Giottos Vitruvian VGRN 9255+5310-630 £165, $215
The impressively compact Vitruvian is something of a trend setter when it comes to travel tripods
Giottos’ Vitruvian tripods were among the first to feature upswing legs for compact stowage. The range includes a variety of models, but this one is one of the most competitively priced and folds down to just 34cm in height (in our test, it’s beaten only by the Velbon UT-43D II). It’s very light too, at 1.12kg complete with ball head. As such, it’s easy to fit inside a photo backpack, though it does come with its own padded bag, as featured with most competing tripods.
Smart design flourishes include spring-loaded clips for the multi-angle legs, which make it easy to alter the angles or fold the legs up for storage. The legs are of a five-section design. The close proximity of the twist grips for clamping, at least when the legs are in their shortest configuration, makes it easy to loosen all clamps simultaneously with one hand.
The only real downside is that the bottom leg sections are thin (10mm in diameter). For lowlevel shooting, a short centre column is supplied along with the standard length column. Overall, the Giottos doesn’t feel particularly rigid or robust, as reflected by its 3kg maximum load capacity, but there are plenty of refinements, including a pan-only lock on the ball head.
Like in the MeFOTO tripod, five-section legs help reduce the carrying size