Tripods are invaluable tools for stable, hands-free photography, but they can also be big and heavy. If you’re seeking a mount that offers more convenience, you can benefit from a mini tripod. It’s important, however, to consider each product’s load capacity. Some of these tripods, though lightweight, can support substantial DSLR cameras in addition to more compact point-and-shoots and smartphones. Mini tripods can also present a variety of leg types, with some locked in place and others fully adjustable. Ease your search and achieve better image quality with our picks below.
1. Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod
Offering the best balance of convenience, stability, durability, and economy, Manfrotto’s tripod is our top pick, particularly for use indoors or on relatively flat ground. It’s incredibly fast to deploy: Simply push a button to release its legs, which raise the mount by just over five inches. It’s also solidly built and super sturdy, capable of supporting heavy cameras, even with a telephoto lens attached. Yet it’s lightweight and compact, making it perfect to carry in a pocket or small bag. It comes with a ball head that allows you to smoothly position your camera at any angle, then lock it in place once you’ve arrived at the ideal position.
2. Ulanzi Camera Tripod
If you need a tripod with height adjustment, Ulanzi’s is a good option, although it requires much more time to set up. This model features thick, flexible legs that can stand like a regular tripod or wrap around surfaces, from railings to fences. It features a ball head for 360-degree free-form rotation, a bubble level so you can check your alignment, and a mount for either a smartphone or a camera. While you might feel safest using this tripod with your smaller phone, it can support larger devices, depending on their weight and lens size—just be sure to properly test each one before, say, hanging a pricey gadget from a tree.
3. Zeadio Metal Mini Tripod
Zeadio’s tripod is similar in concept to Manfrotto’s, but it’s stripped down and more affordable. Made entirely of metal, this solid apparatus is best used on desktops, as it gives your camera a lift of only about 2 inches. Its legs fold up to form a column that you can slip into a pocket or use as a grip for selfies. On its own, this mount has to be rotated to adjust your camera angle, but you can connect a ball head to it if you seek more versatility.
4. Sirui Mini Tripod
This little tripod is a powerhouse of a stabilizer. Designed to withstand outdoor elements, from rough terrain to wind, it provides excellent balance for small or large cameras, with an impressive load maximum of 22 pounds. Yet, because it’s made of carbon fiber, it weighs just over 1½ pounds with a ball head attachment. Its three-section legs can extend smoothly to a height of nearly 14 inches, and with a twist they lock tightly into place. You can even switch out the rubberized feet for stainless steel spikes to give you extra anchorage.
5. Linkcool Phone Tripod
If you need a stabilizer for your phone, Linkcool’s tripod is an affordable tool for shooting selfies or photographing from awkward angles. Like Ulanzi’s tripod, it features flexible legs that can bend and twist to any angle. These are reliably grippy and attach to your phone via a secure holder. Where this tripod outshines the competition is in its ability to support remote photography: Quickly pair the included remote control to your mounted device and trigger it to take shots from up to 30 feet away.