Peak Design Travel Tripod at a glance:
- Aluminum version
- Leg sections: 5
- Load capacity: 9.1kg
- Weight: 1.56kg
- Maximum height: 153cm (centre column raised)
If you don’t like the idea of lumping a cumbersome tripod around, but want a solid base to support your camera on, a premium aluminium travel tripod like this one from Peak Design might be the answer.
It’s different to most travel tripods in the way it combines a unique leg profile with a thin but strong centre column that allows it to be folded incredibly compact without sacrificing height or stability. It extends to a height of 153cm, and by widening the legs and splitting the centre column using the hex tool, low-level shots can be taken 14.2cm from the ground.
Peak Design Travel Tripod key features:
- Hex tool: You need to use the supplied hex tool to tighten the plate to your camera as it can’t be tightened with a coin.
- Phone mount: Fancy mounting your phone to the tripod? No problem. You’ll find a phone mount stowed in the centre column.
- Centre Column knob: Pulling this out lets you to loosen/tighten the centre column more easily than when its retracted.
- Fundraising: $12 million was raised through Kickstarter in 2019 to bring the tripod from design to reality.
For fast setup each leg has four flip locks, which can all be unlocked at the same time. Despite feeling a tad plasticky, they perform well and allowed me to erect the tripod from its packed height (38.5cm) to extended height with the centre column raised in a hasty 23secs.
The rubberized feet are attached by an allen key bolt, but can be swapped with optional spike feet (£28) for extra grip on slippery or loose terrain. As for the integrated ball-head, it’s built around the top of the tripod so it doesn’t jut out, however this does force you to raise the centre column by 2cm to tilt the ball head or shoot in the portrait orientation.
The head supports Arca Swiss plates and comes supplied with Peak Design’s standard square plate that allows users to detach their camera from the tripod and couple it to the manufacturers Capture Clip, or vice versa. The plate locking mechanism is beautifully engineered – simply snap the plate into position and rotate the collar beneath to lock it in place.
The collar below it is used to adjust the tension of the ball head. It’s quick and intuitive to lock, but the head is no good for panning or shooting panoramas. If you’d prefer to use it with a different head, a universal head adapter (£28) is available.
The built-in phone mount that stows neatly away in the centre column is another nice touch and a well-padded zippered case helps to keep it in pristine condition when it’s thrown in your suitcase.
Peak Design produces two versions of its Travel Tripod. There’s also a carbon fibre model that weighs 1.27kg, which is 290g lighter than the aluminium. Choosing the carbon version is recommended if travelling light is a priority, but be prepared to pay for it. It’ll set you back £539, which is £220 more expensive than the aluminium version.
Peak Design Travel Tripod: Our Verdict
When four years of development go in to making a product, you expect something special to come of it. The outcome is a sensational travel tripod that’s up there with the best we’ve reviewed.
You get the sense that it has been meticulously thought through and photographers will appreciate how quick it is to setup and how simple it is to use. Though not cheap, spending more on this dependable tripod will ensure you get a great one you won’t be disappointed with.