Peak Design Journey Tripod Evaluation

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

At the moment, 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 spread of pictures equipment, and I significantly like their carry strap system which I’ve been utilizing for years on my cameras. Additionally they have a spread of common baggage.

My expertise so far with their merchandise has been very optimistic, they’re properly made and backed by a wonderful guarantee and help program. Let’s see if that high quality has prolonged to their journey tripod. I’ll share my ideas on utilizing one in all 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 common availability coming in 2020. This was their first and is at present solely tripod.

It’s now been available on the market for a while, and I believed it was about time I gave it a very good take a look at 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 available on the market in the meanwhile, an aluminum mannequin and a carbon fiber mannequin.

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

  • Load capability – 20lbs (9.1kg)
  • Max peak heart column raised – 60″ (152.2cm)
  • Max peak heart column down – 51.25″ (130.2cm)
  • Weight aluminum mannequin 3.44lbs (1.56kg)
  • Weight carbon fiber mannequin 2.81lbs (1.29kg)
  • Packed peak: 15.4″ (39.1cm)
  • Packed diameter 3.125″ (39.1cm)

The retail worth of the aluminum mannequin is $379.95, and the carbon fiber mannequin is $599.95. You examine the newest costs and purchase it direct from Peak Design right here, on Amazon right here, and from B&H Picture right here.

This tripod definitely 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 just a few extra options of the Peak Design journey tripod I wished to spotlight.

First, the tripod is designed from the bottom as much as be tremendous transportable. The principle manner that is achieved is with the top design, which may be very compact. The ball head principally suits flush into the tripod when packed away and takes up barely any area.

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 variety of journey tripods over time, and this one is unquestionably probably the greatest designs I’ve used by way of the way it packs away to take up a minimal quantity of area.

The ball head can be fairly good. There’s an built-in bubble stage to make sure your digital camera is flat, and the flip lock design makes attaching and eradicating your digital camera very straightforward. You can too lock your digital camera into place with the flip of a toggle, which provides nice peace of thoughts.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Bubble
Bubble stage on tripod head


Peak Design Travel Tripod Lock
Lockable catch for mounting plate

One other neat function is the mixing 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 lets you use your tripod together with your smartphone. This could work with just about any smartphone available on the market immediately.

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

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

One last item I wished to spotlight is the carrying case. That is usually an afterthought with tripods, in case you even get one in any respect.

Nicely, Peak Design is thought for his or her baggage and their tripod case is gorgeous. It appears to be like 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 suitable with the Peak Design carry system.

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


Peak Design Journey Tripod – Ideas on Actual World Use

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

As this can be a journey tripod, I anticipate it to be one thing I can carry with me when climbing, so I took it with me on quite a few hikes up numerous 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

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

This tripod positively meets that requirement, even the aluminum model is mild sufficient that I don’t must assume twice about including it to my gear for a visit.

The subsequent factor I search for is how straightforward the tripod is to arrange and put away. Once I’m climbing, I don’t wish to have to spend so much of time placing a tripod up and down each time I see a possibility for a shot.

The Peak Design journey tripod positively works in that regard as properly. I’m usually not a giant fan of flip-lock legs as they’ll catch on my digital camera bag when organising and placing away.

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

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

The way in which the digital camera attaches to the top additionally works properly. That is one thing that different tripods don’t at all times 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 digital camera base plate can typically get in the best way of straightforward attachment to the tripod head. Clearly, this being a Peak Design tripod, that concern has been thought via, and the digital camera 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 straightforward to make sure the digital camera is correctly connected to the tripod head.

In fact, any tripod is just value its salt if it really offers a secure platform for capturing from.

I’ve used it with a full-frame mirrorless digital camera 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 wished, even the lengthy publicity photographs the place the tiniest motion can destroy the whole lot.

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 obtained used to the tripod, I’d attempt to transfer the top to the place I wished, however not be capable of as a result of the top solely has full freedom of motion as soon as the central column has been partially prolonged.

Extending the central column isn’t onerous, however it’s an extra step to recollect to do.

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

That is all very straightforward and intuitive when you get used to it. That is actually necessary, particularly in case you plan on doing any astrophotography or Northern Lights pictures, as you would possibly must function the tripod in very darkish situations the place you’re working by really feel.

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

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

If you loosen the management ring to regulate the top, you possibly can transfer the digital camera up, down, left, and proper. Nevertheless, you possibly can’t pan or tilt individually.

So, for instance, if in case you have your shot framed virtually completely, however wish to shift the view just a few levels to the left, it’s important to watch out to not tilt the digital camera up or down on the similar time.

This additionally makes duties like capturing 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 this can be a large deal will rely loads on the photographs you prefer to take. In case you take a variety of panoramas, then this may seemingly be a much bigger concern.

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

Nevertheless, with a heavy digital camera 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 unfastened, that means that the legs don’t keep prolonged. That is simply an general concern 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 bear in mind to convey this with you once you journey, in case a leg wants tightening up once you’re within the discipline.

Lastly, while the addition of the bubble stage is appreciated, the sunshine colour and manner it’s positioned signifies that my digital camera covers most of it up, making it troublesome to see and never very helpful as soon as my digital camera is ready up.

Truthfully, most cameras and smartphones as of late have a built-in stage function anyway, so I hardly ever use the bubble stage on a tripod, however I wished to say it in case it was necessary to you.

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

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 wished 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 straightforward panning management
  • Some constraint on portrait orientation shot

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

I believe most individuals can be pleased with the aluminum mannequin because the options are the identical.

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review


Peak Design Journey Tripod Options

If you begin researching tripods, you will shortly be taught that there are an incredible many tripods available on the market, and actually, it may be onerous to inform them aside.

The principle choices will come right down to how a lot you wish to spend and the way necessary specs like most load capability, most peak, minimal peak, folded peak and many others. are to you.

Most tripods mess around with these specs, so you must be capable of discover the proper tripod for you. I wished to spotlight just a few choices to think about, and you may 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 typically considered among the finest tripods available on the market, though they have an inclination to return with a reasonably eye-watering price ticket.

Nonetheless, the Peak Design carbon fiber tripod isn’t precisely a price range mannequin, so I really feel it’s truthful to check it in opposition to a tripod of this caliber.

There are fairly just a few tripods within the Gitzo Traveler sequence. I’d say essentially the most comparable mannequin can be the Gitzo Traveler, sequence 1, 5 part tripod.

This carbon fiber tripod has a most peak 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 worth of $719.99.

So in comparison with the Peak Design carbon fiber mannequin, the Gitzo has a barely smaller folded peak, weighs barely extra, and has a barely decrease most peak.


Vanguard VEO 3 GO 235CB or 265HCB

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

I believe their merchandise provide loads, and I’ve been very pleased with their gear in use around the globe.

The 2 foremost tripods I believe they at present produce which you would possibly think about as a substitute of the Peak Design Journey Tripod can 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 worth 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 worth of $269.99.

The carbon fiber variant of the Peak Design tripod has a a lot larger load ranking and the next most peak, but additionally weighs extra and doesn’t fold up as small. It’s additionally greater than twice as costly. One to think about if in case you 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 worth of $339.99.

The carbon fiber variant of the Peak Design tripod has an identical load ranking and a decrease most peak, however weighs much less and folds up a bit smaller. It’s practically twice as costly.

Each Vanguard tripods additionally convert to monopods and include a smartphone adaptor and Bluetooth distant shutter set off. They’re additionally out there in aluminum, at a cheaper price level and the next weight.

The aluminum VEO 3 Go 235AB retails for $219.99, and the aluminum VEO 3 Go 265HAB retails for $269.99. Usually the simplest manner to save cash on a journey tripod is to decide on an aluminum mannequin over a carbon fiber one.

In case 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 the whole lot within the Vanguard retailer.

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

Peak Design Travel Tripod Review


Must you Purchase the Peak Design Journey Tripod?

Truthfully, solely you possibly can reply this query! Nevertheless, having used it for quite a few 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.

If 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 extremely well-rounded product.

In fact, there are numerous different tripods available on the market at different worth factors, however I don’t assume you’ll be disillusioned in case you determine to go for it.

You should buy it direct from Peak Design right here, on Amazon right here, and from B&H Picture 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 wished to share a few of our different content material which we predict you’ll find helpful.


Trying to Enhance Your Images?

In case you discovered this put up useful, and also you wish to enhance your pictures general, you would possibly 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 photographs. The course covers just about the whole lot you should know, from the fundamentals of how a digital camera works, via to composition, mild, and photograph enhancing.

It additionally covers extra superior matters, 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 will get suggestions in your work and participate in common challenges.

It’s out there for an incredible one-off worth for lifetime entry, and I believe you must 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 free of charge to see how we favored it. I selected to put in writing this assessment based mostly by myself private opinion of the tripod after utilizing it for some time. All opinions are our personal.


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