best travel tripod

Best Travel Tripods | Gear up for 2021

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Blurred images and videos are every photographer’s and videographer’s worst nightmare. I’ve personally experienced it, too, when I’ve carried my camera along for action-packed shoots. Unfortunately, the image quality wasn’t really up-to-the-mark, and I’ve ended up with images and footage that couldn’t even be edited.

This is a common problem, especially if you work with affordable cameras, which do not have a reliable image stabilization mechanism. Even the high-end camera models feature a reasonable in-built autofocus system, which ends up with compromised imagery.

Editor’s Choice
Peak Design Tripod

A lightweight, agile camera tripod perfect for travel vlogs.

When the camera’s image stabilization is dicey or completely non-existent, you need to opt for additional equipment – tripods. A tripod would be a great addition to your kit, especially if you are a traveler or vlogger.

Based on my personal experiences with tripods, I have compiled a guide covering tripods from different brands in various budget ranges. So if you’re looking for the best travel tripod, this is where you’ll find the tried, tested and reliable models. So let’s get started!

Best Travel Tripods in November 2021

Travel light, they say. But how is it even possible with your high-end photography gear that’s just as heavy too? When it comes to tripods, we all know they are super heavy to lug around while traveling. But here’s what you can do – pick lightweight, travel-friendly tripods!

These tripods offer great stability, and you can easily connect them to your smartphone or camera too. Compact and lightweight, these travel-friendly tripods are a great value addition to your kits. Let’s have a look at some of our favorites in this category:

Peak Design Travel Tripod

best travel tripod
A lightweight, agile camera tripod perfect for travel vlogs.

Compatibility: DSLR and smartphoneMaterial: Aluminium
Tripod Head Type: Ball headPayload Capacity: 20lbs
Maximum height: 152.4cmCollapsible Length: 39.1cm

The tripod features a user-friendly design, allowing you to set it up and take it down quickly. Now that’s an essential feature, especially if you’re a travel vlogger and need to capture something interesting right away.

The tripod feels light and sturdy and is narrower and neater than rival tripods. It has a closed length of just 39.1cm. It features fast-locking, low-profile leg cams and deploys within seconds. Despite its short collapsed length, the trip extends to a maximum height of 152.4cm.

The tripod head is slightly fiddly, and it isn’t easy to access the ball head and lock the head movement. But once you locate the ring, you can easily lock the camera in place securely. Then, after regular usage of the tripod, you’ll be able to use it without fumbling.

This Peak Design tripod doesn’t slip, irrespective of the surface you place it on. This is another feature that makes it perfect for outdoor shoots, where you often come across uneven surfaces.

This Peak Design travel tripod does weigh 290g more than it’s carbon fiber version, but that’s not really a problem as it remains light enough to carry around – making it one of the best lightweight travel tripod.

Pros
  • Compact
  • Quick to deploy and takedown
  • Very convenient for travel
Cons
  • Slightly expensive

Manfrotto Befree Advanced Tripod

Super compact advanced tripod from a top brand.

Compatibility: DSLRMaterial: Aluminium
Tripod Head Type: Ball headPayload Capacity: 3.51lbs
Maximum height: 59.45″Collapsible Length: 40cm

Coming from Manfrotto, this tripod is a blend of the best features you’d look for in a travel tripod. It is small, compact, and easy to carry, and fine-tuned with various user-friendly features. As the name suggests, the BeFree Advanced is a step ahead of the original BeFree tripod. Let’s have a look at what makes this model different.

With a maximum payload capacity of 8kg, the advanced version offers twice the payload capacity of the original tripod – which is commendable. In addition, the tripod’s three legs have a good grip, thanks to the presence of the rubber foot at the end of each tripod. So you can use it wherever you want, and you’re assured of the stability your videos demand!

Along with the travel tripod, you also get a tripod bag, which makes strong and carrying around your tripod a lot easier. Such a compact tripod would easily fit in your kit too! It is super quick to set up, which ensures that you’ll never miss out on even one interesting shot you wish to capture.

With a significant upgrade from its original model, this travel tripod has become every vlogger’s pick out there. And yes, it is worth investing in too!

Pros
  • Super compact and ergonomic
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to handle and set up
Cons
  • A stiff, plastic collar that hinders the movement of the column

JOILCAN 81″ Tripod

Robust, agile travel tripod, perfect for bloggers and travelers.

Compatibility: DSLRs and SmartphonesMaterial: Aluminium
Tripod Head Type: Panoramic headPayload Capacity: 25lbs
Maximum height: 81″Collapsible Length: 40cm

This reasonably priced carbon fiber tripod is sturdy and lightweight all at once. It can be configured into versions – so you have a tripod, monopod, and inverted travel tripod all in one single model. This is because the height of this Joilcan travel tripod is very customizable due to an additional short center tube piece.

Although the tripod comes with an interchangeable head, its original head is pretty good enough. It pans smoothly for those panoramic shots and has a leveling bubble to indicate that your camera is properly positioned. The knobs of the tripod head can get a bit confusing. But as a backup, you have a mounting plate, which ensures your camera doesn’t fall.

The tripod legs have a sturdy grip. They come with strong twist locks so even if you try to knock it down, the tripod stays put.

Pros
  • Sturdy grip
  • Lightweight carbon fiber body
  • Different configurations
Cons
  • You may end up with a defective piece!

Best Affordable Tripods

Even as a beginner in photography, I always wanted a tripod in my kit. I didn’t have the budget to splurge on an expensive one, but with a little research, I did find quite a lot of tripod models that are budget-friendly and come with pretty good features.

I’ve compiled my favorite affordable travel tripods in this list, and I’m sure it will help those who are looking for reasonably priced, budget-friendly tripods. Let’s have a look:

Amazon Basics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod

The best travel tripod for everyday use.

Compatibility: DSLRs and SmartphonesMaterial: Aluminium
Tripod Head Type: 3-way headPayload Capacity: 6.6lbs
Maximum height: 158cm Minimum height: 60cm

You can get this Amazon Basics tripod at less than $30. it is affordable, reliable, and great for a start. The wide compatibility of the tripod makes it one of the most sought-after tripods among beginner vloggers. You can quickly set it up, shoot our videos or photos, and put it back in with just as much ease.

The tripod is easy to operate – right from altering the height as required to changing the swivel points for different angles, the tripod has good, beginner-friendly features. I personally opt for this tripod for casual nature, street, or portrait shots, and I must say that you can trust the tripod.

In the first instance, you’ll definitely be surprised about the quality of this tripod, considering its low price. It is perfect for moderate usage, so don’t even try mounting your heavy cameras on it – it is sure to fall down. The legs are slippery, and after prolonged usage, the parts of the tripod tend to fall off.

Pros
  • Very cheap travel tripod
  • Lightweight
  • Compatible with different devices
Cons
  • Not-so-sturdy legs

Fotopro Phone Tripod Stand

A great tripod system for your smartphone.

Compatibility: DSLRs and SmartphonesMaterial: Aluminium
Tripod Head Type: Panoramic headPayload Capacity: 2.2lbs
Maximum height: 40″ Minimum height: 11″

Group selfies have always been a task, but not anymore. With this tripod from Fotopro, you can quickly prop your smartphone onto it and capture the perfect group selfie! The package comes with a tripod, smartphone mount, Bluetooth shutter control button, and a carry case too. Along with smartphones, the tripod is also compatible with cameras from top brands.

You can remotely control the tripod, which is a great add-on, especially for travel vloggers. The wireless remote trigger is compatible with iPhone, Samsung, Huawei, and other smartphones and allows you to shoot from 33 feet away. Weighing just 0.85lbs, the tripod has a good payload capacity of 2.2lbs.

Pros
  • Size and sturdiness
  • Compatibility with cameras and smartphones
  • Excellent customer support
Cons
  • Application of too much force may break the product

Amazon Basics Lightweight Mini Tripod

A good, reliable GoPro tripod that fits well within your budget.

Compatibility: Ideal for GoPro / Action camsMaterial: Stainless Steel
Tripod Head Type: Ball headPayload Capacity: 1.1lbs
Maximum height: 19cm Minimum height: 12cm

This mini tripod is the best you can get at less than $15. Its metal legs are adjustable and feature rubber feet. It works well with GoPro devices, smartphones, small DSLRs and works well with webcams on your desk.

Small and lightweight for travel, this tripod is way smaller than your usual tripods. So if you’re not in the mood to carry out your full-sized tripod for a vacation, you can easily pack this in. It may not be big in size, but it does offer a reasonable amount of stability for both stills and videos.

You can use it on tabletops, shelves, windowsills, and other horizontal surfaces in case of space crunch. Slip it into your travel bag, and you’ll have sturdy, long-term use and endurance for regular on-the-go travel use.

The legs of the tripod don’t have a good grip, because of which may keep tripping as you shoot. Also, the tripod has no locking mechanism, which further adds to the wobbly legs. But if you’re looking for a tripod for starters, this one is a great pick.

Pros
  • Pocket-friendly (both size and money-wise!)
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
Cons
  • Wobbly legs

Best GorrilaPod Travel Tripods

JOBY is the go-to brand for many vloggers, videographers, and even photographers when it comes to good, reliable tripods. These tripods come loaded with the best features in a compact and sleek body, making them very travel-friendly.

The brand has taken into consideration the requirements of vloggers on the move and crafted tripods accordingly. This is also why JOBY is my personal favorite brand – I simply love their tripods. Right from the design, ergonomics, overall usability, features, and most importantly, the cost, the brand has managed to get all the aspects almost right. Let’s have a look at some of the top JOBY tripod picks:

JOBY GorillaPod Magnetic 325

Perfect tripod for point-and-shoot, small cameras.

Compatibility: Small, point and shoot camerasMaterial: Stainless Steel, ABS Plastic
Tripod Head Type: Panoramic headPayload Capacity: 325 grams
Maximum height: 16.2cm Minimum height: Fixed

Well, I always thought that tripods from Joby would be way out of my budget – but that’s not that case with all their products! For example, the GorrilaPod Magnetic 325 – it comes well within $30 – all, without any compromise on stability delivered.

So if you have a point-and-shoot camera or a small camera, you can invest in this tripod from Joby. It has a unique design that instantly sets it apart from other tripods out there. Despite this unusual design, the tripod is strong and sturdy, making it a good travel companion.

There are multiple ways in which you can use this tripod – you can make it stand (although this might get a tad difficult at the start), use it to hold your camera, or you can also use it as a grip to hoist your camera anywhere you like.

Although the model comes in only one color, it is a pretty cool choice amongst vloggers out there. And yes, all these features come at a super affordable price too!

Pros
  • Practical with a versatile design
  • Compact and great for travel
  • Made with durable materials
Cons
  • Making it stand is a task
  • Not extendable

Joby JB01507 GorillaPod 3K Kit

A heavy-duty tripod fit for cameras, smartphones, and action cams too!

Compatibility: DSLR, GoPro, and SmartphonesMaterial: ABS
Tripod Head Type: Ball headPayload Capacity: 6.6lbs
Maximum height: 38.5cm Minimum height: Fixed

The flexibility JOBY’s tripods offer is unmatchable. Along with this flexibility, the tripods are also compatible with a range of devices, making them well fit for your travel kit. You don’t need to carry separate tripods or gimbals for your camera and smartphone – a single Joby tripod is good enough.

This tripod from Joby is no exception – it is versatile, functional, all while retaining its compact and sleek form. One look at the tripod, and you’ll know it has been built to last. You can use the tripod in different ways – use it as a traditional stand or wrap your phone around it.

A super handy camera tool, this tough tripod is easy to carry around too. While Gorillapods typically are very flexible, this one, in particular, is very easy to manipulate as required. It offers excellent stability making it perfect for different genres of photography as well as videography.

Pros
  • Flexible and compatible with different devices
  • Easy to use
  • Can be used as a tripod and selfie stick
Cons
  • The minimum height is too low

UBeesize Tripod S

Super flexible, travel, and budget-friendly tripod.

Compatibility: DSLR, GoPro, and SmartphonesMaterial: Metal, rubber
Tripod Head Type: Ball headPayload Capacity: 2.2lbs
Maximum height: 38.5cm Minimum height: Fixed

A great option for smartphone bloggers, this tripod from UBeesize comes at less than $20. Despite this, the tripod has a range of good features to offer, especially for bloggers and YouTubers. It works well for smartphones up to 3.54 inches wide as well as for cameras from top brands such as Nikon, Canon, DSLRs, and action cameras.

The sturdy yet bendable build of the tripod makes it unique. It offers great stability and a good payload capacity of 2.2lbs too. It has a lot of built-in variations of positions which is again a great feature when it comes to capturing videos.

It has little rubber feet that would not slide, no matter what surface you place the tripod on. Thanks to the reliable locking system, you can securely attach the devices to the tripod without worrying about them falling off. You can also control the tripod remotely, from a distance of up to 30 feet, although you may face issues with wireless control.

Adjusting the overly flexible legs might get difficult, and over time, the legs of the tripod would give in too. The tripod is not built for extremely heavy-duty usage but is a great travel tripod alternative you can consider.

Pros
  • Flexible and compact
  • Compatible with different devices
  • Built-in position variations
Cons
  • Build quality is not so reliable

FAQs

Can I travel with my tripod on an airplane?

Yes, of course! If you choose a compact, travel-friendly tripod, you can definitely travel with it on an airplane. Do ensure you pick a tripod that’s reliable, sleek, and offers great stability too. You have many alternatives to choose from (I’ve mentioned a couple too!) that are cost-effective and make the best travel tripods – no matter what mode of transport you choose.

What features should I look for in a travel tripod?

The best travel tripod will always be light in weight and compact. Despite its compact form, it won’t really compromise on the features and stability it offers. Along with this, you also need to check the max load capacity of the tripod. The grip of the legs of the tripod is important too. If you choose a tripod with all these features, you can rest assured and shoot in any shooting conditions – no matter how tough they are!

What is the difference between a tripod and a monopod?

A tripod has three legs (which is why it is called a tripod), and a monopod has only one leg. Both tripods and monopods have different photographic and video graphic applications. For example, you can use a monopod for close-up shots, whereas a tripod would work well for distant shots. Monopods offer more versatile movement, thanks to their single leg, and are a lot easier to move around. However, they wouldn’t offer the stability a tripod would.

Also read: Best 360 Cameras – Using tripods for vlogging in 2D is fun but take it to the next level with 360 degrees!

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