In this article, we have reviewed 10 best tripods under $100, $200 & $300 in the market along with a comparison table and a detailed buyer’s guide to help you choose the best tripod possible for your needs.
The market is filled with a vast variety of tripods, so the photography sector is filled with a variety of photographers having different budgets for their photography tools. Having a low budget doesn’t mean that you’ve to compromise with the quality, specs, and features of any gadget.
On the other hand, having a high budget doesn’t always mean that you’ll be getting a top-notch product every time. Actually, you’re supposed to be prepared and aware while buying any new gadget. The same philosophy comes into play while buying a new tripod.
Tripods are one of the very crucial and most essential tools for every photographer kit. Again, there are a huge number of tripods available in the market that vary over their price, build quality, design, and specifications.
Considering the price factor in mind, we’re going to introduce some best tripods under $100, $200, and $300. So if your photography kit is vacant with the place of a tripod, then you’ve landed at the correct location.
No matter what budget you bring in, we’ll try to fill your photography kit with different options of tripods.
So without making any more delay, let’s jump onto our best tripods under $100, $200, and $300.
Best Budget Tripods Compared
Best Tripods Under $100
1. Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod
The best thing you’ll read about Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod is, it can be used for indoor as well as for outdoor photography. This tripod is designed to be used with DSLR Cameras and also with Point-N-Shoot cameras.
This Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch has got a small head but it does a good job. However, video features like panning and tilting are not available as it is a photo tripod.
Talking about construction, the legs of the tripod are made of aluminum however, the knobs present on the feet and head are of plastic. So you’ve to be careful while dealing with these parts specifically.
For example, don’t leave the tripod at direct sunlight for a longer time as plastic and sun don’t complement each other. This Dolica AX620B100 will be going to provide you a maximum height of 62 inches which is really good. We don’t know whether you’ve noticed or not, but this Dolica has the longest working height among all the four picks under $100 segment.
On the other hand, the minimum height of the tripod was found to be 22.5 inches. And without the ball head, the height will be 18 inches. In fact, with the feet spread and center column being reversed, users will be able to shoot at ground level.
The maximum load capacity of the tripod is 13.2 pounds, which is a sufficient spec for most of the photographers. Right at the bottom of the center column, you’ll be finding a counterweight hook that allows you to hang the camera bag for adding more weight in order to keep the camera more stable.
Looking at specifications, the tripod weighs 4 pounds and shares the dimensions of 24 x 5 x 5 inches.
2. Manfrotto Compact Action Aluminum 5-Section Tripod Kit
Buying a tripod is a different thing while buying a lightweight tripod is another thing. The next pick in our list is a tripod that shows all the functionality but is also lightweight and compact.
Well, we are talking about Manfrotto Compact Action Aluminum 5-Section Tripod. This is a high-quality aluminum designed tripod which ensures that the unit is well constructed and is durable as well.
Most of the photographers go harsh with their types of equipment, but it is made of aluminum and simple design, it is less likely to break.
Another important factor for any tripod is the maximum height. Talking about Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod, this provides 52.36 inches of maximum height and 17.32 inches of minimum height. You may find this working height a little shorter but after shooting a few sessions, you’ll have no complaints regarding this.
On the other hand, the minimum height is very satisfying that allows you to stock the tripod easily in your kit bag. This particular tripod owns four telescoping legs, three of them looks sturdy while the fourth one is very thin.
Even at full extension, you’ll be getting sharp and crisp images but you’ve to be careful with blowing wind and uneven ground. This tripod comes with a maximum load capacity of 3.3 pounds which is quite good for new entry DSLR cameras.
However, you might struggle with a telescopic lens or full-frame DSLR camera. This Manfrotto tripod uses a 360-degree ball head movement and also employs locking and moving mechanisms. Due to this, you can quickly turn to portrait orientation from landscape mode.
With its unique grip, users can also use this for different video tracking shots. Looking at specs, this tripod weighs 2.65 pounds and comes with the dimensions of 20 x 4.3 x 4.3 inches.
3. AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod
For all those beginners who are stepping their legs in the photography sector, doesn’t want to hurt their pockets, this AmazonBasics 60-Inch Tripod is a great option for them. Users will be getting everything they need with this one convenient product.
In terms of looks, the design of the tripod is basic as it doesn’t feature any color-accented looks. The design is simple and it has silver brushed aluminum body along with solid black touches. So if looks don’t matter for you, then this retro look tripod can turn to be a great choice for you.
To set up all the three legs, you just have to pull them while the cross-bracings automatically go horizontally to achieve the three-leg layout. However, the movement and adjustments of the legs are quite smooth, and you’ll have no issue with this.
AmazonBasics Tripod comes with a maximum load capacity of 6.6 pounds, which is a good figure under this budget segment. Also, the minimum working height of this tripos was found to be 25 inches and a maximum height of 60 inches. Users will be getting this height when the center post is fully extended.
Right above the legs, there is a built-in level which makes sure that you are shooting from a flat level. According to us, this is a nice addition to the budget tripods.
Also, it is equipped with rubber feet that provide more stability to the camera. This tripod has a lightweight design but it’s not the compact model available.
With the folded length of 25 inches, some users may face difficulty while keeping the tripod in their kitbag. In terms of additional accessories, users will get a zippered bag that will protect the main unit.
Looking at specs, this unit weighs 2.72 pounds and measures the dimensions of 24.2 x 4.4 x 4.1 inches.
4. ZoMei Z818 Portable Travel Tripod
As you already know that the market is filled with different tripods by lots of brands, and each tripod showcase some unique properties that make them best selling. One such example is our next pick called ZoMei Z818 Portable Travel Tripod.
This ZoMei Z818 is known for its reasonable price and most importantly for the portability it offers. Actually, it is another lightweight tripod that can be folded back and inverted to 180 degrees for maximum portability.
So if you’re a travel freak then you can stock this tripod onto your bag and go to your destiny.
The construction of the tripod is done by some quality materials which include magnesium and aluminum alloy tube. These materials are known for delivering anti-corrosion features which is a really good thing. So if you’re planning to use this product in rough weather, then this will not disappoint you.
This three-leg angle tripod offers flexibility to the users and allows them to use it even on the irregular surfaces. Users can easily glide in and out this tripod for getting the maximum working height of 55 inches and a minimum working height of 18 inches.
Apart from this, the tripod comes with a maximum load capacity of 33 pounds which is fine for tripods under this segment. This tripod is also known for its multi-functional capabilities, as it can be used as a full-size monopod by combining the tripod leg and center column.
If you’re a fan of low angle landscape shots then you can turn the center column upside-down in order to achieve that. This particular feature will definitely make you think once again for this tripod.
Looking at specifications, the tripod weighs 3.7 pounds and comes with the dimensions of 20.5 x 5.1 x 5.1 inches.
Best Tripods Under $200
1. Manfrotto MKBFRA4-BH Befree Compact Aluminium Travel Tripod
This Manfrotto Befree Advanced is a travel tripod available which is very reliable and sturdy as well. This Manfrotto Befree Advanced Tripod is available in two models, one includes twist-lock while the other one features lever-lock legs.
Both the models share almost similar specs, so you can choose anyone based on your preferences. There is a slight difference in the height of the tripod, else they have similar designs and uses the same ball head as well.
The tripod shows some brilliant ergonomics as it can fold up so small that becomes easier for the user to carry it around. Actually, the column of the tripod gets folded up and the legs go around it, due to which the size of the tripod gets reduced. There are knobs that you’re supposed to turn in order to outstretch the legs.
On the legs, there are rings present which is coated with rubber that provides better gripping and feels comfortable. This Manfrotto Befree Advanced Tripod provides you a working height range of 13.39 – 56.69 inches.
However, with the center column down, the working height will be reduced to 48.43 inches. It also has a safety payload weight of 8.8 pounds. This tripod features a ball head and a plate. The plate is quite nice and can be easily screwed into the bottom of the camera.
This ensures that your camera will be safe and secure. Whereas to remove the camera and plate, you just have to press the black button and twist the release. Looking at the specs, the tripod weight was found to be 3.1 pounds which come with the dimensions of 15.7 x 5 x 5 inches.
Overall, it is a great choice for all the buyers under this price category.
2. MeFOTO RoadTrip Classic AL Leather Edition Tripod
Believe us or not, but the first thing you’ll be going to appreciate about this MeFOTO RoadTrip Classic AL Edition is its design. That beautiful leather appearance on the tripod will definitely add a new spark in your photography gear.
We found that the design of the tripod has been updated and has made even more versatile. In terms of looks, the tripod body has brown leather, black legs, and has silver touches around. No doubt, it is one of the stylish tripod design.
It is a typical 5 sectioned legs tripod whose legs can be easily folded up over the center column. For doing this, you’ll have to pin those little clips on top of the legs. Each leg section comes with a twist lock that ensures the stability of the tripod.
Moreover, these leg sections have a rubber coating that enhances the gripping factor. When you’ll fully extend the tripod, it will provide a maximum working height of 61.6 inches. While reverse folded, it’ll be of 15.4 inches only.
This tripod has a maximum load capacity of 17.6 pounds which is sufficient most types of photographers. Apart from a tripod, this MeFOTO RoadTrip Classic can also turn into a monopod. All you’ve to do is combine the removable leg and center column to make it a full-size monopod.
This tripod will also allow you to have good control over drag, panning, and friction. In our review, friction control was found very delicate whereas panning control was simply best.
Looking at specifications, the tripod weighs 3.7 pounds and comes with the dimensions of 15.4 x 3.9 x 4.7 inches. Overall, if looks matters for you then this is one of the best choices for all of you.
3. Vanguard VEO 2 265AB Aluminum Travel Tripod
As we’ve researched, VEO series tripods were launched for travel freaks and adventurers to capture difficult shots. So whether you’ve to click ground-level images or images at normal height, this Vanguard VEO 2 265AB Aluminum Travel Tripod will be always there with you.
This Vanguard VEO 2 265AB is one of the top models in the VEO chain which is a great point of attraction under $200 segment. Talking about the design, this Vanguard VEO 2 265AB has got some sporty looks that appear very pleasant. It is built of black aluminum and has few silver touches along with orange accents.
So overall, this particular tripod will not disappoint you when you’ll talk about looks and all. This is a 3-leg tripod kit where each leg contains four separate telescoping sections.
Also, it is equipped with four flip locks for instant release that allows users to choose from 3 different leg angles. It has a full 360-degree horizontal barrel that moves very smoothly and will be helping users while video panning. It has a maximum height of 59.1 inches and a minimum height of 7.3 inches.
So if ground-level shots are love for you, then you’ll not end up with disappointment. The folded-up size of the tripod was found to be 15.4 inches which reflects on the portability of the unit. Being lightweight and a small folded size, this tripod can easily find a place at most of the carry-on bags.
This tripod comes with a maximum load capacity of 17.6 pounds which is sufficient for almost every camera user out there. Looking into specifications, the tripod weighs only 3.7 pounds and has dimensions of 15.3 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches.
Although, another great choice for all the interested buyers.
4. Manfrotto 290 Xtra Aluminum Tripod
For all those users who think of an APS-C DSLR, the shoot is supposed to use a $600 tripod that provides them with top results. However, this Manfrotto 290 Xtra Aluminum with an 804 head bundle offers high-end quality under the price segment of $200.
As we’ve been discussing so far, the tripod is one of the very important gadgets for any photographer. In fact, it is their powerful weapon along which they travel to different places. The only complaint we’ve witnessed with this particular tripod is its bulky and heavy size.
So you cannot consider it as one of the best travel tripods. However, the bulky size of the tripod is not because of its weight, actually, it is because of the bulky hollow legs. So if you’re a travel freak then please look ahead before buying this tool.
On the other hand, this Manfrotto is simply the best choice for most of the photographers. The legs of the tripod can easily stretch out to 147.5 cm, plus 24 cm due to its central column. This becomes crucial for all those landscape photographers and especially the nightscape ones.
This tripod has four different leg angle positions with an adjustable aluminum leg lock at each section. This allows you to do a lot with your tripod and also maintains stability.
The maximum working height of this Manfrotto is 67.5 inches and the minimum height is 16.5 inches. While the folding height of the tripod is quite more i.e. 27.8 inches. The maximum load capacity of this model is 8.8 pounds which are simply amazing for the users.
This load capacity is enough for APS-C DSLR cameras or even a telephoto lens. Looking at specs, this model weighs 5.6 pounds and comes with the dimensions of 30.3 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches.
Best Tripods Under $300
1. Manfrotto MKBFRC4-BH Befree Carbon Fiber Tripod
This Manfrotto MKBFRC4-BH appears to be one of the lightweight tripods that bring on some premium looks and sturdy design. The design and graphics of the tripod are simply good and impressive.
Similar to most of the compact travel tripods, this Manfrotto MKBFRC4-BH can also be folded back completely for easy and convenient storage. It had a specially designed plate adapter that has deep notches, allows legs to fold straight. It would work only if the quick release plate isn’t attached.
This tripod is available in two different versions: carbon fiber, and the aluminum version. However, you’ll notice the difference in their price and weight.
The legs of the tripod are good and thin as well. If you want to set the legs at different angles, this uses a locking system to make it happen. With the help of a rotating latch, you can set the legs at three different positions: folded up, normal angle, and splayed wide.
So when you select any one position out of these, then the leg angles get blocked and they don’t move any further. The maximum working height of this Manfrotto MKBFRC4-BH is 55.91 inches, while the minimum height is 13.39 inches.
On the other hand, the maximum weight capacity of the tripod was found to be 8.82 pounds. There is a ball head present with his Manfrotto Befree, but it appears to be made by plastic and looks cheap although. Along with the main unit, users will also receive a case for stocking their Manfrotto.
Looking into specifications, this Manfrotto MKBFRC4-BH weighs 2.43 pounds and comes with the dimensions of 15.8 x 5 x 5 inches. Overall, a great compact and lightweight option for the buyers.
2. SIRUI MT5-C MyTrip Travel Tripod Aluminium with Ball Head
This tripod is purely for hiking and those users who aim to take advantage of an average-sized portable tripod. This is a five-section tripod with carbon fiber legs that comes with sealed twist locks to set the desired height. The legs are strong enough and also lightweight at the same time.
These legs come with the reverse folding property that enhances the compactness of the tripod as it can be folded back to just 34cm for easy storage. Each leg of the tripod can be locked at three different angles to achieve the desired position.
This gives you more shooting options and makes photography easier on uneven terrain.
In fact, without the use of center column, the legs can be stretched maximum to click low-level snaps from the height of just 10.5cm. All thanks to the 2-Stage removable center column, which allows users to get more freedom of clicking creative shots.
The top of the tripod is a B-00K ball head that has metal control knobs, allowing you to lock one movement and adjust the other. Also, it has Arca-Swiss quick release plate with the safety lock that prevents your camera from getting slipped.
The tripod allows users to place a maximum weight of 5 kg, which is sufficient for many users. On the other hand, this has a maximum operating height of 37.8 inches and a minimum of 3.1 inches.
Looking at specs, this tripod weighs 2.16 pounds and comes with the dimensions of 12.6 x 3.1 x 3.1 inches.
Factors to consider before buying a tripod
Whenever you’re in a situation where you are supposed to choose one out of many goes stressing. Similarly, different types of tripods are available in the market by various brands.
In such a situation, you must be clear with some of the factors like the height of the tripod, load capacity of the tripod, the stability of the tripod, and many more.
So if you’re not aware of these terms or want to seek more information about the same, then please look ahead to this segment.
The very first which you need to keep in mind while buying a new tripod is, how much weight your tripod can afford. It has been found that people choose tripods that support only a few pounds of weight, as a result, they can’t use heavy cameras with it.
And if they attempt to use it, you’ve to end up with a broken camera or the lens. So what we suggest is whenever you go out for buying a tripod, always look for 1.5x more weight capacity than the weight of your camera and its lens.
Actually, when you’re setting up your camera, you rest your hand over it that adds up some more weight to your tripod. And we don’t need any situation where we’ve to face any problem.
Moreover, if any requirements arrive you might use a battery grip or flash along with your tripod. So you’ve to think about all those scenarios in advance and that’s why we suggest you use this trick while buying a new tripod.
One thing which we would like to tell you in the initial phase of this segment is, always look for the tripod that has the same height as you. The only reason for this is, we don’t want you to bend down or stretch your back in order to find the view.
But if you got a tripod of ideal height, then the moment you fix your camera onto the tripod, you’ll get a viewfinder right at your eye level.
However, if the height of the tripod goes above your eye level then there’s no issue as you can adjust the height of the tripod any time. But if you find it below your eye level, then you’ve to struggle by bending your back.
Also, if you’re buying a tripod with a separate head then make sure that the height of the tripod lies at your shoulder level. And if you’re buying a tripod with an attached head, then make sure that the top of the head should lie at your jaw level.
Another factor that you should consider is the folded height and minimum working height of the tripod. Folded height is one that tells you how compact it will be your tripod when you’ll fold it back.
Whereas the minimum height of the tripod is one that tells you about the capability of the tripod for low-level photography.
In general, buyers will be finding two forms of tripod legs: tubular and non-tubular. All the tripods available in the market with carbon-fiber legs are of tabular form. These legs are built with a threaded twist-lock system whose function is to lock the tripod legs at the desired position.
Whereas, aluminum, steel, or basalt tripods are built with flip locks and are available in various shapes as well. Now, the leg section is something that buyers should look for before buying a new tripod.
Generally, based on the working height of the tripod, it can have 3 to 5 sections on tripod legs. And it is said that the more the section a tripod has, the more the height of the tripod but the lesser the stability.
So you’ve to pay a crucial role while choosing a tripod for your photography kit. After all, it is the legs over which the entire tripod will be based.
Whether you post attention or not, but believe us, the ball head is one of the most crucial segments for any tripod. This is that particular component of a tripod that is responsible for the movement of your camera and also holding it safely.
If you’re planning to buy a modular tripod then you’ll be not provided with any head and you’ll have to buy it separately from the market. One thing which you’ve to keep in mind here is, make sure that the head is capable of holding some amount of weight as you might be requiring this at some point of time.
Usually, there are 3 different types of tripod heads available in the market that are discussed below.
The very first is the Pan-Tilt Head that is available with a single handle or dual handles. With the single handle model, users will be able to adjust horizontal movement and with the dual handles, they can control horizontal and vertical movements as well.
However, this kind of head is not considered as the best choice and is even used with cheaper tripod systems.
The next one is Ball Head, it is one of the most popular types of the head uses with tripod nowadays. As compared to the Pan-Tilt head, this type of head features one control which is used for tightening and losing the grip.
These ball head keep your camera safe and tightened, and also have very smooth action.
Next is the Gimbal Head, which is used for heavier cameras and lenses. Comparing this with ball head and pan-tilt head, Gimbal heads are known for their super quick and smooth action. They perfectly balance your camera and are very simple to use.
The main advantage of this gimbal head is, you don’t have to tighten the head again and again after adjusting the camera. Due to this, they offer a huge convenience to its users.
Tripod Weight and Dimensions
We know that most of you photographers prefer outdoor photography and are always in a need of compact gears for your kit. And this is where weight and dimensions of your tripod come into play.
It is weight and dimensions of the tripod that decides whether it’ll successfully fit into your kit bag or not. So, we recommend our buyers look for a tripod that weighs under 5 pounds.
But if you don’t travel with the tripod often, then you might look for the heavier options as well. Generally, carbon fiber tripods are lighter by weight whereas aluminum tripods are a little heavier.
So if you don’t face that annoying situation in the future, make sure you make a smart decision.
Our job with the best tripods under $100, $200, and $300 is done and it’s now on you to choose a perfect tripod for your photography. We would suggest you to carefully read this article before making a final call.
Firstly, point out all the requirements that you want your tripod to accomplish. And then match all those requirements with the tripods mentioned above in the list. Hopefully, you’ll definitely find that one product that will be filling all your photography needs.
Now, we’re concluding our review by suggesting top pick out of different tripods listed in the different price ranges.
In the range of $100, Dolica AX620B100 Proline Tripod is the suggested model because of its long 62 inches working height and 13.2 pounds of load capacity. Also, it is one of the most popular and high rated tripods available in the market.
For the price range of $200, Vanguard VEO 2 265AB Aluminum Tripod is our pick because of the compactness and portability it offers. With a total of 5 years warranty, it is one of the best choices for travelers and adventurers.
Finally, for the $300 budget, the Manfrotto MKBFRC4-BH Tripod will be our top choice because of its unique and premium design. The tripod has got some eye-catching looks and is also highly suitable for traveling and hiking.
However, if any other model or tripod is favorable for you that meets your needs, then don’t hesitate from buying it. After all, it is you who’s to work with these gadgets.