I possibly might have bought the best travel tripod when I was new to photography three years ago. Not knowing much about tripods at that time, I purchased the Manfrotto MKC3-H01 for about $70 Canadian dollars.
I’m still travelling right now and using the Manfrotto MKC3-H01. This tripod has been to Iceland, Colombia, The Galapagos, etc.
What I like about this tripod is its lightweight (made of aluminum) and compact size. I usually attach the tripod to my camera backpack as carry-on or sometimes I put it in my checked luggage.
Note: Not all countries allow tripods with carry-on luggage.
Features of The Best Travel Tripod
- Easily handles the load of my Canon 6D + Tamron Lens (24 – 70 mm).
- All of the tripod’s legs can easily be fully extended and locked within 20 seconds with its level-lock system.
- Has a wheel-lock mechanism to tighten or loosen the ball-head.
- Comes with a two-ball head and can be used for video panning. Though the panning isn’t as great as a high-end video tripod, it’s a nice-to-have.
- Has a quick release system so you don’t have to keep screwing and unscrewing your camera. But this feature is pretty much standard.
Manfrotto MKC3-H01 Specifications
- Load Capacity: 1.5 kg, 3.3 lbs
- Max Height: 155 cm, 61”
- Min Height: 44 cm, 17”
- Weight: 1.2 kg, 2.6 lbs
I bought a high-end FotoPro tripod when I decided to upgrade my equipment. Yet, I still use Manfrotto tripod 99% of the time and 100% for travel. I check out camera gear all the time at conventions and stores, and still believe this is the best travel tripod (or at least one of the best).
Unfortunately, this product is discontinued. You can still buy the MKC3-H01 on some of Manfrotto’s websites and through resellers. The Manfrotto MKC3-H01 is now replaced by the MKCOMPACTACN-BK model which I assume is the new and improved version of the best travel tripod.