Induro AT214 Alloy 8M, £135
Like the Giottos carbon tripod on test, this alloy Induro is based on four-section legs. As a result, it folds down to a space-saving 55cm in length yet reaches 170cm in height with the centre column fully extended. Being aluminium, it's noticeably heavier than the Giottos but still entirely manageable at 2kg. It's maximum load rating is twice that of the Giottos carbon tripod and it feels rather more robust.
Unusually, and like only the 3 Legged Thing tripod in this group, the Induro features twist locks rather than clip locks on its leg sections, but they operate smoothly and efficiently. It's very easy to fasten or release all the locks in one action, when the legs are fully contracted.
The tripod comes in a smart bag, complete with a tool pouch that includes a set of spiked metal feet that you can use as an alternative to the rubber pads that are fitted. A bubble level on the tripod shoulder makes for easy levelling on uneven ground. Some photographers may miss a pivoting centre column facility, which is lacking in this model.
As a necessity of the four-section leg design, the bottom sections are quite thin but the tripod is still reassuringly rigid, even at maximum extension. The leg section locks to a good job at resisting any flexing, which is a good job as there are nine of them in total.