The Vanguard VEO 235AB tripod is a great travel sized option for those on the go who need a lightweight tripod without compromising strength or durability. I’ve been able to evaluate this offering from Vanguard for a couple weeks. In that time I’ve been impressed not only by it’s flawless function and portability but also its versatility. In this review, we will take a closer look at what makes the Vanguard VEO 235AB such an heavy hitter in the world of lightweight tripods. For those who shoot with mirrorless camera systems or smaller sized dSLR’s is a wonderful alternative to traveling around with a full sized tripod.
Build Quality and Design
The construction of the tripod is of solid aluminum. The center column of the tripod folds down underneath for compact transport and makes the folded height of this tripod a mere 14.88inches(37.79cm). The legs each extend in five sections with four adjustable tension flip locks. The flip locks seem that secure the legs into place feel extremely secure.
The legs also feature a rubber foot/spike design. When indoors or on solid ground the rubber feet do a great job of providing traction for the tripod. When the terrain turns muddy the rubber feet can be screwed upward to reveal traction spikes that bite into unable ground quite well to ensure the tripod stays put.
The overall maximum height with center column extended is 57.1 inches(145cm.)
The legs of the Vanguard VEO 235AB are capable of being positioned independently at three separate angles depending on your needs. There is a button at the top of each leg that is used to set the legs at the desired position. These buttons feel very secure and lock the legs with a very satisfying “click.” A rubber wrapping on one of the legs also provides a sure grip when in the rain or during extremely cold conditions.
Included with the tripod is a TBH-50 ball head. The ball head features an Arca-Swiss compatible quick release plate which also incorporates a stop pin on the connector plate to prevent your precious camera from slided sideways off the mount should the lock become loose. The ball head is very smooth in movement and locks down extremely securely. The tripod and ball head are rated to support just over 13lbs(5.9).
Here’s a complete list of specifications courtesy of Vanguard…
Also worth mentioning is the included “low angle” adapter. This is essentially a way to bring the camera as close to the ground as possible with a solid low-perspective platform. You lose the flexibility of the ball head but gain a much lower perspective now that the center column is removed. The change out is very easy and might be of use to some.
What You’ll Like
With all the strong points about this tripod here are a few that make the 235AB standout:
- The weight is feather-like. For an aluminum tripod of this size and load capacity I found the Vanguard to be exceptionally lightweight at just over 3lbs.
- Rock solid flip locks. I have no concerns whatsoever of these locks failing under normal use.
- Super fast setup. With the “swing under” design of the center column deployment is efficient and quite fast. Makes for a streamlined package for transport.
- Quality Ball Head included. The ball head works wonderfully and I have experienced no drift even with my heavier lenses.
What You Might Not Like
It’s difficult to find anything that I don’t like about the Vanguard 235AB. One thing that have been noted by some is the lack of a d-ring on the base plate screw. If you don’t have a coin or tool on hand installing the plate can be a challenge. Other than that, at the time of this writing I have no other negative comments to remark about the performance of the tripod.
The main reasons why I purchased the Vanguard 235AB was because I needed a sturdy, lightweight tripod that is packable and easy to carry. I can find no area where the Vanguard falls short of my needs. The weight to height ratio is amazing and it is more than capable of handling the load of my camera setup. It’s small enough to pack into carry-on luggage as well. At it’s price point of around $149US on Amazon you will be hard pressed to find a more capable travel tripod to accompany you on all your adventures.