Best travel tripods

Best travel tripods
Best travel tripods. Photo: rdonar/SHutterstock

There's something about the magic of wandering abroad and exploring new places that inspires us to capture the moment. But if you're taking photos without a tripod, chances are you'll end up with shaky shots and blurry pictures.

Enter the travel tripod: the must-have portable accessory no jetsetter should leave home without. To help take your vacation photos to the next level, we've rounded up the best travel tripods for snagging incredible shots on the go.

1. The GorillaPod Tripod by Joby

For photographers exploring rocky terrain and off-the-beaten-path locales, traditional tripods can prove tricky. Let's just say a seaside cliff may not be the most even surface to set up your camera. Thanks to the GorillaPod, travellers don't have to sacrifice getting the shot they want. Its flexible, tentacle-like legs wrap and twist with ease, allowing them to cling to everything from tree branches to street signs. From $19.95

The GorillaPod Tripod by Joby. Photo: Press release

2. The Pixi by Manfrotto

This tiny tripod packs a big punch. With a smooth, sleek design and lightweight portability, the Pixi easily stows away into any travel bag. It's a particularly attractive option for the novice photographer as it allows for the iPhone to snap right on. For travellers who don't want to lug around a big camera, the chic little Pixi just might do the trick. From $24.99

The Pixi by Manfrotto. Photo: Press release

3. The RoadTrip Travel Tripod by MeFOTO

This compact little gadget is light as can be and extends over 1.5 meters, making it the perfect addition to your carry-on bag or backpack. But don't let the small size fool you—this tripod, which comes in an array of vibrant hues, is sturdy enough to handle a full DSLR camera. It also quickly converts to a monopod (something sure to delight nature photographers). $199

The RoadTrip Travel Tripod by MeFOTO. Photo: Press release

4. The Gitzo GT2531EX by Adorama

The setup may be a little more involved here, but the Gitzo GT2531EX won't disappoint photo enthusiasts. This tripod touts ultimate flexibility and can be moved in any direction, allowing you to take shots from virtually any angle. Ideal for the serious travel photographer, the Gitzo comes with a higher price tag—but in this case, you'll get what you pay for. $689.88

The Gitzo GT2531EX by Adorama. Photo: Press release

5. The MaxiGrip Flexible Tripod by Magnus

This tripod's unique round design on the legs make it an especially sturdy option. Weighing just six ounces, the MaxiGrip is a backpacker's dream that touts flexible legs that can wrap around odd surfaces like tree limbs and the like. Another perk is that it's relatively inexpensive and easy on the wallet. $25.95

The MaxiGrip Flexible Tripod by Magnus. Photo: Press release

6. The Sprint Pro II by Slik

Technically speaking, the Sprint Pro II isn't a travel tripod—it's actually a full-sized model that happens to be great for travelling. It may not be the lightest option of the bunch (sorry, backpackers), but it's incredibly easy to use and sets up in a snap. The Sprint Pro II is a real gem for shooting on uneven ground, as the legs adjust easily. $89.95

The Sprint Pro II by Slik. Photo: Press release

Before you buy

When shopping around for a travel tripod, be sure to keep a few key factors in mind. For example, will it fit in an overhead airplane bin? Is setup quick and easy? When it comes to travel photography, these are make-or-break questions you'll be glad you asked yourself beforehand.

Read more: Introduction to travel photography

Buy a book: Insight Guides: Travel Photography