I've bought two cheapo Sunpak tripods. First one, super cheapo, lightweight, so wind messed up my long exposures, and it eventually became loose (since the plastic melted after I turned the knobs to keep it stabilized so many times). Sunpak wanted me to ship it to them which would cost $20 (price I paid for the tripod), even though I told them the exact part I needed replaced and sent them photos. Their supposed lifetime warranty should have just sent me the part but I guess that was not the case.
I was foolish enough to buy another one, for $20 (supposedly used to be $60) and the same thing happened. So now I realize, never buy Sunpak, especially the plastic metal tripods, since the screws eventually melt the plastic.
I'm fed up with them, but I don't want to spend a ton since I don't use tripods often. I don't wanna go crazy, but I don't know where to start for something that would last.
I usually take a tripod out when I shoot at night, which is probably 3 times a month at most. Helps with long exposures, or whenever I don't have a steady platform to put the camera on.
Any kind of input would be appreciated, now I know quality is worth the money If I have to spend more than $150, then it's a must.