« on: July 02, 2012, 12:24:59 PM »
Get a good carbon fiber pod. I used to use a Manfrotto aluminum unit and after upgrading to a Gitzo (GM2541), I realized how much difference a few ounces make on a long hike. You may want to check out the Feisol brand - I have heard good things about them and they are less than half the price of the Gitzo.
Most monopods do not come with a quick release plate, but it is fairly easy to add one. Manfrotto makes a nice tilting monopod head with quick release plate that is actually very nice for the price.
Overall, I would say that having a quick release plate is a necessity, but the tilt feature while nice and adding a lot of convenience, may not be necessary depending on what you are shooting.