You are here

This ATEM (mini) Tips” series of short video tutorials for your Blackmagic ATEM hardware includes tips for all users, from beginner to advanced. Scroll down to see more in the series!

This is a collection of all PhotoJoseph LIVE shows, from the PhotoJoseph YouTube channel. Additional episodes are listed below!

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.

🎧 Music in this Video

The music is from MusicBed! Get your first month free when you purchase an annual subscription by using my coupon code PHOTOJOSEPH at checkout!

🔗 More links you seek

📄 Full Video Transcript

? 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.
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
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!
So much hype with Peak. Totally overpriced products. Lots better and cheaper.
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
And if you need to change the leg length after trying to put it in place in the field you now have to unlock/lock the leg in the midst of brambles, nettles or mud - whatever is on the ground where you placed the tripod. Not always you have the luxury to need all legs the same length or can gauge the needed length before setting them down.
Very fair point
The Ulanzi has the option to remove the head to have just the 3/8 mount to put whatever head you want on, which is why I’m more interested in that one than the peak design and legit for no other reason! I just do not like the limitations of the PD head!
I love my PD tripod for the weight etc. when I bought it I did not release that I would not be able to use it for panoramas though. I guess the Freewell head would allow that. Having invested in the carbon fibre PD I don’t think that I’ll be changing any time soon. Good to see a similar alternative though should I ever need a new tripod
Heipi ftw
Go to B and H and see how the workers laugh about the peak design
But if they come out the same time guess what555
@@photojoseph I will pick up freewel
Peak design is the work of art I used carbon one and love it😊
didn't show if Freewell can set legs at different lengths for uneven ground. Only showed fully extended. Can it do that?
Yes it can. You can lock the legs at any position.
Still PD is the best 👍
Very in depth review, although as an owner of the PD Carbon Fiber (Kickstarter) I am curious as to how you find the adjustability of the Freewell when needing odd length legs to accomodate for terrain variability... other reviews suggest that the click system isn't refined and fails to lock at anything other than a full length of a given leg.
I haven’t had an issue with it locking at varying lengths. In fact I just used it yesterday at less-than-full and it’s fine. But I will say that it’s easier to slightly adjust the length once extended on the PD.
I personaly went with the Ulanzi Zero F38, it is like the Peak Design carbon with some improvements and better price. They also make a video version.
@@photojoseph There are a few comparison videos, that's what helped me choose, the tripod and the F38 quick release ecosystem are amazing alternatives to Peak Design versions.
I keep hearing that. I guess I need to try it!
i don't get all the hype with the peak design tripod...i have one lighter, same folded size (little rounder thought) and taller fully extended at 163 cm at 63 euros for traveling... hundreds of euros for a heavier, shorter tripod? i don't get it...
My Peak carbon fibre tripod is a thing of outstanding beauty, design and part of an eco system. The other tripod had some nice little touches (snigger) ❤
Just subbed Joseph. Really liked the video and you taught me a lot about DxO back in the day
Haha I get it, I get it!
Great comparison, the new Freewell tripod seems like a worthy competitor to the Peak Design travel tripod. Great video, thanks for sharing.
And thanks for watching!
⁠​​I am looking for a tripod that is more focused on recording function. I have never seen the Freewell tripod. It is lightweight and has the function of a monopod. This surprised me and introduced me to this new product. Well done. brother
Glad to hear it helped!
Excellent video. I’ve had my carbon PD for years and still love it. 👍
Right on!
One of the best reviews I’ve seen! Very thorough and straight forward. Being a tall person (6’-5”) I am not sure either would work for me. However, I would lean towards the Peak Design because it seems a bit sturdier with the wider initial stance and the taller triangular section (shorter center bar). I like the idea of a removable leg for a monopod, but it’s just too short fro be of much use.
@@photojoseph I didn’t hear that. It may make a significant difference. Thanks!
Did I mention you can attach the center column to the monopod leg? That might help!
I’d forget the PD and compare to the Ulanzi
@@photojoseph I haven’t used the Ulanzi. I did rent the PD last summer. From much research on all specifics and videos I watched the Ulanzi seemed to be superior for several worthy reasons. One of which is positioning the camera on the head on the Ulanzi where as the PD is more limited
The Ulanzi appears to be (appears being operative word… I have not seen it in person) a design rip-off of the PD. Most PD ripoffs are inferior quality; how good is it?
Peak Design is overrated for bags and travel tripod.
@@photojoseph I admit that was only an opinion and my only experience wasn’t even real experience, but instead playing with various bags of theirs at a camera shop. Great to see they had such good support! I was not at all a fan of the layout of the bags. I have a number of bags for different occasions and I personally could find a use for the way cameras and lenses go in and out of and are stored in the PD bags. Very limited, in my opinion. But clearly many love them, they look nice, they have good support as you mentioned, etc. if I had a camera with a lens and only one extra lens maybe I’d have considered their bags. I just dislike the placement of pockets/slots.compartments etc. of their bags. Thanks for your video and your reply!
Entitled to your own opinion obviously, but I find their products to be superb. Example; I owned their original travel bag, the kind of brief-cast sling-bag thing. It was amazing. Beat the hell out of it for years. Something broke on it and they replaced the entire bag with a newer model for free; lifetime warranty actually means something to them.
You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
Passwords are case-sensitive - Forgot your password?