10 Best Spotting Scope Tripod Reviews and Buying Guide for 2020
Let’s face it…it’s entirely normal for human hands to shake when they’re holding something, including a spotting scope.
For this reason, holding your spotting scope in your hands makes it hard to obtain smooth and more focused images of your target.
The view gets even worse with the higher magnification vibration.
Luckily, employing the best spotting scope tripod provides you with an ideal steady, solid base for achieving more accurate and precise target views.
Plus, it helps support the weight of your optical instrument, leaving your hands free to do other important things.
That said, this post will take you through the basics of a spotting scope tripod—including how to choose the right one for your scope and some of the top-rated tripods available today.
What Is a Spotting Scope Tripod?
A spotting scope tripod is exactly what it sounds like—a 3-legged stand designed to offer you a stable base for mounting your spotting scope. By providing a steady resting place for your scope, a spotting scope tripod helps you easily and quickly obtain sharper, more precise images of your target.
These tripods come in various styles and designs to fit the needs of different users. The most common types include the full-size, compact, and tabletop tripods.
As we’ve just stated in the intro, using your hand to hold your spotting scope is a recipe for unclear images. This is regardless of how top-notch your spotting scope is; it needs a solid base for the best performance.
The vibrations that arise when you zoom in your spotting scope can make it even harder for you to obtain clear images with the scope on your hands. Again, a tripod jumps in and offers a stable platform which neutralizes all these vibrations for more precise and accurate images.
Don’t forget that a tripod also sets your hands free to do other tasks. As a hunter, you’ll agree with me that your hands will be more useful to you when free around your hunting spot.
10 Best Spotting Scope Tripod Reviews:
1. AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod
Let’s begin with this AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod. It weighs as light as 3lbs, so it’s easy to bring with you to your hunting expeditions. Despite the lightweight, the tripod feels sturdy and will comfortably hold a spotting scope as heavy as 6.6lbs.
The incredibly easy and quick to set up tripod has fully adjustable legs. You can extend them from 20 inches all the way up to 48 inches. And they can extend further (up to 60 inches) when you fully extend the center post. Thanks to the leg lock release, the legs glide effortlessly and smoothly when adjusting them to your preferred height setting.
With a built-in level right above the legs, you’ll easily know when the base is level. Another level on top of the scope plate will let you know when your spotting scope is level and ready to take those clear images of your target.
The quick-release motion will help facilitate a faster transition between shots. The rubber feet add to the tripod’s stability on different surfaces. The included (zippered) carry case will give you an easy way to carry this tripod to your hunting area.
2. AmazonBasics 50-Inch Lightweight Tripod
If you’re on a tight budget, AmazonBasics 5-inch is the best spotting scope tripod for the money you can find on the market today. Like its brother above, this tripod is also made using the strong yet lightweight aluminum material.
The affordable tripod will provide you with a list of features that will help you capture more vivid images of your target.
One of these features revolves around adjustable leg height—you can extend its legs from 16.5 all the way up to 50 inches, enabling you to set the perfect height for viewing your target. The 3-section, lever-lock legs will help you easily adjust these legs to your desired height.
We also like the tripod’s 3-way head design, which increases the versatility of this tripod. That is, it lets you hassle-freely change the orientation of your scope from portrait to landscape and any angle in between with handy tilt motion.
Since this tripod also comes with a quick release plate, removing your scope from the scope mounting plate is super-easy and fast! Likewise, the transition between shots and shifting from location to location is easy.
This tripod is incredibly lightweight and weighs just over a pound. Combine this with the zippered case it comes with, and you’ve got yourself a highly portable tripod for your spotting scope.
3. Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Aluminum Tripod
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 tripod also appears on our list of top spotting scope tripod reviews. As we all know, Vanguard is a global company who manufacture top-notch sporting optics, tripods, bags, and accessories for outdoor enthusiasts at reasonable prices.
This particular Vanguard presents you with unrivaled versatility and stability—allowing you to enjoy more shooting angles than ever before.
It presents you with a hexagon-shaped, multi-angle central column system. This lets you hassle-freely move the central column between 0 and 180 degrees in various horizontal and vertical positions. The result? Capturing special wide-angle shots becomes a breeze!
It also comes with an instant swivel stop-n-lock system which helps you quickly and securely reposition the central column in one single movement, without affecting the stability of the tripod.
Other features that propel this tripod to the top include advanced scope vibration and shock control, aluminum alloy legs which adjust to 3 different (25, 50, and 80) degree angles spiked rubber feet, and quick-flip leg locks.
Thanks to the included carrying case, this lightweight tripod is highly portable!
4. Mactrem PT55 Travel Camera Tripod
If you want value for money, this is the spotting scope tripod to buy. Despite a truly low cost, this tripod comes with incredibly sturdy construction. It’s made from lightweight aluminum plus engineering plastic for a lightweight but durable feel.
This tripod measures 20 inches when collapsed, and you can extend its legs up to 55 inches to achieve a better viewing position for your target.
It comes with an upgrade 3-way pan head which ensures precise framing. Switching your scope between portrait and landscape will never be an issue again with the 360-degree swivel function.
Since this tripod also comes with a quick release plate, attaching and detaching your scope to it becomes the easiest part. Likewise, transiting between shots and moving from one spot to the next becomes super-easy.
With the 4-section lever-lock legs, you can easily make custom set-ups in uneven terrain. You can gear-drive the Center to extend, and the rubber feet help you achieve stability on any surface.
When folded into a compact size, this tripod easily fits in the provided carry case for safe storage and easy transportation.
5. RetiCAM Tabletop Tripod
The RetiCAM Tabletop Tripod also falls in the category of the best tripod for spotting scopes which come at a wallet-friendly cost. The durable, full-featured tripod is designed for table/bench set-up of spotting scopes.
Like most of the other top-rated tabletop tripods, this tripod comes with a lightweight and portable design. But it sets itself apart from the other mini tripods in that it extends all the way up to 19 inches—just like the full-sized tripods!
It also presents you with a 3-way pan/tilt head which translates to smooth pan and tilt motion. And this allows for easy positioning of your spotting scope for the perfect shooting position.
Don’t forget that a quick release plate is also included in this tabletop tripod to facilitate instant mounting and dismounting of your optical equipment.
Other notable features include a sturdy 3-section leg with quick snap flip locks, geared center for rapid height adjustment, built-in bubble level for quick set-up, and a convenient carry bag.
6. Vanguard VS-82 Table Top Tripod
Here’s another tabletop tripod for your spotting scope, proudly manufactured by Vanguard, the highly respected brand. Like the tabletop model we’ve just discussed above, this VS-82 tripod also comes with a lightweight and compact design, making it easy to carry around.
This Vanguard stands at approx. 9.8 inches, providing a stable wobble-free platform for mounting your spotting scope. The fully extended legs are also secured by rubber feet, which helps eliminate slipping possibility on different surfaces.
Keep in mind that this tripod comes with a 2-way pan head which allows for 360-degree movement. This gives your scope the freedom to move in any direction, or in a complete circle, in search for the most perfect shooting angle!
The fact that this tripod has a maximum load capacity of 5.5lbs means you can mount a good scope on it without making it shaky or fall. When folded, the tripod measures 9 inches—which is truly compact and portable size.
7. Bushnell 784030 Advanced Tripod
Bushnell has been a leading manufacturer of scopes and accessories for over half a century. So, it’s no surprise that this advanced tripod from the brand made it to our list of the best tripod for spotting scope reviews.
The Bushnell 784030 is an incredibly durable, full-sized tripod…and one of the most stable standing scopes you can get on the market today.
The advanced tripod measures 18 inches only and fully extend all the way up to 61 inches. In other words, this tripod gives you the versatility you need in a tripod, whether you’re using a hunting bench or want to stand the whole day.
With the 3-way pan/tilt head with a large, universal mounting platform, you’ll be able to move your spotting scope in every direction to achieve the best viewing angle.
Other impressive features of this Bushnell include 3-padded foam leg cushions for added comfort and protection in extreme hot/cold weather, sliding center column with tension control, rubber leg tips, and corrosion-resistant finish.
8. Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod Series
Vortex is another big brand with a line of insanely durable and reliable scopes and accessories. The Pro GT Tripod comes redesigned to handle all conditions, for reliable performance.
One of the biggest reasons why this tripod is soo popular among hunter is its ability to handle the heaviest spotting scopes available—i.e., it has a maximum load capacity of up to 10 pounds!
It’s also an incredibly versatile scope that lest you adjust its height from as low as 24 inches to as tall as 67.1 inches. This means that you can use it while sitting or standing. The sturdy, anodized legs help deliver rock-solid support under the weight of your scope. Not to forget the legs are rubberier for enhanced stability on slick surfaces.
Like the other scope tripods in its category, this model also features a 3-way pan head which makes it easy and fast to adjust your viewing angle.
Oh! Don’t forget that this Vortex tripod comes with at extra weight which you can below the center column for added sturdiness in windy conditions.
9. Gosky Heavy Duty Adjustable Table Top Tripod
If still looking for a tabletop tripod for your spotting scope, Gosky heavy-duty adjustable tripod is another great choice. This is a solidly constructed tripod with all parts made of aluminum…plus an extensive anodic treatment for maximum longevity.
The tripod is specially designed for holding your spotting scope a well as other optic devices equipped with the standard ¼ tripod mounts.
Despite being a tabletop model, this tripod’s legs can be height adjusted from 10.6 to 14.2 inches to help meet your specific preferences when trying to acquire a target. Marky you, it has a maximum load of 10 pounds which means it can handle nearly any spotting scope.
With non-slip rubber feet, this tripod will not easily slide on the tables or benches with a slick surface.
10. Orion Tritech II Field Tripod
The last spot on our top-rated tripods for spotting scopes goes to the Orion Tritech II Field Tripod. This is a stable, sturdy, and lightweight field tripod outfitted with outstanding features at an attractive price.
It can support spotting scopes as heavy as 13.2lbs—making it the tripod with the highest load capacity on this list.
The field tripod boasts of buttery smooth 2-way fluid pan head with an impressive 360-degree motion. Needless to mention, this allows you to easily turn your scope in all directions until you obtain the best viewing position.
Even better, you can fully extend the tripod’s legs up to 68 inches to get an excellent view of your target while sitting or standing. Note that the legs are aluminum alloy made for sturdiness and stability. A metal spreader brace right below the center column boosts the stability of this tripod.
You also can’t get enough of the extra-long slotted ¼”-20 quick-release mounting platform which translates to hassle-free, super-secure attachment for your equipment.
Orion Tritech II measures approx. 4.8lbs and collapses into a portable size of 27.25 for easy storage or transportation. The included zippered carry bag enhances its portability.
What To Look For Before Buying?
The secret to choosing the perfect tripod stand for your spotting scope boils down to paying attention to aspects that make or break a tripod.
These aspects include:
You’d want to check how durable the tripod you plan to buy is.
And this means checking the type of materials used to make the tripod. The two most popular materials used for scope tripods include aluminum and carbon fiber.
Aluminum models are usually sturdy a bit heavier than the carbon fiber tripods. They’re also cheaply priced and a popular choice for many hunters.
Carbon fiber tripods, on the other hand, are incredibly sturdy and lightweight. They’re pretty stable and can easily handle the vibration or shaking of your scope, making them the best option for high magnification scopes.
However, carbon fiber models come at a higher cost than aluminum tripods.
Another important thing to consider when purchasing a spotting scope tripod is its overall versatility.
Remember the key reason why you’re looking for a tripod is to provide a stable base for placing your spotting scope when out there.
That said, the material used to make a tripod directly affects its stability. Durable construction translates to a solid tripod.
Legs which come with rubber tips also enhance the stability of your tripod on different surfaces.
Some manufacturers also add an extra weight brace under the center column to make their tripod even more stable.
The more versatile the scope tripod you get, the more options it gives you when it comes to using to get a good view of your target.
First of all, you’d want to make sure you get a tripod with adjustable height. This will enable you to easily extend it to a height that gives you the best view of that deer you’re hunting from a standing or sitting position.
You’d also want to ensure the tripod has moving head to allow you to easily move your scope in all directions as you try to obtain the best possible viewing angle.
There are two main types of tripod heads; pan and tilt and ball. And the type of head you choose determines the amount of flexibility you enjoy.
As you might have noticed, nearly all the tripods we’ve reviewed in this post come with the pan and tilt head. This is an incredibly versatile had type that lets you move your scope in all possible directions until you achieve the best view. This head is portable but a bit challenging to fix.
Tripods with tilted hands, on the other hand, are also flexible and provide easy pan around the axis. Unfortunately, they come in big sizes, making them less portable.
How much does the tripod you plan to purchase weigh?
The ideal tripod for your scope should come with a lightweight, say 2lbs at most, to facilitate easy carry to your hunting zone.
While still on it, we also suggest that you check the maximum loading capacity of the tripod to ensure it can easily handle the weight of your scope.
If you’ve got a bigger, heavier spotting scope, then you might be forced to go for a heavier tripod to ensure you get reliable performance.
Flip lock or twist lock legs?
There are two main leg locking mechanisms used for spotting scope tripods—flip lock and twist lock legs.
The twist lock mechanism is usually durable and long-lasting. It’s portable and has a quieter operation. The set-up for this locking method is slower though.
As for the flip lock, it feels kind of flimsy and might break easily. It’s also bulky, making it less portable. Setting up this locking mechanism is faster.
Both types of mechanisms do their job really well. The significant difference between them is that flip locks require adjustments, unlike the twist locks.
The best locking method here boils down to your personal preferences.
Spotting Scope Tripod Types
The spotting scope tripods can be classified into three main types depending on their design and intended use. Let’s quickly discuss these types below…
1. Tabletop tripod
This is the smallest type of spotting scope tripod available. Most models come with a height of around 18 inches. They don’t have the telescopic legs and allow you to adjust their height by extending their central column.
Most of the tabletop tripods also present you with micro-adjustment knobs to compensate for wind age and elevation.
The tabletop tripod is the ideal choice for use in a prone or sitting position.
2. Compact tripod
Slightly taller than the table top tripod, a small tripod is meant for use while sitting on the chair.
This is the ideal type of tripod for hunters who want a balance between height and portability.
3. Full-size tripod
A full-sized tripod allows you to use your spotting scope while standing. It lets you fully extend its legs to a height of up to 70 inches to achieve the perfect viewing angle of your target.
This type of tripod is best suited for use with extra-long range spotting scopes with objective lens around 80mm or greater.
Needless to mention, a full-sized tripod will be less portable than a compact or tabletop tripod.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best spotting scope tripod for hunting?
The best scope tripod for hunting is the one that matches your specific needs and requirements. A good tripod should be durable, easy to use, stable, all while giving you the versatility you need while out there.
Make sure the tripod you buy is also portable so that you can easily take it with you to hunting zone and back.
2. Where can I buy a good tripod for my spotting scope?
To get a good quality tripod, you’ll need to buy from a reliable source. One such source is Amazon, which presents you with numerous options to choose from.
They also provide you with firsthand info on what other users are saying about the tripod you want to buy to help you easily rule out if it’s going to meet your needs.
3. Are spotting scope tripods universal?
Yes, scoping scope tripods can be used with just any spotting scope as long as the scope’s weight is within the tripod’s maximum load capacity and has a standard mounting base.
If you’re not sure about the compatibility of your scope and tripod you plan to buy, we suggest that you check the user reviews to see if the tripod can work with your spotting scope.
It’s not easy to use a spotting scope to get focused, precise images of your target while holding it in your hands. The natural shaking of your hands and the high magnification vibration will affect the scope’s ability to provide you with smooth and focused images.
The best spotting scope tripod provides you with a steady base for placing your spotting scope in readiness for super-clear images of your target object.
In this guide, we’ve just outlined some of the hunters' favorite tripods which are sturdy, easy to use, versatile, and dependable performance.
These top-rated tripods come with varying costs, so there’s something for everyone.