With the outdoors being a perfect photography subject, it’s always a good idea to bring a camera. However, it can be quite challenging to get that beautiful panorama shot without the best backpacking tripod. When it comes to backpacking and tripod, one must consider its weight. It can be difficult for your body to hike the entire day with a 10-pound tripod in your backpack, right?
If you want to produce some epic adventure and landscape images from your trips, then a tripod can keep your camera steady and get the results you want. Today, we will be sharing with you a list of the best travel tripods you can choose from. We spent a lot of time researching and testing, so you won’t waste your time searching.
These are the best backpacking tripods for capturing stunning landscape images or videos with your camera. Read on!
Here’s a quick preview of what the best backpacking tripods have to offer on this list.
|Products||Materials Used||Tripod Weight||Max Load||Extended Height||Folded Length||Ball Head||Price|
|Peak Design Travel Tripod||Aluminum||3.44 lbs.|
|20 lbs. (9.1 kg.)||60 inch (152.4 cm)||15.4 inch (39.1 cm)||Yes||$$$|
|Sirui T-1205X||Carbon Fiber||1.8 lbs. (0.8 kg.)||22 lbs. (9.9 kg.)||51.4 inch (130 cm)||13.4 inch (34 cm)||No||$$|
|MeFOTO Backpacker S||Aluminum||2.5 lbs. (1.1 kg.)||13 lbs.|
|54.7 inch (138.9 cm)||13.1 inch (33.2 cm)||Yes||$$|
|ZOMEI 55” Portable Tripod||Aluminum||2.6 lbs.|
|55 inch |
|K&F Concept 62'' DSLR Tripod||Aluminum||2.4 lbs.|
|Manfrotto Compact Light Aluminum 4-Section Tripod||Aluminum||2.03 lbs.|
|15.7 inch (39.8 cm)||Yes||$|
|Gitzo Series 1 Traveler||Carbon Fiber||3.1 lbs (1.4 kg)||22 lbs (9.9 kg)||58.5 inch (148.5 cm)||14 inch (35.5 cm)||Yes||$$$$|
|Manfrotto Befree Advanced||Carbon Fiber||3.4 lbs (1.5 kg)||22 lbs (9.9 kg)||63.7 inch (161.7 cm)||16.9 inch (42.9 cm)||Yes||$$$|
If you really want to get the best backpacking tripod for your needs, then you must consider certain factors such as size, weight, height, dimensions, ease of use, and more. Generally, the best backpacking tripod comes with two very significant features that are pretty much irrelevant for full-sized tripods. These two features are compact design and minimal weight. To find out more, read on.
Weight is one of the most significant features if we’re talking about the best backpacking tripods. The tripod must be lightweight enough that you won’t really notice you’re carrying it around for a long period of time. But at the same should be heavy enough to endure strong winds while you are capturing photos.
Moreover, when it comes to backpacking, a tripod must be less than 20 inches tall when packed down. This enables the backpacker to store the tripod in the main compartment of backpacks or even in the side pocket of their backpack. You should keep in mind that tripods that are made of carbon-fiber are lighter compared to those ones made of aluminum alloy.
A good backpacking tripod should be very compact. You must get a tripod that is large enough for comfortable shooting but, at the same time, easy to carry around. You should always remember that the folded height will differ from the minimum height.
When it comes to the folded height, you must ask yourself this question: Will it fit in your travel backpack? A backpacking tripod that folds down small makes it more convenient to travel with. But then again, remember that small folding tripods usually need to sacrifice sturdiness and maximum height.
A ballast hook is important because it provides good stability to the tripod. A lot of backpackers think that only heavy tripods are the steady ones. But it’s not always the case. You can get a lightweight tripod with a ballast hook integrated into it and just connect some extra weight to achieve the same level of stability as those of heavy ones.
Quick Release Plate
The quick-release plate is another useful feature of a backpacking tripod. This system allows you to connect a tripod adaptor to the base and snap your camera into place in just a few seconds.
Optimal Load Capacity
Regardless if you are looking to buy the best budget tripod for backpacking or the lightest one, you must pay attention to the maximum load that your tripod can take. Usually, tripods are rated for a load-bearing indicator. So you must choose models that come with a load capacity that is much higher than the camera they will hold.
Tripods that can’t take the weight of your camera with its lens is quite disadvantageous. If you usually use your phone to take images, an action camera, or a compact camera, then a tripod that has a light load capacity will do just fine.
Your Photography Skill Level
Most of the time, professional photographers have different needs than casual ones. Tripods that are ideal for newbies will most likely be far from good for professional photographers who understand what they are searching for. But don’t worry, because we made sure that all tripods we listed in this article are suitable for all skill levels.
However, you must remember that the price range is in close correlation with the skill level of the person. Typically, tripods for beginners are much more affordable. The best backpacking tripods for professionals are usually pricier, but they make up with excellent features.
If you want a tripod that will allow for comfortable eye-level capturing of images, then make sure to check its maximum height first. You’ll be able to find this specification in the product info boxes or on the product page online, and you’ll be able to find out if the tripod is compatible with your needs.
For the most part, tall backpackers will need tripods that can extend to good heights. On the flip side, if eye-level shooting doesn’t really matter for you, then you should just concentrate on the price range as well as the maximum capacity of the tripod.
Carbon fiber and aluminum are the most common materials for backpacking tripods. Many experienced backpackers opt with tripods made of carbon fiber because they are lighter, stronger, and effectively resist rust in wet conditions. Meanwhile, aluminum tripods are more affordable.
If you always shoot long-exposure images, then we highly suggest tripods with high sturdiness to avoid blurred shots due to small vibrations. You can determine the tripod’s sturdiness by checking its weight capacity.
Leg Locks and Sections
There are backpackers/photographers who prefer twist locks since they are low-profile. There are also some people who like lever locks because they can easily see that they are secure. On the other hand, the fewer leg sections a tripod possesses, the sturdier it is, and the faster it can be set up.
After long, in-depth research, we managed to find the best travel tripods out there. Each one of them has something outstanding to offer. The main thing they have in common is that they are all very lightweight. There’s still more to learn, so read on!
The Peak Design Travel tripod is a very compact one, especially when folded too. It is not just neater and narrower compared to its rival tripods. It comes with a closed length of 38.5 centimeters. This is attained without the typical travel tripod trick of folding the legs up around it and extending the middle column.
This backpacking tripod features a low-profile head that slightly sticks out and can be stuffed away where it is, with no complicated folding needed. The Peak Design Travel tripod has included some great design touches such as a clip-on holder for the hex keys utilized to link its tripod plate to the camera and configure the middle and head column, and a removable weight hook in the bottom of the middle column that slides to showcase a smartphone clamp.
This backpacking tripod stuffs away so small. But at the same time, it is easy to open out and set up. Meanwhile, its cam locks on the legs are right next to each other so users can release them all simultaneously with one hand to extend its leg sections. Additionally, its rubber feet on the end chamfered edges to give an even surface regardless of leg angle.
Its camera plate is a standard part, so you can easily unhook your camera from the tripod and put it straight into a Capture Clip. The plates are pretty small that you might find it more convenient to get additional ones and leave them connected to your cameras instead of messing around with the hex keys. Overall, this backpacking tripod won’t let you down because of its weight, compactness, and its folded size.
With its price range, this backpacking tripod is a great choice. Its user control system is effortless to use while at the same time offering some excellent image stabilization with the lesser effort needed on your part. One of the best things about Sirui T-1205X is that it provides outstanding performance enabling it to compete with some premium tripods. Its carbon fiber body offers optimum robustness while also being lightweight.
It features rubber feet to enhance image stabilization. It has a 51-inch maximum height, 22-pound maximum load capacity, and a short center column for incredibly low angles. You can see that this backpacking tripod from Sirui has all the key features that you’d expect from a tripod at this price range. This will allow you to effortlessly use it as your on-the-go tripod of choice and get the most out of it. With its various locking systems, you’re ensured that your camera rig is safe at all costs.
Furthermore, the counterweight hook located at the base of the middle column of this tripod is very good. You can effortlessly load it up with weight to aid in increasing the stabilization of the tripod when using it in windy environments. Compared to its rivals, its counterweight hook is solid and doesn’t feel like it will fall out if you put weight on it. As for its build quality, the Sirui T-1205X is made of high-quality carbon fiber, and the manufacturer has simply done an outstanding job of putting the tripod together.
The materials used to make this tripod are of top-notch quality, keeping the tripod both robust and lightweight. Its five-section design enables you to adapt it to any situation that you might encounter during your trip. Its small but extendable middle column also provides additional convenience. Meanwhile, its leg sections are nicely put together and ensures that the weight of your camera rig will be evenly spread out over the maximum capacity of the tripod.
The MeFOTO Backpacker S is an entry-level backpacking tripod in the MeFOTO’s product range that looks very lightweight and compact at first glance. This tripod is mostly targeted at backpackers that have lightweight DSLRs or mirrorless cameras that require something very lightweight for their backpacking trips. Even though MeFOTO Backpacker S has a very affordable price, it is made of high-grade aluminum alloy and has an excellent overall impression when it comes to build quality, which is why this might be the best travel tripod for many of us.
Its compact size and weight are its biggest pros. It has an optimal operating height of 51.20 inches. Meanwhile, its legs extract independently and can be locked into place at two different angles in bumpy or rough terrain. Additionally, MeFOTO Backpackers comes with a small traveling bag and can be acquired in various colors. Furthermore, the MeFOTO’s Backpacker S has a weight of only 2.60 pounds, which makes it one of the most lightweight backpacking tripods out there.
As for its folded length, it has a measurement of 12.60 inches. In fact, this tripod is the second most compact backpacking tripod in the MeFOTO’s lineup. Its operating height ranges from 17.30 inches to 51.20 inches. Its optimum load is 8.80 pounds, which also ranks relatively low if compared to pricier tripod models in the MeFOTO’s lineup. Overall, the MeFOTO Backpacker S is a great tripod for its price. If you’re looking for an affordable tripod to take on your next trips, then this one is an excellent choice!
The ZOMEI 55 inches portable tripod is a very lightweight one. It features a hook at the middle column, which enables you to add some weight to it and make it more steady. This is very good for shooting in uneven terrain or windy conditions. This backpacking tripod also features a lever that allows you to pan and tilt the head. It pans up, down, right, and left rather smoothly.
This helps you to get some surprisingly steady shots. The ZOMEI 55 inch portable tripod stuffs down to a total length of 19 inches. It includes a softshell carry case, which you can effortlessly store in your backpack. As for us, we suggest storing your tripod in your backpack’s side pocket, so it remains easily accessible throughout your trips. Furthermore, it is made of high-quality ABS eco-friendly materials and an aluminum alloy tube.
Its max height is 58 inches and has a max diameter of 23.2 mm. It has a maximum load of 6.6 pounds for better stability. Additionally, it has four colors that you can choose from: orange, blue, red, and black. The ZOMEI 55 inch portable tripod has a ¼ inch screw on the quick release plate for mounting scopes, smartphone adapter, still cameras, digital cameras, and video cameras. Also, its leg angle adjustment lock guarantees a single adjustment of each leg. It features a four-section column leg with fast release locks, which gives a more convenient leg handling.
Lastly, it is incorporated with a steel rocker so you can adjust the pan head when capturing some images. Its center is gear driven to extend, while its rubber feet guarantee stability on different surfaces.
This tripod is an excellent mid-range option. It extends to the 62-inch max, which is suitable for eye-level shooting. It can be folded down to 18 inches, which makes it very convenient for carrying around in your hefty backpack. It only weighs 2.43 pounds, making it very light. You’ll be able to carry it around for many hours, and you won’t get bothered by its weight.
An excellent feature of K&F Concept 62 inch DSLR Tripod is its load capacity. It can handle 22 pounds easily. This is very advantageous if you have a heavy camera and tend to use heavy and large lenses. Particularly because it comes with a 1.1-inch ball head, which is wider than a regular ball head, and it also provides more stability with heavier cameras.
Furthermore, you can invert its center column so you can shoot at incredibly low angles. Also, the bottom of the cloud platform features a 360-degree scale, which enables you to take panoramic shots effortlessly. Aside from that, adjusting the angle of the tripod tube is very easy because you only need to press the self-locking adjustment knob. If you want to pack up the tripod, just release the self-locking adjustment knob.
The Manfrotto Compact Light Aluminum 4-Section tripod only weighs 2 pounds. It weighs very little since it is mostly made from aluminum, a material that is very durable but significantly lightweight. This backpacking tripod extends to 51-inch max; that’s why it’s not totally a great choice if you want a tripod to get eye-level shots. However, if that’s not a concern for you at all and simply want a lightweight tripod, then you should absolutely consider this one.
The Manfrotto Compact Light Aluminum 4-Section tripod is only 15.67 inches long when folded. That’s why it is very convenient for carrying around in your backpack. Aside from that, this tripod comes with a softshell bag, which is a good bonus. This backpacking tripod is a good pick for both casual and beginner photographers who also love to hike. It doesn’t offer any fancy features, but it will surely get the job done. It is also worth mentioning that it is very affordable, even though it is made by a well-known brand.
Overall, it’s a perfect companion if you like backpacking and photography. It is crafted with a unique turquoise Blue finishing. It is also ideal for a broad range of digital devices. With its integrated ball head and the single adjustment knob, you can easily lock the camera into place and get ready for capturing stunning images.
The Gitzo Series 1 Traveler is relatively new to the market. Its legs use Gitzo’s new carbon eXact tubes that aid in making the tripod lighter without compromising stability or strength. The Gitzo Series 1 Traveler can support up to 22 pounds, but it only weighs 2.3 pounds. Aside from the carbon fiber tubing, the use of only four leg sections aid in improving the tripod’s stability. As for its folding size, users can fold it down to 16.7 inches.
This backpacking tripod also features Traveler G-Lock technology, which is a new compact leg lock system. Gitzo Series 1 Traveler’s efficiency makes it possible to have taller tripods with solid folded lengths. Its new, curved external form provides excellent grip, while its internal O-ring features softer operation and significantly minimizes dust and grit going in the locks. On the other hand, its ball head is precise, smooth, and perfectly fits between the folded legs.
Also, as we mentioned above, Gitzo just raised the bar with the introduction of their Carbon eXact tubes. This new technology is stiffer than the previous Carbon 6X. These tubes are processed using High Modulus carbon fiber, and they also feature bigger tube diameters, which ultimately enhance performance without compromising the weight.
First of all, the twist locks on this backpacking tripod are of great quality for its affordable price point. They are also very stable within the weight range. But aside from that, the Manfrotto Befree Advanced comes in four variants, and the manufacturer offers both aluminum and carbon along with latch or twist-lock in each of those. This backpacking tripod also comes with a tripod bag which offers great value for its price.
Moreover, the Manfrotto Befree Advanced tripod includes a tripod pouch to safeguard the tripod along with a hex key. Some backpackers found the bag valuable for storing their tripod in their checked-in bag. But the important thing is that the legs are of good quality and steady. It’s also worth mentioning that the use of inexpensive plastics on the ball head looks like the part where Manfrotto cut costs.
As for its height, it is perfect for backpacking. Some 6-foot users prefer to keep the center column down, and the height is still good. It is a compact backpacking tripod. The manufacturer made the Befree Advanced with a reverse folding mechanism. This means you fold the legs upwards over the top of the ball head with the middle column extended to the max. This makes the Manfrotto Befree Advanced ideal for backpacking, even in its aluminum version.
Overall, this backpacking tripod is an excellent pick for someone who’s looking for an affordable tripod, especially for landscape photography. For most users, they won’t find hidden add ons because this is a complete offering, which means users will get a tripod, quick release, and head. This is not the lightest backpacking tripod available out there, but at 3.49 pounds, your back won’t hurt carrying it around.
With the best backpacking tripod we presented to you, we hope you can now pick easily even if you’re not that experienced with tripods. If you are not a professional photographer/backpacker, then the ZOMEI 55” Portable Tripod is your best bet.
You don’t really need to spend a lot of money on a tripod that you won’t frequently use because that would be a waste. Aside from being affordable, the ZOMEI 55” Portable Tripod is also lightweight, which makes it even more suitable for beginners. Moreover, this backpacking tripod features a quick-release plate and some knobs that will enable you to set up the camera to almost any angle.
If you’re trying to take your photography skills to the next level, then the K&F Concept 62” DSLR Tripod is the best option for you, especially if you consider yourself a casual or semi-professional photographer. Its legs can be adjusted to different angles, which provides you the flexibility to shoot however you like. Aside from that, its center column can be inverted for low-angle and macro photography. If you’re searching for a tripod that’s perfect for both pros and newbies, then this one’s for you.
And lastly, if you ask us about which would be the best tripod for travel, then our choice is the MeFOTO Backpacker S. This one is perfect for you If you’re looking for an entry-level backpacking tripod that is very compact, and lightweight. This tripod is perfect for backpackers who have mirrorless cameras or lightweight DSLRs that need something very lightweight for their backpacking trips. Aside from that, it is engineered using high-grade aluminum alloy, which implies great overall build quality. All in all, if you’re quite restricted with your budget but need very good features, then the MeFOTO Backpacker S is an excellent choice.
These three tripods are our top three picks, but you might have different needs, so feel free to choose among the other tripods we featured above. Rest assured that all of them are very good options and have high ratings. Good luck on your next trip with your chosen traveler tripod!