Accessories Outdoor Optics

Best Spotting Scope Tripods (2021) : Review with Buyer’s Guide

We use our spotting scopes for a number of activities like birding, surveillance, scenic observing, beginner’s astronomy, telephotography, and long-distance nature study. We usually focus so much on the quality of the scope that the tripod doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Well, that’s unless you find out that the tripod isn’t up to par as your scope keeps wobbling and vibrating, robbing you of the view that quality spotting scopes can deliver. We’ve had the same experience before and we don’t want this to happen to you.

That’s why we thoroughly tested and ranked today’s best tripods for spotting scopes. Go through our reviewed tripods and see which one fits your needs most.

Best Spotting Scope Tripods for Hunting: Comparison Chart

Pick NameThumbnailProduct NamePrice
Best OverallAmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with BagAmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with BagCheck Price
Top Lightweight ChoiceAmazonBasics Lightweight Camera Mount Tripod Stand With BagAmazonBasics Lightweight Camera Mount Tripod Stand With BagCheck Price
Best for TravellingMactrem PT55 Travel Camera Tripod Lightweight AluminumMactrem PT55 Travel Camera Tripod Lightweight AluminumCheck Price
Most Compact ChoiceTACKLIFE Lightweight Aluminum Tripod 55-InchTACKLIFE Lightweight Aluminum Tripod 55-InchCheck Price
5thPolaroid 57-Inch Photo/Video Tripod with Deluxe Tripod Carrying CasePolaroid 57-Inch Photo/Video Tripod with Deluxe Tripod Carrying CaseCheck Price
6thNeewer 20 inches/50 Centimeters Portable Compact Desktop Macro Mini TripodNeewer 20 inches/50 Centimeters Portable Compact Desktop Macro Mini TripodCheck Price
7thTorjim 60” Lightweight Travel Aluminum Professional Tripod StandTorjim 60” Lightweight Travel Aluminum Professional Tripod StandCheck Price
8thVictiv 72-inch Tall Durable Aluminum TripodVictiv 72-inch Tall Durable Aluminum TripodCheck Price
9thGEEKOTO 77” Tripod with 360 Degree Ball HeadGEEKOTO 77” Tripod with 360 Degree Ball HeadCheck Price
10thNeewer Carbon Fiber 66 inches/168 centimeters Camera TripodNeewer Carbon Fiber 66 inches/168 centimeters Camera TripodCheck Price

Our 10 Best Spotting Scope Tripods for The Money

1 AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag (Best Overall)

AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag

Why it Stands Out To Us

What’s absolutely astounding about this tripod is the impressive quality it offers at such a low price. It is truly a wonder how a tripod as versatile, sturdy, and functional can go so low. Not only does it come with a handle and carrying case, it also has two bubble levels for user convenience. All of this is offered at less than $30. We can safely say that anyone investing in this tripod is winning at life.

Our Experience with the AmazonBasics WT3540 

  • Lightweight, easy to operate, sturdy and worth every penny.
  • We mounted a Celestron 20-60 X 80 spotting scope on it and it successfully kept it stable the whole time. It was around 3.6 pounds and the tripod held it up effortlessly.
  • We were also happy to find that it came with a quick-release detachable mounting plate. This meant that we could keep the plate attached to our spotting scope and simply place it on the tripod again the next time we needed to use it. It made things super convenient and quick.
  • What’s more is that the legs locked at any point along their lengths. It made height adjustments remarkably breezy.
  • We also mounted a camera on it and found that it was exceedingly easy to change the orientation from portrait to landscape.
  • Standing tall at a proud 60 inches, this tripod allowed us to get those trickier shots without any trouble. The easy adjustments helped a lot while extending it to its full length.
  • The two levels in the tripod ensured our shots were nice and level. It definitely saved us a lot of time during post-production because we didn’t have to adjust the axes of the photos taken at lopsided 20° angles.
  • The knobs are large enough to make screwing and unscrewing the scope very quick and easy. Also, since the swivel is so smooth, we could easily adjust the camera direction.
  • The legs were made with aluminum which made the tripod sturdy and strong while being lightweight enough to be portable.

What We Didn’t Like

  • It did not come with a mounting plate and we had to purchase one externally.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • Since the tripod is so lightweight, it may not be very stable in areas with extremely strong winds or extreme conditions in general.
  • We understand that the build is suitable more for lightweight scopes, which means that scopes on the heavier side cannot be mounted on the tripod without risking instability. However, our conclusion was that this tripod is excellent for the casual user who does not require professional equipment and is looking to fulfil their needs within a budget option.

Our Recommendations

  • Do not twist your camera into the mount to avoid damaging it. Twist the screw from the inside to ensure the camera is tightened into the tripod instead.
  • The tripod might get wobbly if extended to its full height, but leaving about an inch at each section will give you immense stability.

Specifications

  • Compatible devices: GoPro
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Black
  • Maximum height: 158 cm
  • Minimum height: 60.5 cm
  • Weight limit: 6.6 pounds
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Lightweight
  • Quick release
  • Quick hang hook
  • Sturdy
  • 2 levels
  • Adjustable
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Comes with a carrying case

Cons

  • Might not be stable in strong winds
  • Cannot support a professional heavy camera
  • Unsuitable for rough conditions

2 AmazonBasics Lightweight Camera Mount Tripod Stand With Bag (Top Lightweight Choice)

AmazonBasics Lightweight Camera Mount Tripod Stand With Bag

Why it Stands Out To Us

Having a lightweight tripod can save you a lot of trouble, especially if you’re going to be traveling around. However, it is hard to strike the balance between lightweight and sturdy, and it usually becomes a tradeoff between the two features. With the AmazonBasics Lightweight tripod, this problem is eradicated. While it’s specifically a champion in the lightweight category, it is also a solid contender for the best budget option with its competitive pricing.

Our Experience with the AmazonBasics Lightweight Tripod 

  • It comes with a quick-release plate and has adjustable legs. It’s also suitable for spotting scopes on the lighter side
  • The product is brilliant for beginners who want to get a tripod for casual use.
  • For how lightweight it is, it was surprisingly quite stable. We found that if we didn’t extend it to its full height while mounting a light spotting scope, it does a great job at remaining stable
  • It was useful while traveling around because we could barely feel the weight while hiking. The light weight takes a bit away from sturdiness but results in remarkable portability and compactness, so we had no complaints for the price it came at
  • The mounting bracket and attachment bases came with locking screws that could be adjusted both vertically and horizontally. There were also three more adjustments on all three legs of the tripod which made it highly customizable
  • The clamp locks in the legs allowed us to set the tripod at our desired angles effortlessly

What We Didn’t Like

  • The tripod was not able to support a heavy spotting scope without wobbling
  • It requires a lot of care while handling. The price is indicative of how fragile the tripod can be, so if you want it to last long, you’ll have to take care of it accordingly

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • It isn’t the best for windy conditions. Since it’s so lightweight, the tripod is prone to shaking under unstable conditions. Increasing the sturdiness will improve the overall versatility of the tripod and make for a much better user experience
  • Since it’s mostly targeted at beginners, it would’ve been more convenient if the product came with instructions

Our Recommendations

  • You may want to avoid extending the tripod above 47″ to ensure that it retains its stability. We found that it’s remarkably stable as long as you don’t extend it to its full capacity

Specifications

  • Compatible devices: DSLR
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Bronze
  • Maximum height: 127 cm
  • Minimum height: 42 cm
  • Weight limit: 4.4 pounds
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Number of leg sections: 3

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Quick-release plate
  • Great for beginners
  • Portable
  • Perfect for light spotting scopes and cameras
  • Customizable
  • Comes with carrying case

Cons

  • Might not be stable in strong winds
  • Cannot support heavy or high-end cameras
  • Unsuitable for professionals

3 Mactrem PT55 Travel Camera Tripod Lightweight Aluminum (Best for Travelling)

Mactrem PT55 Travel Camera Tripod Lightweight Aluminum

Why it Stands Out To Us

This tripod definitely packs a punch with its multiple features and modest price. At just 2.4 pounds, this tripod is magnificent company for a traveler. It is extremely easy to carry around on hikes due to its lightweightedness. It’s also quite compact; able to fold into a small height of 19 inches. The Mactrem PT55 does a brilliant job of balancing portability with just the right amount of sturdiness. And despite its light construction, it feels pretty solid during maneuvering. It’s great for beginner photographers and bird watchers alike.

Our Experience with the Mactrem PT55 

  • It’s lightweight, convenient for travelers, sturdy and quite tall.
  • We mounted a Celestron 80 spotting scope on the tripod. This is on the heavier side of scopes so we were skeptical whether such a lightweight tripod could remain steady. However, we found that even under strong windy conditions, there was no shakiness and the tripod remained impressively steady the whole time.
  • The tripod came with a hook at the bottom from which we could hang our camera bag. The hook also helped stabilize the tripod on especially windy days.
  • We could adjust the legs so that it became level on uneven terrain. These trusty legs particularly came in handy when we went to the mountains.
  • The level bubble is a photographer’s best friend. It allowed us to make sure all our shots were aligned evenly.
  • The quick-release plate was also super convenient as it removed the need to mount the scopes or cameras onto the tripod everytime. Simply snapping in the plate saved us a lot of time and effort while we were traveling. It also allowed easy transitions while doing photography.
  • Overall, we felt that the Mactrem was ideal for travelers on a budget. If you’re looking for a hefty tripod that can get the job done but don’t want to bleed your bank account dry, this is the pick for you.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The build is great, but for a professional tripod user, it might feel a bit elementary due to the top part being made of plastic. This is to be expected at this price range, so we were not too concerned

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • If the center post had been easier to raise, it would be much more convenient for the user.
  • The tripod comes with a pan head instead of a ball head. We found that a ball head does a better job when it comes to still photography. However, for strictly spotting scope use, this is nothing to worry about

Our Recommendations

  • Some users complained it was difficult to fit the whole tripod in the carrying case. However, we found that if the tripod was folded in the same way it was originally packaged, fitting it in the bag was effortless and it even had some extra space remaining.

Specifications

  • Compatible devices: DSLR, iPhone 11
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Black, Blue, Orange, Gold
  • Maximum height: 150 cm
  • Minimum height: 19 cm
  • Weight limit: 11 pounds
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Number of leg sections: 4
  • Head type: Pan head

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Quick-release plate
  • Great for beginners
  • Comes with a carrying bag
  • Customizable
  • Level bubble
  • Tall
  • Sturdy
  • Comes with a user manual

Cons

  • Pan head instead of ball head
  • Unsuitable for professional DSLRs
  • Cannot disassemble plate mount

4 TACKLIFE Lightweight Aluminum Tripod 55-Inch

TACKLIFE Lightweight Aluminum Tripod 55-Inch

Why it Stands Out To Us

With the quick-release locks on the legs, the TACKLIFE is exceedingly easy to set up and collapse. It also folds into a small 16 inches, which makes it a dream to travel with. Able to support light cameras, spotting scopes, and phones, this tripod is perfect for the casual user. Priced below $30, it’s one of the best budget options to exist in the market. If you’re looking for a small and portable budget tripod for light use, this is without a doubt the one for you.

Our Experience with the TACKLIFE 

  • It’s lightweight, efficient, and gets the job done for the easygoing user.
  • The build mostly consisted of plastic. However, the upside is that the plastic made the tripod extremely lightweight and easy to carry around.
  • When it comes to tripods, flexibility is a big concern for us. So we were quite pleased with this one as it had enough flexibility on the legs for us to adjust it easily on uneven terrain.
  • Its compact size is commendable. It’s one of the few tripods that are in this size and can also ensure functionality. We were overall quite impressed with how much the brand packed into a tripod that’s around $20. While this is not a product for professionals, it would be more than sufficient for the occasional user.

What We Didn’t Like

  • There was no quick-release plate
  • The product was mostly made of plastic so it felt a little fragile to use

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • The lack of a quick-release plate can be cumbersome. We felt that a quick-release plate always makes the mounting process much easier for both cameras and spotting scopes. If the product could incorporate this plate, it would be much more convenient for users
  • We had to trade build quality for size. For this price point, we were expecting that but we also feel that if the quality could be slightly improved without compromising on the price, the product could potentially rise levels above

Specifications

  • Compatible devices: iPhone
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Black
  • Maximum height: 55 inches
  • Minimum height: 16 inches
  • Weight limit: 6.6 pounds
  • Item weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Number of leg sections: 3
  • Head type: Pan head

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great for beginners
  • Suitable for light cameras and phones
  • Comes with a carrying bag
  • Quick release locks on legs
  • Portable
  • 24-month warranty

Cons

  • Unsuitable for professional DSLRs
  • Not the most stable

5 Polaroid 57-Inch Photo/Video Tripod with Deluxe Tripod Carrying Case

Polaroid 57-Inch Photo/Video Tripod with Deluxe Tripod Carrying Case

Why it Stands Out To Us

The Polaroid has a flurry of features that make it stand out in the market. Yes, it’s not for the seasoned pros in the game but it’s definitely a kicker for the intermediates. With its smooth swivel, easy set-up, and competitive pricing, this product is making waves in the budget tripod department. It’s perfect for supporting lightweight cameras and spotting scopes around 5 pounds, and will satisfy you with its impressive sturdiness.

Our Experience with the Polaroid 

  • It’s lightweight, sturdy and able to take quite a bit of weight, which means it’s compatible with the midrange scopes and cameras.
  • The spotting scope we mounted on it was 4.4 pounds. Since the tripod is so lightweight, we figured the scope could not be supported without wobbling since it’s slightly on the heavier side for this specific tripod build. However, we were happy with how well it supported the scope. We found it to be quite sturdy and also suitable for wildlife digiscoping.
  • It was also steady enough to withstand wind upto 30mph. We also found that the hook at the bottom allowed us to add some counterweights and increase the tripod’s stability in windy conditions.
  • The light weight allowed us to haul it around with the rest of our gear without any trouble. Heavy equipment is a total dealbreaker for hikers and travellers, so we’d definitely recommend this tripod for those who are constantly on the move.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Everything except the legs, including the pan handle is plastic that makes it feel a bit fragile.
  • Lacks a secondary lift that can add further height to the tripod.
  • The legs are not suitable to be used on uneven terrain.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • Like most budget-friendly tripods, this too does not have the best build. The plastic might be prone to damage in the long term or if the tripod is used roughly. It would have been better if the material used incorporated more aluminum.
  • Changing the material will increase the strength of the tripod, which will translate to its ability to support heavier objects. However, this will most likely take away from its comfortable weight. If a lightweight tripod fits your needs more than a heavier one, then the Polaroid will be a great fit for you.

Specifications

  • Compatible devices: iPhone, DSLR
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Black
  • Maximum height: 57 inches
  • Minimum height: 23 inches
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Maximum weight capacity: 5 pounds
  • Number of leg sections: 3
  • Head type: Pan head

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great for casual users
  • Suitable for light cameras and phones
  • Can support mid range spotting scopes
  • Comes with a carrying bag
  • Quick release locks on legs
  • Portable

Cons

  • Unsuitable for professional DSLRs
  • Not for heavy-duty use

6 Neewer 20 inches/50 Centimeters Portable Compact Desktop Macro Mini Tripod

Neewer 20 inches/50 Centimeters Portable Compact Desktop Macro Mini Tripod

Why it Stands Out To Us

If you’re looking for a professional grade tabletop tripod, you’ve come to the right place. The build quality is comparable to the top brands in the industry for a fraction of the price. Not only do the legs spread open to three positions, they also extend to four different levels.

The Neewer can also be folded small enough to fit inside your usual backpack or even the glove compartment in your car. This is a solid option for those who want to use their spotting scopes on a table but don’t want to sell an arm and a leg for a quality model.

Our Experience with the Neewer 

  • It’s sturdy, durable, and provides excellent value for money.
  • The maximum weight capacity goes upto 11 pounds, so the tripod could easily support our 6-pound spotting scope. It is sturdy and well-built enough for us to not have experienced any shakiness. The stability is especially remarkable when the tripod is at its lowest height and widest placement. Because of how low it can go, it was brilliant for close-up shots as well.
  • The ball head made it extremely easy to switch transitions and allowed for more movement.
  • Usually, the top tier tripods have several height adjustment options and convenient leg angles. The Neewer’s price doesn’t go anywhere near the price of a top tripod but it still delivered the high quality and convenience.
  • Aside from a few caveats with the ease of use, this product was overall excellent. We’d recommend it to anyone looking for an impressive tabletop tripod at a reasonable price.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Legs are tricky to adjust at first. It takes a bit of getting used to in order to find the best way to tighten them.
  • It was a bit on the heavier side for a small tabletop tripod.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • It would’ve been better if the leg-locking mechanism had been smoother. It can be inconvenient to twist and close the locks for adjustments if they’re rough.

Specifications

  • Compatible devices: DSLR
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Black
  • Maximum height: 50 inches
  • Minimum height: 23 inches
  • Weight: 1.72 pounds
  • Maximum weight capacity: 11 pounds
  • Number of leg sections: 5
  • Head type: Ball

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Sturdy
  • Quick-release plate
  • Portable
  • Durable
  • Has an offset leg
  • Level bubble
  • Weight hook

Cons

  • Leg-locks are tricky to adjust
  • Not the lightest

7 Torjim 60” Lightweight Travel Aluminum Professional Tripod Stand

Torjim 60” Lightweight Travel Aluminum Professional Tripod Stand

Why it Stands Out To Us

Weighing 3.49 pounds at the price of $31.99, the Torjim is a solid contender in the lightweight and travel department. With a quick-release head that rotates 360° and sturdy adjustment knobs, this tripod makes for one phenomenal piece of equipment.

While most tripods tend to get shaky once extended to their full height, the Torjim comes in with a steadiness that’s hard to rival. The level bubble at the top makes it convenient to get those flat angles while photographing as well. Overall, it’s definitely comparable to the higher-end products in this category.

Our Experience with the Torjim  

  • It’s lightweight, sturdy, able to withstand harsh winds and diverse terrains. It’s also potentially your best purchase.
  • This tripod might be considered heavy for a few individuals if they were to take it hiking for extended periods of time. However, we felt that the Torjim hit the right spot while balancing sturdiness and weight. The 3.49 pounds added to its stability, especially in windy conditions where a lighter tripod would be prone to shaking if extended to its full height. This one remained locked into the ground no matter the terrain or weather, so we felt that the compromise was 100% justified.
  • In our experience, minor adjustments are quite difficult to make on some tripods because they come with a singular point for controlling all features. However, it was remarkably easy making adjustments on the Torjim because of the separate tilt control. The separation of controls was a nice touch by the brand and we appreciated it tonnes.
  • The legs can lock at any given point along the length. This allowed us to adjust the height to whatever we desired and made for a more customized experience.
  • It was easy to travel with due to how compact and light it is.
  • Overall, the Torjim is an absolute gamechanger. It’s light, sturdy, able to withstand harsh conditions and also adjustable enough to make it a dream tripod.

What We Didn’t Like

  • We needed to put some effort while locking the legs.
  • The plastic parts might not be as durable as the aluminum parts.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • The rubber stoppers tend to move around until they’re placed on the ground. It would’ve been better if they could remain unmoving for better precision while placing them.

Specifications

  • Compatible devices: DSLR, iPhone X, iPhone 11, iPhone
  • Material: Aluminum, ABS
  • Color: Black, Blue, Orange, Silver
  • Maximum height: 60 inches
  • Minimum height: 17.6 inches
  • Weight: 3.49 pounds
  • Maximum weight capacity: 11 pounds
  • Number of leg sections: 4
  • Head type: Pan

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Comes with a bluetooth remote
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy
  • Quick-release plate
  • Portable
  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Suitable for diverse terrains
  • Level bubble
  • Weight hook
  • High remote range
  • Comes with a carry bag

Cons

  • Rubber stoppers move when not on the ground
  • Legs take some effort to lock

8 Victiv 72-inch Tall Durable Aluminum Tripod

Victiv 72-inch Tall Durable Aluminum Tripod

Why it Stands Out To Us

We’ve gone through many 2-in-1 tripod and monopod combos in our careers but we’ve never come across a tripod which makes the conversion so astoundingly easy, especially at this price range. This avant-garde feature ensures that you don’t even need to take off the camera to make the switch. The whole thing doesn’t even take more than a few seconds.

Along with that, it also comes with an extra universal Arca Swiss mounting plate and a backup quick-release plate. And the best part is that you get all of this under $40.

Our Experience with the Victiv 

  • Lightweight, sturdy, durable and comes with many extra items, including a carrying bag.
  • We’ve seen that spotting scopes are not very stable in other tripods. However, we did not encounter this problem with the Victriv and could smoothly use our scope without any wobbliness. It was also quite easy switching from scope to camera as well.
  • The sturdiness was overwhelmingly obvious from the moment we used it. The construction is high quality since the material used is premium aluminum. It feels like you have a quality piece of equipment under your hands when you’re maneuvering it. We weren’t worried it would get damaged if it had been accidentally dropped.
  • The 70″ height on this is impressive, especially because even when extended to its maximum height, the tripod doesn’t compromise on its stability.
  • Another thing we found extremely convenient was that it allowed a battery change without the need to dismount the camera. This innovative feature will come in handy when your camera is on the verge of dying and you don’t want to lose any time switching batteries and missing that perfect shot.
  • Its comfortable light weight makes it a wonderful travel accompaniment, although some users may disagree in this regard. However, in our experience we could lug it around on hikes without any issues due to its portability. The 4-pound weight is an understandable tradeoff with the extra stability. Since it has the monopod feature built-in, it removes the need to haul around an extra monopod along with the tripod, which saves space and cuts down on the net weight.
  • It’s quite easy to set up and collapse, which makes it super convenient, especially while traveling.
  • The panning was absolutely sensational. We were dumbfounded by the smoothness in all directions – up, down and side to side as well. This is not a feature we expected in a tripod under $50, so rest assured, we were pleasantly surprised.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The head locks can sometimes be hard to tighten fully.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • It would be better if the lock knobs were easier to tighten.
  • The hook at the bottom and the mounting screw could be made from metal instead of plastic as it would improve durability.

Our Recommendations

  • Avoid over tightening the knobs while making adjustments to the tripod as it can result in the grip being slackened over time.

Specifications

  • Compatible devices: DSLR, iPhone X, iPhone 11, iPhone
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Black, Blue, Orange
  • Maximum height: 182 inches
  • Minimum height: 53 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Maximum weight capacity: 12 pounds
  • Number of leg sections: 4
  • Head type: Pan

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy
  • Quick-release plate
  • Portable
  • Durable
  • Level bubble
  • Weight hook
  • Comes with a carry bag
  • 2-in-1 tripod and monopod
  • Efficiently compatible with spotting scopes
  • Extra universal Arca Swiss mounting plate

Cons

  • Head lock might not be the smoothest

9 GEEKOTO 77” Tripod with 360 Degree Ball Head

GEEKOTO 77'' Tripod with 360 Degree Ball Head

Why it Stands Out To Us

If you’re looking for a tripod that can also function as a monopod, the GEEKOTO is your best friend. Although it’s not the cheapest option in this list, the price tag is quite modest for the amount of value it creates. It also has quite a bit of height for a tripod that’s relatively lightweight.

Our Experience with the GEEKOTO 

  • It’s lightweight, sturdy, performs well in diverse environments, and allows smooth panning due to the ball head.
  • We used this tripod with a spotting scope for birding and bird hunting. We were happy with how sturdy the legs were. However, it was slowly becoming obvious that if you extend the tripod to its full height while it has a heavy scope mounted, it loses stability.
  • We were also impressed with how easy it was to operate the clamps on the legs. It saved us time and made it much easier to adjust the height of the tripod.
  • While it could support spotting scopes pretty well, we felt that this tripod’s features could also be multi-purposed for most cameras, even the heavier ones.
  • The carrying case was well made and quite spacious as well. We could put all our equipment in it and also carry it around easily using the strap.
  • The ball head allowed us to move our camera in multiple directions without any obstacles because of its 360-degree rotation.

What We Didn’t Like

  • It’s pretty lightweight but it’s still heavy enough that we wouldn’t recommend it for prolonged traveling or hiking.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • We experienced some drift while shooting with the camera angled downwards. Despite tightening the screws, we found that a bit of the shakiness still remained. We feel that the tripod would rank much higher if this problem had been solved.

Specifications

  • Compatible devices: DSLR, iPhone 8
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Black and red
  • Maximum height: 77 inches
  • Minimum height: 19 inches
  • Weight limit: 17.6 pounds
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Number of leg sections: 4
  • Head type: Ball

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy
  • Functions well in windy conditions
  • Quick-release plate
  • 2-in-1 tripod and monopod
  • Customizable
  • Comes with a bag
  • Smooth panning due to ball head
  • Easy to operate
  • Comes with an Allen wrench

Cons

  • Tedious to set up the monopod
  • Requires a separate screw for the monopod

10 Neewer Carbon Fiber 66 inches/168 centimeters Camera Tripod

Neewer Carbon Fiber 66 inches/168 centimeters Camera Tripod

Why it Stands Out To Us

The Neewer Carbon Fiber set some high expectations for us. While it’s definitely not one of those high-end products for sale, we were still pleased with the plethora of services it provided. The immense sturdiness, the large weight capacity and the 2-in-1 tripod/monopod conversion all added to its impressive repertoire. The tripod is also quite versatile –  you can use this tripod for mounting spotting scopes as well as supporting hunting rifles in a saddle.

Our Experience with the Neewer Carbon Fiber 

  • It’s sturdy, versatile, and comes with a quick-release function and a carrying bag.
  • The tripod easily supported our spotting scope. The sturdiness was especially evident when we mounted a heavy scope and it didn’t even wobble.
  • It comes with twist locks that are outstanding at reducing the time for setting up and collapsing the tripod.
  • Sitting at 3.4 pounds, the tripod is a bit on the heavier side. This basically means that the tripod is sturdy enough for it to barely wobble even through a japanese earthquake. You might be unsteady, but best believe your tripod will barely move.
  • The level bubble made taking panorama shots a piece of cake. We needed to make sure the angles were level and this feature ensured we had even shots while using it.
  • The construction of the tripod was done beautifully. And this much is evident from how easy it was to operate the twist locks, dial knobs, and locking hinges.
  • Although setting up the monopod took some effort, we felt that the design was practical and it could also function as a heavy selfie stick.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The leg angle locks were quite difficult to maneuver. We had to close the legs slightly in order to unlatch the locks.
  • Deploying the monopod feature was timeconsumung and inconvenient for us.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • If the locks could be unlatched without the need to close the legs of the tripod, it would make it much more convenient to handle.
  • The threaded 3/8 inch stub cannot be stored anywhere on the tripod, therefore losing it will mean the tripod cannot be converted to a monopod. If the tripod came with a storage area for the stub, it would lessen the chances of that happening.
  • Going through the trouble of unlocking the center column and then unscrewing the gear hanger, followed by unscrewing the monopod leg and adding the above-mentioned stub was tiring. It would be better if the process was made less tedious.
  • The package could come with an elaborate instruction manual for the user’s guidance.

Specifications

  • Compatible devices: DSLR
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Color: Black and red
  • Maximum height: 168 cm
  • Minimum height: 61 cm
  • Weight limit: 26.5 pounds
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Number of leg sections: 3
  • Head type: Ball

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Functions well in windy conditions
  • Quick-release plate
  • Great for beginners and experts alike
  • 2-in-1 tripod and monopod
  • Customizable
  • Comes with a bag
  • Smooth panning due to ball head
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • Tedious to set up the monopod

Types of Spotting Scope Tripods

a) Tabletop/Shooter’s tripod 

As the name suggests, this tripod is usually used on tables or shooting benches. Ranging from heights between 8 and 18 inches, these scopes have limited adjustability due to their lack of telescoping legs.

b) Compact tripod

These are typically handy when you’re traveling around due to their high portability. They can be used when you’re sitting on a chair but are unsuitable for tables due to their large size.

c) Full-sized tripod

They can range from 26 to 72 inches, making them perfect for people who prefer to stand while using their binoculars or cameras.

What Tripod Size Do I Need for My Spotting Scope?

The size of the tripod depends on your requirements. Usually, people who prioritize portability will seek tripods that are easy to carry and move around. You may want to opt for a compact tripod in this case. If your spotting scope is on the heavier side, a full-size tripod will be most convenient for you as they are quite stable and sturdy. Lastly, if you have a smaller spotting scope, you can go for a tabletop tripod.

Best Spotting Scope Tripods : Buying Guide

1. Maximum Weight Capacity

Before purchasing your tripod, make sure it has the maximum weight capacity you require. For any type of scopes on the lighter side, you won’t need a tripod that has a large weight capacity. For heavy spotting scopes, you will need a tripod that can sufficiently take its weight without wobbling.

It’s important to note that a lightweight tripod just won’t work for a heavier spotting scope. A heavy tripod needs a heavy scope but users should be aware that high weight capacity is not equivalent to stability. Some tripods offer much better stability for a lower weight capacity than those with high capacities. It’s all about the quality.

2. Height

The height of your tripod depends on your birding goals and whether you prefer to stand or crouch.

If you’re photographing birds that are perched high up, you’d need a tripod that can easily match that height for the perfect professional shot. If you’re going to be sitting on a chair, you’ll need one that’s compatible for shorter heights. In general, it is best to go for a tripod that has a center column as it allows for easy adjustments.

For a ballpark value, the tripod needs to be at least 12-14 inches less than your actual height, and this is without the head mounted on. Those who are extremely tall might not find a tripod with the ideal height, so it is advised to get one with a longer center column so it does not need to be cranked up too much to give you the height you require. This is because the tripod becomes more prone to vibrations as you extend it further up.

3. Material

a) Aluminum 

Compared to carbon fiber tripods, these are much cheaper. Aluminum is also damage-resistant, hence it will last you for a long time. However, due to the material’s high thermal conductivity, aluminum tripods tend to get hot in extreme weather. They’re also prone to getting uncomfortably cold in the morning.

b) Carbon fiber 

Carbon fiber’s enhanced stiffness and damping allows for more stability. It’s also lighter than aluminum and will heat up less due to the material’s lower thermal conductivity. Its inherent insulating properties ensure that it does not become too cold in the mornings, which makes handling them much more convenient. They are also better at absorbing vibrations.

4. Locks

There are three types of locks – twist locks, locking screws and flip levers.

Locking screws are the most time-consuming to set up and collapse while flip levers are the fastest. Twist locks fall somewhere in the middle. However, it’s important to know that flip levers tend to lose their grip after repeated use.

5. Head & Legs

Getting a scope with a head that’s easy to adjust allows for smooth tracking and panning. It’s best to go for a tripod that has a micro-fluid pan head. It’s even better if it comes with a tangent arm. Not only will it help you adjust your scope without touching it, it will also keep it in place for a hands-free experience.

When it comes to legs, some tripods come with three sections while some come with four. Although the four-sectioned ones don’t take away from stability, it takes more time to set them up. You want legs where you can adjust the angle at which they stand from the center post and also the height independently. It is also vital to consider the stability of the legs when extended to full height. Though the use of 45-degree spotting scopes reduces the need to extend the height all the way, this is still something to keep in mind.

6. Versatility

Tripods are sometimes made specifically for particular uses. For example, some are made as standing models and some are made for hunting benches. You may want to opt for a tripod that can go low enough to be a tabletop scope and also high enough for your desired height.

7. Quick-Release

A quick-release plate will make handling your spotting scope tripod a breeze because it’ll save you time and effort. If you purchase a tripod with this feature, you’ll be able to pop your scope in and out of the mounting plate without any hassle. So the next time you want to use your scope, you won’t have to screw it into the tripod directly.

8. Budget

There’s quite a large price range when it comes to these tripods. The numbers start from around $30 and flow well into the 4-digit values. That isn’t to say you’ll need to bleed your bank account dry for a high quality product. There are many great budget options available, as we’ve listed above. It really comes down to your needs. You may even be able to get the ultimate tripod that fulfils all your requirements for under $30! 

FAQs

1. Are spotting scope tripods universal?

Ans: There’s no such thing as a tripod that can be used for practically everything. If you tripod can successfully support your spotting scope in various strenuous conditions, such as mountainous regions and places with strong winds or unstable grounds, it is most likely universal. However, if it is only able to support your spotting scope in trivial conditions, then it definitely is not. An overall universal tripod will have strong stability and be light enough to comfortably carry around.

2. Can I use a camera tripod for a spotting scope?

Ans: This largely depends on the stability of your camera tripod. While many camera tripods are compatible with spotting scopes, you still need to ensure that the base of the tripod is sturdy enough to safely support your scope.

About the author

Erik Himmel

A Part-Time Firearm Instructor

Hi, this is Erik. We all know firearms are dangerous, but only when one doesn’t know how to use and care for them. I have 15+ years of experience with different types of guns and for the last 10 years, I have taught numerous people how to hold and shoot a gun while staying safe and keeping the surroundings unharmed. My neighbors are some of my biggest admirers who enjoy talking to me about their guns, firearms safety and maintenance.

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