Most birders need a good, sturdy tripod, whether for a camera, a spotting scope, or both. A tripod is an important item that deserves some serious thought—after all, its purpose is to support some of the most expensive equipment we own.
As you peruse the possibilities for your next tripod purchase, consider the travel tripods from MeFOTO. These tripods are intended for travel, packing down to a mere 15.6 inches and weighing only 3.1 pounds in the case of the carbon fiber RoadTrip, the model I have used. That’s small enough to easily fit into your carry-on or backpack.
Despite their compact and lightweight design, the MeFOTO travel tripods seem to hold their own in terms of sturdiness and durability. Capable of holding up to 17.6 pounds, these tripods can easily handle the typical spotting scope or camera that a birder might use.
Fully extended, the RoadTrip tripod is about five feet tall, and more than four feet tall without raising the center column, which means great stability at a decent height. Rubberized locking grips combined with anti-rotation legs enable fast and fumble-free set up.
One potential drawback for some may be the lack of a panning handle. Many tripods birders use are equipped with a pan or video head, whereas the RoadTrip tripod comes with a ball head, a feature that contributes to the unit’s overall compact size. This style of tripod head allows for smooth, 360-degree panning, but may take some getting used to when using this tripod with a spotting scope rather than a camera. Incidentally, alternate tripod heads can be purchased separately and attached to the RoadTrip.
In addition to functioning as a great tripod, the MeFOTO RoadTrip also converts into a monopod. A removable leg and the center column combine to make a full-size monopod without hassle or the need for additional tools.
The MeFOTO tripods are compact, durable, easy to transport, and even convertible. But here’s the thing that really sets them apart: They’re available in vibrant colors. You can finally own that blue, red, purple, green, hot pink, chocolate, or whatever color tripod you’ve always dreamed of—if you’ve ever dreamed of such a thing.
If the thought of birding with a hot pink tripod seems a bit disconcerting, black and titanium are also color options.
A sleek and compact model offered at an affordable price, the MeFOTO RoadTrip tripod is worthy of any birder’s consideration. Bird Watcher’s Digest readers can purchase this tripod at a special, discounted price from Hunt’s Photo & Video.
About the Author
Kyle Carlsen is the assistant editor of Bird Watcher's Digest. Find him on Twitter @kycarlsen.