3LT Dave tripod with AirHed 2 ballhead review


Some of the review is taken from the 3LT Adrian review as they're similar tripods.

A few years ago, I started to see the limitaion of shooting handheld constantly.  So the hunt for a decent tripod began. I knew of the big brands and had read a million articles, reviews and watched videos to try and determine the right one for me. 
Then, the 3 legged thing brand appeared. These tripods were sexy! Anodised blue ballheads, quirky model names and huge weight ratings! All at a very resonable price too! I had to have one!
I opted for a series 1 Airhed, but a broken tripod leg and call to customer service to buy a new leg ended in the 3 legged thing guys taking my old one and upgrading me to a series 2! 

 The bag has a hand handle to allow carrying like a suitcase and a sling to throw it over your shoulder. I tend to use the hand handle as I have a messenger bag usually. The bag is a very hard wearing material with a zip compartment in the top which contains a few tools, like an allen key, should you need to adjust the tripod on location. 


Thus, it brings us to here. I love my ball head. The specs of the thing are;

Arca-Style Quick Release and Plate
Separate Ball/Pan Locks
Color Keyed Drag Adjustment
Ergonomic Knobs
Triple Bubble Leveling
Supports 88 lb / 40Kg
And... It weighs just 15.6oz / 0.44Kg!! Under half a kilogram! That’s just isane!

A 40Kg weight support is pretty impressive don’t you think! I can’t imagine many camera setups weighing more than this. 
The ball head comes with an orange magnesium camera plate with a 1/4”-mounting screw and detailed with the 3LT logo. It’s wide too, giving a real sense of secuirty when attatched to the head. The plate also is compatible with the BlackRapid T1 screw system, so you can attatch the plate to the camera and the loop doesn’t interfere with useablity.
Airhed 2 has 3 knobs. One is the Arca Swiss quick release, the second is the ball head lock. They’re all labelled Rock/Lock’., I love the labelling on them!. The third is the panning knob. The motion on these knobs is so smooth and beautiful, with the Rock/lock knob doubling as a cluth to allow fine adjustments. To use it as a clutch, just loosen the knob slightly, allowing fine movements, then tighten. Simple. 
A dedicated groove/slot/section on one side allows the ball head to to sit on a vertical plane for easy ‘portrait mode’ . I’m personally not so keen on using it because if you have a heavy camera, the weight isn’t spread downwards, evenly over 3 legs, but instead, it’s hanging off the side. Plus, framing the shot becomes a little awkward as movement isn’t as easy. The option is there though, so can’t complain.
The beauty of a tripod head is that it can be mounted on either a monopod or a set of tripod legs pretty much universally. 
Not only does this head look beautiful (it’s also available in black, but why would you when anodised blue is so pretty!), it’s huge weight rating gives piece of mind and ‘future proofing’ for when you upgrade to bigger heavier lenses. You just know that the head will be able to handle the weight with ease. 
I’ve had this ball head around 3 years now, and there are a new set of models out that I would like to get my hands on to try. The main reason being the quick release. If there’s any critisism I have with this ball head, it is the quick release. It’s not a quick release lever, but the screw knob. Should it be a problem? No, but I like the idea of flicking a lever and having my camera instantly off the tripod. I’d only save about 5 seconds in doing so, so it’s not a deal breaker at all. 
I’d definetly recommend this head to anybody looking for a strong and reliable head at a very decent price!

The leg sections are smooth and are a twist lock mechanism with a push lock tab at the tops to lock the legs in place.  With one of them being removable, allowing it to convert to a monopod with the ballhead mountable on top. There is also a 3LT leg cover to hold the tripod by in cold weather, and I keep that on the monopod leg so I remember which one it is at a glance.

TRIPOD SPECIFICATIONS:

 

Tripod Weight

1610g

Monopod Weight

378g

Monopod min Height

380mm

Monopod max Height

1325mm

Tripod Min Height

125mm

Tripod Max Height with column removed

1290mm

Tripod Max Height with column retracted

1317mm

Tripod Max Height with column fully extended

1530mm

Folded Height

425mm

Load Capacity

12kg

Maximum Leg Tubing Diameter

29mm

Leg Sections

5 - (29, 26, 23, 20 & 17mm)

Leg Angles

23°, 55° & 80°

Column Sections

1 - (29mm)

Leg Locking Mechanism

Evo 2 Double-Break Friction Dial