12 Recommended Travel Tripods


The travel tripod conundrum is a cruel reality of physics and practicality. The larger and heavier a tripod is, the steadier it will hold a camera. The larger and heavier a tripod is, the less likely you will ever want to carry it around or take it on a trip. Why are we left with a photographic reality like that which makes the tastiest food bad for you?

Tripods come in all shapes, weights, heights, and styles. If you are new to the world of tripods, please check out The Tripod Explained article before reading further. Here we are going to recommend travel tripods for the photographer. First, we must ask, “What makes one a ‘travel’ tripod?”

Well, any tripod is a travel tripod if you are willing to travel with it, but some tripods are designed to fold up into a compact package that, in some cases, can fit into a carry-on bag. They are also designed to be lighter than their full-sized counterparts. Usually, they have four or more leg sections, legs that can fold up around the center column, or a center column that drops down between the legs for transport. In general, they do not extend to the same heights as full-sized tripods, so get ready to bend over while shooting. Other than those features, the travel tripod is basically the same as any other three-legged camera support.

I visited the B&H SuperStore and picked the brains of the store’s tripod experts, got hands-on with all of the different options, and have compiled this list of the 12 travel tripods shown here, in price order, with the highest priced (as of press time) first.

1.Gitzo GK1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head

Well, it really doesn’t get any better than the Gitzo GK1545T Series 1 Traveler Tripod and Center Ball Head, travel tripod and Center Ball Head, and the price would certainly indicate that. The entire design of the Gitzo travel tripod is based on maximizing its thin profile. The odd-shaped head is purposely curvy to accommodate the legs when inverted for transport. Gitzo travel tripod legs are narrower than much of the competition, but generally maintain higher load capacities. O-rings seal the top of the twist locks to keep debris out, the legs can be set at one of two angles, and the chassis is made of magnesium. The center ball head is a fine complement to its gorgeous legs and features a separate pan lock knob, screw lock for the Arca-type compatible plate, and a tungsten disulfide coating for silky smooth action. Like Manfrotto, Gitzo sells individual parts for its tripods, so if you wear out a component, it can be replaced.

Gitzo GK1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head

The slightly higher-priced alternative has slightly larger legs, and a 26-lb capacity; the GT2545T.

Gitzo GK1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 22 lb
  • Max. Height: 64.4"
  • Min. Height: 12.6"
  • Folded Length: 16.7"
  • Leg Sections: 4
  • Weight: 3.2 lb

2. Manfrotto BeFree GT XPRO Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with 496 Center Ball Head

Building on the deserved popularity of the BeFree tripod line, Manfrotto has assembled the flagship version of the BeFree travel tripod in the form of the BeFree GT XPRO Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with 496 Center Ball Head. A sleek design and paint scheme makes the tripod attractive to the eye, and a new innovative chassis allows the center column to be inserted at 90-degree angles for lateral applications. Backed by Manfrotto’s quality reputation and the ability to replace parts, this tripod will be a companion for years and years of traveling. The tripod has a 22.1-lb load capacity, extends to almost 65" and collapses to 16.9". Low-angle shooting? The removable center column allows you to shoot at a height of 3.5". The M-lock leg twist-locks feel great in the hand.

Manfrotto BeFree GT XPRO Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with 496 Center Ball Head

The BeFree GT XPRO is also available in aluminum. And the non-XPRO versions are fantastic as well and available in carbon fiber and aluminum.

Manfrotto BeFree GT XPRO Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with 496 Center Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 22.1 lb
  • Max. Height: 64.6"
  • Min. Height: 3.5"
  • Folded Length: 16.9"
  • Leg Sections: 4
  • Weight: 3.9 lb

3. Benro FTA28CV1 Travel Angel Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod with V1E Ball Head

Benro does a nice travel tripod with many full-sized tripod features. The Benro FTA28CV1 Travel Angel Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod with V1E Ball Head has a very respectable load capacity of 22 lb, and can easily handle a DSLR or mirrorless setup. The unit has a lot of center-column versatility because the column can be removed and attached to a removable leg to form a monopod. The leg angle lock design is more reminiscent of a full-sized tripod, just smaller. A unique carbon veneer looks very cool. The V1E ball head is Arca-type compatible, has a separate panning lock, coaxial friction adjustment for the main knob, bubble level, and the Benro P&T (pull-and-twist) safety release system to prevent accidental drops of your camera.

Benro FTA28CV1 Travel Angel Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod with V1E Ball Head

Also check out the alternative aluminum 4-section version.

Benro FTA28CV1 Travel Angel Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod with V1E Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 22 lb
  • Max. Height: 66.9"
  • Min. Height: 18.7"
  • Folded Length: 24.6"
  • Leg Sections: 4
  • Weight: 4 lb

4. Manfrotto 190Go! Aluminum Tripod Kit with Ball Head

One look at the Manfrotto 190Go! Aluminum Tripod with MHXPRO-3W 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head and you can tell that the Manfrotto folks spend a good bit of time on design. The 190Go! tripod has been on the market for a while, but that does not keep Manfrotto from incorporating a modern look into its designs. The innovative design of the center column allows it to be rolled quickly to the 90-degreelateral shooting position—very rare for a travel tripod. The leg-angle locks are little pieces of sculpted art, and the twist locks have snazzy red top and bottom accents. This is a good-looking tripod with innovative design attributes.

Manfrotto 190go! Aluminum M-Series Tripod with MHXPRO-3W 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head

Want a carbon fiber alternative? Check out the Manfrotto Element Carbon Fiber Small Traveler Tripod.

Manfrotto 190Go! Aluminum Tripod Kit with Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 13.2 lb
  • Max. Height: 61.4"
  • Min. Height: 2.75"
  • Folded Length: 21.6"
  • Leg Sections: 4
  • Weight: 4.6 lb

5. Sirui T-025SK T-0S Carbon Fiber Tripod with B-00 Ball Head

One trip to the Sirui display in the B&H SuperStore and you will see that this is a company dedicated to designing and building travel tripods. The very lightweight (1.8 lb) and compact (12.2") T-025SK T-0S Series Carbon Fiber Tripod and B-00 Ball Head is a fine tool for the traveling photographer with a small DSLR or mirrorless camera. Rare among travel tripods, this Sirui has a 2-section removable center column for low-angle shooting down to 3.1". The twist-lock leg design is straightforward and the overall feel of the unit is that of quality. The cleanly designed head is Arca-type compatible and has a separate pan lock knob.

Sirui T-025SK Carbon Fiber Tripod with B-00 Ball Head

The aluminum alternative from Sirui is the T-005SK T-0S Series Travel Tripod and B-00 Ball Head.

Sirui T-025SK T-0S Carbon Fiber Tripod with B-00 Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 13.2 lb
  • Max. Height: 42.5"
  • Min. Height: 3.1"
  • Folded Length: 12.2"
  • Leg Sections: 5
  • Weight: 1.8 lb

6. 3 Legged Thing Corey Aluminum Travel Tripod with AirHed Neo Ball Head

One thing that many of the 3 Legged Thing tripods feature is load capacities that are much higher than other similarly priced and sized tripods. The Corey Aluminum Travel Tripod with Neo Ball Head has a load capacity of 30 lb, larger than any other tripod on this list, while still packing up to a diminutive length. The Corey is a bit more subdued than other models from 3 Legged Thing, but it still features a bit of blue and orange bling. The leg-angle locks are spring-loaded and accessible even when the legs are folded up around the center column. The shiny blue Neo ball head has an Arca-type-compatible plate, built-in bubble level, and single ball control for simplicity.

3 Legged Thing Corey Aluminum Travel Tripod with AirHed Neo Ball Head

A 3 Legged Thing carbon equivalent is the Equinox Leo Carbon Fiber Tripod System & AirHed Switch Ball Head with a 22-lb load capacity.

3 Legged Thing Corey Aluminum Travel Tripod with AirHed Neo Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 30 lb
  • Max. Height: 58"
  • Min. Height: 4"
  • Folded Length: 13.7"
  • Leg Sections: 5
  • Weight: 3.4 lb

7. Oben CT-3535 Folding Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-208T Ball Head

When it comes to versatility, look no further than Oben. You can tell that the company likes packing the maximum number of features into each tripod it markets. Built for mirrorless and small DSLR setups, the Oben AT-3535 Folding Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod and BE-208T Ball Head is no exception. Where do I start? Brought your Oben tripod, but need a monopod or selfie stick? Done. Just unscrew one of the legs. For low-angle shooting, the kit comes with a removable center column and optional included short center column. Also included are retractable spikes, strap, bag, tools, and quick-release plate. The BE-208T head has a separate panning lock, bubble levels, and an Arca-type compatible quick-release plate.

Oben CT-3535 Folding Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-208T Ball Head

The aluminum sibling to this tripod is the Oben AT-3535.

Oben CT-3535 Folding Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-208T Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 9 lb
  • Max. Height: 51.6"
  • Min. Height: 8.6"
  • Folded Length: 12"
  • Leg Sections: 5
  • Weight: 2.5 lb

8. MeFOTO RoadTrip Aluminum Travel Tripod Kit

With 10 color options, the MeFoto Road Trip travel tripod is sure to accessorize your luggage or backpack successfully. The Road Trip has a respectable load capacity suitable for a DSLR rig, and the single foam-cushioned leg can be removed and attached to the center column to form a monopod or selfie stick. MeFoto is specializing in quality travel tripods, and the Road Trip is no exception. The dual-angle leg-angle locks are of the pull tab variety and have a nice feel, as do the two-tone leg twist locks. The ball head has separate panning and friction adjustments, as well as a bull’s-eye bubble level and Arca-type-compatible quick-release plate.

MeFOTO RoadTrip Aluminum Travel Tripod Kit

Carbon fiber fans should check out the MeFoto RoadTrip carbon version that comes in five colors, or the Air versions that feature a smartphone adapter and Bluetooth remote for selfies.

MeFOTO RoadTrip Aluminum Travel Tripod Kit

  • Load Capacity: 17.6 lb
  • Max. Height: 61.6"
  • Min. Height: 15.4"
  • Folded Length: 15.4"
  • Leg Sections: 5
  • Weight: 3.6 lb

9. Oben AT-3565 Folding Aluminum Travel Tripod with BZ-217T Ball Head

Exactly like the Oben tripod mentioned above, the Oben AT-3565 Folding Aluminum Travel Tripod and BZ-217T Ball Head is supremely versatile but has a larger load capacity. The AT-3656 comes with a removable leg for monopod/selfie stick uses, retractable spikes, removable center column, short center column, strap, bag, tools, and quick-release plate. An advantageous 20-lb load capacity means that you can mount up a heavy DSLR and zoom lens. The BZ-217T head has adjustable friction semi-coaxially mounted on the main knob, a separate panning lock, bubble levels, and an Arca-type compatible quick-release plate.

Oben AT-3565 Folding Aluminum Travel Tripod with BZ-217T Ball Head

A carbon fiber alternative is the CT-3565 and BZ-217T Ball Head.

Oben AT-3565 Folding Aluminum Travel Tripod with BC-217T Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 20 lb
  • Max. Height: 61.8"
  • Min. Height: 9.1"
  • Folded Length: 6.1"
  • Leg Sections: 5
  • Weight: 3.7 lb

10. Davis & Sanford TR654C-36 Traverse Carbon Fiber Grounder Tripod with Ball Head

Featuring a load capacity a bit higher than other travel tripods near its price range, the Davis & Sanford TR654C-36 Traverse Grounder also packs in some options usually seen only in full-sized supports. One of the legs has a foam grip for comfort and thermal protection for your hands, the legs can be set at one of three prescribed angles, and the rubber feet have retractable spikes for extra dig in softer terrain. The extra load capacity helps this rig accommodate a DSLR camera with a short zoom lens. The center column is reversible for low shooting and the ball head is Arca-type compatible with a separate panning lock. Also, surrounding the quick release plate are bubble levels for accuracy when shooting. It also comes with a carry bag.

Davis & Sanford TR654C-36 Traverse Carbon Fiber Grounder Tripod with Ball Head

The aluminum TR-553-228 is a more compact alternative.

Davis & Sanford TR654C-36 Traverse Carbon Fiber Grounder Tripod with Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 12 lb
  • Max. Height: 65"
  • Min. Height: 9"
  • Folded Length: 18.5"
  • Leg Sections: 4
  • Weight: 3.25 lb

11. Vanguard VEO 235AB Aluminum Tripod with TBH-50 Ball Head

Innovative: Instead of having the three legs invert and fold up around the center column, the Vanguard VEO 235AB Aluminum Tripod with TBH-50 Ball Head has a fairly unique design that allows the center column to flip downwards for storage alongside the tripod legs. This allows for a much faster setup time, as you are only moving one component, not three, to get the tripod ready to extend. The leg-angle locks are also unique with their spring-loaded push-button releases. Flip-lock lovers will be happy with the two-toned locks on the Vanguard, as well. One leg is padded, and photographers can retract the rubber feet for spikes. It comes with a travel bag. The smooth TBH-50 ball head has a separate panning lock and is Arca-type compatible.

Vanguard VEO 235AB Aluminum Tripod with TBH-50 Ball Head

A slightly larger alternate version, the VEO 265AB, has a 17.6-lb load capacity.

Vanguard VEO 235AB Aluminum Tripod with TBH-50 Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 13.2 lb
  • Max. Height: 58"
  • Min. Height: 7.25"
  • Folded Length: 14.9"
  • Leg Sections: 5
  • Weight: 3.3 lb

12. Slik Sprint Mini III Travel Tripod with SBH-100 DQ Compact Ball Head

A recently updated classic! I am sure many customers might see the price of the Slik Sprint Mini III and SBH-100 DQ Compact Ball Head and think that this is the budget buy of the group. Well, it is, but version II racked up a 4.5-star rating with 114 reviews. Version III is even better. At only 1.9 lb, this Slik weighs less than some stainless water bottles. It is not a tall tripod at 42.4", but that helps add to its stability so it can handle a small DSLR or mirrorless camera system. The dual-lock center column is reversible, but the legs do not invert around it for storage. Regardless, it packs small and the fact that you do not have to reverse the legs to set it up saves time. Each leg has a foam pad and the four-section legs have flip-locks. The center column is two-part that allows for low-angle shooting and the ball head has a single lever and proprietary quick-release plate.

Slik Sprint Mini III Travel Tripod w/ SBH-100 DQ Compact Ball Head

A distant Slik cousin is the Lite AL-420S that features an LED flashlight in the center column.

Slik Sprint Mini III Travel Tripod with SBH-100 DQ Compact Ball Head

  • Load Capacity: 2.2 lb
  • Max. Height: 42.4"
  • Min. Height: 6"
  • Folded Length: 13.2"
  • Leg Sections: 4
  • Weight: 1.9 lb

I hope this helps you find the travel tripod that best suits your needs and accompanies you on your next adventure! Of course, if you have any questions, post them below or feel free to stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969, or contact us online for a Live Chat.

Read more about tripods in these Explora articles: The Tripod Explained and 10 Recommended Full-Size Tripods.


Hi, I am looking for a tripod that works the best with Sony Mirrorless cameras. We go on different adventures such as mountaineering, backcountry camping and kayaking trips. We are 6 2" and 5 2". We are looking for: 



-Does not take up too much space in backpacks 

-Steady and sturdy legs intended for different terrains 

-Does not break the bank 

Any suggestions? Thank you! 

Which tripod works best for macro photography/flower photography, ffor a Canon EOSRP?  Would like a travel-friendly, light-weight, and flexible tripod.  Thanks

Hello! I am looking for a tripod for travel, with low weight but steady, easy to carry on a back pack. Don´t have a clear preference on the legs adjustment system. I have a Nikon D7500, sometimes I do some astrophotography and use a Sigma 100-400 lens (that is heavy!). Any suggestions? Thanks a lot in advance! I live outside the US and I don´t have the chance to go to the store!

A great option to consider for a travel tripod is the Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Aluminum Tripod with 494 Ball Head (Lever Locks, Black), BH # MAMKBFRLA4BK which can definitely hold the weight your current DSLR/lens combo. 



I am looking for a steady, quick to set up (twist lock) travel tripod that is light weight and easy to carry in the back pack. I intend to use it in tough windy terrains including the oceans and deserts. Lever release ball head that supports L bracket is the preferred option. I am 5 11" with a mirrorless camera system.

Any suggestions?

Hello Aseeb,

We recommend the Sirui W-2204K20 Carbon Fiber Tripod with K20X Ocean Runner Ball Head Kit, BH # SISUW2204K20 which has a heavy load capacity, is within your height, offers twist lock legs and the ability to use it in bodies of water easily. 



I'm looking for a lightweight tripod for my Canon 310XL. I'm new to super 8 and am curious as to whether the options on this list are compatible with my camera or if I need to get an older tripod specifically for super 8 cameras? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Hi Conner - 

 Your CANON Super 8 type 8mm movie camera weighs in at just over one pound with the batteries installed. You will not need a "dedicated" tripod for this camera as it features an industry standard 1/4"-20 threaded female bushing.  The tripods featured in this article are for photography cameras however.  Here is a travel tripod recommendation for film/video cameras.


Oben Lander AT-3565 5-Section Aluminum Travel Tripod System & TVH-108 Video Head


Key Features

  • 8.8 lb Capacity Fluid Drag Tripod Head
  • 501-Type Quick Release Plate
  • Spring-Loaded Counterbalance System
  • 5-Section Tripod with 3 Leg Angles
  • 360° Pan, +90° to -90° Tilt
  • 16.7 to 62.7" Height Range/Twist Locks
  • Monopod Leg Conversion/Reversible Column
  • Reverse-Folding Legs
  • Folded Length: 16.4", Weight: 4 lb
  • Spiked Feet & Rubber Feet


Looking for a extreme slender and rather small travel tripod with the requirements:
- no (fixed) center pod (so a form-design like the 'Xiletu XLS 284C' or the 'Aoka CMP163CL')
- no-knop leg-extention-system (so with legs like the 'culman neomax', 'fotopro X-Aircross 1C', 'fotopro BETA-4C' or 'fotopro MS-4K'
- carbon-legs and no plastic ballhead (so NOT like the extreme weak 'fotopro MS-4K' but slightly sturdier)
- extended size between 90cm and 135cm
- loadbaering of +-1,5kg is ok for me (my camera+lens is +-1015 grams)
- weight under 1kg

Need it for month-long backpacking-wildcamping trips.
Trips where I don't have space over in my backpack for thicker tripods
and limit my backpack-volume/weight to aitplane handluggage.

My previous month-long trip was to several Cape verdian islands and next planned is to South-Myanmar.

A tripod that comes to mind for your needs is the Manfrotto Element Carbon Fiber Small Traveler Tripod (Black), BH # MAMKELES5CF, which is extremely compact, lightweight and with a higher load capacity than 1.5kg.




Hi, I am looking for a Tripod kit to go with Canon EOS R camera along with100-400 lens, which also has a monopod conversion feature. Since I will be travelling, I need a light, small and sturdy tripod. Can you kindly recommend some tripod kit (including head) that does not break the bank? I mostly shoot landscapes, birds and portraits. thanks

The Benro Tripster Travel Tripod is a great option.  It has an 18 pound load capacity, is affordable, light weight and can be converted to a Monopod.  It is a great choice.


Hi, I am new to photographer, I brought a Canon M50 with kit lens, I would like to get a tripod,which one would you recommend for a beginner?

Hi everyone, I don’t know if B&H is still reading comments on this article as I know it’s pretty old, but if you guys are, help! I’ve been shopping for an upgrade to my travel tripod, a MeFoto aluminum, and every single person I know and trust recommends something different:  a Sirui, a Manfrotto carbon fiber, a Gitzo, or the new Peak Design that’s (eventually...) becoming available. I’m 6’1”, need it for hikes/landscapes, and use an A7Riv & A7Riii but sometimes with long lenses (70-200 f/4, 100-400). I know I’m tall, but with flip-out screen of the Sonys, I’m more concerned about the weight of the tripod+head than anything at this point. Even the MeFoto aluminum I have now is just a little too heavy for longer hikes. Thanks in advance to anyone who wants to give an opinion!

All of the brands that you have been recommended are good options.  Unfortunately, for a combination of your height and ensuring you have a good maximum load capacity, there are not a lot of tripods that will be lighter in weight compared to the MeFOTO tripod, which weighs approximately 3.7 lbs.  My favorite option would be the the FEISOL CT-3441S Travel Rapid Carbon Fiber Tripod with CB-40D Ball Head, B&H # FECT3441SB40, which is my favorite option, which weighs 3.1 lbs, has a maximum height of 73.6 inches, a folded length of 16.9 inches, and a maximum load capacity of 33 lbs.
A few other options I would recommend that would support the weight of your equipment, but which would be similar or lower in weight and should still be relatively tall enough for your height would be the Gitzo GK1542-82QD Mountaineer Series 1 Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head, B&H # GIGK154282QD which weighs 2.8 lbs, has a maximum height of 62.6 inches, and a load capacity of 22 lbs, the Gitzo GT1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod with Center Ball Head, B&H # GIGK1545TKT, which weighs 2.34 lbs, has a maximum height of 60.2 inches, and supports 22 lbs, the 3 Legged Thing Punks Brian Travel Tripod with Airhed Neo Ball Head (Carbon Fiber, Bronze/Blue), B&H # 3LBRIAN (my second favorite option for your height), which weighs 3.1 lbs, has a maximum height of 73.6 inches, a folded length of 16.14 inches, and supports 30.86 lbs.
For a more economical option, the Sirui W-1004K10 River Runner Tripod Kit,  B&H # SISUW1004K10, and the Manfrotto Element Carbon Fiber Big Traveler Tripod (Black), B&H # MAMKELEB5CF, would also be good options for your usage needs.  The Gitzo options would be the lightest option, the FEISOL and 3 Legged Think would be the tallest at its maximum height, and the Sirui and Manfrotto would be a decent blend of height, weight, folded length, and price. 

It's a shame that Gitzo has such horrible customer service. I've tried to reach them several times and they have never responded. Sturdy products but too bad if you have any sort of problem with one.

Hi I have narrowed down my choices to the Gitzo GT1545T Series 1 Traveler and the Gitzo GT1555T Series 1 Traveler.  There doesn't seem to be much of a difference except max height and folded length.  I will be shooting with my canon 5d mark and canon 16-40mm lens mostly in Patagonia where there are high winds.

Thanks for the write up. Im heading over to NZ in a couple of weeks and im contemplating getting a carbon fiber tripod as its good to bring carry on. I was reading this guide [link removed] and they speak of the Manfrotto MKBFRC4-BH. However after reading this post, I am leaning more towards the Sirui T-025X as it is nearly half the weight. In your exsperince is the stability and rigidity on par with similar Manfortto tripods?

Yes, the Sirui tripod would be similar in stability and strength compared to the Manfrotto tripod.  Unfortunately, both the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod, B&H # MAMKBFRC4BH • MFR # MKBFRC4-BH, and the Sirui T-025X Carbon Fiber Tripod with C-10S Ball Head, B&H # SISUT025X • MFR # SUT025X, have been discontinued and is no longer available for purchase.  The Sirui T-25SK T-0S Series Travel Tripod with B-00 Ball Head (Black, Carbon Fiber), B&H # SISUT025SK • MFR # T025SK, would be the most current replacement to the T-025X.  It is a tad bit shorter with a 53.8 inches (136.7 cm) maximum working height, has a shorter 12.2 inch (30.99 cm) folded length for transport/storage, and weighs 2.2 lbs.   While not half the weight of the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (which weighed 2.4 lbs / 1.1kg), and the older Sirui T-025X weighed 2 lbs (0.9 kg), the new Sirui T-25SK weighs 2.2 lbs (1 kg) but would be stronger than the Manfrotto tripod with a maximum load capacity of 13.2 lbs (5.99 kg).  It would be a good alternative to the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Tripod you originally inquired about above.  The Sirui A1205 Carbon Fiber Tripod with Y-11 Ball Head, B&H # SIA1205Y • MFR #A1205Y, would be another alternative.  It has a maximum height of 55.1 inches (140 cm), has a folded length of 14.6 inches (37.1 cm) for travel/storage purposes, and has a stronger maximum load capacity of 22 lbs (10 kg), while only weighing 2.2 lbs (1 kg).  Both would be recommended for your stated usage.




Hi, this will be the first time buying a tripod. It is for travelling throughout Europe, mainly cities but some off the beaten track, and needs to be light and compact for overhead bins. I have a Nikon D5500 with zoom lenses and a much lighter Sony A6000. I am 5'4" if that makes any difference. Not a pro, just an enthusiast.  Any thoughts?  Thanks so much for your help.

Hi, I can not understand how to choose the height of the tripod to be comfortable, my height is 5.9.? Can you advise?  I'm looking for my first tripod for light travel . My camera is not big it is Fujifilm xt1 and weight with a lens is about 2 lb. And because I am living near the sea, where strong winds, I am thinking about steady and from carbon fiber. 

Typically, the height of a camera is about 3-4 inches (3.5 inches in the case of the Fujifilm XT-1 Mirrorless Digital Camera), and the distance from your eyes to the top of your head is approximately 3-4 inches.  Also, the typical tripod head is between 3-5 inches tall.  As such, you would subtract 3-4 inches from your height to find your eye level.  In your case, your eye level would be If you are 5.9 feet tall (which is 70.8 inches), your eye level would be between 66.8-67.8 inches, which is the height at which the camera's viewfinder would need to be to reach eye level.  You may then subtract the height of the camera from this number to find the required maximum height for a tripod that has a head (in your case, a tripod with a maximum height of between 62.8-64.8 inches).  If you are only purchasing a tripod, and will purchase the head separately, you would subtract the height of the head from this number to find the maximum height needed by the tripod (in your case, 59.8-61.8 inches).  So, if you want a tripod with a head that would be near camera height while you are standing up, you would want an option that has a maximum height between roughly 63-65 inches tall.  If you are buying the tripod and the head separately, the tripod should have a maximum height between roughly 59-62 inches tall.  Hope that helps.

If you are looking for a carbon fiber travel tripod that would work for your usage needs, the MeFOTO RoadTrip Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod Kit (Black), B&H # MEC1350Q1K, the Oben CT-3561 Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-117T Ball Head, B&H # OBCT3561117T, the Oben CT-3581 Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with BE-126T Ball Head, B&H # OBCT3581126T, or the Davis & Sanford Traverse TR684C-36 Carbon Fiber Tripod with Dual Locking Ball Head, B&H # DATR684C36, would all be options that would be close or slightly taller than your usage needs.







This imformation was so helpful for someone like me, who lives over a 100 miles from a good photography retail shop.

Glad we could help, Ron! Let us know if you have questions and thanks for reading!

Great article and information on travel tripod options. I will be using a Canon 1dx with up to a 70-200 and can’t decide between the Gitzo Series 2 or the updated Befree Advanced Aluminum Travel Tripod from Manfrotto that’s not in the article. Is the Gitzo “worth” the extra cost compared to the new Befree for travel purposes? 


Hi Joe - 

For my money, given the very wide gap in cost, the Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Aluminum Tripod with Ball Head (Twist Locks, Black), is an easy choice.  If you intend on using a travel tripod on a very regular basis,  on rugged terrain, and in inclement weather conditions, then the  Gitzo GIGT2545T Traveler Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod makes more sense, given its more robust build - especially concerning its GH1382QD Series 1 Center Ball Head.

The Slik Sprint Mini II sounds like what I am looking for - light, compact, and quick set up.  I use a a T3i with a Tamron 16-300 lens. While the set up is not particularly heavy, I worry about how stable this tripod will be with the moment caused by having a bit longer lens on it.  Will this tripod provide a reasonably stable platform for me?

Hi Eric,

If you were just using the Canon T3i and the Tamron 16-300mm exclusively, then the Slik Sprint Mini II GM would be just fine. However, if adding another lens that is heavier in the future, you would be better off with the Vanguard VEO 235AB, as it is not much longer when folded, taller when opened and holds up to 13.2 lbs.

I am going to South East Asia and have a Sony a7sii and I am using a Sony 16-35 T lens and am trying to purchase a light weight tripod. Any suggestions?

Appeciate the helo.


Hi Engelbert, 

Among the models discussed in the article, the Manfrotto 190Go!, B&H # MAT190GOC4TB is a great model to consider, due to its load capacity and height.

I'm going backpacking this weekend and want to bring my Canon T3i with me and a tripod. My current tripod is the Dolica GX-Series. I love all the features it offers but it's a little heavy/bulky for a backpacking trip/traveling in general.

Would you recommend anything lighter and more compact? Thank you! 

Why don't you include information on where the items are manufactured? I don't buy anything online that I don't know where it is made.

Hey Kevin,

I guess I will take your question as a suggestion and I'll try to edit the article in the near future.

For your reference here are the manufacturing locations I have at the top of my head:

Really Right Stuff - USA

Gitzo - Italy

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for the great article.  I have the mefoto road trip and am going to sell it mainly because of the set up time and but seems awkward to me while walking around.   I hate the twist lock legs and  I really want the quick release legs. I am looking at the Slik Sprint Mini II GM (big sister to the mini at 1.96 lbs).   My real concern is walking around with my canon 5ti with 17-85 Sigma lens on it.  I read below that WK would not walk around with the Silk Sprint Mini with the camera on it.  Have others have experience with this.  I do night photography and walk from area to area on riverbanks.  Having to take my camera off every time would be a show stopper.   Thanks for any help

Hi Maryann,

I can see the concern that WK had about carrying the Slik Sprint Mini II GM while the camera is mounted to is, being that it only holds up to 4.5 lbs.  I would personally be more comfortable doing so with a tripod that has a heavier load capacity. If you were departing from your MeFOTO tripod, but wanted something with the same load capacity but with flip lock legs, I feel that the Vanguard VEO 235AB would be a solid choice.

I will be traveling for a month and am looking for a lightweight tripod for my canon t61. I would like to keep my backpack as light as possible, but still want something stable for night sky photos. I was looking at the Sirui T-025X? What are your thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks Cyndi

Hi Cyndi - 

Great pick Cyndi!  At just two pounds with a load capacity just over 13 lbs and folded length of about 13inches, this is an ideal tripod system for the traveler, hiker, and  backpacker. It is lightweight, robustly built and very stable.

The T-025X Carbon Fiber Tripod with C-10S Ball Head from Sirui is a compact, ultra-lightweight, and stylish tripod with an included head. With upward-folding legs, it collapses to just 13.2", with the head attached, and weighs just 2.0 lb. Supporting loads up to 13.2 lb, this tripod is capable of holding DSLR cameras with lightweight lenses and is ideal for compact and mirrorless cameras and camcorders.

The T-025X features twist locks for easy setup and each leg has and automatic leg-angle lock mechanism for speed and convenience. A removable center column allows for table-top and low angle shooting as low as 7.7", with the ball head. When fully extended, the tripod reaches a maximum height of 54.5" with the head attached.

The C-10S is an extremely capable ball head. Its separate knobs for pan and tilt adjustments enable the user to perform tasks such as panoramic photography while keeping the tilt locked. An Arca-type compatible quick release plate is included, as is a soft carrying case and a tool set.

A removable center column allows for table-top and low angle shooting.

Three leg-angle positions mean each leg can be set independently for use on uneven terrain.

Legs fold up 180º for extra compactness when stored.

For speed and convenience, each leg has an automatic leg-angle lock mechanism

Traveling bag and tools included

Timely information in our world as travel photographers. The information provided is most useful for traveling outside of the US or as hiking/backpacking photographers. Every less ounce will help. 

For domestic traveling, I still use my larger Manfroto carbon fiber tripod and a platform head (Bogen #3028) with a Nikon 810 body & my largest lens is 400mm. I break down the tripod parts and wrap them in bubble warp and send them in a sturdy cardboard box (8x8 in. x 4-5 ft. long) with foam on the bottom and top so that the components will not shift. Duck tape with additional foam padding is used near the head and feet of the tripod. I mail the tripod to the closest UPS service center or to an address where I will arrive for the first day of my trip. Generally, it takes 5 working days for the box to make the trip from the East to the West Coast. Insure the contents. Likewise, save the box and add a new mailing label for the return trip. If your airlines allows and extra bag along with your suitcase, check the box with your luggage.

This matter of convenience of using the same tripod allows me to work quickly, even with eyes closed, with my tripod and multiple lenses with the "Bogen Quick Release Plates" on each lens and camera bodies. One tripod plus one monopod for all shooting for weeks at a time.  

Thanks, Roy! Thanks for sharing your experiences and tips! Good stuff!

can any of the travel size tripod ball heads be removed to be replaced with a ball head with a 3/8 screw ?

The Sirui weighs 2 pounds with the head.

I got the Manfrotto BeFree tripod last May and I litterally hate it. I'm taking it back to trade it in tomorrow for something else. It's the only tripod I've ever fealt that way about before and I've been doing photography for over 50 yrs.

Sorry about your experience, Jim! If you have the time, please share your issues here so that your fellow B&H customers can hear about what you don't like about the tripod.


I'm searching a tripod that fits the following

  • fit into a normal size(not completely sure what that size means) backpack (especially going into a themepark like DisneyWorld)
  • around 6 to 7 feet in height
  • does not have to be super sturdy against the weather, and i'll be using the Sony a7 series camera on it.
  • has a built in video head on top

There aren’t many options that would be overly compact when folded and also have a max height of 6-7’, and fewer options with a video head on top. If you need to fit the tripod in a backpack, it would help to know the size of the backpack you need to fit the tripod in. Depending on the size, you might need to look at an option with either a shorter max height, or something without a video head. You could also consider a monopod with a fluid head: it would be a more compact option that would be able to extend further. I would suggest sending this inquiry to our Pro Photo Department via email with as much information as you can about the bag the tripod needs to fit in, and what exactly you plan on shooting.

When using some of the lighter tripods suitable for travel, I often hang my camera bag down between the legs to offer some weight and balance. Adds a little stability while retaining the benefit of a lightweight tripod. And with today's lightweight cameras, helps keep the assembly steady (and upright) if it is a bit breezy.

Great tip, Ernie!

Most of the tripods above (if not all) do have weight hooks for ballast. Always be careful when hanging your camera bag so that it doesn't accidently fall off the hook, or open up and spill its precious contents on the ground below!

Thanks for sharing the tip!

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