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Gitzo tripod Traveler series 1 review

 Gitzo tripod Traveler series 1 tripod folded away on concrete ground.
Gitzo tripod Traveler series 1 tripod folded away on concrete ground.

Two-minute review

Gitzo tripods need no introduction as a premium option, and the Gitzo tripod Traveler series 1 (4 sections) being reviewed here is a travel tripod made for professional use thanks to its excellent build quality, tall height and light weight. This is one of those tripods that doesn’t look remarkable in any way, but as soon as you use it the smoothness of operation alongside the quality materials used identify it as a high-end travel tripod.

With this in mind and before we get into the specifics, the Traveler series 1 is expensive at $680 / £539 / AU$1,154.95. But this is a tripod that could easily last a lifetime thanks to the build quality and the availability of spare parts if something needs to be replaced. Spare part availability isn’t unusual in the tripod world, but when you’re paying this much money for a small tripod it’s reassuring to know that you can replace parts as and when required.

Despite the high price, this tripod doesn’t include a carry bag or case which some photographers may miss. It’s not a major downside because in reality, many photographers simply attach their tripods to a backpack while walking or carry them in their hand, and the Gitzo does include a well-made shoulder strap which is extremely useful.

Gitzo tripod Traveler series 1 tripod on grass with camera supportee
Gitzo tripod Traveler series 1 tripod on grass with camera supportee

Gitzo tripods and heads have some, well, utilitarian naming conventions and the official name of the Gitzo tripod kit Traveler, series 1, 4 sections is the GK1545T-82TQD which is a Traveler tripod/head kit that includes the GT1545T Tripod and the GH1382TQD Center Ball Head. I’ve only outlined these names to make it easier to find the kit we’re looking at here because retailers title the kit differently based on their own naming styles.

The Gitzo Traveler Kit is incredibly well made and oozes quality alongside providing stable support up to 64.4in / 163.5cm with the center column extended. This provides a maximum working height comparable to some full-size tripods, which is impressive for a travel tripod that’s just 16.7in / 42.5cm long when folded with a weight of 3.19lbs / 1.45kg.

The minimum height is 12.8in / 32.4cm, although you can get lower with the short plastic center column that’s included with the legs splayed out flat, or by inserting the standard center column into the legs upside down.

Going with four section rigid carbon fiber legs rather than five sections improves overall stability. This, of course, results in a slightly longer folded length, but the positive trade-off here is the additional stability fewer leg sections naturally provide because this means that the sections have a larger diameter.

The maximum payload is 22lbs / 10kg, so the tripod can support a wide range of camera and lens combinations although Gitzo does recommend that 200mm is the maximum focal length that should be used with the tripod and head.

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Gitzo tripod Traveler series 1 tripod supporting a camera with center column reversed
Gitzo tripod Traveler series 1 tripod supporting a camera with center column reversed

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Gitzo tripod kit Traveler series 1 leg locks
Gitzo tripod kit Traveler series 1 leg locks

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Gitzo tripod kit Traveler series 1 twisting leg lock
Gitzo tripod kit Traveler series 1 twisting leg lock

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Gitzo tripod kit Traveler series 1 folded on ground
Gitzo tripod kit Traveler series 1 folded on ground

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Gitzo tripod kit Traveler series 1 at minimum height in front of brick wall
Gitzo tripod kit Traveler series 1 at minimum height in front of brick wall

You could undoubtedly go beyond this given the maximum payload, but travel tripod heads are typically smaller than those designed for full-size tripods. So, even when they can accommodate longer focal length lenses, it’s often not going to provide the most reliable shooting experience.

The head itself, like the legs, is exceptionally well made. There’s no friction control for the ball mechanism, but the main locking control provides this depending on how loose it is and a pan lock controls the stiff yet smooth panning movement.

It's a simple ball head, but it does everything you need and does it smoothly. The plate used is also Arca Swiss compatible so you can use plates from other tripod heads and L brackets. The head can also be tilted over 90 degrees for portrait format shooting with one notch that allows this. This is ultimately a head where the adage ‘less is more’ is at play, but it does what it does well and can’t be faulted for this.

Gitzo tripod kit Traveler series 1 tripod ball head
Gitzo tripod kit Traveler series 1 tripod ball head

Twist locks for the legs and control knobs on the ball head and the centre column feature a rubberized grip that is comfortable to use, effective and doesn’t require too much twisting to lock and unlock. This doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re adjusting a tripod, speed and comfort can make a huge difference over a long day of shooting.

It feels almost strange to enjoy using a tripod – camera supports are hardly glamorous, they simply need to hold a camera securely. However, the level of quality and the smooth and positive level of operation afforded by the Gitzo make it a premium option worth considering if your budget stretches that far.

It may be is expensive, but it’s far from being one of the most expensive options available. Believe it or not, there are tripods available that cost upwards of $1000 / £1000 so in this context, the Gitzo is arguably well-priced.

Should I buy the Gitzo tripod kit Traveler series 1?

Gitzo tripod Traveler series 1 tripod on grass with camera supportee
Gitzo tripod Traveler series 1 tripod on grass with camera supportee

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested the Gitzo tripod kit Traveler series 1

The Gitzo tripod Traveler series 1 was tested over a period of time using several different camera and lens combinations to test how the tripod stood up to standard use in travel-oriented scenarios. Cameras used included a premium compact, an APS-C mirrorless camera and a full-frame mirrorless camera. The tripod was also carried around with other photographic kit in my f-stop backpack to evaluate performance over longer shoots such as landscapes.

With nearly 30 years of photographic experience and 15 years working as a photography journalist, I’ve been covering photographic accessories such as tripods for many years. As a professional photographer, I frequently use a range of accessories to enhance my photography and bring my working experience of using these to reviews where I can consider how effective photographic accessories are from both a professional and an enthusiast point of view.

First reviewed March 2024