MEFOTO Roadtrip tripod review

MeFOTO Roadtrip tripod – great product, great value!

Read through to see the 5 reasons you should consider MeFOTO tripods!

I have had 2 Manfrotto tripods over the last several years.  I outgrew the first one, and when I upgraded my gear to a full frame Nikon a few years ago, I also upgraded my sticks (that’s the cool way to say “tripod” LOL).  It was a no-brainer for me at the time to get another Manfrotto.  My original one had performed well, and I knew it was a good brand.  Plus, I have historically been brand-loyal with many things, and I had no reason to switch.

So I have been using the Manfrotto 190CX Pro4 for the last several years, and it’s been on all my trips with me.  All over the US and Europe, shooting in all sorts of conditions.  I also had the 498RC2 ballhead attached to it, and again it all performed well.


Yes, sadly there is an “until”.  I was shooting the skyline of San Antonio, TX one evening in November of last year and after shooting, one of the legs on my Manfrotto tripod would not collapse.  It was just stuck.  So I messed around with it until at some point the interior pieces gave way, and the leg came off.  I was literally holding the bottom section of the leg in my hand, completely separated from the rest of the tripod.

Stuff happens

Anyways, I can understand that things like that happen.  It had been on lots of photo outings over the last couple of years, and something gave way.   It happens.  I wasn’t particularly upset.  However, I have become more and more upset because that was over 5 months ago, and my local camera store still can’t get parts from Manfrotto to fix it.  It’s literally been sitting in my closet, broken, for 5 months.

And I’m not talking about needing something big.  These are just the bushings from inside the bottom of one leg.  While I was at it, I also ordered new rubber feet.  Still don’t have those either.  I keep talking to the guys here at the store, and I continue to hear that they always have problems getting parts from Manfrotto.  I don’t know why - and they don’t either - but it seems parts are always delayed.

Well, I had several trips coming up and I needed a new tripod.  I considered getting another Manfrotto since I could reuse the ballhead, but then I thought I may as well look around and see what else I could use.  It’s not like the Manfrotto tripod is cheap, and I was in this position because their parts availability is terrible.  So why not shop around?

MeFOTO got my attention

That’s when I was drawn to the MeFOTO tripod display in the store.  They stood there, all cheerful and colorful and gleaming in the light, and they just drew me in.  But first, I had an goofy ego issue to resolve.  I hate to admit it, but at the time I thought that no “serious” photographer would have a tripod with some bright colors on it.  It seemed like a toy almost.  But I am interested in price and performance, and this one seemed to be able to deliver both.  Plus, the ballhead was included with it!  That seemed almost too good to be true.  In fact, the entire MeFOTO package (tripod + ballhead + case) was less expensive than just the tripod itself from most other brands, as well as smaller and lighter!  I had to learn more. 

Now I tend not to be an impulse buyer, so I didn’t buy one that day.  But I did speak to some folks at the store, and they all gave these tripods rave reviews.  I was MeFOTO-curious.

So I decided that for my full frame Nikon, the Roadtrip was the one that was small and light enough to travel comfortably with, but still big and sturdy enough to hold my Nikon and a large lens (I generally shoot with the wide angle, and it’s heavy!).  I played with the Roadtrip in the store, I went home and read about them on the website, I Googled other reviews and more and then finally - I made a decision to buy one.

What’s my verdict?

It’s great!  Great value, great build quality, great functionality.

Based on my experience thus far, here’s why I think you should consider MeFOTO…

5 Reasons to buy your next tripod from MeFOTO

  1. Portability

    • Smaller and lighter than the Manfrotto 190CX Pro4 travel tripod
    •  Aluminum MeFOTO Roadtrip is lighter than my carbon fiber one from Manfrotto
    •  Manfrotto + ballhead = 4.95 pounds, ~25 inches collapsed
    •  MeFOTO (which comes with a ballhead) = 3.6 pounds, 15.3 inches folded 
  2.  Performance

    •  It’s very sturdy and light.  I have used it extensively now, and even with heavy, expensive DSLR gear on it, I have no issues.  Also great with a small mirrorless camera.
    • The ballhead works great, and even though I could technically use my Manfrotto ballhead on this tripod, why bother?  That just adds more weight.
  3. Pricing

    •  It’s WAY less expensive than a lot of other options, like Manfrotto.  Now I don’t advocate throwing money away, but at $189 this one is easy enough to replace should I ever need a new one.  That’s peace of mind to me.
  4. And there’s a 5 year warranty!  Big win right there! Yes, I said 5 years!

  5. Personality goes a long way

    • I have grown to love the color options (I got blue but was really thinking about orange instead) and have decided that injecting a little personality into my tripod is just what I needed.  Black gets boring anyways.  Why not embrace color?

Oh and by the way, the tripod also comes with a carrying case, which is made of sturdy nylon and has a shoulder strap.  It’s the complete package.  So there you have it – a non-technical, hit-the-basic-facts sort of tripod review.

Bottom line = MeFOTO tripods are well built, offer great functionality, are small and light for travel, have an incredible warranty, and are vastly more affordable than a lot of other brands.  Give them a try!

You can read about them all here:

And here is a direct link to the Roadtrip:

MeFOTO tripod page on Amazon

Thanks for stopping by!  Let me know about your experiences in the comments section!

My lovely blue MeFOTO getting a workout in Austin, TX while supporting my Olympus mirrorless camera.

My lovely blue MeFOTO getting a workout in Austin, TX while supporting my Olympus mirrorless camera.

Here's my MeFOTO holding up my DSLR and wide angle lens on the Oregon coast.

Here's my MeFOTO holding up my DSLR and wide angle lens on the Oregon coast.