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10 Best Carbon Fiber Tripods in 2022 — Reviews & Top Picks

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tripod by the lake

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.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Winners (2022)

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Peak Design Travel Tripod (Carbon Fiber) Peak Design Travel Tripod (Carbon Fiber)
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Clasping leg locks
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Field Optics Research ProMax Tripod (FT6229C) Field Optics Research ProMax Tripod (FT6229C)
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Foam grips
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Velbon GEON840 Velbon GEON840
  • Sturdy design
  • Great wind resistance
  • Load capacity is high
  • Vanguard VEO 2 235CB Vanguard VEO 2 235CB
  • Lightweight
  • Rubber grip
  • Priced well for its features
  • AOKA 28” Lightweight Carbon Fiber Tripod AOKA 28” Lightweight Carbon Fiber Tripod
  • Incredibly light
  • Budget-friendly
  • Compact
  • The 10 Best Carbon Fiber Tripods

    1. Peak Design Travel Tripod (Carbon Fiber) – Best Overall

    Peak Design Travel Tripod

    Weight 2.81 pounds
    Max height 60 inches
    Min height 5.5 inches
    Capacity 20 pounds

    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.

    Pros
    • Compact
    • Lightweight
    • Clasping leg locks
    • Phone mount
    • 270° ball head with a locking ring mechanism
    Cons
    • Expensive

    2. Field Optics Research ProMax Tripod (FT6229C) – Best Value

    Field Optics Research ProMax tripod

     

    Weight 2.9 pounds
    Max height 62.7 inches
    Min height 9.5 inches
    Capacity 35 pounds

    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.

    Pros
    • Lightweight
    • Affordable
    • Foam grips
    • Dual-purpose
    Cons
    • Not the most compact
    • Twist lock legs

    3. Velbon GEON840 – Premium Choice

    Velbon GEON840 Nut Locking Legs Carbon Tripod

     

    Weight N/A
    Max height 79.1 inches
    Min height 13.8 inches
    Capacity 30.8 pounds

    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.

    Pros
    • Sturdy design
    • Great wind resistance
    • Load capacity is high
    Cons
    • Difficult to carry
    • Expensive

    4. Vanguard VEO 2 235CB

    Vanguard VEO 2 235CB Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod

    Weight 2.3 pounds
    Max height 56.5 inches
    Min height 12.7 inches
    Capacity 8.8 pounds

    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.

    Pros
    • Lightweight
    • Rubber grip
    • Priced well for its features
    Cons
    • Load capacity is low

    5. AOKA 28” Lightweight Carbon Fiber Tripod

    AOKA Lightweight Compact Carbon Fiber Tripod

    Weight 1.1 pounds
    Max height 28 inches
    Min height 14.6 inches
    Capacity 5.5 pounds

    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.

    Pros
    • Incredibly light
    • Budget-friendly
    • Compact
    Cons
    • Low weight capacity
    • Max height is low

    6. Manfrotto 055 

    Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fiber 4-Section Tripod

    Weight 4.6 pounds
    Max height 66.9 inches
    Min height 3.5 inches
    Capacity 19.8 pounds

    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.

    Pros
    • Amazing stability
    • Wind resistance
    • High weight capacity
    • Clasping leg locks
    Cons
    • Inconvenient to use
    • Heavy to travel with
    • Bulky design
    • Expensive
    • No fluid ball-head

    7. Vanguard Veo3X

    Vanguard Veo3X Lightweight Compact Travel Kit tripod

    Weight 3.3 pounds
    Max height 57.1 inches
    Min height 15.75 inches
    Capacity 13.2 pounds

    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.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Good for both videos and photos
    • Easy to use
    • Bluetooth remote included
    Cons
    • Heavy
    • Load capacity could be better

    8. SIRUI AM-223

    SIRUI AM-223 Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod

    Weight 1.62 pounds
    Max height 13.8 inches
    Min height 2.3 inches
    Capacity 22 pounds

    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.

    Pros
    • Portable and lightweight
    • Very low minimum height
    • The ball head is fluid and easy to use
    Cons
    • Low maximum height
    • Price for its value

    9. Besnfoto Travel Tripod Carbon Fiber

    Besnfoto Travel Portable Carbon Fiber Tripod

    Weight 1.2 pounds
    Max height 17 inches
    Min height 2 inches
    Capacity 17.6 pounds

    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.

    Pros
    • Lightweight
    • Portable
    • Weight capacity in comparison to its size
    • Inexpensive
    Cons
    • Low maximum height
    • No center column
    • Only one vertical shot position

    10. Oben CTT-1000

    Oben CTT-1000 Carbon Fiber Tabletop Tripod

    Weight 0.98 pounds
    Max height 15.5 inches
    Min height 4.2 inches
    Capacity 11 pounds

    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.

    Pros
    • Under 1 pound
    • Compact
    • Fluid ball-head
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Maximum and minimum height
    • Low weight limit

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best Carbon Fiber Tripods

    Advantages of Carbon Fiber

    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.

    photographer using tripod

    Image Credit: Pixabay

    Types of Carbon Fiber Tripods

    There are a few different types of carbon fiber tripods for you to choose from. Here are a few of the most common:

    • Heavy-Duty: Heavy-duty tripods are exactly what they sound like—tripods that are heavier and can withstand harsh elements. These are often used for commercial and professional use and equipment. They are more rugged, durable, and stable for a longer period of time.
    • Medium-Duty: Medium-duty tripods are still designed for heavier and bulkier equipment, but they aren’t quite as strong as heavy-duty tripods. They are still often used in commercial and professional settings, but hobbyists are fans as well.
    • Travel: Travel tripods are the most lightweight of the three carbon fiber tripods. They are usually compact and can easily fit in a hiking bag or luggage. They aren’t as durable and are often made of fewer layers of the carbon fiber material. However, they can usually save you a good deal of money over other tripods.

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    Final Thoughts

    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

    About the Author Robert Sparks

    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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