The whole idea of a tripod is that it provides a rigid platform for holding a camera — something that a person can not do. But in this day of compact digital cameras as well as smartphones, a tripod has to be as portable as the devices it is going to be used with. MeFOTO’s GlobeTrotter Air Tripod makes the cut.
The Air comes in attractive colors because it doesn’t mind standing out. Nor does its 2 pounds make it onerous to carry around — that weight comes from an aluminum construction that provides stability and enough density to make for a solid platform that can handle a 17 pound device placed on it.
A quick setup/takedown is initiated through the use of a new locking system. This consists of twists and pulls to extrude the legs and lock them down. It’s easier to do than say and helps obviate the biggest obstacle for having a tripod on hand: it taking too long to get it set up and so missing getting that shot. These reverse-folding legs make for more than fast access for use; they aid in having a small form factor that makes the tripod very compact for occupying less space and allowing it to come along for the ride more easily. It’s also compatible with the Arca-Swiss quick release system for holding a camera or similar device (allowing for fast attaching/removing of that attached to the tripod). You might not want it (nor do you get it included), but having compatibility with it for the get-go is a nice touch. And to help carrying it around, a soft carrying pouch is included as well.
There’s not a lot more to say about the Air (or any tripod in general once its core purpose has been noted), because if the tripod operates correctly that’s all there is to it. And that “correctly” comes from how well it’s constructed and how well it functions in the real world. All of which has been answered with a “thumbs up” already. But since smartphones are involved, the Air takes that into account by offering an alternate manner of use; it can turn into a selfie stick. This gets done by removing the telescoping center column so that it now becomes independent. Then a smartphone holder (included) is placed onto the end and the phone attached. But how to tap that touch screen for taking a picture, you ask? By using the included Bluetooth remote which pairs with the phone to activate the camera. That makes great sense and works easy enough — especially since it’s totally unexpected that meFOTO would have built the Air with “selfie” in mind in the first place.
The GlobeTrotter Air Tripod retails for $225 which might seem exorbitant in the world of cheap tripods that sway in the breeze and are more suited as backscratchers. But if you’re looking for a strong and stable tripod that can travel where you’re going and perform when it gets there, then this is the one that makes sense to have.