Disclaimer: Benro gave us a complimentary Travel Angel tripod in exchange for an honest review. Also, some links in this post contain affiliate links and we will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our links. As always, we only recommend products that we trust and love.
Why Having A Quality Tripod is a Worthy Investment
First off, let us say that this post could be also titled: How chasing our camera and tripod down a mountain actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
The Story of Our Original Tripod
The Setting: Pike’s Peak a 14er in Colorado Springs, Colorado
The Characters: Logan, myself, our camera, our tripod, the mountain
So it’s the first day of our road trip in Colorado and we’re leaving Over Easy, a bumpin’ popular brunch spot in Colorado Springs and we’re both discussing how excited we are to visit Pikes Peak. While we are both avid hikers, we decided that with limited time and lack of preparation for the altitude change we shouldn’t attempt to hike – instead, we decided to drive.
While heading up this beautiful 14er we frequently stopped to take pictures as there are many places to pull over.
READ MORE: 2 Days in Colorado Springs
Upon getting closer to the top we started to notice that the wind had picked up a little (after all, it was 10,000 ft in elevation at this point) and Logan had said that we should try to get a few photos together before reaching the top (as we knew it would be busy).
At first, I was skeptical because our tripod was one that we received as part of a bundle of accessories and was extremely flimsy and lightweight. I know, expert photographers are shaking their heads in shame right now, sorry friends we’re amateurs at best. But I didn’t say much until I saw Logan whistling away setting up the tripod and noticed that the legs were swaying in the wind.
For your entertainment, here’s a play by play of our conversation to the best I can remember:
K: “Logan, we might want to skip the tripod shots at this spot. It seems really windy and I’m afraid the tripod will blow over.”
L: “Nah babe, it’s fine… the camera will weigh it down a little bit and it will be fine.”
K: “No but seriously… we might want to rethink this.”
L: “No but seriously… it will be fine.”
K: “Okay, if you’re sure.”
Well, no… it was not fine and we should have realized this long before because I am usually the one that jumps in deep without looking ahead first.
So, we take our positions and he has our camera remote in hand, Logan clicks the shutter button and we take a few photos which didn’t turn out as we’d hoped for. Still skeptical I say: “It’s okay, we can always take later or closer to the bottom where it’s not so windy.” (HINT HINT).
We try again and this time we hear a loud CRACK. We turned around to watch in horror as our tripod and camera begin to tumble down the side of Pike’s Peak. This is where my lack of judgment kicks back in. I begin frantically run and climb down the mountain in order to save our camera. Fortunately, I was fine and the camera stopped rolling after only falling a short distance. All the while, some nearby visitors are cracking up at our misfortune.
We both sit down and I begin to inspect the camera, while Logan tried to ignore the low grumbling and muttering coming from me. At first, we look at the body of the camera and the lens. Somehow nothing was damaged on the exterior. Then we turn the camera off and on again and nothing happens… Secretly I’m panicking inside, but then it miraculously turns on. Phew, sweating bullets. Then we both hear a “nails on the chalkboard” type sound as the lens to our camera is focusing – NOT GOOD.
We walk back to our truck and begin to clean our camera and remove the lens to see if there was something we could do. After turning it off and on again a few more times the terrible noise seems to sound better and the camera also seems to be fully functional. HOW? Yeah, I still don’t have a clue. But thankfully we were able to use it for the duration of our trip and when we returned home we shipped it off with our extended warranty where they did some tune-ups.
Back to the tripod
So you’re probably wondering: “where is this going?” After inspecting our camera we began to inspect our tripod to which we noticed that one of the legs was bent and broken. We began to look on Amazon to see if we could order a new one and have it shipped to a hotel but we couldn’t figure out which one to buy and wanted to research more before making an impulse decision.
We salvaged what we could and somehow managed to use our broken tripod for the rest of the trip. A few months later we were introduced to tripod company, Benro. We are currently using their Travel Angel tripods and no longer have the fear of our camera taking a tumble again.
Things We Love About Our Benro Tripod
The Benro Travel Angel fits perfectly in both my backpack/daypack (pictured below) or Logan’s daypack.
It’s Lightweight But Not Fragile
At roughly 3.2lbs the Benro Travel Angel doesn’t add too much bulk to our luggage but is still sturdy enough to withstand the weight and mild weather elements.
It’s Extremely Easy to Set-Up
Just twist to unlock and you have a set up that takes only a matter of seconds!
It comes with awesome features and accessories
- Included in the kit is a triple-action ball head with a quick-release plate and individual controls for pan lock, drag, and ball lock.
- Maximum load: 17.6 lbs (compatible with the majority of cameras)
- Reaches a maximum height of 58.9 inches and a minimum height of 15.28 inches
- One tripod leg can easily be converted into a monopod (how cool is that!?)
- Convenient carrying case included in order to protect your tripod
So if you are looking for the perfect travel tripod, our Benro Travel Angel checks all of our boxes. We’ve been using it for about 5 years now and still find it to be the best travel tripod we’ve owned!
Comments & Reviews
Sam Sparrow says
Man what an epic story! Thank goodness your camera was ok in the end! I’m looking for a new tripod so I’ll be sure to check these out.
We were very fortunate! Still counting our blessings that the lens didn’t crack. Definitely check out Benro for your next tripod! 🙂
Yes!!! We LOVE our Benro Travel Angel too! It is definitely worth the investment 🙂
I couldn’t agree with you more Victoria!
Oh man I think I would have lost it if I saw my camera rolling down a mountainside! So glad for you that it survived! Im new to photography so also on the lookout for a tripod so will definitely check this one out!
We definitely both responded with a sheer look of terror! I still don’t know what I was thinking running down the cliffs like I did but it all managed to be okay. Definitely check out Benro for your tripod!
This was hilarious! Thank God for extended warranties!
Amen amen amen to that!
One of my great regrets of non-stop life on the road: I simply can’t afford to have decent tripod in my backpack 🙁
I can definitely understand that Carola! We backpacked around Japan for a month and it’s hard carrying extra equipment. However, this one fits easily in either of our backpacks so maybe it would be compact enough for you as well! 🙂
Your conversation replay made me laugh. It sounded very familiar! I’ve been looking for a better tripod. Will check it out!
Bantering back and forth – perks of traveling with your spouse or significant other. 😉 Thanks for checking out Benro!
Sheena Leong says
I try to carry as little as possible when travelling but I have been considering a tripod more & more recently, particular for night photography. Something compact, lightweight & easy to set up is definitely what I’m looking for, thanks for bringing Benro to my attention, I’ll do a little more research but I’m liking it so far!
Thanks for checking out Benro! We’ve been very pleased with it after all of our troubles. I definitely think that a tripod is a must for night photography. Before we got our travel angel I tried to take some photos of the stars and they were SO blurry. You simply can’t hold still for as long as you need to 🙂
ADAM DOOLITTLE says
Nice read. I have a Manfotto travel tripod that works great and is nice and compact. Recently, I was taking photos of some cabins at the resort I’m at right now and while I was staging a shot, the tripod must not have been fully balanced and fell backwards onto the hard tile floor. I almost crapped myself, fearing the camera would be destroyed. Thankfully it was not. The battery door was cracked but that was it. I’m so glad it didn’t fall forward or else that would have meant a smashed lens I’m sure. Lesson learned – make sure the tripod is fully extended and balanced!
So glad to hear that your camera was okay when it made the fall other than the battery door cracking. Were you able to get it repaired for minimal cost? We’ve made that same mistake a time or two.
Rhonda Albom says
While I have a different high quality tripod, I do agree that it is an essential photography tool. Great review.
Thank you Rhonda! Our tripod has become a necessity for us over the past few years.
Yikes! How terrifying! But, I’m glad you found a tripod you love! I bet it would be great for carry-on luggage!
It really is Marcie! We put it in our backpack or carry on everywhere we go now!
Wow I’m glad your camera is ok. I’ve been thinking about getting a tripod and I have no idea why I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I’ll check this one out.
We were glad our camera survived as well! Having a durable tripod has made everything so much easier!
A smashed camera is never a good thing but I was glad to read that yours made it out alive! I don’t travel with a tripod but it’s good to know about the Benro Travel Angel in case I decide to purchase one.
Thanks for checking them out Lydia! We’re really glad our camera made it out too. 🙂
It is not always easy to carry, but tripod is a must if you want great travel photos.
I agree with you Anja! It’s definitely changed the way we take pictures.
We purchased a cheap tripod off of Amazon too – didn’t have any horror stories though because we didn’t take it ANYWHERE since it was so bulky to carry around. Like we’d put it in the car for road trips and then decide to forego pictures of us together since we didn’t want to carry it. We balanced our camera on rocks and stuff instead if we really wanted a photo. But we just invested in a MeFoto Roadtripper and it has been a TOTAL gamechanger. We’ve taken it on two trips now, and gotten incredible photos because of it. And it fits in Sean’s backpack which is perfect.
So yeah..I agree that investing in a quality (and compact) tripod is the way to go!
This sounds exactly like us! We were always taking photos of just each other before we bought our tripod. Now we’re able to be in more photos together which is really nice. 🙂
Am I allowed to laugh and enjoy this story since everything turned out okay in the end? 🙂 I am not sure how much this cost you, but sometimes the price you pay is worth it and like your case, it takes a situation to realize that extra few bucks would have been worth it. The only story I have close to yours is when we hiked the Narrows in Zion and I had the Lifeproof case and though its great for durability and waterproof I could never take quality photos with the case on. So I took my case off (despite my husband, Adam telling me not to) and after a 2 hour hike we tried to climb up some rocks and Adam threw the backpack over and it landed in the water. All those pictures of the Narrow hike are forever gone 🙁 I now have insurance on my new iPhone 7 which is waterproof and I have a better case where I never take my case off 🙂 There is my story and I REALLY liked yours 🙂
Of course you’re allowed to laugh! 😉 We definitely do now! We can relate to your Lifeproof case story as well. When we were in Jamaica we didn’t yet have a GoPro so we used Logan’s iPhone (with Lifeproof case). The case started leaking so we put it in a ziplock bag to make it through our experience at the Blue Hole. It was such a mess!
Ahh sometimes learning the hard way is the best way to learn! I am trying to improve my photography & looking for a tripod this seems like a great buy – lightweight and sturdy are two essential traits you need in a tripod – as you can confirm! 🙂
You’re absolutely right on all accounts! 🙂 Definitely consider and check out Benro when you are ready to buy a tripod.
I really need to buy one so your article is very useful. Just pinned it for future reference as this one looks a good option.
Aisha Sylvester says
Wow that’s definitely a mini adventure within your adventure! I would have died if that happened to me so you guys held it together pretty well in comparison. So happy there was a silver lining! I’ll actually check out Berno as I’m shopping around for a smaller, more lightweight tripod than the one I currently use.
It was rather earth shattering! I could hardly pick up the camera when I finally reached it. It was worse than when you drop your phone and are fearful that the screen is cracked! Definitely consider Benro for your next tripod purchase. 🙂
Really great story and I hope others definitely follow suit! As a photographer, it bugs me to blazes when I see hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars of camera gear on a flimsy aluminum tripod! I’m glad all of your gear survived and Benro is a good place for tripods. Still, I would advise to be careful in any strong windy conditions because even strong but lightweight tripods will get tossed around. I had this experience in Iceland taking night shots despite having heavier camera gear, stronger tripod and mini-backpack weight on the tripod. When in doubt, use your best judgment.
Funnily enough, I encountered a couple during a visit in the desert to take some Milky Way photos. It was uncharacteristically windy that night and definitely strong enough to blow many things away. This couple had a similar setup you had and were next to me. I just politely told them that with the strong winds, just be careful because the camera will be blown down, which they said that they’ll keep their eye on it. Well, while stepping away to take a selfie, sure enough, the camera blew down and hit the ground pretty hard. Luckily for them too, nothing was significantly damaged but they moved to another location. First thing I tell anyone wanting to get into photography is invest in a good tripod because that’ll protect your investment of your camera.
We definitely learned from our near fatal mistake! Still counting our blessings that we didn’t have more damage than we did. We’re more cautious now and have realized that in the long run, investing in quality equipment is well worth it. Since then we haven’t placed our camera/tripod near any cliffs or ledges and we try to keep it close to us or out of really windy conditions!
Glad that the couple you saw didn’t have significant damage, I’m sure that they are more cautious now too!
Thank you very much! Definitely was quite the experience leading up to it. 🙂
It’s definitely changed the way we look at photography!
Oh gosh, that’s horrifying and much worse than what happened to us. Was there a ton of water damage and were you able to get your camera repaired? Thanks for checking out Benro!
Thanks so much! We are still quite amateur when it comes to photography but baby steps, right? We love our GoPro as well. It’s such a nifty little camera. 🙂
Go Dubai says
Good reviews for this as one of my friend also recommended the same tripod.