Looking for the best tripods in 2023? We’ve picked out the best ones we’ve tested in this full, comprehensive guide to camera supports. Whether you shoot photos, videos or a little of both, here are the best tripods for your money right now.
If you’re not sure how to choose the best tripod for you, it’s all about finding a balance between size, weight, stability, and expense. If you’re shooting still life or macro images at home or in the studio, the weight of your tripod isn’t usually a concern and a big, heavy tripod will keep your camera and lens steady. However, if you’re heading out on vacation, you’ll probably want to carry something smaller and lighter. While there are some great travel tripods, they may not be steady enough for a long exposure image.
Carbon fibre tripods, for instance, are lighter than their aluminium counterparts. They’re also a little better at dampening vibrations. They’re also more expensive. It’s often more economical to buy a tripod as a kit with a head, but if you buy one ‘legs only’, you can match it with your preferred head rather than upgrade for more cost at a later date. This means you can choose the best tripod head for your needs, whether that’s precise control for stills photography, or a more fluid head for video recording.
With all this in mind, here are our recommendations for the best tripods at a range of prices:
Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod
Provided you’re not planning to use a long, heavy lens, the Manfrotto Pixi is a useful little tripod that’s perfect for low-level shots and won’t break the bank. What’s more, as it weighs just 190g, you won’t mind slipping it in your camera bag ‘just in case’ and it can cope with loads to 1Kg, which is enough for many camera and lens combinations.
The Manfrotto Pixi has a simple design with an integral ball head that’s released with the press of a button. The legs are also shaped so that when they are closed, the Pixi creates a comfortable handle that’s useful if you’re shooting video.
Benro Tablepod Flex Kit
Price: $159 / £140
Another tabletop tripod option, this versatile camera support comes in a kit with both rigid and flexible legs that allow it to be creatively positioned in all sorts of ways. While it’s clearly designed principally for those using a smartphone, it is perfectly capable of holding a mirrorless camera and lens. In our testing, we even found it held up the full-frame Sony Alpha A7R IV and a 24-105mm f/4 lens without issue.
The Benro Tablepod Flex Kit is highly versatile. The flexible arms can also be attached to the legs to allow for the use of additional accessories like lights or a microphone, making it a great choice for video creators. Some clips are thrown into the kit to help with attaching the bendy legs to poles or branches, and the tripod also converts to a selfie stick. All in all this is a surprisingly fully featured package for a tabletop tripod.
Read our Benro Tablepod Flex Kit review.
Benro MeFoto RoadTrip Pro Carbon Fibre Tripod
Price: $299 / £159
Benro bills the MeFoto RoadTrip Pro as a 6-in1 tripod, which might raise concern that it’s a jack-of-all trades and master of none, but it’s actually a very capable travel tripod with a maximum height of 152.5cm. Two of its other functions include transforming into a monopod or a mini tripod, both of which are genuinely useful. It also comes with a smartphone clamp that fits in the head for when you’re not using your main camera.
If you want to save a bit of cash and you don’t mind carrying the extra 270g, Benro also makes an aluminium version of the MeFoto RoadTrip Pro tripod that’s available for around $175 / £119.
Read our Benro MeFoto RoadTrip Pro Carbon Fibre Tripod review
Peak Design Travel Tripod
Price: $649/£599 (carbon fibre), $379/£329 (aluminium)
The price of the carbon fibre version of the Peak Design Travel Tripod is enough to make you choke on your coffee, but it is very good and at 1.27kg it’s 290g lighter than the aluminium version. That doesn’t sound like much, but you can tell the difference even when you’re carrying it in a fully-laden backpack. Nevertheless, the price of the aluminium version makes it the most attractive tripod from Peak Design, and it doesn’t disappoint.
Both tripods have 5-section legs, extend up to 152.4cm in height, have a minimum height of 14cm and can support a load of up to 9.1Kg. There’s also an unusual (but effective) integrated ball head. This can be replaced with a standard one using the Universal Head Adapter.
Peak Design opted for an unusual shape for the tripod’s 5-section legs but it means it’s very slim when folded down, so it slips easily into a drinks bottle pocket and is just 39.1cm long. It’s also very stable for a travel tripod and can even deliver sharp long exposures when a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is mounted on a mirrorless camera.
Read our Peak Design Travel Tripod review.
Best tripod for mirrorless: Vanguard VEO 3GO 235AB
Price: $139 / £149
This five-section aluminium tripod is ideally suited for a mirrorless camera setup. While it weighs just 1.24kg and folds down to a slimline 33cm in length, it can still reach a pretty decent maximum height of 136cm. Other tripods go higher, but with tilting screens more or less ubiquitous, it’s a lot less essential than it used to be for a camera to reach eye level on a tripod.
As we found in our testing, out in the field the Vanguard VEO 3GO 235AB works well. It’s quick to set up, owing to the fact that all five locks on a leg can be undone in a single twist. We appreciated how large and user-friendly the controls are for such a small tripod, and its broad compatibility scores it plenty of points – we tried a bunch of Arca-Swiss plates and L-brackets with the camera clamp, and it accepted them all.
Read our Vanguard VEO 3GO 235AB review.
Kingjoy SolidRock C85 tripod
It may be a pricey proposition, but the Kingjoy SolidRock C85 tripod mightily impressed us when we gave it a full review. Reaching a whopping maximum height of 163.8cm, this four-section carbon fibre tripod is a newbie to the UK photo accessory market, and is one of the biggest supports on the block. A useful levelling base with no fewer than four bubble levels can be controlled using a large twist lock in the centre, and is a godsend for capturing landscapes on uneven ground.
Stability is in general very impressive. We tried it out using a full-frame camera with attached battery grip and a 100-400mm zoom, and it had no problems at all. If your setup isn’t that beefy, this may be overkill for you, but it’s a hugely impressive tripod for those who need this level of support.
Read our Kingjoy SolidRock C85 review.
Best premium tripod: Gitzo GK1555T-82TQD Traveller Tripod Kit
This luxurious travel tripod has carbon fibre legs with 5 sections. This means it can be packed down to just 35.5cm in length yet it has a maximum shooting height of 148.4cm. It comes with a short centre column section that can be swapped out for the standard one to enable low-level shooting
The kit includes a GH1382TQD Center Ball Head Series 1 Traveller. This is the slimmest head in Gitzo’s professional range and the combined weight with the legs is 1.42Kg.
Gitzo rates the kit’s maximum payload at 10Kg. Furthermore, Gitzo recommends focal lengths up to around 135mm with 200mm as a maximum.
Read our Gitzo GK1555T-82TQD Traveler tripod kit review.
3 Legged Thing Punks Billy 2.0
All three of the 3 Legged Thing Punks Billy 2.0 carbon fibre legs can be unscrewed and converted into mini tripod with the addition of the option Vanz footwear (£53). There is also an option to attach one of the legs to the centre column to create a monopod or a microphone boom.
The Billy 2.0 can bear a maximum load of 18Kg but weighs just 1.57Kg with the AirHead 2.0 ball head. 3 Legged thing also sells the Billy 2.0 legs-only for, but the head is a worthwhile inclusion.
Thanks to the chunky rubberised leg lock grips, and the fact that they are close together when the tripod is collapsed, the Billy 2.0 can be deployed quickly. It extends to a maximum height of 1.66m and folds down to 45.5cm in length.
Read our 3 Legged Thing Punks Billy 2.0.
Manfrotto 190 Go!
Manfrotto’s aluminium 190 Go! (MT190GOA4) can be picked up at a great price. It weighs 1.66Kg, packs down to 45cm in length, has a maximum working height of 152cm and has a recommended maximum payload of 7Kg although it can handle weight up to 15Kg.
Thanks to its M-lock system which requires just a 90° turn to unlock and lock the legs, the tripod can be setup in seconds. These twist locks also have no protruding parts, which means the 190 Go! Slips into a bag easily.
The Manfrotto 190 Go! also features a centre column capable of rotating through 90° into horizontal orientation. And there’s an Easy Link connector. This enables an accessory arm to be attached to the shoulders of the tripod to hold a light or similar accessory.
Read our Manfrotto 190 Go! review.
The Manfrotto 90XPro4 (MT190XPRO4) is a 4-section aluminium tripod is available to buy by itself or in a kit with the excellent Pro Ball Head with 200PL plate for £200 or the X-Pro 3-Way Head for £289.
It’s a solid and dependable tripod a maximum working height of 175cm and its folds down to 57cm. The recommended maximum payload is 7Kg, but it can also cope with weights up to 15Kg.
Like the Manfrotto 190 Go!, the 190XPro4’s centre column is mounted through a pivoting section that enables it to be tilted through 90° to horizontal orientation. That’s useful for top-down shooting and copy work. There’s also an Easy Link connector for mounting an accessory arm.
Gitzo GT1542 Mountaineer Series 1
The design of Gitzo’s carbon fibre Mountaineer tripods combine rigidity with low weight, portability and robustness. They are for landscape photographers who like to walk to their shooting locations. With all that in mind, the 4-section GT1542 weighs 1.28Kg (legs only), has a maximum height of 159cm with the centre column up, 135cm with it down, and a minimum height of 15cm. It can also support loads of up to 10Kg.
The GT1542 is also available as a kit with the GH1382QD Center Ball Head for $1079/£999. Gitzo states that the focal length should be limited to 200mm or less but recommends 135mm or less.
3 Legged Thing Legends Tommy
3 Legged Thing’s beefy Legends Tommy carbon fibre tripod comes without a head or a centre column but it has a maximum height of 162cm, weighs a substantial 2.59Kg and measures 73cm when it’s folded down. However, it can carry a staggering 60Kg load. It means you get a very stable shooting platform that’s ideal for hefty cameras when shooting stills or video.
The Tommy is supplied with a flat plate and a 75mm bowl. This means it can be used with either a regular type of tripod head or a levelling head for video-shooting.