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3 Legged Thing Leo 2.0 + AirHead Pro

Compact yet beefy, 3 Legged Thing's Leo 2.0 is a travel tripod with full-sized tripod aspirations

(Image: © Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The 3 Legged Thing Leo 2.0 folds down to an impressively short length and extends to a very acceptable (and usable) maximum height. It's a little fatter than some other travel tripods when it's collapsed, but it's sturdy and well-made with high-quality engineering on display. It makes a great pairing with the AirHed Pro ball head.

Pros

  • +

    Folds down to just 37.4cm long

  • +

    30Kg max load capacity

  • +

    3 removable legs

Cons

  • -

    Wide diameter when folded

  • -

    Not as tall as some other travel tripods

  • -

    Expensive

3 Legged thing sells the Leo 2.0 by itself or with the AirHed Pro Lever ball head. We're looking at the kit with the head here.

As the most compact tripod in 3 Legged Thing's Pro range, the Leo 2.0 packs down to just 37.4cm in length with the head still attached. And at full height with the centre column extended, it measures 146cm. If the centre column is removed, the maximum height is 112cm and the minimum shooting height is just 21cm. Alternatively, the centre column can be reversed and the camera slung between the legs for even lower-level shooting. 

The 5-section legs can be set to one of 3 angles, with the 23° setting delivering the highest load capacity of 30Kg. Using the legs at the 55° setting reduces the load capacity to 20Kg, while the 80° setting enables a maximum load of 10Kg.

While several tripods allow one leg to be removed to create a monopod, all three of the Leo 2.0's legs can be removed. As well as enabling one to be attached to the 2-section centre column to create a monopod or boom up to 1.5m long, this allows 3 Legged Thing's optional Vanz footwear to be attached to the canopy in place of the legs to create a table-top tripod. 

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

3 Legged Thing also offers a range of other optional footwear that can be swapped in for the standard rubber feet to give better grip in some situations.

The Leo 2.0 comes with a smart zip-closed bag with a carry handle and strap, plus a zippered side pocket to hold accessories like the included Toolz carabiner with hex and coin keys, and the microfibre head bag.

While the Leo 2.0's tubes are made from carbon fibre, the canopy, locks, fixings and AirHed Pro are made from aerospace-grade magnesium alloy. The head clamp is also Acra-Swiss compatible, and the included plate has a bolt with a slot and hex socket which means it can be tightened onto a camera with the supplied 'Toolz'.

Specifications

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

Material: Carbon fibre and aerospace-grade magnesium alloy

Folded length: 37.4mm

Maximum height: 146cm

No. leg sections: 5

Weight: 1.85Kg

Maximum load: 30Kg

Build and handling

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

3 Legged Thing makes the Leo 2.0 in two color variants, one with copper metal parts and a blue and orange AirHed Pro, and the other with silver/grey metal parts and a matching AirHead Pro. Both look good but the silver/grey version looks especially smart with its orange accents matching those on the head.

Although it's fairly compact, the Leo 2.0 looks quite chunky. That's in part down to the large leg and centre column locks. These have scalloped grooves alternating with rubber pads to give plenty of grip even when wet or you're wearing gloves. 

All of the metal parts have a high-quality look and feel with excellent machining. This latter point is apparent whenever you unscrew and reattach anything as everything threads on smoothly. Even the movement of the leg angle lock feels great.

The Leo 2.0's legs fold up and over the centre column and head for storage and transport. This and the fairly wide canopy means that although the tripod is just 37.4mm in length when it's folded, it has a comparatively wide diameter. Consequently, getting all three of the Leo 2.0 legs in the tripod pocket of some bags can be a bit of a squeeze. 

Performance

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

While the chunky leg and center column locks don't look as smart as the slimmer versions on some other travel tripods like the Benro MeFoto RoadTrip Pro Carbon Fibre and Vanguard Veo 3T 235CBP, they provide excellent grip and feel very well made. The locks on each leg also butt-up against each other when the tripod is collapsed and, with a bit of practice, it's possible to loosen them all with one twist. 

As with any tripod, I'd aim to avoid using the center column if possible, but even when that's extended, the 3 Legged Thing Leo 2.0 is impressively stable for its size and weight. It's more than up to the task of supporting a full-frame camera and standard lens and can even cope with longer lenses should the need arise.

A D-ring in the base of the center column allows a weight to be added using the supplied carabiner tool (Toolz), should extra downward force be required.

The AirHed Pro is nicely matched in performance to the tripod legs and is capable of holding a long lens steady without drooping, provided that it's balanced (ie supported via lens collar). Its ball moves smoothly and locks nice and tight with a twist of the large knob.

Verdict

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson/Digital Camera World)

The 3 Legged Thing Leo 2.0 is one of the chunkier travel tripod options, but it's also one of the most stable. It doesn't have a phone holder like some other models, but it converts quickly into a monopod, and if you invest in the optional 3 Legged things Vanz footwear, it can transform into a mini tripod. 

The head also lacks that 'kit head' feel and is a good quality unit capable of holding heavy gear still. 

It's also worth mentioning the bag, which is a cut above those supplied with most other travel tripods. If you have the camera on a strap round your neck, the tripod and bag could be all you need for a spot of long exposure or night photography when you're on holiday.

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Angela has been testing camera gear from all the major manufacturers since January 2004 and has been Amateur Photographer’s Technical Editor and Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography portfolio (Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo (opens in new tab)Practical Photoshop (opens in new tab)Photography Week (opens in new tab) and Professional Photography magazines, as well as the Digital Camera World and TechRadar websites).