If you have a mobile phone, you likely have an excellent camera built into it. But while the latest Samsung or Apple phones can take stunning photos, it is often better to have a professional DSLR camera for more complex scenarios.

However, these cameras weigh several times more than the average mobile phone, making them bulky to hold up for even short periods. The best way to get steady shots that are in focus and convey all the details is to mount them on a tripod. But these, too, can be cumbersome, making a portable tripod the best option.

In this article: Amazon Basics 60-inch Lightweight Tripod with BagTycka 56-inch Travel Tripod and Bonfoto Camera Tripod for Travel

A portable tripod is excellent for steadying your on-the-go shots

A tripod is a great way to ensure your photos or video footage comes without any distracting sways or shakiness. Nothing can ruin an amazing scene faster than erratic jerking or constant movement.

While that can still happen when using a tripod, you greatly reduce the chances when you place the tripod on a flat surface or affix it to a steady object. But not every tripod is suitable for all cameras. Doing a bit of research before spending money on additional equipment is a good idea.

For example, if you want to travel with your tripod, it’s best to look for a gadget that folds up to a compact and convenient size. Professional camera tripods are great, but they often aren’t designed for quickly stashing in a backpack or satchel.

Also, consider where you’ll be doing most of your shooting. A portable tripod is best for quick photo sessions such as traveling abroad or going on a family holiday. In those cases, you aren’t always guaranteed to have a flat, steady surface.

An excellent solution for that would be to get a tripod that has flexible legs. These are specially designed so you can wrap the legs around any vertical object, such as a street lamp, a handlebar, a bridge railing or a table leg.

However, you must be mindful of the mounting screw size on the head and the maximum weight the tripod can handle. If the screw isn’t compatible with the camera, it simply won’t fit. And if the tripod isn’t strong enough to support a heavy DSLR camera, it might come crashing to the floor.

Best portable tripods for on-the-go photography

best Amazon Basics 60-inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag

Amazon Basics 60-inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag

A basic yet solid tripod, it stands 60 inches tall when fully extended and can easily carry a weight of six pounds. It is compatible with most digital cameras and action cams that use the standard quarter-inch screw and measures a very portable 25 inches when retracted.

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best Tycka 56-inch Travel Tripod

Tycka 56-inch Travel Tripod

If you don’t have a lot of space in your camera equipment bag, this tripod is an excellent choice. While the standard usage is in the tripod form, you can attach the quarter-inch mounting head onto the included monopod. When folded up completely, the tripod is only 14 inches but extends to 56 inches in seconds.

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best Bonfoto Camera Tripod for Travel

Bonfoto Camera Tripod for Travel

A robust option, especially when traveling, this portable tripod has a quarter-inch mounting screw with a 360-degree ball head and sectional interlocking legs. It stands about 69 inches tall when fully extended but easily reduces to just under 2 feet. The double telescopic shaft has a water level on top.

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best Zomei 65-inch Camera Tripod

Zomei 65-inch Camera Tripod

Able to safely carry a camera up to 11 pounds, this tripod stands 65 inches tall when the three legs are fully extended. However, it has three interlocking sections that reduce the size to just over a foot. It has a standard quarter-inch mounting screw and a removable panning handle.

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best Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AGH Aluminum Tripod

Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AGH Aluminum Tripod

This tripod is an excellent choice if you need a bit more steadiness when taking photos or a swift hand for fast-moving objects. Below the mounting head is a pistol-like grip, making it easy to pan the camera. It stands 68 inches tall when fully extended but reduces to a portable size quickly.

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best Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit

Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit

Joby is known for its excellent camera accessories, and this small tripod is a great option. The legs have several bendable points, letting you securely attach the tripod to almost any vertical surface. Even though it is small, it can carry a maximum weight of 6.5 pounds, which covers just about all cameras.

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best Manfrotto PIXI EVO 2-Section Mini Tripod

Manfrotto PIXI EVO 2-Section Mini Tripod

This is one of the smaller tripods you can buy, making it the perfect travel accessory for excellent holiday snaps. Weighing only 9.4 ounces, it has three sturdy legs that fold out from the base, and the mounting screw sits on a swivel head.

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best Dolica GX650B204 Proline GX Series

Dolica GX650B204 Proline GX Series

The tripod is 65 inches when fully extended, but the legs easily slide into themselves to minimize its length. It has foam grips on each leg for additional handheld support and is compatible with any cameras that use the standard quarter-inch mounting screw.

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best Xenvo SquidGrip Flexible Tripod

Xenvo SquidGrip Flexible Tripod

This tripod is an excellent choice as it’s small and compatible with many cameras. The legs are bendable, meaning you can easily wrap them around poles or railings to steady your camera while still getting the perfect shot.

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