The most lightweight Tripod: The Top 5 on the Market!
Chasing after the most lightweight tripod seems to be a “sport” among travel photographers – like me, I have to admit. After climbing Huyana Picchu (that’s the big mountain in the back of each Machu Picchu photograph) I know that every pound of additional weight can actually make a huge difference! The same goes for long hiking trips through the jungle or photography excursions through the desert.
But: the market of lightweight tripods is very unclear and cramped with marketing slogans (“the most lightweight tripod 2014 is right here bla bla bla!“). As I have already compiled a huge list to compare all available travel tripods and their key features out there anyway, it was easy to extract the top 5 most lightweight travel tripods as well – and below you will find the result!
The 5 most Lightweight Tripods
A short disclaimer at the beginning: in the list below you will not find any cheapo plastic tripods. All the tripods included here fulfill the most important key requirements of good travel tripods like a great build quality and good results in key categories like minimum operating height, maximum operating height and the length when folded:
…and now in Detail:
#1 Most lightweight Travel Tripod: Sirui T-025X
The first rank and by thus the title of being the “most lightweight travel tripod 2014” goes to the Sirui T-025X. With a weight of only 1.43 lb (0.65 kilograms for all you metric dudes out there) it really is a spectacular piece of photo equipment. With a compact length of just 11.80″ (30cm) it will also fit into every hand luggage you might want to carry along. You can still extend it to a maximum height of 51.18″ (130cm) which is quite good for such a compact thing. Oh, and it is made of carbon fiber – a very rare thing to be seen in this price class!
#2 Most lightweight Travel Tripod: Sirui T-005X
The Sirui T-005X is a cheaper variant of the T-025X above (notice the difference in the numbers – I didn’t list the same one twice by accident). With a weight of 1.76 lb it is a little bit heavier and can only carry a load of 8.80 lb instead of 13.20 lb. The rest of the Sirui T-005X is similar to its bigger brother though, but it is made out of aluminum alloy instead of carbon fiber (hence the heavier weight).
#3 Most lightweight Travel Tripod: MeFoto DayTrip
Rank 3 of the most lightweight travel tripods is taken by the MeFoto DayTrip. This one is a little bit different though as it has a lot fewer options compared to all other tripods presented here. It only has two leg sections to extend, which is why you can only extend it to a maximum height of 24.00″. This one is only for backpackers on a budget or very small fellas (or midgets). Although it is well-made, the features of the other four tripods presented here are way better.
#4 Most lightweight Travel Tripod: Gitzo GT1544T
Ok, now we’re coming to professional gear. Gitzo tripods generally have a higher pricetag but they are so worth it if you are a pro. All Gitzo tripods are hand-made in Italy and made of carbon fiber. This advanced construction makes them really lightweight as well: the Gitzo GT1544T ranks #4 of the most lightweight tripods with only 2.16 lb. It’s also very sturdy with a maximum support load of 17.64 lb and has a maximum height of 55.91″. All in all these Gitzo tripods are among the best in the world, so they are well worth their higher pricetag.
#5 Most lightweight Travel Tripod: Gitzo GT1542T
On rank 5 of the most lightweight tripods we have another product of Gitzo, but with a lower pricetag. The Gitzo GT1542T only weighs 2.20 lb but has a maximum height of 58.66″ – the highest one among these five tripods. It combines the compact build of Gitzo’s traveler series while having the stability of the mountaineer series – a “hybrid” if you want to call it this way. Yes, it still is on the more expensive side. But if you want a great tripod that will last for decades, this one is a great way to go!
Conclusion: What’s my favorite lightweight travel tripod?
As said, all these five tripods here are the most lightweight tripods for serious photographers out there. When comparing the features though, there are two of them that I would really like to recommend:
- Sirui T-025X: Just THE most lightweight tripod out there with a great set of features, no weaknesses and the big plus of being made out of carbon fiber. A steal for this price!
- Gitzo GT1542T: Although a little bit heavier than the Sirui, all other details of this tripod makes it really awesome. If you have heavier gear that a tripod needs to support, you should definitely go with the GT1542T.
Both of these tripods are a great choice and I’ve had good experiences with each company’s customer service as well!