Best carbon fibre tripod: 5 top models tested and rated

Best carbon fibre tripod:5 top models tested and rated

Best carbon fibre tripod: 03 3 Legged Thing 3LT X2 Eddie + Airhead 2 head

Best carbon fibre tripod: 03 3 Legged Thing 3LT X2 Eddie + Airhead 2 head

Price: £429 (tripod £339, head £179)
Buy it:
It’s named after rocker Eddie Van Halen, but marketing gimmickry aside, this is a feature-rich tripod.

It weighs just 1.47kg and folds to a travel-friendly 42.5cm, thanks to five-section legs that flip round by 180 degrees, completely encasing the centre column and head.

Despite the number of leg sections, it’s very sturdy as the topmost leg is a thick 29mm in diameter, so the bottom leg isn’t too spindly – in fact the Eddie has an impressive 12kg load rating.

The legs have three shooting angles, and an included short replacement centre column allows low-level shooting at just 12cm. Unscrew a leg and it even transforms into a monopod.

It’s available as a kit with the Airhead 2 (this is far cheaper than buying the tripod and head separately), which is a supremely well engineered ball head with a huge 40kg load rating.

A single control sets the amount of force necessary to move the head, and there’s a separate panning control.

It’s the most compact when stowed, the ability to transform into a monopod would be handy for taking the weight while shooting surfing shots, and while some of the other tripods’ legs can be splayed low, this is the only one that actually comes with a replacement short column.

The ball head is really well made, and we liked the simplicity of a single control for both friction and tension – plus the ‘lock’ and ‘rock’ settings raised a wry smile!

In all, it feels really well designed and thought through, and you even get a durable carry bag thrown in.

Pros: Compact when folded; light and strong; comes with extras; converts to monopod; looks cool!
Cons: No pivoting centre column; five-section legs take time to secure; not the tallest at 153cm extended

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