The idea of a travel tripod causes hesitation. On one hand, you have a size that makes bringing a tripod on location no longer a physical strain. On the other, these tripods tend to be thin, causing them to be less sturdy than larger, thicker tubed tripods. The key to a good travel tripod is striking a balance of size and strength. For the past few years, MeFOTO has been the leading brand in travel tripods with their wide selection of sizes. Their introductory line of tripods offered everything from tabletop height to a full size 64" tripod. With their newest release, they seem to be pushing the boundaries of how small a tripod can really be.
The new MeFOTO Air line of tripods look to be some of the smallest tripods ever made. When I say that, I'm referring to their folded length, as their full size option, the Globetrotter Air still gives a maximum height of 68", while folding down to a length of just under 17". Personally, I have been playing with the new Roadtrip Air, the size down from the Globetrotter. At a folded 15", this tripod fits inside of all of my camera bags. Not on, but in. That means that flying and packing for extended trips will be a whole lot easier in the future. The Roadtrip Air still offers a maximum height of 61", so I don't see myself having issues with the height.
They Aren't Perfect
Like camera bags, no tripod is truly perfect. If you're shooting with a medium format camera or a D810 with a grip, maybe look elsewhere. Theoretically, the Roadtrip Air and Globetrotter Air have a weight limit that would support those beasts, but I don't feel as if the tripod would keep either steady enough for serious use. As far as I can see, these are mirrorless tripods through and through. My Fuji X-Pro2 and Sony a6300 fit like a champ and the tripod, even fully extended, still feels solid. The tubes are thin, but that's to be expected out of a tripod that has to morph between a 15" and 61" size.
There's also the center column that needs to be addressed. I don't see myself utilizing the full 61" height due to the fact that the center column has three extensions. This just begs for camera shake. I understand why it's designed this way to keep the size as small as possible, but it detracts from the usefulness in those extreme situations. I would rather have an extra leg extension than that many center column extensions. Again, no tripod is perfect and only time will tell how much of an issue this will prove to be in reality.
No Carbon Fiber
I'll be that guy and make this complaint. The issue isn't the weight, as the Roadtrip Air only weights 2.5 pounds. Even the original Roadtrip was only 3.6 pounds, and the Carbon Fiber option brought that down to a marginally different 3.1 pounds. I'll survive the weight. I want carbon fiber tubes for the rigidity and dissipation of any minute vibration the tripod may encounter. After having switched from the original aluminum Roadtrip tripod to a slightly larger, older, and carbon fiber Gitzo, the difference was apparent. While that Gitzo sits over two feet long all folded up with my head of choice on it, I feel a lot safer creating long exposures and sticking the tripod in water or next to a busy road.
None of this is to say that I dislike the Roadtrip Air, in fact, it looks to be an incredible tripod for a variety of applications. I have a few trips in the works that will require me to travel as light as possible and the Roadtrip Air will allow me to bring a tripod without needing a bigger bag or having to check luggage. For the mirrorless users, this will be a handy piece of equipment to have around for those times when size and weight are paramount.