Whether you want to take professional-grade photos or film TikToks on the go, the right tripod can dramatically improve your photography. The best flexible tripods are sturdy enough to hold a smartphone or camera in place and have a wide range of motion to adapt to a variety of shooting angles and situations.
When shopping for a tripod, there’s a fine balance between versatility and stability. What sets a flexible tripod apart from a standard tripod is its ability to wrap around objects like a pole or tree, helping you get unique shot angles. However, your tripod still needs to support the weight of your phone, mirrorless camera, or DSLR without toppling over. Mirrorless cameras typically weigh about 1.6 pounds, while entry-level DSLRs tend to clock in at 3 pounds, so keep that in mind when shopping (though you should still compare the weight limit of a tripod to the exact weight of your camera model).
It’s also a good idea to think about what you’ll be shooting with, and whether or not you want the ability to switch between different camera models, or between a camera and a smartphone. Tripods typically come with a standardized mounting plate that will attach to almost any camera, but you may need an adapter if you plan to shoot or record with your smartphone.
You’ll also want to look at the head attachment type. A tripod head moves like a joint in your body, with varying degrees of motion. A ball-head tripod allows you to fluidly change your camera’s angle in any direction, while a pan-and-tilt head is good for making small, quick adjustments, and can be more cost effective. Other helpful features that can make shooting easier include remote shutters for self portraits or group shots, textured handles for handheld vlogging, and a bubble level on the tripod’s mounting plate to make sure your images are properly aligned.
With all that in mind, these are the four best flexible tripods you can buy right now, all available on Amazon.
1. The Best Overall
- Weight limit: 6.6 pounds
- Head type: ball head
This ball head tripod has the perfect combination of utilitarian strength and helpful features that make shooting photos or videos easier. It can hold up to 6.6 pounds, which is enough for even full frame DSLRs or extra-heavy camera lenses. The grippy ball-leg design is also secure and stable when wrapped around objects like railings or trees and won’t slip off or slide down. The included universal mounting plate works with both mirrorless and DSLR cameras, but you’ll need a smartphone adapter attachment to use this tripod with your phone. Reviewers noted that this is the only flexible tripod they trust with their more expensive camera setups, and that the compact design is easy to travel with.
One reviewer wrote: “Love the premium feel. It's so easy to reposition, yet somehow manages to stay rigid. Also love the ballhead, easy clip, and level bubble. I know there are a lot of knockoffs for much less money, but this is worth every penny.”
2. The Best Budget Tripod
- Weight limit: 2.2 pounds
- Head type: ball head
This cheap flexible tripod is perfect for someone who plans to shoot primarily with a smartphone or mirrorless camera, since it has a lower maximum weight limit. This tripod’s flexible legs are comfortable to hold and easily stand on their own or wrap around uneven surfaces, and the ball head attachment can help you set up the perfect shot at any angle. This tripod includes a universal mounting plate for cameras, but the 2.2 weight limit may not support heavier DSLRs. It also comes with a remote shutter that’s compatible with both iPhones and Android smartphones, as well as a universal smartphone adapter that will hold your phone in place.
One reviewer wrote: “This is a great tripod. I needed a small backpacking size tripod to sneak a proposal on a hike with my girlfriend. It held my iPhone 7 Plus very well, and seems durable. The bendable legs work well on an uneven surface. It was perfect for the big moment.”
3. The Best With A Pan-And-Tilt Head
- Weight limit: 2.6 pounds
- Head type: pan-and-tilt head
This 11-inch tall nonslip flexible tripod has a rubber coating on its legs to help stabilize your camera or smartphone when shooting on uneven surfaces, or when wrapped around slippery poles. Weighing just 0.66 pound, this tripod is super lightweight for easy packing and traveling with your camera set up. It comes with an adjustable smartphone mount that can accommodate a large variety of phones, but it also has a mounting plate that will work with mirrorless cameras and lighter DSLRs. Reviewers attested that the legs of this tripod are easy to bend into place, and that it can even replace some of the functions of their larger rigid tripods.
One reviewer wrote: “Very functional tripod, I bought it to be my secondary tripod for my last trip and I barely had to use my main tripod because this was so easy and quick to adjust. I could place it on uneven surfaces and it was holding my Canon 80D with 18-135 lens quite well.”
4. The Best Tripod For Video Creators
- Weight limit: 2.2 pounds
- Head type: not listed
If you’re looking to break into vlogging or just beginning your mobile creator career, this video tripod set has everything you need to get started. To call it a tripod is actually a bit of a misnomer, as it has three legs plus two arms for the included microphone and mini LED light. The smartphone mount can shoot in both landscape and portrait modes, and the included LED light can be dimmed to ensure your subject looks flawless. The microphone also comes with a windshield to filter out ambient noise while filming and is compatible with any smartphone with an audio jack or iPhone. As for the tripod itself, the adjustable legs can be gripped by hand, wrapped around stable objects, or placed on just about any surface.
One reviewer wrote: “This rig is incredible for a high quality mobile production. It has everything I needed to make great content for IGTV and Youtube! Fits my iPhone 11 Pro Max like a glove. Every mobile creator needs one of these.”