Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod review: party tricks abound in this modern tripod

The Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod is for 2024's creators who regularly swap between beginner, pro and smartphone camera gear and want to pack light.

Jun 10, 2024 - 00:30
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Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod review: party tricks abound in this modern tripod

Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod W28: two-minute review

Heipi was a totally new brand to me when I was contacted about its versatile travel tripod. (I’m not even sure how to pronounce the name – does it sound like you're greeting a fruity baked dessert?) However, just because it’s a new name, that doesn’t mean Heipi should be dismissed. In fact, the Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod is one of the most relevant travel tripods today, able to transform for multiple tasks and various camera gear in a way that almost all other tripods can’t. 

The average photographer doesn’t use very heavy gear in 2024; the kind of gear that needs an equally robust and heavy support. Mirrorless cameras and lenses are, overall, smaller and lighter. Heck, people shoot with their phones just as much as a 'proper' camera. Heipi’s tripod is for those photographers, the ones using small cameras like a Canon EOS R10 and one of the best cameraphones, who still need a lightweight and versatile support.

Regardless of size, a tripod still needs to provide firm footing, and unless you’re standing on a gusty cliff face, the Heipi tripod will offer shake-free support for moderate-size gear. A max capacity of up to 55lbs / 25kg feels fanciful, but I'd be happy adding an enthusiast-level mirrorless or DSLR camera with a moderate-size zoom lens.

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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod key specs

Total weight: 3lbs / 1.35kg (including ball head, or 2.35lbs / 1.07 without head)
Max height: 59in / 150cm (with center column fully raised, or 50in / 126cm without)
Legs locks: 4
Packed length: 17.7in / 45cm
Max capacity: Up to 55lbs / 25kg

As a travel tripod that weighs just 3lbs / 1.35kg (with ball head included) and packs away to just 17.7in / 45cm in length, something has to give, and that something is its max reach. It can’t provide the tallest level to work from, just 59in / 150cm with the center column fully raised. 

As its name suggests, this 3-in-1 tripod has many guises. For one it’s a regular, lightweight travel tripod that packs away more compact than most, in its supplied case. That's thanks to its four leg sections, each a smidge smaller than average.

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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)

I’ve reviewed heaps of tripods over the past fifteen years, yet Heipi's creation has a design feature I’ve never seen in a tripod before, an innovative center column. You can’t really call it a center column but it does perform as one. 

It's effectively a mini tripod that’s folded into the main tripod with its three legs locked vertically as a column. You can then pull it out and lock it off as a column to extend the reach of the main tripod or remove it completely to gain a hefty and stabler-than-most tabletop tripod: the tripod's second guise.

Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod W28 price and availability

The Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod W28 is available now and costs from $399 / £317 on the Heipi website and from $399 on Amazon US. You can buy it with optional accessories such as a QR plate or opt for a different type of ball head in a pricer bundle. 

Tabletop tripods are particularly popular for vlogging, and the Heipi 3-in-1's robust center column-cum-tripod is more than able to support the best vlogging cameras for such purposes. 

It's a party piece that should be enough to make the Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod stand out, but as its name suggests, it has another trick up its sleeve. 

Remove the tripod plate from the ball head and tucked away is a mobile phone clamp that can be pulled out, transforming the tripod into a mobile phone support (see below). 

The clamp extends enough to support large phones like an iPhone 15 Pro Max in horizontal format. Should you need to shoot in vertical format with your tripod-mounted phone, it's fiddly to rotate the ball 90 degrees, but it's doable if you persevere. 

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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)

Heipi's tripod is impressively versatile and lightweight, but what’s it like to use?

I'll start by reiterating just how compact the tripod packs down, and how light it is. I've been inclined to add it to my camera bag 'just in case', as it really doesn't add much weight to the overall package.

The main legs tuck very tightly together in between the mini tripod's legs. They fold out easily too, although I pinched my fingers several times in the fiddly locks that further open the maximum angle you can spread the legs. You have to repeat the motion many times to get the pain-free hang of it.

I also found the leg section locks unnecessarily long, they can snag during hectic moments on a shoot, and are fiddlier than most to open and close. However, they provide a secure lock and the process of extending all four leg sections and locking them off is speedy.

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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)
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Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)

When the tripod is fully extended you get a modest maximum height. And if you need to increase the height by extending the center column, the column is quite sticky. 

Doubling up the center column as a mini tripod is a really clever idea, but in its role as a center column, it's not the slickest operator. 

The tripod comes with a matching ball head, while another type of ball head with a different locking mechanism is available as a pricier bundle. Check the prices above if you missed them. 

In terms of strength, the tripod legs lock off tightly and you get a strong support. Despite the claimed 55lbs / 25kg weight capacity, this is designed for those on the move with enthusiast-level camera gear, not those that need the largest and sturdiest support available for bulky gear. 

Ultimately, the Heipi 3-in1 Travel tripod lives up to its name and comes with the TechRadar recommendation.

Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod W28: Also consider

Peak Design Travel Tripod
For style and design, the Peak Design Travel Tripod is the first rival tripod that comes to mind. Of the two, Heipi's tripod is the more compelling option – its ball head has a panning motion, which Peak Design's tripod doesn't, plus you get those two Heipi party tricks AND it's much cheaper.

Read our Peak Design Travel Tripod review

3 Legged Thing Punks Brian 2.0
We rate the 3 Legged Thing Punks Brian 2.0 as the best travel tripod on the market. The reality is the two tripods are for different kinds of users. The 3 Legged Thing tripod is versatile for regular use – it's easier to use and make fine adjustments, and it has a better max height. Heipi's tripod is arguably better if you need to switch between gear, plus it's smaller and lighter. Both are highly recommended.

Read our 3 Legged Thing Punks Brian 2.0 review

Should I buy the Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod W28?

Heipi 3-in-1 travel tripod outdoors

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested the Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod W28

  • Long term use
  • All three facets properly tried out
  • Camera gear of various size and weight

I've had the Heipi 3-in-1 Travel Tripod for some months and it's had moderate use in this time, traveling many miles with me. I still don't feel like I can say I've properly tested its durability – you need years not months to test a tripod properly and be sure it'll last the distance – but so far, it's withstood the rigors of moderate use as a full tripod and tabletop tripod. It's an ideal travel companion. 

First reviewed June 2024