Reviews |3 Legged Thing Charles 2.0 Review

3 Legged Thing Charles 2.0 Review

3 Legged Thing Charles 2.0 review

Price when reviewed


Check current price

Our Verdict

The 3-Legged Thing Charles 2.0 drops the usual vivid aesthetics we’ve come to expect from the company, with this tripod taking things a little more seriously. The Charles 2.0 meets the growing demand for full-height tripods and simplicity, taking things back to the basics on the surface and offering solid and robust support solutions for enthusiasts and professional photographers.

Designed for photographers seeking an uncompromising companion for landscape, astrophotography, and studio work, Charles 2.0 is built to supply you with a solid foundation for your camera.

3LT has opted for a magnesium alloy frame over lighter-weight materials, resulting in a tripod that provides superior stability while maintaining portability. Large, knurled knobs facilitate ease of use in all weather conditions, and switching to a monopod or a tabletop tripod extends its versatility.

Bought with the AirHed Pro ball head adds to its professional appeal, catering to various shooting scenarios. Although slightly heavy, Charles 2.0 perfectly balances sturdiness and feature-rich practicality.


  • Magnesium Alloy Masterpiece
  • Versatile Shooting Solution
  • Exceptional Load Capacity


  • Need to ensure removable legs are tight

What is the 3-Legged Thing Charles 2.0?

The 3-Legged Thing Charles 2.0 is an innovative tripod system that blends uncompromising stability with unique flexibility. Crafted from durable magnesium alloy, it’s designed for various uses, including landscape, astrophotography, and studio work and will appeal to enthusiasts and professionals in equal measure.

To give you some idea of the strength of the tripod and AirHed Pro, 3LT quote that the Charles 2.0 has an 18:1 load-to-weight ratio, enabling it to support up to 40kg, far exceeding many competitors in the market.

Beyond stability, Charles 2.0 offers versatility with detachable legs that can serve as the camera or microphone booms or even form a tabletop tripod with a little more dismantling. The knurled knobs provide excellent grip during adjustments, while the unique parallel locking system offers enhanced rigidity.

3 Legged Thing Charles 2.0 review

A common feature amongst 3LT tripods is the patented Tri-Mount plate and the interchangeable foot accessories that provide a range of customisable options.

The 3-Legged Thing Charles 2.0 is a mid-weight full-height tripod that will suit any enthusiast or professional photographer who requires a firm, unrelenting steady base for their camera.


  • Material: Magnesium Alloy
  • Maximum Height: 1.94m / 76.3-inch
  • Maximum Height (w/o column): 1.49m / 58.6-inch
  • Minimum Height: 23.1cm / 9.09-inch
  • Detachable Leg Max Height: 1.53m / 60.2-inch
  • Detachable Leg: 2.01m / 79.1-inch
  • Folded Length: 61.2cm / 24-inch
  • Load Capacity at: 23º: 40kg / 88lb, 55º: 25kg / 55lb, 80º: 15kg / 33lb
  • Tripod Weight: 2.12kg / 4.46lb
  • Total Kit Weight: 2.44kg / 5.37lb
  • Leg Angles: 23º, 55º, 80º
  • Max Leg Tube Diameter: 29mm / 1.14-inch

Build and Handling

Crafted with attention to detail, the Charles 2.0 tripod is a testament to professional-grade design and functionality. This isn’t all bells and whistles in your face tripod overflowing with features, but more a refined, serious offering that will be there to lean on and support your photographic endeavours.

Sporting a magnesium alloy construction, this full-height tripod delivers a solid feel that instils confidence in its durability. While its weight exceeds that of its carbon fibre counterparts, this characteristic is not without merit. The added weight directly translates into impressive stability and rigidity, making it an ideal choice for photographers requiring a rock-solid support system.

The quick-release system and large twist grip leg locks make setting up and adjusting the tripod a seamless experience. The locks provide excellent grip in all weather conditions, adding to the user-friendly design.

3 Legged Thing Charles 2.0 review

Standing out from the crowd, Charles 2.0 has the almost unique feature of 3LT of three removable legs, effectively adding a new dimension to its versatility.

Charles 2.0 is a blend of simplicity, function and robustness, putting it in the perfect position as an enthusiast or professional tripod.


The 3-Legged Thing Charles 2.0 has many innovative features extending its functionality beyond the traditional tripods while keeping things simple. Its signature offering is the three removable legs, a selling point that allows users to convert the tripod into a monopod, a mic boom, or a tabletop stand.

The tripod offers three distinct leg angles (23º, 55º, 80º), which can be easily adjusted, thanks to the intuitive leg angle release. This caters to various shooting scenarios, from capturing landscapes on uneven terrain to shooting from a low vantage point. Coupled with extending to a maximum height of almost 2 meters or reducing to ground level, all make Charles 2.0 an adaptable support solution.

Knurled knobs, a high-quality fabric carry case, a multitool for on-the-spot adjustments, durable magnesium alloy construction and robust leg locks round off the features. If you invest in the kit I’m looking at in this review, you also have the AirHed Pro tripod ball head with its heavy-duty capabilities and streamlined control layout.

3 Legged Thing Charles 2.0 review


On unfolding the Charles 2.0, you’re instantly met with a sense of robustness and dependability from the design. This tripod feels sturdy and is beautifully finished, constructed from a durable magnesium alloy that serves its purpose, ensuring stability and rigidity, even when extended to its full height.

One of the unique selling points of the tripod is the ability to convert one or all legs into monopods or mic booms; through the test, this proved to be particularly advantageous, especially when filming. Firstly the monopod adaption could supply the camera with a little support and freedom of movement, while another leg was fitted with a mic and was used as a boom. The leg’s reach is ample for most close camera work and was coupled with a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera. However, a word of caution: extra care is needed to ensure the detachable legs remain securely attached during use.

Over the years, 3LT has adapted the rubber grip used on the twist lock legs, and by a long way, this is the best and probably the most simple design yet. It feels tactile, grips well and isn’t overly designed or fancy. These large twist grip leg locks held up exceptionally well under regular use, proving reliable and robust. Their generous size provided excellent grip and ease of adjustment across various weather conditions, demonstrating their suitability for outdoor shoots.

3 Legged Thing Charles 2.0 review

The AirHed Pro ball head, included in the kit, showed itself to be a compact powerhouse, effortlessly supporting a load of up to 4kg during testing. Its lack of friction control requires careful handling of heavy equipment. Still, with some practice, it offers a smooth and intuitive operation and is far simpler to use than multi-knobbed alternatives.

The Charles 2.0 exceeded expectations in its performance, effectively doing what it’s designed to do and more. As a standard tripod, it provides the firm, solid base you want, and its full height reach is very welcome. The additional weight over a carbon tripod is only noticeable when you stand there weighing it up; otherwise, strapped to the back of your backpack, you’re unlikely to notice much difference. Used to shoot long exposures, and that additional weight and rigidity come into play.
Beyond the standard feature, the detachable legs are useful; ensure they’re fully tightened when you re-attach. The tabletop tripod conversion takes a bit of dismantling but works as it should, and used as a mic boom is equally straightforward.

3 Legged Thing Charles 2.0 review

Final thoughts

The 3-Legged Thing Charles 2.0 is an undeniably robust and versatile tripod that would be a worthy addition to any photographer’s kit. It’s sturdy construction and comprehensive feature set are hard to overlook and make for an enhanced shooting experience, whether in the studio or out in the field.

3 Legged Thing Charles 2.0 review

Although not the lightest tripod on the market, the Charles 2.0 is still more than portable. Its weight adds to its stability, providing a reliable base for your equipment, especially when it matters, such as when using filters or in the studio. Its unique features, including the detachable legs that can double as monopods or microphone booms, add value and flexibility, enabling a range of shooting scenarios.

From a performance view, the Charles 2.0 outperforms many in its class, effortlessly supporting heavy equipment and easily adapting to various terrain. Its user-friendly design facilitates quick set-up and adjustments, making it an ideal companion for enthusiasts and Pros.