Best Tripod for Wildlife Photography - Our 5 Top Picks

Whether you are a professional wildlife photographer or just an avid hobbyist who loves shooting wild animals during your leisure times, it is needless to tell you that one of the most essential gear required for wildlife photography is a tripod. Wildlife photography is a very serious kind of photography and it requires the best photography equipment. So, you are probably asking yourself, what is the best tripod for wildlife photography can I get in 2018? Well, we got you covered.

Due to innovations, different companies dole out distinctive tripods with enticing features on a virtually a daily basis. Wildlife enthusiasts and lovers are often thrown into confusion regarding which of the tripods will suit their purpose, thus, this guide aims to show you the best tripods that are ideal for wildlife photography and why they are.

Let’s get started!

The 5 Best Tripods for Wildlife Photography of 2018

3 Legged Thing Equinox Winston

This tripod is a beautiful piece to behold. It three legs can extend to 76.9 inches and also go as low as 10.6 inches. This tripod weighs about 6 pounds. The camera is compactly packed and has capabilities to withhold heavy equipment with significant stability. The legs of the instrument can be spread to various angles which include 23, 55, and 80 degrees.

The tripod also comprises of a rapid release plate which enables the camera to be removed easily from the tripod and also allows the camera to be firmly tacked to the tripod.  The tripod despite it awesome features also possesses its own flaws and it is majorly that the accessories of the instruments are not easily accessible by users.

 Quick Specifications

  • Weight: 1.75 kg / 3.86 lbs
  • Folded length: 60 cm / 24 in
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Maximum payload: 40 kg / 88 lbs
  • Included head: AirHead 360 Ball head
  • Leg locks type: Twist locks

Pros

  • Stable
  • Compact
  • Can effectively carry very heavy gear
  • It has a quick-release plate

Cons

  • Accessories for the tripod are difficult to find
  • Quite heavy

Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 055 Tripod

Manfrotto has long been a reknowned tripod brand and its 055 line is a hit! Designed for high stability and stiffness, the Manfrotto MT055 CX PRO3 is also an interesting option for wildlife photography. Its maximum payload of 19.8 lbs / 9 kg may not be as impressive as other tripods listed here, but it is sufficient to effortlessly support most wildlife cameras and lenses.

Its big advantage is its weight – 4.4 lbs / 2 kg – making it a portable instrument ready to follow you in the wild to shoot wildlife pictures. For its great ratio between portability and maximum payload capacity, combined with a great build quality and the use of carbon fiber, this tripod is definitely a serious option to consider.

 Quick Specifications

  • Weight: 2 kg / 4.4 lbs
  • Folded length: 60 cm / 24 in
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Maximum payload: 9 kg / 19.8 lbs
  • Included head: None
  • Leg lock type: Flip locks

Pros

  • Portable
  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • Strong build

Cons

  • No ball head is included
  • Load capacity is a below other tripods

MeFOTO Classic Globetrotter Travel Tripod

This tripod is widely liked by photographers. Reviews from photographers show that they enjoy the fact that the tripod is lightweight and can be easily folded and packed in their luggage while in transit. The camera also boasts of a monopod. The camera has a general compatibility system and can handle almost all types of camera. The rapid release plate of the tripod is excellent as it rotate 360 degrees and the tripod weighs about 3.1 pounds.

The legs of the tripod can be stationed firmly to a position by clipping it at the tip this provides the stability that is required in wildlife photography. The tripod legs can be inverted and folded back 180 degrees making it small enough to carry just about anywhere.

 Quick Specifications

  • Weight: 1.68 kg / 3.7 lbs
  • Folded length: 42 cm / 16.5 in
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Maximum payload: 11.2 kg / 24.6 lbs
  • Included head: Dual Action Ball head
  • Leg lock type: Twist locks

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to pack
  • Allows the camera rotate 360-degrees
  • Good load capacity

Cons

  • Locking mechanisms don’t have great weather sealing

Sirui W-2204 Waterproof Tripod

Wildlife photography often takes place in harsh natural environments and it’s exactly the issue that Sirui is addressing with the W-2204 Waterproof Tripod. Its water sealing prevents water but also dust from entering the tubes and damaging your tripod. I had to shoot with a tripod in water before and trust me, flooded tripod tubes are really not great.

The Sirui W-2204 also offers a very interesting weight/load capacity ratio, as it only weighs 3.7 lbs / 1.68 kg but can hold up to 39.7 lbs / 18 kg of camera gear! For sure, this tripod can hold the largest zoom lenses without any problem.

That’s a very strong and sturdy tripod made of carbon fiber that eliminates vibrations. One leg can also be unscrewed and used as a waterproof monopod.

 Quick Specifications

  • Weight: 1.68 kg / 3.7 lbs
  • Folded length: 52 cm / 20.47 in
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Maximum payload: 18 kg / 39.7 lbs
  • Included head: None
  • Leg lock type: Twist locks

Pros

  • Waterproof build
  • Very sturdy
  • Great load capacity
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used as a monopod

Cons

  • No tripod head is included

Feisol Tournament CT-3442 TripodOur Top Pick

This an outstanding tripod with an even more amazing weight/payload ratio than the Sirui above. In spite of being very lightweight (only 2.51 lbs /1.14 kg!) it can hold the incredible weight of 55 lbs / 25 kg, a little bit more than 20 times its own weight!

This is obviously a fantastic advantage for wildlife photography, as you often need to transport your gear to remote, wild areas and then use it to support very heavy cameras and lenses.

Its quality materials and strong build ensures good sturdiness and durability.  This tripod offers the best portability and a great load capacity, for a totally fair price. It is my top pick.

 Quick Specifications

  • Weight: 1.14 kg / 2.51 lbs
  • Folded length: 52.5 cm / 20.67 in
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Maximum payload: 25 kg / 55 lbs
  • Included head: None
  • Leg lock type: Twist locks

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Amazing load capacity
  • Quality build
  • Durable
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • No tripod head is included

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes a Tripod Good for Wildlife Photography?

Many nature lovers blame the absence of reviews, guides or factors to consider before buying tripods for wildlife photography for their erroneous previous purchases. Hence, we decided to lay out the factor to consider before you buy your next tripod. The factors to consider are:

Weight: An essential factor to consider before buying a tripod for wildlife photography is the weight of the instrument. It is advisable to buy tripods which are low weighted. However, note that the low weighted tripods are susceptible to heavy wind. Buy tripods that are light and can be easily packed while traveling.

Load Capacity: This is perhaps the most important factor to consider when you know how heavy wildlife zoom lenses are. Everything has a limit and the tripods are not left behind when it comes to limit. Before you buy your next tripod, check the weight of your camera and lens via the tripod. Avoid buying a tripod which cannot carry your camera and gear as your complete camera and gear could be damaged.

Stability: Wildlife photography entails taking pictures and videos steadily. Ensure that you know how stable the tripod is before procuring it. A tripod stand should be able to stand firm when the camera and gear are placed on it. If the tripod wobbles when the camera is placed on it, it’s only a recipe for frustration and disaster!

Height: Another vital factor to consider is the height of the tripod. You need to ensure that you get the perfect size to suit your purpose. Pick the perfect size that allows you see over your target without you having to stand on anything.

Cost: Of course, price is an important factor to consider as well. We are sometimes tempted to either go for something expensive thinking it’s the very best, or look for the cheapest option that is “good enough”. The approach I suggest is trying to find a good value for money.

Great gear is most of the time relatively expensive, that’s a fact. And it’s logical. But what do you prefer? Needing to change your $80 tripod every year because it’s broken? Or get a great and reliable $400 tripod that you will keep for many many years, trip after trip? I would definitely do my best to save 400 bucks and get something good once and for all.

If we summarize, what is the best tripod for wildlife photography? It is a tripod that is both portable enough and strong enough to support heavy cameras and lenses used in wildlife photography. It needs to be able to deploy both at comfortable height and low angle if you need to remain hidden near the ground. It is even better if it offers extra features such as weather sealing.

Aluminium or Carbon Fiber, What to Choose?

You may have noticed that all 5 tripods presented here are made of carbon fiber. Aluminium tripods are cheaper, but heavier. Carbon fiber tripods save us some weight to carry around, and this material is also very good at absorbing vibrations, compared with aluminium.

How Do You Deal With an Unstable Tripod?

Sometimes, even the best tripods can get a little unstable with challenging terrain, strong winds plus very heavy gear… That’s why at the bottom of the tripod’s central column, you will often find a little hook that is used to hang something heavy under the tripod. You can use a small bag filled with stones or sand for example, anything heavy. This will further increase the sability of your tripod.

Why Aren’t You Showing Tripod Prices On This Page?

Prices can vary at a moment’s notice and it would be virtually impossible to keep any price up to date in this article. So instead of displaying information that will potentially be outdated tomorrow, I give you a link for each tripod for you to directly check the latest, up-to-date price of the tripod you like.

How Did You Choose The Top Pick?

As I explained a little earlier, my goal here is to find the best value for money. All 5 tripods here are great and perfectly suitable for wildlife photography. You could choose anyone of them, and be satisfied.

But since we need to make a choice, it is the tripod offering the best ratio between portability and load capacity that earned the Top Pick tag – in this case, the Feisol Tournament CT-3442. In addition, it is made of quality materials that ensures a good durability of the tripod, and comes at a fair price. That’s why in my opinion, it’s the best tripod to get for wildlife photography.

Of course, this is only my personal opinion, and that is why I am presenting you 5 tripods and not just my top pick.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! The list of the 5 best tripods you can get in 2018 for wildlife photography are on this page. It really wasn’t easy to select these tripods among hundreds of great (and not-so-great) tripods, but I believe you can trust this selection.

I really hope this guide helped you make a wise choice and find the tripod you were looking for to shoot outstanding wildlife photography!

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If you purchase an item on Amazon through the affiliate links in this page, this website will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps us keeping this site ad-free, and it helps you say thank you if our content is useful to you 🙂


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