Vanguard VEO 2 235AP tripod
Packing for an overseas birding trip presents the dilemma of whether or not to take a scope and tripod. Having tested one of the VEO range of travel tripods from Vanguard, that decision is now a lot easier.
When closed, the total length is just over 400 mm and the weight is only 1.4 kg. An ingenious rotation mechanism for the head column locks it quickly in place, with the handle then tightening firmly. The five-section alloy legs extend smoothly and are locked in place with a simple twist. I am just over 1.9 m tall, but found that it was still very comfortable viewing through the angled eyepiece of my scope with the tripod extended to the near maximum height of 1.44 m.
Testing the tripod in the often windy conditions of Fuerteventura, I was concerned that the main 20-degree angle setting for the legs would not be stable enough to prevent the scope from toppling over when extended to the maximum height. It didn’t, but there are three different options, and after changing the angle to a wider setting of 45 degrees, I was much happier. There is also a central suspension loop to accommodate a bag or weight to provide extra stability.
The model was comfortable to carry and one of the legs has a soft rubber covering for extra grip. The two-way pan head and handle worked fine, and even in the wind, I found that my scope was held firmly in position and there was no shake to the image. It is supplied with the head and also comes with a carrying bag. This is a solid and innovative piece of equipment, and I would take it away with me again.