Top Spotting Scope Tripods This Year – Guide & Comparative Analysis
If you are prospecting the market in search of the best spotting scope tripod but are confused by the huge variety of models, then you’ve landed in the right place. We know that doing research on any product, especially when that product is a high-tech gadget, can take a lot of time. That is why we’ve scoured the market, looking at highly acclaimed tripods and choosing the ones with the sturdiest build and most features. After comparing dozens of models, we’ve concluded that the product offering the most for the price is the AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight. This tripod has a strong yet lightweight build, it is compact and easy to carry but can be extended to 60 inches, and it also has an agile 3-way head with two built-in levels. In the unfortunate case that this item is unavailable, you might want to take a look at the Vanguard VS-82 Table as well.
Our Top Choice
AmazonBasics’ 60-inch is a versatile and lightweight tripod that offers a stable platform for most spotting scopes, given its solid design. The model can sustain up to 6.6 lbs. but only weighs 3 lbs. in itself, which makes it highly portable. The unit measures 25” when folded, but the legs can extend up to 60” which makes it useful for most observations you might need to do.
Given its lightweight construction, if your camera is heavier, you need to make sure that you are using everything properly or the tripod might get tipped over under the camera’s weight.
This is an excellent tripod, especially if you are a beginner or if you are going to carry it for long distances. Given its features, it’s a versatile tool.
The VS-82 model is a compact table tripod that despite being lightweight can provide a stable base for your scopes and binoculars, thus allowing you to observe even distant objects without dealing with a shaky image. The unit folds at 9”, so it can easily fit into a bag. The aluminum construction ensures the necessary strength to hold up to 5.5 pounds.
According to some reviews, the item doesn’t come with a carrying case and this can pose a small issue in certain situations. If you are going to carry it around you might need a solution.
This small and robust tripod is a very good solution if you need to observe stable images without having to carry a larger model around for this.
This model works with any device that has a ¼ mount, so you can use it with any relatively small scopes and binoculars. The sturdy construction features legs made of heavy-duty aluminum tubes, and ABS plastic for other parts. With an extendable length that goes from 13” to 20.9”, this is a versatile tool that can surely come in handy in a wide range of situations.
In this case as well, given the item’s lightweight construction, you need to be careful when mounting the scope or binocular so that it doesn’t tip over under the weight of the latter.
Overall, this is a very good choice, especially if you are a beginner and you want to enjoy the benefits of a good and versatile tripod at an affordable price.
Getting the best tripod for spotting scope implies that you know exactly what to look at and which features to take into account when making your choice. In case you don’t really know a lot about tripods and wish to learn more, this short guide should help you gain the knowledge required to pick the right model for your needs.
Size and weight
When searching for a good tripod for spotting scope, you should consider its size. You can go for a small tripod that’s lightweight and easy to carry as well as to set up. An advantage of a small tripod is that it’s going to be much more stable than a larger model, and chances are that it’s going to be a bit cheaper, too.
However, a mini tripod might be inconvenient to use at times, especially if you’re a large person. You could get around the problem by purchasing a longer central column if the tripod body allows it. Or you could buy a larger tripod that’s long enough to allow you to observe wildlife while standing.
You can easily find decent tripods for sale that offer good stability regardless of size. The good news is that you don’t exactly need a rock-solid tripod just as you do for a telescope or a digital camera. Blur from shakes is less visible when using spotting scopes unless you go for one of the largest variants that would indeed need a much stabler tripod.
Construction and head type
Whether you want a tripod to use with your spotting scopes or your excellent monocular for bird watching, you should also pay attention to its construction. You can opt for a model that is made predominantly of plastic or choose one that comes with aluminum legs, metal mounting plates, etc.
The quick release lever and leg closure clamps should also be sturdy enough and ensure proper locking so you don’t risk any accidents during your observations. Plastic is cheaper and lighter than aluminum but it’s not nearly as resistant. You should know that most tripod heads are made of plastic, with the handle and knob possibly being made of metal.
The 3-way head offers much more flexibility in terms of position adjustments. This type of head is also much faster so you could easily track fast-moving subjects such as birds easily.
These heads can be 2-way or 3-way. With the first variant, you get a simple functioning head that can rotate in two directions with the help of one handle and a knob. If you’re using a digital camera, you will also be able to create a smooth panning effect with a little practice.
Stability and accessories
Stability is influenced by the geometry of the frame, by the build materials, as well as by how much you extend the legs. A compact model will be more stable than a fully extended larger variant. A heavy tripod may be more difficult to carry, but it could also increase stability..
You could go for a model that has a hook on the bottom of the central column, as that should allow you to hang your backpack or other heavy items to improve stability, especially when using the tripod in strong winds.
In case you want to get more functionality out of your purchase, you may wish to invest in some accessories such as a binocular tripod adapter so you can use it with other devices that have different mounts. A better ball head would also be a smart choice, or even a professional-grade mounting plate for secure and smooth operation.
5 Best Spotting Scope Tripods (Reviews) in 2020
Are you looking for a stable and lightweight tripod but don’t have enough time to study all those reviews of spotting scope tripods on the internet? Then this short list which contains some of the most appreciated models should help you find a product that’s suited to your needs and budget.
1. AmazonBasics Lightweight Tripod with Bag
This AmazonBasics tripod comes with a solid design that’s capable of offering a stable platform to use with all your spotting scopes, binoculars, digital cameras, and other devices. This model can support up to 6.6 pounds and it has a lightweight construction which weighs only 3 pounds so it is easy to carry in a backpack or camera bag.
This unit measures only 25 inches when folded. You can extend the legs for a total length of 60 inches, which should be more than enough for most observations. The legs come with effective locks that secure them into place. The 3-way tripod head is easy to handle and adjust, and you also get 2 built-in bubble levels for correct positioning.
The mounting plate benefits from a quick-release so you can attach or remove your scope or quality wildlife viewing binoculars really fast. This model also comes with a zippered carrying case for easy and safe transportation.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($23.49)
2. Vanguard VS-82 TISCHSTATIV
If you’re looking for a reliable tripod for your excellent Vanguard spotting scope, then this model might be just what you’re looking for. The VS-82 is a tabletop tripod that is compact and lightweight, yet it can provide your scopes and binoculars with a stable platform so you can observe even distant animals and objects without the dreaded shaky images.
This unit has a folded height of 9 inches which means that you can easily carry it inside a bag or even small backpack with absolutely no hindrance. Despite its small size, this tripod comes with a rugged aluminum construction that gives it strength and the capacity to hold weights of up to 5.5 pounds.
Each expandable leg has a rubber tip which ensures a non-slip surface and a good grip that will keep it stable. This model also features a two-way head that’s simple to use and which can help you keep your favorite objects in sight with ease.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($22.46)
3. Camopro Portable Desktop Mini Tabletop Tripod
The Camopro Portable is a compact yet sturdy tripod which works with any device that has a ¼ mount, and that means that you can use it with your spotting scopes, high-quality night vision binoculars, as well as other devices that are relatively small in size.
This unit benefits from a solid construction, with legs made of heavy-duty aluminum tubes, and ABS plastic for other parts. The legs can extend the height of the tripod from 13 inches to 20.9 inches. You can further extend the tripod up to 24.4 inches thanks to the center column which can be lifted with the crank handle.
The quality flip leg locks are easy to open and close and they can tightly secure the tripod and ensure it stays stable even under strong winds. The legs come with non-slip ABS mats, while the 3-way head gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of positioning and angles.
Buy from Amazon.com
4. Ravelli APLT4 Light Weight Aluminum Tripod With Bag
With the Ravelli APLT4, you get a solid platform to use with your spotting scopes, digital cameras or other devices with standard ¼-inch tripod mounts. The mounting plate can be locked or opened with a quick release so you can switch between gadgets fast.
This tripod has a foldable length of 19 inches, although it can be fully extended to 61 inches. The adjustable legs benefit from a secure lever-locking mechanism that enables you to extend or collapse them with ease. You get more control with the 3-way head, while the built-in level will help you keep your scope or camera parallel to the horizon.
The feet come with rubber tips which prevent slippage and increase safety. The center column can be extended and you can also use the hook to attach weights and increase its stability under strong winds. This product also comes with an universal smartphone mount, as well as a carry bag for comfortable and safe transportation and storage.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($26.96)
5. Gosky Heavy Duty Adjustable Car Window Mount
If you’re looking for a tripod that offers a decent performance without costing an arm and a leg, then the Gosky Heavy-Duty Adjustable is a sensible choice. This tripod has a durable body, with most parts such as the legs and center column made of quality aluminum. The minimum height of this unit is 10.6 inches, with a fully extended length of 14.2 inches.
This tripod comes with a universal ¼-inch mount that can accommodate any device that weighs no more than 10 pounds. The sturdy legs also come with rubber tips which increase stability and prevent accidents due to slippage.
The head of this device is easy to operate. Just mount your favorite spotting scope or astronomy binoculars on the metal plate, adjust the large knob to set the right center column height, and then move the comfortable handle to turn the plate in the right direction.