Vanguard VEO 265CB £250, $280
Vanguard’s travel tripod is a good blend of compactness and robustness. Its eight-kilogram load capacity is respectable, especially given the 39cm closed length and 1.5 kilogram weight.
It’s not short on features, either. There’s a capable head with decent ball articulation, and a versatile Arca-Swiss mounting plate. What’s more, unlike most travel tripods, where setting up involves flipping the legs down from the head, the VEO only requires you to swing the centre column up – or it can be left to hang down for low-level shooting.
Once extended, the five-section carbon legs get the job done, but aren’t particularly rigid, and only reach a modest 150cm at full stretch. There’s also some slight slack in the centre ball joint, but this is rarely an issue in the field.