In the crowded world of the best travel tripods, it’s refreshing to see a truly innovative product released.
This Heipi Travel Tripod 3-in-1 review will walk you through the features, performance—and value of this interesting camera accessory.
Travel photography is my all-time favorite genre to shoot, and unsurprisingly, a lightweight tripod is a staple in my camera backpack.
I feel like I’ve gone through every travel tripod available, from budget tripods to the likes of Manfrotto and Peak Design.
Let’s see if Heipi is ready to roll out with the best of the best!
Table of Contents
What is the Heipi Travel Tripod?
- Very lightweight
- Tripod legs and locks are sturdy
- Built-in mini tripod gives you more options
- Pan head great for filmmakers
- Design is thoughtful and well built
- Smartphone mount is very easy to set up
- More features than are necessary for some
- Taller than other travel tripods
|Weight||0.8 kg (1.7 lbs)|
|Maximum height||140 cm (55.1 inches)|
|Minimum height||44 cm (17.5 inches)|
|Maximum load capacity||25 kg (55.1 lbs)|
|Number of leg sections||5|
|Leg locks||Lever locks|
|Head type||Ball head|
The Heipi Travel Tripod is a newcomer to the travel photography scene, but it’s already making waves.
This travel tripod is built to make a statement.
It’s packed with more features than most travel tripods and still comes with a very lightweight build and a fairly small minimum size.
If you’ve been thinking about upgrading to a pro-level travel tripod, this is one option you should consider.
Design and Build Quality
The Heipi Travel Tripod has a great build and design.
It is made of a lightweight carbon fiber material that can stand up to the weight of most photography and videography setups. It also sports an anchor weight loop so you can make sure that your expensive camera gear isn’t going anywhere.
All of the locking mechanics are sturdy and I never felt like my camera gear wasn’t securely attached to this tripod.
There’s no doubt in my mind that this tripod could support my gear even during a tough shoot.
There are also little design elements that make it more secure. There are also small design elements that improve the overall build quality.
The tripod feet are reversible and can turn into little spike feet.
This gives you something of a cleat to secure the tripod on loose soil or sand.
Height and Adjustability
This tripod has great adjustability. With a maximum height of 55.1 inches, it’s got a great reach.
Adjusting the locking legs is a snap. They flip out easily to adjust the height of the tripod and can be locked by pressing them back into place.
These locking legs have a little bit of a snap to them which makes me feel like they aren’t going to slip around like some budget tripods do.
You can also pop the legs out by pressing a little button on the side of each leg.
This lets you set up on uneven terrain and can even get you close to a “lay flat” fold-out.
Weight and Portability
Here we have a tripod with a great design for travel, with one minor exception.
The travel case is great and can protect this tripod while on the go. This is a good sign for the overall portability of the tripod.
The weight is the star here. It’s practically featherweight compared to other tripods—especially metal ones.
While it is a great choice for throwing in your travel photography bag, you might want to double-check the minimum height first.
This tripod has a taller minimum height than its competitors.
This may or may not be a problem for you depending on how you store your tripod.
If your tripod spends most of its time strapped to the side of your pack, this extra height won’t really matter.
Stability and Load Capacity
I tested out this tripod on my Sony mirrorless camera, a large format film camera, and a vintage 120 camera.
No matter what I was shooting with, the Heipi Travel Tripod held up nicely.
There really wasn’t a camera that I felt this tripod couldn’t handle.
The locking legs were also steady which is something I loved.
There’s nothing that annoys me more than when a tripod leg slowly starts slipping mid-shoot.
The ball head also performed nicely, but that deserves its own section.
The Heipi Travel Tripod might have my favorite ball head out of any travel tripod.
It’s a tightly designed ball with pan head features built in. Any videographers who are on the go will really enjoy this design.
The head has 10-degree clicks while panning. This means you can lock in a specific angle and keep it there.
This feature can also be disabled if you want a smooth panning experience.
The locks on the ball head are also about as tight as they come.
I had no worries that, even when at odd angles, my camera gear wasn’t going anywhere.
Leg Locks & Joints
Any tripod is only as good as its legs. Thankfully, the Heipi Travel Tripod was built to stand up to its competitors.
The level locks on the legs of the Heipi tripod are snappy and hold in place nicely.
You can flip them into place with one quick snap.
This tripod is able to hold the weight of even the heaviest portable camera setups.
I loaded it up with a Horseman 450 large format camera just to really push it and the Heipi didn’t budge!
The leg joints and center column are very sturdy.
They move smoothly when adjusting allowing you to get the precise angle you’re looking for.
Photographers will enjoy a great range of motion with the legs of the Heipi Travel Tripod.
It’s perfect for everything from macro photography to wildlife.
Features and Accessories
The Heipi Travel Tripod is full of features.
I first want to talk about how well-designed the smartphone attachment is. It’s always ready to go, built into the ball head.
Of course, I can’t go much further without talking about the built-in mini tripod.
All you need to do is loosen a collar near the base of the ball head to release a secondary, mini tripod.
This is great for setting up a vlogging shot in your hotel or for those moments when you don’t want the full weight and size of the tripod itself.
A few other features that stand out as highlights: the feet can be reversed and transformed into spikes for added support, there is an anchor weight hook under the ball head, and the legs have an impressive range of motion.
There are also some cleverly designed bubble levels built into the tripod.
These are usually too tucked away to be of much use, but with the Heipi Tavel Tripod they actually get some mileage.
Now, to talk about something I’m a little less keen on.
This travel tripod comes with four different hex wrenches you need to operate different features.
If you want to make adjustments or turn off the 10-degree clicking on the panning head, then you’ll need one of these little wrenches.
I would have liked to see these be built-in or something like that rather than just loose.
That means I have to carry and keep track of a small set of tools in addition to my other camera gear.
At the end of the day, this is a very small complaint, but one that seems like it could have been avoided during initial R&D.
Ease of Use and Setup
The Heipi Travel Tripod practically sets itself up which is exactly what you want with a travel tripod like this. All you need to do is dial in your specific adjustments and you’re ready to shoot.
The quick-release plate has a tight lock to it, but it comes free easily enough. That’s great for those moments when you need to quickly ditch the tripod to capture the perfect shot.
Overall, this is a convenient and easy-to-set-up tripod for travel.
How I Tested the Heipi Travel Tripod
I decided to test the Heipi tripod using a camera that has absolutely no tolerance for imprecision.
My over 100-year-old Kodak Brownie 2A.
This camera has held up well over the intervening century, but along the way it’s acquired some very picky habits.
The slightest change in composition or vibration will ruin the exposure—that’s a worthy test for any tripod.
After spending a day with this tripod shooting both on a picky vintage film camera and on my iPhone, I’ve got to say I’m pretty impressed!
This tripod is easy to get used to even when factoring in all of the features and different options it comes with.
I easily switch from “camera mode” to “smartphone mode” with way less hassle than other tripods with similar features.
The panning head was also fantastic. It’s very nearly on par with filmmaking panning tripod heads.
The lightweight build was a blessing. A whole day of hauling any tripod around is enough to make even the strongest backs a little weary, but the Heipi Travel Tripod weighs less than most of the cameras I plan on using it with.
Besides being a little too tall for some camera bags, it passed the test with flying colors.
(You can always get around the height problem by detaching the panning head from the tripod body and storing them separately—if space is a priority in your camera bag.
Alternatives to Heipi Travel Tripod
You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to travel tripods.
Here are just a few competitors of the Heipi Travel Tripod you should consider before handing over a chunk of your photography budget.
Click the names to read our in-depth reviews:
- 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey–Bold colors and a hardcore dose of aircraft-grade aluminum make this a tough alternative option
- Manfrotto BeFree–Another lightweight option with plenty of features from a well-respected brand. This was my first travel tripod and I can’t tell you how many miles I put on this thing before I finally changed over to a Peak Design tripod
- Amazon Basics Lightweight Tripod–Nothing to write home about here, but it is technically your most budget-friendly option. A great choice for a quick replacement if your tripod breaks and you need a replacement before you can save up for something better
You might be wondering why I like Peak Design’s premier travel tripod line out of that list.
Well, that’s because they get their own section below!
Heipi 3-in-1 vs Peak Design Travel Tripod
Here’s a table that summarises the differences and similarities between the Heipi and the Peak Design tripod(s).
I’ve included both aluminum and carbon fiber Peak Design models, although we should really be comparing the carbon fiber Heipi with the carbon fiber model.
|Feature||Heipi 3-in-1||Peak Design Tripod Aluminum||Peak Design Tripod Carbon Fiber|
|Material||Carbon fiber||Aluminum||Carbon fiber|
|Weight||0.8 kg (1.7 lbs)||0.95 kg (2.1 lbs)||0.58 kg (1.29 lbs)|
|Maximum height||140 cm (55.1 inches)||138 cm (54.3 inches)||138 cm (54.3 inches)|
|Minimum height||44 cm (17.5 inches)||39 cm (15.5 inches)||14 cm (5.5 inches)|
|Maximum load capacity||25 kg (55.1 lbs)||20 kg (9 lbs)||20 kg (9 lbs)|
|Number of leg sections||5||4||4|
|Leg locks||Lever locks||Lever locks||Lever locks|
|Head type||Ball head||Ball head||Ball head|
As you can see, the Heipi 3-in-1 tripod is the lightest, tallest and has the highest maximum load capacity.
However, the Peak Design Tripod Aluminum is the most affordable.
Both tripods feature lever locks rather than twist locks. This is mostly just personal preference, but I feel that lever locks tend to deliver more security than their twisty counterparts.
All 3 tripods offer a lifetime warranty.
The Peak Design tripods are noticeably smaller. I own the aluminum version of the Peak Design Travel Tripod and even that is notably shorter than the Heipi Travel Tripod.
If that extra height is a dealbreaker for your travel photography setup, then that might be the deciding factor for you.
The Peak Design tripod does have fewer features—namely a more streamlined ball head and no built-in mini tripod. This makes it lighter but does mean that the Heipi Travel Tripod will give you more overall versatility.
My last observation is a somewhat minor one, but the Peak Design tripods have their hex key built into the body of the tripod via a little clip on one of the legs.
This means I don’t have to go digging for a hex key when I need to tighten or loosen, part of the tripod.
The Heipi Travel Tripod doesn’t have a built-in hex key, but it does come with four of them.
Value for Money
The Heipi Travel Tripod will cost you around $399. Is this worth it?
There are two things I considered when judging the value for money of this tripod: The tripod itself and its nearest competition.
The tripod does everything an expensive travel tripod needs to do—and more.
If you’re spending $300 on a tripod, it’s going to look a lot like this Heipi tripod no matter what brand you go with.
That’s a great start, but what about the competition?
The closest competition for the Heipi Travel Tripod has to be the carbon fiber Peak Design Travel Tripod.
They are neck in neck when it comes to stats, but Heipi is lapping the competition when it comes to price.
You can pick up the Heipi Travel Tripod for roughly half of the price of the Peak Design equivalent.
This makes it one of the best value carbon fiber tripods I’ve come across.
Does the Heipi Travel Tripod have a smartphone mount?
The Heipi Travel Tripod has a smartphone mount located under the camera mounting plate. This mount lifts up and can support most-sized smartphones.
Heipi Travel Tripod Review | Conclusion
The Heipi Travel Tripod does a great job of creating a more budget-friendly competitor for the carbon fiber Peak Design version of this tripod.
This travel tripod is a great choice for any photographer looking for a lightweight travel tripod at a great price. While it might be overkill for some, this tripod will handle everything from cross-country hikes to weddings.
Do you have any questions about the Heipi Travel Tripod or other camera gear? Let me know in the comments!