Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

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As an expert journey photographer, I’ve used numerous journey tripods through the years, together with fashions from Manfrotto and Vanguard.

Today, I’m going to be reviewing Peak Design’s journey tripod, which I’ve been utilizing within the subject for the previous a number of months to see the way it compares to different journey tripods.

I’ve really been a fan of Peak Design’s merchandise for a very long time. They make a spread of images equipment, and I notably like their carry strap system which I’ve been utilizing for years on my cameras. They even have a spread of in style baggage.

My expertise thus far with their merchandise has been very optimistic, they’re nicely made and backed by a wonderful guarantee and help program. Let’s see if that high quality has prolonged to their journey tripod. I’ll share my ideas on utilizing one in all their journey tripods for the primary time.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

Peak Design launched their journey tripod (by way of Kickstarter) in 2019, with normal availability coming in 2020. This was their first and is presently solely tripod.

It’s now been in the marketplace for a while, and I believed it was about time I gave it a very good take a look at and overview. Let’s begin with the specs.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

 

Peak Design Travel Tripod Specifications

There are two variants of the Peak Design journey tripod in the marketplace for the time being, an aluminum mannequin and a carbon fiber mannequin.

The solely distinction between the 2 is the fabric in use, which impacts the burden (and value!). All the opposite specs are the identical. Here’s a fast overview of the principle specs.

  • Load capability – 20lbs (9.1kg)
  • Max top middle column raised – 60″ (152.2cm)
  • Max top middle column down – 51.25″ (130.2cm)
  • Weight aluminum mannequin 3.44lbs (1.56kg)
  • Weight carbon fiber mannequin 2.81lbs (1.29kg)
  • Packed top: 15.4″ (39.1cm)
  • Packed diameter 3.125″ (39.1cm)

The retail value of the aluminum mannequin is $379.95, and the carbon fiber mannequin is $599.95. You examine the most recent costs and purchase it direct from Peak Design right here, on Amazon right here, and from B&H Photo right here.

This tripod definitely suits what we search for in a journey tripod, which is a mix of portability and a very good load capability.

As nicely because the uncooked numbers, there are a couple of extra options of the Peak Design journey tripod I needed to spotlight.

First, the tripod is designed from the bottom as much as be tremendous transportable. The major approach that is achieved is with the top design, which may be very compact. The ball head mainly suits flush into the tripod when packed away and takes up barely any house.

Peak Design tripod and case

The flip locks, triangular leg design, and small middle column additionally all contribute to permitting this tripod to fold down actually small.

I’ve used numerous journey tripods through the years, and this one is certainly top-of-the-line designs I’ve used by way of the way it packs away to take up a minimal quantity of house.

The ball head can be fairly good. There’s an built-in bubble stage to make sure your digital camera is flat, and the flip lock design makes attaching and eradicating your digital camera very simple. You also can lock your digital camera into place with the flip of a toggle, which provides nice peace of thoughts.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Bubble
Bubble stage on tripod head

 

Peak Design Travel Tripod Lock
Lockable catch for mounting plate

Another neat characteristic is the mixing of a telephone head mount. This lives inside the middle column, and has a quick-release mechanism for simple set up.

It then attaches on to the tripod mounting plate and means that you can use your tripod along with your smartphone. This ought to work with just about any smartphone in the marketplace at this time.

It’s a pleasant worth add and can be nicely designed and durable.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

One last item I needed to spotlight is the carrying case. This is commonly an afterthought with tripods, when you even get one in any respect.

Well, Peak Design is understood for his or her baggage and their tripod case is beautiful. It appears nice, the tripod suits inside securely, and it’s each padded and weatherproof. It is lacking a strap, however there are add-ons to make it appropriate with the Peak Design carry system.

Ok, so these are the principle options. What is that this tripod like to truly use in the true world? Let’s discover out.

 

Peak Design Travel Tripod – Thoughts on Real World Use

I choose to do a overview based mostly on actual world expertise, so I traveled with the Peak Design journey tripod as my major tripod for a number of months to see the way it carried out within the subject.

As this can be a journey tripod, I anticipate it to be one thing I can carry with me when mountaineering, so I took it with me on plenty of hikes up numerous Welsh mountains in addition to different barely much less strenuous strolls. It has additionally been on extra leisurely journeys within the UK, France, and the USA.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

When I’m testing a journey tripod, there are some things I’m occupied with. First, it must be light-weight, as a result of nobody desires to hold greater than they should.

This tripod undoubtedly meets that requirement, even the aluminum model is gentle sufficient that I don’t must assume twice about including it to my gear for a visit.

The subsequent factor I search for is how simple the tripod is to arrange and put away. When I’m mountaineering, I don’t need to have to spend so much of time placing a tripod up and down at any time when I see a possibility for a shot.

The Peak Design journey tripod undoubtedly works in that regard as nicely. I’m usually not an enormous fan of flip-lock legs as they’ll catch on my digital camera bag when establishing and placing away.

However, on this case they’re nicely designed in order that doesn’t occur, they usually make arrange and put down a breeze.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

The approach the digital camera attaches to the top additionally works nicely. This is one thing that different tripods don’t at all times do as nicely at, particularly when utilizing the Peak Design carry system which has the carry strap hooked up to the tripod plate.

The Peak Design carry strap hooks on the digital camera base plate can generally get in the way in which of simple attachment to the tripod head. Obviously, this being a Peak Design tripod, that situation has been thought via, and the digital camera simply attaches to the tripod head even with the strap nonetheless hooked up.

There’s additionally a useful locking mechanism on the tripod head that makes it simple to make sure the digital camera is correctly hooked up to the tripod head.

Of course, any tripod is barely price its salt if it really supplies a steady platform for taking pictures from.

I’ve used it with a full-frame mirrorless digital camera paired with a heavy 100-400mm lens, and it carried out very nicely. I additionally used it with my extra regular panorama wide-angle lens, and even with the smartphone adaptor.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

All round, this tripod carried out very nicely and let me get the photographs I needed, even the lengthy publicity photographs the place the tiniest motion can wreck every part.

The last factor I would like in a journey tripod, or any tripod for that matter, is ease of operation.

Now this one was a little bit of a studying curve for me. The design of the Peak Design tripod head is that it slots down into the legs. However, it’s a must to partially lengthen the central column (round an inch), to get full motion.

Peak Design Tripod head

Before I obtained used to the tripod, I might attempt to transfer the top to the place I needed, however not be capable to as a result of the top solely has full freedom of motion as soon as the central column has been partially prolonged.

Extending the central column isn’t laborious, however it’s an extra step to recollect to do.

Once the top is prolonged, adjusting the top is simple. It’s a ball-style design, and to regulate the angle of the top you loosen the management ring, transfer the tripod head to the angle you need, after which tighten the management ring.

This is all very simple and intuitive when you get used to it. This is actually vital, particularly when you plan on doing any astrophotography or Northern Lights images, as you would possibly must function the tripod in very darkish situations the place you might be working by really feel.

So that’s numerous optimistic issues. Are there are points I encountered? Well, sure.

The major draw back I found, which is the principle destructive of this tripod, is a scarcity of separate pan and tilt controls.

When you loosen the management ring to regulate the top, you’ll be able to transfer the digital camera up, down, left, and proper. However, you’ll be able to’t pan or tilt individually.

So, for instance, in case you have your shot framed nearly completely, however need to shift the view a couple of levels to the left, it’s a must to watch out to not tilt the digital camera up or down on the identical time.

This additionally makes duties like taking pictures panoramas much more difficult. Many tripod heads, together with many ball heads, provide separate pan and tilt controls, so you’ll be able to pan independently of the lean management.

Now, actually, whether or not or not this can be a large deal will rely lots on the images you wish to take. If you’re taking numerous panoramas, then this can possible be an even bigger situation.

The excellent news is that the management ring additionally controls the friction, that means you’ll be able to loosen it solely somewhat after which simply watch out as you progress the digital camera, with friction in your aspect to stop undesirable actions on the mistaken axis.

However, with a heavy digital camera setup it may be difficult to solely transfer in a single route.

The different factor to keep in mind is that over time the flip locks on the tripod leg sections can change into unfastened, that means that the legs don’t keep prolonged. This is simply an general situation with all flip lock legs on tripods I’ve used.

This can occur with any tripod, however Peak Design have thought forward and included each a instrument to regulate the leg flip lock tightness, in addition to a useful clip which lets you connect the adjustment instrument to a tripod leg.

You simply need to bear in mind to deliver this with you while you journey, in case a leg wants tightening up while you’re within the subject.

Finally, while the addition of the bubble stage is appreciated, the sunshine shade and approach it’s positioned implies that my digital camera covers most of it up, making it tough to see and never very helpful as soon as my digital camera is ready up.

Honestly, most cameras and smartphones as of late have a built-in stage characteristic anyway, so I not often use the bubble stage on a tripod, however I needed to say it in case it was vital to you.

Overall, I undoubtedly loved utilizing this tripod within the subject, and it has earned a spot in my images bag for certain.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

 

Peak Design Travel Tripod Pros and Cons

Having lined my expertise utilizing the Peak Design journey tripod within the subject I needed to share a fast rundown of what I felt to be the principle professionals and cons of this tripod from a journey images perspective.

Pros

  • Lightweight, even the aluminum model
  • Folds down very small
  • Works nicely with the Peak Design clip system
  • Really good tripod bag
  • Can convert to tabletop tripod
  • Built-in smartphone holder
  • Lifetime guarantee

 

Cons

  • Expensive, particularly for carbon fiber mannequin
  • No simple panning management
  • Some constraint on portrait orientation shot

Overall,l I undoubtedly assume it’s a very good journey tripod. The major draw back is the price is fairly excessive, particularly in case you are contemplating the carbon fiber mannequin, which prices much more however solely presents a modest lower in weight.

I believe most individuals could be pleased with the aluminum mannequin because the options are the identical.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

 

Peak Design Travel Tripod Alternatives

When you begin researching tripods, you’re going to rapidly be taught that there are an amazing many tripods in the marketplace, and actually, it may be laborious to inform them aside.

The major selections will come right down to how a lot you need to spend and the way vital specs like most load capability, most top, minimal top, folded top and so on. are to you.

Most tripods mess around with these specs, so it’s best to be capable to discover the proper tripod for you. I needed to spotlight a couple of choices to contemplate, and you may see extra choices in our information to the greatest journey tripods.

Gitzo Traveler Series

Any comparability of tripods, particularly high-end tripods, goes to incorporate point out of Gitzo. These are usually thought to be among the greatest tripods in the marketplace, though they have an inclination to come back with a reasonably eye-watering price ticket.

Still, the Peak Design carbon fiber tripod isn’t precisely a price range mannequin, so I really feel it’s truthful to check it in opposition to a tripod of this caliber.

There are fairly a couple of tripods within the Gitzo Traveler sequence. I’d say essentially the most comparable mannequin could be the Gitzo Traveler, sequence 1, 5 part tripod.

This carbon fiber tripod has a most top of 58.46″, a folded dimension of 13.98″, a weight of three.13lbs and a max load capability of 22lbs. It has a retail value of $719.99.

So in comparison with the Peak Design carbon fiber mannequin, the Gitzo has a barely smaller folded top, weighs barely extra, and has a barely decrease most top.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

 

Vanguard VEO 3 GO 235CB or 265HCB

A fast word, I’m a Vanguard Ambassador and have been since 2014, and I’ve used numerous their gear through the years, a lot of which I’ve additionally reviewed.

I believe their merchandise provide lots, and I’ve been very pleased with their gear in use world wide.

The two major tripods I believe they presently produce which you would possibly think about as a substitute of the Peak Design Travel Tripod could be from the Vanguard VEO 3 Go vary, and particularly the 235CB or 265HCB fashions.

These are each carbon fiber tripods, however with a retail value round half that of the carbon fiber Peak Design Travel Tripod mannequin.

The 235CB is the smaller tripod, with a most dimension of 53.5″, a folded dimension of 13″, a weight of two.3lbs, and a max load capability of 8.8lbs. It has a retail value of $269.99.

The carbon fiber variant of the Peak Design tripod has a a lot greater load score and a better most top, but in addition weighs extra and doesn’t fold up as small. It’s additionally greater than twice as costly. One to contemplate in case you have a smaller setup that received’t problem the utmost load score.

The 265HCB is the taller tripod, with a most dimension of 65.5″, a folded dimension of 16.1″, a weight of three.1lbs and a max load capability of 22lbs. It has a retail value of $339.99.

The carbon fiber variant of the Peak Design tripod has an analogous load score and a decrease most top, however weighs much less and folds up a bit smaller. It’s almost twice as costly.

Both Vanguard tripods additionally convert to monopods and include a smartphone adaptor and Bluetooth distant shutter set off. They’re additionally out there in aluminum, at a cheaper price level and a better weight.

The aluminum VEO 3 Go 235AB retails for $219.99, and the aluminum VEO 3 Go 265HAB retails for $269.99. Generally the best approach to save cash on a journey tripod is to decide on an aluminum mannequin over a carbon fiber one.

If you’re on this product, or any of the opposite Vanguard merchandise, it can save you cash utilizing our unique Vanguard low cost code. This gives you 20% off every part within the Vanguard retailer.

Just use the code DiscoveringTheUniverse to your low cost! This Vanguard low cost code works within the Vanguard USA, UK, Australia, Spain, and Germany shops.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

 

Should you Buy the Peak Design Travel Tripod?

Honestly, solely you’ll be able to reply this query! However, having used it for plenty of months I can undoubtedly say that it’s a well-made tripod. It works very nicely and has sufficient intelligent design options to make it stand out in a really crowded market.

When you add up all of the little further issues like the great bag, smartphone holder, and compatibility with different Peak Design merchandise, it finally ends up as a very well-rounded product.

Of course, there are various different tripods in the marketplace at different value factors, however I don’t assume you’ll be disenchanted when you determine to go for it.

You should buy it direct from Peak Design right here, on Amazon right here, and from B&H Photo right here.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

 

Further Reading

That’s it for my overview of the Peak Design journey tripod – I hope you discovered it useful. Before you go, I needed to share a few of our different content material which we predict you’ll discover helpful.

 

Looking to Improve Your Photography?

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It additionally covers extra superior subjects, together with astrophotography, lengthy publicity images, flash images, and HDR images.

You get suggestions from me as you progress, entry to webinars, interviews and movies, in addition to unique membership of a Facebook group the place you may get suggestions in your work and participate in common challenges.

It’s out there for an incredible one-off value for lifetime entry, and I believe it’s best to test it out. Which you are able to do by clicking right here.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

Note: We had been despatched this product free of charge to see how we favored it. I selected to jot down this overview based mostly alone private opinion of the tripod after utilizing it for some time. All opinions are our personal.

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