Travel Tripods are smaller and lighter than regular sized tripods, and as such, are the perfect size to accompany you on your next adventure.
There are several things to look for when buying a travel tripod including, material, overall size, weight, stiffness and of course cost.
Material – Carbon Fibre vs. Aluminium Alloy Construction
The two most common materials used in travel tripods are Carbon Fibre and Aluminium Alloy.
The benefits to carbon fibre tripods are that they are for the most part, lighter, stronger and stiffer than aluminium alloy ones.
A carbon fibre tripod will also tend to be more weather, corrosion and scratch resistant than aluminium.
Travel tripods come in a variety of sizes, so look for one that will fit in the bag that you will use the most.
If you are looking for lighter weight, a carbon fibre tripod is going to be the option for you.
There is however, a small caveat that comes with that lightness.
Depending on the situation, a carbon fibre tripod might need to be weighted with a heavier object to add stability.
This is especially true if you are mounting a larger DSLR with a telephoto or zoom lens.
Aluminium alloy tripods are heavier, but the benefit to that extra weight is better natural stability than their carbon fibre counterparts.
Stiffness probably isn’t something that you would have thought to consider when buying a tripod, but it is an important feature to consider.
Why you ask? Well, it mainly involves vibration.
Carbon fibre tripods have a stiffness to weight ratio that is around five times greater than that of aluminium. This means they are less likely to flex or transmit vibrations to the camera the way aluminium tripod might.
The potential benefit to this extra stiffness can be shaper and cleaner images due to the lack of vibration.
Luckily, most manufacturers make their tripods available in both aluminium and carbon fibre versions, with (in general) aluminium being the less expensive option.