Sturdy, light, compact Tripod for travelling??


TPF Noob!
Aug 25, 2008
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Wondered if anyone had any suggestions on a decent tripod that I could backpack with? There are a few key factors: Must be sturdy/robust - not easily breakable; Must be lightweight, but still strong enough to hold a Canon 60D with 300mm lens without toppling; Must be as compact as possible so as not to take up valuable backpack space.
Cost is also a factor. I'm about to spend a conseiderable amount on a new 60D, so won't have a huge budget for the tripod. If you have suggestions for under $100, then that's all the better!
thanks for your suggestions
Sturdy, compact, light, and under $100.

How much do you have budgeted for the tripod head?
Lightweight Under 100.....Hmmmm I guess that depends on your defination of light

Trust me, after 35 years of hiking, kayaking and running around shooting photos I can honestly tell you that you should not skimp on a tripod period, but more importantly while hiking with one, WEIGHT should be a consideration. A tripod should be considered very important on your gear list.
I realise the $100 budget may be pushing it, but it's not unheard-of to find good quality products (usually not from a well-known manufacturer) for a competitive price. If there really is nothing in this range, then what's the least expensive one you can think of that ticks the other boxes? Cheers
Well, sure you can find a cheaper one that will hold the weight. Setting it on a table will do the same thing.
The word sturdy, when it comes to tripods is usually refering to it's ability to still hold the weight and not move (which is the purpose), under conditions other than normal and calm. Even a slight wind will move a poorly constructed tripopd (especially as top heavy as it wil lbe with a 60D and 300) and you know that even just the slightest movent could ruin a shot. With all this, we're just talking ahout sturdy legs and not even the tripod head.

Honestly, if price is the factor, just look around and you will find something that will do for now (either way, it's better to have one than not). If then, you find it is limiting, then you can save up and get a better one.
Sturdy, light and under $100...good luck.

For what it's worth, I just spent several hours perusing B&H list of monopods (select 'sort by price' after the list comes up) looking at the features of each, maximum weight capacity, leg locks (twist/lever), how much it weighs, maximum height and minimum height and even read most of the customer reviews on the ones I thought were 'contenders' in my $50-100 price range. Once I decided on the monopod for me, then it was time to find a simple ball head (for this amateur) that could carry the weight, and had a large-size knob to make tightening/loosening easy. Once I made my decision on both, I bought 'em. They arrived yesterday.

In short, what works for me may not fit your needs or price range. What works for anyone else on this site may or may not work for you. Plan to spend some time looking at what's available, whether it's new or used, from one store or another, or even on ebay or other auction site. Get the right one for you. You'll be spending many hours with it.
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Strong. Light. Cheap.

Pick any two. You can't have your cake and eat it too, sorry.
Destin said:
Strong. Light. Cheap.

Pick any two. You can't have your cake and eat it too, sorry.

The one I posted is all three, but with the caveat that it is not as sturdy at full extension.
Manfrotto 732CY, carbon fiber tripod. I have jsut got one, it is as light as you can get and is so small it fits in my rucksack with ease. It is not the most sturdy tripod in the world, but at the same time everything is a compromise in life. It means I take a tripod with me everywhere, instead of only taking one out on special occasions. Oh yeah, it is cheap too.
Thanks for the suggestions guys! I like the look of the lighter model Oben. The hook underneath allows you to hang something on it for extra stability. A big plus! Such a simple, but smart idea!
For a 300mm are we talking a 300mm f4, 300mm f2.8 70-300mm f4.5-5.6?
There is a big difference in those lenses and what is suitable for one isn't much use for the others.

Personally the sturdy, light, compactish tripod I was last looking at had a price of around ÂŁ700. Sadly if you want light and compact its going to cost a lot more. If you want a light travel setup I'd say consider beanbags and monopods. More affordable, lighter and, honestly, if you're hiking more so than doing hide work chances are a monopod is really all you'll need for some support.
Have you checked out craigslist? 100 dollars is not much of a budget, but you can get a "decent" used one.

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