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.
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.
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.
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.