Credit: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi

How do you travel with a tripod?

Having a travel tripod strapped to the outside of your camera bag means you can snag it on passengers. It's also exposed when storing it in the plane's locker.

If you are travelling with checked-in luggage, it’s better if you travel with your tripod inside your bag or suitcase. This way, it will be faster for you to go through security, it will take less space, it’s more protected, and you’re carry-on bag will be lighter.

Having a travel tripod strapped to the outside of your camera bag means you can snag it on things while carrying, and it’s also exposed when placing it down inside the aeroplane’s overhead locker, which may lead to scratches or dents.

If you’re only travelling with hand luggage, then make sure it meets the airline requirements regarding the size. 

5 Tips for Traveling with a Tripod

  1. Use a travel tripod that’s small and light that fits under the height limit of the cabin baggage allowance and doesn’t make your luggage too heavy. Read also: how heavy should a travel tripod be?
  2. Consider a tripod that can fit inside your bag (rather than be strapped to it). this will ensure it stays protected and doesn’t snag onto other passengers while boarding, etc.
  3. Consider paying for early booking so you can get a nice large space in the overhead locker.
  4. Consider removing the ball head from your travel tripod (especially the case if you’re using a fluid head or one with a handle that sticks out). 
  5. Consider a tabletop or mini tripod instead of a full-size one. You can sometimes even fit these into your jacket pocket.

Are travel tripods worth it? Almost certainly yes, but you need to be able to carry them around with you while travelling easily and inconspicuously.

Can I Bring a Tripod as a Carry-On?

Each airline, sometimes each travel fare with an airline might have different rules about the carry-on baggage you’re allowed to bring. In most cases, you can bring a tripod as a carry-on – especially if it’s strapped to your bag. 

The most important thing is that it doesn’t exceed the size limitation. Also, be prepared for some extra security checks that might happen. 

You can see forum responses below on Trip Advisor when someone asked if they are allowed to bring a travel tripod on a plane as carry-on, but for an official answer (at least for the USA), the TSA lists tripods as approved for both carry-on and checked luggage.


Trip Advisor forum: ” Is tripod allowed as carry-on luggage?”

Shotkit Writer & Camera Gear Reviewer

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

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