Compact tripods for travel are a great investment if you’re really serious about photography. By using a decent compact tripod for travel, you’re guaranteed to have both stable and quality pictures. Plus, you don’t have to sacrifice too much valuable space in your luggage. In this article, we’ve curated some of the best compact tripods for cameras around. And that includes the popular compact tripods for DSLR cameras. So if you don’t have a clue as to which one to get, stay tuned, because our list will give you lots of great inspiration!
How to Choose The Best Compact Tripods for Travel
Just like we said at the beginning, compact tripods for travel will really come in handy for the photography enthusiast or professional. Despite its packable size, a compact tripod for travel should hold your camera steady on any type of surface. This way, you can get a satisfyingly stable shot wherever you are.
But to achieve that, you need to make some serious considerations. You see, compact tripods for cameras are available in a variety of models and sizes. Sometimes, you have to make some compromises. Knowing which things to compromise/not will make a huge difference in your photography experience. So, here are three factors to think about when choosing compact tripods for DSLR cameras or other photography equipment.
A compact tripod for travel is meant to be practical and portable. It should fold easily and won’t take up much space in your luggage. So, make sure you think about the folding size before deciding to buy one. See if the tripod will fit in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure it won’t force you to give up other essentials like clothes, toiletries, and more.
Despite their relatively small size, compact tripods for cameras are supposed to be sturdy. Remember, you might plan on using them to take slow-speed shots. So, the tripod needs to be strong and stable enough to withstand the weight of your camera for a few minutes or even hours. For this, we recommend getting products made from carbon. While slightly more expensive, they generally offer much better sturdiness.
When looking for compact tripods for DSLR cameras, see if the product is good enough for your money. You need to really know why you should spend 200 or 300 bucks just for a single tripod. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t hesitate to look at more affordable alternatives. But if money isn’t an issue, you need to check whether the tripod has any additional features that add value.
And speaking of budget, we have some really affordable alternatives for your photography needs here. Check out our list of the 13 best travel cameras and find some of the greatest products with impressive features around!
What is a Compact Tripod?
A compact tripod is basically a mini tripod that’s ultra-light and can be folded down to a small size. That way, you can easily pack it into a regular bag and carry it around. However, compact tripods are generally more flimsy and shorter than their full-size counterparts.
And speaking of easy transport, this might be the perfect time to invest in a specific bag. Check out our list of the 13 best camera backpacks for hiking. There you’ll find some of the finest products to carry your precious camera through those trails.
Are Mini Tripods Worth It?
Due to their mini size, compact tripods aren’t ideal for heavier photography kits. But if you’re into smartphone photography or just want to take some quick footage using a mirrorless camera, they’ll be perfect. Just make sure you get a mini tripod with sturdy legs and quality clamps.
How Heavy Should a Travel Tripod be?
We’re not too sure there’s a standard for this. But based on our experience, the average compact tripod for travel weighs no more than 4lbs. But of course, this is completely relative. If you have more space to work with, feel free to bring a larger tripod.
Smartphone photography is becoming more and more popular among travelers. If you’re one of them, then this mini tripod is for you. As the name implies, Adonit Photogrip features a spring-loaded grip to hold your smartphone securely. If you look at the bottom, there’s a small socket compatible with almost all compact tripods. It’s also suitable with the included mini tripod.
Another thing that makes Adonit Photogrip popular among other compact tripods for travel is its versatility. When not in use, you can fold the legs and use it as a fully functional camera grip. Plus, there’s a Bluetooth shutter, so you can execute your favorite shots from a distance.
What We Love
A compact tripod for smartphone photography enthusiasts
- One-hand operation
- Shutter remote
- Self-standing mode
- Not recommended for larger phones
Manfrotto PIXI Evo
It’s no exaggeration to say that the Manfrotto PIXI Evo is one of the best compact tripods for cameras money can buy. It’s compact, packable, and approachable. The setup process is fast and seamless. All you need to do is push the legs out and you’ll be good to go. Push them back inside and you’ll get yourself a solid camera grip.
The Manfrotto PIXI Evo is an improved version of the original PIXI. For the Evo model, Manfrotto added two extra leg angles. Both will be perfect when you want to do low-angle shots. Another thing to love about this compact tripod for travel is its compatibility. The construction is designed to be able to hold not only modern-day cell phones but also compact cameras and small DSLRs.
And speaking of cameras, are any of you planning on going on some water adventures in the near future? If so, you might want to check out our list of the 13 best waterproof cameras under 200. Not only affordable but these cameras are also designed to deliver the best pictures even when operated in wet environments.
What We Love
It has two additional leg angles, perfect for low-angle shots
- Adjustable legs and angles
- Built-in ball head
- Compatible with smartphones and DSLR
- Supports up to 5.5lbs
- Not recommended for use with large lenses
3 Legged Thing Legends Jay
What 3 Legged Thing Jay is trying to do is bring out the best of both worlds. Just like other compact tripods for DSLR cameras, it has strong legs, decent enough for still photography. But if you look closely, this thing has a leveling base. This feature will really come in handy when you want to do panning shots. We can quickly see why Thing Jay has become quite popular among travel vloggers.
Just as you would expect, this device is absolutely compact. Furthermore, you also get a handle screw for better control. As for the price, the 3 Legged Thing Jay is a bit on the pricier side. But considering all the extra features you get, this is a compact tripod for travel that’s definitely worth checking out.
What We Love
Boasts a leveling base, saves you a lot of time when it comes to setting up panning shots
- Quick set-up leveling base system
- Detachable legs
- Raise O-Pads
- 5-year global warranty
- It’s a little expensive
Gitzo GT1545T Series 1
When budget isn’t an issue, do yourself a favor and get a premium product like the Gitzo GT1545T Series 1. This beautiful thing has excellent build quality and an uncomplicated operating mechanism. There are four section legs for any kind of shot. Furthermore, the GT1545T Series 1 is among the compact tripods for travel that feature an excellent ball head.
The only thing stopping this product from becoming the most popular compact tripod for travel is its price point. A brand new unit will cost you no less than 600 bucks, shipping isn’t included. For a smaller amount of money, you can easily find plenty of equally good alternatives out there. But if you don’t mind spending a lot, the Gitzo GT1545T Series 1 is a gorgeous product that would be nice to have.
What We Love
Excellent ball head, four section legs for various shot needs
- Supports up to 22lbs
- Compatible with lenses up to 200mm
- Carbon legs
- Traveler G-Lock technology
- It might cost you some fortune
Vanguard VEO 2 Go
Ultra-packable is the best word to describe the Vanguard VEO 2 Go. Unlike other compact tripods for cameras, this thing can’t go really high. But on the brighter side, you can fold it so that it becomes so compact. Small enough to fit in a shoulder bag! Furthermore, the entire package weighs just under a kilogram, making the Vanguard VEO 2 Go one of the lightest compact tripods for DSLR cameras on this list.
The fact that the center column is fixed when in the extended position might worry you a bit. But from what we read, there wasn’t a single user complaining about wobble or anything. Of course, this tripod won’t be as stable as its full-size counterpart. But if you need something compact and practical, then this is it!
What We Love
Can be folded so small to fit in a shoulder bag
- Compact size
- Uncomplicated set-up
- 4 section aluminum legs
- Fixed center column
Manfrotto Element Traveler
This isn’t the only time we’ve been impressed with the Manfrotto product catalog. They always seem to have something for everyone. The Manfrotto Element Traveler Big is no exception. It’s available in a variety of sizes and colors, suitable for all kinds of needs and preferences. The model you’re looking at now has a folding size of around 42 cm and an 8kg load rating.
Judging from the price point, we’re quite surprised to learn that the Manfrotto Element Traveler Big has quite a lot of extra features. Build quality is excellent, while the ball head has its own panning lock. Other than that, most users love how this tripod seems unaffected by vibrations. If you’re looking for compact tripods for DSLR cameras and don’t plan on reaching deep in your pocket, then the Manfrotto Element Traveler Big is your best bet.
What We Love
Impressive build quality, with a fantastic ball head
- Designed for traveling
- Holds equipment as heavy axle 17.6lb
- Telescopic center column
- Carbon fiber legs
- No friction adjuster
Joby RangePod Smart
Choosing compact tripods for travel is something that should not be taken lightly, especially when you’re a vlogger or professional content creator. Using the right tripod will save a lot of time in the production process. Particularly when you want to set up a variety of different shots. The Joby RangePod Smart is a reliable tripod for this kind of job.
In addition to being small, this compact tripod for travel comes with a phone clamp. It can be mounted vertically or horizontally, so you can quickly move from YouTube video production to shorter content for Instagram stories or TikTok. And thanks to its quick-release Arca-Swiss plate, the Joby RangePod Smart is also fully compatible with smaller DSLR or mirrorless cameras. You can even use medium-sized lenses since this product has a payload rating of up to 8kg.
Traveling with your kids? Then this might be the right moment to introduce them to the exciting world of photography. Check out our list of the 13 best underwater cameras for kids. Let your little ones capture some of the best landscapes they’ll ever see beneath the surface of the ocean!
What We Love
A great reliable tripod for professional content creators
- Easy to set up
- Come with a phone clamp
- Arca-Swiss quick release plate
- Travel size
- The carrying bag included is of poor quality
Benro Rhino is a new series of compact tripods for cameras from the manufacturer. The model we’re currently featuring is the smallest, measuring only about 35cm long when folded. However, that doesn’t mean this tripod lacks features. First of all, it boasts of Benro’s impressive VX ball heads. Other than that, the pan axis under the camera plate is just perfect.
However, we did note some shortcomings here. Compared to a full-sized tripod, the Benro Rhino can’t go that high. Apart from that, you’ll notice that it gets a little wobbly when the two center column sections are used. Regardless, both issues are normal with compact tripods for DSLR cameras. If you can live with that, the Benro Rhino would be a nice piece of equipment to have.
What We Love
Travel-sized tripod with impressive ball heads and pan axis
- Reverse folding design
- Extremely portable
- Automatic leg angle adjustment
- Converts to a full-size monopod
- It takes some time to set up
3 Legged Thing Leo 2.0
The 3 Legged Thing Leo 2.0 is a compact tripod for travel that can do a lot of remarkable things. In folded form, this holder is only 35 cm long. But when fully retracted, you get a stable stand that goes up to 146cm. Apart from that, this fantastic tripod has an impressive payload rating of up to 30kg.
But it doesn’t stop there. The 3 Legged Thing Leo 2.0 also comes with a detachable monopod leg. You can easily use it as a boom for your camera or microphone. Need to use some extra accessories? There’s a Tri-Mount system for that! Compared to other compact tripods for travel, this product may not be the smallest or cheapest. But when it comes to versatility, this is one of the best options you can get.
What We Love
Impressive tripod with great versatility
- Suitable for mirrorless cameras
- 3 detachable legs
- 5-year global warranty
- There are too many clamps
Manfrotto Befree 3-Way
Compact tripods for cameras with dual functionality are becoming more and more popular these days. Manfrotto Befree 3-Way Live is one of them. It’s basically a compact-sized tripod that’s also great for taking videos. There’s a fluid head with a hydraulic damping system for smooth and easy camera movement. Apart from that, the overall construction is only about 2kg in weight and can hold 6kg worth of equipment.
Design-wise, Manfrotto Befree 3-Way Live could’ve been better. We find that a simple task like changing the battery can be a hassle with this thing. However, this is by no means a massive deal-breaker. Functionally, this is one of the most impressive compact tripods for DSLR cameras around. A brand new unit will only cost you around 270 bucks.
What We Love
Great compact-sized tripod for taking videos
- Dedicated plate for maximum camera stability
- 3-way fluid head
- Foldable handles
- It can’t go really high
Peak Design Travel Tripod
The Peak Design Travel Tripod is the first from the manufacturer. Nevertheless, we think they did a great job with this early attempt. The model we’re currently reviewing is made of carbon fiber. But if you want to cut the cost down, they have an aluminum version too. You’ll get basically the same compact tripod for travel, only with less resistance to vibration.
Apart from that, the Peak Design Travel Tripod measures only 39cm in folded form. We also love the fact that it adopts a ‘zero volume’ design. This means the stand will be quite slim in its compact form, leaving almost no space between the legs and the column. If you don’t have much room left in your trunk or backpack, the Peak Design is one of the many compact tripods for travel worth considering.
While we’re on the topic of photography, did you know that some cameras are designed for a specific purpose? For example, you can check out our list of the 13 best cameras for hunting videos. They’ll allow you to record all hunting processes in 4K glory!
What We Love
Adopts ‘dead volume’ design, giving you a space-efficient compact tripod
- Packs down to the diameter of a water bottle
- Unique design for quicker, easier setup
- 20lb weight capacity
- Built-in mobile mount
- The carbon version is more expensive than other similar products
Benro GoPlus Travel
The Benro GoPlus is everything you’d expect from a compact tripod for travel. It has a slim folded shape and can go quite high. Furthermore, there’s a pivoting center column, which allows you to execute some pretty shots from various angles. Unlike most compact tripods for cameras, the Benro GoPlus comes with extra rubber feet and spikes. For easy transport, a soft case is included.
Overall, the Benro GoPlus is a pretty decent tripod. Especially if you’re serious about photography. It may not be as compact as some of the other offerings on the market, but you’ll get a lot more from this. Plus, the tripod can be easily converted into a fully-working monopod. All you need to do is remove one leg and you’ll be good to go.
What We Love
A great tripod for serious photography
- Aluminum/magnesium material
- 180-degree center column
- Quick leg lock system
- Integrated monopod
- It’s not as compact as its competitors
There aren’t many companies that specialize in making compact travel tripod cameras and Sirui is one of them. Looking at their official page, we could tell right away that we’re in the right place. One of their newest offerings, the Sirui T-025SK, is an ultra-light and slim stand. It’s designed to support small cameras, such as mirrorless cameras or ‘mini DSLRs’.
Furthermore, this product has a 2-section removable center column. This allows you to have shooting angles as low as 3.1 inches, something you rarely find in any compact tripod for travel. Apart from that, the twist-lock leg design is simply approachable. We’re also impressed by the outstanding build quality. We really recommend checking this one out if you can.
What We Love
An ultra light and slim stand, perfect for smaller DSLR cameras and mirrorless cameras
- Made of carbon with ball head
- Small pack size
- An extendable and removable central column
- 5kg load capacity
- No integrated monopod