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If you’re tired of carrying hefty, bulky metal tripods to your photography destination, it’s probably time to invest in a carbon fiber tripod. Carbon fiber provides the most amount of stability for its weight and holds up well against the elements compared to its aluminum or plastic counterparts. Today we’ll show our 10 best carbon fiber tripods and which ones are right for your needs. Below, take a look at our reviews to see what we think are the best and what to look for when on the search for the perfect piece of gear.
|Best Overall||Peak Design Travel Tripod (Carbon Fiber)||
|Best Value||Field Optics Research ProMax Tripod (FT6229C)||
|Premium Choice||Velbon GEON840||
|Vanguard VEO 2 235CB||
|AOKA 28” Lightweight Carbon Fiber Tripod||
|Max height||60 inches|
|Min height||5.5 inches|
The company that has polished its photography products to the greatest extent has to be Peak Design. They’ve built a tripod that is incredibly portable and light for its performance and can be transported pretty much anywhere.
The legs are not tubular like most other tripods out there, as they have an almost polygon-shaped style that cuts out unnecessary space. It can invert the center column for low shots, or you can remove it and do the same by moving the legs so that they are all nearly flat on the ground. Plus, they throw in a phone mount that’s integrated into the bottom of the center column, along with a soft neoprene case for storage.
The one downside to this unit is that its price point is simply too high for the average enthusiast, and compared to other choices, you could save a lot of money for the same or better stability. However, it’s difficult to beat such an efficient design, so it’s still the best overall carbon fiber tripod.
|Max height||62.7 inches|
|Min height||9.5 inches|
If you’re on the search for an affordable option that has all the bells and whistles you need, the Field Optics Research FT6229C is the best carbon fiber tripod for the money. It’s able to support a heavy load, so you can put on a camera with a long telephoto lens or use a large scope, depending on what you need.
The weight is low enough so that you can bring it on a hike or travel to a destination without it being a nuisance. It’s not as incredibly compact as the Peak Design, but it isn’t the worst either.
One unique feature of the ProMax is that the end tips are removable, revealing metal spikes that can be used both to stake them into the ground and individually as hiking sticks if you take them off. That saves you money and weight if you were to already buy trekking poles separately. Luckily it also has foam legs for comfortable use and a backpack hanger for additional stability.
|Max height||79.1 inches|
|Min height||13.8 inches|
The Velbon GEON840 is the priciest tripod on our list, yet has the highest weight capacity and amazing stability even in windy conditions. This option is for those who have big rigs and a lot of attachments that need extra support from the tripod legs.
The great thing about the GEON840 is that there are foam grips on the entirety of each leg’s first section. That’s good for extreme heat or cold when you’re out in harsh conditions. The maximum height will surely get over the tallest obstacles and it will enable you to get exposures that others can’t reach. It’s cumbersome though, so we can only recommend it for those who need the best performance possible—not hikers or travelers.
|Max height||56.5 inches|
|Min height||12.7 inches|
This product has a very light design with a total of five leg sections. There’s a rubberized handle on one of the base legs for easy carrying, and it can be doubled as a monopod if unattached from the main area. The ball head is fluid and can accommodate a vertical position, in addition to some easy adjustment knobs.
However, this model falls short in one area, which is its maximum load. At 8.8 pounds., you may not be able to use a large video rig or super-telephoto lens. We recommend this for people who have a compact mirrorless body and are more concerned about portability than anything else.
|Max height||28 inches|
|Min height||14.6 inches|
AOKA’s carbon fiber option is one that is criminally underrated for its size and price. Although it seriously lacks the ability to put on heavy lenses or lots of camera gear, the weight of this tripod is unbelievably low. You’ll hardly notice 1.1 pounds getting in the way of your travels, and it can be packed densely into a bag or onto the outside of your rucksack.
The max height is a bit low, unfortunately, so you’ll be limited to what pictures you can get. We suggest this for ultralight backpackers with action cameras, small mirrorless bodies, or just their phones for long hikes.
|Max height||66.9 inches|
|Min height||3.5 inches|
If you’re a professional filmmaker or video fanatic, the Manfrotto 055 is one of the tripods that will allow you to get very specific shots at angles that other kinds can’t offer. That’s why it can get down to 3.5 inches while holding nearly 20 pounds of gear.
The center column can be removed and used as a horizontal, shifting function to get those difficult to reach spots. Yet, the setup time and work you need to put in to accomplish this is a hassle. This isn’t a piece of equipment that you’ll want to go for walks with either, as it’s close to 5 pounds. Remember, only purchase this if you are a professional. Otherwise, there are more logical choices out there.
|Max height||57.1 inches|
|Min height||15.75 inches|
Vanguard’s second spot on our list is the Veo3X model, which is marketed towards travelers who take photos and shoot video footage This photography is provided by the panning ball head that allows for smooth side-to-side motions and the ball head that can be angled in a variety of directions.
Vanguard decided to give a bonus Bluetooth remote shutter for convenience as well. The only thing is that the heft of it is not what you should expect from a carbon travel tripod. Most other options are going to be under the 3-pound mark unless they are for heavy-duty purposes.
|Max height||13.8 inches|
|Min height||2.3 inches|
SIRUI is a popular choice among many photographers, so it was only a matter of time before we covered their smaller AM-223 carbon fiber tripod model. It suffers from one major limitation, which is its maximum height of only 13.8 inches. At just over one foot, that won’t do much unless you are looking to do macro photography or use it as a table tripod (which is what it’s meant for).
We should say that it is a very good performer for having such a minimal design, as it can hold up to 22 pounds. You should try this option if you are someone who wants to get shots low to the ground but doesn’t want to carry a larger tripod around. This is super portable, so you’ll barely know it’s there.
|Max height||17 inches|
|Min height||2 inches|
As the smallest, lowest-reaching tripod on our list, the Besnfoto Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod is one that’s made for people who want to make life easier. It has a ball head similar to larger choices but with the same 360° mobility for various types of angles.
Again, like the previous one on our list, it falls short with its maximum height and practicality for many kinds of shots. However, it is able to hold a decent amount of gear and also has a flip-out phone mount built into the ball-head base. Just keep in mind the limitations it has, as it is geared towards creators that don’t need bigger equipment.
|Max height||15.5 inches|
|Min height||4.2 inches|
Even though the Oben CTT-1000 is the lightest tripod on our list, it doesn’t justify being more expensive than the aforementioned choice by Besnfoto. It still is sturdy and has a lot of power for its size, only being a tad smaller than the Besnfoto. Still, it has a worse weight capacity, lower minimum height, higher minimum height, and overall isn’t worth it unless you need the most portable tripod out there.
It absolutely is a great tripod for tabletop work, though, and we still recommend it. However, we suggest the Besnfoto, as it’s cheaper and performs at a higher level.
It’s no secret that carbon fiber tripods have advantages over the more common aluminum and plastic tripods. Carbon fiber is lightweight and easy to travel with. It is also extremely stiff and strong. This means that they can hold a good amount of weight without the risk of dropping your photography equipment and damaging it.
These tripods are also incredibly weather-resistant. They will not rust or corrode and can withstand extreme temperatures, making them easier to handle while you’re out capturing photos in the elements. On top of that, they require less maintenance over time.
There are a few different types of carbon fiber tripods for you to choose from. Here are a few of the most common:
For our best overall carbon fiber travel tripod, the Peak Design can’t be beaten in terms of its usefulness. It has everything you could want, but its price tag isn’t for everyone. If you’re on a budget, the Field Optics ProMax will do the job, although it sacrifices portability. The same could be said for the Velbon GEON840, yet it has serious power and won’t budge. It always comes down to what you prefer and what compromises you’re willing to make, but our top 10 carbon fiber tripod reviews should help you find the best tripod for various situations.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
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Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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