Saturday, June 22, 2024

Peak Design Journey Tripod Evaluation

As knowledgeable journey photographer, I’ve used a number 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 subject for the previous a number of months to see the way it compares to different journey tripods.

I’ve truly 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 well-liked luggage.

My expertise thus 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 certainly one of their journey tripods for the primary time.

Peak Design Travel Tripod ReviewPeak 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 in the marketplace for a while, and I assumed it was about time I gave it a great check and evaluation. Let’s begin with the specs.

Peak Design Travel Tripod ReviewPeak Design Travel Tripod Review


Peak Design Journey Tripod Specs

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

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

  • Load capability – 20lbs (9.1kg)
  • Max peak middle column raised – 60″ (152.2cm)
  • Max peak middle 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 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 definitely suits what we search for in a journey tripod, which is a mix of portability and a great load capability.

In addition to the uncooked numbers, there are just a few further options of the Peak Design journey tripod I needed to focus on.

First, the tripod is designed from the bottom as much as be tremendous moveable. The primary method 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 casePeak Design tripod and case

The flip locks, triangular leg design, and small middle column additionally all contribute to permitting this tripod to fold down actually small.

I’ve used a number of journey tripods over time, and this one is certainly the most effective designs I’ve used by way of the way it packs away to take up a minimal quantity of house.

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

Peak Design Travel Tripod BubblePeak Design Travel Tripod Bubble
Bubble stage on tripod head


Peak Design Travel Tripod Lock Peak Design Travel Tripod Lock
Lockable catch for mounting plate

One other neat characteristic is the mixing of a cellphone head mount. This lives inside the middle column, and has a quick-release mechanism for simple 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 ReviewPeak Design Travel Tripod Review

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

Effectively, Peak Design is thought for his or her luggage 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 principle options. What is that this tripod like to really use in the true world? Let’s discover out.


Peak Design Journey Tripod – Ideas on Actual World Use

I favor to do a evaluation primarily based on actual world expertise, so I traveled with the Peak Design journey tripod as my principal tripod for a number of months to see the way it carried out within the subject.

As this can be a journey tripod, I count on it to be one thing I can carry with me when mountain climbing, so I took it with me on quite a few 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 excited about. First, it must 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 gentle sufficient that I don’t must suppose twice about including it to my gear for a visit.

The following factor I search for is how straightforward the tripod is to arrange and put away. After I’m mountain climbing, I don’t need to have to spend so much of time placing a tripod up and down every time I see a chance 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 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, they usually make arrange and put down a breeze.

Peak Design Travel Tripod ReviewPeak 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 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 digicam base plate can generally get in the way in which of straightforward attachment to the tripod head. Clearly, this being a Peak Design tripod, that challenge has been thought by means of, and the digicam simply attaches to the tripod head even with the strap nonetheless connected.

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

In fact, any tripod is just price its salt if it truly offers 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 ReviewPeak Design Travel Tripod Review

Throughout, this tripod carried out very properly and let me get the pictures I needed, even the lengthy publicity pictures the place the tiniest motion can break all the pieces.

The ultimate factor I want 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, you must partially prolong the central column (round an inch), to get full motion.

Peak Design Tripod headPeak Design Tripod head

Earlier than I acquired used to the tripod, I’d 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 laborious, 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 straightforward and intuitive when you get used to it. That is actually essential, particularly should you plan on doing any astrophotography or Northern Lights pictures, as you may must function the tripod in very darkish situations the place you might be working by really feel.

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

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

Whenever 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, in case you have your shot framed nearly completely, however need to shift the view just a few levels to the left, you must 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, truthfully, whether or not or not this can be a massive deal will rely rather a lot on the photographs you prefer to take. In the event you take a number of panoramas, then this can probably be a much bigger challenge.

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

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

The opposite factor to remember is that over time the flip locks on the tripod leg sections can change into unfastened, which means that the legs don’t keep prolonged. That is simply an general challenge 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 software to regulate the leg flip lock tightness, in addition to a useful clip which lets you connect the adjustment software to a tripod leg.

You simply need to keep in mind to carry this with you once you journey, in case a leg wants tightening up once you’re within the subject.

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

Actually, most cameras and smartphones today have a built-in stage characteristic anyway, so I hardly ever use the bubble stage 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 subject, and it has earned a spot in my pictures bag for certain.

Peak Design Travel Tripod ReviewPeak Design Travel Tripod Review


Peak Design Journey Tripod Execs and Cons

Having coated my expertise utilizing the Peak Design journey tripod within the subject I needed to share a fast rundown of what I felt to be the principle 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

General,l I positively suppose it’s a great journey tripod. The primary draw back is the fee is fairly excessive, particularly in case you are contemplating the carbon fiber mannequin, which prices much more however solely affords a modest lower in weight.

I feel most individuals could be proud of the aluminum mannequin because the options are the identical.

Peak Design Travel Tripod ReviewPeak Design Travel Tripod Review


Peak Design Journey Tripod Options

Whenever you begin researching tripods, you’re going to shortly study that there are an incredible many tripods in the marketplace, and truthfully, it may be laborious to inform them aside.

The primary selections will come all the way down to how a lot you need to spend and the way essential 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 have the ability to discover the right tripod for you. I needed to focus on just a few choices to contemplate, 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 in the marketplace, though they have a tendency 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 honest to match it in opposition to a tripod of this caliber.

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

This carbon fiber tripod has a most peak of 58.46″, a folded dimension 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 peak, weighs barely extra, and has a barely decrease most peak.


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 number of their gear over time, a lot of which I’ve additionally reviewed.

I feel their merchandise provide rather a lot, and I’ve been very proud of their gear in use around the globe.

The 2 principal tripods I feel they at present produce which you may contemplate as an alternative 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 dimension of 53.5″, a folded dimension 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 score 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 contemplate in case you have a smaller setup that gained’t problem the utmost load score.

The 265HCB is the taller tripod, with a most dimension of 65.5″, a folded dimension 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 analogous load score 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 best method to economize on a journey tripod is to decide on an aluminum mannequin over a carbon fiber one.

In the event 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 gives you 20% off all the pieces within the Vanguard retailer.

Simply use the code FindingTheUniverse on 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?

Actually, 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.

Whenever you add up all of the little further 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 lots of different tripods in the marketplace at different value factors, however I don’t suppose you’ll be disenchanted should you resolve to go for it.

You should purchase 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 evaluation 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 predict you will discover helpful.


Trying to Enhance Your Pictures?

In the event you discovered this put up useful, and also you need to enhance your pictures general, you may need 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 all the pieces you have to know, from the fundamentals of how a digicam works, by means of to composition, gentle, 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 out there for an incredible one-off value for lifetime entry, and I feel you must test it out. Which you are able to do by clicking right here.

Peak Design Travel Tripod ReviewPeak Design Travel Tripod Review

Notice: We have been despatched this product at no cost to see how we appreciated it. I selected to jot down this evaluation primarily based alone private opinion of the tripod after utilizing it for some time. All opinions are our personal.

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