Planning an overseas trip inevitably ends up with an internal debate, should I take a tripod with me or not?
Although my Gitzo 2541 is fairly light it only folds down to around 60cms, and I usually end up having to take the ball head off to travel. More often I have left it at home and taken a gorilla pod, which has its own set of drawbacks.
Recently I bought the MeFoto backpacker travel tripod. It folds down to around 25cms and includes a pretty good little ballhead with an arca plate. I have an L plate on my 5DMkII so this was a big bonus.
When I tested it next to the Gitzo before I left my heart sank. Mounting the 5D and giving the camera a little flick set up a bunch of vibrations, whereas the Gitzo as expected was solid as a rock.
On the road was a different story. This little sucker slipped into the water bottle pocket on a standard (non camera) back pack and the weight was hardly noticeable. The leg opening mechanism (twist and lock) and the leg position adjustment is a straight copy of the Gitzo and so very familiar. The arca plate and ballhead were solid with the 5D and a 17-40 or a Sigma 50mm 1.4. The tripod has a hanging hook, and with a backpack attached to the hook this setup became flawless and unshakeable.
I would highly recommend this as a cheap travel tripod. It will be with me whenever I go overseas now. There are no doubt many alternatives but if anyone was thinking of this one and unsure I would give it a big thumbs up.