I’ve been using the Sirui N1004 travel tripod for the last 5 years and it has been a great tripod that’s stood up to a lot of abuse in multiple countries. The Sirui N1004 even came with me to NAB this year. But after all this time, the N1004 has started to show it’s age. The foam grip is starting to come apart, legs are starting to flop around, and the aluminum isn’t as light as some carbon fiber options which led me to check out the Mefoto globetrotter I came across at NAB.
The Mefoto globetrotter is about 2.5 inches shorter than my old Sirui N1004 and ruffly 1 1/2 pounds lighter. At the same time, the Mefoto globetrotter manages to stretch a few inches higher than the N1004. That said, the Mefoto globetrotter is almost double the price so what does that $399 price tag get you?
First, the reduced weight of the Mefoto globetrotter includes a pretty decent ball head with an Arca style Quick Release Plate. The globetrotter also manages to support up to 26.5 pounds yet still manages to fold into a 16-inch form factor.
The included ball head provides easy to use controls and allows you to twist, tilt, and rotate in whatever direction you like. The design also allows you to invert the tripod head for low angle shots.
Build quality is also top notch. The leg twist locks are very beefy and operate very smoothly on the Mefoto globetrotter. The legs also have a little more friction and tend to stay in place when you adjust them and the carbon fiber feels a bit more solid than my old Sirui N1004.
Both the Sirui N1004 and the Mefoto globetrotter can be converted into a monopod, however, the Mefoto gives you an extra 14 inches of height compared to the N1004. The thickness of Mefoto’s carbon fiber legs also seems to make a noticeable difference in stability.
Does the difference between the Sirui N1004 and the Mefoto globetrotter warrant a $180 price difference? I would say it depends on what you need. As a shooter who travels almost every month, for me, the upgrade is worth it. However, if you only travel, hike, or fly occasionally, the Sirui N1004 provides a far better value.
Will I replace my Sirui N1004 with the Mefoto globetrotter? Right now it is up in the air, but I’ll be spending a lot of time with the globetrotter over the next few weeks. We’ll see which one I end up keeping.