As a traveling photographer, it’s important to be able to transport all of your required gear and other pieces of equipment in a comfortable and lightweight manner.

Unfortunately, it is not always easy to keep the weight levels of your gear to a comfortable level since, depending on what form of photography you most often practice, much of what you need can become quite heavy to carry around. Between your camera body, two or three critical lenses, a flash, spare battery, and the other few accessories you need, there’s not much room for gear negotiation. Your bag only has so much space, and your body can only handle so much weight.

So what about your tripod? An essential piece of equipment for landscape photography, long exposures, and portraits, to name just a few. And, many of the pro-grade tripods on the market can be bulky and on the heavier side of the spectrum; not exactly ideal for traveling, hiking and carrying around to those hard to reach locations.

The Best Lightweight Tripods For Traveling Photographers

When it comes to tripods specific for travel, you’ve got a lot of options. They come in varying sizes and offer varying levels of compactness; they can come with a range of different head types, and, of course, they are all made from different materials. Each of these elements can heavily impact the overall weight and their suitability for your needs.

At a high level, an ideal tripod for traveling should be foldable and retractable down to 45-50cm (18-20in), weigh around 1.5kg’s (4lbs) or less, and feature carbon fiber or magnesium as the primary construction material. Aluminum is also an option, although tripods constructed from it are often heavier than their carbon fiber or magnesium counterparts. With this said, it’s still important to ensure that the tripod is sturdy and can withstand any possible movement from wind while still being able to handle the weight of a mounted camera and lens.

With the above in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the most suitable lightweight tripods.

Manfrotto Befree MKBFRC4-BH Carbon Fiber Tripod

The Manfrotto Befree is easily one of the most ideal, and lightweight tripods for those of us constantly on the go. Featuring a sleek, compact design and carbon fiber construction, it hits the size and weight requirements of a good travel and hiking tripod perfectly. In-fact, Manfrotto created this tripod specifically for use as a travel tripod!
Manfrotto MKBFRC4-BH
Specifications:
Total Weight: 1.4kg (3lbs)
Folded Size: 39.8cm (15.7in)
Max Height: 142cm (55.9in)
Load Capacity: 4kg (8.8lbs)
Head Type: Ball Head

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Oben CT-2431 Carbon Fiber Tripod

Weighing in at just over 1kg (2.2lbs), the Oben CT-2431 Tripod and included BE-108 Ball Head is one of the most lightweight setups available for traveling photographers. Similarly to the Manfrotto BeFree, the Oben tripod is primarily constructed from carbon fiber, lending to its light weight, and is foldable down to a comfortable carrying size of xx cms.
Oben CT-2431
Specifications:
Total Weight: 1kg (2.2lbs)
Folded Size: 39.8cm (15.7in)
Max Height: 142cm (55.9in)
Load Capacity: 4kg (8.8lbs)
Head Type: Ball Head

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Davis & Sanford Traverse TR553-P228

With a folded size of just 30.4cm (12in), the Davis & Sanford TR553 is possibly one of the most compact, full-size, traveling tripods available. The tripod features mainly a carbon fiber construction which keeps it lightweight while still boasting the ability to handle a load capacity of 4.5kg (10lbs).
davis and stanford
Specifications:
Total Weight: 1.1kg (2.6lbs)
Folded Size: 30.4cm (12in)
Max Height: 134cm (53in)
Load Capacity: 4.5kg (10lbs)
Head Type: Ball Head

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Vanguard Alta Pro 284CB 100 Carbon Fiber Tripod

Boasting a maximum load capacity of 8.1kg (18lbs) the Vanguard Alta Pro 284CB is one of the strongest, albeit a little heavier, tripods available for travelers needing something robust and durable. With a larger load capacity, though, comes a slightly heavier and bulkier design than many of the other options which may make it unsuitable based on your preferences.
Vanguard Alta Pro
Specifications:
Total Weight: 2.1kg (4.8lbs)
Folded Size: 63cm (25in)
Max Height: 170.18cm (67in)
Load Capacity: 8.1kg (18lbs)
Head Type: Ball Head

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ZoMei Z818C Carbon Fiber Tripod

Also featuring a solid maximum load capacity, the ZoMei Z818C is another great option to look at should the above tripods not meet your needs. As with the others, it’s constructed from carbon fiber to keep weight to a minimum and features and easy quick-release mounting pad for increased mobility.
ZoMei
Specifications:
Total Weight: 1.4kg (3.3lbs)
Folded Size: 45.72cm (18in)
Max Height: 165.1cm (65in)
Load Capacity: 15kg (33lbs)
Head Type: Ball Head

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Do you have any other tripod suggestions that are worth being on the list? Let me know in the comments below.

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