Best travel tripods 2024: Lightweight and compact tripods

Take one of the best travel tripods on your next big adventure and see how easy it is to take breathtaking photos. These space-saving tripods are great for astrophotographers hiking out to remote locations, or travel photographers trying to keep their backpacks light. When combined with the best cameras and best lenses you'll be surprised at just how great your photography can look.

Our team of expert reviewers have put these tripods through their paces in real-world conditions, taking note of their weight and dimensions so you can determine if they'll fit into your bag. Typically crafted from carbon fiber for lightweight durability, these tripods often feature telescopic design, collapsing to a compact size that easily fits into your carry-on luggage or one of the best camera backpacks.

We've made sure to highlight any trade-offs you may have to make for the lighter tripod, as some tend to have a more restricted payload than one of the full-sized best tripods. But overall, they can cut your overall kit weight right down and take up far less space than a traditional tripod.

The quick list

Best travel tripods we recommend in 2024

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Best travel tripod overall

Best overall: This premium travel tripod is great if you have the budget

Specifications

Weight: 2.81 lbs (1.29kg)
Leg sections: 5
Maximum payload: 20 lbs (9.1kg)
Maximum height: 60-inches (152.4cm)
Folded height: 15.4-inches (39.1cm)

Reasons to buy

+
Very light and portable
+
Bag and phone mount included
+
Fits into cabin bags 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Not as tall as other models 
Buy if:

✅ If only the best will do: This is an exceptional, thoughtfully designed tripod for photographers on the move. We found it hard to fault.

Don't buy if:

You need more height: You'll only be able to reach a height of 60-inches with this travel tripod.

The bottom line

🔎 Peak Design Travel Tripod: An exceptionally narrow and compact design makes the Peak Design Travel Tripod a key piece of kit for traveling astrophotographers after something highly mobile and with a fast set-up and takedown. ★★★★½

The Peak Design Travel Tripod earns the top spot on our list due to its slim, compact design that doesn't sacrifice stability, even with heavy DSLR cameras. When folded, the three legs and ball head seamlessly meet without any gaps, resulting in a compact package measuring just 3.125 inches in diameter and 15.4 inches in height. This makes it easy to stow away in luggage or camera bags. Additionally, it comes with a soft padded case featuring a waterproof zip and convenient carry handles.

We loved this tripod's speedy setup and takedown during our Peak Design Travel Tripod review, although we were slightly less fond of the camera attachment. The ball head (one of the most compact we've seen) comes with a tripod plate that attaches to your camera using a hex tool. While this was incredibly stable for long hours when shooting star trails, we can't help but feel that a tool-free D-ring plate would have been easier.

A hook at the bottom of the center column twists to reveal a folded-up smartphone clamp, which we thought was a neat additional feature. The five leg sections allow it to reach 60 inches/152.4cm when fully extended, which might be a bit of a stoop for taller people as it's not the tallest tripod out there, but helps to save on weight when traveling.

You can buy this tripod in either an aluminum or carbon fiber version, but there's a steep jump in price to carbon fiber when the aluminum model is already a very light 3.44lbs/1.56kg. To be honest, we'd be happy enough with the aluminum version.

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Peak Design Travel Tripod
AttributesNotes
DesignNarrow, space-saving design.
PerformanceSpeedy setup and takedown.
FunctionalityNot as tall as other tripods.

Best for height

Best for height: This choice from Benro is a fantastic addition to your kit, despite the confusing naming

Specifications

Weight: 3.8 lbs (1.74kg)
Leg sections: 4
Maximum payload: 39.6lbs (18kg)
Maximum height: 66.3-inches (168.5cm)
Folded height: 19.3-inches (48.5cm)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent height
+
Converts to monopod
+
Easy to set up and take down

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite pricey
-
Not the most slimline
Buy if:

✅  You want one of the tallest travel tripods: This one reaches a maximum height of 66.3-inches.

You want a detachable monopod: Monopods are better in certain situations, like sporting events where you have limited space. This model comes with a detachable one.

Don't buy if:

❌ You're sticking to a budget: This is another premium tripod, though it's a great long-term investment.

You want something super lightweight: It's not heavy, but there are certainly more lightweight options out there.

The bottom line

🔎 Benro Rhino FRHN24C+VX25 Head: Although it's not cheap, for passionate photographers who need a lightweight, portable tripod capable of providing more height than most, this is a fantastic option. ★★★★★

The premium end of Benro's travel lineup is represented by the Rhino series, and with a detachable monopod, an included phone mount and carbon fiber tubes, the Benro Rhino FRHN24C tripod is one of the best tripods we've seen, as we stated in our Benro Rhino 24C Two series review. Its sleek design, reliability and portability make it a fantastic choice for studio work or travel.

When the four leg sections are completely extended, it measures 169cm (66.3-inches). It folds down to 19.3-inches, so it's also TSA-friendly and easy to carry around in a backpack or suitcase. You can also configure it into a monopod by removing one of the legs and attaching it to the removable center column, providing versatility for different photographic styles.

Although this tripod is more expensive than others on this list, many professional travel photographers would find it to be a wise investment. And the great thing about Benro is the range of height and size options available for each product. The Rhino comes in four different sizes and a choice between either 4 or 5 leg sections, so photographers can choose whichever size suits their needs best. 

We found it easy to set up and take down in the dark, the rubber grips were soft on the hands and the interchangeable feet were a nice touch — we found that swapping to the spiky feet helped with stability when we were shooting in windy conditions. The VX25 head also has some neat safety features to prevent your camera from slipping off or being dropped, something a lot of other tripod manufacturers don't tend to think of. 

Overall, we absolutely loved this tripod and gave it 5 stars. Although it's certainly an investment, we think it'll last you a very long time.

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Benro Rhino FRHN24C+VX25 Head
AttributesNotes
DesignStylish carbon fiber construction.
PerformanceSturdy and strong.
FunctionalityConverts to monopod.

Best compact option

Best compact option: One of the most slim options on this list, the Tortoise is a fantastic compact option for travel.

Specifications

Weight: 3.3 lbs (1.51kg)
Leg sections: 4
Maximum payload: 30.9 lbs (14kg)
Maximum height: 51-inches (129.5cm)
Folded height: 21.3-inches (54cm)

Reasons to buy

+
Slimline and compact
+
Fantastic build quality
+
Easy to set up and take down

Reasons to avoid

-
Controls on the head are bulky
-
No center column
Buy if:

✅  You want to shoot low to the ground: The legs can splay out to almost 90-degrees, which is great for those shots where you need to be as low to the ground as possible.

Don't buy if:

❌ You want height: There's no center column, so it can't reach the heights that other tripods can.

The bottom line

🔎 Benro Tortoise 24C Tripod x GX30 head: A sturdy and reliable tripod that will last you for years to come. It doesn't sit at the affordable end of the market, but for photographers who need something lightweight and user-friendly, you can't go wrong. ★★★★

When we first looked at this tripod in our Benro Tortoise 24C Tripod review, we couldn't figure out why it wasn't their primary travel tripod due to its weight and compactness. The Rhino wins out overall, but if these two particular factors are more important to you than height and versatility, we'd recommend the Benro Tortoise. 

There's no center column, so it can't extend particularly high (our 5'4-inch reviewer even had to stoop down when using it at full height), but the lack of a center column means it folds down much slimmer than other tripods, making it a great option for strapping to your camera bag when traveling or if you need to save on space. This also enables you to shoot extremely low to the ground with the legs splayed out at almost 90 degrees.

The GX30 head features two safety elements to prevent the camera from slipping off when you're putting it on or taking it off, but we thought overall the head was bulkier than it needed to be. The main ball adjustment knob protrudes out a fair amount when, in our opinion, it doesn't need to. That said, it's not impractical, we just think it could do with being smaller.

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Benro Tortoise 24C Tripod x GX30 head
AttributesNotes
DesignLightweight and compact.
PerformanceCan shoot low to the ground.
FunctionalityLack of center column aids its slimline design.

Best lightweight option

The Vanguard VEO 3 GO 204CB tripod on a white background

One of the lightest tripods on offer at just 1.8 lbs, the Vanguard VEO 3 GO 204 CB tripod would make the ideal travel tripod. (Image credit: Vanguard)

Vanguard VEO 3 GO 204CB Carbon Fiber Tripod

Best lightweight option: One of the most popular and accessible travel tripods out there

Specifications

Weight: 1.8 lbs (0.82kg)
Leg sections: 4
Maximum payload: 6.6 lbs (2.99kg)
Maximum height: 51.6-inches (131cm)
Folded height: 13.6-inches (34.5cm)

Reasons to buy

+
Very light and compact
+
Vanguard quality impresses
+
Smooth operating ball-head 

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be a bit unstable with center column raised
-
Not the tallest tripod on offer 
Buy if:

✅  Being lightweight is important: This tripod weighs less than 2 lbs but still has a maximum payload of 6.6 lbs. It folds down to 13.6 inches, too.

✅  You want an affordable carbon fiber tripod: This tripod is excellent value for money and a great price for a carbon fiber model.

Don't buy if:

You're looking for a lot of height: This one can extend to a height of 51.6-inches which may be a bit small for some.

The bottom line

🔎 Vanguard VEO 3 GO 204CB Carbon Fiber Tripod: You won't find a travel tripod much lighter than this compact option from Vanguard. It would be ideal for those dark nights when you have to hike to get to your chosen location. ★★★★½

The Vanguard VEO 3 GO 204CB tripod is one of the lightest full-size tripods we've ever come across, and it's the lightest on this list by a long shot, weighing in at just 1.8 lbs. It can extend to a height of 51.6 inches, which is not the tallest of the tripods in this guide, and hold a load capacity of 6.6 lbs (just about 3 kg). 

We think this tripod is perfect for travel or hiking, particularly if you're going to those remote locations to shoot astrophotography under the glorious dark skies. It can collapse down to just 13.6 inches in length, which is quite impressive. 

Although it may not be as tall as other tripods, its lightweight and compact design makes it an attractive choice. Photographers on the go will also appreciate its smooth-operating ball head, and overall we think the build quality is top-notch.

Another thing to note is the Vanguard VEO 3 GO 204CB tripod is also really affordable, especially for a carbon fiber tripod. There is an aluminum version available, but it's actually not that much cheaper and you'll be bumping the weight up by a few ounces to 2.1 lbs. It can also be converted into a monopod or selfie stick, making it a solid choice for vloggers and social media content creators who use smartphones. 

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Vanguard VEO 3 GO 204CB Carbon Fiber Tripod
AttributesNotes
DesignVery light and compact.
PerformanceSmooth operating ball-head.
FunctionalityConverts into monopod.

Best for videographers