Today’s Question: I’ve heard that a carbon fiber tripod is better for use in cold weather compared to an aluminum tripod. Is this true?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, an aluminum tripod will transmit the cold more than a carbon fiber tripod, which can make handling a tripod in cold weather more uncomfortable. But there are a variety of simple ways to work around this.
More Detail: Both aluminum and carbon fiber tripods can be used in cold weather very effectively. However, it can be more comfortable to handle a carbon fiber tripod in the cold because the tripod itself won’t get as cold to the touch as an aluminum tripod.
An obvious solution would be to simply wear gloves when it is cold. That’s a good idea in general, but of course wearing gloves can make it more difficult to handle a tripod and adjust camera settings. As a result, you’ll probably find yourself without gloves for at least a brief period of time when photographing in the cold.
Another great solution is to use leg wraps for your tripod. This can be helpful to avoid directly touching the metal legs of an aluminum tripod, and also makes the tripod more comfortable if you rest it on your shoulder. I recommend the LensCoat LegCoat Wraps, which you can find here (just be sure to get the right size for your specific tripod):