[Note] I wrote a review, titled Longevity isn’t its strength to this tripod on B&H website yesterday (2/1/2018), and this is an edited version of that.
It’s been over 1 1/2 years since I first purchased this MeFOTO RoadTrip Aluminum Travel Tripod Kit (Titanium) (6/17/2016), so I’d like to share my thoughts here. The reason why I am giving it three stars out of five in is due to the fact that the problem that started happening for quite some time (about a year) is still occurring as I am writing this review (2/1/2018).
I had (AND still do have) a heavy duty Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod with 498RC2 Midi Ball Head Deluxe Kit, which is no longer available at B&H, but it was too heavy to lug around for long distance such as long hikes or backpacking, so I decided to purchase a lightweight tripod. And it appeared to be a good choice then, based on the research I did, watching a lot of YouTube tripod review videos and reading a lot of reviews on camera gear sites and blogs.
It is lightweight. So, you can take it with you on your long distance trips. I even took this on my 9-day wilderness backpacking trip in Sequoia and Kings National Park, let alone several 5-day backpacking trips. So, in terms of weight, there’s no complaining.
Of course, I want a lighter tripod, if possible, but based on what I have read so far basically it comes down to sturdiness. And the majority of complaining on those super light tripods is just that – they can’t be trusted. You don’t have to worry about this MeFOTO tripod’s sturdiness.
By the way, a few people pointed out that some tripods are just a bit short. This tripod isn’t necessarily too short, but if you are of my height (5′ 9 1/2), you will hunch a tad bit (without extending the upper part). But it isn’t too bad. If I didn’t want to hunch, my Manfrotto would’ve been perfect. But I can’t lug it around for too long. It’s the compromise that I have taken over height.
The major problem with this tripod that I am going to discuss, though, may not be just limited to this product. It’s the twist locks which have become an issue for me. And based on what I have read in the reviews, most of this twist lock mechanism based tripods seem to share the same issue. Unlike my old heavy duty tripod, eventually having fallen apart (it’s a review for another time), which had the flip lock mechanism (which never failed on me), the tripod do not stay tightened long enough. I can’t even count how many times the tripod lost balance while setting up because the locks went loose and one or two legs just dropped. I have lost count where I found myself checking and double checking if they still remained tightened.
Besides this issue, a minor issue with the tripod that I can pointed out is that one leg fell apart, and I ended up super gluing the inner plastic pieces inside the tube to put it back together.
In addition, I’ve noticed that the rubber on the locks come loose over time, meaning when you simply turn the lock to lock it in place, you realize that the rubber is slipping and turning instead of lock itself. I wonder if it is a common problem for the the twist lock mechanism.
I am going to purchase another tripod because I have another camera that I recently purchased. But for now, I am not going to consider any tripods with the same locking mechanism.
I understand that everybody uses it for difference purposes, like landscapes or portraits, etc. Let me know what your experience was like.
[UPDATE] While writing this edited version here, I realized that I should’ve included another aspect which I have always wished that this tripod could do, which is that it would have been really nice if the tripod could be lower a whole lot lower. Basically, even when the legs are spread as wide as they could, the extendable center tube for height gets in the way. It touches the ground and you simply can’t lower it as low as you want with this tripod.