The best spotting scope tripod can make your birding adventures more memorable. With a tripod, you can spot birds without getting tired easily. Moreover, you can wait for a bird to spot without having to hold on to your scope for a long time.
In short, it’s something you’d want to have when you venture out during the weekend.
With the many tripods available in the market, it can be quite a challenge to pick just one unit. Don’t worry as we’ll make your shopping easier. Continue reading to know the best spotting scope tripod for your needs.
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Best Spotting Scope Tripod Available Today (2022 Buyers Guide & Reviews)
1. Carbon Fiber 4-Section Tripod (Manfrotto)
If you’re looking for a versatile and solidly-built tripod for your spotting scope, then this device from Manfrotto should be high on your list.
It’s a mid-weight tripod capable of going as low as 3.2 inches to as high as 63 inches. With this tripod, you can take close up and long shots of birds with relative ease!
As the name of the product suggests, this tripod is partly made of carbon fiber. The legs, in particular, benefit from the material in terms of rigidity. The carbon fiber tubes likewise stabilize the legs in any condition.
- Great construction and design
- Easy to adjust and operate
- Can go as low as 3 inches to as high as 60 inches
- Holds steady even during windy days
- The legs are easy to adjust, even with one hand
- With four leg angles, it can provide stability in any terrain
- It has an integrated rotating leveling bubble
- It’s about 20 inches long when closed, which makes it hard to carry around
- Some users feel it’s a bit heavy
- It’s not the cheapest spotting scope tripod
- Some reviewers say the legs tend to get wobbly especially when it is extended
In short, the Manfrotto Carbon Fiber 4-section tripod may just be the best tripod you can get for your spotting scope in terms of design, stability, height, and price.
2. Advanced Tripod, Black (Bushnell Outdoor Products)
Sturdy and solid, the Bushnell 784030 advanced tripod should let you fix on birds at high magnification.
Its individually-adjustable legs are made of aluminum, so you can be assured of its durability. It has a corrosion-resistant finish. It is reasonably priced, too, which makes it highly recommended for birders.
This is a versatile piece of equipment that can also hold cameras aside from scopes. You should be able to follow birds when using this tripod. The tripod pans and tilts smoothly.
- Extremely sturdy and can hold spotting scopes
- An all-purpose tripod that can also hold camcorders, DSLR cameras, and binoculars
- The legs are fixed firmly on the ground
- Turn-screw type clamps firmly secure the legs
- The three-way pan and tilt moves smoothly allow flexibility when birding
- The legs are not quick release
- Pan head handle is a bit short
- Lacks a level indicator
- It doesn’t come with a storage bag or case
- The manual doesn’t tell much about the product
- It’s a bit heavy and can be quite difficult to carry around
This advanced, full-size tripod from Bushnell is a great companion outdoors as it would let you enjoy spotting birds without paying an exorbitant price.
3. Optics Pro GT Tripod (Vortex Store)
The Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod is far from being the cheapest on this list, but you can be assured of its quality and durability.
Ruggedly built and solid as a rock, this tripod can support premium and heavy spotting scopes very well. Attaching a scope is also quick and easy with this tripod. This is a must-buy for birders who only want to use the best equipment outdoors.
- 3-way pan head lets users quickly follow the action and adjust the viewing angle of the scope
- Attaching and removing the scope from the tripod is quick and easy
- Firmly secures spotting scope even during strong winds
- It has quick-release legs for rapid and easy deployment
- The feet are made of thick rubber
- The feet can work well on all surfaces, including sand and rock
- It’s expensive
- The black finish can be scraped off if the tripod is rubbed against metal or rock
- It’s a bit heavy
In short, the Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod is a premium-grade tripod that should let you enjoy spotting birds for many years to come.
4. Tabletop Tripod (Vanguard Store)
If you are looking for a cheap yet quality tripod, then check out this item from the Vanguard Store.
This miniature tripod is stable enough to support medium-sized spotting scopes. It is also lightweight that you can carry it around the woods. It can extend up to a height of 10 inches.
- Small and lightweight
- Great for benchtops
- Strong enough to carry even large spotting scopes
- It’s also sturdy enough to hold cameras
- Easy and quick to set up
- Joints are rugged and stiff
- It’s cheap
- It comes with a carrying case
- Extendable legs with a wide stance ensure a balance of the tripod
- Textured rubber feet enhance stability
- A bit flimsy
- Not the sturdiest tripod as it is made of aluminum
- Rubber feet are misaligned
- It may not be able to support large scopes
The Vanguard Table Top Tripod is an excellent choice if you have a limited budget for a spotting scope tripod, and you expect to get low shots of birds.
5. Tri-Force Series (Carson Store)
The Carson Tri-Force Series Tripod is a solid pick if you’re shopping for a compact tabletop tripod.
It’s not as cheap as the Vanguard tabletop tripod, but it’s perhaps even more stable. It comes with multiple adjustment knobs that aren’t often found in affordable tripods. Its frame is sturdy, too.
Compact yet stable, this tripod should have no problems securing your spotting scopes. It also extends up to a height of 62 inches. Yet it can collapse to a size of 13 inches for easy transporting.
- Capable of holding medium to large-sized scopes
- Holds and pans nicely even when holding large spotting scopes
- It has a built-in bubble level
- It collapses into a smaller size for easy transport
- It doesn’t come with a carrying case
- Gets wobbly when stretched to a maximum height
The Carson Tri-Force Series Tripod is a good steal considering its good build quality, compact size, and extendable height, notwithstanding its wobbly feet.
6. Lightweight Series 1 (Gitzo)
This is another high-grade and premium-quality tripod that can take on all spotting scopes.
With a load capacity of 22 pounds, it should have no problems securing even the biggest spotting scope. It can also be stretched up to a height of 64.4″ from a minimum of 12.6 inches.
This tripod can secure your scope thanks to a removable safety pin on the head base. Acting as a safety catch, it ensures that the plate won’t slide out. This lightweight tripod is also easy to carry around as it can be folded to a length of 16.7 inches.
- Stable and secure
- Can hold almost all sizes of spotting scopes
- It’s lightweight at around 3 pounds
- It’s easy to carry around as it can collapse to 16 inches
- There’s a strap that makes toting the unit even easier
- Control knobs are smooth
- Reverse-leg design prevents ball head from adding to the folded length
- It’s expensive
- The control knobs have the tendency to come off when overturned
The Gitzo Lightweight Series 1 tripod may be quite pricey, but you are to get your money’s worth with its excellent construction, high load capacity, and lightweight frame.
7. Tabletop Tripod with 3-Way Pan (RetiCAM)
This tabletop tripod with a 3-way pan from RetiCAM is a great choice for tabletop use. Despite being an entry-level tripod, it is packed in features. It can hold scopes, cameras, smartphones, and many other devices.
The tripod can secure spotting scopes well. It can also be extended up to a height of 19 inches. The center post also facilitates quick height adjustment. You can find the best angle with its three-way pan head. This tripod comes with a convenient storage bag.
- Lightweight at just 1.5 pounds
- It’s reasonably priced
- Folds to a compact length of 10 inches
- Comes with a standard tripod screw compatible with most spotting scopes
- 3-way pan and tilt head allows users to find the right angle
- With quick release plate for easy and rapid mounting and removal of the spotting scope
- The legs are sturdy
- It has an integrated bubble level
- The legs have flip locks
- Easy and quick to set up
- It tends to wobble a bit
- Hard to adjust to the lowest height level
- Rubber feet tends to leave marks on tables
- The tilted part of the tripod is a bit difficult to aim and set
To sum up, the RetiCAM three-way pan tabletop tripod is affordable, durable, and well-made though it does have its shortcomings like wobbly feet.
8. TrailSeeker Tripod, Black (Celestron Store)
The TrailSeeker tripod from Celestron Store is a mid-range device that provides perfect support for spotting scopes.
Its height can be easily adjusted from a low of 18.9 inches to a high of 70.5 inches. It can be set to three different angles with its four-section legs. This unit comes with a shoulder strap and a tripod case.
It has many features that would prove valuable when mounting your spotting scope. The handle, for instance, makes it a breeze to move the head around. This should let you easily find the right angle.
There’s an oversized knob for adjusting tension and locking the head in place—meanwhile, its quick release plate for quick mounting of the spotting scope.
- Stable and sturdy
- It’s well-made
- It has a fantastic finish
- It has a leveling bubble
- The carrying case is a convenient addition
- Quick release for fast deployment or unmounting of the spotting scope
- Holds spotting scopes firmly in place and without sliding
- It may be a bit expensive for people who are on a budget
- Leg angle adjustment feels flimsy and may break
- At 4 pounds, it’s a bit heavy compared to other spotting scope tripods
- Most users say that it’s cumbersome
The TrailSeeker tripod from Celestron may just have the right combination of quality construction, adjustable height, and reasonable price in one excellent package.
My Pick for The Best Spotting Scope Tripod
There’s a good number of spotting scope tripods available today. You can choose tripods depending on your birding requirements. And the tripods above all have their strengths and weaknesses.
But if pressed to pick just one tripod, I’d go with the Manfrotto Carbon Fiber 4-section tripod.
It has the best combination of durability, stability, and height adjustments. While it’s not cheap, it’s also not as expensive as the Gitzo Carbon Fiber tripod.
What to Look For When Buying This Product
When looking for a spotting scope tripod, you should be wise enough to consider certain factors.
One of these is the height of the tripod. What’s the right height for a spotting scope? Well, this depends on your birding goals.
If you want spotting birds in low-lying branches and on the ground, then a tripod with a low weight should suffice.
But if you’re after taking photos of birds perching in high places, then it’s a must to buy a tripod that extends longer.
You must also consider the type of spotting tripod. The tabletop tripod is best used on platforms like tables or benches. The compact tripod is larger but also heavier. But it would let you sit comfortably while observing birds, unlike tabletop tripods.
Then there’s the full-sized tripod. It can extend up to 72 inches, something you’d want to use while standing. The downside, however, is that carrying it around may be cumbersome.
Of course, you should also consider the price of the tripod. You’d want to set a budget first and then look for a tripod that is within your budget.
Finally, don’t forget to read customer feedback or reviews of tripods before buying!