If you’re a traveling photographer, you know the importance of having a great tripod. Travel tripods need to be able to hold your camera steady and true. They also need to be lightweight enough to carry with you. This is the dilemma that mobile photographers have. Generally, the heavier and more stable a tripod is, the less compact it will be. So how do you solve this issue?
There are plenty of light tripods available for backpackers. They come in a variety of different capacities and specializations. If they have been designed for backpacking and mobility, they will likely have features that allow them to be packed into tighter spaces. The mounts may be different, the material may be more lightweight, they may have various close down setting that you wouldn’t find on a traditional, full-sized tripod.
So with the necessity of having a tripod that is both stable and light enough to carry with you, how do you find the one that is best for your purposes? Below are the current 10 Best backpacking tripods in 2021. Later we will discuss some of the factors behind what makes a travel tripod worth its pennies.
View The Best Backpacking Tripod Below
1. Rangers 55” Ultra Compact and Lightweight
The first pick on our list has been designed with CNC technology to ensure that the stability is at the top of its class. The body has been made out of lightweight, highly durable aluminum. The uniquely constructed ball head is able to swivel 360-degrees to allow you to capture panoramic views. With two built-in levels on the ball head, you’ll be able to pinpoint the precise angle you want to achieve.
The tripod is really easy to set up and take down. The column legs have 4 sections and quickly release and lock. The tripod folds up into a compact, easy to carry size when you’re ready to venture on. The full height is 56″ and folds down to a convenient 14″ in just a few clicks. it is such a light tripod at 2.9 pounds and is designed to have a wide base when fully extended for added stability.
+ 2.9 pounds
+ 4-sectioned column legs
+ Compact, easy to carry
+ Wide base
+ Durable aluminum
Why we like it – The wide base allows you to get the level of stability that you want out of a tripod. It is really lightweight that if you didn’t have a bit more surface area on the bottom, it might be easy for the tripod to knock over. It’s really easy to set-up and takes down so you can grab perfect shots quickly and then move on.
2. Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Camera Tripod
This is a handy little tripod that is versatile and practical. It sits quite low to the ground so if you are planning on standing up and taking your pictures, you’ll need to strap it to the side of a tree or another vertical support. The small tripod has a triple fold out design which helps you to stabilize a variety of cameras on flat ground. When folded up, the tripod measures 7/2″ and unfolds to a radius of about 10″.
It comes with the versatility to be able to strap cameras onto many different types of supports. Tree limbs, branches, poles, pack frames, or anything else sturdy will support your camera using the velcro attached strap. This is designed to be one of the most lightweight and compact tripods available while still offering you a balanced and stable platform from which to take your outdoor snapshots.
+ Super lightweight
+ Small and portable
+ Versatile uses
+ Sturdy support
Why we like it – This is a great accompaniment if you’re not looking for a full-sized tripod and just need something to hold the camera steady will you try to take pictures. It is quite versatile which is good for getting the proper height or vantage point you want.
3. ZOMEI 55″ Compact Light Weight Travel Tripod
This travel tripod is very similar to the first on our list in many ways. It comes with 4 section column legs which allow you to extend the height f the tripod to 55″. The quick release locks allow you to set up and take down the tripod in a hurry and helps you to get a solid foundation on a variety of slope types. If need be, you can add stability to the unit by hanging stabilizing weights to the center hook underneath the ball mount.
It is very lightweight as it is made of aluminum alloy and folds up to 14″ to let you attach it to your camping backpack when you’re ready to move to the next shot location. The 3-way pan head with a quick release plate will give you a full 360-degree range and you’ll easily be able to navigate using the panhandle.
+ 55″ extender
+ Stabilizing weight options
+ 2.6 pounds total
+ 4 section column legs
+ Multiple color options
Why we like it – This is as good as a travel tripod needs to be. The convenience added for being able to add weights to the bottom hook when you need to add a little bit of stability.
4. Pedco UltraPod Lightweight Camera Tripod
This is like the baby brother to the UltraPod ll we previously spoke about. It is made with a similar design. It has three fold-out legs that stabilize a small camera when needed. When you want to have the versatility of strapping it to a tree, pole, or branch, you have that too with the mounting strap. This tripod folds down to 4 inches long and is made out of fiberglass. It has been reinforced using nylon and has aluminum components for screwing in cameras and other accessories.
It is designed to hold small cameras and to give you a little bit of support when you want to take pictures on the go. The tripod itself weighs less than 2oz and can hold a maximum of 3 pounds. Great for anyone who just wants small, stable support to take pictures on the go with.
+ Super compact
+ 4 inches long
+ Versatile uses
Why we like it – This light tripod is good if you don’t need a ton of support or stability. It is designed purely to give your small camera a stationary mount to take pictures with, without taking up any space or weight.
5. MACTREM Tripod DSLR SLR Tripod
Made from premium aluminum alloy, this travel tripod is light enough but strong enough to hold up to 33 pounds were of picture taking magic. It can do that while only weighing 2.9 pounds itself. The full extended length of the tripod is 62.5″ which will be enough to reach a slightly bent over fully grown adult. Three locking knobs on the ball head mount make it really easy to change direction and set up the camera on the top. By detaching the center column, you can turn the tripod into a monopod, or adjust the height of the viewfinder.
As with many practical and useful travel tripods, the column legs have 4 sections and quick release locks for easy setup, takedown, and adjustments. Everything folds down to 21.5 inches for when you are ready to pack up. It will fit into a backpack or is easy to attach to the side of the bag for hiking purposes and easy access.
+ 62.5″ extender
+ 2.9 pounds
+ Holds 33 pounds
+ Adjustable viewfinder
+ Durable material
Why we like it – You get an extra 7.5 inches of extension with this tripod compared to some of the other options. In every other way, it is similar to any good backpacking tripod and will be good for professional-level photographers.
6. Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod
If you need a tripod that is lightweight, portable, and easy to use, then you might want to give this one a go. It is all of the above and is stable enough to hold your lightweight camera. If you need to get the steady video without the camera shaking, you’ll be able to do so with this backpacking tripod. The legs open up to a 45-degree angle, and, if you want to hold them together and hold it as a monopod, you can do so as well.
Once you’re ready for stationary picture taking, the ball head is easy t release and lock using a simple push button. The tripod is constructed of stainless steel and is durable and strong enough to deal with the outdoor elements. It is compatible with a wide variety of devices. No matter what lightweight camera you are shooting with, it will be able to mount steadily on this lightweight tripod.
+ Super lightweight
+ Good for light cameras
+ Durable material
+ Highly compatible
Why we like it – For its size and weight, this tripod is super sturdy and durable. It is obviously well made and is everything you’ll need if you just want to be able to take simple stable pictures from the ground.
7. UBeesize 60-inch Camera Tripod
With an attractive design and versatile compatibility, any high-level travel photographer could love this tripod. It only weighs 2.8 pounds and folds down to 21″ when you’re ready for your hike. It is constructed of highly durable aluminum and will be able to handle bumps on the trail.
3-way pan and tilt let you easily maneuver the head to get the smoothest and most accurate shot possible. To easily pack and carry the tripod you can put it into the carry bag and strap the belt around your shoulder.
The legs have 3 sections and are quick releasing for easy adjustments and pack-ups. At full mast, the tripod comes up to 61″.The tripod is made with environmentally friendly materials and is compatible with a variety of different devices and cameras.
+ Lightweight and durable
+ 3 Section legs
+ 61″ height
+ Easy to pan and adjust
+ Sturdy and compatible
Why we like it – Compared to the other larger travel tripods on our list, this one stands up to the competition. Lightweight, durable, reliable, and attractive.
8. BONFOTO B690A Lightweight Aluminum Tripod
A 360-degree horizontal swivel, vertical mount, and three-way head will give you the range of motion and stability that you’re yearning for. It allows you to pick and manipulate the angle to the exact position that you want. With a 55″ extended height, you’ll be able to comfortably take pictures and videos is a mostly upright position. Unless you are exactly 55″ tall. This light tripod can also hold up to 17 pounds of picture taking technology.
Double telescoping columns make it easy to fold up and stretch out for seamless setup. Included are a carry bag and a center column hook for added weight stability. At 2.6 pounds and made of aluminum, the tripod is compact enough to conveniently strap to the outside of your backpack. All of the mounts and legs have quick release technology to easily let you get your shots and move on when you’re satisfied.
+ Lightweight and durable
+ 55″ height
+ Quick release locks
+ Weight hook for stability
Why we like it – Its got extra angle features that let you get angles that you normally wouldn’t be able to get as easily. That makes this one of our favorite travel tripods.
9. SLIK Sprint Mini II Tripod with SBH
For anyone looking for a medium height tripod, this might be the best pick for you. It is super portable and easy to carry around. The height at full extension measures 35.3 inches. That will be enough to get the camera up off the ground but high enough to take shots at a comfortable kneeling position.
It is constructed of gun-metal aluminum and supports up to 4.5 pounds. That will be enough for most lightweight cameras. It is possible to lengthen or shorten the tripod using the adjustable center column, and the minimum height is 13.3 inches.
A quick release cam lock secures the camera to the ball head plate and is easy to install and uninstall. When you want to get low-level photography, you can reverse the center column and position the camera between the legs rather than above it to get a good low vantage point picture. With three separate angles to set your stability to, you should be able to get perfectly still shots with this backpacking tripod.
+ Adjustable stability
+ Reversible center column
+ Medium size
+ Quick release mounts and legs
Why we like it – This is the perfect middle ground tripod for taking shots on a hike. It doesn’t take up a lot of room but is still big enough and strong enough to hold the camera steady.
10. AmazonBasics 50-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag
AmaznBasics has come out with a minimalist design that is practical and sturdy for your travel tripod needs. It weighs just over 1 pound and is made out of high-grade aluminum. Swivel and tilt motion allows you to choose the optimal angle for your pictures on the easy to use mount, and fast transitioning is possible with the quick release head.
Three sectioned column legs will let you extend the height of the tripod from 16.5′ to 50′. You’ll have enough height to take pictures comfortably, but also a small enough pack size to carry easily. If you’re using lighter cameras and just want a simple, practical mount to take shots with, this is our recommendation.
+ High-grade aluminum
+ 50″ Extension
+ Highly stable
+ Quick release mounts
Why we like it – Another good option for medium-sized camera mounts. If you’re just looking for a simple tripod to take pictures on the go, this will do the trick.
Backpacking Tripod Buyers Guide
How to pick out the right backpacking Tripod
From the information we’ve given you about our favorite travel tripods today, you may be able to see that size, compatibility, and use are all important factors to keep in mind when you’re making your pick. So what are some of the things that you should consider before pressing add to cart? Read on to find out the answers to some frequently asked questions.
What type of head is right for me?
Since we’re talking about tripods that travel well, we’re pretty much going to exclusively recommend the ball head mount. There are numerous other styles, and all have excellent performance for specific purposes. The ball head, however, is the most versatile an practical for traveling purposes. The ball head mount sits nestled inside the stand and is easy to adjust. With one axis point, you can swivel an tilt the camera all on the same axis.
This allows for quick transitioning and securing of the head mount for all types of photography. It is also the smallest head style, so it is ideal for traveling. The other styles of the head have more specific purposes and can offer much more exact positioning, but come with drawbacks such as less payload, and bulkier components.
How big should my tripod be?
This will totally depend on the types of shooting you want to do, and how small your tripod needs to be for your travel purposes. If you have a heavier camera like a DSLR, then a larger tripod will be essential. They are designed to carry the extra weight and have added stability options to give you a more stable shot.
As long as you don’t mind carrying a tripod which weighs 1-3 pounds and you have room for a 21-inch tripod, going bigger will be a good way to go. They are meant for the people who are more focused on the high-level of photography for convenience and portability.
Small tripods will be fine for you if you just need something to hold the camera steady to take shots. Keep in mind, small tripods are directly on the ground and can not hold very much weight. They are a great option if none of that matters to you, and you need a really small and lightweight style of a tripod. The mini tripods generally also have numerous uses. Mounting your camera to a tree, branch, railing, or any other sturdy object can help you achieve the angles you are going for.
How much stability do I really need?
This is going to depend on a couple of factors. Any tripod will be more steady than the human hand, provided it is not a horribly windy day and you have a very lightweight tripod. Generally speaking, the heavier the tripod is, the more stability you will have against the wind and movements from the hand. But, if you need to keep the weight down, if you can find a tripod with legs that are adjustable to various angles, you may be able to get a lower center of gravity and, therefore, more stability.
With smaller tripods, you won’t have the stability of a larger one. However, if you have one that is mountable to an absolutely stationary surface, then you needn’t worry about much. This basically comes down to a question of weight vs stability and you’ll need to decide which is the most important factor for you.
Picking out the right tripod shouldn’t be too hard with the list of our 10 best backpacking tripods n 2021. Of course, as you can see there are a wide variety of options. But as long as you pay attention to the weights, heights, and compatibility of your tripod, you should be able to find one that will give you the shots of a lifetime.
Compatibility can mean a few different things. It could reference the types of connections needed, or the mounts you need to get in order to connect certain devices to the tripod. Not all tripods have a cellphone mount but can be easy to pick up separately. Just check that your camera has the proper connections before taking a shot.
Did you know?
The first DSLR camera was invented in 1975 by Kodak. It was created by an engineer named Steven Sasson and contained a Fairchild 100×100 pixel CCD.