These top travel tripods will improve your photography by allowing you to be in your photos, take more creative shots, and have increased camera stability.
Whether you’re a professional or hobby photographer, including a trusted travel tripod in your camera kit is a must. A great travel tripod is not only a necessity for low-light and night time shots, but it’s also a great tool for taking selfies, long-exposures, and panoramas.
In choosing the best travel tripod, take into account your travel style, what you’ll be primarily using the tripod for, and how much room you’re willing to give up in your luggage. The kind of tripod you need is a personal thing, so I recommend making a list of the top qualities you’re looking for in one as a starting point.
To help guide you in your purchase, we’ve compiled the best travel tripods on the market today as well as our top things to consider when choosing the right tripod for you!
Best Travel Tripod 2020 (Detailed Buying Guide)
Best Budget Travel Tripod (Under $100)
Albott 70″ Travel Portable DSLR Camera Tripod
Ringing in at under $50, the Albott 70″ is one of the most budget-friendly travel tripods on the market. The tripod features a 3-way flexible pan head perfect for 360-degree panoramas, a bubble level, and a quick-release plate. I also love that this tripod has rubber feet with built-in enclosed spikes for increased sturdiness.
The Albott can support a load of up to 8.8lbs and weighs about 3.5lbs.
Read more: 20 Travel Photography Tips You NEED TO KNOW
Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Tripod
Not only is the Pedco UltraPod II one of the least-expensive tripods you can buy, but it’s also one of the most lightweight and compact. The tripod weighs in at just 4oz., packs down to 7″ x 2″ x 2″, and can support a load of up to 6lbs.
While not a tripod that stretches up tall, the Pedco Ultrapod can be easily attached to trees, bars, and rails, and features a ball and socket camera mount for maneuverability.
If keeping size, weight, and price to a minimum is top of mind, then this is the tripod for you!
Best Tripod for Heavy Lenses
Induro Tripod CLT104 Carbon Fiber Tripod
A tripod constructed for maximum stability, the Induro CLT104 features a stealth carbon fiber pattern, concave leg angle locks, interchangeable rubber feet, and stainless steel spikes. Due to these features, the tripod can support a whopping 30lbs.
Still, with all this, the weight is a manageable 2.9lbs.
Gitzo GT2542 Mountaineer Tripod Series 2
The Gitzo GT2542 Mountaineer is a premier all-purpose travel tripod that is one of the most sturdy you can buy. The tripod features carbon tubing, a top spider design, a G-lock system, a ground-level mechanism, and reaches to a maximum height of 65.75 inches.
While not a budget travel tripod, this is recommended if you’re pursuing professional travel photography or if stability is of major importance to you.
Best Tripod for Vlogging
Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod
An extremely lightweight and portable tripod, the Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod is the perfect choice for those who want to up their vlogging game. The tripod features an ergonomic joystick head, a comfortable grip, a circular quick release plate. Additionally, the tripod has a photo-movie selector that allows easy switching between the two modes.
Just note that this tripod isn’t intended to be used with heavy lenses, and can support up to 6.6lbs.
Joby GorillaPod 3K Tripod with Ball Head
The extremely-flexible Joby GorillaPod is a no-brainer for easy vlogging maneuverability. The legs can be bunched together for great handheld shots, the attachment features a 360-degree panning bed, it comes with a bubble level, and it’ll fit into any backpack or camera kit.
Best Tripod for Landscape Photography
A professional tripod brand that you can trust for camera stability, the Manfrotto O55XPRO3 is perfect for landscape photography in that it can support up to 19.8lbs, it features quick power locks, it can rotate into any position, and it comes with a bubble level.
Further to the landscape shots, due to its stability, this is a great bet if you’re looking into doing long-exposure photography.
MeFOTO RoadTrip Travel Tripod
The MeFOTO RoadTrip tripod was made to travel. It folds up inversely, can turn into a monopod, and supports any kind of camera. Additionally, this tripod converts into a full-size rig with the ability to stand tall at 61.6″, yet weighs only 3.6 lbs.
This is a great tripod for landscape photography as it features two leg angle positions for easy shooting on uneven surfaces or in small spaces, it’s weather and dust resistant, it features a precision matched Q series ballhead (and bubble level), and it has the option for 360-degree panning.
Best Lightweight Tripod
Davis & Sanford TR553-P228 Traverse Super Compact Tripod
Weighing in at just 2.6lbs, the Davis & Sanford TR553-P228 is an extremely lightweight option, yet supports a load of up to 10lbs. The tripod features 5 section legs with freezeproof locks, a dual control ball head with a calibrated base, and has a maximum height of 53 inches.
Additionally, this tripod folds up to just 12.5 inches, making it super easy to travel with.
Manfrotto MKBFRA4-BH BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod
Another great travel companion from Manfrotto, the BeFree Compact Tripod is just 3.1lbs, compact, and portable. Able to fit into most carry-on luggage, this tripod features a unique leg-closing mechanism that folds the entire rig up to be just 15.8 inches long.
Yet, in keeping the tripod small and portable, Manfrotto doesn’t compromise stability — the tripod comes with an aluminum ball head, integrated angle selectors, and aluminum leg locks.
Read more: The Best Cameras for Hiking and Backpacking
Best Tripod for iPhone
GripTight ONE GorillaPod
A great smartphone tripod should be light and portable, have great grip and stability, and be flexible — specs that the GripTight ONE GorillaPod knocks out of the water. While the GripTight has universal smartphone compatibility, its updated technology works especially well with models ranging from the iPhone SE to iPhone 7.
This tripod also features a right-angle fold, stainless steel ballhead, and easy-to-control legs.
Manfrotto PIXI with Universal Smartphone Clamp
A highly-rated tripod suitable for every budget, the Manfrotto PIXI is a dual purchase in that it can be used as a tripod and as a grip. The device has a 1/4 mount, meaning it can be used with any kind of smartphone, an ergonomic grip, and it’s small and light enough to take with you everywhere.
What to Look For in a Travel Tripod
Whether you’re backpacking in the wilderness or staying in hotels, the weight of your tripod is something to consider. When backpacking, you’ll generally want to keep your tripod as light as possible, yet the sturdier the tripod, the more it generally weighs. Assess your tripod needs, and determine what weight you’re willing to carry versus the rigidity you’ll require.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to buy a tripod that can support a load 20-30% more than the total weight of gear you plan to mount. Before purchasing, know the weight of your camera and lenses and make sure you invest in a tripod that can support that load.
As with any item you travel with, having an easily packable travel tripod will make your life a lot easier on the road. Most travel tripods pack down small but, before you buy, make sure that the tripod you’re looking into will fit into your suitcase and not take up too much space.
The best tripod height to purchase completely depends on your photography and travel style. For some, having a tripod that will take eye-level shots is an important aspect of their style, while others just want an easily-maneuverable tripod to attach to trees and prop up their camera on.
In picking your preferred tripod height, consider the type of shots you take and if having too short of a tripod will hinder your creativity.