Andy Westlake reviews a travel tripod that seems to rather belie its moniker
Kenro Karoo travel tripod at a glance:
- Max height 164.7cm
- Folded length 46.4cm
- Load 7kg
- Weight 1.58kg
- Price £169.99
- Website www.kenro.co.uk
Sometimes names can be misleading. This kit from Kenro is billed as a ‘travel tripod’, by which you might assume that it’s a dinky little thing that will fit into your carry-on luggage. In fact, it’s nothing of the sort, but instead a full-size four-section aluminium model. Presumably the name refers to its reverse- folding design, with the legs hinging upwards around the head, which makes it more compact compared to older, more conventional models.
In terms of features, it ticks all the boxes, with multi-angle legs featuring easy-to-use twist locks, and a removable ballhead that has an independently locking panning base and an Arca Swiss-type quick release clamp. One of the legs unscrews and can be used to form a monopod, with or without the centre column and head. Both the tripod and monopod are sufficiently tall to support the camera at eye level for a 6ft-tall photographer.
Kenro Karoo travel tripod – key features
Short centre column
The included column enables ground-level shooting.
Two bubble levels on the quick release clamp help with setting the camera straight.
Placed on the removable leg, this makes the tripod more comfortable to carry in cold weather.
A sprung retractable hook at the base of the centre column can be used to hang your camera bag for increased stability.
The tripod comes with a padded carrying case, but it has no internal pocket for the short column.
Kenro Karoo travel tripod – our verdict
There’s plenty to like about this tripod, and on paper it includes a lot for the price. But while it appears to offer everything an enthusiast might want, in practice it has a few flaws. The leg-set is actually pretty good, and while it’s not as nicely finished as some other models we’ve seen recently, such as the Cullmann Mundo 525M, this is really only of cosmetic concern. However, the bigger practical problem is the head, which is unable to lock the camera without noticeably drifting downwards. For a landscape photographer shooting with wideangle lenses, this may not be a huge concern, but with a telephoto it hampers getting the composition you want. Unfortunately, this flaw means that this Kenro Karoo tripod simply isn’t quite as good as similarly priced alternatives.
SCORE: 3.5 out of 5
Kenro’s Karoo tripod range
Kenro has only recently started selling its own-brand Karoo tripod range, and offers models in a range of sizes, in both aluminium and carbon fibre. We were more impressed by its Ultimate Travel tripod, which has a clever centre column design that can be set horizontally and a better head. It costs £215 for the aluminium version and £280 in carbon fibre.