As you pare down the weight and size of a tripod you're obviously going to be sacrificing stability. But for a lightweight camera, and if you don't try to do one-hour exposures of the Milky Way, a very light tripod would be fine. There is, for instance, the extremely good Gitzo Mountaineer Sport Carbon Fiber tripod. It'll hold close to ten pounds, and extends to a useful height of nearly 5 feet, while weighing a non-unreasonable two pounds, ten ounces. But oh it's cost$500. Not practical, probably.
Better, I suspect, would be the Cullman Model 1002 Compact Tripod ($60). It extends to about three feet, weighs 19 ounces, and costs just $60. Another good choice is Gitzo's Weekend Tripod ($215), which is a good quality, full-size tripod that weighs two pounds. But, you'll need to buy a head for the Gitzo, something like Bogen's 3028 head ($35).
Another option is to buy one of several tabletop tripods, with are very small and surprisingly useful. Bogen makes a little tripod, the Model 3007, which fits into a pocket yet supports three to four pounds ($60) on any suitable surface. I've found that table tripods also work well as supplements to handholding a camera. By placing the tripod legs against your chest, you can greatly stabilize a camera for slow shutter speeds.
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.Contribute to Outside →