A spotting scope tripod is an equipment that is required to stabilize and elevate a spotting scope into a certain position. It allows you to witness stable, focused, precise and smooth visuals at any level of magnification with ease.

All spotting scope tripods possess a set of legs and a mounting head. The legs are used to fixate the tripod on to any kind of surface and the mounting head helps in attaching the spotting scope to the tripod for a better aim. For maximum stability, most of the spotting scope tripods possess a central pole with collapsing legs. Various types of spotting scope tripods exist in the market due to variations in the type of legs or mounting head. Also, the spotting scope tripods can have a different type of construction simply by using different kinds of materials such as aluminum, carbon fiber, steel, titanium, wood, plastic, etc.

One of the biggest advantages that a spotting scope tripod provides to a user is the increased level of stability during observation. Holding a spotting scope in your bare hands and trying to observe at a moderate zoom level most often results in a blurred or shaky image. Further, with the increase in magnification or zoom, the level of distortion or blurriness increases significantly. You cannot simply get rid of the natural vibration of your hands even if you try to rest the spotting scope against another firm object, floor or wall. The only way to observe a distant target with perfect clarity at any level of magnification using a spotting scope is to invest in a good quality spotting scope tripod.

Top 3 Picks

Spotting Scope Tripod Reviews

There is a variety of spotting scope tripods that solve different purposes and can be categorized as compact, full-sized or tabletop tripods. You need to determine which spotting scope tripod best suits your needs. Here is a list of some of the best spotting scope tripods available on the market currently.

Amazon Basics 60 Inch Full-Size Tripod

Amazon Basics 60 Inch Tripod is a full-size spotting scope tripod. It is quite affordable and provides a great number of features without compromising on the quality. This spotting scope tripod comes with a pan and tilt head design along with a single handle and 2 axes of movement. Although the pan and tilt handle is not the quickest it is super precise once you have located your target. This spotting scope tripod can bear a spotting scope up to 3 kg in weight. This makes it quite versatile and compatible with most of the spotting scopes available on the market.  It comes with a quick-release mounting plate and has the ability to adjust its height from 25 inches up to a maximum of 60 inches.

The feet of this spotting scope tripod by Amazon has rubberized ends which provide a solid grip on most surfaces and much-needed stability. It can easily withstand harsh weather conditions and environmental forces. It also comes with a hook that is placed around the bottom of the central role of the tripod which can be helpful to hang bags or even weights to increase stability.

There are however some features which most of the spotting scope users would find unnecessary. Such features include a bubble level to indicate if the tripod base is in level or no and another one to indicate the leveling of the attached scope. Also, there is a provision to mount cameras in portrait mode, which is not at all required in case of spotting scopes.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable feet
  • Hook for accessories
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Suitable for camera user only
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag
  • Lightweight tripod with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
  • Compatible with most video cameras, digital cameras, still cameras, GoPro devices, smartphone adapters (not included), and scopes.
  • Recommended max load weight is 6.6 lbs (3kg) for optimal performance
  • Weighs 3 lbs; Extends from 25 inches to 60 inches when center post is fully extended; Carrying case included
  • Two built-in bubble view levels and 3-way head to allow for tilt and swivel motion; portrait or landscape options

57 Inch Ultra Compact Tripod

This 57 Inch Ultra Compact Tripod is an extremely versatile spotting scope tripod available on the market. It is ideal for all your outdoor activities and performs brilliantly for hunters, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The legs of this tripod can easily be adjusted from 14 inches all the way up to 56 inches and provide adequate extensibility. Also, the tripod legs come in 4 sections which can easily be adjusted as well. Rangers provides its users the choice of material for the legs of this tripod. A spotting scope user can choose from carbon fiber and aluminum alloy. Carbon fiber is much more expensive than the aluminum alloy but has been known to reduce the overall weight considerably.

Also, the carbon fiber legs can be adjusted using screw tighteners whereas the aluminum alloy legs can easily be adjusted using flip locks. Flip locks are comparatively easy to use and quicker but sometimes fail to gain the confidence of the user.

This Rangers Ultra Compact Tripod comes with a ball head design which is considered to be good for faster target acquisition. This is because the ball head allows free movement in 3 axes and a full 360-degree rotation. Additionally, it comes with a quick release plate for mounting your spotting scope and also to switch accessories with ease.

The best thing about the Rangers 57 Inch Ultra Compact Tripod is that it can be folded down to a pretty small size of 14 inches, which makes it compact, portable and suitable for transportation.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight and compact design
  • High load capability
  • Excellent height range
  • Folds up small
  • Hook for accessories

Cons

  • Slow quick-release mechanism
Sale
K&F Concept 62'' DSLR Tripod, Lightweight and Compact Aluminum Camera Tripod with 360 Panorama Ball Head Quick Release Plate for Travel and Work (TM2324 Black)
  • The weight of the tripod (include the ball head) is only 2.99lbs,much lighter than 4 cans drinks(300mL). After being 180° reflexed,the folded height is only 18.1'' (460mm),smaller enough to help you a convenient travel.
  • The tripod combines practical and portability factors,with the maximum height (without center column) of the most stability is 52.4'' (1330mm),providing sufficient stability and shooting height as far as possible; The max height is 62'' (1560mm),making standing shooting easier and the min height is 16.1'' (410mm) to meet various shooting environment and photographic needs.
  • With powerful and quick flip leg lock, only use one hand can open and close all the buttons in a few seconds. It's very easy to use, saving you more time and can more focused on enjoying the shooting.
  • The spring self-locking tube angle adjustment knob, only need to press, release, so that can quickly adjust the angle of the three tripod tubes.
  • Ball head (28mm large ball) ensure the stability of the cloud platform; The non-oil damping new design allows the camera to rotate smoothly and accurately; With a 360-degree scale at the bottom of cloud platform, it's easier to take panoramic photos and give more stunning effects than the ultra wide angle lenses.【NOTE】For camera with telephoto zoom lens, you need to buy a tripod mount ring additionally or telephoto lens bracket for better balance.

Vanguard VS-82 Table Top Tripod

Vanguard VS-82 Tripod is a tabletop tripod with a 2 axis pan head. The maximum height that this tripod extends to is about 10.25 inches and remains at only 9 inches when folded. The body of this tripod is made of aluminum which makes it durable, yet slightly bulky. The use of rubberized ends for the feet of the tripod makes this spotting scope tripod have a strong grip on any kind of surface including slippery surfaces such as table tops. Also, with fully extended legs, this spotting scope tabletop tripod possesses a nice, wide stance which is very secure indeed.

Vanguard VS-82 Tripod possesses angled legs that provide a stable and low center of gravity. This makes it suitable to handle even the bulkiest of spotting scopes. The maximum load tolerance limit for this tripod is around 2.5 kg which you can easily load onto it without fearing a failure. This maximum load limit is sufficient to cover most of the spotting scopes in the market including some of the largest ones. For such an affordable tabletop tripod, it is a great feature. Regardless of a lightweight design, this spotting scope tripod has an awkward shape and is slightly front heavy.

Pros

  • Rubberized feet
  • Small Size

Cons

  • No quick-release mechanism
  • 2-way pan tilt only
Vanguard VS-82 Table Top Tripod
  • Extended height: 9 7/8"; folded height: 9"
  • Two way panhead
  • Maximum load is 5.5 pounds
  • Aluminum construction
  • Non slip rubber feet

Pedco Ultrapod II Tripod

The Ultrapod II Tripod from Pedco is one of the lightest and most compact spotting scope tripods on the market. It is designed to be strong and sturdy. It uses a ball head design which allows you to mount your spotting scope or camera at any angle easily and also makes it easy for you to switch accessories. The ball head is known to be the best tripod head for spotting scope. Further, you can lock the favorable position by tightening the locking knob.

The maximum load capacity of this spotting scope tripod stands at 2.7 kg which is great for slightly larger spotting scopes as well. With an overall weight of mere 4 ounces, it is one of the lightest spotting scope tripods. Also, with all the legs folded, this tripod achieves a very compact configuration of 7x2x2 inches and attains a solid block type formation. This level of compactness makes it quite portable and an ideal travel companion. It can easily fit into the case of your spotting scope as well and doesn’t need extra packing.

The Pedco Ultrapod II Tripod also comes with a cinch strap that makes it easy to attach the folded, solid block of the tripod to any nearby object. It is a very versatile spotting scope tripod that is ideal for several of your outdoor activities. You need to be aware of the fact that this tripod is a fixed height tripod and doesn’t possess the ability to extend. But the presence of the Velcro cinch strap makes it easy for you to attach it to any nearby object and adjust the height accordingly.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Compact design
  • Ball head
  • Cinch strap available

Cons

  • Fixed height
  • No quick-release mechanism
Pedco UltraPod Grip Lightweight Camera Tripod
  • Lightweight and compact tripod; use with POV sports cameras, spotting scopes, binoculars, compact DSLRs with shorter lenses, and other devices
  • Removable hook and loop cinch strap secures tripod to posts, tree limbs, railings, pack frames, or any sturdy object
  • Incorporates rubber over-molded grips on the rear legs to help hold tripod securely on larger objects when mounting vertically or horizontally
  • Unique ball and socket mount assembly adjusts to multiple positions quickly and easily without having to remove the device
  • Weight: 3.2oz. (91 g); Dimensions - folded: 7 inches x 2 inches x 2 inches (17.8 cm x 5.1 cm x 5.1 cm); Limited lifetime warranty

Swarovski Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod

Swarovski Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod is one of the best lightweight tripods for spotting scopes. It has a lightweight construction due to the carbon fiber body which further makes the tripod strong, sturdy and ideal for rugged use. It uses a proprietary DH 101 head that employs a clamping system for a much better grip. This reduces the chances of a drop significantly making even the largest spotting scopes less prone to accidental damage.

The DH 101 head also provides a fast mount system for easier attachment/detachment of a spotting scope. Also, this tripod has a provision for one-handed adjustment wherein you can adjust the vertical as well as the horizontal axis with a single stroke. Once your spotting scope is in position, a five-tooth locking system locks that position and prevents any further displacement thereby increasing the overall stability of the tripod.

The Swarovski Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod is ideal for all your outdoor excursions such as birding, hunting, hiking, etc. It has the ability to be folded down to 19.7 inches which increases its compactness and portability. The carbon fiber legs are quite lightweight themselves weighing at just 1.4 kg. The presence of rubberized endings on the feet of this spotting scope tripod along with retractable spikes provides an increased level of stability on any kind of surface. Also, it comes with a leveler that enables you to position the legs accurately.

Although the Swarovski Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod is slightly expensive and can literally burn a hole in your pocket, it can be considered as one of the most lightweight, compact, strong, sturdy, durable and ergonomic spotting scope tripods on the market today.

Pros

  • Lightweight yet sturdy design
  • One-handed adjustment
  • Strong and rigid grip
  • Easy attachment/detachment
  • No effect of wind despite carbon fiber

Cons

  • Premium Price
Sale
SWAROVSKI Optik CCT Compact Carbon Tripod Legs Only
  • COMPACT DESIGN: Combines low weight and impressive stability – and when folded up it’s even small enough to fit in your carry-on luggage
  • EASY TO TRANSPORT: Provides remarkable stability while remaining easy to transport, collapsing to a length of 20.5 inches
  • SUPPORTS UP TO 39.7 POUNDS OF PAYLOAD: While compact, it still supports up to 39.7 pounds of payload, letting you use large spotting scopes, lenses, or digiscoping setups for extremely smooth shooting
  • CARBON FIBER CONSTRUCTION: Advanced carbon fiber construction makes the CCT one of the best in its class, delivering superb performance that you will notice in the field
  • SWAROVSKI OPTIK AUTHORIZED DEALER: Includes USA Manufacturer Warranty

Vortex Optics SKY-1 Skyline Tripod 

Vortex Optics SKY-1 Skyline Tripod is the best hunting tripod for spotting scope. This tripod from Vortex Optics is a solid performer and is affordable as well. It features a pan head design along with a micro-fluid adjustment system. The micro-fluid head enables a smooth and quick adjustment across all orientations. The construction is sturdy and durable due to the use of anodized aluminum for the body. The presence of a quick release mounting plate enables much faster attachment/detachment of the spotting scope. Also, it comes with adjustment knobs that allow a better level of accessibility and prevents you from being distracted during observation. Once you have figured out the final position for the spotting scope, it becomes easy to lock that position by simply tightening these adjustment knobs. This provides much-needed stability as well and prevents further dislocation.

Vortex Optics SKY-1 Skyline Tripod features anodized aluminum legs that can be flexibly angled in any way. Further, the rubberized endings at the feet of the aluminum legs provide a solid grip and ensure stable positioning even on an uneven terrain. The center pole’s lower end can be removed easily which helps you bring the legs down very low to increase the level of stability.

The aluminum body makes this spotting scope tripod quite sturdy and durable but ends up adding a little more weight which makes this tripod bulkier. Another disadvantage of the aluminum construction is that it will eventually end up being affected by rust despite being anodized. This shortens the life of the tripod unless appropriate care is taken.

If you are looking for a strong spotting scope tripod that can withstand environmental forces such as strong winds and are willing to give up slightly on portability and light-weightiness, then this spotting scope tripod is the right choice for you.

Pros

  • Inexpensive and value for money
  • Ergonomic and strong design
  • Flexible leg angles
  • Easily adjustable head
  • Secure from environmental forces

Cons

  • Slightly bulky
  • Extra care to prevent rusting
Cayer BV30 Heavy Duty Video Tripod, 64 inches Professional Aluminum Tripod Leg with K3 Fluid Head, Mid-Level Spreader, Max Loading 13.2 LB, 360 Degree Fluid Head for DSLR Camcorder Camera
  • - Supports 13.2 LB, a professional video tripod system designed for HDSLR and interchangeable lens cameras
  • - Fluid Head features pre-set counterbalance, pan/tilt locking with 3/8" easy link connector for accessories, offers 360° panning and +90° / -70° tilt; Integrated Flat Base with 3/8"-16 thread makes the head versatile for most tripod, slider, jib or crane
  • - Two provided quick release plates, each comes with a 1/4"-20 screw, and a 3/8"-16 screw stored in a thread under the plate, offers a sliding range of +20/-25mm - to enable travel capabilities
  • - This 2-stage video camera tripod with a built-in 75mm bowl; mid-level spreader provides enhanced stability by holding the tripod legs in locked position
  • - 13.2 lb Load Capacity | 32" to 64" Height Range | Tilt Angle +90° / -70° | 360° Panning | 75mm Ball Diameter | Carrying Bag | Fluid Head | Tripod Leg | 2 pcs of Quick Release Plates

Bushnell Titanium Tripod

The Bushnell Titanium Tripod is a full-size tripod that is super affordable yet durable. The titanium construction makes this spotting scope tripod extremely durable as well as lightweight. This, in turn, increases its portability and makes it a great travel companion because it can be carried around easily for a long time. The use of titanium also prevents corrosion and abrasion. The level of corrosion resistance in this spotting scope tripod is extremely high as compared to those with the usual aluminum construction. Also, this tripod ends up being very strong and sturdy making it ideal to withstand harsh conditions and uneven terrains.

The leg angle of this tripod can easily be adjusted into three positions. This allows you to position the tripod very low to enhance the level of stability. The maximum extension achieved by this spotting scope tripod is 63 inches, which is slightly less as compared to its counterparts.

The Bushnell Titanium Tripod incorporates a 3-way pan head design which allows for easier aiming and faster target acquisition. Also, it helps you achieve a stable configuration and fasten the head to prevent any kind of dislocation. Despite the stability, the head isn’t suitable to hold heavy and slightly bulky spotting scopes.

This spotting scope tripod by Bushnell has another feature that doesn’t impress its users which is the unusual way of attaching the spotting scope to the tripod head. It requires you to turn the scope around to properly fix it into the head, which is very tedious and time-consuming and tends to put off its users.

Pros

  • Inexpensive and value for money
  • Easily adjustable head
  • Flexible leg angles
  • Strong titanium construction
  • Improved corrosion resistance

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavier scopes
  • Fixing the scope is difficult and time-consuming
Bushnell 784030 Advanced Tripod
  • Country of manufacture: Thailand
  • Manufacturer: Bushnell Outdoor Products
  • Full-size tripod for spotting scopes, binoculars, camcorders, or SLR cameras
  • Durable aluminum legs are individually adjustable to different heights/angles
  • 3-way pan/tilt head with large mounting platform; universal 1/4"-20 mount

Manfrotto Befree Carbon Fiber Tripod

Manfrotto Befree Carbon Fiber Tripod isn’t totally made of carbon fiber, instead, it is a hybrid model with both carbon fiber and aluminum used in its construction. It is an affordable and compact spotting scope tripod which provides the necessary features by utilizing the advantages of each type of construction. It is perfect for those travelers or photographers for whom size and weight of the equipment are crucial.

The carbon fiber legs in this tripod possess a two-position leg angle which provides you the flexibility to place your tripod in any position of your choice. Also, the maximum height that you can reach using this spotting scope tripod is 48.4 inches. This lower height makes it super compact and portable. When folded, the tripod spans about 15.75 inches which makes it extremely portable. The portability of the tripod is further enhanced by the lightweight design with the overall weight of the tripod standing at 3.4 lbs.

The design of this spotting scope tripod by Manfrotto involves an aluminum ball head which is not a suitable addition at all. This negatively affects the stability of positioning a spotting scope on this tripod and may even result in some scopes being tipped over due to inadequate positioning.

This tripod does suffer from some stability issues but you can work around this problem by attaching some weights to it. Overall, this spotting scope tripod is excellent for photography, hunting, bird watching, nature observation, etc.

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Compact and portable construction
  • Very well constructed

Cons

  • Premium Price
Manfrotto Befree Advanced Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod Twist with 494 Ball Head
  • TRAVEL FRIENDLY: Weighs just under 3 pounds and fits easily into backpacks and carry on luggage.
  • CENTER BALL HEAD: Manfrotto 494 center ball head with three independent control knobs.
  • QUICK SETUP: Side pull selector for fast setup with both hands.
  • VERSATILE: 16" minimum height and 59" maximum height for versatile photography.
  • UNIQUE PREMIUM DESIGN: Carbon fiber build supports camera or video recorder up to 17 lbs.

Vortex Optics Summit SS Tripod

Vortex Optics Summit SS Tripod is the best spotting scope tripod for hunting. It is an extremely compact, lightweight and portable spotting scope tripod that comes at a dirt cheap price. This spotting scope tripod includes a 3-way pan/tilt head design which allows single-handed adjustment and provides an easy attachment/detachment process. The presence of a plate angle adjustment mechanism is also a plus which can be done using a single knob. Further, a quick release mounting plate makes it very easy to attach or detach a spotting scope.

This spotting scope tripod by Vortex Optics employs aluminum legs which can easily be extended up to a maximum of 54.5 inches and to a minimum of 6.3 inches after removing the lower end of the central pole. The Summit SS Spotting Scope Tripod can be folded easily and becomes quite compact and travel-friendly by reducing the height down to just 14 inches. To further enhance the portability, this tripod has a lightweight design with an overall weight of just 2 pounds. The maximum load tolerance limit for this spotting scope tripod stands at 5 pounds which is quite impressive.

Vortex Optics Summit SS Tripod features a ballast hook to increase its stability. This hook is located at the bottom of the central pole and facilitates the attachment of additional weights to increase the stability.

Pros

  • Extremely cheap
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Enhanced stability
  • Stable and easy to use pan head
  • Flexible leg adjustment

Cons

  • Sometimes need to use the balance hook for extra stability
Vortex Optics Summit SS-P Tripod
  • Our ultimate field-packing tripod, the Summit SS-P provides the perfect combination of size, weight, rugged build and fast operation. No other tripod gets out of your pack and on target quicker than a Summit.
  • 3-way pan head provides smooth horizontal and vertical adjustments. Three leg angles allow for flexible positioning and reduction of tripod height for greater stability. Twist leg locks are valued for rapid adjustment of leg height and reduced bulk.
  • Split center column allows removal of the lower portion of the center column. When combined with widespread leg angles, tripod height can be reduced to absolute minimum. Five leg sections allow for maximum height with minimum packing length.
  • Balance hook holds extra weight on the bottom of the center column for greater stability in windy conditions. Anodized aluminum legs provide sturdy support while rubber feet provide solid footing on slick surfaces.
  • Included in the box: carry case, 3-way pan head, quick-release plate

Other Best Selling Options

Bestseller No. 1
Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod
  • Redesigned to handle any conditions, for reliable performance, look to the Pro GT tripod
  • The sturdy anodized legs combine with a rugged 3-way quick-release pan/tilt head to deliver smooth, solid support for your optics. Rubber feet provide solid footing on slick surfaces
  • Flip lever leg locks are valued for rapid set up and height adjustment. The balance hook holds extra weight on the bottom of the center column for greater stability in windy conditions
  • Extends to 67.1 inches. Folds down to 24.6 inches
  • Included in the box: carry case, 3-way pan head, quick-release plate
SaleBestseller No. 2
Vortex Optics High Country Tripod
  • Small, light, and compact the High Country tripod is designed for hunting at altitudes where every ounce counts.
  • The variable leg angles and flip lever leg locks makes set-up a snap.
  • Extends to 52. 3 inches. Folds down to 15 inches.
  • Included in the box: carry case, ball head, quick-release plate
Bestseller No. 3
Vanguard VS-82 Table Top Tripod
  • Extended height: 9 7/8"; folded height: 9"
  • Two way panhead
  • Maximum load is 5.5 pounds
  • Aluminum construction
  • Non slip rubber feet
Bestseller No. 4
Torjim 60” Camera Tripod with Carry Bag, Lightweight Travel Aluminum Professional Tripod Stand (5kg/11lb Load) with Bluetooth Remote for DSLR SLR Cameras Compatible with iPhone & Android Phone-Black
  • 【60" Adjustable Height】 The maximum height of the adjustable tripod is 60 inches. 4-section column legs with a quick release flip-lock knob allows it to be folded to a shorter height of 17.6 inches, which can meet various shooting needs.
  • 【360° Rotation Function】 The convenient handle and built-in bubble level can realize the tripod translation and tilt movement, so as to meet any angle required by the user. It comes with a standard 1/4 "quick release plate, you can install and remove the camera in seconds. That supports most DSLR cameras. So you get perfect photos and stunning panoramas every time.
  • 【Lightweight Solid & Sturdy Rubber Feet】Stable rubber feet provide superior stability in a variety of terrains, which plays an important part in your travel. This special triangular stabilizing structure can withstand 11 pounds and can support entry-level Nikon, DSLR, SLR, action camera, Canon cameras, etc.
  • 【Extra Phone Holder & Bluetooth Control】 Tripod of the phone is equipped with a phone holder, which can be used for photo shootings, YouTube live streaming, and vlog shooting. With a Bluetooth remote control, Compatible with ios & Android Smartphones. You can take photos/videos from 30 feet / 10 meters away.
  • 【100% Satisfaction & Excellent Service】 With a zipper carry bag for easy carrying and secure storage the tripod. In the package, you will get: 1 x camera tripod, 1 x carry bag, 1 x Bluetooth remote control, 1 x phone holder, 1 x instruction manual. We have provided 30 days of free returns, a 1-year warranty, 100% satisfaction, and prompt customer service.
Bestseller No. 5
RetiCAM Tabletop Tripod with 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head, Quick Release Plate and Carrying Bag for Phones, Cameras and Spotting Scopes - MT01 Mini Tripod, Aluminum, Black
  • Complete table top tripod for digital cameras, DSLR cameras, camcorders, spotting scopes, and many other devices equipped with standard 1/4 tripod mounts;
  • Full of Features: 3-Way pan/tilt head, quick release mounting plate, bubble level, extendable center column, quick snap leg locks, non-slip rubber feet;
  • Strong, sturdy and durable: Aluminum construction, 20mm legs and geared center post, over-sized locks;
  • Light weight and portable with a convenient carry bag included. Please keep in mind that the long handle bar is a control knob as well, and must be tightened after adjustment is done.
  • Min Height: 10-3/4"; Max height: 19"; Weight: 1.5 lb; Max Load: 6.0 lb.

Spotting Scope Tripod Buyer’s Guide

When you begin your research to find the best and most suitable spotting scope tripod, you will have to become aware of some concepts and factors which you need to consider before choosing the best spotting scope tripod for your conditions. Let us help you sift through some of the factors you need to consider while purchasing the best tripod for your spotting scope.

Type of Tripod

Three types of spotting scope tripods exist namely table top, compact and full-size tripods. Tabletop tripods are the smallest with a height less than 18 inches and are ideal in case you need to kneel, lie down or be seated during observation. They also lack telescopic legs and provide reduced levels of stability. Compact tripods are slightly taller than tabletop tripods and are suitable for situations where you need to be seated during observation. Hunters, hikers, nature observers, etc. favor compact tripods due to the balanced levels of stability, portability, and height that they provide. Full-size tripods, on the other hand, are meant for observation while standing. These type of tripods tend to attain a maximum height of 60 or more inches and possess fully extended legs. A full-size tripod is suitable for long-range spotting scopes with an objective lens diameter of 80 mm and above.

Type of construction

A tripod can be made out of carbon fiber, aluminum, titanium, wood, plastic, etc. But carbon fiber and aluminum are the most prominent players in the market. If you pick carbon fiber over aluminum, it will result in a spotting scope tripod that provides you with an extremely lightweight design and a better strength to weight ratio. Also, carbon fiber tends to provide a much better vibration damping capability which helps in reducing the vibrations that could disturb the focus and precision of your spotting scope during observation. Another advantage of carbon fiber over aluminum is that it is immune to corrosion. But carbon fiber is much more expensive as compared to aluminum. In comparison, aluminum also possesses certain advantages over carbon fiber with the biggest of them all being the increased level of stability and rigidness. Tripods with aluminum construction don’t waver on uneven terrains or under harsh weather conditions due to their inherent bulkiness and increased weight.

Ease of adjustment

For observing distant objects quickly and clearly, it is necessary for the spotting scope tripod heads to use a fluid pan, tilt or rotate mechanism which can easily be adjusted. A spotting scope tripod with a fluid head is an essential feature which increases the level of stability and steadiness provided by the tripod. This is because a fluid head uses a hydraulic damping system to attain a certain level of steadiness. Also, a better attachment/detachment mechanism must exist.

Type of Head

A tripod head helps in mounting the spotting scope on the tripod and hold it in place. It comes in different styles including ball head design, pan/tilt head, pistol grip, panhandles, etc. It is important to choose the right variant for your condition because the type of mounting head used in your spotting scope tripod tends to define the maximum spotting scope weight tolerance that the tripod head can handle. A ball head design uses a ball joint that enables you to move your spotting scope in any direction and along any axis freely and eventually lock a favorable position using thumb screws or latches. Whereas, a pan and tilt head design comes with varying number of handles which can be twisted to lock the favorable position.

Quick Release Mounting Plates

For mounting your spotting scope easily over your tripod, the tripod head either possesses a screw thread onto which the spotting scope can be screwed and fixed or a quick release mounting plate. With the presence of a quick release mounting plate, mounting a spotting scope over a tripod becomes less tedious and time-consuming. These plates make attachment/detachment process much quicker and easier by using a lever or a clasp. You simply need to attach the plate to your spotting scope and place it on the tripod for an easy mounting process. And if you wish to detach the spotting scope, you simply leave the plate attached to the tripod and use the quick release mechanism instead. This is great for situations where you need to quickly switch between a spotting scope and binoculars while using the same tripod.

Weight

If you are looking for a spotting scope tripod that you can carry anywhere easily and set up for a quick observation, it is very important for the tripod to be lightweight or else your life won’t be easy carrying around heavy and bulky tripods each time you go out for observation. For increased portability over long distances, overall weight and material composition are two main factors that you need to consider in a spotting scope tripod. Tripod legs made of carbon fiber tend to be super lightweight while providing good strength and stability whereas those made of aluminum alloy are slightly on the bulkier side. Also, you need to be considerate of the size of the spotting scope tripod as well. The bigger the size of the tripod, the heavier is its weight. This means that a table top, compact or mini tripod will weigh less than a full-size tripod. Reduced weight results in increased portability.

Conclusion

Now that you are aware of what a spotting scope tripod is and the things you need to consider while purchasing the best spotting scope tripod for the money. With our recommendation of some of the most popular variants currently available on the market, it should be pretty easy for you to figure out the right tripod for yourself.

Also, be aware of your needs and the actual purpose of using a spotting scope tripod, this helps you in making the right decision. The best spotting scope tripod is the one that suits your specific requirements and fits right into your budget. The market is filled with several spotting scope tripods manufactured by various brands that can be categorized as a compact, full-sized or tabletop tripod. Make sure that you find the right tripod which can be touted as the best tripod for spotting scope.


Flashlight
Mike Gardner
Author

Mike is an explorer and fan of outdoor pursuits such as bird watching, hiking & camping. He is our main editor and product reviewer here at Today's Cacher. Contact mike@todayscacher.com