Tripods are a great tool for quality night and low light photos, but when traveling, carrying a bulky tripod is generally not an option. This guide will help you choose the best travel tripod, and help you weigh the variables to determine which tripod might be best for you. Unfortunately, there are trade-offs with these variables…something that’s lightweight and very stable is likely to cost a small fortune. Something that’s cheap is likely to be bulky. Unless money is no concern, you have to make a compromise somewhere with your travel tripod.
Unfortunately, finding the tripod that makes the fewest compromises and is best for your needs and travel is incredibly difficult. You could always just spend $0, rest your tripod on a garbage can, and call it a day…but that’s probably not the best solution, either.
For the last several years, I’ve been using the same tripod, but have been looking for a marginal improvement over it for greater stability. I’ve combed photo forums, reviews, Amazon, and even local camera stores to find something. (Tip: Best Buy’s tripods are absolute garbage, and unless you live in a large city with a really nice camera shop (like B&H in New York City!), chances are your local camera shop sells garbage tripods, too.) My recommendations in this article are a result of reading about and inspecting DOZENS of tripods.
Obviously, I’m approaching this guide as someone who most often carries a tripod around Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or other Disney properties. However, I also carry my tripod in National Parks and when we travel to other destinations. I’ve found that these same principles apply to all of those destinations. In each case, I do a lot of walking (or hiking) while carrying a tripod.
Here’s what you want to consider when looking for a tripod for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or travel in general. (more…)