When mobility is key, a monopod may be a good compromise. Known for their innovative tripods, 3 Legged Thing now offers the One Legged Thing monopod series that includes three rugged models. The Pete is the top of the line, designed to support even heavy telephoto lenses, handling equipment up to 40 pounds. The carbon-fiber and magnesium-alloy construction is sturdy while also lightweight, weighing under one pound. With a three-section design and Evo 2 Double-Break Friction Dial locks, the Pete extends to a maximum of 5.4 feet. Estimated Street Price: $174.
The compact and lightweight carbon-fiber Argraph Sirui T-025X Tripod and C10 Head Kit is a great travel companion. The tripod legs fold 180 degrees for storage and transport, collapsing to 11.8 inches long and weighing just a couple of pounds, yet offering load capacities of up to 13.2 pounds. Each leg has an automatic leg-angle lock mechanism with three angle positions for use on uneven surfaces. Maximum extended height is 4.3 feet. Estimated Street Price: $269 (T-025X).
The BodyLink Telephoto Pack by Clik Elite is a unique solution for camera support—it’s a camera support built into a backpack. With a seven-inch adjustable aluminum frame and mount for a tripod head, it uses your body as an anchor, supporting even heavy lenses. The harness system converts from chest mount to backpack, with a padded camera bay for carrying a DSLR, telephoto lens and accessories, and two external pockets for cards, cables and batteries. List Price: $220.
The Traverse TR533-P288 Super Compact Tripod with Ballhead by Davis & Sanford is an aluminum body that folds down to 12 inches long, making it easy to carry. Despite its small size, the tripod can support a camera and lens up to 10 pounds. Five-section legs with rubber twist locks extend up to 53 inches. The dual-control ballhead has a calibrated base and is Arca-Swiss quick-release-compatible. Estimated Street Price: $110.