December 12

5 comments

3 Affordable Ultra Lightweight Carbon Fiber Tripods

By Dan

December 12, 2012

Last year I wrote a post called 3 Ultra Lightweight Tripods that featured three top of the line models that all weight less than three pounds. Any one of them would be great choices for serious backpacking or travel photographers.

Here are three more good quality choices that fall in the slightly more affordable category. Each of them is under three pounds and costs $260 or less.

1. Induro CT-014 8X Carbon Fiber Tripod

Coming it at 2.1 lbs without head and with 4 screw lock leg sections, the Induro CT-014 folds down to only 18.5″.

It extends from 16.6″ all the way to 55.1″, and if you use the short center column, you can bring it all the way down to only 5.3″. This allows you to work very close to the ground.

There are actually a number of models of this tripod, each with different max height. This one features 3 different leg angles and a reversible center column. It also comes with a carrying case and strap.

Constructed with 8 layer carbon fiber, the Induro CT-014 offers very high leg strength, some of the strings in the industry, and lightweight, yet stable performance.

The Induro costs $199, which is about one third as much as most Gitzo tripods. For about the same price, it’s lighter than just about all of the Manfrottos, and it seems to get really good reviews from other photographers. I haven’t used it in the field, but I’ve fiddled around with it and it seems like a decent tripod for the money. It’s exceptioanlly light, but certainly sturdy enough for most light to moderate weight DSLR and lenses and mirrorless setups.

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2. Siuri T-025X Carbon Fiber Tripod

The Siuri T-025X ($239) has got to be one of the lightest weight tripods around. At only 1.3 lbs with the included Arca-style ball head, it extends to 51.4″ and folds down to an amazing 11.8″. It’s so small because the legs fold back on the center column.

It’s rated to hold up to 13.2 lbs of camera gear, and under the right circumstances, it probably will. As with any lightweight tripod, I wouldn’t expect it to hold a pro DLSR with big lens steady when extended all the way up, but hang weight off of the base of the center column and you’ll be fine.

The Siuri T-025X actually gets better ratings than some of the heavier, more expensive Siuri tripods. I’ve seen this one in the store and played around with it. As with the Vanguard 225CT, it seems like a decent choice for someone who wants to go really light and compact, and still have the option of having camera support when needed in the backcountry.

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3. Slik PRO 624 CFL Carbon Fiber Tripod

I’ve always liked SLIK Tripods because they offer really good value. My very first tripod was a SLIK and it served me well for years.

The SLIK PRO 624 CFL is an extremely lightweight carbon fiber tripod with four leg sections that can be opened up in three angles. The slim, ergonomic spring loaded flip-locks are less clunky and less prone to finger-pinching than some inexpensive tripods.

It also comes with an adjustable center column for low angle photography, or to make the tripod even lighter.

Rated to 8.8 lbs, the SLIK PRO 624 folds down to only 14″ and weights 1.8 lbs. Max height is 44.7 inches, which is about the same as my Gitzo.

As with many of the SLIK tripods, the 624 PRO CFL is a great budget option for someone with lightweight DSLR gear or a mirrorless camera setup.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Dan Bailey, a 20+ year pro outdoor and adventure photographer, and official FUJIFILM X-Photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska.


As a top rated blogger and author my goal is to help you become a better, more confident and competent photographer, so that you can have as much fun and creative enjoyment as I do.


  • […] While there are quite a few tripods in the 3 lb. and above range, there are not very many quality choices in the under 3 lb. range. Most tripods that are super light weight just aren’t very sturdy. You might as well try to stack your camera on top of a set of twigs, which is essentially what you’re doing if you get one of those cheapo models. However, if you’re on a tighter budget, check out these 3 slightly more affordable lightweight carbon fiber tripod models. […]

  • Nice post. I have fallen in love with my Promaster T525P Carbon Fiber Tripod. I hated carrying my old (heavy) tripod to shoots but this thing is super light and easy to use. The killer feature is the monopod option. Just un-screw one leg and you have a monopod! It’s not cheap, and I’ve had other gear from promaster that I’ve not liked – but this product seems to continue to surprise me.

    http://www.promaster.com/products.asp?product=7511

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    Terry Bourk

    I have read you new book “Behind the Landscape.” I could not “put it down” meaning that I kept at it because each photo you presented/analyzed was interesting and informative. I am trying to develop an eye for composition (both the scene and the light).

    Thank you! The examples you present and the suggestions are very helpful. Purple Mountains, McKinley River and Wonder Lake are fascinating.


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    You have done it again! Another triumph.

    Your generosity to share, the clarity of thought and concise explanation thereof is brilliant. Perhaps I should also mention the beautiful photos and the talent necessary to produce them.

    Thank you, Dan.