- The packaging was nice. Little use of plastic except for the bag over the tripod.
- The tripod seems to be very well-built. It is far lighter than my Manfrotto 190 aluminum which is nearing the end of its life with various components that need replacing.
- The ball head was the most disappointing part of the tripod. I could not get the plate to lock into the top of the ball head per the instructions. I could also not get it to mount to my camera properly because of my lens converter, which has a separate mount that gets in the way. I also saw a friend struggle with locking his camera to the ball head. It seems to be more complicated than it needs to be. And while I could get it to lock partly with my existing Arcatech plate, it was able to slide around. At any rate, I had planned on using my existing Arcatech ball head and plates since I know they work well.
- Locking and unlocking the tripod legs is a little cumbersome. I wish that it would have been a twisting system. I am curious about the durability of the plastic parts (could have been metal).
- The tripod-within-a-tripod system works very well and is a clever design.
I've not used a sandbag holder before, but the plastic bit to hold a sandbag looks to be incredibly tiny.
- The spiked feet are nice! I appreciate the clever design of tucking it into the feet of the tripod when you don't need to use them.
- The instructions were very well laid out. It's a lot to fit in and while it seemed overwhelming at first, it wasn't difficult to get the tripod set up and going.
Overall, the HEIPI tripod is a good deal for something that's carbon fiber and fairly well built, especially for the price. I do worry about component degradation over time and how they can be serviced. I typically want something to last at least 5-10 years before replacement and I've been lucky so far on most of what I own. I can't wait to take this tripod out on some long trips in the coming weeks!