Professional tripodThese days it seems that everyone wants to outdo one another on Instagram and other social media outlets by taking the best photos. However, the dirty little trick in the Instagram world is that the majority of beautiful photos being posted are done using SLR cameras and not phone cameras. The picture-perfect night photos are usually taken with a bulky tripod, and who wants to carry one of those? Most tripods are so large that they need to be checked—which means more money and time—and are awkward and heavy to carry. Bulky tripods also prevent photographers from taking photos on the sly, and some countries won’t even allow you to bring one in unless you have a special permit (ahem, Morocco).

These are some of the reasons why the MeFOTO BackPacker Air Tripod is so popular (I was stoked they sent me one). It’s a lot smaller and lighter than the industry ones and it has HyperLock leg locks (as do the other tripods and monopods in the MeFOTO Air family), which makes it much faster to lock and unlock than traditional tripods and monopods that have nine to 15 leg locks.

What’s even more attractive is the fact that the telescoping center column can be used as a selfie stick with the included Bluetooth remote and smartphone adapter. The MeFOTO BackPacker Air Tripod weighs two pounds while the Walkabout Monopod is just 0.9 pounds, and both can fit in small- and medium-sized bags. The MeFOTO BackPacker Air Tripod retails for $125 and is available on Amazon or

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