Reviews |Sirui Traveler 5C

Sirui Traveler 5C Review

Sirui Traveler 5C
Review

Price when reviewed

£97

$33
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Our Verdict

Few true travel tripods are quite as compact as the Traveler 5C. This lightweight carbon tripod makes an ideal travel companion packing down small enough to easily slip inside a medium-sized backpack or straps discreetly to the outside.

The small transport size and weight does come at a price. The centre column is fixed and can’t be dropped neatly through the crown of the tripod; however, with a twist lock, the column’s two-section design extends the height to a decent enough height. At lower height levels, Sirui suggests the centre column is removed helping to balance the centre of gravity.

Overall, the Traveler 5C is a solid, decent choice as a true travel tripod. I might not be keen on fixed centre columns, but here it definitely works. Ultimately if you’re off on your world travels and need ultra-lightweight and compact support, then the Sirui Traveler 5C is a great choice.

For

  • Small size
  • Ultra-compact
  • Solid construction

Against

  • Fixed centre column
You can purchase the Sirui Traveler directly from Sirui using the following link and code https://bit.ly/3e74m8k (discount code:Jabber 5% off on Traveler 5C)

What is Sirui Traveler 5C?

Ultra lightweight travel tripods have lost some of their popularity in recent years. The small size, lightweight construction, and lack of height make them rather limited in many respects, especially when so many companies jumped on the marketing bandwagon and tried to sell their cheaper multi-purpose tripods as travel.

The market has now settled down, and the true travel tripods are starting to reemerge from what became an overly crowded market. The Sirui Traveler 5C is one of the most compact and smallest out there, with a carbon and metal constructions and a good range of features.

Its design is travel through-and-through, and while it might not have the height of many compact multi-purpose tripods, this model will comfortably slip into a backpack without adding too much weight or bulk.

Sirui Traveler 5C

This tripod will comfortably travel with you and supply the support you need. While some design decisions aren’t to my liking, such as the centre column, you can see why they have been made.

Ultimately, if you need to travel light and a tripod, that is exactly what the Sirui Traveler 5C is.

Specification

  • Max height 1380mm: Max height 1380mm
  • Lowest height 160mm: Lowest height 160mm
  • Folded height 610mm: Folded height 610mm
  • Minimum folded height 330mm: minimum folded height 330mm
  • Max payload 4kg: Max payload 4kg
  • Weight 0.85kg: Weight 0.85kg

Build and Handling

Sirui tripods are known for their quality design and build; the Traveler 5C is a testament to this. The 8x carbon 5-section legs are all well constructed with decent twist locks that release and lock the leg sections tightly.

Due to the small size of the tripod, the leg sections are thin, so as you’d expect, there is some flex when fully extended to 1.4m. However, mounting a Sony A7 III with a heavyweight 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and the tripod shows that it has the quality and robustness to hold the camera securely.

If you want to drop the tripod down to the lower heights Sirui suggests that the centre column is removed to maintain balance. To do this the centre column unscrews and once removed the tripod head can be screwed onto the crown. With the tripod dropped to its minimum and all legs retracted, it all feels good and solid.

Sirui Traveler 5C

When it comes to the leg angles you have three choices providing plenty of flexibility on all types of surfaces.

Extending the legs and without the centre column, the tripod’s stability feels good, with only a slight flex due to the small diameter leg sections. Finally, with the centre column screwed in to reach the maximum height, the tripod feels solid, with the spread of the legs distributing the weight load well.

Through the test, the quality of the construction stood out, and while the leg sections are small by design, the compact, lightweight construction does help make this a great travel tripod choice.

Features

Despite being a travel tripod, the Traveler 5C packs many features. Starting at the base, you have the three rubber feet that provide good purchase on most surfaces. These are not removable, but the rubber is of excellent quality, and the fixing feels like it should provide a good few years of use.

Moving up to the 5-section 8x carbon legs, they’re all well-finished with simple twist locks securing each. The twist locks feature Sirui-style rubber grips, which give excellent grip in all weather conditions. A nice feature of these twist locks is the half-turn function, half a turn to unlock and half a turn to lock solid; easy to use and almost like a failsafe in use.

At the top of the legs are the leg angle adjusters; these are lever type and enable the alteration of the leg angle through three positions that offer plenty of flexibility. The levers are well designed, with a full press releasing the lever, and then a push switches them back to a sprung ratchet design.

Sirui Traveler 5C

On top of the tripod, a crown is the centre column as standard. This centre column sits bolt-upright in the tripod crown and, unlike most tripods, is fixed so it cannot be dropped. The column is relatively quick to unscrew; once removed, the tripod head can be removed and screwed directly into the crown. The complete swap-around takes about a minute and is a bit of a faff and how often you need to do this will depend on how you use the tripod.

The small ball head is well made and features panoramic rotation and an Arca Swiss-style base plate. The base plate is small and requires an Allen key or coin to loosen and tighten. A nice feature of the small head is that it only has one release knob for the ball head and panoramic rotation; it rotates to unlock both axis and again to lock. This can be annoying if you only want to rotate the head, but it is a livable sacrifice considering the size.

Other features worth noting are the sturdy bag hook on the base of the crown that helps add weight and the lightweight pull-string tripod bag.

Performance

Setting up the small tripod instantly shows that there is a certain way of using the tripod. I’m never keen on the fixed centre column design, but here with such a lightweight and compact model, it makes sense.

As the maximum height of the tripod is only 1.38m at a maximum height I found that in use, the tripod was usually extended to its maximum height. The fact that the centre column is fixed doesn’t really affect the use or stability of the tripod as the centre of gravity with the legs fully extended is well balanced.

If the legs are retracted even by one section, then I found it best to remove the centre column; however, as many tripods require some type of adjustment when lowered, such as column removal or low-angle adapters, this isn’t too much of a different approach.

Sirui Traveler 5C

In use, the tripod performed well, with the leg locks proving solid in all conditions, even with heavier cameras loaded onto the base plate. The baseplate clamp is a little fiddly due to the small size of the head, but it is still easy enough to use.

I did find as the wind picked up, attaching my kit bag to the clip hook at the base of the crown, stengthened the tripod, with the legs feeling solid and overall far more robust.

Final thoughts

As ever, with this design of an ultra-light travel tripod, my thoughts are split. I’m not keen on the style of the centre column, but here it works well and keeps things simple; you really only need to unscrew it if you’re dropping the tripod down to ground level.

Regarding the important travel tripod feature of being compact and lightweight, it ticks all the boxes slipping easily into several bags, including the Wandrd PRVKE, without issue.

Ultimately the Sirui Traveler 5C is a true travel tripod with a few very nice features that make it stand out from other travel tripods. If you’re off trekking the world, this could be a wise purchase for your travels.

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