I have tripods of every size, so when I go for lightweight, my priorities are just that, since I can carry a larger more versatile tripod if that is the priority: series 1, 2, 3 or 4, ranging from small and light to burly.
As well, I like fixed platforms without anything that can possibly come loose—a preference born of many a long hike and years of field usage. While Really Right Stuff helped me over the phone to tighten up my loose Really Right Stuff TQC-14 tripod base, it had flummoxed me.
I had converted my TQC-14 with center column to a short stub center column a few years back using the TA-1-HK Versa Series 1 Hook (at least that’s what I think it is/was).
HOwever, I like the lighter weight and simplicity of a fixed base, as in the Really Right Stuff TFC-14 (Tripod-Fixed-Carbon Fiber). So this week I converted my TQC-14 to a TFC-14 with a fixed base plate—no center column at all, and some additional weight savings and a bit less bulk. I like this robust simple setup a lot; it’s what I use on all my tripods (the TA-3 leveling base qualifies in this sense). As another bonus the TFC Conversion Kit includes the carry strap, which lets me anchor it to my pack and/or carry it slung around my wrist.
Below, the Really Right Stuff TQC-14 as sold with the rapid-rise center column. Lots of people like this for the extra height, but it adds some bulk and weight. The center column can be stubbed out, but I prefer the Really Right Stuff TFC-14 approach as shown above.