For all the photographers out there, regardless of our device, regardless of our skill levels, traveling without an appropriate tripod is almost unimaginable. After all, even a simple one can really take our photography game up a notch.
And as such, today, we are going to take a dive down our best backpacking tripod reviews, where we talk about some of the finest possible units you can buy for your money.
So, without further ado, let’s get the show on the road.
Top Tripods On The Market
10 Best Backpacking Tripod Reviews
So what did we base our review on? Basically, we shortlisted all the factors which are important in a travel tripod and then did our reviews based on those factors. So take a minute or two, grab a snack, and have a read.
1. Gitzo Lightweight Traveler Series 1 Carbon Fiber Tripod
So let us start our reviews list with our favorite unit from a household brand, the Lightweight Traveler Series 1 from Gitzo.
Something that will aid you in photographing the roughest of terrains, without weighing you down.
Now, we tend to travel a lot. Trails, inaccessible hideaways, almost anything is achievable, especially if you travel light. So, something like the Traveler Series 1 serves as a perfect balance between weight and features.
Your travel tripod should not exceed 1.6-1.7kg or 3.6 pounds. Anything heavier and you will start feeling it on your back. The Gitzo weighs in at 3.2 lbs. Not the lightest on our list, but it is certainly best in other categories.
This is truly an all-weather tripod. Photographing in rain or sleet? Not to worry. You will not find yourself in a fix, at least not because of the tripod. The feet are grippy, and the wetness does not affect the performance in any way.
There is no trouble operating it even when wearing gloves, makingit the best lightweight tripod for hiking out in the elements.
- Truly all-weather
- Holds up to the elements quite well
- Smooth operation
- Lightweight at 3.6 pounds
- We wish it were a bit more robust
2. ZOMEi Tall Tripod
First up, we have a unit that we recommend to anyone just starting out with their first tripod. A fairly cheap, no-nonsense offering from Zomei.
We do not forego any of the important basics, such as quality and durability.
Let us start with durability. The tripod is well constructed, the manufacturers made extensive use of aluminum alloys and ABS plastics. We do not recommend you throwing it about, but with proper usage, it should last you quite a bit.
At full length, it stands at about 58 inches. Quite respectable, but it is not something that you can take eye-level shots with if you are blessed with height like us. It should not be a problem for slightly shorter people, though.
What we like about this product is that each leg extends separately, a feature we see in some more premium backpacking tripods. There is a hook of sorts in the center column. You can hang weights from this hook to further improve the stability.
- Very lightweight and portable
- Individual leg extension, very stable
- Durable, aluminum construction
- Includes a hook to further improve stability if needed
- Not recommended for tall people
3. MeFOTO RoadTrip Classic Travel Tripod
Next up, we have something for the professional photographers out there. Presenting the RoadTrip Classic from MeFOTO, one of the lightest, portable options we have on our review list. With included head and pan locks, this unit really racks up points in all the right categories.
At a mere 12.6 inches tall when folded, the unit is very sturdily built. Aluminum alloy went into its construction,
so it weighs just 2.6 lbs, one of the feather-weightin our offerings. The dimensions and that weight make this unit the best lightweight tripod for hiking.
This is not a unit for those looking for versatility, however. It cannot do things like center column inversion for those awesome low action shots. But it makes up for it with other features such as quick release plates from Arcane Swiss, and a 360-degree swivel ball head.
The leg angles are all adjustable. We can lock each individual legs into different heights. This aids photography in rough terrain. All in all, this is a very simple tripod with some premium features. But its lightweight and portability are what really make it special.
- Uber portable and lightweight, the best tripod for hiking
- 360-degree swivel ball head
- Aluminum construction
- Quick-release plates from Arcane Swiss
- No monopod conversion
4. Davis & Sanford PROVISTA18 Tripod
We know, we know,the PROVISTA18 from Davis & Sanford does not exactly cut it as a travel tripod, not by our recommendations either.
But it is so good we just had to recommend this because there are a number of photographers who do wide-field astrophotography. Such methods call for something tall and stable.
It wins no points in the weight department, as it goes way beyond our recommended weight. However, you can still tug it around at the expense of your back. It makes it worthwhile if we can land some nice shots at the end of the trail.
However, it does come with a nice zip bag, so we neednot worry about the form factor. The unit comes with a very smooth head, just enough resistance to nail those glorious pan shots. So this tripod is ideal if you are into film making as well.
- Very smooth head
- Can get quite tall
- Ideal for film making
- Recommended for astrophotographers
- Not a travel tripod
5. K&F Concept 62'' DSLR Tripod
Let us talk about one of the premier options for the mid-range spender, the Concept 62-inch from K&F. Lightweight, durable, moderately tall, this eye-catching unit does not cheap out on any of the features of the top-end models.
It is extremely light, weighing in only at 2.43 pounds. You would not feel it weigh down your backpack.
What is more, despite being so lightweight, it packs a decent-sized punch in another category: the load capacity. It can handle a whole 22 lbs worth of weight, effortlessly.
The unit features a ball head that measures at 1.1 inches. Yep, you have read that correctly. This is bigger than standard, and groundbreaking when you remember that it is in a unit that is as lightweight as this. And this gives us more stability when it boilsdown to handling bigger cameras.
Another feature we could not pass up on was that the unit allowed us to invert the central column. What does that mean? Those jaw-dropping low angled shot, that is what. Pack this unit into your bag, and you will never have to crawl on all fours to get that low angle photo.
- Decent load capacity
- Capable at low angle shots
- Weighs only 2.3 lbs
- No monopod conversion
6. JOBY GorillaPod 5K Kit. Professional Tripod
Next up on our list, we have something a little different. It does not categorize as a travel tripod, but rather, it is a mini tripod. And it is lightweight enough that you can take on your next hike into the great outdoors.
We know, it does not exactly fall in the travel tripod bracket, but that will not stop us from singing praises about it.
It can adapt across three modes; wrap, stand, and grip. We figure it would be a worthy addition to the arsenal of any vlogger going through our list.
The unit can hold a total of 11lbs. Pretty good, considering its dimensions. We had a successful rest involving this unit, a Canon 5D, a Tamron 24-70mm and a Rode mic to top it off. Let us break it down simply. It passed with top marks. It did not budge one bit from the load of all the equipment combined.
- Exemplary construction, really good build quality
- Quite steady even under max load
- The loading capacity is top class, considering its category
- The red and black design appealed to us
- It is quite heavy for a mini tripod
7. ZoMei Camera Tripod for DSLR
Looking for something durable and sturdy for an affordable price tag? Something that folds into a compact form factor and comes with a hook on the center shaft for added stability? Well, let us acquaint ourselves with this particular tripod from Zomei.
Now, what sets this unit apart from its competition in this price bracket is the addition of a gripping hook in the center shaft.
It is a godsend if you try and take a photo in a place that is windy. Just add a makeshift weight to the hook, and you have a heavily stabilized tripod that would not sway in the wind.
Adding more value to this already bang-for-the-buck unit is that the unit itself can be folded down to a very compact format. We probably would not trust the stand with something heavy, the Canon 5D, for example, but any other smaller body cameras can be handled with ease.
The further addition of a solid mounting plate, the tuning knob, and foam grips make it the best lightweight tripod for hiking, in a budget.
- Best competitively priced travel tripod
- Gripping hook in the center shaft
- Can be folded down to a very compact format
- Added solid mounting plate
- Pretty cheap so the durability might be a concern
8. Benro Travel Angel 2 Series Carbon Fiber Tripod
Looking for a travel tripod that does it all? The Travel Angel 2 from Benro does it all. It doubles up as a monopod, and do we dare say it? We shall. It triples up as a walking stick too. And it truly does it all. Sure, having a walking stick is nice and all, but how does it fare as a walking stick? Well, let us find out.
Truthfully, marketing gimmicks aside, it does seem to perform quite well as a tripod.
We can, of course, see where and why that would be quite useful. But we are more interested in that monopod feature. It can be very useful if we do not want to carry a monopod as well as a tripod.
So we are taking a look at the carbon model today. This sits above the aluminum model in terms of pricing and a step below a more expensive model, also composed of carbon. The unit we are featuring, in our opinion, is a solid combination of strength,weight, and size.
It weighs just shy of 3.6 lbs and can bear a load of up to 32 lbs. And it folds down to just 17.3 inches.
- A solid combination of strength,weight, and size
- Fairly lightweight at 3.5-3.6 lbs
- Can be folded back in itself
- Quick-release plate from Arca Swiss
- The angle locks are not spring-loaded
9. ManfrottoBefree Advanced Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod
Want a tripod from a famous household name but do not know which model to get? The latest and greatest in their lineup,the Befree Advanced,should be the one to look out for.
This unit, along with the aluminum variant is really up there in all the categories possible, and it is not hard to see why once you get your hands on one.
Manfrotto has come a long way since its inception, and this Befree Advanced is a testament to how far they have come. The unit is a major upgrade from the outdated original.
And the unit makes use of leg angle adjusters and twin locks to ease the setup process, wherever you are. This is further complemented with its exemplary build quality and class-leading build quality.
Now, a major upgrade over its predecessor is that head. It locks down very tightly and can hold over double the weight. And thus, the Manfrotto takes the cake for the best lightweight tripod for backpacking.
- The head can hold over double the weight, and it locks down tightly
- Exemplary build quality and class-leading build quality
- Leg angle adjusters and twin locks to ease the setup process
- Inclusion of an accessories port
- The center column release lock is made of plastic
10. SIRUI MT5-C MyTrip Travel Tripod
Looking for something that is reasonably sized but still trying to shed some weight if possible? Then look no further than the MT5-C MyTrip from Sirui. This one of the easiest tripods on our list to operate. Simply deploy in a matter of seconds and start using it.
We figure that this unit is also probably a good starting point for anyone looking to buy their first travel tripod,
especially those individuals looking to make the shift from the traditional “tabletop” tripods. These tabletop tripods simply do not cut it when taking those awesome panoramas.
The mechanical parts to this tripod are just so smooth. They glide over themselves effortlessly. The pivots just fall into place with a satisfying snap, and the telescopic parts just slide over each other like butter when extending or retracting.
What is more, the vertical column can be removed. It makes the tripod even easier to carry around. This is probably the lightest tripod on our list that can also hold a mirrorless camera with reasonably sized lenses.
- Very lightweight and compact
- Smooth mechanical operation
- Removable vertical column
- The B-00k ballhead is smooth and robust
- The attached carabiner is not that great
What to Look For Before Buying A Backpacking Tripod.
So perhaps you decided to source a backpacking tripod for yourself. Now it is not an absolute must for you to choose a backpacking tripod from our list. All of them are standout, compelling offerings. However, this would not be a complete review guide if we did not include the features or basics you should look out for.
Since the tripod is going into a backpack, the tripod itself must not be taller than 20 inches, fully packed in. This helps us place it neatly into any of our backpacks’ side pockets. If the backpack is large enough, you could stick it into one of the main compartments.
To make the decision easier for you, all the backpacking tripods we featured on this list are at most 20 inches tall, fully packed in.
This is another principal aspect you should look into. The keyword in the title is ‘backpacking’. And that basically translates to traveling light. Perhaps you are off to somewhere remote and inaccessible. Or perhaps we need to get there by hiking. So it makes sense to shed any unnecessary weight.
So the best hiking tripod should be lightweight. It must be balanced so that we would not feel its weight if we end up hiking for longer periods of time, but must also be heavy enough so that it can stand against the brunt of the elements if we are off shooting somewhere windy.
Of course, there are scores of brilliant tripods in the market, of all sizes and weights, but the best of the best tend to be on the heavier side. And therefore, they do not cut it for the purpose of backpacking. The best tripod for backpacking should weigh in between 4 to 5 lbs. This weight is acceptable for your back.
• Your Skill Level
No, we do not need any special skill to operate a tripod. We are talking about your photography skills. Experience level matters when it boils down to choosing the equipment. Even more so for equipment that is meant to aid sensitive optical instruments. Different skill levels have different needs.
• Professionals vs. Casual Photographers
If we were a casual photographer, our needs would be different from a professional photographer, as a wildlife photographer. A tripod meant for a casual photographer would be far too simple to meet the needs of a professional.
Likewise, a tripod for a professional would be far too complicated to serve the casuals’ needs. Thus, we recommend listing our needs first before taking a peek at any of the models.
• Pricing Correlation
Your skill level also correlates to the pricing of these tripods. For newbies with photography, the tripods they need would be simple, affordable, and cost under $50. And the price goes up from there as the skill level increases.
The more sensitive the equipment is, the higher the price bracket it commands.Thus, since we made this review accessible to everyone, it is only fair that we include options for everyone, regardless of their skill level.
Therefore, it is almost a given that the best tripods for backpacking will be more expensive, especially if they are for professionals. But fret not, they make up for their price tag with the appropriate features.
For example, the best of the best backpacking tripods on our list allows for uber comfortable shooting from eye level, even if you are blessed with a height of over six feet. Plus, it manages to be very lightweight, and it does not exceed the 19-inch mark when it is fully packed down.
• Shots from Eye-Level
So another thing we need to look into would be eye-level shooting. Even though it falls under the dimensions category, we figured it would be easier to understand as something separate.
Therefore, if we plan on shooting from eye level, we might as well add in comfort as a factor. And thus, we must check the listing for the maximum height. If we are shopping in a physical store, the height information should be on one side of the box.
Taller people will need taller tripods, it goes without saying. Therefore we have included models that go for the maximum, even if you are over six feet. If, however, the length of the tripod is not a factor, we recommend that you look into the other basics instead, such as the weight and price.
• Tripod Load
This is also one of the principal aspects of a tripod. The best camera tripod for backpacking should also be able to hold the mass of your camera, including its lenses and accessories. A lightweight tripod with a minimal load capacity should serve the purpose if you are doing mobile photography, or using an action camera.
Therefore, again, check the online listing carefully. They should mention the load capacity somewhere. And if you are in a physical store, try searching for the information on the box. Do not purchase a tripod without checking the maximum-load capacity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are some of the most commonly asked queries regarding the best backpacking tripods:
1. What is a travel tripod?
Tripods are meant to be folded up into a small package. Often times, they can be compactenough to fit inside your everyday backpack. Travel tripods are very lightweight.
2. Do I need a travel tripod?
It depends on whether or not you travel around a lot and want to travel light. Honestly, this is a fairly vague question. But what we can say is that if you love taking stills and walk for hours to land that perfect photo, then yes, you need a travel tripod. Your back will thank you for it.
3. What are the best travel tripods?
Our recommendation for the best camera tripod for hiking would go to the K&F Concept 62''. A solid mid-range unit, for casuals and professionals alike, there is very little this unit skips out on.
4. What is the best mini tripod?
To us, that would be aJOBY GorillaPod 5K Kit. It is simple to use and durable, and it is highly recommended.
5. Can I mount a scope or a binocular on my tripod?
Of course, you can mount all types of cameras, phones, scopes, and binoculars if there is a proper mount or mounting bracket for it. The inclusion of such brackets differs from model to model, though. So bear that in mind.
And that about concludes our best backpacking tripod reviews. We have taken a peek at some of the best units you can buy right now. Whichever one you decide on buying is guaranteed to up your travel photography game. Happy shooting!