Manfrotto Befree Tripod
A lightweight, packable tripod for traveling photographers
No longer does traveling fast and light also have to mean leaving your camera gear behind. Case in point: the Befree Tripod from Manfrotto. Weighing just over three pounds and standing under 16 inches when folded, we found the portable tripod to be more than manageable on a few recent excursions. Central to the experience is the time-saving quick release switch at the base, which allows for fast set-ups into two level leg positions, as well as speedy breakdowns as the legs can be folded 180º from standing. Then it's easily stashed in the shoulder-strap-ready padded pouch—a handy accessory for location jumping.
While its compact size may ultimately be the Befree's strongest selling point—it's certainly carry-on luggage compatible—the tripod is far from dinky. The Italian-made aluminum body can take a beating and keep on standing, further proving its travel readiness. And, to accommodate a wide range of shooting positions and framing adjustments, an aluminum ball head tops the Befree, which as a whole can be extended to over 56 inches.
The Befree travel-ready tripod can be found at Manfrotto for $233.
Images by Graham Hiemstra