We can’t think of any accessory more indispensable to photographers than the full-sized tripod. From freeing up your hands to keeping the camera completely stable for hours on end, it’s just the kind of thing you want to have with you at all times. Problem is, tripods have never been the most convenient thing to carry, with their often long and bulky folded forms. The Peak Design Travel Tripod offers an alternative.
Able to fold down to the size of a tall water bottle, the tripod brings one of the most compact collapsed form factors we’ve seen. According to Peak Design, it’s able to fold down to half the volume of similarly-sized tripods in the market, without any element sticking out, making it incredibly easy to transport, whether stashed inside your camera backpack or strapped outside it.
The Peak Design Travel Tripod is able to collapse to its compact size using a “spatially efficient design” that, the outfit claims, eliminates wasted volume, ensuring it takes up every tiny space of its folded dimensions of 15.4 x 3.1 inches (height x diameter). Despite the compact folded size, it’s able to deploy into a full-size tripod standing up to 60 inches tall, with no compromise in stability (they claim it’s pro-level), so you can take hands-free just as capably as with any ordinary tripod in the market.
Not only does its unique design enable the compact dimensions, it also allows for easier set up, with legs that can deploy in seconds and don’t require flipping over like more traditional tripod designs. Instead of twist locks, which can extend set up time, they used cam levers that can be opened and closed instantly using one hand, allowing you to lock the legs in mere seconds. You can even tighten or loosen the cam levers as needed, so you can fine-tune it to work exactly to your liking.
The Peak Design Travel Tripod has a weight capacity of 20 pounds, so it can handle a full-frame DSLR with a telephoto lens without any issues, complete with integrated vibration damping that’s supposedly on par, if not better, than comparable tripods in its class. The integrated ball head, by the way, boasts omnidirectional movement, all while eliminating the use of knobs, relying instead on one adjustment ring to simplify its operation. The ball head, by the way, is compatible with all PD plates and most third party Arca-type plates.
Need to shoot subjects at low height? Not a problem, as it supports both low mode and inverted mode, allowing you to position your camera just a few feet off the ground, making it a really versatile accessory. While designed for cameras, it also comes with a mobile mount for those who prefer shooting with their powerful pocket computers. Other features include a weather-resistant build, impact-resistant materials, an integrated load-hanging hook, non-slip feet, anchor attachment points for carrying straps, and an included padded case.
Originally a Kickstarter project, the Peak Design Travel Tripod is available now, priced at $349.95.