Travel Photo Upgrade

Peak Design Rethought the Tripod and the Results Are Incredible


If any company could make a camera tripod exciting, sexy even, it’d be Peak Design. Peter Dering, the company’s founder, has been dreaming of doing just so for the past 11 years, since before he and his team created the handy camera clip that first demonstrated their knack for photography accessory innovation. But now, many straps and bags later, they’ve done it; Peak Design recently revealed the Travel Tripod, a compact camera stand that competes with the best available in every way.

In every one of its products, Peak Design harnesses intelligent design to create no-brainer items that are remarkably easy to use. It’s true about everything from its backpacks to its camera straps, and it’s true about the Travel Tripod, which might be its most technically complex product to date.

To accomplish that feat, Peak Design considered every facet of tripod use and changed it — for the better. Latches replace annoying twist locks to extend the legs, making it quick to deploy. A single adjustment ring releases the ball head to move into any orientation, and a quick-release button makes attaching and removing a camera fast and easy. Peak Design got the smaller, more technical details right, too: The Travel Tripod has a hook you can hang a loaded bag on to give it stability, small levers that let you spread the legs wide for low-angle photos, and its center column pulls away from the central apparatus to make it easier to twist. And then there’s the fact that all its components nest so much closer together than any other tripod available, making a compact form that’s about the size of a tall water bottle.

All these features make the Travel Tripod appealing to camera nerds who already care about tripods, but they create even more value for the amateur photographer. Using it is intuitive and straightforward, and it’ll work with any camera (its weight capacity is 20 pounds). It also includes a smartphone mount since, yes, most photographers shoot as often with a phone as they do a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

Plus, the Travel Tripod is incredibly affordable — the Kickstarter prices are $289 for the slightly heavier aluminum model and $479 for the carbon fiber version (they’ll increase to $349 and $599, respectively, after the campaign). That pricing, combined with the clever design, makes choosing a travel-friendly tripod easy: Get this one.

Gear Patrol also recommends:
Peak Design Leash Camera Strap ($40)
Peak Design Wash Pouch ($60)
Peak Design Capture Camera Clip ($70)
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