The perfect tripod for a lightweight laptop kit.

Over the years I’ve been asked what my tripod of choice is for my laptop kit. It’s my opinion that Induro had the perfect tripod for a lightweight laptop kit, the CLT104 (seen above). Unfortunately it was discontinued. Below, I walk you through my search for a comparable alternative to have on hand as a backup, because in our world; one is none.

The Induro CLT104 Classic Series 1 Stealth Carbon Fiber hit all the marks I desired.

  • Max load = 30.9 lb/14kg
  • Max Height without Center Column = 49" /124.5 cm
  • Closed Length = 19.7"/50 cm
  • Weight = 2.8 lb /1.3 kg

Max load:

With a Digiplate Pro or similar system coming in around 4lb/1.8kg on it’s own and a 16in Macbook Pro at 4.8lb /2.2kg you’re at decent load that rules out many lightweight/compact tripods on the market. Once you add in a power option (covered in a previous post), hard drives, card reader, cables and everything else you need to survive a day, it adds up. You also need a bit of safety factor and wiggle room for anyone leaning on it. I wouldn’t suggest anything rated for less than 20lbs/9kg.

Max Height without Center Column:

This isn’t going to be the same for everyone but for me I’d rather not rely on the center column for the height I need. Its adds one more point of adjustment that consumes time and is a potential for frustration if it slips. So If I can get as close the perfect height for myself with just the leg extension Im happy. ~50″ in great for me. 

Closed Length:

For me, when closed the tripod needs to be able to fit into a Pelican 1535 Air case, it’s an absolute deal breaker. The one other consideration is this needs to happen with my quick release clamp of choice (Really Right Stuff B2-LLR II 80mm) mounted to it. So the total length needs to be less than 20.39″/51.8 cm.


This one is obvious. Just trying to save as much weight as possible so carbon fiber is a must. Under 3lb/1.3kg is the ideal weight. When wanting something that’s lightweight but sturdy carbon fiber helps tremendously in this area.

What I found that hits the marks:

All of the options range in price from ~$250-650. Some don’t have a center column, others are inverted when folded. Some of the names might be new to you as they are newer Chinese offerings but in reviews around the internet and through both my first hand and 2nd had experience of peers they are good quality. Of course Gtizo, the gold standard, has a few that fit the bill but that price point doesn’t quite work for everyone. Their offerings aren’t perfect for my needs but you know the quality that Gitzo offers.
I know everyone’s needs are different but wanted to share my thought process and concerns for tripods for a lightweight kit. 
Im not a fan of leveling bases, pan adapters, or tripod heads in my setup. They add weight and more points for potential failures due to more moving parts. I can level my setup with the tripod legs when needed. I work on a lot of remote jobs and often cover many miles on foot with my built kit on my shoulder. So weight and simplicity have been the driving force for many choices.

If you would like to support the efforts of the blog you can donate here or here