Reviews

Best Carbon Fiber Tripods (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

These carbon fiber tripods offer support for your camera in a variety of situations.

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BY Zach Faulds / LAST UPDATED ON March 11, 2021

If you really like photography or shooting video, you probably own a high-quality camera. One essential piece of equipment to capture the best moments is a carbon fiber tripod. Carbon fiber tripods help to steady your device so you can capture the perfect shot. The best carbon fiber tripods can be used by both professionals and casual photographers in a variety of situations.

 

Carbon fiber tripods are extremely durable yet lightweight and portable enough to carry on most trips. Whether you are looking for excellent value, versatility, comfort, or a user-friendly option, we look at the best carbon fiber tripods available. Read on to see which of these products is the best fit for your photography needs.

Best Overall
Benro Mach3 2 Series Carbon Fiber Tripod
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Summary
Summary

This carbon fiber tripod weighs just over three pounds, but is still able to support up to 31 pounds. It is fully adjustable, from a height of 15.2 inches up to 63.8 inches.

Pros
Pros
  • Three-section legs held in place by twist locks.
  • Can be adjusted
  • Interchangeable screw-in rubber feet can be exchanged for stainless steel spiked feet for increased stability
  • Removable leg can be combined with center column to create a full-size monopod
Cons
Cons
  • Center column does not pivot, so it is not quite as versatile as other tripods
Best Overall
Benro Mach3 2 Series Carbon Fiber Tripod
Best Value
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Travel Photo Tripod Kit with Monopod
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Summary
Summary

This tripod is lightweight yet sturdy and can accommodate cameras up to 17 pounds. It has a five-section twist-lock mechanism

Pros
Pros
  • Easy to set up
  • Can be transformed into a monopod for more versatility
  • Durable and stable
  • Storage bag included
Cons
Cons
  • Center shaft is made of plastic
  • Legs may be difficult to collapse
Best Value
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Travel Photo Tripod Kit with Monopod
Honorable Mention
Manfrotto Carbon Fiber 3-Section Tripod
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Summary
Summary

This is an extremely reliable and stable product. It includes quick power locks with high locking power to ensure maximum stability. It also can support maximum weight of 20 pounds.

Pros
Pros
  • Features zero-degree column and four leg angles to reach any position
  • 90-degree column allows it to be extended vertically or horizontally
  • Very easy to use
  • Does not have to be disassembled
Cons
Cons
  • Weighs 4.4 pounds, which is on the heavier side
Honorable Mention
Manfrotto Carbon Fiber 3-Section Tripod
Carbon Fiber Tripod With Camera Taking Portrait Of Friends
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Benefits of a Carbon Fiber Tripod

  • Portable. A carbon fiber tripod needs to be portable, lightweight, and compact, while still stable enough to securely hold your camera. If you will be taking your tripod with you on trips or carrying it, then it is essential that it does not weigh you down, cause any stress, or fatigue.
  • User-friendly. Whether you are a professional or casual photographer, it is important that your carbon fiber tripod is easy to use and can be set up in a matter of minutes. This allows you to unpack the tripod, set up your camera, and start taking excellent pictures in a short amount of time.
  • Versatile. Another important consideration is that your carbon fiber tripod is extremely versatile. The best carbon fiber tripods are  compact, yet still durable enough that they can be used in a variety of weather conditions and situations.

Types of Carbon Fiber Tripods

Travel

Travel tripods are the most affordable type of carbon fiber tripods. This type of tripod can easily be collapsed or folded into a compact size that will fit within your backpack or luggage. This is the ideal product to travel with or to bring on a long trip. When unfolded, this type of tripod is the size of a regular tripod and can be used to capture excellent scenery with a wide variety of different still and video cameras.

Medium-Duty

Medium-duty tripods are another excellent option for capturing photos or video. This type of carbon fiber tripod is slightly heavier than travel tripods, and therefore not quite as portable. But if you will not be carrying it long distances or on overnight trips, it is one of the better options on the market. Medium-duty tripods are more sturdy and reliable, particularly if you have a heavier camera or video camera.

Heavy-Duty

Heavy-duty tripods are the most expensive type of carbon fiber tripod. This type of tripod is designed for the heaviest cameras, video cameras, and equipment. If you are a professional who will be using your tripod for long shoots or for commercial use, then this type of tripod is extremely reliable. This type of tripod is only recommended if price point is not a factor in your purchase.

Top Brands

Benro

Founded in 1995, Benro has developed into an extremely reputable manufacturer of professional photography equipment and accessories. The company has an excellent reputation across the globe, including America, Europe, Asia, and more. In addition to carbon fiber tripods, Benro produces stabilizers, camera backpacks, camera accessories, and more.  

Manfrotto

Headquartered in Northern Italy, Manfrotto has become one of the world leaders in professional camera equipment and accessories. This company has distribution centers in over 65 countries. In addition to carbon fiber tripods, Manfrotto produces camera backpacks, LED lights, smartphone accessories, memory cards, and more.

MeFoto

MeFoto is an extremely reputable manufacturer of high-quality camera equipment and accessories. This company ships its products across the globe and can be found at a wide variety of retail locations. In addition to carbon fiber tripods, MeFoto produces smartphone accessories, camera plates, and more.

Carbon Fiber Tripod Pricing

  • Under $100: Carbon fiber tripods in this price range are available at an excellent value. Make sure that your tripod includes all of the necessary accessories and requirements needed for your camera before purchasing. 
  • $100-$400: This is the most common price range for carbon fiber tripods. Tripods in this price range are typically quite reliable, durable, and can be used for most shooting in a wide range of different situations. 
  • $400 and up: Carbon fiber tripods in this price range are priced at a premium. These tripods are typically the most heavy duty and include the most special features. They can be used for almost any type of camera and in any situation.

Key Features

Maximum Load

One factor that you need to consider before purchasing your tripod is its maximum load. The maximum load is important because it needs to be able to carry the weight of your camera and its lens. If your camera is on the heavier side, make sure that the tripod you purchase is built to carry at least that amount of weight. 

Height

The maximum height of your tripod is another important factor to consider. It is important for the height of your tripod to be able to fit your size and camera. Many modern tripods are fully adjustable to best fit the height required for your shooting needs.

Length

The length and size of your hiking tripod is another one of the most important factors to consider. It is essential to find a tripod that can fit into your backpack or luggage if you will be using it for traveling. It is necessary that your tripod can be unfolded to the proper length to take picturesque photos. An ideal tripod will be 20 inches or less when compacted so that it can conveniently fit inside your luggage.  

Other Considerations

  • Skill Level. Your photography skill level is another factor to consider before purchasing a carbon fiber tripod. A tripod that works for beginners or novice photographers likely will not work for a professional or experienced photographer. Most carbon fiber tripods can be used by everyone, but make sure to confirm with the manufacturer before making your final purchase.
  • Ease of Use. No matter what purpose you will be using your tripod for, you will want a model that is easy to use. Make sure that your carbon fiber tripod has good reviews, is easy to fold, and can be set up in just a few minutes. Since you may need to unpack your tripod and set it up quickly to capture the best shots, you will want a model that is user-friendly.
  • Warranty. The length and type of warranty are important factors to consider with your carbon fiber tripod purchase. Most of the best and most reputable manufacturers will include some type of warranty with their products. Look for a warranty to at least cover any types of manufacturing defects or issues with your carbon fiber tripod upon delivery, as well as any issues that arise in the first few uses of your tripod.

Best Carbon Fiber Tripods Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Benro Mach3 2 Series Carbon Fiber Tripod

This carbon fiber tripod weighs just over 3 pounds, but it can still support up to 31 pounds. It is fully adjustable, from a minimum height of 15.2 inches up to a maximum height of 63.8 inches. The three-section legs are held in place by twist locks, and they can all be adjusted if needed. The interchangeable screw-in rubber feet can be exchanged for stainless steel spiked feet for increased stability. A removable leg can also be combined with the center column to create a full-size monopod. There is a 3/8-inch-16 thread on top of the tripod that allows you to attach any compatible tripod head. This product includes a limited three-year warranty to cover any issues or manufacturing defects. One issue has to do with the center column. Unlike comparable models, the center column of this tripod does not pivot, so it is not quite as versatile as other tripods.

Best Value
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Travel Photo Tripod Kit with Monopod

The National Geographic Travel Photo Tripod Kit with Monopod is a lightweight and sturdy carbon fiber tripod. It can accommodate a variety of cameras, from CSCs to DSLRs with zoom lenses, and a weight of 8 kilograms (over 17 pounds). This tripod features a five-section twist-lock mechanism and can easily be set up on most surfaces. One of its best features is you can transform it from a tripod into a monopod by detaching one of the legs and attaching it to the center column. Overall, it's durable compared to comparable products and is quite stable considering its size and weight. It's also easy to use and comes with a storage bag. Unfortunately, the center shaft is plastic, and some users have had difficulty collapsing the legs after use.

Premium Pick
Manfrotto Carbon Fiber 3-Section Tripod

This carbon fiber tripod includes quick power locks with high locking power to ensure maximum camera stability. It can support a maximum camera weight of up to 20 pounds. This tripod is extremely versatile, featuring a zero-degree column and four leg angles to reach any position while shooting. Another key feature of this tripod is the 90-degree column, which allows the column to be extended vertically or horizontally. The tripod is very easy to use, and it does not have to be disassembled to switch between the vertical and horizontal column orientation. The bubble level built into the top of the center column rotates freely around the center column, so it can be positioned wherever it's easiest to see. Keep in mind that this tripod weighs 4.4 pounds, which is heavier than some other products on the market.

Most Compact
MeFoto RoadTrip Lightweight Carbon Fiber Tripod

This product folds up inversely to convert into a monopod if needed. It is small enough and lightweight enough to carry just about anywhere you need to go when folded up. The tripod legs can be individually locked into place at two different angles to enable shooting in various conditions, including cramped spaces, irregular surface areas, or level ground. A spring-loaded recessed hook at the center column's bottom allows you to hang additional weight for increased stability while shooting. There is a dual-action heavy-duty ballhead with Arca-Swiss style compatible quick release plate included with this tripod. The integral bubble level allows easy adjustments to prevent uneven pans and head movements of your camera. Some users have reported that their products were delivered with damages and the tripods tend to break easily. If you have any immediate issues, reach out to the company regarding a possible refund or replacement product.

Honorable Mention
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ Carbon Fiber Tripod

This carbon fiber tripod features four labeled multi-leg angle selections, including 20 degrees, 40 degrees, 60 degrees, and 80 degrees. It also has a 1/4 turn twist lock legs and anti-slip rubber feet. It has a maximum height of 68.25 inches, a folded height of 29.25, and weighs 4.75 pounds while supporting a camera weight of 15.4 pounds. The ALTA bh-100 ball head allows you to easily reposition your camera and get any shot quickly. The tripod allows 360 degrees of panning and 90 degrees of tilt with your camera. This tripod is designed to work seamlessly with various Vanguard accessories, including LED lights, microphones, and more. When folded, this tripod is still considerably larger than some other models. If you are looking for a compact option to fit in your luggage or backpack, you may want to consider another product.

Honorable Mention
Neewer Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod

This carbon fiber tripod is a two-in-one tripod that can also be used as a monopod. The universal ball head design has two locks that allow you to quickly and easily adjust your shooting angle. As a bonus, this tripod comes with a convenient carrying bag. The leg angle can easily be adjusted to three different positions for flexible shooting in various situations. The center column is specially designed with a hook, and it can be attached to a sandbag or weights to increase stability. This carbon fiber tripod supports cameras with weights up to 33 pounds. It is adjustable to shooting heights varying from as low as 17.7 inches up to a maximum height of 63 inches. However, some users have reported issues with broken parts upon delivery. Ensure you inspect your product upon delivery, and reach out to the company regarding a possible refund or replacement if needed.

Honorable Mention
Sirui Carbon Fiber Tripod

This carbon fiber tripod is extremely compact, and with a weight of just 1.54 pounds, it can easily be carried with you on trips and supports a load weight of 13.2 pounds. It features twist locks for an easy and convenient set up in a matter of minutes to get the best shot. Each leg of this tripod has an automatic leg-angle lock mechanism for added convenience. A completely removable center column allows for table-top shooting and low angle shooting at heights as low as 4.1 inches. This carbon fiber tripod can shoot at maximum heights as tall as 58 inches. The ball head with separate knobs for pan and tilt adjustments allow for panoramic shots. One downside is with the ball head. Some users have complained that the ball head can easily be bent or broken. Also, this tripod is not meant for most professional cameras.

Honorable Mention
Induro Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod

The Induro Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod is a high-quality, heavy-duty tripod. It is ideal for professionals, capable of holding cameras with a weight of up to 44 pounds. The legs each feature three sections with twist locks for simple adjustments. This tripod can easily adjust for shooting at heights as low as 15 inches or as high as 53 inches. It comes with a convenient carrying case and is built by a reputable manufacturer that includes a full five-year warranty, covering any issues or manufacturing defects. The tripod consists of a heavy-duty aluminum top plate, an oversized weight hook, and a set screw for a secure lockdown of your tripod head while shooting. Keep in mind that it is not as user-friendly as some other tripods, and many users have reported that it is extremely tough to level this tripod outdoors or on uneven surfaces.

Tips

  • Whenever possible, make sure to spread out the legs of the tripod fully. This will ensure that the tripod is stable while you are taking photos or shooting video.
  • If you are setting your tripod up on a hill or uneven ground, make sure to place two tripod legs forward for the most stability.
  • Your carbon fiber tripod should be used for all types of shots, including extreme close-ups. This can help you eliminate any unwanted movement or blurry images.
  • If you are using your tripod outdoors in extreme weather conditions or heavy wind, you can use sandbags or a weight on the legs or attached to the center column of your tripod to keep it from falling over while shooting.
  • If you are worried about your tripod slipping outdoors in wet conditions, you can use rubber grips that attach to the tripod legs to add more traction on slippery ground.

FAQs

Q: What is the best carbon fiber tripod?

Our top rated carbon fiber tripod is the Benro Mach3 2 Series Carbon Fiber Tripod, which is able to support up to 31 pounds. There are several other great options available, so make sure to read all of our reviews in order to determine one that is the best fit for your needs.

Q: Are carbon fiber tripods worth it?

Carbon fiber tripods are one of the most expensive types of tripods. But if you are looking for a lightweight, extremely durable tripod, a carbon fiber tripod may be the best choice for you.

Q: Who makes the best tripod?

There are several reputable manufacturers of high-quality tripods. Our top-rated companies include Benro, Manfrotto, and MeFoto.

Final Thoughts

For a high-quality carbon fiber tripod, consider the Benro Mach3 2 Series Carbon Fiber Tripod, which is fully adjustable up to a maximum height of 63.8 inches. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the  NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Travel Photo Tripod Kit with Monopod