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Recommend a travel tripod under $200

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by j-rad, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. j-rad

    j-rad Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2015
    Lookimg for something that folds down relatively small, say under 15" or so, and under $200. Would like as much height fully extended as possible.
  2. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    I have a MeFoto RoadTrip. It's under $200, folds down to 15.4", 53" tall w/o center extension, and 62" with. It's pretty solid. Comes with a nicely padded bag and I can fit the whole thing in my carry-on. I've heard the Sirui mentioned, but I have no experience with them.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
  3. Siruis tend to go either larger, more stable and more expensive than that (T-1x, T-2x), or smaller and lighter (T-0x).
  4. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    I use a MeFOTO RoadTrip and DayTrip. In between those is the BackPacker. Personally I skipped the BackPacker because of thin lower legs.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. franklyadam

    franklyadam Mu-43 Rookie Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2014
    I picked up a Fotopro X4i As part of a package called the fotopro tt-1. It folds to around 12" and seems solid enough for my use with an e-m1 and 75-300 and 50-200 swd ( my biggest lenses ).

    The price was around 100$ Canadian, the head could be better.. But again 100$ :)  it is a little short too but still usable (5ft or so )
  6. So Thankful

    So Thankful Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2015
    Look into the Benro Travel Angel series.
  7. gary.l

    gary.l Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 16, 2013
    Los Angeles
  8. yendikeno

    yendikeno Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 5, 2015
    Same here. The Road Trip stays in my car and is used quite often with my mirrorless cameras. I like it.
  9. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    I use the mefoto Roadtrip.. Sometimes I even find that a pain to haul around and it's fairly small, I think it's around 4 pounds but I really like it
  10. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Which lenses do you plan to use it with? Max 15 inches is a really short length, you can find a few light tripods with that size but do not expect super stability, especially fully extended. I have a Velbon Ultra Maxi-L, (yes, much cheaper), folds down to 14.2 but fully extended is not exactly stable.
    Do you really need to go that small? It's common to go too small (see here), I did and right now I'm looking for a good, big, light one.

    Even the smallest Benro Travel Angel folds down to 15.7 inches. The MeFoto RoadTrip is close with 15.4. The Nest NT-6294AK is a little sturdier/bigger alternative. All with monopod conversion.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  11. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    I own and like the MeFoto Road Trip, too. I use the monopod function more than I expected. It comes in a nice zipper bag with a strap, too.
  12. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 18, 2015
    I've been thinking about travel tripods myself for my upcoming trip to Iceland (hiking and all other kinds of outdoorsy stuff). I've had a look at the sirui (my dad has one (t-005x I think), it's quite nice) and was wondering what are the advantages and disadvantages vs the mefoto roadtrip. The Monopod function seems quite appealing to me.
  13. Like I said before, the RoadTrip sits somewhere between the T-0x and T-1x/T-2x series. Think of the T-0x as BackPacker and T-1x/T-2x as GlobeTrotter competitors. Given that, the T-0x series is a slightly smaller build than the RoadTrip - it's shorter, half the weight, about 3/4 of the carrying capacity. The centre column is also less than ideal as you can't just retract it for stability (you have to unscrew the column section). The RoadTrip has spiked feet (reserved for the larger, higher end models in Sirui), Sirui has 3 leg angles instead of 2 on the RoadTrip.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
  14. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Like the MeFoto Backpacker and some similar designs, the center column of the T-0x series is "fixed" in an extended position. Although I've heard good things about the Backpacker, lowering the column is not one of its options. That's one reason why I went with the larger, heavier RoadTrip. The Roadtrip has the monopod option, which is nice to have. I haven't used it much because if I need a monopod, I use the Slik monopod I already have anyway. But, the option is there if you need it and definitely saves the weight and space of carrying a separate monopod. The default rubber feet of the RoadTrip unscrew and then you can screw in the provided spike feet. Not as convenient as retractable spike feet, but again, the option is there. The RoadTrip's leg angle locks are not spring-loaded. You have to manually push them out, and then lock them when you adjust the leg angle. A little less convenient, but not a deal breaker.
  15. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    B&H 1 hour left
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  16. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Folded length is 23".
  17. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    I use the Mefoto RoadTrip as well.
  18. j-rad

    j-rad Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2015
    I ended up getting the RoadTrip. Haven't had a chance to use it yet, but it looks great. I ordered the red/white/blue version because there was a sale on it for ~$100... pretty good deal. Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Nice deal. You'll like it. It feels more solid than it looks.
  20. TonyVentourisPhotography

    TonyVentourisPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 1, 2015
    Washington DC
    At that price point you are sacrificing stability. Especially if you need it fully extended. Even with these light cameras...I find the tripod is still just as important. I gave up with cheap travel tripods after either breaking them or testing them and finding they just were actually stable enough.

    I ended up with a last generation gitzo 1540T. A local store sold me a demo model more less than half price. Its stable. But I try to never extend if fully...the last legs are a bit weak. It works though. I use it a lot.

    Feisol makes a really good travel tripod as well and its much cheaper than the gitzo.

    The other thing I use in travel is a gorilla pod. You would be surprised how well these work.

    Another trick to help stabilize smaller/weaker/cheaper tripods is to balance the load. Get a nodal slide for panoramas and use it to offset your weight over the center of the tripod. This helps tremendously. Have a small tripod with a camera lens heavy is not stable from its inception. Pulling the camera backwards to center the weight directly over the ball head will yield much better results on little tripods.
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