The 5 best travel tripods in 2024

5 March 2024

For many photographers, a tripod is a non-negotiable for taking clear, blur-free photos while shooting handheld. If you're travelling, you’ll want to rely on a travel tripod to improve composition and reduce camera shake.

Technically, any tripod can be a travel tripod. But travel tripods are lightweight yet sturdy enough to hold a range of cameras, and fold down to a compact size so you can easily carry them around. Find out how to choose a travel tripod, and check out our best travel tripods.

What to look for in a travel tripod

If you’re new to the world of travel tripods, you may be surprised to learn there’s a lot of variation in models. Here are key features to consider:

  • Sturdiness. Your travel tripod should be lightweight, but strong enough to comfortably mount a mirrorless or DSLR camera with long lenses attached. If you’re buying a tripod, think of how much your camera gear weighs and choose a portable tripod with a payload to match.
  • Portability. When comparing tripods, look for one that can tuck into your camera bag or isn’t too cumbersome for you to carry around on shoots.
Best Travel TripodsBest Travel Tripods
  • Collapsed size and stowability. The best portable camera tripods can be folded down to 30cm to 40cm. Ideally, choose a tripod whose legs fully swing upwards when you’re ready to store it. With this construction, you’d close the tripod by swinging the legs up around the centre column.
  • Design and setup time. Travel tripods typically feature four or five legs and a centre column of standard height. If you’re quite tall or don’t want to bend over while shooting, look for a travel tripod with an extending centre column. Just keep in mind that the more legs or sections your tripod has, the more twist or flip locks there will be – meaning it will take a little longer to set up and fold down.
  • Size of the ball head. For example, if you’re shooting with a large DSLR, look for a tripod with a larger ball head to keep your camera secure.
  • Cost. Carbon fibre tripods are light, but they often come with a higher price tag as they’re durable and don’t rust. Aluminium tripods tend to be cheaper, but heavier.

Best budget travel tripod: Manfrotto MK Element MII Travel Tripod w/B&S Head

The 5 best travel tripodsThe 5 best travel tripods

Manfrotto is known for its stellar tripods, and this budget-friendly one is no exception. It’s lightweight, coming in at just 1.55kg. With sturdy 4-section legs, the tripod can reliably hold up to 8kg, making it suitable for use with heavier mirrorless and DSLR cameras and standard or telephoto lenses.

It has a versatile ball head for simple composition, and its twist leg locks make it quick and easy to achieve your desired height. This model can open up to 160 cm but folds down to 42.5cm.

Best compact tripod: Manfrotto Befree Carbon Travel Tripod - Twist Lock

The latest in the popular Befree range, this Manfrotto tripod folds down to a compact 41cm, so you can slip it into your camera bag or backpack when it’s time to move on to the next location or wrap up your shoot. 

The tripod is extremely lightweight yet rugged thanks to its carbon fibre build and provides good stability for mirrorless cameras, DSLRs and lenses up to 8kg. It has four rigid leg sections with a stylish design, making it sturdy, quick to set up and aesthetically pleasing.

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Best portable tripod: Vanguard VEO 3 GO 235AB

Best Travel TripodsBest Travel Tripods

This Vanguard model stands out for its ultra-portability, folding down to 33 cm. Its 4 kg payload is suitable for mirrorless gear over DSLRs, and it’s strong and sturdy enough to hold additional accessories such as lighting without compromising on stability. 

The best lightweight tripod for backpacking, it comes with a smartphone adaptor and Bluetooth remote, making it an excellent choice for photographers interested in mobile content creation. With a reversible centre column and low-angle adaptor, it’s perfect for close-up work and macros where you want to hone in on the smaller details of your subject.

Best travel tripod for landscapes: Vanguard VEO 3T+ 234AP Aluminium Travel Tripod

Are you a keen landscape photographer? Check out this Vanguard travel tripod, whose versatile 3-way panhead is perfect for precise composition and shooting sweeping panoramas. Its unique multi-angle central column moves 360 degrees in any direction, which is great for shooting different frames in a landscape. 

The Vanguard model has reversible legs for fast folding on the go. You can even convert one leg into a monopod, making this the ideal support solution for travel and one of the most interesting travel tripods we’ve seen.

Best travel TripodsBest travel Tripods

Best lightweight tripod for video: Manfrotto Befree Live Tripod - Twist Legs

Best Travel TripodsBest Travel Tripods

One of the newer travel tripods on the market, Manfrotto’s Befree Live tripod can cater to video cameras as well as mirrorless, DSLR and compact cameras. If you like switching between different types of travel cameras on a shoot, this tripod’s versatility will reduce the number of accessories you’ll need. It’s the best choice for video shooting, with a pan bar for fluid panning and tilting as well as separate pan and tilt drag knobs.

The compact tripod has a 4kg payload and a dedicated quick-release plate. It also features large feet, which provide stability and balance on tricky terrain.

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Pack a lightweight travel tripod on your next trip

Consider a travel tripod one of your travel essentials! Shop tripods and monopods at Ted’s Cameras, and don’t hesitate to ask our team for help to find the best tripods for photography — our experts are on hand to help you find the best travel tripod for your needs and budget.

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