Top 10 Best Travel Tripod For Traveling Photographers

traveler with camera in a mountain

Few things are more exciting than traveling the world and exploring new places. When you are away from home, you likely want to capture memories by taking photographs or producing videos. Of course, you likely can’t get the shot you want without the right equipment. In addition to an excellent camera, you may want to invest in a travel tripod.

The are many travel tripods available for purchase today. Not all are a good use of your money, however. In this review, we list the 10 best travel tripods for traveling photographers.

​​​​TRAVEL TRIP​​​​OD FAQS

WHAT IS A TRAV​EL TRIPOD?

HOW MUCH DO TRAVEL TRIPODS COST?

WHERE CAN YOU BUY A TRAVEL TRIPOD?

HOW WE EVALUATED TRAVEL TRIPODS

Our goal is to provide you with honest, reliable and valuable information. In compiling our rankings of the best travel tripods, we looked for excellence in the following areas:

  • Build quality
  • Height
  • Load capacity
  • Affordability

To create a review you can trust, we didn’t only look at published specifications and marketing materials for each tripod. Instead, we considered the opinions of both professional reviewers and actual photographers.

OVERALL PRICE RANGE OF TRAVEL TRIPODS

As mentioned above, travel tripods vary considerably in price. Still, travel tripods usually cost significantly less than those used in studio photography. The tripods that made our rankings of the best travel tripods for traveling photographers range in price from $30 to $700. Most on our list, though, cost between $100 and $250.

TOP 10 BEST TRAVEL TRIPODS FOR TRAVELING PHOTOGRAPHERS: RANKINGS, RATINGS AND REVIEWS

Manfrotto MKBFRA4-BH BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod Black
  • Light and compact design. The special design of this tripod with head ensures your camera stays firmly locked in...
  • Supports up to 8.8lbs
  • Designed to fit into carry-on luggage and backpacks

In our opinion, the best travel tripod for on-the-go photographers is the Manfrotto MKBFRA4-BH BeFree compact aluminum travel tripod. This tripod has everything most photographers want in a camera-holding device. The light and compact design of this product makes traveling through busy airports or quiet villages a breeze. In fact, it fits nicely inside most backpacks or carry-on bags.

While the BeFree is small in size, it feels strong and durable. The base supports medium-weight cameras up to about nine pounds. All three legs toggle quickly and easily into place, making shooting from a variety of heights and configurations possible. We like the professional look of this piece of equipment. Available in different colors, the tripod is sure to give you instant photog credibility wherever you go.

Even better, the comparatively low price tag on the Manfrotto BeFree tripod allows you to spend money on booking dynamic voyages. While the BeFree allows you to capture some great photos, it isn’t perfect. When the center post is fully extended, the tripod becomes a bit unstable. As such, your camera’s shutter may cause a vibration that reduces the quality of large prints. Since most photographers solve this problem by lowering the center post, this issue doesn’t bother us much.

Neewer Carbon Fiber 66 inches/168 centimeters Camera Tripod Monopod...
  • 2-in-1 tripod, one of leg can be used as monopod
  • Quick release leg locking, giving a more convenient leg handling
  • Universal ball head design with 2 locks and 360¡ã dial that photographers adjust angle free and quickly

While expensive, the Gitzo GT1542T Series 1 6X carbon-fiber tripod is perhaps the most complete traveler tripod on the market today. The 3.7-pound device is light enough to carry long distances. Moreover, its adjustable base makes setting up the perfect shot simple and fast. Some photographers notice that raising the center pole requires effort, as it tends to stick. We think this is likely resolvable with a silicone lubricant, however.

If you have a heavy camera or use bulky lenses, you will likely appreciate the payload of the Gitzo GT1542T. In fact, the tripod can support setups that weigh up to 22 pounds. The Gitzo has a hook to help you avoid accidently knocking your camera off the tripod base. It also features a failsafe lock to avoid tipping on rocky terrain. The clear standout feature of the Gitzo camera, though, is its carbon-fiber construction. While lightweight, the tripod can withstand significant punishment.

MeFOTO Classic Aluminum Globetrotter Travel Tripod/Monopod Kit - Black...
  • Only products shipped from and sold by authorized resellers such as Amazon.com can ensure that you will be receiving...
  • 360-degree Panning: Accurate panoramas can be easily orchestrated using the graduated panning scale for accurate image...
  • Recessed Center-Column Hook: A spring loaded recessed hook, located in the bottom of the center-column, allows you to...

The second and third tripods on our list are virtually tied. Both the Gitzo and MeFOTO tripods appeal to both amateur and professional photographers. However, the comparatively small price tag on the MeFOTO Globetrotter makes it accessible to virtually everyone.

This tripod is easy to set up and tear down. Moreover, its compact size makes carrying the device to far-away destinations a breeze. We like the MeFOTO tripod for its simplistic design. While you hold your camera in one hand, you can likely adjust the tripod with the other. The small stature of the Globetrotter travel tripod makes it an excellent choice for hikers. If you need to reach tall heights, the MeFOTO easily converts into a 64.2-inch monopod.

Sale
Benro GoTravel Aluminum Tripod w/ B1 Ball Head (GA169TB1)
  • Allows the user to implement compact and lightweight camera support. Weighing just 3.6 lbs. and able to hold up to 22...
  • The 5-section legs are held in place by twist locks and can be adjusted independently.
  • Equipped with interchangeable screw-in rubber feet and stainless steel spiked feet for increased stability. In addition,...

The BENRO GoTravel tripod is one of the heaviest tripods we reviewed. Since a lightweight design is important for a tripod to work on the go, we dropped this device out of our top three. Still, we appreciate the many features the BENRO GoTravel has to offer. Perhaps the best of these is the quick-flip center column. This column allows you to quickly set up shots, making the GoTravel ideal for wildlife photographers.

Like the MeFOTO tripod, the BENRO device converts from a tripod to a monopod. The process is a bit more complicated, however. As such, you should probably practice transforming the device a few times before you hit the road with it. Some reviewers complain about the flimsy feel of the BENRO GoTravel aluminum tripod. At $200, we expect a sturdier feel.

3 Legged Thing X1.1 Brian Evolution 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod System with...
  • Ball Head with Quick Release
  • 78.7" Maximum Height
  • Supports Over 17.6 lb

The 3 Legged Thing Punks Brian tripod is a transitionary tool for intermediate photographers. The carbon-fiber device is lightweight, which makes it easy to carry. Still, it doesn’t intuitively expand. Instead, you must twist joints to lock them into place. As such, this tripod feels like a professional-grade tool.

The Punks Brian offers excellent support for both light and heavy cameras. Its sturdy build is designed for extreme conditions. Nonetheless, some users complain about wobbling in the 3 Legged Thing’s legs. Accordingly, if you routinely shoot in windy or icy areas, the 3 Legged Thing tripod may not be the best option for you. Still, we can’t quibble with the super-cool product name.

MeFOTO BackPacker Air Tripod and Selfie Stick in One Kit - Black...
  • HyperLock leg locks - Each tripod and monopod uses our new HyperLock leg lock design, which is much faster than...
  • Selfie Stick/Telescoping center column - You can take selfies with the included Bluetooth remote and smartphone adapter....
  • Lightweight - Way less to carry around. MeFOTO Air combines strong and lightweight materials making it possible to...

Not every travel photographer is looking to create a masterpiece. Many simply want an excellent picture to post on social media. For those, the MeFOTO Backpacker Air travel tripod is a decent option. This tripod offers a sturdy base for small and medium-sized cameras. The aluminum construction of the tripod ensures it is simple to pack and easy to carry.

We like the MeFOTO Backpacker for its intuitive set up. With just the turn of a rubber foot, you manipulate the tripod in any direction you choose. If you expect a professional-grade tripod, the MeFOTO Backpacker will likely disappoint. If you want a starter tripod that fits inside a backpack, though, this tool is worth a look.

Sale
PrimaPhoto PHTRBBK Gear Traveler Big Tripod (Black)
  • Fractioned ball head with independent pan lock
  • Leg to monopod
  • Telescopic center column

Don’t let the Big Travel from Prima Photo fool you. While the tripod is large enough to capture virtually any shot you want, it is not bulky or heavy. In fact, at only 3.6 pounds, the Big Travel competes with higher-end tripods.

We like the Prima Photo Big Travel for its customizability. Whether you want a standard tripod or a full-sized monopod, this device has you covered. This device is not, however, a professional tool. Because Prima Photo delivers an affordable tripod with its Big Travel offering, some of the components have a decidedly low-quality feel to them.

While the build quality of travel tripods tends to drop with price, the Oben AC-1341 feels strong and sturdy. This tripod relies on well-built legs and rubber feet to hold your camera or other device in place. Even though the Oben AC-1341 is lightweight and travels well, it isn’t right for all photographers. If your camera weighs more than a few pounds, you won’t want to trust this tripod to hold it.

Sale
RetiCAM Tabletop Tripod with 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head, Quick Release Plate...
  • Complete table top tripod for digital cameras, DSLR cameras, camcorders, spotting scopes, and many other devices...
  • Full of Features: 3-Way pan/tilt head, quick release mounting plate, bubble level, extendable center column, quick snap...
  • Strong, sturdy and durable: Aluminum construction, 20mm legs and geared center post, over-sized locks;

At only $30, the RetiCAM tabletop tripod is the cheapest tripod we reviewed. It is also the lightest. This device isn’t tall enough to be a standalone tripod. Instead, you must place it on a bench, table or other sturdy structure. Still, it holds your camera securely while you capture important shots. While the RetiCAM’s small size may appeal to those who prefer to travel lightly, the tripod does not excel in build quality.

PrimaPhoto PHTRSBK Gear Traveler Small Tripod (Black)
  • Center ball head with independent pan lock
  • Telescopic center column
  • Leg Angel selectors

The last tripod on our rankings is the little brother of the Prima Photo Big Travel tripod. This Small Travel tripod holds your camera firmly in place while you capture shots. That’s about it. It doesn’t have many of the features of the other tripods on the list. Its designers didn’t intend it to have them, though. Instead, they wanted to create a device that allows you a hands-free way to take photographs. Further, the Small Travel tripod from Prima Photo is one of the most affordable tripods on our list. It is lightweight and easy to use.

THE VERDICT: THE MANFROTTO MKBFRA4-BH BEFREE COMPACT ALUMINUM TRAVEL TRIPOD IS THE BEST TRAVEL TRIPOD

With its design, construction and versatility, the Manfrotto MKBFRA4-BH Be-Free tripod is the best travel tripod on the market today. Nonetheless, the competition is fierce. That is, we reviewed some excellent tripods. Which one is right for you likely depends on your travel style and photography goals.