Travelling with a tripod - how to carry

Discussion in 'Travel' started by raymondc, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. I enjoy a bit of landscapes and cityscapes on my travel. Do you guys leave it in your hotel and just take it out when required? Do you carry with you all day while you are heading into restaurants and shopping malls, walking inside churches / castles etc? Do you leave your heavy rig in your hotel and only take that at certain times after coming back for it and just carry your lighter system out daily?
    I have avoided malls b/c just too awkward with m backpack and my tripod. I have switched to a Gitzo traveler and just went to the local eateries. I have learnt to take less shots though. The staff do mention it is heavy when I go inside a museum and have to check-in my bag. Can still travel alone so that helps!
  2. I also got heavy tripods, but i only use them when i need a heavy one. I traveled already 2 times with my sirui ultralight carbon tripod. weight 700gr and about 200$. And i can put it in my bag. Its not made for windy situations. But its light and small. greetings Peter
  3. david_henderson


    If I'm making landscapes, there's a very strong chance I have a car- mine or a rental- that I'll use to carry tripod, spare clothing, and other bits. They leave the car only when I'm fairly sure they're necessary, but often its only a short walk to collect them anyway.
    I stopped carrying a tripod in cities years ago. Just too much to carry about all day and it causes too much grief in busy places or where they're not allowed. I also use a shoulder bag for my kit, and I've never had to check my gear. The tripod will be in my hotel room. If there is a shot or two I really want and a tripod is required, I'll aggregate these together and organise a trip out just to get those shots at the right time of day- its normally early or late stuff.
  4. Occasionally I see a tripod slung over a shoulder on a wide strap. Not sure where/how connected, though. Maybe there are specialized straps for the purpose.
  5. I never take a tripod in a city unless I have a specific job that absolutely requires a tripod. If I am hiking with a tripod I sometimes use a tripod strap (I use a Manfrotto for which you can buy a strap) over my shoulder or I just carry it by hand. I often will carry a small table top tripod which serves when pressed for support. Check out this thread about tripods and whether they are still essential:
  6. I bring a tripod when I travel and anticipate an opportunity for its use. When flying, I have a Mefoto Roadtrip which will fit in my rollaboard. I usually carry it attached to my photo backpack. For city travel, I sometimes carry a gorilla pod or other compact support system.
  7. I attached a camera strap with loop ends to two legs of a #3 Gitzo with a half hitch. Carried at the top, the legs stay
    pointed down and out of the way, even with an heavy head.

    It fits in a suitcase with the head removed.
  8. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    I am seriously thinking of purchasing a Sirui 2204 Carbon Fiber, it looks like it maybe just about the best balance between portability and stability that money can buy.
  9. I have both a heavy and light tripod. If a car based trip, usually both will go. As others have noted, they stay behind in the room or car if possible especially on urban trips until late afternoon or evening unless some predictable need arises. I have carried the light one all day a few times when itinerary wasn't firm. These days it's a bit unusual to have venues allow them to be used inside (but carrying isn't necessarily an issue unless size/storage limits are imposed or just blanket disallowed). The smaller one fits fairly easily on my day pack or even shoulder bags, sometimes vertically, sometimes horizontally. My day pack is a "real" day pack so it has compression straps and an ice ax loop as well as load straps on the bottom. So there are several ways to snug the little tripod to it. I've just added a photo backpack to the stable and it has a tripod pocket and loop strap built in as well. You can also get attachment points and straps of various sorts at camping and backpacking outfitters and have these sewn onto a pack at a tailors or shoe repair shop if you can't sew (raises hand) or your machine isn't heavy enough for the materials.
    The large one is 28" long folded, not including head and 6.5 lbs, again, without head. So it's a long unbalanced beast when collapsed. It seldom gets very far away from the car. It can be carried, slung on the back, heavy end up but trying to get away with carrying it slung off the shoulder to the side doesn't work well, it's too unbalanced. I've never really tried fastening it to a larger pack. I have my eye on a couple of modern 4 lbs or so cf tripods which will fold up more compactly and with the fold-over legs, in a more balanced load as well. I don't have any particularly long or heavy lenses so I'm not wrestling those as well.
  10. Carrying a tripod with a strap attached to the top and one leg can be a disaster. The head is heavy, and eventually points downward. If the leg strap slips, the head crashed to the ground. Mine has the scars to prove it. Attaching both ends of the strap to the top keeps the tripod vertical. It's not easy to carry, and you have to keep a thumb on the strap to keep it from slipping, but it does free up both hands when you stop to shoot.
    If you have a backpack but carry the tripod slung on a shoulder, you can loop the strap behind the sternum strap of the backpack to keep it from slipping.
    The key to lashing a tripod to a backpack is to keep the head at or below the top of the backpack. That way it doesn't swing around when you walk, nor snag on branches. You still have to remove the backpack to use the tripod. As a result, you tend to carry much and use little.
    I should mention that when I travel by air, the head goes in carry-on baggage (e.g., a lens pocket in a backpack). You can always find another tripod if one is lost in baggage, but good heads take days or weeks for delivery.
  11. Thanks for all that.
    I guess the thing is if I was alone and I could do what I wanted, escape the busier places I could get away with it. But if you are with family not necessarily children but adults, you are heading to cafes and shopping malls are you still going to lug the tripod? There won't be cars. Public transportation ie like Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo etc. I've travelled 3x to Japan alone and I haven't really gone into malls apart from he odd occasion. The times I have traveler I have used a belt shoulder bag that only house a body and 3 compact lenses and a traveler Gitzo.

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