Best Lightweight Travel Tripods

The finest lightweight travel tripods are essential for almost any kind of photography. They provide support in a compact package that will prevent you from developing a hernia during an all-day trek or city stroll.

While they will never be able to match the stability provided by a full-size tripod, they provide sufficient stability to make them very useful backup alternatives.

There is no substitute for a sturdy, robust tripod when it comes to establishing a strong foundation for your photography. The problem is that they’re cumbersome and bulky, so we prefer to leave them at home, where they serve no use.

On the other hand, fragile tiny tripods with lofty ambitions of just around waist height are underachievers that shake in the slightest wind. Fortunately, the finest travel tripods occupy a comfortable middle ground, allowing you to have the best of both worlds.

A clever feature shared by the overwhelming majority of contemporary tripods is that the legs swing completely upward when stowed.

The aim is to extend the central column first, then swing the legs upward, surrounding the head with the tripod’s feet. This may result in a reduction of up to 10cm, or 4 inches in old money, in the total carrying length.

Indeed, many of the finest portable tripods collapse to around 30-40cm in length, making them compact enough to carry within a camera bag or backpack without requiring external tethering.

Most portable tripods include four or even five extendable sections per leg to provide a suitable working height despite their compact carrying size. Some go even farther, with a central column that is divided into two halves.

This results in a higher maximum operating height.

The disadvantages include the fact that each telescoping joint is a possible point of failure, decreasing stiffness, and the bottom leg portions are likely to be very thin and spindly. The high number of twist or clip locks on all of the parts also adds to the time required to put up and fold down the tripod.

Nonetheless, all of this is worth it for the portability of your future three-legged companion. Aluminum and carbon fiber variants are often available, but since travel tripods are so tiny, the weight savings from carbon fiber are typically just around 200g or so, and they may be considerably more expensive to purchase.

Whether they’re affordable or provide a very solid shooting platform, these are the finest travel tripods available right now.

10 Best Lightweight Travel Tripods

1. Legged Thing Leo 2.0

Legged Thing Leo 2.0- travel tripods

The Leo tripod is not your typical tripod. It collapses to a length of only 35cm, yet expands to a maximum height of 146cm and a massive payload capacity of 30kg.

It has a removable monopod leg that doubles as a microphone or camera boom, a Tri-Mount attachment mechanism, and a unique two-section center column.

While you may purchase the legs separately, we suggest purchasing the kit with 3 Legged Thing’s new and improved AirHed Pro Lever ball head.

We adore (obsessed) with the optional Vanz kit, which includes three new feet/legs. Remove the standard legs and replace them with these to create the most rugged, gnarliest table-top micro tripod you’ve ever seen. Although the Leo 2 is neither the shortest nor cheapest travel tripod available, its ratio of folded length to maximum height, coupled with its overall flexibility, makes it one of the finest.

Major Features and Benefits –

  • 3 Detachable Legs
  • Multi- section columns
  • Tri-Mount Plate
  • Parallel Locking

2. Gitzo GK1545T Series 1

Gitzo GK1545T Series 1

To be honest, it doesn’t get much better than the Gitzo GK1545T Series 1 Traveler Tripod with Center Ball Head, and the pricing reflects that. The Gitzo portable tripod’s entire design is focused on optimizing its slim profile. The unusually formed head was designed to accommodate the legs when inverted for transport.

While the Gitzo travel tripod legs are smaller than those of most of the competitors, they usually have a greater weight capacity. O-rings keep debris out of the top of the twist locks, the legs can be adjusted to one of two angles, and the chassis is constructed of magnesium.

Major Features and Benefits –

  • Short center column & Shoulder strap
  • Arce-type compatible ball head & compatible with other brand plates
  • Traveler G-Lock leg lock systemReverse-folding legs
  • Carbon exact tubes

3. Manfrotto Befree 3-Way Live Advanced tripod

Manfrotto Befree 3-Way Live Advanced tripod- lightweight travel tripod

With an increasing number of artists combining photography and videography, it makes logical to invest in a portable tripod that serves both functions.

The Manfrotto Befree 3-Way Live Advanced tripod is built with this objective in mind — a compact travel tripod for photographers coupled with a three-way video head.

The fluid head has a hydraulic damping mechanism that enables the operator to perform fluid camera motions with ease. Meanwhile, the tripod strikes an excellent combination of capacity, weight, and price.

It can carry up to 6kg of gear and is just 2kg in weight. We’ve tried lighter, stronger tripods, but they’ve all been much more expensive than this one.

It is not as tall as some of the other tripods on our list, and we discovered during testing that the design sometimes interfered with regular camera procedures such as battery changes. However, for the overwhelming majority of reasons, this is an excellent all-around bundle that should be seriously considered by any traveling photographer or filmmaker.

Major Features and Benefits –

  • Portrait Mode
  • Fluidity for Video
  • 3-Way Head for Precise Composition
  • Optimal combination

4. Manfrotto BeFree GT XPRO

Manfrotto BeFree GT XPRO

The tripod is visually appealing due to its sleek form and color scheme, and an innovative new chassis enables the central column to be inserted at 90-degree angles for lateral applications.

With Manfrotto’s reputation for excellence and the flexibility to repair individual components, this tripod will accompany you on your travels for years. The tripod has a load capacity of 22.1 pounds, extends to almost 65 inches, and compresses to 16.9 inches. Shooting from a low angle? The detachable middle column enables shooting at a 3.5″ height. M-lock leg twist-locks are very comfortable in the hand.

Major Features and Benefits –

  • 90-degree column mechanism
  • Dedicated to professional macro photographers
  • Maximum Height: 64.6″ / Minimum Height: 3.5
  • Load Capacity: 22.1 lb

5. MANFROTTO MKBFRTA4BK-BH

MANFROTTO MKBFRTA4BK-BH- travel tripod stands

This tripod, manufactured in Italy, is targeted at semi-professional landscapes and astrophotographers who travel often. This aluminum-crafted portable tripod has ‘M-lock’ lever legs rather than twist legs and a ball head. It features three four-section legs and a strong center column.

Those legs unfold effortlessly and lock into position, and each leg has a 180° pan capability. Indeed, the legs fold in on themselves, minimizing the footprint for packing in a bag. It weighs 1.5kg and has a quick-release ball head; nevertheless, it takes some time to get used to, so practice before venturing outdoors in the dark. It’s a bit of a niche tripod, but it’s well worth the investment.

Major Features and Benefits –

  • Quick setup with both hands
  • Side pull selector
  • Three independent ergonomic controls
  • Centre ball head
  • New m-lock system

6. VANGUARD VEO 235AB TRIPOD

VANGUARD VEO 235AB TRIPOD

If you’re looking for a fairly heavy-duty tripod for a DSLR or mirrorless camera with big lenses, this rather lightweight tripod from Vanguard is a good option. This is a brand that often uses aluminum or, for an additional fee, carbon fiber, but seldom offers full-length tripods.

This design, which weighs about 1.5 kg, measures 38 cm when folded and 147 cm when fully extended. As a result, it’s probably not the greatest option if you’re six feet tall, but it will offer more than adequate height for the majority of photographers. The twist-and-lock legs make it simple to extend and collapse the legs while moving, and the ball-head provides enough mobility.

Major Features and Benefits –

  • 1st rate aluminum material
  • Independent leg positioning at 3 different angles
  • Multi-action ball head with 3 independent knobs for lock
  • Exclusive and innovative central column system.

7. MeFOTO Globetrotter

MeFOTO Globetrotter Benro

The MeFOTO Globetrotter is a bigger, more capable version of the MeFOTO Roadtrip, designed for professional photographers who travel with heavier equipment.

It is made of carbon fiber and certified to support a whopping 26.4 lbs, the MeFOTO Globetrotter is capable of withstanding almost everything you or mother nature can throw at it.

When comparing the MeFOTO Roadtrip with the Globetrotter, the two operate in several ways that are comparable. Both include leg twist locks, three distinct leg configurations, and the same button-like mechanism for setting the legs.

Due to its carbon-fiber structure, the MeFOTO Globetrotter allegedly has less wobbling than the Roadtrip while staying lightweight. The MeFOTO Globetrotter maintains the ability to convert to a monopod and, because of its more robust construction, may even be used as a trekking pole if desired.

The MeFOTO Globetrotter retains the Roadtrip’s twist lock mechanism. Again, whether you prefer twist locks versus flip locks is a question of personal taste. To be sure, the Globetrotter’s weather sealing seems to be very efficient, and the Globetrotter’s joints do not appear to loosen as fast as the Roadtrip’s. This portable tripod is very durable.

The Globetrotter’s most remarkable feature is its affordability – at almost half the price of many of its rivals, the Globetrotter performs nearly as well.

At 3.7 lbs, it’s also very lightweight, but here is where it falls short of the competition. Many carbon fiber tripods weigh less than three pounds, which negates the point of purchasing the premium material in the first place.

Major Features and Benefits –

  • Separate controls for pan lock, drag, and friction.
  • Arca-Swiss style quick release plate
  • Q2 triple-action ballhead
  • Great for both compact and full-frame cameras
  • Travel photo tripod and monopod in one

8. MeFOTO Roadtrip

MeFOTO Roadtrip- travel tripod

The MeFOTO Roadtrip is a great alternative to the Vanguard Alta Pro for those looking for a somewhat lighter tripod. This compact portable tripod is very capable and capable of handling the majority of photography conditions. While not as nifty as the Vanguard, the MeFOTO Roadtrip nevertheless has the necessary cuts.

As with other tripods, the MeFOTO Roadtrip’s legs may be adjusted in three positions: wide, standard, and free, the latter of which is often used for packing.

I’ve found that the second choice is generally the most helpful since it establishes an ideal foundation for the majority of shooters. The first is mostly used to lower the tripod to the ground – albeit not as low as the Vanguard Alta Pro.

Changing the leg position is as simple as pressing and withdrawing a button.

By removing one of the legs, disconnecting the center column, and then reconnecting the two (BOOM! ), a monopod is created. This configuration is ideal for running and gunning without having to worry about lugging around a bulky three-legged monster.

The MeFOTO weighs in at 3.6 lbs. Although it is supposed to carry over 17 pounds of equipment, many photographers claim that the MeFOTO still wobbles when fully extended.

This is most likely due to the tripod’s low weight, as well as the legs being divided into five parts, which is not ideal.

Major Features and Benefits –

  • Carry Case included
  • Also a Monopod
  • Twist Lock Legs with Anti-Rotation System
  • Compact and light weight
  • Travel Friendly
  • Supports up to 17.6 lbs
  • 360-degree Panning
  • Sleek Design

9. Benro Slim Aluminum Travel Tripod

Benro Slim Aluminum Travel Tripod- lightweight travel tripod

The Benro Slim is a solid choice for photographers on a budget looking for the cheapest travel tripod that yet comes from a renowned company.

With a weight of 2.6 pounds, this tripod is ideal for travel. Additionally, a weight hook will assist mitigate some of the disadvantages of utilizing a lightweight tripod.

The tripod is comprised of four leg pieces secured by twist locks. Each leg may be adjusted to one of three different angles to provide additional height choices. This enables the tripod to be extended from 15.7 to about 57 inches. Additionally, you may flip the central column for maximum height adjustability.

Additionally, the tripod comes with a ball head equipped with a bubble level.

So why is the pricing so low?

Without reverse folding legs, the Benro Slim does not fold as compactly as the others on the list. This results in a quicker setup time while taking up about four more inches of space in a bag.

The Slim, like the BeFree, has one of the smallest capacity limits on the list, at 8.8 pounds. Additionally, the tripod’s weight of fewer than three pounds may indicate that it is not as robust as some of the more expensive alternatives.

Major Features and Benefits –

  • Removable single action Billhea
  • Lightweight magnesium shoulder
  • The arce-Swiss-style camera plate
  • Anodized aluminum twist locks
  • Slim profile shoulder

10. Sirui W-1204 4-Section

Sirui W-1204 4-Section

Sirui is one of the few companies that offer waterproof tripods. As a result, the W-1204 is one of the finest choices for serious outdoor photographers.

The tripod is equipped with a sealing system. The twist locks will still function whether you shoot in the rain or submerge the legs in shallow water.

The feet bring the outside design to a close. By unscrewing the interchangeable feet, they may be converted to rubber or spiked. Twist locks secure the leg pieces in place, allowing for a maximum height of 65 inches.
Additionally, this Sirui has the greatest weight capacity of any tripod on our list. It can hold up to 33 pounds of gear while weighing just 3.1 pounds

A counterweight hook increases the tripod’s stability even more. The legs wrap around the central column, resulting in a more compact folded size.

When folded, it measures 19.3 inches and has just four leg parts. With a height of 5.7 inches and a detachable leg that doubles as a monopod, the Sirui scores high on flexibility.

Major Features and Benefits –

  • Each leg has an automatic leg angle lock mechanism
  • Ergonomic leg angle locks
  • Lightweight 10 layer 100% carbon fiber
  • Waterproof leg design
  • Waterproof carbon fiber tripod

Conclusion

Shopping for a travel tripod may be perplexing owing to the abundance of options available in 2021.

This is exacerbated by the huge number of unknown companies selling devices with comparable specifications on Amazon

Concentrate your search on the travel tripods on this list to limit your selections to the finest alternatives for the typical traveling photographer.

Remember to bring a tripod on your next vacation – you’ll return with a greater range of photographs, and even if you go alone, there will be more shots of you.

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