Velbon Sherpa 450R Complete, £90
Considering that the aluminium Sherpa 450R costs just £90 for a complete kit, including head, it's a relatively inexpensive option.
It's quite lightweight at 2.3kg, folds down to 68cm and extends to 173cm, with a maximum load rating of 5kg. There's a geared mechanism and handle for adjusting the height of the centre column, complete with adjustable friction damper. However, that's pretty much the only trick feature in the tripod. The legs look as if they should have a multi-angle facility, but it's not included on this model. Likewise, there's no pivot facility and the centre column can neither be split nor inverted, ruling out the possibility of very low-level shooting.
The head is like a combination of ball and 3-way in operation. As such, a single locking arm controls both pan and tilt functions, while a separate locking screw enables swivel for portrait-orientation shooting. If you change the head, you'll need to know that the mounting platform has a 40mm diameter and uses a 1.4-inch locking screw.
The aluminium legs can feel cold to the touch in wintry weather, as there's no comfort padding. At least a carrying bag is supplied with the tripod. Rigidity is pretty good and the leg sections adjust smoothly. The clip locks are positioned very close together, making for easy simultaneous release and fastening. Ultimately, it's a very basic tripod kit but this is reflected in the price.