For a long time I have been looking for a small, leightweight but yet very stable tripod that can be put in a suitcase or that I don't mind carrying around for a good day hike. One important criteria is also that it must be stiff enough to hold my rather heavy EOS 1Dx with a telephoto lens. Both together can quickly be 2-3kg of weight.
Overall you don't want the tripod to start vibrating as soon as there is small wind, some wind gusts or when touching the camera to chance settings or press the shutter button.
My large tripod with the geared head is very stable and is not sensitive to wind or vibrations at all, but weighs already about 4 kg by itself. So this is not really a travel tripod.
After testing several tripods I ended up with the Manfrotto Befree Carbon travel tripod. Features that really convinced me are:
+ with only about 1kg of weight and with a practical bag coming with it, it is easy to carry around
+ the ball head is very flexible and allows for quick pointing in any direction
+ the clamping of the ball head is very strong and can easily hold 2-3kg of camera equipment. No danger of drifting away
+ after clamping the ball head it remains at the same position. No 'nodding away' of the camera
Another nice feature is that it can also be configured to be a tripod for macro photography. In this setup the camera 'hangs' between the tripod's legs whereas normally it 'sits' on top of the tripod.
For me, this is the best travel tripod that I have used so far.
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