I bought a Benro FTA18VC0 Travel Angel tripod as a lightweight tripod, wanting something easier to carry on hikes or cycle rides. Choosing a tripod is a compromise, with one end of the scale occupied by very solid but large and heavy tripods like my old Manfrotto 055, and the other occupied by small and lightweight tripods such as the Surui T-025X and the Manfrotto Be-Free.
The Benro is towards the light end, weighing in at just over 1.5kg for tripod and head, as opposed to BeFree’s 1.2kg. The 18CV0 is the second smallest in the range with the five section 19CV0 packing smaller and weighing slightly less. It’s more expensive than the Be-Free at £330 at time of purchase, as opposed to £230 the current best offer for the Be-Free Carbon (RRP £299). But you get a lot with this tripod:
- Padded bag with two side pockets
- Inner thin bag that can contain the folded legs and head when packed in a rucksack or cycle bag
- Shoulder strap for the bag
- Tripod legs, one of which unscrews.
- Large fibre centre column with large thread for the head
- Short centre column
- Small bag for the centre column
- Retracting hook which screws into the bottom of either column
- Head and plate
- Bag containing spikes, allen key and instruction manual (not read yet)
- Wooden top for the removed leg
- Wrist strap that will fit beneath the wooden top
Out and About
Short Centre Column
The tripod in its smaller bag will fit into a 26l day sack and, just about, an Ortleib rear pannier. It can be carried on a pannier rack easily in its padded bag, or as below.