We look at the best portable tripods to take on holiday or your other travelling adventures
Tripods reduce the risk of camera shake and open up new creative possibilities such as long-exposure photography. Here’s our pick of the best travel tripods that could find a home in your suitcase, the next time you head off on an adventure...
1. Manfrotto Befree Advanced Twist Aluminium Kit
Striking a good balance between portability and functionality, the Manfrotto Befree Advanced Twist Aluminium Kit will support up to 8kg of gear and weighs just 1.5kg. This kit comes with the RC2 head, a reliable model that comes with a handy quick-release system, and the legs also have an M-Lock twist-locking system that allows them to be deployed quickly.
2. Manfrotto Element Carbon Fibre Big Traveller Tripod K
The carbon fibre construction of this tripod allows it to pack plenty of functionality and sturdiness into a frame that weighs just 1.4kg. If you need a little more mobility, it's also possible to detach one of the legs and convert it into a monopod, and the aluminium head included in the kit can independently pan 360°. An additional inclusion that's useful for the traveller is the padded bag that comes with the kit, allowing easy transportation.
3. Gitzo GK2545T-82QD Series 2 Traveler Carbon eXact Tripod Kit
If nothing but the best will do, then you're going to want to look into some of the best that Gitzo has to offer. This is the strongest tripod/head combination in the Gitzo Traveler range, featuring Gitzo's innovative 180° leg folding system that allows the kit to pack away nice and small. This is the Series 2 tripod, and its thick body means it's rated for use even with heavy telephoto lenses (Gitzo recommends a maximum of 300mm).
Gitzo GK2545T-82QD Series 2 Traveler Carbon eXact Tripod Kit
The strongest and most professional tripod/head kit in the Gitzo Traveler range, comprising the GT2545T tripod and the GH1382QD centre ball head. The head is engineered and designed focusing on ultimate smoothness and precision of the movement and locking. Despite its slim design, it is fully featured including the friction control knob positioned inside the ball locking knob. The unique 180° leg folding system makes more efficient use of folded space by accommodating the centre column and head in between the folded tripod legs. This Series 2 tripod has the largest tube diameter among the Traveler series and is recommended for use with 200mm lenses (300mm maximum). Ideal for photographers using longer lenses or requires the highest stability.
4. Joby GorillaPod Kit 3K
Of course, in spite of what we may wish from time to time, not all have us have more than £800 to throw down on a tripod. So why not go for something around a tenth of the price: the Joby GorillaPod Kit 3K, a beefed-up version of the standard grippy GorillaPod that can handle loads of up to 3kg, perfect for a small DSLR or CSC setup. The compact form and grippy legs of the GorillaPod make it a great choice for the travelling photographer, as it'll happily sit in a day bag and can be whipped out and affixed to a branch or fence post at a moment's notice.
JOBY GorillaPod Kit 3K
The GorillaPod 3K Kit retains the versatility and ease of using a standard GorillaPod while increasing the maximum load capacity to 3kg, making it ideal for DSLR cameras and small video cameras. Wrap the legs around handlebars or poles to fix your camera to areas that would normally be off limits, or just stand it on a flat surface like a standard tripod. This comes with the JOBY 3K ball head.
5. Manfrotto PIXI EVO Tripod
Of course, if you're looking for the ultimate in affordable camera supports, you really cannot go wrong witht the Manfrotto PIXI EVO Tripod. Don't be fooled by its tiny dimensions; it's more than capable of supporting a basic DSLR rig, and if you fold up the legs with the camera still attached then you have a decent handgrip for using the camera on the move. For travelling light and cheap, there's none better.
Manfrotto PIXI EVO Tripod - Black
The Manfrotto PIXI EVO is the successor to its smaller brother, the Pixi Mini, and supports a wide range of camera and lens systems weighing up to 2.5kg (5.5lbs). The PIXI EVO boasts two-section legs which are adjustable in five different steps and two different leg angles with a sliding selector, enabling low to the ground shooting. There is also the possibility to shoot in portrait mode, allowing the camera to tilt to 90° to capture the foreground and wide scene, while ensuring great stability and precision for accurate pictures.
6. Benro GoPlus Travel FGP18A Aluminium Tripod
With its adjustable centre column, the Benro GoPlus Travel FGP18A allows you to set your camera to virtually any angle, opening up possibilities for low-to-the-ground and high-angle shots. This tripod also has the capacity to turn one of its legs into a monopod, and folds away to a nicely compact 46cm. With a maximum load capacity of 10kg, it's no slouch in performance terms either.
Benro GoPlus Travel FGP18A Aluminium Tripod
Benro's GoPlus Travel FGP18A has been designed to be a travel-friendly, aluminium tripod/monopod that features a maximum height of 154cm and impressive 10kg maximum load. Its adjustable centre column enables movement from vertical to virtually any angle, making it suitable for ground or high-angle shots. Furthermore, you're able to simply remove the centre column altogether and attach it to the detachable leg, turning the tripod into a monopod, without the use of any tools. It also has a reversible folding leg design allowing it to be packed down to just 46cm, making it small enough to carry just about anywhere.
7. Vanguard VEO 2 265CB Tripod
Lightweight carbon fibre, an adjustable centre column, multi-action ball head, intuitive controls – this Vanguard tripod really is the best of all worlds. Its independent leg positioning allows for great flexibility on rough terrain, while its ball head has an Arca quick-release plate. In a nice touch, the tripod and head also feature bubble levels, allowing you to ensure that you get perfectly level horizons, every time.