What is the best hiking tripod

Travel tripods in the test: These are our favorites! (2021)

The best travel tripods from cheap to professional at a glance

When using a travel tripod to take photos, opinions differ. Some photographers hardly ever take a tripod with them when they travel. They use walls, the ground, or other objects to lock the camera in place for longer exposures. I usually prefer a tripod.

This makes me more flexible in the composition of the picture and the subject. A tripod is essential when photographing the starry sky with the Milky Way.

I now have different tripods. When traveling with a campervan, I always have 1-2 tripods with me. The requirements are always different. If it is windy, you need a tripod that is bombproof. Alternatively, a tripod with hooks so that you can attach a backpack to weigh down. Lightweight travel tripods made of carbon are not always ideal because they wobble.

If you want to take landscape photos without blurring, a tripod is your most important accessory. Because nobody wants blurry photos. A stable camera tripod is essential for long exposures or poor lighting conditions.

There are numerous brands and types of tripods. From inexpensive around € 20 to professional tripods that cost several hundred euros.

Tripods are also available in a wide variety of sizes. From pocket size for small compact cameras to heavy tripods.

Here I would like to show you which tripods are available: From cheap and compact to professional tripods made of carbon.

Choosing the right travel tripod

Which tripod you choose depends on the budget and the type of use. First and foremost, the tripod must be able to carry your camera and the camera must be firmly attached.

Small and light tripods are too shaky for cameras with a heavy lens. Check and test which tripod suits you and your camera before buying. When hiking or traveling with a backpack, you will want to use a space-saving, lightweight tripod. Here are my favorites travel tripods and what I use them for.

My requirements for a travel tripod:

  • Compact tripod (tripod) that is robust but also light at the same time
  • Small pack size
  • Good and logical operation of the tripod
  • Good ball head for quick change between portrait and landscape format

So I have to find a compromise between pack size, stability and weight myself. That's why I've tested many travel tripods over the years.

My conclusion: don't save on the tripod! However, there are good tripods for less than 100 euros!

Aluminum or carbon?

Usually, tripods made of carbon are of higher quality, more stable, less susceptible to vibrations and resistant to cold. Carbon tripods are becoming more and more affordable, also for amateur photographers. That’s a good thing. Everyone has to decide for themselves what they want. I always choose carbon.

Don't you feel like reading the whole article? Here are my favorites:

  1. Small pocket tripod: Manfrotto PIXI table tripod
  2. πŸ₯‡ Price-performance tip: Rollei Compact Traveler No. 1 carbon
  3. 🌟 Absolute favorite and professional travel tripod: Peak Design Travel Tripod - Carbon. Expensive, but the best and well thought-out travel tripod ever!
  4. Monopod: Rollei City Traveler Mono, Alternatively, a travel tripod that you can convert as a monopod, e.g. the Rollei Compact Traveler No. 1 carbon (Price-performance test winner)

Small pocket tripod

These mini tripods are ideal for small compact cameras or action cameras. Ideally, you place them on walls or on the floor from a special perspective. The most famous pocket tripod is the Joby Gorillapod, which serves as a flexible tripod. There are even ball or pan heads for this little tripod.

Pocket tripod recommendation (my favorite):

Another is the PIXI EVO 2 mini tripod. A DSLR can even be attached. Ideally, it comes with a smartphone clamp for smartphone photography.

Rollei Compact Traveler Mini M1 I Black I Lightweight mini travel tripod made of aluminum I Photo tripod ...
  • βœ… The Rollei compact Traveler Mini M1 is the ideal mini tripod for on the go. With its pack size of only 15cm, it fits in any photo bag / backpack or on the belt
  • βœ… the Panorame 3D ball head guarantees extremely high tilt stability. With a load capacity of 8KG, it carries your DSLR reflex camera just like your DSLM system camera
  • βœ… Thanks to the reversible center column and the extendable tripod legs, it is the ideal tripod for macro photography. The dividable central column and the resulting minimal height of 14 cm enables extreme ground-taking macro recordings

Cheap travel tripods

Compact tripods for general use have a low weight and ideally a compact pack size. They are made of lightweight materials such as carbon fiber (carbon) or aluminum. They are suitable for most cameras: from compact cameras to full-frame cameras and the use of large telephoto lenses.

Cheap and good travel tripods are, for example Walimex travel tripod (aluminum) and that I used for many years Rollei Compact Compact Traveler No. 1. I can recommend the latter to anyone who doesn't want to spend more than 100 euros.

Pro Rollei Compact Traveler No. 1:

  • Pack size: 33 cm
  • Weight: 980 grams
  • Panorama ball head
  • Especially for travel and outdoor photography
  • Load capacity: 8 kg
  • Maximum height: 142 cm, min.height: 34 cm

Cons:

  • Cannot be used for photography with a telephoto lens
  • Tripod is quite shaky in windy conditions. You can attach a carabiner to use a backpack as a weight. Sometimes it resonates too.

Professional tripods

The high-quality travel tripods are often made of high-tech material. They offer the best stability for mirrorless cameras with heavy lenses. Of course, these have one disadvantage: They are expensive.

My Gitzo tripod GK1545T-82TQD Traveler tripod with ball headcost around 700 euros at the time. However, it is very well thought out and you can fold the legs completely up on the center column, which makes the tripod compact. Only that is even more compact Peak Design Travel Tripod. Absolute purchase recommendation and test winner.

Since the Peak Design travel tripod was on the market, I rarely use another one.

It is of high quality, made of carbon and 20% more stable than the cheaper aluminum version. No other tripod can match the compactness of this tripod. The accessories are also cleverly built in: smartphone holder, tools for mounting the tripod plate on the camera,

Pro Peak Design Travel Tripod:

  • Ingenious design without wasted space, Test winner pack size
  • Pack size: 39.1 cm, fantastic small diameter, here too Test winner
  • Weight: 1.29 kg
  • Perfectly integrated ball head with portrait format option
  • Especially for travel and outdoor photography
  • Reversible center column with integrated smartphone holder
  • Maximum load capacity: 9.1 kg
  • Maximum height: 152.4 cm (working height without center column: 131 cm), min.height: 34 cm
  • Clamp fasteners are innovative and easy to use
  • Clamping width smartphone holder: 57 mm to 90 mm
  • Segments tripod legs: 5

Cons:

β†’ View Peak Design Travel Tripod on their website

Check out this video about the Peak Design Travel Tripod:

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Gitzo GK1545T-82TQD Traveler tripod with ball head (compact, foldable and light, short column for ...
  • Compact: With the 180-degree hinge system pioneered by Gitzo, the legs fold all the way up around the center column, which makes the tripod ultra-compact
  • Smooth: Separate locks for swivel and ball movements of the head made of extremely high-quality and durable steel and aluminum components for excellent smooth movements
  • Creative shots: When the legs are fully extended, the tripod with the short center column can be set even lower for shots from a frog's perspective or macro shots

Monopods

To be honest, I'm not a fan of monopods (also called monopods). For me these are not a substitute for a real tripod. When we sat in a rubber dinghy for hours in the Arctic and friends unpacked their monopod for the camera with zoom lens, I was jealous at first. But when I saw that it was of no use at all, since the boat was moving with the waves, I knew: I don't need it.

However, if you are looking for an alternative for cities, it can be helpful to avoid blurring. Monopods are often used in sports photography. Since heavy telephoto lenses are often used here, a monopod is a great help. A monopod is not an alternative to a normal tripod for long exposure.

You can quickly convert some tripods into a monopod. The Rollei Compact Compact Traveler No. 1 is one of them. However, I never used the function.

Conclusion travel tripod

You have to find out for yourself which tripod is your favorite. In the past few years I have often swapped tripods and bought and tested another one. In addition to the ones mentioned here, there are numerous other travel tripods.

I am currently totally happy with the Peak Design Travel Tripod. I can't think of a better one. However, I can understand that you don't necessarily want to spend that much money.

You can never go wrong with the renowned manufacturers Rollei, Manfrotto and Sirui.

Another tip: The tripod must be quick and easy for you to use. I've had tripods that were just impractical. The ball head should move quickly in any direction. The tripod legs should be quick and easy to move.

I hope I could help you with my tips! Do you have any further questions about buying advice? Then please leave me a comment!

Here are some more photography tips:

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