Recently, I’ve been looking for a tripod that would be fitting my needs without leaving a hole in my wallet. After all I don’t use tripods that often and would only need it for the occasional shot. My shooting style is leaning toward documentary but I always look forward to expand my horizons and have been experimenting with landscape and slow shutter photography lately. I often walk a lot to get the shot I want and like many photographers, already carry too many gears with me. I wanted a tripod that is light enough not to be a burden. You don’t want to miss “that” shot because you decided not to bring the extra weight a tripod is often synonym of.
After a good couple of days of searches, I quickly narrowed down my choice to 5 tripods that would meet my needs under 150 Euros:
Velbon Ultrek UT 43D II
The shortest foldable tripod of the group at a ridiculous 29 cm height only, the Velbon weight 1.15 kg for a maximum payload of 3.5 kg. It also reaches 155 cm at maximum height, making it one of the most versatile of this selection and probably one of the most fragile when fully spread… But if your priority is portability, this should be the best tripod to fit in a small space.
Price: 132 Euros – Bag not included
Manfrotto Off Road
At only 0.650 kg, the Manfrotto is by far the lightest tripod of this selection. It is also the one with the smaller maximum safety load of 2.5 kg only and with the shorter unfolded length of only 122 cm. Folded, the Manfrotto is 55.5 cm length long. The one with the longer closed length of the selection. This tripod is also specifically oriented for outdoor photography with its specific feet but would not necessarily be a problem in a more “cityish” environment. With this tripod you get the best and the worst of both world. Light but with a heavy compromise on the maximum height and safety payload. If your priority is the weight though, this might the tripod you need.
Price: 145 Euros – Bag not included
Hama Traveller Premium 144
The heaviest – with the meFOTO – at 1.21 kg for a maximum height of 144 cm, a safety payload of 3 kg and a foldable height of 34 cm, the Hama makes for a good but average traveler tripod with no particular highlight.
Price: 130 Euros – Bag included
The most pricey and the heaviest – with the Hama – tripod of the group, the meFOTO comes with a variation of many different colours and measure 44 cm once folded for 1.2 kg. It can only reach up to 130 cm maximum and its safety payload limited to 4kg. The meFOTO is probably one of the most sturdy tripod of the group and come with a good quality bag comparing to other tripods who do include one.
Price: 150 Euros – Bag included
Bilora Tourism TT-3
The cheapest and yet, the one with the best specifications of the group. The Bilora is the highest at 178 cm and become a little bit more than just a travel photography tripod, yet it remain small enough to carry once folded at 36 cm. Its weight is average with 1.1 kg but its safety payload is also the best with 6 kg. It can also be used as a monopod.
Price: 120 Euros – Bag included
As much as the Manfrotto and its 650 gr are tempting, I know it will also be way too short for most situations and quickly become useless. On the other hand the Bilora seems like the best tripod of this selection for its characteristics and features. It is the tallest tripod, the one with the heavier weight tolerance and the cheaper. Its foldable height is also one of the best right after the Velbon and the Hama. If I had to pick up one among this selection, it would definitely be the Bilora.