Peak Design Announces Intriguing New Travel Tripod

Two things I love have finally come together-Peak Design and Travel Tripods!  I own and have reviewed almost everything that has ever been made by Peak Design and just love their ingenuity and quality.  I also love travel tripods and have had a never-ending search for that perfect tripod that I can carry on an airplane, go on a light hike with and still feel comfortable shooting on the beach or doing astrophotography.

Peak Design just launched their new product, the Travel Tripod on Kickstarter. If you have followed Peak Design at all, you know their Kickstarter campaigns have always been hugely successful and this one will certainly blow it out of the water.

A completely new design on the tripod

Tripod design, at its most basic level, has been pretty much the same for decades.  Rather than build off this basic design, Peak Design claims they started from the ground up to make the most efficient tripod available.

Really, what it comes down to is getting rid of all excess space and having all the parts of the tripod fit together so the tripod takes up less space.  With that news sleekness, Peak Design then incorporated methods of deploying the tripod as rapidly as possible; thereby, solving 2 of the 3 biggest issues I have with tripods:  compactness for traveling and being able to quickly extend and contract the legs.

The final issue I need in a tripod is sturdiness.  Of course, you can’t see this in pictures or specs, but I am excited for some testing.  Peak Design claims “carefully considered material choices and construction techniques provide the stability and vibration dampening demanded by avid photographers.”

New take on a ball head

The Peak Design Travel Tripod comes equipped with a new ball head as well.  The ball head is, of course, designed for ultra-portability, while arguably retaining good stability.  Once again, I am excited to test this out.  Peak Design describes the ball head as a “single, ultra-smooth omnidirectional ball head adjustment ring with no bulky/confusing knobs.”  It is compatible with most Arca-type plates and L-brackets.  Peak Design advertises its carrying capacity as being 20 pounds.

My initial reaction to the ball head is excitement.  I love how low profile it is and compact without looking flimsy.  I am really interest to see how it works as it is so different than a normal ball head.

Other Specs

  • nonslip, shock absorbing rubber feet;
  • load-hanging hook;
  • configuration modes that permit shooting at just a few inches above the ground;
  • compatibly for carrying with Peak Design straps;
  • built-in mount for mobile phones;
  • collapsed dimensions:
    • Length: 38.7 cm (15.25”)
    • Max Diameter: 8.3 cm (3.25”)
  • extended dimensions:
    • Max height (center column raised): 148.6 cm (58.5″)
    • Max height (center column down): 126.4 cm (49.75″)
    • Min height (low mode): 11.4 cm (4.5”)
  • Weight:
    • Aluminum: 1.56 kg (3.44 lbs)
    • Carbon: 1.27 kg (2.81 lbs)
  • Five leg sections.

My initial thoughts on these specs.  I love the weight and the collapsed dimensions.  I don’t like using center columns so the max height without a center column is a bit of a concern for me.  I also don’t love having five leg sections because the bottom legs usually get a bit springy and less sturdy in my experience.  I love the ability to carry it with a strap and have it fit comfortably due to its small collapsed size.  Hopefully, this opens up the option of some hiking without a backpack.

Carbon Fiber or Aluminum

For a travel tripod, I am always going to go carbon fiber, but there is an option for either material with the Peak Design Travel Tripod.  The carbon fiber tripod is going to retail at $599.95 and the aluminum for $349.95.  If you are going to buy one, I would highly recommend buying it through the Kickstarter since you will score a pretty big discount, and you don’t have to worry about it not getting funded or problems arising since this is Peak Design and they have a stellar track record.

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