I previously wrote a MeFOTO Backpacker review and concluded that if you’re looking for a travel tripod to use with your point-and-shoot, GoPro or smaller mirrorless cameras that it was a good choice that you’ll want to consider.
However, if you’re looking for something a little more robust that you can use with your DSLR or mirrorless with heavier lenses attached then the Backpacker probably isn’t going to cut it.
That’s where the MeFOTO GlobeTrotter travel tripod comes into play and in this post I want to give it a review and let you know why I think it’s a suitable choice to use if you’re travelling with a heavier camera and you want to take advantage of a stable tripod set-up.
My MeFOTO GlobeTrotter Review
- Folded length of 16.1-inches
- Can convert into monopod
- 3.7/4.6 pounds in weight depending on material
- Capacity of 26.4 pounds
- Comes with carrying case
- Range of different colors available
- Two models to choose from, aluminum or carbon fiber
The MeFOTO GlobeTrotter is one of the biggest tripods that you can get from MeFOTO and it was designed to hold bigger, heavier and bulkier cameras and keep them more stable when you’re out shooting in the field.
There are two different models available, one made from carbon fiber and the other made from aluminum, and in this post I’ll be speaking exclusively about the carbon fiber model.
If you’re looking for a travel tripod that’s portable and compact but still able to hold your DSLR, even if it has a bigger lens on it, then the GlobeTrotter is one that I recommend for you to consider.
Weighing around 3.7 pounds in weight and having a load capacity of 26.5 pounds means you’ll be able to keep your camera gear study, in the ideal scenario of course, while you’re trying to capture your shot or filming a video.
It’s also very portable, folding down and packed away at just 16.1 inches in length and thanks to the tripod legs which extends into five sections you’re able to get it set up and ready to go in places where you wouldn’t be able to use a less portable, bulkier tripod.
After opening it up and taking it out of the box I was immediately happy with how the tripod felt and how easy it was to get it set-up and ready to shoot.
You would think that for the price you wouldn’t be able to find such a quality and durable tripod but even if you’re not on a budget I think that the GlobeTrotter is a suitable choice for travelers or photographers looking for a lightweight and portable tripod to use with a DSLR camera.
To get the tripod legs extended and properly positioned you have to unlock and adjust them using twist locks.
The way the locks is simple, you just turn the rubberized grip towards either the locking or unlocked position depending on what you’re trying to do and then when you’re ready you just turn the grip back to either lock or unlock the legs in place.
I don’t actually have much experience with more of the higher-priced tripods and originally I was opposed to the twist lock system but after having used the MeFOTO Backpacker and the GlobeTrotter I’ve actually come to prefer the twist locks.
As for the composition of the legs, the leg shafts are made from lightweight carbon fiber and the joints where they attach are made from aluminum. Before using the GlobeTrotter I’ve only ever used aluminum tripods before but for me there is definitely a noticeable difference in the weight between the two materials.
A nifty little feature that I liked about the tripod legs is that one of them is covered with a piece of foam that wraps around the entire leg.
Not only does this offer a little bit of extra grip when you’re positioning everything or carrying the tripod around but it also helps to keep your hands a bit warmer if you’re setting everything up when it’s cold outside.
I haven’t had a chance to take them apart but I think after having used the tripod for a longer period of time that the leg twist locks will have to be cleaned.
I could see that it’s possible for dirt and debris to get inside locking system and make it harder to get secure locked position so you’ll want to clean the legs if you ever notice any build-up or if you run into problems keeping the legs locked and secure.
As for setting everything up I find that the legs can be moved and positioned without too much effort but that is a little bit of resistance when you’re trying to open or close them.
As for the leg locking mechanism, not the twist lock but the little mechanism that keeps the legs locked in a certain angle, I also find it easy-to-use and a fairly practical choice for locking the legs into their set-up angle.
To work this mechanism you just need to push it in towards the tripod body where it will then lock and keep the legs firmly in place. To unlock you just need to pull it out and then you can readjust the tripod legs.
So far this hasn’t been a problem for me but I did notice that every so often I don’t push the locking mechanism in far enough and then I have to double check it afterwards once I’m ready to start shooting to make sure that it’s going to stay locked and to avoid any problems with the tripod toppling over.
As for the angle where the legs can be locked, there are two default positions that you can use. One of the positions gives you the more common and practical angle where the tripod is standing up fairly upright at about a 30-degree angle.
The other angle where you can lock the legs offers a wider positioning and keeps the tripod closer to the ground. This wider angle as a practical choice if you’re shooting in poor and windy weather, using a heavier camera or you just want the added stability.
The wide leg angle positioning also makes it a little easier if you want to use the tripod to shoot from lower angles and take advantage of a more unique point of view compared to the more standard, chest height angles.
You can also use this wide angle to position your camera to capture something that’s happening at ground level, like flowers or even a time-lapse of ants, a stream flowing by or something like that.
At the bottom of the legs are rubber feet and I find these practical for the urban and nature photography that I’m doing. However, depending on where you’ll be capturing photos or video you’re able to screw the feet off and replace them with something that you prefer using.
Finally, for even further added stability there is a hook built into the center column that you can use to hang something heavy from. I like to hang my camera bag from it for added security but to also help reduce vibrations.
The Tripod Head
Attached to the top of the MeFOTO GlobeTrotter is the MeFOTO Q2 ball head. You also get to use the Arca-Swiss style quick-release plate that’s attached to the top of the ball head.
I love this quick-release plate and I actually leave it attached to my camera most of the time so I can just quickly get it set-up once the tripod is ready to go without having to fiddle with it and screw everything in.
To release it you just need to turn one of the knobs on the ball head and make sure to retighten it once you add the quick-release plate with your camera attached.
There’s also a bubble level that’s built into the head.
This is another feature that I like because it allows me to balance and level my set-up so that I don’t have to make any changes in post. If you’re using a larger camera be sure to make sure that everything is level before you add the camera or else you won’t be able to see the bubble-level.
There are a three different knobs on the ball head and an additional one attached to the quick release plate. This might seem overwhelming at first but once you get use to which knob does what it’s quite a straightforward process getting everything properly adjusted.
Two of the knobs are actually used to lock the ball in the ball head and I find that the second knob offers a little bit more preciseness when it comes to getting your preferred angle.
I prefer just having a single knob for the ball head but having two really isn’t a big deal and you might even prefer it depending on your preferences.
There are rubberized grips on each knob and this offers a little more grip and easier control compared to some of the other tripod models where the knobs don’t have any grip at all.
As for the ball head, I find that it sometimes get stuck but I’ve had a lot of success with some smooth pants and once you get the hang of it it’s pretty straightforward to get it set up the way you want.
Additional Feature: Use As a Monopod
One of the more unique features about the MeFOTO GlobeTrotter is that one of the legs can be unscrewed from the its hinge,attached to the main base and turned into a monopod.
The monopod leg is the one with the foam on and to get it set up you just need to unscrew the hook column from the main body column, pull it apart, pull the other two legs off and then screw the monopod foam leg into the main column with the ball head.
I’m not sure if I’m ever going to use this feature personally, because I don’t really have a need for a monopod, but if you’re looking for a monopod to bring with you traveling and you also want to use a tripod but you don’t want to carry both of the pieces of equipment separately then this is a practical solution for you.
It’s definitely something to think of and it’s a nifty little feature that helps to reduce the amount of different pieces of gear that you need to travel with while giving you some additional functionality.
The Different Models: Aluminum or Carbon Fiber?
If you’re interested in the MeFOTO GlobeTrotter you should keep in mind that it comes available in two different materials.
You’ll have the option to choose between an aluminum or carbon fiber model and if you’re looking to cut down on your gear weight and travel with something a little lighter then it’s the carbon fiber one that I would recommend.
The carbon fiber one only weighs about 3.7 pounds and the aluminum one is nearly a pound heavier at 4.6 pounds. The problem here is that there is quite a difference in price between the two models so it’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to spend the difference to save around one pound.
I’ve had a good experience with tripods made from both materials so it basically just comes down to your personal preference, budget and photography needs.
The Traveling Case
A problem that I’ve run into with a few of the different tripods that I’ve tried out is that they don’t come with a case and this makes it a pain in the butt to travel with.
Thankfully, the GlobeTrotter comes with a nice case with a shoulder strap that makes it easier to carry and easier to bring with you when you’re traveling. The tripod fits very well inside the case and once you zip it up there is hardly any interior movement.
On the outside there aren’t any pockets and I feel comfortable tossing the case over my shoulder while I’m walking around exploring a new place or taking any method of transportation with my camera gear.
I also like the case because it helps to keep the tripod a little protected when it’s in your bag from any bumps or scratches.
Depending on your preferences there are a few different colors of tripod available.
Personally, I went with the blue one because I think it looks pretty cool but you’re able to choose from black, titanium, green and red as well.
It’s really up to you when it comes to what color you want although I think having a brighter color helps to make it so that your tripod stands apart from the other more basic color options available and it looks pretty cool as well.
Final Thoughts and Recommendation
If you’re on a tight budget like I am but you still want to tripod that’s portable, durable and able to keep your heavier DSLR and other camera gear stable and sturdy then it’s the MeFOTO GlobeTrotter that I would recommend for you to check out.
As a pretty amateur photographer I find that the GlobeTrotter has everything I need to capture 99% of the shots that I want, if it’s into my backpack quite nicely and I’m able to carry it around for extended periods of time without feeling that it’s holding me back or that it’s too bulky to bring along.
Of course there are some lighter models available that come with more features but I think that this is a suitable choice for many photographers that want something that’s lightweight, durable and a practical choice to bring along traveling.