A few years ago I refinished my now 30-year-old Zone VI "lightweight" tripod because the original lacquer finish had mostly worn off. I live in Oregon, so rain and salt water are nothing new. I disassembled the tripod and gave the wood a light sanding, then coated the entire thing in oil-based polyurethane. It was a bit sticky at first because the poly tended to grab onto itself, but 9 years later it works like a champ in all weather conditions. I've had it out in freezing temps without a hitch.
Don't know about the graphite 'pods. Can't afford one right now. I'd like one because I'm 30 years older than I was when I bought the Zone VI.