Benbo Trekker Mk 3 BEN107C
Half the weight of its big br other
We wouldn’t class this as a true travel tripod, as its folded length is 86cm, but it’s much lighter and easier to carry than the Benbo 2 kit. The legs and centre column are thinner and shorter, giving a maximum operating height of 170cm. This is more similar to that of other tripods on test, although the Trekker legs have the lowest maximum load rating in the group, at five kilograms. The same applies to the ‘Compact’ ball head.
The design is essentially a scaled-down version of the Benbo 2 and intermediate Benbo 1 kits, but the Trekker Mk 3 boasts a crucial update: its main joint, which enables movement of all three legs and the centre column, has splined internal surfaces. This makes the tripod less prone to sagging, especially when spreading the legs wide, and means less force is required when tightening the locking levers.
While the design of the main clamp is an improvement, the scaled-down ball head is a disappointment. It lacks a quick-release plate, adjustable friction damper and panning release. Its 1/4-inch mounting thread precludes fitment on tripods with a 3/8-inch stud.
Performance of the legs is good, thanks to enormous positional versatility, but it’s let down by the head, which fails to give solid support to D-SLR and lens combinations that are well within the load rating.
Features Build/handling Performance Value for money
The improved clamp design is welcome, but the ball head is poor.
Specs Maximum operating height: 170cm Folded height (with head): 86cm Weight with head: 2.2kg Max load (legs, head): 5kg, 5kg Leg section diameters: 27mm, 23mm Pivoting centre column: 360º Ball head: Benbo Compact Head mount diameter: 42mm Locking leg angles: Any angle Feet: Spiked rubber