A few years back we were traveling to Europe for our youngest son’s youth soccer tournament and we wanted a tripod. Our only tripod was an old, bulky tripod we inherited from Sarah’s mom. Although it was a high quality tripod, it definitely didn’t pack down sufficiently to make the trip to Europe. I needed a small, lightweight tripod that would be easy to pack and carry considering I would be the one to carry it.  My one requirement was that it would have to fit into my 30L Salomon pack. I would give the make and model, but as is usually our luck, when we find something we really like, they don’t make it anymore.

We took a trip to our local camera store to find options. There were a lot of options. We weren’t sure where to start, so our salesman suggested the MeFOTO RoadTrip tripod. My wife was immediately interested because it came in a variety of colors.

Here are the specs:
Folded Height: 15.4”
Max Height: 61.6”
Weight: 3.6 lb
Max load: 17.6lb

 

Because of it’s compactness, it easily fit into my pack. It was lightweight, had plenty of adjustments, fit our camera and our budget. Once my wife (finally) decided on the bright red option (easier to find when we left it in the grass somewhere), we were both happy campers.

After the trip to Europe we didn’t use it as frequently as we thought we would, but over the last few months we’ve pulled it back out and have been using it more heavily again. From the stands at high school soccer games, uneven river banks for night photography, to the icy cold conditions in Iceland trying to capture the Northern Lights, we have found this little tripod to be a sturdy and reliable tool for our photography and active lifestyle needs. We’ve also discovered that we often lock the legs in at different lengths which helps in the stands when you’ve got legs on different levels of benches. It’s great too, when shooting outdoors on rocky or uneven ground.

Another handy feature of this particular tripod is that it can be easily transformed into a Monopod. This is helpful when you need to be more light weight and are moving a lot like sideline shots during soccer games, or mountain bike races. The monopod provides stability with a larger or longer lens without the hassle of changing three different legs as you go. We’ve definitely used this feature.

We’ve also liked how quickly and easily we can maneuver the camera when attached to the tripod using the 360-degree panning head, and quick tilt. The only problem is when it comes to locking the panning head. Our issue has been trying to figure which knob to turn and how tight to make it so we can still have restricted movement. This also presents a stabilization problem when the ground is not steady (in the stands someone walks by causing vibrations, it sometimes causes the panning head to move slightly).

The Bubble level has been beneficial to bring a quick end to some arguments that go like this. “Honey, the camera’s not level.” “yes it is”, “nuh uh” … til one of us looks at the leveler. This has been a problem solver.

More recently, on our above stated trip to Iceland, we have come to really appreciate the foam grip on one of the legs. When out in 20 degree F weather, that insulated foam grip is definitely the place to grab! And because we’ve been dabbling in night photography, we really like the ease of operation and setup, especially when setting the camera and tripod up in pitch black conditions.

The Good:

  1. Lightweight
  2. Packs small
  3. Easy to set up, and operates smoothly especially in the dark
  4. Head lock can be firm
  5. The Foam pad on the leg comes in handy
  6. Bubble leveler
  7. Monopod option
  8. Price
  9. Color options

 

 

The Bad:

  1. When the lower legs and column are extended, there are vibration issues especially on non-solid ground
  2. Knobs aren’t intuitive
  3. Issues tightening the panning head

The Bottom Line:

We’ve been very pleased with this little tripod. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close. It is definitely a piece of gear that we’ll get good use out of for years to come. We give it a thumbs up, and would recommend this model.