No, there’s nothing sexy about the camera tripod. Occasionally, though, you can get something exciting, like when Edelkrone put out their weird self-locking alternative. Yeah, that was special. The Peak Design Travel Tripod is something special, too, giving the classic tripod a thoughtful redesign that improves on it in more ways than one.
Tripods are among the most useful tools for any photographer or videographer, making them indispensable in many types of shooting situations. Problem is, they pack down pretty bulky, making them something you don’t want to bring along unless it’s absolutely necessary. Well, this tripod changes that.
No, the Peak Design Travel Tripod isn’t a miniature tripod. Instead, it’s a medium-dutiy model that manages to fold down to half the volume of other similarly-sized tripods in the market, all without awkward protrusions, making it a lot easier to store and carry than conventional tripods. At a packed size of 15.5 x 3.25 inches (length x diameter), it’s compact enough to fit inside larger backpacks, while still being easy to strap down outside your pack or keep it in an external pocket (those elastic side pockets would work great), if you prefer to carry it that way. During use, the tripod has a maximum height of 60 inches, allowing you to put your camera a full five feet off the ground to keep it steady while shooting a scene.
According to Peak Design, it also sets up and packs down faster than traditional tripods, since they dispensed with the need for twist locks. Instead, it uses cam levers that can be operated simultaneously, while opening and closing instantly, allowing you to set the whole thing up in around 10 seconds. The cam levers, by the way, are tunable, so you can tighten or loosen them up as need, depending on how you prefer the tripod to hold.
The Peak Design Travel Tripod employs a unique design for the ballhead that gives it a greater range of articulation, while providing the user three cutouts to portrait mode instead of just one. It also boasts stability and vibration dampening that, the outfit claims, is comparable to those of larger studio tripods, so you can rely on it to perform at a high level, regardless of shooting conditions, while a 20-pound capacity ensures it can work with most DSLR and lens combos in the market. A bundled smartphone mount allows you to use it as a tripod for your mobile device (sometimes, you just want to shoot with your phone), while an inverted mode allows you to orient the head such that the camera hangs upside down to give you more shooting options.
It’s compatible with most Arca-compatible plates and L-brackets in the market, so you can use it with third-party accessories, while an optional Universal Head Adapter allows you to use the legs with third-party tripod heads, in case you need them for shooting particular scenes. Each tripod comes with soft case to keep it clean and secure during transport.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Peak Design Travel Tripod. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $289.