weight is one of the very distinguishable characteristics that separates an aluminum tripod from one that is carbon fiber.

Additionally, a tripod with legs made from carbon fiber is the lightest. It doesn’t rust easily, and is also durable. The catch is that it’s more expensive than an aluminum tripod.

Weight capacity (load) rating

Aside from the tripod’s weight itself, another factor that needs to be considered is its weight capacity; it should be able to hold more than what an average camera weighs. Usually, photographers use extended lenses which are a lot heavier than the camera itself.

This is why it’s important that your tripod should have a good weight allowance, which is ideally one-and-a-half times heavier than an average camera. That being said, the best material for the highly recommended material for a tripod is carbon filter, which is lightweight, durable, and strong.

As discussed earlier, there are a lot of makes and models for a travel tripod—each serving a specific purpose that can tailor fit a unique need for every photographer. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. It provides a wide array of products that you can choose from and you have an endless set of options.

On the other hand, choosing a tripod will take a lot of time considering the many options to consider. Well, good thing we’ve got you covered. We have compiled some of the best travel tripod in 2016.

Image

Product

Price

Rating

ZoMei Z818 Portable Travel Tripod $105.99 4.5/5
MeFOTO Carbon Fiber Globetrotter Travel Tripod $399.00 4.4/5
Feisol Traveler Tripod $499.00 4.8/5
MeFOTO Aluminum Roadtrip Travel Tripod/Monopod Kit $198.90 4.5/5
Gitzo GT1542T Traveler Tripod $400.00 4.3/5
   Vanguard VEO 235AB Aluminum Travel Tripod  $119.99  4.4/5
   BONFOTO Portable Aluminum Alloy B674A Lightweight Camera Travel Tripod Monopod  $104.99  4.5/5
   Mactrem Camera Tripod Alluminum Alloy Travel Tripod  $89.99  4.4/5
   Manfrotto MKBFRA4-BH BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod  $161.88  4.3/5
   XCSOURCE Q-666C Professional Photography Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod Monopod Kit  $136.99  4.2/5

ZoMei Z818 Portable Travel Tripod

There are hundreds of available products on the market, which is why it’s hard to single out the best. One of the most recommended travel tripods is the ZoMei Z818 Portable Travel Tripod. It is designed to provide maximum convenience for all photographers. It can be easily set up, which is a good thing for newbies.

The legs and other components can be easily adjusted as well. It is sturdy enough to support heavy cameras, even those with extended lenses. It is also designed using lightweight materials and the overall design is considered for saving a lot of space, making it convenient to carry around. This tripod looks sleek and stylish, and it’s one of the most affordable products on the market today.

Advantages and features

Various products are marketed as multi-functional tripods but barely work as one. What makes the ZoMei Z818 Portable Travel Tripod different:

  • Multi-functional tripod—Aside from working beautifully as a tripod, it also provides excellent shots as a monopod
  • Stability—It is sturdy enough to hold heavy cameras, making it a good tripod to use for sports shots and outdoor photography.
  • Excellent material construction—This tripod is made out of excellent quality alloy – combined magnesium and aluminum. These metals are processed through anodic oxidation in order to maximize its anti-corrosion property
  • Durable—With its material and overall design, this tripod is ideal both for indoor and outdoor photography since it can be used outdoors without worrying about it getting damaged
  • Portability—With the material for construction and its overall design, it is extra lighter and more compact
  • Space-saver—Invertible legs which can be arranged by folding it back 180°, resulting in a compact size of 18”
  • Easy set up—With quick-release mounting plate and rotating leg locks
  • Stylish—This tripod looks sleek and stylish especially with its blue and black color scheme

Thins to look out for

It works really well on steady surfaces, but needs some getting used to when used on irregular surfaces.

Bottom line

The ZoMei Z818 Portable Travel Tripod is indeed one of the popular tripods on the market, not only because of its very reasonable price, but also for its set of features that definitely focus on providing convenience for photographers.

MeFOTO Carbon Fiber Globetrotter Travel Tripod

MeFOTO is an excellent brand and it’s definitely as good as it sounds. This particular model has ideal features that are not only added to provide convenience for photographers, but to improve their skills as well. It allows you to discover more tricks to produce better image quality. The entire unit is very durable and it comes at a very competitive price.

Advantages and features

MeFOTO is produced by one of the largest manufacturers of photography equipment and you can guarantee that the quality of this product is way above standards.

  • Strength—Rigid and strong enough to hold larger DSLR types. Can carry up to 26.5 pounds of load
  • Portable—It can be folded small enough for traveling without a hassle. When folded, this tripod can be as small as 16.1”. Very lightweight at only 3.7 pounds
  • Maximum support—Legs can be extended in five sections
  • Secure—It features a locking mechanism made of rubberized twist-lock grip
  • Excellent material quality—Made from quality carbon fiber, while joints are made of aluminum
  • Arca-Swiss style quick release plate—Allows easy adjustment for placing camera on top

Things to look out for

The tripod is stable enough to hold heavy cameras, but it can’t hold a camera properly when mounted in a vertical position with a telescopic lens attached.

Bottom line

Considering the brand, there’s really nothing to worry about when it comes to the durability of the product. Its quality has already been proven time and again. It is definitely an excellent travel tripod and worth every cent you invest in it.

Feisol Traveler Tripod

A lot of tripods on the market today are marketed as lightweight and stable, but you can never be sure about the product’s real performance. Don’t take risks, but choose products which have already been proven in terms of quality and durability.

The Feisol Traveller Tripod is a product that is highly recommended for photographers who are always on the go. It is lightweight and definitely stable. It is very much recommended for those who usually use mounting lights, reflectors, and backgrounds.

Advantages and Features

The Feisol Traveler Tripod is sturdy and stable enough to capture both steady and moving subjects, while ensuring excellent image quality.

  • Stable—Allows very little flex in the legs
  • Good grip—Better grip with the legs’ design which adds more stability to the tripod
  • Durable—The thick carbon fiber tubes are expected to last.
  • Better angle—It allows more elevation even with the camera mounted on the top, allowing better angle
  • Portable—It can easily fit into a suitcase or backpack. It’s lightweight and is very convenient to carry around
  • Flexible—It can provide stability even when shooting on rocky spots. Its rapid leg system remains steady
  • Secure—It has a locking mechanism that keeps it well-balanced, and ensures the camera will not slip while mounted
  • Excellent quality material—Made with high aluminum and carbon fiber materials, with just the right proportions

Things to look out for

There are no issues on using the tripod in the field, but just a minor setback when carrying it from one place to another as it doesn’t close completely when folded up. One contributing factor is the tripod’s rather bulky design.

Bottom line

Quality comes with a price, but it doesn’t mean that you have to purchase really expensive products. This tripod, for example, has an excellent set of features that make it really convenient for the photographer.

And it comes at a very competitive price. The quality of the product is not compromised, and you can guarantee it lasts long as per the reviews on product review sites.

MeFOTO Aluminum Roadtrip Travel Tripod/Monopod Kit

Looking for the best travel tripod is no easy task. There are a lot of products on the market that you can choose from, which means it can really be difficult singling one out. If you don’t want to take risks on the quality of the tripod that you’ll be buying, consider the MeFOTO Roadtrip Tripod.

It is extremely durable and it is preferred by a lot of professional photographers. It is very portable and considered to be “travel friendly.” It’s not as high-profile as other manufacturers but it’s definitely a trusted brand for photographic equipment.

Advantages and features

  • Convenient space-saving properties—It can be folded by inverting the legs upwards, and can easily fit inside a backpack or a carry-on bag
  • Convenient travel—It comes with a bag with an extra pouch where you can put the extra feet and hex key
  • Better angle—With its 360° panning, it allows wider angle to shoot
  • Secure—It has a center column hook, and twist-lock legs with an anti-rotation system
  • Maximum support—Two-leg angle positions
  • Easy adjustment—With the Arca Swiss style quick release plates

Things to look out for

Legs don’t lock that securely when in a closed position as they can only be locked in two set positions.

Bottom line

High-end tripod brands are sometimes overpriced, which means that you are paying more for an item than what it’s supposed to cost. There’s no need to spend on expensive brands when there’s a product like the MeFOTO Roadtrip tripod which has all the necessary features you need, available at a more reasonable price.

Gitzo GT1542T Traveler Tripod

Exhibiting compactness and lightweight properties exclusive to the Gitzo traveler system, you can easily expect the best from this product. It is mostly known for its stability and its lightweight design. It may not be a high-end tripod brand but its carbon fiber material is above standard quality.

Advantages and features

The Gitzo GT1542T is one of the most portable travel tripods available on the market. Aside from that, it also has other features that justify its being a bestseller.

  • Easy adjustment—Center column locking collar is designed for quick and easy adjustment
  • Security—It features a grooved design which makes the mounting of the camera more secure
  • Stability—Anti-leg rotation feature is intended to easily loosen the twist locks on each leg, while adding more stability to the tripod
  • Flexible—Removable center column allows you to take shots just a few inches from the ground
  • Great quality for the material—It’s not a high-end brand, but it shows good quality carbon fiber material

Things to look out for

If you have checked the other model in this traveler tripod series, you’ll notice that the 1544T has a shorter center column which would have been convenient for folding the tripod back to its compact size.

Bottom line

For a tripod available at a comparatively inexpensive price to exhibit features such as the ones mentioned above, it’s definitely a rare find. It’s not high end but the tripod is well made. If you’re looking for an affordable tripod that has decent features, this is the one to purchase.