4 Best Lightweight Tripods for Backpacking 2022 Expert Picks
28 January 2022

Fellow travelers & backpackers, this blog is for you!

When you go backpacking, you really can't afford to bring along anything too heavy. You need to be mobile and light with only the essentials you'll need for your trip. Of course, that includes a tripod, because what's a trip without pictures and captured memories? Yes, get a tripod, because the alternative is ambushing unsuspecting passersby and asking them to take your photos. Let's try to avoid that.

I am Ali G, a Hong Kong-based professional photographer, NFT Artist and social media workshop instructor. A traveler at heart, I'm here to help you with a review of the best lightweight tripod for backpacking.

I highly recommend the MeFoto RoadTrip Carbon Fiber Tripod. It comes with 180 degrees foldable legs, is very compact and super portable. As a bonus, you can convert it into a monopod!

Although the MeFoto RoadTrip is a great lightweight tripod for backpacking, it is not alone. There are other excellent options in the current market, and I will take a deep look at all of them in the below sections.

Let's get started.

Quick Summary

 

4 Best Lightweight Tripods for Backpacking Reviewed

Regular tripods are usually heavy and bulky, which can make them a pain to carry around when you're backpacking. Thankfully, there are lightweight tripods specifically designed for people on the go, and we took the liberty of making you a list of the best lightweight tripods for your next backpacking adventure.

MeFoto RoadTrip Carbon Fiber Tripod

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  • Key Features: 360-degree panning for accurate panoramas, recessed center-column hook, precision-matched Q-Series ballhead, five leg sections
  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Height: 15.4 inches to 61.6 inches
  • Compact Length: 15.4 inches (39.1 cm)
  • Plate: Arca-Swiss compatible quick release plate
  • Best for: Overall

 

The MeFoto RoadTrip Carbon Fiber Tripod basically provides everything you need in a tripod and is designed with portability in mind. Its tripod legs can fold back 180 degrees so it's more compact and easier to carry around.

It's also versatile. You can turn it into a monopod by combining the center column to the removable leg, giving you more options on the road. With its 360-degree panning and graduated panning scale that ensure accurate image alignment, it's great at taking panoramas.

>> Check Current Price and Availability <<

 

Gitzo Series 1 Traveler

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  • Key Features: Carbon exact tubes, reverse-folding legs, Traveler G-Lock leg lock system, short center column & shoulder strap
  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Height: 12 inches to 58.5 inches
  • Compact Length: 14 inches (35.5 cm)
  • Plate: Arca-Swiss compatible 
  • Best for: Professional

 

Gitzo's GT1555T Series 1 Traveler Tripod gives a lightweight, stable, and smooth support system. It's made with carbon fiber and only weighs about 3.2 pounds but can hold up to 22 pounds in load. That's pretty strong for a lightweight tripod. If you use any lenses, it's best for 135 mm lenses but the maximum it can support is 200 mm.

Thanks to its reverse-folding leg design, it can fold back to 14 inches, making it easy to carry around. A replaceable safety pin on the head base acts as a safety catch and helps prevent the plate from sliding out. This secures the camera in place without any worries.

>> Check Current Price and Availability <<

 

JOBY GorillaPod 5K Kit Professional Tripod

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  • Key Features: Arca-Swiss compatible quick release plate, works with other JOBY pro-level accessories, flexible GorillaPod legs
  • Material: ABS Plastic, Rubber, Stainless Steel, Steel, TPE, and Aluminum
  • Weight: 1.63 pounds
  • Height: 15.5 inches
  • Compact Length: 15.5 inches (38.5 cm) 
  • Plate: Arca-Swiss compatible
  • Best for: Portable

 

If you need an ultra lightweight tripod you can carry with you everywhere, then the JOBY GorillaPod Tripod fits the bill. With its flexible legs, you can easily hold, secure, and wrap the tripod into any surface making it portable and versatile. 

It has the Arca-Swiss system compatible quick release plate, which allows instant set-up with your camera. It's best suited for DSLR and mirrorless cameras, but it could also be attached with other JOBY pro-level accessories, including grip tight pro mounts, GorillaPod arms, and hub adapter. This allows the mounting of GoPro adapters, flash clips, lighting, and microphones.

>> Check Current Price and Availability <<

 

Benro SLIM Carbon Fiber Tripod Kit

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  • Key Features: Slim profile shoulder, anodized aluminum twist locks, Arca-Swiss style camera plate, lightweight magnesium shoulder, removable single action ballhead
  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Weight: 2.22 Pounds
  • Height: minimum of 15.7 inches - maximum of 57.6 inches
  • Compact Length: 20 inches (51 cm)
  • Plate: Arca-Swiss compatible
  • Best for: Travel

 

Travel photographers and videographers always prefer equipment that fits in their luggage or backpack. This is why compact tripods are popular among travelers. One of the best in the market is the Benro SLIM Tripod Kit.

The kit is designed with a narrow profile shoulder, enabling the tripod legs to fold up more compactly. This makes the tripod convenient to travel with. Its slim tripod legs also have aluminum twist locks that only require a quick half turn to lock and unlock.

>> Check Current Price and Availability <<

 

Best Lightweight Tripods for Backpacking - What to Consider

These features are what we take into consideration when compiling this list of the best lightweight tripods for backpacking. 

Material. Material dictates the durability and weight of your tripod. So when looking for a tripod for backpacking, consider carbon-fiber ones. It is the best material for tripods as they are extremely durable, lightweight, and rust-free. 

Compatibility. Tripods can accommodate many different cameras - DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, camcorders, smartphones. Always take note of what your camera needs. Most tripods come with the Arca-Swiss compatible quick-release plate, but some are more specific. 

Height. It is usually recommended to find a tripod that matches your height. This way, the viewfinder of your camera will be at your eye level making it easier for you to take pictures without having to bend down constantly. Just make sure it's also designed to fold into a more compact size so it's easier to backpack with.

Legs. The tripod legs dictates its height and stability and can sometimes be adjusted to suit the terrain. When looking for a tripod, consider the locking mechanism on the legs. You need them to be secure so your setup doesn't fall apart.

Weight. The final attribute that you must consider is weight. As the title suggests, look for tripods that are light in weight as they are easier to carry on the road. Lightweight tripods usually weigh 2-3 lbs with some being able to weigh as low as 1 lb. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions and their quick answers.

What is the best lightweight tripod?

The MeFoto Roadtrip Carbon Fiber Tripod is considered one of the best, if not the best, lightweight tripods you could use for backpacking. Its compactness, versatility, and light-weightedness makes it the complete package. 

What is the ideal weight of a travel tripod?

The average lightweight tripod weighs in at around 2-3 pounds, with even some being lighter, but the ideal weight of a tripod will depend on your camera. You'll want it to be light enough to carry around, but heavy enough to support your camera's weight. They have to balance out and not topple over. 

What is the lightest and strongest tripod material?

The lightest and strongest tripod material is carbon fiber. It is extremely durable and lightweight, making it very easy to carry around as you travel. The only downside is that it is more on the expensive side.

My Verdict

For my money, no lightweight tripod works for backpackers better than the MeFoto RoadTrip Carbon Fiber Tripod. This tripod is very portable, versatile, and has excellent features suitable for all types of trips.

This solid-built and robust device can support a full-frame camera with different lenses. All the recommended options here are great, simply choose the one that matches your need the most, and you will have a great trip!

 

Please show some love and follow us on social media to stay connected with more of our exciting projects!

Ali G Studios   IG: @aligphoto1   Youtube: @AliGStudios 

A big thanks to Phottix for the professional lighting equipment provided to Ali G Studios.

Disclosure: As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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