MeFoto GlobeTrotter / Travel Tripod Review

MeFoto's Globetrotter is designed as a go-anywhere travel tripod for DSLR and mirrorless systems. It's small, compact, and very competitively priced. Here's how it stacks up in use.

MeFOTO’s GlobeTrotter is the largest in MeFOTO’s family of tripods and is designed to hold larger DSLR bodies. It comes in carbon fiber and aluminum versions. I tested the carbon fiber version.

It’s a compact travel tripod with the legs extending in five sections. It folds down to an impressive minimum length of 16.1 inches and weighs 3.7 lbs with a maximum load capacity of 26.5 lbs. MeFOTO claims that it will hold up to a 70-200 f/4 lens steady, but that of course depends a lot on conditions.

I was pleasantly surprised with my first impressions. It feels solid and well-made. I’ve not used MeFOTO products before, and the price point suggests cheap. But this is an excellent example of where cheap is not the same as inexpensive. It feels solid.

Legs

The locking mechanism employs twist locks with rubberized grips. They don’t feel as refined as some of the more expensive competitors like the Gitzos, but they do what they’re supposed to do. The shafts of the legs are carbon fiber, with the joints aluminum. One leg has foam padding (very handy when it’s very cold). In general, these types of locking mechanisms do pretty well at keeping dirt and dust out that might interfere with the lock, but they’re not perfect.

When folding the legs out, the legs move freely with an appropriate amount of resistance. I found the locking mechanism to be a bit unusual. Rather than a spring-loaded lock when the leg angle gets to the locking point, you have to manually push the lock in. To unlock, you pull it out again. It seems to work well enough, although I prefer the spring-loaded version used on the Gitzos. When you’re focusing on the scene you’re shooting rather than the tripod itself (or it’s just dark), it would be fairly easy to not push the lock in far enough to actually lock. The lock is also stiff enough that it’s not as easy as it could be to unlock and fold a leg with one hand. But it’s a relatively minor issue and is presumably one of the areas that explain the lower price bracket.

There are two options for choosing an angle to lock the legs at. One is a pretty standard angle of about 30 degrees or so. But the other is a much larger angle (eyeballing it, I’d say it’s around 60 degrees or so) that creates a much wider stance. If you’re shooting low to the ground, it’s an very good option for adding extra stability thanks to the broader base.

And if it’s important that you get even lower to the ground–for shooting wildflowers, for example, or just getting a low perspective for a landscape–you can buy a separate short column as an accessory that allows you replace the standard center column that brings the minimum operating height down to 13 inches off the ground. Available here

The feet screw out to extend up to an extra half inch or come out completely if you want to replace the standard rubber feet with steel spikes (included).

There’s also a center-column hook that you can use to hang weights or bags to add some stability, particularly in breezy conditions.

Extending the legs uses 4 rotating locks for each leg.

Like many of the current generation of travel tripods, this one folds back on itself.

In addition to the standard tripod leg angle, you can use a much larger angle to splay the legs wide and use it close to the ground.

Locking the angle of the legs uses a manual locking mechanism rather than a spring loaded one. This is in the locked position.

And this unlocked.

Head

The kit comes with the MeFOTO Q2 ballhead, which uses an Arca-Swiss style quick release plate (a quick release plate is included). The head also has a built-in bubble level, although if you’re using the bubble level, you’ll need to align it before you slide the camera in because the camera will obscure the level when it’s on the head.

The locking mechanisms use pretty standard rotary dials. There are three dials–one for lateral rotation and two for locking the ball. It’s probably one more dial than is really necessary, but the extra dial does give you slightly more fine-tuning control.

Rubberized grips on the dials are a nice touch. The lateral rotation is smooth and locks tight. The ballhead itself is not the smoothest I’ve seen, but it works well enough and locks tight.

From left to right, a Markins Q-Ball Q3 Traveler, MeFOTO Q2, and the ballhead for the Manfrotto BeFree.

As a Monopod

One of the legs has foam cushioning. That leg unscrews from the main hinges. You then unscrew the weight hook from the center column, and the center column will slide out. You then screw the leg directly into the center column to create a monopod.

It’s a very handy feature, although it’s not necessarily a replacement if you rely on a compact travel monopod, simply because when used as a monopod, it’s still fairly tall with a minimum length a shade under 30 inches. That’s not going to fit in a bag easily while assembled. You also end up with the slightly odd situation of the foam grip being well below the camera, which is not the ideal place for it in use.

But it is nevertheless a clever design that creates a feature that is well worth factoring in when you’re deciding which tripod to buy.

One of the legs unscrews, and the center columns comes out. You then attach those two pieces to create a monopod.

Carbon Fiber vs Aluminum

The MeFOTO GlobeTrotter comes in two flavors: carbon fiber and aluminum. I used the carbon fiber. The difference comes down mainly to weight and price. The carbon version weights 3.7 lbs, whereas the aluminum version comes in at 4.6 lbs. But you pay a premium for losing that 0.9 of a pound: $209 for the aluminum version compared to $369 for the carbon fiber version. Carbon tripods also tend to be stiffer, with the aluminum naturally having a bit more flex in it.

Case

It comes with a very good sling-style case that is sturdy enough that I would feel comfortable checking it in as checked luggage on a flight if I really had to (though, having had tripods damaged in checked luggage before, I try not to do it unless there’s no choice). The case fits snuggly and is convenient for carrying around. There are no external pockets, and you can’t really fit anything substantial in there in addition to the tripod (like a lightweight pano head, for example). While it’s not as nicely made as something like the Really Right Stuff tripod bags, it’s hard to quibble with it when it’s already included.

Options

Color Trims

This is the first tripods I’ve seen that comes with a large variety of color trims: blue, red, green, titanium, and black. The colors apply to the hinges, the head, and aluminum rings of the locking mechanisms. It’s a bit of a gimmick, but I can also see some practical uses for distinguishing your tripod from others quickly if you’re traveling with a group of photographers or if you have multiple tripods set up differently.

Wrap-Up

Color me impressed. There are some finer points that are less refined than on some of the more established (and more expensive) tripods like the Gitzo travel tripod series. But the MeFOTO GlobeTrotter performs well and has some really nice touches such as the included travel case and ability to convert to a monopod.

But the killer feature is its price point, which at about 1/3 of some of its direct competitors. That’s hard to argue with and makes it hard to find fault with this tripod. Only time will tell whether its leg extension locks last as long without loosening or a cheaper quality carbon fiber weakens more quickly. But the reality is that you can still buy another two replacements and still come out at about the same price as some of its more refined competitors.

Specs

Model Number: MeFOTO C2350Q2T
Max Height Monopod: 66.9 inches (170 cm)
Max Height Tripod: 64.2 inches (163 cm)
Min length folded: 16.1 inches (41 cm)
Weight: 3.7 lbs (1.7 kg)
Max Load: 26.5 lbs (12 kg)
Warranty: 5 years (3 years when you buy + 2 years when you register)
Instruction Manual
Travel Case Included?: Yes
Options: Aluminum & Carbon / color trims
Made in China

Compared To

Gitzo Traveler Kit (Series 2)Gitzo GT1542TMeFOTO GlobetrotterManfrotto BeFreeInduro Grand Turismo CGT114Sirui T-2205XBenro GoTravel 2Benro C1682TV1 Travel Angel II3 Legged Thing Leo3 Legged Thing Brian3 Legged Thing Rick3 Legged Thing RogerOben CT-3581Sirui T-1024XLVaravon Baby T3Kirk MiniMeFOTO Globetrotter Air



ReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReviewReview
Model No.GK2580TQDGT1542TC2350Q2TMKBFRC4-BHCGT114T-2205XGC269TB2C1682TV13LLEOKITE3BRIAN3PKRICKE3ROGERBLCT-3581SUT1204XLBABY T3TT-1GTAIRBLK
Made ofCarbon fiberCarbon fiberCarbon fiberCarbon fiberCarbon fiberCarbon fiberCarbon fiberCarbon fiberCarbon fiberCarbon fiberCarbon fiberAlloyCarbon fiberCarbon fiberAluminumAluminum/Stainless SteelAluminum Alloy
Leg Sections44544554 (also version with 5)555554315
Folded length16.9 in
43 cm
16.7 in
42.5 cm
16.1 in
41 cm
15.8 in
40 cm
17.3 in
44 cm
14.6 in
37 cm
16.5 in
42 cm
17.7 in
45 cm
13.75 in
34.8 cm
15.75 in
40 cm
12.6 in
32 cm
15.75 in
40 cm
16.9 in
42.9 cm
18.3 in
46.5 cm
10.8 in
27.5 cm
4.4 in
11.3 cm
16.7 in
42.5 cm
Weight4.19 lb
1.9 kg
2.2 lb
1 kg
3.7 lb
1.7 kg
2.4 lb
1.1 kg
3.5 lb
1.6 kg
2.6 lb
1.2 kg
4.1 lb
1.9 kg
3.5 lb
1.6 kg
3.2 lb
1.45 kg
4.1 lb
1.9 kg
2.7 lb
1.2 kg
4.5 lb
2 kg
3.9 lb
1.7 kg
2.2 lb
1 kg
1.8 lb
820 g
9 oz
255 g
3.2 lb
1.4 kg
Max height60.6 in
154 cm
58.7 in
149 cm
64.2 in
163 cm
56.7 in
144 cm
62.6 in
159 cm
56.9 in
145 cm
64.6 in
164 cm
63 in
160 cm
51.5 in
131 cm
76.4 in
194 cm
56.7 in
144 cm
68.6 in
174 cm
67.9 in
172.5 cm
63 in
160 cm
17.3 in
44 cm
4.4 in
11.3 cm
68.1 in
173 cm
Max load15.4 lb
7 kg
17.6 lb
8 kg
26.5 lb
12 kg
8.8 lb
4 kg
32 lb
14.5 kg
26.5 lb
12 kg
30.9 lb
14 kg
30.8 lb
14 kg
26.4 lb
12 kg
26.5 lb
12 kg
17.6 lb
8 kg
100 lb
45 kg
17.6 lb
8 kg
Available w/Head?YesNoYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes (not removable)NoYes (not removable)
Monopod?NoNoYesNoNoNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNo
List Price$1,099$750$399$350$490$415
$525$419$349.99$499$249$369
$349
$370
$150
$120
$225

Where to Buy

You can find them at B&H Photo and Amazon.

More Tips & Tricks:

View Comments

  • Thank you for a great review. I have a large camera/lens, Nikon D4s and Nikon 300mm 2.8. Would the MeFOTO aluminum tripod be overloaded?

    • At all but the lowest levels (ie. not extended) any of these smaller travel tripods will have some wobble with a rig that big. That is, it might hold the weight technically, but it's probably not going to be hold things as still as you'd like. That's not to say I don't sometimes do it--but it's much less than ideal if you're doing long exposures or time-lapse.

  • Loved your review -- well organized.
    Question:
    Will this tripod with ball head be substantial enough to hold my Nikon D7200 WITH Nikon 200-500mm lens mounted on it? I saw one for sale with the Q1 ballhead.
    Thank you.

    • Thanks--and I'm glad you found it helpful. As a technical matter, it will hold that combination, but I'd probably recommend stepping up to something sturdier for better and more consistent results, especially if you plan to extend the legs beyond the top couple of sections. And doubly so if you plan on shooting long exposures or time-lapse or video. The lower sections on these travel tripods tend to be very thin, and that inevitably does introduce some flex even for the best of them. And if you're zooming in to the 750mm (35mm equivalent) you're going to notice it. While I sometimes put something like a 80-400mm on one of these small tripods, I really only do that in a pinch and with the legs mostly retracted. But for those types of focal lengths I strongly favor using something bigger, sturdier, and (unfortunately) bulkier. Or, of the height of the tripod isn't an issue, something like one of the super-sturdy tabletop tripods like the Induro Baby Grand. But obviously, that doesn't have the convenience of shooting height.

  • The case does have an interior pocket that contains an allen wrench and a set of spike feet. It will also hold the short center column which can be purchased separately without any problems.

  • Yes, the tripod is lightweight & compact - but it is not well built. It is cheap & falls apart very easily. I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND THIS TRIPOD OR MEFOTO PRODUCTS TO ANYONE.
    I took extreme care of this tripod. Not only did the rubber feet unscrew and fall off by themselves - but one of my leg locks also fell out entirely. Each leg has a lock which allows you to lock it in place or unlock it to fold up the tripod. The entire screw & washer fell out. I had to put it back as best I could but it does not move in and out anymore so it is now permanently locked.
    I contacted MEFOTO because I figured this was something my "warranty" covered... WRONG! Their advice was to disassemble the tripod and leg and to use loctite to repair it. I do not want to disassemble the tripod and make it worse so now I am stuck with a faulty tripod.
    DO NOT BUY THIS TRIPOD! It is way too expensive and not worth the money. There are plenty of other lightweight options!

  • Hello David,

    thanks a lot for this brilliant review, I've beek looking for such a synthesis since quite a fews weeks, but finally I end up finding your website.

    I am hesitating between the Mefoto Globetrotter and the Sirui T-2205X but with a budget of approx 400-500$, I have honestly no idea what head to put on the T-2205X.

    Any recommendation which would make it a better combo than the Globetrotter is ?

    Again, many thanks for the good work !

  • Hi David- Great reviews and points made! Was wondering since I just bought(and am subsequently having to return it) a tripod that Seemed to be what I wanted, but when putting my D7100 w/either a 14-24 WA lens or 70-300 Zoom in portrait mode, the lens/body slowly tilted downwards, no matter How hard I tried tightening w/the half circle twist attached to the set screw on the removable head piece. I take it you have tried a similar setup in Portrait mode for this model with NO cam/lens tilting downwards after tightening & re-attaching to the ball head? Weighed my cam/lens directly after which came out to a Mere 55 oz(just under 4 lbs) & was VERY disappointed it did not hold them in portrait mode & am looking for a Good tripod that Will!

    Thanks David!

  • Hi David,
    Thanks for the great write-up!
    Do you know whether the legs on the MeFoto Globetrotter will fold up compactly around a RRS BH-30 (with a standard length plate). The base diameter of the ball head is 1.6" and the widest part of the ball head is 3.1" dia.
    Thanks!

  • Excellent tripod reviews I appreciated getting both the advantages and disadvantages of various options. The result was rare objectivity plus practical wisdom. Thanks much

    • It's compatible, yes. They've all settled on a standard 1/4-inch bolt that goes from the tripod head (or quick release plate) into the bottom of the camera. The area you might run into trouble is if you put a particularly heavy lens on the camera, like a big telephoto lens, that makes the camera and lens unusually heavy. But that's about stability rather than compatibility.

  • Great review. I'm interested to know if it would fit a manfrotto ball head? I had the roadtrip series mefoto and I hated the arca swiss head, I prefer manfrottos quick release system more.

Share