If you’re looking for a new tripod that is lightweight and great for traveling or hiking, then you’ll want to consider the Sirui Traveler 7C Carbon Fiber tripod.
Full disclaimer: Sirui did send me the tripod for free to review. But I am not being paid to write this and my thoughts and views mentioned here are 100% my own, and accurate.
What’s in the kit
When the tripod arrived it was nicely packaged inside a box, wrapped in plastic, and padded with bubble wrap for protection from bumps and the elements. The tripod comes with the following in the kit (as seen in the image below):
- Both rubber and spike leg ends
- Allen keys for tightening bolts
- A nice carry bag
- A mounting plate for the monopod leg
- Tripod quick-release plate (Arca swiss compatible)
Size, weight, and price comparison
In this section, I’m using my Promaster XC-M 525CK Professional Carbon Fiber Tripod for comparison to the Sirui because they are very similar in size and purpose (lightweight, and fold up small for travel).
So let’s see how they compare in a few different categories (I’ve put an asterisk next to the one in each row that is the winner (best):
|Brand||Promaster XC-M 525CK||SIRUI Traveler 7C Tripod|
|Weight||*2 lbs 13 5/16 oz / 1.29 kg||3.46 lbs / 1.57 kg|
|Max. Load (same)||17 lbs 10 oz / 8 kg||17.6 lbs / 8kg|
|Folded length||*15″ / 38.1 cm||18″ / 48 cm|
|Max. height (column raised)||61 ¼ ” / 155.8cm||*65.5″ / 166.5 cm|
|Material (same)||Carbon Fiber||Carbon Fiber|
|Max. height column lowered (to |
top of the head, legs opened)
|52 1/4″ / 132.5 cm||*53.5″ / 135|
|Leg locks (same)||Twist||Twist|
|Monopod leg||Yes||*Yes (max. height 68.3″/17.35 cm)|
|Center column invertible (same)||Yes||Yes|
|Price (on Amazon)||$269 USD||*$149 USD|
Note: I actually measured these things myself because I found the Promaster height was false. The Promaster site lists the maximum height as 70 ⅜” / 178.8 cm, but to get that measurement I had to put the legs together. That is NOT usable height and is misleading.
They are pretty comparable in most areas. The Promaster is slightly lighter and smaller, but that also comes with a heftier price tag. So it’s a bit of a trade-off.
Legs and feet
The legs on the Sirui Traveler 7C tripod are twist lock style, which I personally prefer. I find the twist ones faster to set up and fold down (with a bit of practice).
On this tripod, they also sort of click when they are locked which is a nice feature as well. When I was taking these photos, I also noticed numbers on the smallest leg segment. That’s really handy for getting the legs sized evenly when setting up on level ground.
My old Manfrotto tripod has flip locks and because they are plastic they got broken often when the tripod was put into my trunk in cold weather. I replaced them several times until I finally switched to the twist lock legs.
There are four segments on the Sirui, compared to the Promaster’s five. The advantage of fewer segments is that it’s faster to set up and is a bit taller (each segment is slightly longer). The disadvantage is that it doesn’t fold down quite as small as the Promaster one with more, smaller segments.
So again, it’s a trade-off. If you are tall, you may prefer the Sirui in this case.
Two of the legs have foam covers (as opposed to the Promaster which only has one). These are really helpful when photographing in cold weather as touching the bare cold metal would be really unpleasant.
The Sirui came with rubber feet already attached, as well as spikes (see below). They are interchangeable so you can use the one most applicable for the terrain where you are photographing. If you are working on soft ground, switch it up and use the spikes so the tripod stays in place and grips the ground better.
Note: The more expensive Promaster tripod does not include spikes, nor is it even an option.
If you enjoy sports or bird photography, then the handy removable leg on the Sirui 7D converts into a monopod for you to use. To extend its height (great if you are tall) you can attach the center column to the monopod leg. Again, not something the Promaster can do.
The tripod legs can be adjusted to several angles, and completely reversed over the center column to fold it down for storage or travel. To adjust, just press the tab at the top of the leg and angle the leg out.
A standard ball head is included with the Sirui 7C, as well as a quick-release plate (with a standard 1/4″ screw) for mounting your camera. The plate is Arca Swiss compatible which is great if you want to use an L-bracket as I do.
It’s a really easy way to switch from shooting horizontal to vertical without making the tripod off-balance. If you haven’t tried an L-bracket yet – get one!
The tripod head that comes with the Sirui 7C can rotate a full 360 degrees for doing panoramas. It has one main locking knob and a rotation lock. There is also a security pin on the top which keeps the tripod plate from accidentally falling out.
A few other miscellaneous features of this tripod include a clip under the center column. This is designed to hang a weight or your camera bag to add stability to the tripod when shooting in the wind.
There is also an Allen key hidden at the end of the clip so you are never without one! This is brilliant!! I can’t tell you how many times I needed one to tighten the joints in the tripod and didn’t have it with me.
NOTE: Well it would be brilliant if it actually fits the bolt that tightens the legs. It does work on the bolts that keep the tripod head tight though. But interestingly enough, none of the Allen Keys that came with the tripod fit into this spot.
For super low-angle photography, the center column can also be reversed so you can mount the camera upside down. This is not my favorite thing because it’s very hard to maneuver to see the screen and camera controls. But it’s there if you ever need to do that low.
For making sure your tripod is level, there are two handy bubble levels on the tripod – one on the base near the center and another on the tripod head.
NOTE: Please read this about setting up your tripod correctly! They put these levels there for a reason – use them!
Finally, there is an odd little opening in the base of the tripod that I wasn’t sure what it was for so I checked the manual that came with the tripod. Turns out it’s an accessory mounting port – you can attach any accessory with a ¼” screw thread to the tripod. I can’t think of what I might want to put there – but it’s another neat little feature.
Rating and thoughts
Overall, I give the SIRUI Traveler 7C Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod 4.5 stars of out five.
It’s really solidly made and has some great features that even the similar, but higher-priced Promaster one doesn’t offer. Things the Sirui has that the Promaster (higher priced one) doesn’t have:
- A second foam leg cover
- An accessory port
- Carrying bag
- Arca Swiss compatible quick-release plate and system
- Spiked feet for use on rough terrain
- Hidden Allen Key in the center column
- Strap for the monopod
So the Sirui really offers a good bang for your buck if you’re looking for a lightweight, portable tripod. In fact, if I were shopping for one now – I would choose the Sirui over the more expensive Promaster one.
To buy it you can check out any of the following links:
- Direct from the Sirui website (get 5% off if you use this link) ships anywhere
- Amazon’s website in your area
This tripod is not for you if . . .
If you need a tripod that is taller, then you may want to keep looking. I’m 5’0″ and this one is just right for me, if not a bit taller than I need. But if you are closer to 6′ tall, you may find it too short for you.
I also shoot Fuji mirrorless so if you use a larger camera and heavy lenses (Fuji GFX, Canon full frame, etc.) it will not support that amount of weight.
In those cases, you’ll need to spend a bit more and get a tripod that fits your needs.