Creating a list of the best travel tripods can be difficult because there are not so many differentiating features that you can compare. Unlike other devices used in photography, such as camera or lens, a tripod is simply a basic tool with one main purpose – to hold a camera securely.
However, when you dig deeper into searching for the best travel tripods, you will realize that there is more to them than meets the eye. Most tripods can accomplish their roles of supporting cameras sufficiently, but there are some features that distinguish these kinds of tripods from the best travel tripods on the market.
A carbon fiber tripod is lighter and stronger than plastic or aluminum tripods, but it is normally more expensive. However, the ZOMEI Z699C can be an exception because it is surprisingly affordable. When collapsed, it only measures 35 cm, so you can easily pack it in your carry on bag.
What makes the TR553-P228 tripod unique is its ability to collapse to only about 30 cm (1 foot) in length. It can accomplish this if you invert its legs 180 degrees wherein the ball head is hidden within the legs. While considered a portable tripod, it can still hold a load of 10 lbs.
Although the Dolica AX620B100 is considered a “budget tripod,” it has many features that are not usually found on other budget tripods, which makes it a great value for your money. All three legs of this model have foam padding, which helps with grip and also provides support when you carry the tripod with a camera attached to it over your shoulder. You can extend the 4-section legs quickly to a height of 60 inches through the lever locks. To help with grip when you put the tripod on softer surfaces like grass, you can extend out a spike from the rubber feet.
Manfrotto has traditional flip-levers that this model also uses to open and securely lock the legs. Some photographers prefer this type over the “twist” mechanisms because it is easier to control, especially if you have large hands, and you can also easily see if a leg is not locked simply by looking at it. What really makes this tripod attractive to most people is its size and weight. It is a portable tripod that allows you to be free, hence its name.
While Amazon tends to make affordable imitation products, they are still quite unique. The legs of this tripod have one fixed open position that a sliding brace holds in place. This brace also functions to stabilize the structure. There are two leg locks that you can easily open at the same time to extend the legs. You can set up this tripod really fast as it can go from folded to a standing position in a matter of seconds.
Compared to the MeFOTO Globe Trotter, the Roadtrip is not much smaller when it comes to height, but the structure is much thinner. This means that while it cannot carry as much weight, it is much more portable and much lighter. When folded, the tripod is only 72 cm long, so you can pack it in your backpack or a small camera bag.
Other tripods have limited positions when it comes to the movement of the central column, but this model has a Multi-Angle Central Column. This means you can move it from 0 to 130 degrees in numerous horizontal and vertical positions without removing it from the tripod. This will make it easier for you to position the tripod correctly.
This product is an extremely compact lightweight tripod that you can even carry around in your jacket pocket and organize within seconds every time you need a steady shot. If you are a photographer who finds a full-sized tripod to be too bulky, the Pedco UltraPod II is the ideal one to bring with you. Because of its “D-ring Velcro cinch strap,” it offers more flexibility than a regular tripod. This feature allows you to secure the tripod easily to thin sturdy objects like tree branches and posts.
In addition to its beautiful angles and curves, this model is a mini tripod that you can customize to fit your needs. It comes with a standard ball head that you can lock and release by means of pressing a button. You can extend the legs to their one position and the feet have rubber padding to help with grip.
While other tripod manufacturers are focusing on creating lightweight products with firm legs, Joby turned the other way, and created a tripod that flexes. With this tripod, you can attach your camera to almost anything. Instead of using it to stand straight on its legs, you can bend the legs of the Gorillapod and shape them to wrap around fixed items, steadily holding your camera in spots you couldn’t imagine before.