Fotopro X-Aircross 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod Review

The X-Aircross 2 carbon fiber tripod by Fotopro weighs only two pounds but is surprisingly stable and capable. Packed full of advanced features typically only found on larger tripods, this lightweight and compact tripod is fully capable of handling most landscape and travel photography needs.


To learn more about the Fotopro X-Aircross 2 carbon fiber tripod, watch the video.

I’ve used a number of tripods by Fotopro, including their Global Elite Photographer and T-Roc MAX tripods, and I have been extremely impressed by the quality of engineering and craftsmanship built into each Fotopro tripod. The X-Aicross 2 is no exception. This remarkable tripod is solidly built and surprisingly sturdy for its weight. It’s combination of performance, light weight, and compact size make it perfect for not only travel photography, but landscape photography as well. In fact, it is now my go-to tripod for most of my landscape photography adventures.


Financial disclosure

Fotopro has NOT paid me for this review. I am, however, a Fotopro brand ambassador (which doesn't pay me anything, but I do get some free tripods), and I have been paid by Fotopro to appear in promotional videos for their tripods (including for this tripod). That is the full extent of my financial relationship with Fotopro. This is a completely independent review without compensation from the manufacturer. I do, however, earn affiliate commissions from the retailer links provided in this review. We are committed to 100% transparency regarding financial relationships with equipment providers and brand partners, and we strive at all times to ensure that reviews are independent, honest, and free of bias.


What the X-Aircross 2 is good for

The X-Aircross 2 excels at photography applications that require minimal gear weight and maximum flexibility. Travel and landscape photography are probably at the top of the list. The small size and compactness of this tripod make it perfect for travel photography, when luggage space is at a premium. For my landscape work, this tripod is a dream: I barely notice its weight when I am hiking to scenic destinations, and it can easily handle a variety of shooting situations. It's especially easy to use for low-level setups, which are common with landscape and macro photography.


Specifications

Here are the general specifications of the X-Aircross 2 tripod, as provided by Fotopro:

  • Material: carbon fiber

  • Weight: 900g /1.98 lbs

  • Sections: 5

  • Folded: 360mm/14 inches

  • Max. height: 1510mm/59.44 inches

  • Lowest height: 173mm/6.81 inches

  • Max. load: 10kg/22 lbs


Ultra-light weight and remarkable stability

Coming in at only two pounds (including the standard ballhead), the X-Aircross 2 is marketed as a compact travel tripod, but it is capable of handling serious photography work. Given its light weight, the X-Aircross 2 is remarkably stable and rigid. It is only two pounds, however, and even the most well-engineered two-pound tripod won’t be sufficient for shooting situations requiring big heavy lenses. The X-Aircross 2 also wouldn’t be my first choice for working in fast-moving water for waterfall or coastal photography (as it just doesn’t have enough weight to dampen down the vibrations caused by the moving water), or in exceptionally high winds. You can increase stability by hanging your camera bag or some other weight from the center column hook.

Fotopro X-Aircross 2 carbon fiber tripod
The X-Aircross 2 folds down to a compact size, making it perfect for travel when luggage space is limited.

1-second deployment

Instead of standard collar-style locks (sometimes also called twist locks), the tripod has an internal locking mechanism: basically, you twist the leg clockwise to loosen the leg for extension or retraction and twist the leg back counter-clockwise to tighten it again. The legs are designed so that you only need to grab and twist the foot, and this simultaneously loosens all leg sections at once, allowing you to rapidly extend the leg in one second or less. It takes a little bit of practice to do this effectively, and it looks impressive to bystanders once you have mastered the art of the rapid deployment. Fotopro markets this as a feature of the X-Aircross 2, although I think it probably mostly shaves weight off the tripod, and it doesn’t really have a positive impact on my photography experience.


The one thing that concerns me about this leg design is that there is potential for grit, dust, or water to get trapped within the legs. Unlike with most collar lock tripods, you can’t disassemble the legs for cleaning or repair (for example, if a plastic shim within the leg system cracks or if gunk gets into the locking mechanism). Fotopro typically seals their tripod quite well, and I expect they gave some thought to providing extra sealing for the X-Aircross 2. Only time will tell if this will be an issue, and I haven’t yet had an opportunity to test the tripod in excessively dusty or wet environments. Although this is an area of potential concern, so far, I haven’t had any problems with my X-Aircross 2 tripod.

Fotopro X-Aircross 2 carbon fiber tripod
The X-Aircross 2 has an internal locking system, reducing weight and allowing for rapid deployment.

Dual 360 panning head

To shave off extra weight, Fotopro’s engineering team hacked away at the X-Aircross 2’s standard ballhead until there was almost nothing left, leaving it with the bare minimum necessary to adequately support your camera and clamp it to an Arca-Swiss style quick release plate. Nevertheless, the ballhead is extremely stable and capable. Not only does the head have a standard panning knob built in at the base of the head, it also has a second panning knob built in to the clamp. That way, if your tripod isn’t completely level, you can level the ballhead (it has a handy bubble level built in), and then pan using the secondary panning knob. This makes panoramic photography really easy. Most tripods don’t have a feature like this, and finding it in a compact 2-pound travel tripod is quite a nice surprise.


Fotopro X-Aircross 2 carbon fiber tripod
A dual 360 pan head comes standard with each X-Aircross 2, making it easy to do panorama photography or to make fine adjustments to your compositions.

Attachment ports

The X-Aircross 2 comes standard with two ports where you can screw in accessories such as extension arms. This is useful for any photography requiring supplemental lighting (for example, you can add a flexible extension clamp that can hold a reflector or LED light), or if you are doing video and need an accessory arm for camera, phone, mic, or other gear.

Fotopro X-Aircross 2 carbon fiber tripod
The X-Aircross 2's accessory ports are useful for holding lights, mics, and other items.


Easy ground-level setup

The part of the center column that hangs below the tripod base of the X-Aircross 2 unscrews, allowing you to easily get your tripod low to the ground. The legs articulate with several click-stop angles that you can select, allowing you to get the tripod almost completely flat on the ground. I really love the unscrewing center column, as I can quickly remove it when I need to go extra low and screw it back in if I need to extend the center column for extra tripod height.

Fotopro X-Aircross 2 carbon fiber tripod
By unscrewing the center column, you can quickly get the X-Aircross 2 down to ground-level.

Handling and performance

Like all the other Fotopro tripods I have used, the X-Aircross 2 performs extremely well. Fotopro tripods are very thoughtfully engineered, and I find them a joy to use, and this tripod is no exception. The X-Aircross 2 is surprisingly rigid and stable for its weight, and the build quality seems durable. I expect my X-Aircross 2 to be my workhorse tripod for many years to come. And, I can't stress this enough: this tripod is so light, you barely notice that you are carrying it at all. When doing a lot of hiking or dragging a lot of luggage around, this makes a really big difference.


Conclusion

If you are looking for a full-featured tripod that is compact and lightweight, then look no further that the X-Aircross 2. Fotopro has really knocked it out of the park with this remarkable compact tripod. Although I have some questions about how well the legs will resist moisture, grit, and gunk, the many benefits of this tripod outweigh this (as of this writing) potential hypothetical concern. Just be extra careful to clean the tripod legs before collapsing if you are working in especially dusty conditions or in salt water, and you should be fine. Otherwise, everything about this tripod seems spot-on to me. The Fotopro X-Aircross 2 carbon fiber tripod is perfect for most travel and landscape photography applications, and it is arguably the sturdiest, most full-featured, ultra-light tripod on the market. I love my X-Aircross 2, and I think you will love it too!


Where to buy

You can use discount code PLANTGEP15 and get 15% off if you buy the X-Aircross 2 here:

About the author

Whether hanging over the rim of an active volcano, braving the elements to photograph critically-endangered species, or trekking deep into the wilderness to places most people will never see, world-renowned professional photographer Ian Plant travels the globe seeking out amazing places and subjects in his never-ending quest to capture the beauty of our world with his camera. Known for his inspiring images and single-minded dedication to creating the perfect photo, Ian has reached hundreds of thousands of people around the world in his mission to inspire and educate others in the art of photography. Ian is a frequent contributor to many leading photo magazines, the author of numerous books and instructional videos, and founder of Photo Masters.