The Best Travel Tripods for Photographers

The Best Travel Tripods for Photographers

GUEST POST: Mark is an international wedding photographer and founder of Shotkit. He shares with us some of his favorite travel tripods for 2017.

Hi there! I’m Mark from a Shotkit, a site devoted to camera gear and photography. I’ve put together a list of the best travel tripods for JB, Renée and all you Will Fly for Food fans who need a steady shot on your travels.

One thing I should say before we dive headfirst into the world of these 3-legged friends is that you should ask yourself, do I really need to take a tripod on my next trip?!

In most situations, even if you need a steady shot (for a long exposure night shot, or for a selfie with your family etc), you’ll usually be able to find a level place to put your camera to achieve the same thing. Lugging a tripod around on holiday, even if it is a lightweight travel tripod, isn’t my idea of fun!

Having said that, for those of you who just have to have a tripod in your backpack, these are my picks of the 5 best travel tripods available in 2017. Let me know in the comments if you agree with the selection.

1. Joby GorillaPod Focus Flexible Tripod

No surprises here, right?! Whilst every other tripod manufacturer concentrates on making lightweight tripods with rigid legs, Joby has turned the rulebook upside down with this little gem of a tripod that was built to flex. Wrap the legs around anything you want to achieve that shot that a rigid leg tripod can only dream about!

The Joby GorillaPod Focus Flexible Tripod is available on Amazon.
The Best Travel Tripods for Photographers by Mark Condon

2. MeFOTO Aluminum Roadtrip Travel Tripod/Monopod

Multi-function is the name of the game for all your travel gadgets, and the MeFOTO Aluminum Roadtrip achieves this with its neat ability to switch from a tripod to a monopod. Choose from a ludicrous fourteen colours (9 aluminium and 5 carbon fiber), then smile all the way through customs since the MeFoto weighs only 1.6kg – quite respectable for a tripod that extends up to 156cm tall.

The MeFOTO Aluminum Roadtrip Travel Tripod/Monopod is available on Amazon.
The Best Travel Tripods for Photographers by Mark Condon

3. Manfrotto BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod

From the legendary tripod manufacturer comes the Manfrotto BeFree Compact, with my favourite feature – flip-lever-locking legs (as opposed to twist to lock). Sliding each leg into itself and rotating it 180 degrees back on itself allows the legs to nestle neatly into the grooves of the sides of the ballhead. This kind of design is unique to the Manfrotto BeFree, and is testament to the attention of detail of Manfrotto products.

The Manfrotto BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod is available on Amazon.
The Best Travel Tripods for Photographers by Mark Condon

4. ZOMEI Z699C Portable Carbon Tripod

Even though aluminium gives the best bang for the book when it comes to price:features with tripods, carbon fiber is definitely the gold standard. Usually the price of carbon fiber pushes it out of reach, but this isn’t so with the ZOMEI Z699C. For a relatively unheard of brand, this travel tripod has an impressive feature set, and an even more impressive price! If you’re willing to try something new, the ZOMEI Z699C is the most affordable way to get a carbon fiber lightweight travel tripod into your backpack.

The ZOMEI Z699C Portable Carbon Tripod is available on Amazon.
The Best Travel Tripods for Photographers by Mark Condon

5. Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Camera Tripod

The aforementioned GorillaPod isn’t the only ultra-compact tripod on the block. If you’re not a fan of the GP’s bendy legs, then the Pedco UltraPod II really is your next best choice. Weighing in at a carry on friendly 119g, the Pedco UltraPod II can just about fit in your jacket pocket, but allows an impressive 2.7kg load to be supported to provide a stable shot (i.e. more than enough for a mirrorless camera + lens).

The Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Camera Tripod is available on Amazon.
The Best Travel Tripods for Photographers by Mark Condon

So that’s my short and sweet selection of some of the best travel tripods available today.

I didn’t want to bore you with all the nitty gritty, but if you want to dig deeper into the topic of the best travel tripods (and find out the other models that made the cut), head over to shotkit.

Thanks to JB and Renée for having me on their awesome site and I look forward to seeing the photographers amongst you on Shotkit soon. 🙂

Mark Condon

Guest post by international wedding photographer Mark Condon, founder of Shotkit, and author of More Brides, The Shotkit Book, Lightroom Power User and LIT.

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