Tripods have one funny characteristic; just owning one will not improve your photography in any way. You have to use the darn thing to gain any benefit
However, many photographers (myself right up there with the rest) often balk at carrying a relatively heavy tripod when boonie-tromping. But, I also balked at spending a king's ransome on a lightweight tripod since I already have a great Giottos MT-8180 which I love but, which (despite being of CF construction) is a bit heavy to carry over rough terrain.
I solved the problem by modifying a relatively inexpensive SLIK Pro 330DX tripod ($75 on sale at Calumet) by replacing the stock center column with the optional shorter column and by replacing the awful SLIK pan-tilt head with a lightweight (11 ounce) Adorama Flashpoint F1 Arca Compatible Magnesium ball head. ($55)
The total weight of my rig, as modified, is 2-pounds and 11-ounces which is well within my comfort zone. The leg-set/ball head combination adequately suports my 1.6x cameras carrying 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses. These are the heaviest packages I mount on this setup. The Arca Compatible Q.R. allows me to utilize my Really Right Stuff L-bracket which adds stability - especially when in the portrait position.
The tripod/head is fairly short but, I can live with a bit of stooping or use my right-angle finder to have a stable 2-pound 11-ounce tripod that ended up costing just a bit over $130.
I have attached an image of the modified SLIK Pro 330DX tripod with tiny Flashpoint F1 head next to my Giottos MT-8180 with Giottos MH-1300 ball head.