After Four Years in the Making, Is This the Most Compact Travel Tripod Ever?

After Four Years in the Making, Is This the Most Compact Travel Tripod Ever?

Known for their innovative products, Peak Design has announced their latest brainchild. The Travel Tripod is designed to be one of the most compact and easy to transport tripods ever.

Believing the biggest struggle with tripods is the room they take up, the company set out after a solution. Four years in development later, the new tripod is ready for release.

Speaking of their new creation, Peak Design said:

[The Travel Tripod is] a ground-up re-examination of camera tripod design to produce the world’s most portable, packable, and easy to set up tripod for professionals and first-time tripod owners alike.

Their aim during the design phase was to eliminate as much dead space as possible. And given that the Travel Tripod has a diameter of just 3.25 inches (8.26cm), similar to that of a water bottle, it’s probably fair to say: mission accomplished.

A comparison of the Travel Tripod (right) alongside a traditional model, when both are collapsed.

That’s not to say it can’t stand tall; it can still deploy to be 58.5 inches (~1.49 m) tall. Its sleek design also means nothing is protruding. Instead of bulky knobs, the tripod utilizes a single adjustment ring around the 3.25-inch ball head to provide 360-degree movement. 

Peak Design CEO Peter Dering added:

During my travels in 2008, I began wondering why on Earth my tripod was so big. The thing was full of negative space and knobs, and I felt like something designed for portability could do much better. I quickly realized that anything short of a complete design overhaul would fail to meet my criteria of the perfect travel tripod. It took years of development but the outcome is a camera tripod that seamlessly integrates into all aspects of travel and adventure.

As to how much it’ll set you back, you’re looking at $350 (£275) for the aluminum leg version and $600 (£475) for the carbon fiber legs.

The company is aiming to release their new product by the 2019 holiday season. 

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Rk K's picture

I like it. Except the price...

Jason Lorette's picture

I have a Peak Design bag, and a clip, I really like their products...I am in the market for a new tripod, but I'm likely not going to go this route for a number of reasons. The price point is numero's crazy expensive.
I'm not sure if I like the look of the lock mechanism, the legs look flimsy but that's just based on look however a $500 tripod should be able to hold more than 20lbs, why have a bubble level on the head if you cover it with the camera? That head is strange, having to raise the center column to use the head? I do like the 'single twist lock' on the head.
It's a wonderful looking tripod, however the price point for what is essentially viewed as a "travel tripod" is way too high (even with the "presale pricing"). Still looking at a "three legged thing" much as I'd like another PD product.

Soooo expensive. Triple the price of some decent carbon fibre travel tripods. Quadruple if you consider the actual price, not the Kickstarter one.

Sure, it's so compact and really a game changer in travel tripods, but for $300/$450 more?! I guess I'll pass.

Btw, is the design patented?

Justin Braase's picture

For that pricing, I'm happy with the tripod I have Haha Imagine the sales if this was actually priced competitively though....

Looking forward to some knockoff designs of this for 1/4 the price. Not sure I love the ball adjustment restrictions, but I do love how compact the legs are.

Rob Mitchell's picture

Nice idea. As someone just unpacking from a fly-away gig with a 055 Carbon Manfrotto wedged diagonally in a Pelicase, this could be good.
I hope it has a Arca-Swiss style adaptor though.

Marius Pettersen's picture

It supports Arca-Swiss almost out of the box. You just need to remove some pins from the head, or something.

Not sure if an ad or a really lazy article. There's so much to write about this, the design, lauch, marketing, pros, cons, pricing, future tripods, and you go with this?

Rob Mitchell's picture

Very sparse, isn't it.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

Considering PD have flooded the internet with their sponsored reviews, and this is via Peta pixels sponsored post I would not expect too much.

Michael Kuszla's picture

I looked over my pretty old (ans still alive) Vanguard 235AB and find some similitudes. Enough to stay with it — even I love Peak Design products, even if I gain 3Kg of load capacity (the travel vanguard support up to 6Kg), even I gain 150g with the carbon Peak Design (Vanguard weight is... 1.5Kg).

If I had not searched for monthes, to find this tiny tripod, and had a long OR heavy one, I'll go for the Peak Design.

I actually don't need it. Really. But yeah, did you see the wink he send to me? To us? So sexy.

Thanks Peak Design for this new stuff.
Thanks also to listen your customer.

I like it very much, but at this price point there is no way that this is going to replace my 60 euro Manfrotto Compact Light.

Peak Design makes innovative and quality products. I like where they are going with this concept and I think it resonants with travel photographers. It’s too expensive. It’s too expensive. It’s too expensive.

On a couple different notes, they certainly have media blitzed this release and used youtube influencers like a well oiled marketing machine. Be careful of the ads... I mean expert reviews. Lastly, Peak Design did not invent this compact leg design. I have owned a tripod flashlight for over 12 years that has the identical leg geometry. Perhaps their only claim here is that their application of the leg geometry in a camera tripod is new.

For all the comments on price one would think Gitzo and RRS would have no customers.

The future customers of Gitzo and RRS are pros with tax write-offs and people with a hole in their wallet but like to look the part. I would say industry influencers also but they get their stuff for free then complain that they are independent journalists. Don’t get me wrong, their equipment is the best, but normal folk don’t need all the bells and whistles for that kind of price, the gap is closing with low priced alternatives, and at the end of the day it is just machined tubes, not a microprocessor or refrigerator.
Having said all of this you’re right, the hole in their wallet people are plentiful among camera enthusiasts and Peak Design knows their audience... or do they; “DSLR sales plummet as the new generation use smartphones are instead”. And yes I know the peak design supports smartphones but no one is buying it just for that.

I agree that most people don't need very ambitious gear but their is a ton of people on the net who claim otherwise and sell their kids to buy their toys.
I would note that all but the most serious gear (Bron, Profoto studio generators, Foba camera stands) are purchased by moneyed hobbyists.

I prefer Gitzo, but generally speaking I think Peak Design would benefit from far less hype, far more reasonable pricing, and a new firm doing their marketing ... as trying to sell, and re-sell a bunch of old photography ideas and products as "revolutionary" is getting seriously long in the tooth.

Errick Jackson's picture

All these price comments, but people are still stans for RRR and Gitzo on here. I'm a bit confused. I'll certainly be getting one as soon as I can. $600 is a far cry from $1500 RRR tripods. Plus, after spending some time on film sets lately, I have a new perspective for what expensive means for a tripod.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

I have no issues with the price, what I have an issue with is their hyped up marketing borderline to dishonest and their paid reviews. Why not market this tripod for what it is, a small travel tripod for people who value a compact and lightweight tripod above all else.

Claiming it's for everything from a cell phone to large format cameras is pure bs, the fact their "revolutionary" (the monoball p0 has been out for years) ball head is all but practical it lacks pan and have a limited range of motion, also to be able to use it you are forced to use the center column.

The fact is, there is nothing concrete in their construction, material choice or design that proves this tripod will be sturdier than anything else in its class. Sure you save some space, but at a huge penalty, forcing you to use their ball head and with an extended center column.

Welcome to modern marketing where the credulous are relieved of their money and liberty via social media.

All the videos hitting the same day feels like a lot of paid advertisements. I like the idea of the integrated ball head. other then that I don't feel like it is a game chamber, and peak design is like Profoto they charge a premium for there products.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

Maybe not fair comparison in terms of companies. Seeing as Profoto being a company that been in the business for decades and regardless if you used their gear or not, they have contributed to their particular field and market. PD has been around a month in comparison and in tripod business, they been around for a minute.

What is comparable is the way these two companies market and hype some of their products? Profoto flew in a bunch of people around the globe and gave them A1's and many of them went on social media with their reviews of their free A1's... very similar to PD.

Profoto claiming the A1 being worlds smallest studio flash when it truce it's nothing of the sort but thought out speed light.

PD going on about their tripod being revolutionary to the point it can handle everything from a cell phone to a large format camera when In truth their they haven't shown any proof of their tripod performing any better than any other tripod in similar size. Also using a chart that omits certain data to make their own specs look favorable is a wee bit shady as well.

Flip locks are difficult to clean. The first time it goes into sand, it'll never be the same.

I wouldn't trust these thin legs with anything more than APS-C and sub-80mm lens, but then again, maybe that's the target. I wonder why would they use it with a telephoto lens for advertisement then? These are heavy, unstable beasts which requre a bit overbuilt gear. It of course comes wth bigger footprint, but oftentimes lower price, even for carbon.

charlie sanders's picture

I’m more interested in stability. I see like 8 legs ? Locking mechanism looks a little odd and looks flimsy. Price might be about right for a travel pod. If you are comparing to gitzo on price (expensive) and stability (super sturdy) and durability (have had one for 12 years and travels well) can’t beat the twist to lock on Gitzo.

Phil Bautista's picture

So many comments here about the tripod being too expensive (which I agree with) yet the Kickstarter shot way past its target, so Peak Design obviously knows its market. So many comments here about how the reviews are biased because of PD's tactics but those are the same tactics used by so many other camera companies (like Sony, Canon, etc.) so might as well criticize the whole industry.

I like the form factor and I think that's why PD is charging so much for it. No one else has one like it. Is it perfect? Far from it. But is it desirable? Fuck, yeah! It looks sleek and compact enough to make a difference in whether you'd bring a tripod or not and if I had money to burn, I'd probably get one. But, as it stands, it's priced out of what I'd pay for a travel tripod by about $150 (at the KS price) and with image stabilization on camera bodies and lenses getting better and better, tripods are increasingly being less relevant in the needs of casual photographers. As for the serious photographers, well those people don't really need my opinion on whether this tripod is the right one for them as they would have already made up their mind by now.

The key to success is that you don't need everybody, just enough. The internet is the ultimate mass market mail order engine.
You can reach more niches with wallets than anyone ever dreamed.