Are you frustrated of shaky pulses during hunting or bird watching through your spotting scope? Maybe, you should buy a tripod. A tripod would be a great addition to your spotting scope as it offers stability to it resulting in smooth visual experience.
However, not all tripods will be a perfect match for your spotting scope. When you’re in the market for a new tripod, you should know what would work best for your existing spotting scope.
In this article, we will briefly discuss the features of spotting scope so that you will understand which ones would work best for you. We will also be reviewing some of the best tripod for spotting scope so that you’re well informed before you lighten your wallet for buying a new one.
Choosing Your Spotting Scope Tripod
There are many spotting scopes that comes paired with a tripod. However, if they’re are not suitable to your need you better buy a standalone tripod. Standalone tripods have flexible height, rubber feet and made of different materials that make them a preferable choice.
The main reason you’re buying a standalone tripod is because you need more stable view through the scope. So, how and where you’re going to use a spotting scope will determine the features you should be looking for in your tripod.
- Are you using it from a car?
- During hiking?
- Need a long tripod for birdwatching?
So, if you intend to use a tripod on a table top, then a table top tripod would be ideal for you. However, if you’re of average height and want to use it while standing, you better buy a
Another thing you should consider is the ease of use. A tripod with a rotating head that also tilts would be really helpful for you. It would make spotting easier and would give you a smoother spotting experience.
While buying a standalone tripod you should check out the height and weight it can support, so you know you’re buying a compatible tripod. The tripod stand should be able to support the scope you have. And, if you’re going to use spotting scope for digiscoping then also consider whether it can support the weight of the camera and has proper plate to attach the camera.
Different Varieties of Spotting Scope
Mainly spotting scope tripods come in three varieties – Table top, compact, and full-size tripods, depending on their size.
1. Table Top Tripod
A table tripod is designed for use on a table or a shooting bench. They’re also called shooter’s tripods for their and ideal for small spaces. Their heights vary between 8 and 18 inches depending upon design and company.
Table top tripods have narrow leg and thus limited carrying capacity. So, you can’t use it for bulky spotting scopes. As their height is less and don’t contain telescoping legs they’re mostly suitable for people needing shorter tripods. However, most of them come with a central adjustment knob that you can use to adjust the height.
2. Compact Tripods
This may be classified as the mid-sized tripods which are which quite big to be used on a table but you can comfortably use it sitting on chair or small rock. This perfectly suit the mountain hunters and mountain hikers. It is perfect if you want to use it for spotting scopes that do not exceed 70 mm. But it is not suitable if you want to use it with larger spotting scopes.
If you want to use a spotting scope tripod while standing, you need the full-size tripod. You can use your binoculars, spotting scope or camera while standing. A full-size tripod is about 26 to 57 inches in height stretchable upto 72 inches with the center column at its pinnacle. But a full-size tripod doesn’t necessarily mean it can support heavy scope. You have to match your scope with the tripod.
5 Best Spotting Scope Tripod Reviews
1.Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod – Best spotting scope tripod for hunting
If you’re looking for a solid and stable tripod that can be steady even during rough weather then this is the best tripod you can buy. It comes with the balance hook feature you can sue to add more weight to keep it stable during windy conditions. It has rubber legs so that you can keep it upon slippery trenches during rainy season without being shaky. It comes with aluminium body which means it doesn’t additional unnecessary weight, however it is not lightweight. So, you can easily use a heavy scope along with it. It is ideal for hunters using a rifle.
Since it comes with a 3-way panhead it allows you to easily adjust your viewing angle. You can choose between horizontal and vertical plate alignments easily. You can just one hand to make any horizontal or vertical adjustments. It also comes with a quick release plate which you can use to attach optics to the tripod.
Each tripod leg extends upto three sections. It is easy to adjust the length of a leg section, all you have to do is flip the leg lever up to unlock. So, it is easy to adjust the height of the legs.
- 3 Way Pan head means it is easy to adjust and operate.
- Rubbery feet meaning you can use it easily on slippery surfaces.
- Flip lever leg makes it easy to fold and setup.
- Heavy enough to support rifles, cameras.
- Quite bulky and not suitable for backpackers as its difficult to carry.
- Lever is made up of bit thin plastic and is not that much durable.
2. Celestron 82050 TrailSeeker Tripod (Black)
This is quite a good deal if you’re looking for a tripod for small scopes and binoculars. It is stable yet lightweight and easy to operate. The legs of the tripods and the height is adjustable and can be extended upto almost 72 inches when the central post is extended. You can also adjust the angles by adjusting the legs. You can also set each leg to a different angle if you need.
The central end of the column has a balance hook where you can add extra weight if you need more stability. It can easily support upto 5 pounds of weight. The legs come covered with the rubber feet so that you can keep it without worrying of being slided on rocky or wet terrains.
Celestron 82050 Trailseeker tripod comes with two-way fluid pan head. It also comes with a quick release plate making it easy to attach a spotting scope, camera, or small telescopes to tripod. It also comes with a good carrying case making it easier to carry on shoulder.
- 2 way fluid pan head which is quite smooth and adjustable.
- It comes with a carrying case that has pockets and padded compartments for the tripod.
- It has a small compass for polar alignment if needed.
- Single knob that provides lockdown of both height and circular movement.
3. Manfrotto MK190X3-2W 190 Aluminum 3 Section Tripod Kit
It is an excellent tripod for nature watching. You can use this tripod to support big spotting scope camera without any issues. But due to its aluminium body, it is quite lightweight. But the remarkable features of this tripod is its its fluid head. It has a two-way head and easy to adjust. It turns to every angle smoothly.
The legs are completely adjustable both in length and angles. You get a maximum of 66 inches in length with this tripod. You can shorten or lengthen each leg using a simple lever.
At 6.06 pounds, this tripod is quite sturdy and stable. You can use this in areas of heavy breeze without any problem. The legs are adjustable so you can keep and use it on any type of surface.
- Tripod with the best head. Easily adjustable to any corner.
- Can support heavy camera, good for photographers.
- It has a ground level adaptor which allows great shooting creativity.
- Ball head is not included with the tripod.
- It doesn’t come with a case.
4. ZoMei Z818 Light Weight Heavy Duty Portable Magnesium Aluminium Travel Tripod Come
This tripod is perfect for any outdoor adventure. You can easily fold the tripod legs by 180 degrees.so, you can extend or shrink the height easily. It can be shrinked to 18 inches and extended upto 65 inches. You can even fold the legs and turn into a monopod. You can turn the legs into different angles position offering the flexibility to shoot in cramped quarters. The center column can be also turned 180 degrees. In all, it’s a complete tripod for your scope or camera. And if you’re wondering about carrying it, then let me assure you it is quite lightweight and easy to carry. Made of magnesium and aluminium alloy you can easily carry it to any outdoor activities like hiking, camping and others.
The tripod has a ball head with a quick release plate like others. However, the tripod comes with a safety lock that prevent the scope from falling off accidently while loosening. It also has a built-in bubble which makes it easy to shoot on target. The center column of the tripod is multi-functional. You can easily adjust its height by rotating the twist-lock.
- Has all features and built sturdy for long distance shoot.
- Portable and easy to carry.
- Made of excellent materials so you get value for money.
- I found the tripod to be a bit greasy at times and you need to keep wiping it. So, it needs cleaning from time to time.
5. Bushnell Advanced Tripod
This is one of the best tripod you can find below 100 dollars. This is sturdy, well built, easy to operate and affordable at the same time. Bushnell is an industry leader so you can be quite assured of the materials being used. The legs are made of durable aluminum and you don’t have to worry about its longevity.
The tripod is built with universal use in mind. Its head fits in wide range of spotting scopes, SLR cameras, binoculars and more. It is full-size and so you can use it for multi-purposes. It is 50 inches without column extension and 61 inches with column extension.
The tripod has a weight of 5.5 pounds and can withstand light breeze without any shaking. It also has a rubber feet so you won’t need to worry about slippery surfaces. The tripod can support load upto 11 pounds however its best not to load that much. It has separately adjustable legs that you offers flexibilty to adjust to different heights or angles.
- Very sturdy and packs a lot of features at this price.
- It doesn’t come with a carrying bag.
- Too heavy for portability.
In this article, I have covered the top spotting scope tripods with my honest reviews to the best of my ability. However, when you’re buying a tripod, you need to consider your own requirements and check details carefully. You should consider all the features and accessories that you specifically need considering your spotting scope, SLR cameras or other devices you have.
I would advise you however to buy from a reputable supplier. Amazon.com is a reputable company and you won’t go wrong buying from Amazon if you’re buying online. Amazon is reputed and dependable supplier. You won’t go wrong buying from it. The site has strict policies against sellers to assure that the products are genuine and pass quality measures. Also, they have flexible return policies so in case things go wrong, you have your money back. You can also easy get some great deals which you can’t get offline. Even the order placing and tracking procedure is simple and amazing. So, if you’re buying online you should consider to get it from Amazon.
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