Geoff Harris road tests an eye-catching carbon-fibre support
MeFOTO GlobeTrotter travel tripod at a glance:
- Lightweight carbon-fibre tripod available in a choice of colours
- Arca-Swiss quick-release plate
- Integrated monopod
- Price: £315
- Website: www.mefoto.com/uk/products
Despite the choice of funky colours, MeFOTO’s GlobeTrotter tripods are serious pieces of kit and can support up to 26.4lb (12kg), which is more than enough for mainstream travel photography. Both carbon-fibre and aluminium versions pack down in seconds to a very compact 16.1in (41cm), and while the GlobeTrotter isn’t the lightest travel tripod around at 3.7lb (1.7kg), it’s unlikely to cause problems at the airport.
Build quality is excellent. The carbon-fibre legs are built to last and extend the tripod to a respectable 64.2in (1.6m), while the head and aluminium fittings are also of high quality. The legs lock via a twist grip, rather than a clip, which is a bit of Marmite scenario – you either love twist grips or hate them. I was sceptical at first, but these grips are quick and easy to use.
There are two default locking positions for the legs – conventional upright and wider set-up closer to the group. The latter comes in handy with heavy cameras and lenses, or in windy conditions. The Q-series ballhead looks like it will withstand a lot of punishment, and there’s an Arca-Swiss-style-compatible quick- release plate. As with any new tripod, you’ll need to spend some time practising with this and the head tension, lock knob and pan lock, but they soon become second nature. Useful extras include a graduated panning scale for panoramas, a built-in monopod with foam sleeve for extreme weather and a roomy shoulder bag with toolkit.
MeFOTO GlobeTrotter travel tripod – key features
The carbon-fibre legs are tough and thick, with handy spiked ends for easier use on soft ground
The Acra-Swiss-style quick-release plate soon becomes second nature. You can also buy a smartphone adapter accessory
Not for everyone, perhaps, but the twist-grip locks are well made and reliable
A quiet word about colour
The blue, green and red shades are eye-catching, but some photographers might not want to attract attention – particularly in less salubrious parts of town, or where security guards or police are milling around. So, the more traditional black or titanium grey might be a better choice.
MeFOTO GlobeTrotter travel tripod – our verdict
There’s a lot to like about the carbon-fibre GlobeTrotter. It’s reasonably priced, easy to use and lightweight but sturdy. The twist-grip leg locks could be a deal breaker for some, but they’re well made and reliable. So long as you don’t expect the GlobeTrotter to outperform more expensive specialist tripods, it’s highly recommended for city breaks and long hauls alike.