Benro Flat Traveller 2 A1182TB0 £190, $245 Performance
A somewhat unique concept in travel tripods, with a flat profile and separate centre column
The tops of tripod legs are usually joined by a bulky triangular casting, but the Flat Traveller lives up to its name with a unique in-line leg mounting design which gives it a much flatter profile. One consequence of this is that there’s no room for a regular, built-in centre column. Instead, a separate extending centre column is supplied, giving you the option to connect the head direct to the platform, or to fit the centre column in between. The arrangement enables the joint highest operating height in the group, along with the Nest Traveller, as well as the lowest shooting height of any of the tripods when the legs are splayed but the centre column isn’t inverted, which can’t actually be done on the Flat Traveller anyway. Well-engineered from aluminium and magnesium alloy, the four-section legs, twist clamps and leg angle locking mechanisms all work wonderfully smoothly. The ball head is similarly impressive, with an adjustable friction damper and pan-only lock, the latter benefitting from a calibrated scale on the base. Adding to the overall versatility, one of the legs unscrews and connects to the centre column and head for use as a monopod.
Maximum height is good, but you have to fit the centre column separately