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Freewell vs Peak Design Travel Tripods!

Photo Moment - February 02, 2024

A Comprehensive Comparison: Peak Design Travel Tripod vs. the all new Freewell Real Travel Tripod!

Products Mentioned


 Peak Design
Travel Tripod
Real Travel Tripod
Primary MaterialAluminumCarbon FiberCarbon Fiber
Weight1.56 kg (3.44 lbs)1.29 kg (2.81 lbs)0.9 kg (1.984 lbs)
Weight Capacity9.1 kg (20 lbs)5 kg (11 lbs)
Collapsed length39.1 cm (15.4″)42.8 cm (16.85″)
Minimum Height
35.9 cm (13.125″)41 cm (16.1″)
Minimum Height
(center column removed)
14 cm (5.5″)16 cm (6.3″)
Maximum Height
(center column down)
130.2 cm (51.25″)124 cm (48.8″)
Maximum Height
(center column raised)
152.4 cm (60″)150 cm (59″)
Setup time15 seconds9 seconds
Monopod featureNoYes
AirTag HolderNoYes
iPhone holderYesYes
Can mount center column invertedYesYes
Panning video headNoYes
¼-20″ mounting pointsNoThree
($249.99 launch price)


In this detailed comparison, we'll delve into the features and functionalities of two renowned travel tripods: the well-established Peak Design Travel Tripod and the emerging contender, the Freewell Real Travel Tripod. Both tripods boast unique qualities, and we'll break down their differences in terms of design, accessories, setup speed, weight, and, importantly, their respective price points.

  1. Case Design: The examination kicks off with a scrutiny of the tripods' cases. The Peak Design case, though slightly larger, features a non-adjustable handle, limiting its carry options. On the other hand, the Freewell case offers a traditional strap, providing more versatility. Both cases have their merits, but personal preferences may sway the decision.
  2. Size and Aesthetic Design: Moving on to the tripods themselves, the Peak Design stands out with its elegant and compact design, resembling a work of art. Its hexagonal-shaped legs contribute to a smooth and visually appealing aesthetic. In contrast, the Freewell opts for a more traditional round design. While both have their merits, the sleekness of the Peak Design may sway users seeking a visually striking option.
  3. Basic Tabletop Setup: Examining the basic tabletop setup, the Peak Design offers a slightly lower minimum height compared to the Freewell. However, the Freewell has an extra stage in its leg expansion, potentially allowing it to go lower (spoiler; it does not!). The difference may be subtle, but it can impact certain shooting scenarios.
  4. Accessories: The comparison delves into the accessories provided with each tripod. The Peak Design includes a tool for tightening tripod components securely, as does the Freewell, however the Freewell also incorporates an innovative AirTag holder for added security against loss. Both tripods offer unique solutions, and user preferences will determine which feature is more valuable.
  5. Head Design: The tripod head design is a crucial factor, especially for videographers. The Peak Design features a traditional ball head with no video panning capabilities, while the Freewell surprises with a combination of a video head and a ball head, providing smooth panning options. Users focused on videography should consider this aspect carefully.
  6. Quick-Release Plate: The quick-release plate mechanism differs between the two tripods. The Peak Design employs a double-locking mechanism, ensuring a secure fit, and offers additional versatility for Peak Design users. Meanwhile, the Freewell's plate features a hidden phone holder, providing a useful extra feature. (The Peak Design tripod has a phone holder as well, just in a different form).
  7. Center Column Disassembly: Both tripods allow disassembly of the center column for lower shooting angles. The Peak Design disassembly screw is a little tricky to find until you know where it is, while the Freewell hides a special tool under the bag hook. The Peak Design ultimately achieves a lower minimum height, however both can invert the column for on-the-ground placement.
  8. Setup Speed and Weight: The Freewell takes the lead in setup speed with its single-release mechanism, offering a quicker deployment compared to the Peak Design's individual leg latches. Additionally, the Freewell is significantly lighter, a crucial consideration for those prioritizing portability.
  9. Price Considerations: Ultimately, the decision may come down to the price. The Peak Design tripod, while excelling in various aspects, comes at a higher cost, with the aluminum version priced at $380 and the carbon fiber version at $600. In contrast, the Freewell Real Travel Tripod offers a competitive price of $300, with an early launch special at $250.

Choosing between the Peak Design Travel Tripod and the Freewell Real Travel Tripod involves weighing individual preferences, specific needs, and budget constraints. Each tripod presents unique features, making them suitable for different users. This comprehensive comparison aims to equip potential buyers with the insights needed to make an informed decision based on their priorities.

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📄 Full Video Transcript

Thanks Joseph, nice to see the difference in features, size etc but would have been great to see an actual usage review. Which is more stable, which has more flex, which fares best in winds, which fares better on uneven ground. At the end of the day those are the things which really matter. I have a K&F carbon fibre travel tripod which folds smaller than either of those and is just a few grams heavier than the Freewell and extends to 158cm. I'm looking to upgrade but although its important to know the features and differences, it really helps to see the performance
It's a tough one, because I have the peak camera mount which is a plate that fits on the bottom of the camera. Then again I rarely use a tripod so it's not a big deal. The freeway tripod is far better especially because it has the monopod option. Fantastic review. Thank you. It's the freewell for me. The weight is everything, and if course the price
Thanks! It’s fun to compare to very good products and let the audience decide which is the right one for them 😄
What a great video, exactly all the questions I would ask and seeing it the way you do your video, is just as good as having to buy both tripods to see for myself! Thank you!
Love that!
That new tripod is my dream go-to way to do it. Def gonna buy one
I just bought Fotopro Tripod (with fluid head), is designed same as Freewell, but the its price is lower.
all this is fine, but one tripod for 600 bucks? i can still make great shots on a tripod for 80€ .thanks
Once you use a higher end tripod you will appreciate the benefits of it.
I was interested until you pulled that out of the bag and it has a video fluid head instead of a ball head. That might be fine for videographers, but as a photographer, I find the ball head to be more convenient.
@@photojoseph yeah. If I was a dedicated video photographer, this might be a nice solution. But I don't like that extra handle. And the head just feels like it compromises some of the packability. I think the Ulanzi is a better alternative to the peak design for a still photographer.
Did you keep watching to see that it’s actually both a video head and a ball head?
Amazon reviews are shit
@@photojoseph When I looked yesterday, they were definitely on Amazon but you’re correct, they’re not now. Customers reported the tripod was flimsy etc. There were multiple reviews with images
This concerned me, so I checked. I can’t find the tripod listed in the Freewell store on Amazon US or Amazon DE. So I think you’re looking at the wrong tripod.
I have the Peak CF model and find it very good unless I use an extremely long lens. I think the Freewell may be susceptible to dirt getting not the leg mechanism. That said, the Freewell looks like a good tripod. I'm kind of a tripod junky and have 10 different tripods and each gets used for different things,
Tripods are a lot like bags. WE NEED THEM ALL 😂
Tip on extending the PD tripod legs quickly: have the three legs together, unlock all levers at once, extend (legs still together), lock, then spread the legs, done. You could even unlock it, turn it upside down and shake it out to extend, then lock and spread and that would be a bit quicker.
A reasonable comparison, yet stability is something that needs to be discussed. A few notes: (1) Any Peak Design shoulder strap mounts easily on the bag loops. (2) Snap a small panning head with Arca Swiss foot onto the PD head itself and get any kind of panning action you want, when you need it. (3) The Peak Design tripod description video shows a method for opening and extending the legs that is much faster than shown here.
The screw that fits thru the plate into the camera is extremely short on every tripod. I imagine cameras simply don’t have room for longer screws? As a result, my camera eventually loosens no matter how tightly I have screwed it in - every time. I’ve almost knocked my camera off more than once. How do I prevent this? Thank you for your help.
@@photojoseph ok, thank you. Using a lock tight liquid may be the answer. Yes, I always tighten everything before attaching. I don’t understand why it loosens so easily. Thanks for the tip.
Yeah the holes are only so deep. You just gotta keep checking it. Hard to imagine that you wouldn’t see that it’s that loose before attaching it to the tripod? Also you could try a lock tight liquid; it’s like a glue for screws. Not permanent but extra sticky.
SmallRig 78" - $85
@@cybrah Yes
The CT-20?
Hi Joseph, this is a very good video. You could improve it by also discussing the amount of weight that the respective tripods can support.
Yep. Neglected that; it’s on the website linked in the description
PD should fix that tool carrying plastic - I have dropped that many many times
Something you missed about faster setup with the Peak Design (and many other tripods) is to NOT unfold the legs. First, just run your hand around all the locks and disengage, then extend all the legs together, then run your hand around each level of locks. Finally, spread the legs open. I can do this in half the time!
what's the camera weight limit?
Check the link in description to my site with more info. It’s all there.
Wondering why you don’t test for stability. Also the foot configuration.
Yeah I should have done something for stability. Sorry. Foot config; not sure what you mean. You see the feet in plenty of close-ups, no?
Lowest position didn't reflect a true measurement because the Peak would have to be lifted a bit to have the ball functionality.
So..... you don't like to be corrected? 🤣@@photojoseph
Fair, but, invert as I said and they’re both on the ground.
? Would I be okay with heavier 2.8 lenses like the Sigma 160mm Macro, Tamron 24-70, Or the Magic Drainpipe?
I put the weight limits along with full spec comparison on my website. Link in the video description.
Nice Video, I currently have the Peak Design Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod, along with RRS Versa MK2 TVC-34L, I absolutely love the Peak Design Tripod, it is extremely easy to pack, and the carrying pouch, when traveling by Airlines, the PD is the one that's always carried since it compact enough to carry on with my Camera Gear, and easily attached to my PD 30L Everyday Backpack. When a Fluid Head is needed, the PD Tripod can accommodate the Komoto K5 S without any problems, I use this combination with my Nikon Zf and Z8, and use the RRS Tripod for my Z9 and heavier Lens, but, hands down, the PD Travel Tripod is a thing of Beauty, and is definitely built for travel.
Peak Design wins on every aspect for me. Especially on aesthetics it's miles better. Also I have zero interest in a video handle on my ballhead,so...
My personal case I do a lot of video so I would probably get the freewell
i have the Manfrotto 055cxpro with a 322rc2 head. it is no traveltripod, but good. Good video, thanks
Thanks for the great video. I lost the adjustment tool the day I got it :D in the forest. Worse design ever in that regard but I have a hex key on my keychain at all times so no big deal
LOL nooo! That’s too bad. Mine is super secure. Weird!
Interesting review.; thank you. The biggest issue I have had with "travel tripods" is how quickly they fold up and are stored in their respective bag. I find that most, similar to the Freewell, take a tremendous amount of fiddling and time to get them to fit in their storage bag. The Peak Design appears to be easier to store; is that true?
Thank you!@@photojoseph
The Peak definitely slides in nice and easily. It’s tight but when you close the tripod there’s only one place for pieces to go. The Freewell, you do have to have the handle positioned just right. It’s not a big deal, but it is a difference.
Had no idea ther was a phone holder in the peak😂i was looking for an extra one in my parts drawer. I bought the peak to make a monopod w big feet but dont trust just mounting extention to the top🫣i want falcam to be the arca standard. Freewell is pretty cool. Thank You
I find the most important part of a tripod is the head. I spend quite a bit on a good head. I use heavy lenses and the sag drives me crazy. But a good set of legs is important too. So spending an extra bit on decent legs is a good investment.
Definitely. In other words … both need to be awesome 🤩
0:57 - those tabs can be used with Peak Designs anchor links which you can then use with their camera straps so you can carry over your shoulder, a little miss information there, Joseph. ;)
@@photojoseph you mentioned they could be used to attach under a backpack or hiking bag, you should have mentioned that you can use the anchors and camera strap (sold separately) which this case gives you more versatility when carrying as you can remove them and not have a strap flapping around.
Is the camera strap included? No. Then it’s not “miss information”.
Great video about tripods! Thank you! I am a new subscriber to your video channel!
Thanks for the sub!
You never compared the weight handling capability
yeah I forgot to include that in the video. I added it to the webpage here
2:17 Yes, for some reason guys think gear can be beautiful.
I don't know if we appreciate the care, the engineering or something else but it is definitely there.
It’s not just guys! Quality engineering is art. And this definitely gets the badge.
I think I would get the Freewell.
I have the Peak Design Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod. Yes it's expensive, but it's really really stable. Peak Design sell a universal head adapter, to which you can mount any tripod head, such as a particularly fancy video fluid video head, should that be required. I often do not deploy the tripod to its full extent and the separation of leg deployment make this really easy. How does the Freewell deploy for partial leg deployment, is it easy or rather fiddly please?
Easy! Just twist at any point. As others have pointed out, though, the single locking mechanism does end up on the ground so it’s a little harder to adjust once it’s set up.
I bought a 3.2 lb tripod which does 90% of what those do for $72.... twice as much as I usually pay. Perhaps if I pay more I'll get better photographs.
Or more stable ones. Once you use a good tripod… there’s no going back.
Can you use the peak design plate on the freewell tripod? Or is the Freewell one Arca Swiss compatible at all? Would be great to know. Gread vid Joseph!
@@photojoseph thank you!
They are not compatible with each other. I don’t recall what each one is compatible with but I do remember trying to swap them and that didn’t work.
Tripods will always have a place, but with new cameras like the G9II or the GH6 you can get by with out one most of the time with the IBIS.. I really want to travel lite.
One spec you omitted is the maximum load. I have the Heipi travel carbon fibre with a neat 50mm ball head, very quick arca release and a maximum load of 55 pounds or nearly 25 Kg. That's more than twice the capacity of these two contenders. Reasonably priced at £322 that for a carbon fibre is comparable with the PD aluminium.. Otherwise a good review.
You’re right and I realized that too late. The specs are on the comparison chart I published on my website.
Good comparison, but I wish you had also looked at the stiffness and damping (important for low shutter speeds), and gear weight.
I have never seen any presenter/Youtuber who showed a lightweight travel tripod show a test of the tripod's stiffness and damping. I once did my test of Sirui N1205 vs Ulazni & Coman Zero Y (or something like this). I set up the camera with a 200mm lens, set the digital magnification to 10x on the screen and... touched the tripod. Sirui trembled but suppressed it within an acceptable amount of time, Ulanzi twitched and twitched and twitched (you can get scared). After unscrewing the head, the weight of Sirui is 1100g, the weight of Ulanzi with the central column removed (and of course the head) is 900g. There's no need to get excited, you can't cheat the laws of physics.
Even though the Freewell's folding mechanism looks simpler, there may be times when they become more difficult to handle than basic ones, such as when you need a different height for each of the legs. I think this would be a nightmare as it has a locking mechanism at the bottom of the legs 🤔
Duuude…who in America uses centimeters??
Duuuuuude I’m not in America. And most of the world uses metric.
I swear by my PD travel tripod. It costs more, and if you are on a budget, save money where it makes sense for you. The tripod is the thing that holds up all your expensive gear, and it is something you will use with multiple lenses that probably cost more than the tripod. Using a good one helps more than you realize until you actually use one. I would point out the PD advertises how they build in the US and pay workers living wages. Their video slamming Amazon Basics copying their design was priceless. They also promote the sell of their customers' used gear as a form of recycling. If this kind of corporate behavior means something to you, then factor that in. They will also sell you parts if anything is broken or worn out. I haven't had either over the last few years, but it is nice knowing I do not have to be a dealer to get and new leg section should one break.

I do use Freewell Magnetic filters, so it isn't like I can't stand them. The PD Travel Tripod is just really good. It fits in an airport carry on, but without a ton of room to spare..
What do you mean the peak design is not as versatile regarding straps! It is designed to connect a peak design strap 🤷🏻‍♂️
Fair enough
@@photojoseph Yes, it is built for that versatility. It can be included at purchase or added after. Had it not got the loops for the peak design connectors then that would be a lack of versatility.
So you have to buy another strap or have one of their bags.
Very detailed review! For the Freewell, are you able to take the head off to fit in a carry on better? I imagine it can be unscrewed?
Yes you can!
Very nice video and a clear comparison, well done. I have the Peak Design and am very happy with it
same here.
I got mine through Kickstarter also and love it ❤!!! Besides the head which is definitely not appropriate for video or bird photography (hey, you can’t have it all, right?), this thing is the most brilliantly executed tripod I’ve ever seen! It holds everything from an iPhone to a medium format camera with a good chunk of a lens….sturdy!!!
The weight/sturdiness ratio is unbeatable according to this tripod review-test site which measures stability (I don’t remember its name though).
Don’t forget it’s a travel tripod! For studio work I’d suggest something bigger too. Beautiful design. It can’t get better!
I use a pano rail also with. Perfect combo
The freewell is just a travel tripod that copied other ones that did all the work
I thought the head was quite innovative. Haven’t seen that before.
Has anyone seen the Heipi ? It’s a good one!
I do have the Heipi W28 and I love it. Excellent tripod.
So much hype with Peak. Totally overpriced products. Lots better and cheaper.
Now PD is over priced because a lot of companies have risen to the design challenge in the years since the PD tripod debuted. Back when it first came out it was a pretty new design for the market and traveled compactly in comparison to others. But that's the whole point of the free market - competition. The question is what will PD do next to get competitive again?
I believe an even better option is the Ulanzi&Coman zery y carbon 😀 absolutely love that thing. Was torn up between the Ulanzi or the carbon peak design. Have not regretted it for one seccond
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