Hobby & Sports

The 7 Best Travel Tripods – [Reviews & Guide 2019]

No matter if you’re just getting into photography or are a seasoned pro, if you are traveling with your camera a compact, lightweight tripod will be invaluable to get the perfect shot.

Blurry shots can seriously put you in a bad mood and ruin those opportunities that you may never have again. What you need is one of the top travel tripods.

We’ve done the research testing out all the top brands and models so you don’t have to. Let’s get started!

Best Travel Camera Tripods

 OMEI Z699C Portable TripodBONFOTO Travel Camera TripodGEEKOTO Ultra Compact Tripod
editors choice
Material:Carbon FiberCarbon FiberAluminum
Functionality:Monopod, TripodMonopod, TripodMonopod, Tripod
Height:13.8" to 40"21" to 59"15" to 55"
Collapsed:14.6"15.3"14.5"
Weight:3.3 Pounds3.2 Pounds2.8 Pounds

For more of my top gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Beginner Cameras, Wildlife Cameras, Camera Backpacks.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Travel Camera Tripods – 2019

  1. ZOMEI Z699C Carbon Fiber Portable Tripod
  2. BONFOTO B690C Lightweight Carbon Fiber
  3. GEEKOTO 58″ Ultra Compact Lightweight
  4. TYCKA Rangers 56″ Compact Travel Tripod
  5. ZOMEI Compact Light Weight Travel Camera Tripod
  6. Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Aluminum Tripod
  7. BONFOTO B690A Lightweight Aluminum Tripod

Our reviews to the top rated travel tripods with our comparison table and buyers guide will help you choose the right tripod for you.


Best Travel Camera Tripod Reviews

If you’re on the hunt for the best carbon fiber tripod on the market today, try checking out the ZOMEI Z699C. This model is perfect if you’ll be taking it out in extreme temperatures and climates.

Use it for taking gorgeous photos of landscapes, vistas, animals and more with ease and reliability.

When it lands on your doorstep, you’ll see that the tripod comes in a carrying case, complete with a velvet bag around the ball head.

Expand To See More

 At first, it will be assembled in the tripod configuration, however, you can also convert it to a monopod with an adapter screw and instructions to guide you through the quick process.

What’s great about the monopole option, is that it’s much more easy to take with you while shooting in the snow, or while hiking/climbing.

Staying consistent with its sturdy characteristics, you’ll find that the legs are quite durable and independently lock in different positions.

That means that even on uneven surfaces, you’ll get reliability and perfectly even shots. If you choose, you can also take advantage of the hook for hanging weight for added support.

Carbon fiber is also an excellent option, thanks to how lightweight it is. Weighing just over 3 pounds, you’ll hardly notice it in your backpack, and won’t weigh you down while hiking.

Despite this, it can support an impressive amount of weight: 33 pounds, in fact.

If for whatever reason you’re still on-the-fence about the Z699C, it also comes with a 12-month, worry-free warranty!

 

ZOMEI Z699C Carbon Fiber Portable Tripod at a Glance:

  • Construction: Carbon Fiber
  • Functionality: Monopod, Tripod
  • Height Range: 13.8 to 40 inches
  • Collapsed Length: 14.6 inches
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds

Next up, we have the BONFOTO B690C camera tripod, which is one of the best tripods for DSLR cameras.

Considered by professionals as one of the top options, it comes with an array of attractive features that are sure to take your photos to the next level.

If you’re looking for a high-quality, convenient model then keep on reading.

Expand To See More

Just like the previous model, the B690C is made up of the coveted carbon fiber, which is temperature resistant. That means that you can shoot in any season, and just about any temperature without worry.

To make it even more convenient in outdoor settings, it can be folded up in just seconds.

As we can’t control our outdoor environments, it’s important to have a tripod that is easily adjustable in all aspects.

The 360-degree horizontal swivel and 90-degree vertical platform with a 3-way head will leave you completely unrestricted and able to take shots at any angle. This means that you’ll also be able to more quickly transition between shots.

If you need a taller tripod, this is also a nice choice. With a max height of 59 inches, it’s notably higher than many other competitor options.

If that weren’t enough, you can also utilize the lengthened aluminum tube you can attach under the ball head or under the leg of the tripod.

Speaking of tripod legs, these can be adjusted to any angle, and can be used as a monopod as well.

 

BONFOTO B690C Carbon Fiber Travel Camera Tripod at a Glance:

  • Construction: Carbon Fiber
  • Functionality: Monopod, Tripod
  • Height Range: 21 to 59 inches
  • Collapsed Length: 15.3 inches
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds

When traveling, convenience is of the utmost importance; more so when you’re taking an expensive camera along for the ride.

To help facilitate things, the Geekoto Tripod has been made with an array of impressive features that consistently has it ranking at the top of reviews.

Aside from that, you’ll be completely unlimited in photo-capturing possibilities.

Expand To See More

No matter if you’re traveling by plane, by foot, or by boat, the fact that this tripod only weighs a mere 2.8 pounds will greatly make things easier for you

You’ll hardly feel the addition to your bag, even if you’re traveling long distances. As it can fold down to just 14.5 inches, you’ll seamlessly be able to find space for it in your luggage or backpack, too.

Setup is super quick and straightforward, with 4-section column legs and a 2-section central tube with quick-release flip-locks.

This means you can adjust the height anywhere from 15 to 55 inches in a few seconds. Each leg can be adjusted to three different heights, which is helpful for various types of terrain and surfaces but we would’ve liked to have seen more adjustment options.

You’ll also find the inverted center column is the perfect aid in macro photography.

Perhaps our favorite feature was the 360-degree panorama ball-head which can rotate in virtually any direction needed and can help you create beautiful panoramas.

Finally, it also comes with a 1-year warranty to ensure you’re receiving one of the best compact tripods out there without concern.

 

GEEKOTO 58″ Ultra Compact Tripod at a Glance:

  • Construction: Aluminum
  • Functionality: Monopod, Tripod
  • Height Range: 15 to 55 inches
  • Collapsed Length: 14.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds

Designed to be impressively stable, the TYCKA Rangers 56” Compact Travel Tripod is made with some of the best materials out there.

However, it’s really the precision engineering that has made it what it is, receiving recognition from pros all over the world. If you want to safely secure your DSLR with complete confidence then this one is it.

At first glance, you can see that this tripod really is a looker, complete with a matte black body and rose gold details. However, the visual attractiveness is really just a bonus to this incredibly designed product.

Expand To See More

The best mini tripod includes a short attachment to let you shoot as low as 7.87”, and the central pole can even be inverted for low-angle shots and macro photography!

If you want higher shots, then use the four-segment poles with quick release flip-locks to take it anywhere from 14 to 56 inches in just seconds.

The two control knobs and ball-head let you rotate the camera a full 360 degrees to make sure you can take photos any way you want.

While the 2.9-pound model is already very convenient, if you want to simplify things further, it comes with a removable leg with foam grip that can be used as an alpenstock – ideal for walking.

If you’d prefer, it can also easily be converted into a monopod.

 

TYCAK Rangers 56″ Compact Travel Tripod at a Glance:

  • Construction: Aluminum
  • Functionality: Monopod, Tripod
  • Height Range: 15 to 56 inches
  • Collapsed Length: 14 inches
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds

If you’re trying to find one of the best lightweight tripods out there, but are on a tight budget, then you’re in luck. The ZOMEI Compact Lightweight Travel Portable Aluminum Camera Tripod is just the one for you.

Not only is it one of the lightest out there, it’s incredibly affordable – so much so that we had to triple-check the price!

While it’s not a main selling point for most, it’s nice that you get a few colors to choose from to personalize your set up a little more: Black, Orange, Blue, and Red all look modern and metallic.

Expand To See More

The tripod is 19 inches when collapsed, which isn’t the smallest we’ve seen, but is still small enough to easily place in a backpack.

The good news is that it can extend all the way to 58 inches, while weighing a mere 2.5 pounds so you’ll be able to hike or walk without added strain on your body.

As all aluminum alloy legs are self-adjusting, you will get a reliably even platform every time, no matter where you are. You can even use the included hook to hang weight on to lower the center of gravity.

This can help make it more sturdy while also reducing vibration to ensure a sharp shot.

There are a couple potential downsides we should mention, however. First, is that while there is a pan-head, it doesn’t pan a full 360 degrees.

The aluminum legs are tough and lightweight, though they’re not weather-resistant and may get too hot or cold in extreme temperatures.

Either way, it’s still one of the best cheap tripods out there, and if you’re not using it in extreme climates, there’s no need to worry!

 

ZOMEI Compact Aluminum Camera Tripod at a Glance:

  • Construction: Aluminum
  • Functionality: Tripod
  • Height Range: 19 to 58 inches
  • Collapsed Length: 19 inches
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds

On the other side of the spectrum, if you don’t mind spending a few more bucks, then we have something really great for you: the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB Aluminum Tripod.

Once again, it’s not ideal for extreme temperatures, though it has countless other selling points. It is, after all, one of Amazon’s best-selling tripods for a good reason.

While we say “a few more bucks”, it’s still relatively inexpensive in relation to many others on the market today.

Expand To See More

The 26mm, 3-section aluminum alloy legs easily adjust to either 25, 50, or 80-degree angles. This helps pull off low-angle photography, amongst just adding more versatility to your photos.

In addition, you’ll get a multi-angle central column which lets you move it 180 degrees to various positions. Thanks to the Instant Swivel Stop-n-Lock system, you can quickly reposition the column in just one motion.

The quick-flip leg locks let you adjust with speed, and the rubber feet with retractable spikes will hold steady even on slippery surfaces.

An included removable hook lets you hang camera accessories, or use it for extra weight to add stability and help with vibration/shock control.

 

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Aluminum Tripod at a Glance:

  • Construction: Aluminum
  • Functionality: Tripod
  • Height Range: 28.2 to 68.2 inches
  • Collapsed Length: 28.2 inches
  • Weight: 5.4 pounds

Lastly, we have the best budget tripod: the BONFOTO B690 Lightweight Aluminum Tripod.

Despite being so affordable, it’s actually a pro-level model made to make your photography a simpler process with better results. Let’s dive in a bit deeper. 

The adjustable-height model is comprised of lightweight aluminum, as the name would suggest.

Expand To See More

While this makes for an incredibly durable and lightweight design, it’s not ideal for very hot or cold environments.

As it can be folded 180 degrees in reverse, it does fold into just 14.5”, which is perfect for space-saving. Weighing a mere 2.6 pounds, it won’t weigh you down, either.

However, if you already have a full backpack, you can simply use the included tripod carrying bag!

Aside from that, you’ll also get a 360-degree horizontal swivel and 90-degree vertical platform with a 3-way head. This literally lets you take photos at any angle you want, while also facilitating quick transitions between shots.

The quick-release mounting plate also lets you remove your camera quickly to prevent any accidental dropping.

Unfortunately, the max load capacity is only 17 pounds, which is notably lower than many on our guide. However, this is still sufficient for most users.

 

BONFOTO B690A Tripod at a Glance:

  • Construction: Aluminum
  • Functionality: Tripod
  • Height Range: 14.5 to 55 inches
  • Collapsed Length: 14.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds

Best Travel Camera Tripod Comparison Table

Travel Tripods MaterialFunctionalityHeightWeightRating
ZOMEI Z699C TripodCarbon FiberMonopod, Tripod13.8" to 40"3.3 lbs4.3 / 5.0
BONFOTO Camera TripodCarbon FiberMonopod, Tripod21" to 59"3.2 lbs4.6 / 5.0
GEEKOTO Compact TripodAluminumMonopod, Tripod15" to 55"2.8 lbs4.7 / 5.0
TYCKA Travel TripodAluminumMonopod, Tripod15" to 56"2.9 lbs4.5 / 5.0
ZOMEI Travel TripodAluminumTripod19" to 58"2.5 lbs4.6 / 5.0
Vanguard Pro TripodAluminumTripod28" to 68"5.4 lbs4.3 / 5.0
BONFOTO Travel StandAluminumTripod14.5" to 55"2.6 lbs4.6 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Travel Camera Tripod – Buying Guide

best mini tripod

Since you’re here, you already know why camera tripods can benefit you with travel photography. However, you may be having trouble finding the perfect one for you.

Even though there are so many excellent models to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down the options to just one. That’s why we’ve decided to go ahead and write up the comprehensive buying guide, below.

This guide will take you through each step of the process, ensuring that by the time you’re done reading through it, you’ll have no doubt which is the tripod for you!

Size and Weight

While it’s always a good idea to have lightweight and easily portable camera equipment, it’s even more crucial when we’re talking about travel.

You want everything to be as lightweight as possible while still maintaining a high level of durability and reliability. If you’re going to be walking or hiking long distances, this is particularly of importance, as you can tire out quickly which will be a damper on any trip.

Even if you’re just traveling by air, bus, or vehicle, you still don’t want extra weight in your luggage or backpack.

It doesn’t matter how lightweight your tripod is, however, if it doesn’t even fit in your bag! If you need height in your tripod that’s great, but just make sure it can collapse down small enough that it will fit in your luggage.

Generally speaking, heavier tripods are going to be more stable. Keep in mind that many do have included hooks that give you the option to add extra weight to prevent vibrations and to maintain steadiness.

Material and Durability

The material your tripod is comprised of will directly affect the level of performance you get out of it. There are two main materials the aforementioned products are made out of: aluminum and carbon fiber. Let’s take a look at each one and their properties.

best lightweight tripod
Carbon Fiber BONFOTO tripod vs Aluminum Vanguard Alta Pro

Aluminum

Aluminum is very lightweight and tough, which is why it’s so often used in travel tools. Not only that, but it’s very affordable. However, it’s still a metal, which means that it’s going to get cold in cold weather and hot in hot weather.

Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber is the preferred material for top-quality tripods. While aluminum is a great budget-friendly alternative, nothing can compare with carbon fiber. It’s essentially weather resistant; won’t get too hot in the sun nor will it get frozen in frigid environments.

Aside from that, it’s practically indestructible and will last for years to come. It’s extremely lightweight, too, though will cost you more.

There are many tripods out there made with plastic, however, none on our guide are for a reason. Plastic is terrible in outdoor environments, as it can get easily damaged and warped. best tripod for dslr

Load Capacity

You’ll have noticed that the above mentioned products all vary widely when it comes to load capacity. The load capacity refers to the amount of weight a tripod can comfortably bear.

Each one of the products we reviewed on our guide can safely hold your standard DSLR camera without issue. However, if you have extra lenses that are particularly heavy, you’re going to need a greater load capacity.

You don’t want your tripod shaking under the weight of your camera, as this can greatly affect the quality of your shots in a negative way.

Tripod Head

The tripod head is another crucial part of the capabilities of your tripod. There are various types out there. More affordable models often have tripod heads that move 180 degrees in both directions, and nothing else.

There are other more expensive options which will give you full 360-degree movement, along with a 90-degree up-and-down movement. With this, you’ll be completely unlimited in the shots and angles you can take advantage of.

best compact tripod

Tripod Legs

The legs of the tripod are undoubtedly the most important part! While “tripod” refers to three legs, there are some that can be transformed into a monopod. Monopods can be much more convenient to use if you’re walking or hiking.

However, it’s about so much more than just the amount of legs. As you’re going to be using the tripod outdoors, you’re most likely not going to be on an even surface.

That means you want a model with adjustable legs. The amount of adjustability will depend on the model. Some only come with a few different options, while others will automatically adjust without you having to do a thing.

best budget tripod

Cost

Before you do anything else, it’s a wise idea to figure out a budget for yourself. How much money are you comfortable with spending on one of the best travel camera tripods?

Make sure you have a number or a range in mind and don’t go over this. This is to ensure you won’t have buyer’s remorse. We want you to completely enjoy your new tripod!

FAQs About Travel Tripods

Q: Do I actually need a tripod for travel photography?

A: It’s most likely not going to be necessary for you to use it in every situation. Unless you have very shaky/unstable hands, then there are cases where you can probably use a kind of shoot-and-go approach. However, if you’re shooting vistas, landscapes, animals, and so on, you’ll probably need a tripod. This is to ensure complete stability and clarity.

Q: Do tripods fit all cameras?

A: The majority of cameras are going to have a ¼” female thread on the underside of the camera. Thus, most tripods are going to come with a detachable plate with a ¼” male screw. With that in mind, most are going to fit most cameras. However, there are a few which have a 3/8” screw, so always revise if you have doubts.

Q: What is a 3-way head?

A: These are essentially a pan head which lets you adjust all the three axis individually. You can use one lever to pan, tilt up/down, as well as tilt to the side. 3-way heads can be used with extreme precision which makes them amazing for macro photography and taking shots of nature.

Q: What is a ball-head?

A: These operate by attaching the camera to a metal ball which is housed inside the tripod head. This facilitates a seamless movement in all 3 axis. To change the position of the camera, simply turn a knob, which lets you freely rotate it.

If you turn the knob in the opposite direction, it will then lock the camera position. What’s great about this, is that you can adjust the position much faster than with a 3-way head. The downside? That it’s not as precise as a 3-way head.

Tips For Choosing Travel Camera Tripods

#1: If you’ll be traveling with your tripod by plane, make sure it will fit in your carry on.

While you can of course place it in your checked bag, to protect it best, you should attempt to fit it in your carry on. While each of the models on our guide do fit the travel standards, make sure that it will fit comfortably inside the bag that you’re choosing to fit in the overhead compartment.

#2: If you’re using spiked feet on your tripod, make sure to remove them before you get to the airport.

In addition to that, make sure that you pack them separately. It’s best to place them in your checked bag, or you may run into problems with the TSA.

#3: Make sure to properly maintain and clean your tripod to extend the lifespan.

Even travel camera tripods should be kept dry as much as possible. Never stow it away while it is wet, or it can start to break down the materials quicker than normal. Use a microfiber cloth to keep it dry and clean, and also store it horizontally in its included bag.

Summary

Now that you’ve had the chance to read all about the best travel camera tripods, which one is just right for your photography ventures?

While each of the products are some of the very best on the market today, it’s most important that you choose the perfect product for what you’re looking to accomplish.

We hope that this guide has helped you accomplish exactly that. Thank you for tuning in, and we’ll see you again soon!

Weight
Features
Quality

The ZOMEI Z699C is our Editor's Choice for the best travel tripod with its combination of weight, quality and features.

User Rating: Be the first one !

Notice:

OutsidePursuits.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. OutsidePursuits.com earns fees from products sold through qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon.com. Amazon offers a commission on products sold through their affiliate links.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button
Close