I travel a lot, and I have used both regular tripods and travel tripods.

Travel tripods would be my go to travel, as I need to carry my gear all day long. The Manfrotto BeFree is great, except that it wobbles with windy weather conditions.

I'd like to know if anybody has a suggestion for a travel tripod, of the same size, that is heavier, without the need of hanging weight to the tripod (since I think it might contribute to shaking).

I do not mind a heavy tripod, as long as it is fairly compact.

  • Have you tried using a beanbag to prop your camera up, albeit without a tripod? Also, many tripods have a hook at the bottom, on the central truss. You could maybe hang a rock(or anything you won't have to carry around, and which you can find in your immediate surroundings) from it. I once hung my backpack from the hook on my extremely basic and cheap tripod to make it very very stable. Reducing the extended height also helps improve the stability.
    – ATG
    Apr 3, 2018 at 6:46
  • The trick with hanging a weight (like your pack) is making sure the strap is loose enough to allow the pack to just rest on the ground, so it doesn't become a pendulum. Webbing nets to throw rocks in work better, imo, and pack small and light. Maybe that's my inner rock climber showing though...
    – OnBreak.
    Apr 3, 2018 at 16:14

4 Answers 4


If you find a carbon fibre tripod to be too lightweight and prefer not to hang something off the tripod, then your best option is simply going to be to use a heavier tripod.

I use a Manfrotto 055C that I've had for 25 years and is still sold - get it or a competing product of similar nature from another quality manufacturer. If stability is your #1 priority, I'd recommend a tilt/pan head, but a high quality ball head is nearly as good and much more convenient (also much more costly, mind).

You may need a larger, heavier tripod if you're using really heavy gear. Also note that you might want a special mount like a gimbal mount if you're using supertelephoto lenses, which are very prone to vibration.


Finding a heavier tripod is usually easy. Lots of ways to get more weight.

Here are ways to make a light tripod work for you.

A: Keep it lower to the ground. Bending moment (engineering speak for wobble) goes up with the square of the length. And the upper seconds of the tripod are heavier and stiffer. Using the tripod collapsed may reduce wobble by a factor of 20.

B: Take a piece of fabric and sew a triangle. Put ties on the corners. Depending on your tripod the leg locks may keep these from sliding, or you may need to glue hooks onto the tripod. You may be able to leave this in place all the time, which as the side benefit of having a shelf to put lens caps, the other lens, the iphone that you are using for live view, running Arsenal.

C: Don't use the elevator to raise the camera.

D: Put the tripod over your pack, and rest the bottom of the elevator on your pack, or splay the legs enough that the bottom of the elevator is on the ground. Stumps and rocks can be used this way too. Sometimes it may mean you use an inch or two of elevator to match the tripod to the fire hydrant.

E: Use a lighter camera. It's much easier to keep a 6 oz camera still than a 8 pound view camera.

F: Take lots of shots and hope that one is during a lull in the wind. Memory is cheap.

G: Faster shutter speed to get crisp detail, even it means you crank up the ISO. Slower shutter speed to get rid of the iso noise. Then you have an interesting compositing challenge. (Use the faster one to make an unsharp mask that you use on the better colour one.)

H: Set your with unequal leg lengths. If you can get a stable position with one leg 10% longer and one 20% longer than the third, you may avoid resonances and the wobble will damp out faster.

I: Use mirror lock up. Lot of that vibration is started by that mirror going CLUNK out of the way. Lock it up first, or if your camera as a feature put a delay in raising the mirror and taking the shot.


Actually, the bean bag was my suggestion too. They really come in handy. You can also practice with body bracing. I can make a brace out of almost anything. If you are inclined you can pick up a lightweight graphite fiber tripod. They are expensive, but they last a lifetime.


I had this issue myself brought a heavy ali tripod but it rusts in constant wet windy weather so ended up getting a carbon fibre Manfrotto. I use it in the sea with plastic leg protectors. For windy conditions i lower the tripod down by splaying the legs out giving a wider centre of gravity. Also keep the camera low down on the centre column dont raise it up as it will be less stable. Ask you photo equipment shop if you can rent one out and try it could save you some £.

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