Best carbon fibre tripod: 5 top models tested and rated

Best carbon fibre tripod:5 top models tested and rated

Best carbon fibre tripod: 02 Giottos Silk Road YTL8354 + MH1311-652 head

Best carbon fibre tripod: 02 Giottos Silk Road YTL8354 + MH1311-652 head

Price: £315 (tripod £240, head £75)
Buy it:
Traditionally, tripods have been made more travel-friendly by making them fold down to ever-shorter lengths.

But the Silk Road has an ingenious space-saving design that replaces the tubular central column with a ‘Y’ shape that the tripod legs tuck neatly into, which Giottos says reduces bulk by 30%, compared to similar-sized tripods.

It has four leg sections, secured by clip locks, and extends from 54cm to 171m, with the centre column extended (and 138cm without it extended).

The lower legs have graduated markings, to ease setting up on uneven ground. The central column can be pivoted for shooting at awkward angles, or inverted if you need to shoot really low.

We matched it with the MH1311-652 ball head, which has a separate panning rotation feature, plus a friction lock to adjust the head to the weight of the camera, as well as the main locking control to loosen the head for composing shots, and no less than three spirit levels to help line up horizons precisely.

We were really impressed with the way the legs fold into the recesses of the column, making it very slim when packed up.

This doesn’t make it particularly short, but would save space squeezing into a carry-on bag.

We liked the way the centre column can flip out to form a boom – which would be great for macro shots.

The 5kg maximum load is quite low, but would be fine for my 600D and mid-range zoom.

The ball head is a nice compact design, but we found it a bit confusing when to use the friction control and main locking control.”

Pros: Innovative space-saving centre column; pivoting boom; weighs just 1.38kg; 171cm tall
Cons: Maximum load only 5kg; not particularly short when stowed at 54cm

PAGE 1 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 01 Manfrotto 290 MT294C3

PAGE 2 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 02 Giottos Silk Road YTL8354
PAGE 3 – 
Best carbon fibre tripod: 03 3 Legged Thing 3LT X2 Eddie
PAGE 4 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 04 Vanguard ABEO Pro 283CGH
PAGE 5 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 05 FLM CP30-M4S Centerpod
PAGE 6 – 
Which carbon fibre tripod was best?
PAGE 7 – Things to consider when buying a carbon fibre tripod


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  • Mike M

    Those are the TOP models? As for your #1……. Yea ok. It’s only 55″.And so at 6’3 that center column would have to be extended to save your back. It only holds 11lbs? So much for any big sig on it. It’ll hold barely and I mean BARELY twice the weight of a rig with a tele on it. This is not in your travel or budget tripod sections so where are your Gitzo and Really Right Stuff reviews?

  • Sue Basler

    I recently bought the Eddie – by far not a cheap tripod and the more I use it the more disappointed I am. The reasons – the lack of a quick release plate is often really irritating and if you tighten it a bit too much and your fingers are a bit damp or numb from cold it is a bugger to undo. Attaching the plate to the camera is a hassle – having to find a coin somewhere, so I solved that by making a hole in a coin and attaching it to my camera strap – mmmm. Possibly the most disturbing thing is that with all the knobs at their tightest there is lateral play in the head. It is not much but when using a long zoom it is huge. The play seems to be coming from inside the head and no amount of tightening fixes the problem, so I am off to the shop where I bought it to return it as it is just not worth what I paid for it as far as convenience and reliability goes. I would also like to add that unless you tighten the ball head really really tight it does not carry the weight of my camera with the sigma 150-500 without sagging.
    My score – 5/10