We are very excited to show off our new Peak Design Tripod!
After reading almost universal 5* reviews we have finally taken the plunge and equipped our team with the award winning Peak Design Tripod. We have been blown over by this amazing bit of kit, and it really is a beautiful piece of premium engineering with no expense spared!
We hope you like this review and please comment below if you have any questions on anything that we cover.
In a rush? Here's why we love our Peak Design Tripod:
Extremely compact (It's the most compact professional tripod on the market)
Very lightweight 1.56Kg (Al) / 1.29Kg (Carbon)
Strong enough for most professional cameras and larger lenses (rare for a tripod this size!)
Everything about the design is extremely well made and thought out
We really love this but there is one drawback .... It is insanely expensive compared to others but we think that it is worth it given how good it is.
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Want to know more? Let's dive into our full review now...
We were extremely impressed with how they've managed to build a full size tripod that is unbelievably compact.
Peak Design has revolutionised tripods by looking at every element of a typical tripod design and have re-written the rule book on how they should be built.
All of the elements are built with premium materials and it feels very sturdy despite how lightweight it is.
It also comes with a number of accessories that fit a variety of travel needs. I would usually say that it is great to have these included with the package but then again you are paying a lot for this tripod so I can't give them too much credit!
This is where the tripod truly shines. Due to the design of the legs that use a triangle shape as opposed to a circular shape the tripod is extremely compact in diameter and is the smallest professional tripod we've ever seen.
About the thickness of a water bottle and is even thinner than a Sony 70-200 lens!
Comparison Tripod - Our usual travel tripod is the excellent MeFOTO Roadtrip. We love this tripod as it is a compact, full size tripod that is still strong enough to mount full frame bodies and professional lenses. We have chosen the Roadtrip to compare to the Peak Design Tripod as it is currently our favourite. If the Peak Design Tripod can beat this then it'll be our new number 1!
Now look how wide the Roadtrip suddenly looks compared to the Peak Design Tripod!
A huge difference in diameter!
The dimensions of this tripod are pretty special:
Folded length: 39.1 cm (15.4”) - Same as the Roadtrip which was the smallest full size one we could find.
Folded diameter: 7.9 cm (3.125") - Absolutely crazy!
Max Tripod height when extended: 152.4 cm (60")
This is class leading and makes a huge difference when you're carrying the tripod in a rucksack or as a carry on when flying. This alone is the main reason why we bought one. I really can't stress enough how thin this is when folded.
Naturally this Tripod is extremely light at:
1.29Kg Carbon Fibre
Yes it is one of the lightest tripods on the market but personally I think manufacturers are obsessing over the weight of their tripods and we always prefer functionality over weight.
The only time weight really matters is if you're including it with check in weight in a bag for travel but apart from that a few 100g here or there doesn't really bother us (extra weight can make it more stable as well).
Carbon fibre or Aluminium? Obviously the Carbon Fibre one is lighter and is slightly stronger (20% more rigid) but for nearly double (yes double) the price we can't justify the price difference for something that is only 270g lighter (less than a can of coke).
But if you do have the budget then go for it and the tripod will probably last longer but we normally stick with Aluminium tripods.
Now this is really important as many cheaper tripods are fairly useless when it comes to mounting professional cameras and larger lenses. The Peak Design tripod will securely hold a payload of 9.1kgs! This is certainly class leading and will be suitable for even very large camera and lens combinations.
Every part of this tripod has been beautifully thought out and it really is a pleasure to use. Every component feels premium and there is absolutely no rattle or flex on any of the parts. This really is a no expense spared piece of kit!
Lever or Twist lock?
The Peak Design tripod is one of the few travel tripods that have lever locks and they are really well designed. The legs are very sturdy and slide out beautifully. The level of machine work on the legs is outstanding.
Why do we prefer lever locks?
Faster to deploy than twist ones
More Secure (sometimes with twist locks they aren't quite tight enough and you notice the leg is dipping slightly when using heavier cameras)
A lot more compact
Also due to the Peak Design tripod folding into itself you don't have the hassle of having to folding out the legs and moving the centre column each time like you do with the meFOTO and most other compact tripods:
As you can see the Peak Design tripod is good to go whereas with the MeFOTO one you have to fold out all the legs 180 degrees first and then move the centre column before use - Takes a lot more time!
The tripod head is truly fantastic. The innovative design makes it a pleasure to use. It has:
Ball head - You can very easily switch between landscape and portrait with a tilt (a must for any tripod)
Single adjustment dial - By twisting the circular dial you unlock the ball then twist to lock. This is much easier and faster to use than most tripods that have multiple dials (resistance etc). The beauty of this dial is you can slightly untwist it to have minor adjustments then relock it without the head becoming completely loose/floppy. The head is very secure when locked with absolutely no play or movement.
Secure click and lock base plate - the camera baseplate on the Peak Design Tripod is tiny as well which is great as you can leave it on the camera and barely notice that it's there. When you need to click it to the tripod you simply place it down and the weight of the camera will auto lock it into place. You then have a further securing dial then locks the lever from unclipping. It's very secure, quick and simple to use. The baseplate also uses a hex screw as well which is much better than the flat head screws that always tend to wear quickly. Peak Design have included an allen key and mount for it so you don't need additional tools. The baseplate is very very secure on the camera and the materials feel rock solid.
Spirit level - Rare for tripods of this size.
This is beautiful to use
The Tripod extends to 152cm and can also be lowered to 14cm so you have great flexibility. Some tripods go flatter but due to the compact mechanism this would have ended up making this tripod larger and 14cm is plenty low for most applications (PD do an adapter to make this even lower on their site). There are 5 levers to unlock depending on the height. I am 6ft and the height of the tripod is more than suitable.
In its lowest setting with my battered Sony A9!
The tripod centre column also has a hook so you can add a weight to further steady the tripod if needed (hi-winds etc).
There are rubber feet included in the package that are replaceable. You can buy optional ground spikes if needed.
Unfortunately there is no 'monopod' option to detach one of the legs. This is a bit of a shame but the tripod is so light and compact that you can actually use the whole tripod pretty easily as a monopod if needed.
You get loads of 'goodies' included with this tripod.
Allen Key - Just look how beautiful this is! This is a fantastic little tool used for securing the camera baseplate. There is a little slot on the tripod to stow this away so you don't lose it.
Storage options - The tripod comes in a hard tube. Now this obviously would add a lot of size to the tripod but it looks nice and would be good for long term storage to protect it. The material is some form of recycled semi-rigid material and it reminded me of the packaging expensive wine bottles come in.
Soft bag - This is a lovely extremely light weight 'sleeve' with zip for you to carry your tripod around to stop it getting scratched. We normally ditch the bags as they add so much bulk but this one is so snug that we actually use it for travel now. The zip is very high quality and we think this bag will last quite a long time.
Phone Mount - We thought this was a bit bizarre but in the centre column there's a 'phone mount that you can pull out and then clip your phone into and mount onto the tripod head. We don't usually use phones with tripods but it's a nice (if not very random) touch included with the package. The locking mechanism with the hook is beautifully engineered though and uses a magnet to prevent a rattle.
Shoulder strap - Unfortunately there's no strap included with this tripod and there's no strap on either of the sleeves or the bag so you can't independently carry this without buying their (again excellent but expensive) strap.
Now you may have noticed that we rather love this tripod (A LOT). I think the design is virtually perfect and it ticks every box we would need in a tripod.
These aren't cheap, and not just 'slightly more than other tripods' I mean these are top top top end. The Aluminium model is £320 on Amazon (Mar 2021) and the Carbon Fibre is £570! Now this sounds like a lot and it really is when compared to the competition. The MeFOTO Roadtrip (our 2nd favourite travel tripod) is a mere £130 by comparison.
So is it worth it?
If price was no issue then hands down this tripod is outstanding. We'd give it a firm 10/10 for virtually everything you'd ever need in a tripod. You can see why it is so expensive because it has been so beautifully engineered and it will probably outlive you it's that well made! It comes with lots of useful kit within the package and this is a classsic 'get what you pay for' premium item. Peak Design are also a relatively new company so hopefully they'll be able to bring their prices down in the future if they sell more units.
If you can afford it then you will certainly not be disappointed, it is so beautiful to use and I still can't get over how tiny it is (I carry this tripod pretty much everywhere now because of it). Everyone I have shown it to has been rather jealous of how beautiful it is and I haven't seen a single negative review yet.
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