Looking for the best travel tripod for your next photo adventure? You’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I share my top 10 tripod recommendations, including options for every shooting style, budget, and level of experience. So whether you’re a beginner looking for your first portable tripod or a serious travel shooter in need of a high-quality tripod to take on lengthy trips, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s dive right in, starting with my number one pick:
If budget is a key consideration, the Manfrotto Befree Advanced Twist Camera Tripod is a great choice; it offers plenty of impressive features, yet it’s currently on sale for just over $150 (and it normally costs just $225).
This travel tripod is portable and compact with a fluid head and twist-closure locking system. It’s ideal for pretty much every travel photography situation, including street scenes, night shots, and landscapes. The carbon fiber build makes it easy to transport, and the three independent head controls clamp the camera quickly and precisely, allowing for quick use and effective panning. Use it to capture stunning motion-blur shots of bikers and cars whizzing by, then lock the head in place to capture a gorgeous vista.
The Manfrotto Befree is just under 16 in (40 cm) when closed, but it can be extended to nearly 5 ft (1.5 m), perfect for capturing those elevated travel shots. And the center column allows you to adjust the tripod height incrementally as needed, which can come in handy when fine-tuning your compositions.
Whether you’re having a staycation or are heading to far-away lands, you’ll enjoy using the Gitzo GT1545T Series 1 Traveler, an impressively rugged pro-level travel tripod that works great even when photographing in tough conditions, such as wind, rain, and rushing water.
The Traveler features a portable, four-section design with an Arca-type ball head, short center column, and shoulder strap. It weighs just 3.2 lb (1.45 kg), which is ideal for long days of shooting; you can carry it for hours without issue – yet it’s capable of supporting 22 lb (10 kg) of weight, so you can easily use it to stabilize your mirrorless or DSLR camera, even with a mounted 135mm or 200mm lens.
At the end of the day, the Traveler is one of the most solid travel tripods on the market, though it does come with a hefty price tag. I really only recommend it for serious shooters, though advanced amateurs who want to invest in a high-level support system should also give it a look.
The Benro MeFOTO RoadTrip Pro Aluminium isn’t very pricy, yet it’s an excellent travel tripod thanks to the sturdy, lightweight design and excellent ergonomics.
The MeFOTO RoadTrip Pro offers rock-solid support to help you blur water and capture star trails, and while it’s made of aluminum (which often makes for heavy products), it weighs just over 3.5 lb (1.65 kg) for easy transportation. You can strap it to your camera backpack or carry it over your shoulder during long hikes, and you shouldn’t experience any discomfort along the way.
The five-section legs extend over 5 ft (155 cm), and they even offer a reverse-fold length of just 15.7 in (40 cm), so you can easily carry the tripod inside a bag or suitcase. The ball head can be locked for accurate panoramic shooting, which often comes in handy when photographing landscapes.
Seeking a solid travel tripod that won’t break the bank? The K&F Concept D254C1 is a top-notch model that can handle all of your travel photography needs, especially if you’re a beginner or hobbyist shooter on a budget, or someone simply looking for a lightweight model to use on occasion.
With a variable working height of 21 in (53 cm) to 63 in (160 cm), the D254C1 allows you to capture a range of photographs, from low-angle landscapes to elevated architectural shots. And for those situations where a tripod is a bit too cumbersome, it converts to a lightweight monopod (or, if you need one, a walking stick!).
The 22 lb (10 kg) load capacity can support heavy cameras and lenses, while the 28mm metal ball head can achieve many angles and even high-quality panoramic shots. You’ll pay less than $150, and given the quality, it’s a real bargain!
Looking for a top-notch travel tripod that offers plenty of height and impressive stability? Then check out the MeFOTO GlobeTrotter, a carbon fiber tripod featuring strong and durable twist-lock legs, a rock-solid base, and – for added flexibility – five-section legs.
The GlobeTrotter extends to a maximum height of 64 in (163 cm), which is ideal for taller photographers and those seeking a uniquely high-angle perspective, and it folds down to a diminutive 16 in (41 cm). In other words, you should have no problem getting sharp shots at any height, nor should you struggle to pack the tripod in your suitcase or camera bag.
The included ball head offers highly accurate panning, plus the tripod looks great (it comes in a range of colors, including silver). Other advantages include the 26 lb (12 kg) load capacity, which means you can mount your heavy DSLR and use the tripod all day long, and the lightweight body, which is perfect for lengthy photo adventures. The price is on the higher side, but the package includes the legs and a very nice head, not to mention a handy case that you can use on your travels!
If you want a cheap, surprisingly lightweight aluminum tripod for travel photography, the Manfrotto Compact Action may be the perfect pick.
The Compact Action may not look like much, but it’s an indispensable tripod for any circumstance; it’s one of the best travel tripods for beginners, and I highly recommend it for anyone just getting started with travel shooting. In addition to the legs, it offers a decent, easy-to-use head, and it can extend plenty high for taller shooters.
The Compact Action’s biggest drawback is the load capacity: It can only handle camera rigs up to 6.6 lb (3 kg), but as long as you’re working with smaller cameras and/or lenses – such as an APS-C mirrorless camera and a kit zoom – you should be just fine.
Leo 2.0 – from the 3 Legged Thing Pro range – is a good travel tripod for hobbyists and even more serious photographers: It’s powerful, versatile, and compact, yet it won’t break the bank. It also looks extremely cool, featuring a metallic silver finish with orange accents (or, if you prefer, a mix of gray and bronze).
The Leo 2.0 offers a range of working heights from 4.9 in (12.5 cm) to a very nice 54 in (1.38 m). If you enjoy capturing sweeping landscapes from a low angle, the Leo 2.0 offers just what you need, while taller photographers will appreciate the impressive maximum height and the handy center column.
This tripod only weighs 3.4 lb (1.52 kg), yet it can hold up to 20 times its weight, so you shouldn’t have a problem capturing sharp images no matter your camera setup.
If you want to invest in a long-lasting tripod, then check out the Legends Jay, a carbon fiber tripod from the highly acclaimed 3 Legged Thing brand.
This adjustable leveling-base tripod is built with travel photography in mind and is well-suited to wildlife photography, landscape photography, and even videography. It comes with three detachable legs and works well on all terrains, so you should have no problem shooting in the wilderness, on a beach, in water – you name it!
Thanks to the carbon fiber design, the tripod weighs just 3.1 lb (1.4 kg) and supports up to a whopping 30.9 lb (14 kg) of camera gear. Even full-frame DSLR users should be just fine (and with a 70-200mm f/2.8, too). Plus, the Legends Jay is impressively compact and can easily be transported inside a camera bag or cabin luggage.
Note that the product linked above does not include a head. You’ll need to buy this separately, or you can grab it as part of a (very pricey) Legends Jay kit.
The Sirui Compact Traveler 5CX may not be flashy, but it’s impressively flexible and costs just over $100, which makes it one of the cheapest models on our list and another great option for beginners.
We love the lightweight design: The Compact Traveler clocks in at just over 1.5 lb (0.72 kg), which is ideal for photographers hoping to work all day with a tripod on hand. And despite the weight, this tripod can handle a 13 lb (6 kg) camera setup, so you can confidently use it with full-frame DSLRs and even (some) telephoto lenses.
The Compact Traveler boasts a working height range of 3.5 in (8.9 cm) to 52 in (132 cm). It’s highly portable, not to mention durable, and it can be used to shoot everything from macro scenes to cityscapes and low-light landscapes. While it isn’t quite as rugged or stable as options like the Gitzo Traveler, it’ll certainly get the job done!
The Vanguard Veo may be the last option on this list, but don’t let that fool you; it’s an outstanding travel tripod, one that can easily handle long trips and offers a winning combination of price and performance.
The strong carbon fiber material, lightweight design, and high-quality ball head make the Vanguard Veo a wonderful tripod for capturing architecture, landscapes, and even wildlife. Plus, the Veo features an excellent 17.6 lb (8 kg) load capacity, extends to 61 in (155 cm), and folds down to 16 in (41 cm).
And the tripod comes with a few bonuses, too, including a leg that converts to a monopod, a plate with a built-in smartphone adapter, and a Bluetooth remote control that is perfect for vlogging. The price tag isn’t low, but it’s not especially high, either, so it’s a good option for folks who are looking to invest in a solid model without spending an exorbitant amount of money.
Best travel tripods: final words
The market is saturated with tripods, but a few rise above the rest. Hopefully, now that you’ve finished this article, you know which travel tripod is best for your needs – and you’re ready to head out on a travel photo adventure!
So pick a tripod, pack it up, and get ready to have tons of fun!
Now over to you:
Which travel tripod do you plan to buy? What will you use it for? Share your thoughts in the comments below!