Best carbon fibre tripod: 5 top models tested and rated

Best carbon fibre tripod:5 top models tested and rated

Best carbon fibre tripod: 04 Vanguard ABEO Pro 283CGH + GH300T head

Best carbon fibre tripod: 04 Vanguard ABEO Pro 283CGH + GH300T head

Price: £499 (tripod kit only, £160 head)
Buy it:
Quite heavy for a carbon fibre tripod, this tips the scales at over 2kg – and 3kg with the pistol-grip head attached.

It has three leg sections secured by clip locks, with the top leg being 28mm diameter, and offers a sturdy 8kg load rating and enormous 171.5cm extended height.

The centre column can flip out as a boom, which is handy for macro and low-level photography.

The rubber feet can be removed to reveal retractable spikes for a firm footing in loose ground, plus come with clip-on snow/sand shoes, which spread the weight and allow the tripod to rest on fragile surfaces without sinking.

The tripod is only available as a kit, complete with the GH300T pistol-grip head – which is basically a ball head with a trigger mechanism that enables it to be repositioned easily with one hand.

The panning control has audible clicks every 15 degrees, allowing precise positioning for panoramics.

The trigger also incorporates a cable release, so you can shoot via a button on the trigger, without touching the camera.

This really is a rough-and-tough all-terrain tripod. The sandshoes would certainly come in handy for surf photography, and the centre column that turns into a boom would, like the Giottos Silk Road, be great for getting down low and close-up to nature.

Being able to position the camera – and even fire the trigger – with one hand was neat too. But there’s no getting away from the fact that the Vanguard really doesn’t pack up very small at all, at 76.5cm, and is relatively heavy, at 3kg with the pistol-grip head.

Pros: Feet transform with spikes and snowshoes; pivoting column; one-handed operation
Cons: Relatively heavy and bulky; doesn’t fold down very compactly at 76.5cm

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