Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
The Peak Design Travel Tripod is the most compact and easy-to-setup tripod for professionals and first-time tripod owners alike. Peak Design's goal was to eliminate the dead space within a tripod, an ever-present inefficiency that often doubles or triples the effective diameter of a packed tripod. Peak Design engineers reworked Travel Tripod's legs and center column to nest perfectly together in order to achieve a total packed diameter of just 3.125 inches—roughly the diameter of a water bottle. The result is a tripod that deploys to 60 inches tall while taking up less than half the volume of its competitors.
Peak Design also optimized the Travel Tripod's integrated ball head to operate more fluidly than traditional tripod heads while still prioritizing spatial efficiency. Travel Tripod eliminates bulky and confusing knobs with a single adjustment ring for simple and smooth 360-degree adjustment. Furthermore, Travel Tripod's ball head measures just 3.125 inches in diameter, keeping it aligned with the packed profile of the tripod's legs for exceptionally compact carry.
The Travel Tripod was originally released on Kickstarter, May 21, 2019, and raised 12.1m USD - 5th all time in Kickstarters most funded campaigns. As of March 3, 2020, Peak Design has completed fulfillment to all 27,168 backers and is scheduled to launch the Travel Tripod through regular sales channels on APR. 7, 2020.
During a year-long motorcycle ride throughout Southeast Asia in 2010, Peak Design Founder + CEO, Peter Dering, began to question the design of his travel tripod. The unit he carried was bulky, heavy, slow to deploy and generally difficult to carry on his trip. Dering's research revealed that this was a common theme throughout the product category--without a thorough re-examination of design from the ground up, these pain points would perpetuate.
In 2016, Peak Design assembled a team of test engineers and carbon fiber specialists to tackle their most ambitious project to date: The Travel Tripod. Nearly four years later, Peak Design has successfully brought to market the most portable, packable, and easy to set-to-setup professional tripod ever developed.
Peak Design directly addressed their biggest rub about traditional tripods: spatial inefficiency and unnecessary bulk. Traditional tripod components, including legs and center column, are generally built using cylinders of various lengths and diameters. While cylinders are convenient to design and economical to manufacturer, they cause spatial inefficiencies which can double or triple the effective diameter of a packed tripod. To address this negative space, Peak Design spent four years developing a triangular center column and pie shaped legs. When packed, the components of the Travel Tripod nest perfectly together to achieve a total diameter of just 3.125"--roughly the diameter of a water bottle. The result is a tripod that deploys to 60" tall while taking up less than half the volume of its competitors.
In addition to groundbreaking compactness the Travel Tripod is among the quickest-to-deploy and most intuitive to use tripods on the market. Peak Design developed a system of non-inverted legs that rapidly deploy along an aligned system of locking cam levers. With three swift hand movements, the legs can be fully extended and ready for action.
Peak Design also optimized the Travel Tripod ball head to operate more fluidly than traditional tripod heads while still prioritizing spatial efficiency. Travel Tripod eliminates bulky and confusing knobs with a single adjustment ring for simple and smooth 360-degree adjustment. Peak Design's proprietary quick-release plate technology facilitates lightning-fast camera attachment—easily accommodating a full frame DSLR with telephoto lens—and is compatible with Peak Design carrying equipment and with Arca Swiss tripod dimensions. Furthermore, Travel Tripod's ball head measures just 3.125 inches in diameter, keeping it aligned with the packed profile of the tripod's legs for exceptionally compact carry.
The Travel Tripod is a highly technical premium product that can be entirely maintained by the user, without ever having to send it in for repair. Every single part, 336 to be exact, can be removed, cleaned, tuned, or replaced using a single hex wrench (with 4mm and 2.5mm drivers). The result is that broken products can't be fixed, or doing so requires an expensive, carbon-intensive back-and-forth shipping process.