Three budget tripod kits compared: Manfrotto 294 vs. Oben AC-1410 vs. Davis & Sanford Traverse

This is a quick comparison between the following tripods kits (ball head included):

Manfrotto 294 Oben AC-1410 Davis & Sanford Traverse
Leg sections 3 4 5
Closed length 27.56 in. 21 in. 16 in.
Maximum height 70.47 in. 60.4 in. 57 in.
Minimum height 19.57 in. 21 in. 16 in.
Load capacity 11.02 lb 11 lb 11 lb
Weight 5.07 lb 3.2 lb 3.3 lb
Price $169.99 $119.95 $168.98

All three tripods, compared at closed position (Manfrotto 294 | Oben AC-1410 | Davis & Sanford Traverse):

The Manfrotto 294 is the tallest of the trio, the Oben and Davis & Sanford are almost identical at their minimum height:

The Manfrotto 294 is the only tripod that doesn't have a bottom center post hook for hanging weight in order to increase stability:

At their maximum height, the Manfrotto 294 is almost 6 feet high (around 1.8 meters), if you are over 6 feet tall, you may want to go with the Manfrotto:

The Manfrotto head is the most flexible - it features two 90° groves on both sides of the ball head and allows for 180° movement of the plate, the other two tripods have only one grove and you will have to rotate the ballhead to achieve the desired angle. The Manfrotto tripod head doesn't have a degree markers around its base, the other two tripods do. The head of all three tripods pans a full 360°:

The Manfrotto 294 has the largest release plate:

The Manfrotto and Oben tripods have a quick-release plate mechanism:

The Davis & Sanford tripod uses a regular screw to tighten the release plate:

Manfrotto and Davis & Sanford tripods have two locking screws on the ballhead, the Oben has only one. The Manfrotto has no bubble levels, the Oben has 5, the Davis & Sanford has one that is useless because it is buried in the clamp and it's hard to see in bright day light:

The Oben and Davis & Sanford tripods come with a carry-on bag, the Manfrotto 294 doesn't.

Conclusion

Manfrotto 294 is the most solid built tripod in this comparison. It's also the tallest, heaviest and most expensive. If you need the best stability available in this price range, I would go with this tripod.

Oben AC-1410 has the best price/performance ratio. It features the most bubble levels (five) and is the cheapest tripod in this comparison. Go for it if you are on a budget.

Davis & Sanford Traverse is definitely the best choice if you like to travel light. The tripod can easily fit in a regular backpack. Even though it's rated at 11 lb, this tripod will not be your best choice if you are planning to use it with big/heavy DSRL/lens combo. I think the Davis & Sanford will work best for mirrorless system camera.

What tripod are you using? Share your experiences in the comment section.

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