Lightweight and compact tripod for travel and hiking?

Started Jul 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 8,217
Re: Lightweight and compact tripod for travel and hiking?

TheRattt wrote:

Hello

I am looking to buy a tripod for hiking and travel. Low weight and the tripod being as smallas possible in its collapsed state is key.

Up til now I have been using a gorillapod for this kind of job, but it's not really cutting it due to its obvious lack of height. I do have a alu manfrotto tripod as well, but this is too big (22+ inches) to fit in a backpack. Real world result is that it's usually left at home.

So I guess it's time for some ultra collapsable (carbon fiber?) solution.

The current requirements for the tripod is that it can be used with a canon t3i, heaviest lens being a 70-200L. Alltough I want it to be able to handle the 5D series, I'll probably make the upgrade in a weak moment in the not so distant future. Maxium height must be 60"+. Collapsed height should be as small as possible, preferrably less than 10 inches.

I wish...

The shortest travel tripod you can get is a gitzo GT-1550T and that's 14" collapsed. But it can only support 2kg, and your proposed kit is 1.5kg, which is too little breathing room for a lens like the 70-200L (I assume you're talking about the f4, not the f2.8). The Gitzo 1542T is probably the lightest you should consider, and that's 17" collapsed but even then it doesn't make the minimum height you require. A more cost-effective 17" collapsed choice might be something like a Feisol CT-3441S Traveler-style tripod with a Feisol CB-40 ballhead - about $500, or the same legs with a Markins Q3T - about $700 - or with a PhotoClam PC-36 - about $600 - or a Sirui K20X - about $550. There are other Chinese CF tripods out there that would work probably fairly well, but these combinations have been proven in the field for a few years, with the exception of the Sirui, which is new but relatively impressive. The Feisol ballhead is good, but the other choices are better.

I have looked trough a lot of options on the web but I can't really find something that seems to fit my needs. There are some Gitzo's (traveler series) that do meet the requirements but these are $1000. I was hoping to find one for less than $500.

Not in CF that can handle big long lenses and heavy off-center loads with minimal vibration and a good sweet spot. For that you would need to start looking at 40mm+ diameter ballheads - Markins Q10 class - rather than the 36-38mm class ballheads in this list.

Now you know why tripods usually live on the outside of your pack...tall, stable ones are usually too long.

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