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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Peak Design Journey Tripod Evaluation

As knowledgeable journey photographer, I’ve used a whole lot of journey tripods over time, together with fashions from Manfrotto and Vanguard.

At this time, I’m going to be reviewing Peak Design’s journey tripod, which I’ve been utilizing within the discipline 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 variety of pictures equipment, and I notably like their carry strap system which I’ve been utilizing for years on my cameras. In addition they have a variety of fashionable baggage.

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

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

Peak Design Journey Tripod Evaluation

Peak Design launched their journey tripod (by way of Kickstarter) in 2019, with normal availability coming in 2020. This was their first and is at the moment 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 check and assessment. Let’s begin with the specs.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review


Peak Design Journey Tripod Specs

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

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

  • Load capability – 20lbs (9.1kg)
  • Max top heart column raised – 60″ (152.2cm)
  • Max top heart 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 evaluate the most recent costs and purchase it direct from Peak Design right here, on Amazon right here, and from B&H Photograph right here.

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

In addition to the uncooked numbers, there are a number of further options of the Peak Design journey tripod I needed to spotlight.

First, the tripod is designed from the bottom as much as be tremendous moveable. The primary manner that is achieved is with the pinnacle design, which could be very compact. The ball head principally 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 heart column additionally all contribute to permitting this tripod to fold down actually small.

I’ve used a whole lot of journey tripods over time, and this one is certainly among the finest designs I’ve used when it comes to the way it packs away to take up a minimal quantity of house.

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

Peak Design Travel Tripod Bubble
Bubble degree on tripod head


Peak Design Travel Tripod Lock
Lockable catch for mounting plate

One other neat function is the combination of a cellphone head mount. This lives inside the middle column, and has a quick-release mechanism for straightforward set up.

It then attaches on to the tripod mounting plate and permits you to use your tripod along with your smartphone. This could work with just about any smartphone in the marketplace right this moment.

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

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

One final thing I needed to spotlight is the carrying case. That is typically an afterthought with tripods, in the event you even get one in any respect.

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

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


Peak Design Journey Tripod – Ideas on Actual World Use

I choose to do a assessment primarily based on actual world expertise, so I traveled with the Peak Design journey tripod as my most important tripod for a number of months to see the way it carried out within the discipline.

As it is a journey tripod, I anticipate it to be one thing I can carry with me when mountain climbing, so I took it with me on various hikes up varied 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

After I’m testing a journey tripod, there are some things I’m considering. First, it needs to be light-weight, as a result of nobody needs to hold greater than they should.

This tripod positively meets that requirement, even the aluminum model is mild sufficient that I don’t should 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. After I’m mountain climbing, I don’t wish to have to spend so much of time placing a tripod up and down each time I see a chance for a shot.

The Peak Design journey tripod positively works in that regard as properly. I’m usually not an enormous fan of flip-lock legs as they will catch on my digicam bag when establishing and placing away.

Nevertheless, on this case they’re properly designed in order that doesn’t occur, and so they make arrange and put down a breeze.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

The best way the digicam attaches to the pinnacle additionally works properly. That is one thing that different tripods don’t all the time do as properly at, particularly when utilizing the Peak Design carry system which has the carry strap connected to the tripod plate.

The Peak Design carry strap hooks on the digicam base plate can generally get in the way in which of simple attachment to the tripod head. Clearly, this being a Peak Design tripod, that problem has been thought by, and the digicam simply attaches to the tripod head even with the strap nonetheless connected.

There’s additionally a helpful locking mechanism on the tripod head that makes it simple to make sure the digicam is correctly connected to the tripod head.

After all, any tripod is simply price its salt if it really supplies a secure platform for taking pictures from.

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

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

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

The ultimate 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. Nevertheless, it’s important to partially prolong the central column (round an inch), to get full motion.

Peak Design Tripod head

Earlier than I received used to the tripod, I might attempt to transfer the pinnacle to the place I needed, however not have the ability to as a result of the pinnacle solely has full freedom of motion as soon as the central column has been partially prolonged.

Extending the central column isn’t arduous, however it’s a further step to recollect to do.

As soon as the pinnacle is prolonged, adjusting the pinnacle is straightforward. It’s a ball-style design, and to regulate the angle of the pinnacle you loosen the management ring, transfer the tripod head to the angle you need, after which tighten the management ring.

That is all very simple and intuitive when you get used to it. That is actually essential, particularly in the event you plan on doing any astrophotography or Northern Lights pictures, as you may have to function the tripod in very darkish situations the place you might be working by really feel.

So that’s a whole lot of optimistic issues. Are there are points I encountered? Nicely, sure.

The primary draw back I found, which is the primary damaging of this tripod, is an absence of separate pan and tilt controls.

Once you loosen the management ring to regulate the pinnacle, you possibly can transfer the digicam up, down, left, and proper. Nevertheless, you possibly can’t pan or tilt individually.

So, for instance, you probably have your shot framed virtually completely, however wish to shift the view a number of levels to the left, it’s important to watch out to not tilt the digicam 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 possibly can pan independently of the lean management.

Now, actually, whether or not or not it is a large deal will rely quite a bit on the pictures you wish to take. When you take a whole lot of panoramas, then it will possible be an even bigger problem.

The excellent news is that the management ring additionally controls the friction, which means you possibly can loosen it solely a little bit after which simply watch out as you progress the digicam, with friction in your aspect to forestall undesirable actions on the improper axis.

Nevertheless, with a heavy digicam setup it may be difficult to solely transfer in a single course.

The opposite factor to keep in mind is that over time the flip locks on the tripod leg sections can turn out to be free, which means that the legs don’t keep prolonged. That is simply an total problem with all flip lock legs on tripods I’ve used.

This will 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 helpful clip which lets you connect the adjustment instrument to a tripod leg.

You simply wish to keep in mind to deliver this with you while you journey, in case a leg wants tightening up while you’re within the discipline.

Lastly, while the addition of the bubble degree is appreciated, the sunshine coloration and manner it’s positioned implies that my digicam covers most of it up, making it troublesome to see and never very helpful as soon as my digicam is about up.

Actually, most cameras and smartphones nowadays have a built-in degree function anyway, so I hardly ever use the bubble degree on a tripod, however I needed to say it in case it was essential to you.

General, I positively loved utilizing this tripod within the discipline, and it has earned a spot in my pictures bag for certain.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review


Peak Design Journey Tripod Professionals and Cons

Having coated my expertise utilizing the Peak Design journey tripod within the discipline I needed to share a fast rundown of what I felt to be the primary professionals and cons of this tripod from a journey pictures perspective.


  • Light-weight, even the aluminum model
  • Folds down very small
  • Works properly with the Peak Design clip system
  • Very nice tripod bag
  • Can convert to tabletop tripod
  • Constructed-in smartphone holder
  • Lifetime guarantee



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

General,l I positively assume it’s a very good journey tripod. The primary draw back is the price is fairly excessive, particularly if you’re contemplating the carbon fiber mannequin, which prices much more however solely affords a modest lower in weight.

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

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review


Peak Design Journey Tripod Alternate options

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

The primary choices will come all the way down to how a lot you wish to spend and the way essential specs like most load capability, most top, minimal top, folded top and so forth. are to you.

Most tripods mess around with these specs, so it’s best to have the ability to discover the proper tripod for you. I needed to spotlight a number of choices to think about, and you’ll see extra choices in our information to the finest journey tripods.

Gitzo Traveler Sequence

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

Nonetheless, the Peak Design carbon fiber tripod isn’t precisely a funds mannequin, so I really feel it’s truthful to match it towards a tripod of this caliber.

There are fairly a number 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 measurement 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.


Vanguard VEO 3 GO 235CB or 265HCB

A fast observe, I’m a Vanguard Ambassador and have been since 2014, and I’ve used a whole lot of their gear over time, a lot of which I’ve additionally reviewed.

I feel their merchandise provide quite a bit, and I’ve been very pleased with their gear in use around the globe.

The 2 most important tripods I feel they at the moment produce which you may think about as a substitute of the Peak Design Journey 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 Journey Tripod mannequin.

The 235CB is the smaller tripod, with a most measurement of 53.5″, a folded measurement 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 larger load ranking and a better most top, but additionally weighs extra and doesn’t fold up as small. It’s additionally greater than twice as costly. One to think about you probably have a smaller setup that received’t problem the utmost load ranking.

The 265HCB is the taller tripod, with a most measurement of 65.5″, a folded measurement 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 identical load ranking and a decrease most top, however weighs much less and folds up a bit smaller. It’s almost twice as costly.

Each Vanguard tripods additionally convert to monopods and include a smartphone adaptor and Bluetooth distant shutter set off. They’re additionally accessible 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. Usually the best manner to save cash on a journey tripod is to decide on an aluminum mannequin over a carbon fiber one.

When 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 provides you with 20% off every part within the Vanguard retailer.

Simply use the code FindingTheUniverse in your low cost! This Vanguard low cost code works within the Vanguard USA, UK, Australia, Spain, and Germany shops.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review


Do you have to Purchase the Peak Design Journey Tripod?

Actually, solely you possibly can reply this query! Nevertheless, having used it for various months I can positively say that it’s a well-made tripod. It really works very properly and has sufficient intelligent design options to make it stand out in a really crowded market.

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

After all, there are numerous different tripods in the marketplace at different value factors, however I don’t assume you can be disillusioned in the event you determine to go for it.

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

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review Peak Design Travel Tripod Review


Additional Studying

That’s it for my assessment of the Peak Design journey tripod – I hope you discovered it useful. Earlier than you go, I needed to share a few of our different content material which we expect you will see helpful.


Seeking to Enhance Your Images?

When you discovered this publish useful, and also you wish to enhance your pictures total, you may wish to try my on-line journey pictures course.

Since launching the course in 2016, I’ve already helped over 2,000 college students discover ways to take higher pictures. The course covers just about every part you must know, from the fundamentals of how a digicam works, by to composition, mild, and photograph modifying.

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

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

It’s accessible for a tremendous one-off value for lifetime entry, and I feel it’s best to test it out. Which you are able to do by clicking right here.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

Notice: We had been despatched this product without cost to see how we favored it. I selected to write down this assessment primarily based alone private opinion of the tripod after utilizing it for some time. All opinions are our personal.

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