Last updated on February 17th, 2021
Are you looking for the best tripod under $200? In our opinion, this is a flexible and comfortable budget to invest in a functional aluminum tripod. We’ve experimented with different budget tripods, and we are confident this budget will guarantee a quality investment. However, the budget isn’t the only consideration to ensure a quality investment.
As a buyer, it is important to assess your needs and preferences. Do you seek a lightweight travel tripod that is compatible with multiple devices? Or perhaps, you’re looking for a sturdy and innovative studio tripod?
You must examine the load capacity, weight, material, and built of the tripod to ensure its functionality. If you’ve never bought a tripod before, or your past purchases have consistently let you down, keep reading our guide. We will walk you through all the crucial factors and elements that will ensure a well-informed buying decision.
How to shop the best tripod under $200?
Before introducing you to our top 7 picks for the best tripods under $200, let’s examine some crucial factors. How can you ensure that your chosen tripod delivers the user experience that you seek? You need to pay close attention to the functions, device compatibility, durability, and overall flexibility of the tripod.
We firmly advise beginners to stick with reputable manufacturers with a strong industry presence. Luckily, you can scoop up a sturdy aluminum tripod with this budget, like the widely popular Manfrotto Befree.
Below are some crucial factors to consider:
The height enhances the overall usability of the tripod and the convenience with which you take a shot. What is the maximum height you need? Most photographers require a maximum height of at least 60 inches. But others, particularly content creators, prefer smaller tripods for a more efficient alternative to selfie sticks.
If the height is a crucial factor for you, a lightweight tripod may not prove an efficient purchase. Lightweight tripods fail to ensure sturdiness when elongated, putting your equipment at risk. We’ve worked with lightweight tripods, and we can assure you that they don’t work well at maximum height.
Carbon fiber legs and an aluminum build are a great combination to enjoy your tripod’s maximum height.
Are you looking for a travel-friendly or compact tripod? Or perhaps, you need a sturdy and stable studio tripod that is compatible with multiple gadgets? Weight is a decisive factor that will determine your user experience. If your tripod is too heavy for a hiking tripod, you’re likely to leave it behind or struggle to carry it.
With studio cameras, weight is not a consideration, and generally, the heavier, the better your experience. We’ll talk more about portable, studio, and travel tripods later.
Material of Construction
Budget tripods are notorious for disfiguration and breakages, especially when they’re cramped in your backpack or luggage. If you’re shopping for a sturdy travel tripod, be sure to avoid plastic construction. Within this budget, you can explore some incredible options featuring aluminum, galvanized rubber, and carbon fiber.
How much weight are you planning to attach to your portable tripod? The load capacity determines the overall weight the gadget can carry without stumbling or wobbling. If you usually work with smartphones and mirrorless cameras, a lightweight tripod will do great. However, bulky DSLRs and big lenses require a higher load capacity.
It is ideal to aim for max load capacity if you work with multiple devices, remote controls, and phone mounts. We’ll talk more about load capacity while reviewing our top 7 picks for the best tripods under $200.
The tripod head determines the spinning and tilting flexibility of a tripod. There are different kinds of tripod heads, but we firmly recommend our readers to work with a ball head tripod. Ball head tripods are dynamic and impressively easy to adjust. Most budget tripods come with plastic heads that offer 360-degree spinning and tilting.
The ball head can enhance your user experience dramatically. Most tripods under $200, such as the Manfrotto Befree, feature ball heads with ergonomic and independent controls. Naturally, such a feature can boost the load capacity and make it easier to work with zoom lenses.
What does stability refer to while shopping for a tripod? It refers to the tripod’s ability to carry your heavy equipment without tipping forward or breaking apart. Most lightweight tripods compromise stability, making it challenging to work with bulky cameras. It is vital to consider this factor closely to ensure a quality purchase and the safety of your expensive equipment.
Most of the options from our top 7 best tripods under 200 feature built-in functions to enhance stability.
Types of Tripod
Photographers work with studio cameras to enhance image sharpness and precision. It makes it easier to get the perfect shot and find a balance between the background and the foreground. We absolutely love working with studio tripods.
Based on our experience, we recommend strong, bulky, and durable tripods. They’ve never let us down in the studio! Lightweight ones, on the other hand, can’t handle heavy high-grade camera equipment.
A carbon fiber tripod is an excellent investment to upgrade your studio. Most studio tripods weigh more than 6lbs, and it is ideal to aim for a fully extended height of at least 70 inches.
Are you shopping for a sturdy and durable travel tripod? Most travel bloggers and adventurers focus too much on portability, which can compromise stability and usability. If your tripod is unstable, how can you trust it with your expensive DSLR cameras on rugged and unpredictable terrain?
It is crucial to prioritize stability and sturdiness when buying a lightweight travel tripod. We also recommend buying a tripod that will vertically fit in your camera bag. We’ve broken enough travel tripods to realize the significance of a vertical fit!
You see, when your tripod is angled sideways, it may look comfortable, but it puts the ball head in a vulnerable position. Luckily, most travel tripods under 200 come with durable and functional aluminum construction. Be sure to focus on the load capacity, weight, and height to align them with your preferences.
Ideally, a travel tripod should weigh around 3-6lbs, with a fully extended height of at least 50 inches. A load capacity of 5lbs is crucial to make the gadget functional with heavy equipment.
If you need a super-portable and lightweight tripod, this is a great option. Portable tripods are very light, usually around 3lbs, with a fully extended height of 30 inches. Surprisingly, most compact tripods under 200 pack up a load capacity of 5lbs, which is excellent for bulky equipment.
Pocket tripods are great for self-portraits and recording yourself in makeup tutorials, cooking videos etc. However, these pocket tripods don’t offer on-ground stability, and their rubber feet require a solid surface. It is ideal to either carry these in your hands or place them on a countertop or table.
Top 7 tripods under $200
Last update on 2021-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Manfrotto Befree Advanced Tripod (Best Overall)
- Weight: 4.7 lbs
- Maximum Load Capacity: 17 lbs
- Folded Height: 13.39 inches
- Extended Height: 56.6 inches
- Tripod Head: Ball Head
- Material: Aluminum
- Legs Lock: QPL Lever Lock
Unarguably the best travel tripod under $200, this Manfrotto tripod is an advanced tripod and the ultimate travel companion. The ergonomic design delivers superior stability and maximum performance. Manfrotto is a highly reputable manufacturer of quality tripods, and this will prove a great long-term investment. The Befree offers exceptional durability, and it certainly raises the bar higher for travel tripods.
We took it out for a spin and fell in love with the advanced upgrades, like the QPL level locking power. One might not spare a second glance at this feature on a list of best tripods under 200, but it means everything in the field. The QPL lever locking power makes it incredibly easy to shift between different heights and make fast transitions.
If you’re a wildlife photographer or a nature shooter, this aluminum tripod is a fabulous investment. It packs up high-performance support with a lightweight and portable design. The new generation carbon fiber legs work wonders at reducing weight without compromising performance and stability.
What makes this the best overall tripod? Its 494 ball head features ergonomic and independent controls and delivers an impressive load capacity. It also delivers an impressive performance and we’ve never had any cause for complaints.
2. Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB (Best Features)
- Weight: 5.4 lbs
- Maximum Load Capacity: 15.4 lbs
- Folded Height: 56 inches
- Extended Height: 68 inches
- Tripod Head: Ball Head
- Material: Aluminum
- Legs Lock: Quick-flip
We’re big fans of Vanguard, a highly reputable manufacturer, because it delivers impressive quality in a budget-friendly package. The Vanguard Alta Pro is a personal favorite and a must-have tool in our content creation arsenal. It is undoubtedly the best tripod under $200 that offers multi-functional compatibility and utility.
The most praiseworthy feature of this sturdy aluminum tripod is the impressive ball head. As explained earlier, a ball head determines the load capacity and overall durability of a tripod. It is also the first feature to get damaged, so a sturdy ball head guarantees a quality investment. We really like how the ball head is easy to adjust and ensures a tight lock for superior stability.
If you’re a wildlife shooter or a professional sports photographer, you will love the large knobs for making quick adjustments. Another praiseworthy aspect is how Vanguard Alta Pro has ensured quality enhancements with the little features.
This Vanguard Alta Pro earns the best features title on our list of best tripods under 200 because of the many things it offers. The tripod legs feature high-quality aluminum and sturdy locking mechanisms. The retractable spikes and bubble levels enhance the overall experience splendidly. The center column adjustments make it easier to capture an extreme perspective for shooting nature landscapes.
3. Sirui T2005X TX Series Tripod (Easiest To Carry)
- Weight: 3.1 lbs
- Maximum Load Capacity: 26.4 lbs
- Folded Height: 5.3 inches
- Extended Height: 60.9 inches
- Tripod Head: Ball Head
- Material: Aluminum
- Legs Lock: Automatic leg-angle lock
Pronounced as SEE-RAY, Sirui is a Chinese manufacturer famous for producing high-quality and tech-savvy gear for professional photographers. We’ve tried this travel tripod, and we guarantee that it is one of the sturdiest tripods under $200.
Its unique selling point is undoubtedly the automatic leg-angle lock. This unique leg-lock mechanism allows you to move the legs up to 180-degree, which enhances flexibility and creativity tremendously. It’s amazingly compact and easy to store and carry on long and hard mountainside journeys. What’s more, the legs fold up to 180-degree to deliver superior compactness.
We’ve tried different budget tripods from Sirui, and we really like this one for several compelling reasons. The grooved center column is easily inverted, making it an ideal pick for low-angle shots. We took it along on a little hiking trip to test out the functions. We were surprised to see how amazingly the position leg angle works on uneven and rocky terrains.
If you enjoy macro or low-angle shooting, this is a sturdy tripod that will enhance your work and creativity. Another notable feature is the retractable spiked feet, ideal for outdoor photography and uneven terrains. At just 3 lbs, it’s also the easiest tripod to carry.
4. Manfrotto 290 Xtra Aluminum 3-Section Tripod (Best Budget)
- Weight: 3.9 lbs
- Maximum Load Capacity: 11 lbs
- Folded Height: 23.4 inches
- Extended Height: 63.2 inches
- Material: Aluminum
- Tripod Head: Ball Head
- Legs Lock: Quick-flip lock
The Manfrotto 290 XTRA Series is a heavy-duty beast and a super-sturdy aluminum tripod. With this series, the iconic brand has revived its classic design with cutting-edge features. We work with this lightweight tripod regularly, and we love how the brand has revamped its technical functions.
If style is a crucial consideration for you, this tripod’s sleek and classic construction will undoubtedly win you over. It features a classic design with a rock-sturdy aluminum and composite carbon fiber construction. Its 4-leg angle positions deliver superior stability and impressive flexibility to play around with multiple angles.
The center column and top disc support flexibility, while the rubber legwarmer enhances the grip and sturdiness. If you work in unpredictable terrains, like unpaved mountain cliffs, this feature is worth all your money! Imagine losing your precious camera and lens with a slip of the hand. The Manfrotto 290 Xtra will help you prevent damages and ensure superior stability.
The quick-flip leg locks are its unique selling point, as this locking mechanism supports a quick and easy setup. This rock-solid travel tripod comes with a branded Manfrotto carrying bag to elevate your style. Being on the lower end of our price range, this is also the best budget tripod on our list of best tripods under 200.
5. Vanguard VEO 235AB Aluminum Travel Tripod (Best Quality)
- Weight: 3.3 lbs
- Maximum Load Capacity: 13.2 lbs
- Folded Height: 7 inches
- Extended Height: 57 inches
- Material: Aluminum
- Tripod Head: Ball Head
- Legs Lock: Quick Release
Another high-quality gadget from Vanguard, the VEO 235AB is a remarkable travel tripod with sturdy aluminum construction. It features a multi-action ball head with a massive ergonomic locking knob, which makes it impressively user-friendly. The bubble-level and Arca-Swiss compatible quick release plate offer superior functionality.
It is designed to support extra low-angle photography, and it also comes with a low-angle adaptor. Vanguard’s VEO series is about creating travel gear that connects with the photographer’s needs and preferences. It combines the most functional aspects of full-sized studio tripods with compact travel tripods to deliver a masterpiece.
This travel tripod will maximize the impact and creativity while taking up minimal space in your luggage. It can fold into a super-small size, and you can easily toss it into your backpack without carrying much load. It also packs up Vanguard’s patented rapid center column rotation feature, making it easy to set up and use.
What makes this the best quality tripod? The study 23mm aluminum alloy construction and three different leg-angle options. More amazingly, the rubber feet convert into spiked feet to enhance stability in uneven and rugged terrains. The VEO 235 is a treasure trove of cutting-edge technical functions and is highly recommended for tech-savvy photographers.
- Weight: 11.5 lbs
- Maximum Load Capacity: 17lbs
- Folded Height: 26 inches
- Extended Height: 79 inches
- Material: Carbon Fiber
- Tripod Head: Fluid Head
- Legs Lock: 4-stage quick-release lock
A popular choice on Amazon, this GEEKOTO fluid head tripod makes some lofty promises about its functionality. It features a professional fluid head that offers superior tilting and panning with 360-degree panoramic panning. It is compatible with most DSLR cameras, smartphones, and mirrorless cameras. But the max loading capacity is 17 lbs, so we wouldn’t recommend using it with bulky lenses.
This multi-functional tripod is easy to set up, and it comes with a four-stage quick release for added height and convenience. We are really intrigued by the fact that it can also transform into a monopod, making it a multipurpose investment. The three-position angle adjustment system allows easy reversal of the center column for low-angle and macro photography.
If you like switching between different shooting angles, this is a tremendous technical function for added convenience. What really caught our eye was the high-density carbon fiber construction and legs. We were surprised to find this construction in tripods under 200, but only a test-run can verify the quality.
If the claims hold, the 3-section carbon fiber legs combined with non-slip rubber feet will deliver superior stability. This carbon fiber construction will also provide robust security for your expensive camcorders and DSLR cameras. Given the brand has little recognition in the industry, we don’t recommend this option enthusiastically.
- Weight: 9 lbs
- Maximum Load Capacity: 22 lbs
- Folded Height: 33 inches
- Extended Height: 74 inches
- Tripod Head: Fluid Heads
- Material: Aluminum
- Leg Locks: Pan/Tilt locking
This sturdy aluminum tripod from COMAN is trending-hot on Amazon for delivering high-end features with a budget-friendly price tag. However, how strong the manufacturer’s claim hold, we have yet to ascertain. It’s certainly a winner when it comes to height, and over 70 inches – nothing and no one will block your scenery.
If you’re looking for a sturdy outdoor tripod, and maximum height is a crucial feature, this is a good option. It comes with 3-section column legs and quick release sliding to support easy and quick adjustments. However, we cannot vouch for its functionality as we haven’t experimented with it.
This fluid head tripod comes with a pre-set counterbalance, which delivers superior stability. It supports flexible panning and tilting and offers an easy link connector for accessories, like GoPro or remote control. The construction features heavy-duty aluminum, which delivers enhanced durability and sturdiness.
It is a reasonably stable tripod and comes with a built-in bubble level indicator to ensure amazing horizontal shots. According to the manufacturer, this design is ideal for travel photography, nature shooting, and outdoor photography.
Benefits and Potential issues of tripods under $200
We firmly believe that a $200 budget is comfortable and flexible enough to ensure a quality investment. You don’t have to compromise on the construction and functionality, as is the case with most budget tripods under $100. It’s easy to find the best tripod under $200 that holds up to its claims.
This is because many leading manufacturers, like Manfrotto and Vanguard, cater to this range. The challenge arises when you cannot increase your budget and have to invest in a lesser-known brand. Brands that command recognition in the industry do not soil their image with low-quality construction. So, be sure to explore tripods under $200 from renowned and established manufacturers.
A $200 enhances your pool of technical functionalities significantly. Most high-end tripods cost more than $300, but $200 is a great budget to get started with professional gear. If this is your first professional and high-tech purchase, a $200 budget is the right choice. We strongly recommend first-time buyers to avoid increasing their budget further.
Why is that? It’s best to start with tripods under $200, explore their functionalities and set your own preferences. As you begin upgrading to advanced tripods, this familiarity will help you find functional gadgets that meet your preferences.
If your equipment frequently breaks because you travel across rugged and unpredictable terrains, tripods under 200 are a viable option. If your current lifestyle and traveling circumstances are causing your equipment to break, it’s best not to overspend. However, if you work with expensive cameras and lenses, this kind of lifestyle demands a sturdy and high-end tripod.
Most professional photographers complain that tripods under $200 are not ideally suited to protect their gear. If you own thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment, a $500 tripod makes sense. But if you’re just starting out, the best tripod under $200 will address your needs perfectly.
Just keep in mind that finding the best tripod under $200 may prove trickier than you think. Manufacturers always make lofty claims, which may or may not prove accurate. More importantly, most travel tripods in this range fail to deliver a high load capacity.
They are not functional with heavy equipment, bulky DSLR cameras, and long zoom lenses. If you work with such gear, you will need a tripod that supports superior load capacity. Naturally, this will require you to increase your budget substantially.
Is it worth buying a more expensive tripod than $200?
Here’s a better question: can you expand your budget above $200? Whether you’re buying a tripod or a notebook, the higher the price, the better the quality. The rules of demand and supply dictate that a higher price ensures higher quality. While that’s not always true, it is true as a basic fundamental of shopping.
So, is it worth buying a more expensive tripod than $200? If you’re a beginner who is experimenting with cameras and different angles, tripods under $200 are ideal for your needs. Most expensive tripods pack up advanced features, which can prove overly complicated for a beginner. They come with advanced locking systems that are difficult to operate unless you know exactly what you’re doing.
Unless you’re a professional photographer who works with bulky cameras and lenses, don’t increase your budget. You can find the right match for your needs within a $200 budget, but it will require extensive research. Most tripods under $200 support a wide range of advanced features, such as rotation, tilting, and panning, locking, and more.
They offer flexibility, stability, and ease of use. You can easily upgrade to a better model without a hefty price tag holding you down. If you like upgrading to new equipment and experimenting with advanced tools, a $200 budget allows flexibility. However, if the max load capacity is a crucial consideration, this budget will disappoint you.
Finding the best tripod under $200 requires meticulous research and close attention to detail. If you’re shopping online, this can get trickier because you cannot experiment with the device. The top 5 picks from our list of best tripods under 200 are highly recommended and tried-and-tested by our team.
As mentioned earlier, it is ideal to stick with a noteworthy manufacturer that enjoys brand recognition and integrity. We’ve had our fair share of disappointing investments with lesser-known brands that make lofty claims. We would never recommend you to do the same. So, spend your money safely with established brands, like Vanguard or Manfrotto.
Our #1 pick from this list is undisputedly the Manfrotto Befree Advanced – a powerful beast of a travel tripod! It is definitely the best tripod under $200 and worth every penny. It packs up a series of heavy-duty features, such as the ergonomic design and QPL level locking mechanism.
If you’re a travel, nature, or wildlife photographer, the Befree will prove a quality companion. It promises stability and security but using it with heavier gadgets can get tricky. Most tripods under 200 fail to support bulky cameras and multiple devices piled at once.
For more related articles please visit our page My Travel Tripod.
Eva is one of the co-founders of MyTravelTripod. She is in charge of the market research and strategic planning of the website. She also enjoys working on the visual designs of the website.
She has one 5 year old daughter and thirteen tripods.
In her free time, she likes hiding under the bedsheets reading her science fiction novels.