The Benro C0190 Travel Flat tripod is an ultra-portable tripod. The Travel Flat series offers a unique design whereby the legs actually fold flat rather than into a triangle formation as in most other tripods on the market.
The Benro Travel Flat models come in aluminum and carbon fiber flavors and range in price between about $100 and $400. The C0190, which is a carbon fiber model, traveled with me to Chile and back via the side pocket of a Think Tank Photo Airport Addicted v.2.0. I hardly noticed that it was on the side of the bag most of the time that I was carrying it around – it only weights 1.5 lbs.
Because the legs lay flat, you can actually fit the tripod inside a number of bags/backpacks that you wouldn’t think of stuffing another type of tripod into. It folds down to a length of 16.1″ and, as noted, has a very small footprint.
Benro gets the max height of 63.8″ (which is staggering for such a compact unit) out of the C0190 thanks to the inclusion of a removable 2-section center column. Also made of carbon fiber, this extension adds a few more inches onto the top of the tripod. The extension piece will easily slide into another pouch or pocket of your camera bag or backpack.
Benro rates the max load for the C0190 at 13.2 lbs, which it can certainly hold. However, when the tripod is fully extended, I wouldn’t want that much weight on it in a windstorm. The final section of the twist-lock legs is relatively small. Of course, this is necessary to get the max height out of it, but it is the weakest (and smallest) link in the tripod. In general, I tried to stay away from the max height and that pays off pretty well in the rigidity department.
Give the size of the package when it’s broken down for travel, I can’t complain too much about necessary trade-offs. It’s not going to replace your everyday/studio tripod – but it’s not supposed to. This is a specialist tool for the traveling photographer – and it excels at that.
For those who travel with their photo gear frequently, these tripods are awesome. If you need a tripod where you are going but you are hesitant to carry one around because of the bulk or weight, you should definitely consider taking a look at the Benro Travel Flat series. With aluminum models starting in the $100 range, and carbon fiber models topping out at around $400, there’s really something for everyone’s budget.
The Benro C0190 Travel Flat tripod is available from Photography Bay’s trusted retail partner, B&H Photo, at the following link:
By making your photography purchases at B&H Photo through these links, you are helping Photography Bay to continue bring quality camera tests, news and reviews. Thanks for your continued support.
Jeff Singer says
What is the minimum height on these? On B&H it says “not specified by manufacturer”.
Eric Reagan says
Benro specs the collapsed height at 16.1″, which is going to be about what it is when you spread the legs out (it will a bit shorter though).
Jon Lund says
This may seem an obvious question, but it wasn’t mentioned in the review, does the travel flat tripod need an additional tripod head, or is the kit complete and ready for use as it comes? If it needs a head, what’s best to keep weight down?
Eric Reagan says
No head is included Jon. It’s tripod only. For travel purposes, I would look for a compact ball head that will go into your camera bag. Maybe something like the Manfrotto 496RC2.