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Gitzo Traveller 2 Tripod review



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Gitzo Traveller 2 Tripod


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Review Price £556.60

If you take your photography seriously, the most useful accessory you can get is a good solid tripod, and they don't come any more solid than this remarkable piece of equipment from veteran Italian manufacturer Gitzo. The Traveller 2 is a lightweight tripod designed for outdoor use, with a unique design that makes it more compact in its folded form than any comparable tripod of its size. It is an ideal choice for wildlife and landscape photography, but you'll have to be a pretty dedicated photographer to choose it. The Traveller 2, sold as a kit complete with a GK2580TR ball head, costs a hefty £599.95, more than double the price of comparable products from other manufacturers, such as the Manfrotto 190CXPRO4.

Although that is unquestionably a lot of money for something that is essentially three legs and a few metal castings, when you handle the Traveller 2 you can see where the money goes. The sheer workmanship and build quality is immediately apparent and immensely impressive, and the ingenious design and attention to the smallest detail reflects decades of product development and refinement. Compared to a Gitzo most other tripods look like cheap toys.

The price is also reflected in the build quality. The four-section leg tubes and the centre column are made from a specially woven and technological advanced aerospace quality six-layer carbon fibre material that is unique to Gitzo, with greater strength, rigidity and vibration absorption properties than those of competing manufacturers. The head and pivots are cast from lightweight magnesium, while the ball and socket are coated with PTFE, for low friction and superior control. The finish of the components is superb, with scratch-resistant coatings on the metal parts and a smooth matt surface on the carbon fibre. I tested the Traveller 2 on holiday, using it extensively while shooting wildlife in Catalonia, and it came back without even a scratch.

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Billy Bean

June 6, 2010, 7:27 pm

They say that the best camera is the one you have with you, and with tripods this is even more true - you can have the best tripod in history, but if you cannot be bothered to bring it because it's too large or too heavy, it's a waste of money. This tripod (one of which I am fortunate enough to own) is brilliant. Its light, tiny (it fits in a backpack) and can take standard heads if you so desire, for example Really Right Stuff or Kirk. It is amazingly rigid when up, and can take quite a heavy load - really surprising for its size and weight.

Hans Gruber

June 11, 2010, 4:05 am

Mainly on the strength of reading this review, I decided to bite the bullet and go for a Gitzo Mountaineer tripod. It's an amazingly solid and elegantly crafted piece of engineering (he says, sounding like someone who's talking about steam engines rather than something used to support a camera).

I've removed the central column and might get the tools out (the ones they give you not my own bodge-job shop ones) and see what else I can do, since I'm not a great believer in the centre column, preferring absolute rigidity and want to take the twisty thing off altogether.

Paired with my old Kirk BH-3 ballhead and very easy to use Acratech quick leveller, the Gitzo makes a nice setup. The Systematic (series 5) range were what I really would have liked but I'm not displeased with the one I've got since it supports a whopping 18 kilograms and is very strong.

This review was much appreciated, for its deceptively simple and straightforward style and the much better pictures since I'd not seen any comparable photos of Gitzo's tripods elsewhere, with even the official Gitzo site using very low res shots that bare little resemblance to the actual product in the flesh. The 3 section Mountaineer tripod I have is extremely chunky but you'd never know from the pictures available on the web. You'd made a lot of sense out of the technical info out there, Cliff, many thanks. :)

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