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Tripod and Tripod Heads
Looking for some help deciding between a few different tripods and tripod heads. I mostly hunt in Colorado for Elk, Mule Deer and Pronghorn but hope to hunt Sheep and Goats at some point. I'm currently running 10x42 SLC's and I will eventually add a 65mm spotter.
I think I've narrowed my search down to the Gitzo Traveler series 0 or 1, Sirui t-025x, Promaster xc525c, and Slik 634 pro cf. For Tripod heads I'm pretty much lost, thinking either the outdoormans micropan, or rrs bh30. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
One of my best and most useful hunting purchases was a Manfroto carbon fiber tripod and pan head. I am not home or I would give you the model numbers. It’s y’all enough to stand up and glass behind. I have had a lot of different and expensive tripods and this is the best by far. I even take it on backpacking hunts. I feel naked hunting without it.
Awesome man, looking forward to hearing what you use!
If you compare, weight vs stability vs price.... I don’t think anyone could name a better combo than a Slik 624 CF and Benro S2 Head.
X2 on Manfrotto and panhead.
X3 on Monfrotto, but I use a pistol grip head. I love it!
slik 624 or 634 are lot of tripod for the money. I also like my medium outdoorsmen. The S4 for 79 bucks is a steal. i dont like it as much as my micopan head from the outdoors men however it is a quater of the price.
the micro panhead is great with 12 or 15 sized binos, and spotters up to 65mm. anything more than that its a little small.
My boy glassing coues last December
Slik 624 and Benro combo here too. Very happy with it. Does what I need it to, mainly glass with binos and a 55mm scope, occasionally a 80mm scope. Can't stand up with it though.
I have an Outdoorsman compact medium tripod and micro pan head, generally use it with my swarm 65mm spotter. It is certainly top quality I’m a firm believer in “buy once, cry once” but for the amount that I will use it and the significant price difference if I were to buy again I would probably go with the Slik/Benro combo listed above.
I have the outdoorsman with a trigger ball head. It has issues with the locking mechanisms on the legs, it will not go high enough, it doesn’t like dust, and the locking bolt on the center extender broke. It is my loaner if somebody shows up without a tripod.
I use my stuff hard and a lot.
Not sure what I paid for that outdoorsman, but whatever it was, it was too much.
I have been looking at various carbon fiber tripods to try and get one lighter than my current setup, but haven’t found anything as that is as functional and durable. I may buy another one for my son just like the one I use.
I have also had a few sliks. One ended up in the trash and the other ended up given away. They were both cheaper aluminum ones. The upper end ones might be ok.
If your go hunt member you can grab the 624 at decent price with the discount
I'm shopping for a tripod and head and have the same exact criteria as the OP. Will use it with a spotter up to 65mm. My research is steering me two ways::
Less expensive: Slik 624C with Benro C2 head, weight of 3lb-2oz, cost $280.
More expensive: Promaster XC525C with Outdoorsman Micro Pan, weight of 2lb-7oz, cost $480
My favorite combo for glassing and video: Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 tripod and Manfrotto MHXPRO-2W 2-Way Pan/Tilt Head
I'm going to buck Treeline's advice ;o) and add a comment. Where/when I hunt rarely is it calm enough to stand up and glass. No matter how robust your tripod is, it's going to blow around and the closer I can stay to the ground the more stable my glassing is. Plus I find it more comfortable to glass for long periods from a sitting position. So IMO a tripod that allows one to stand up, while perhaps nice, is not necessary and will typically add both cost and weight.
I don't want to degrade to a "it's Swaro or nothing...no you're an idiot for spending that type of $ on glass" type thread but for me the blend of $/stability/weight/pan smoothness is Vortex Summit is my pick (actually the parent company that makes them for Vortex). I've often considered chopping 2 legs shorter to reduce weight. Leaving 1 leg long in case I'm glassing from a steep slope would be useful, but in the hours and hours and hours I've spent glassing the number of times I've actually extended all 3 legs to glass from a standing position could be counted on 1 hand.
smarba: if you hunt where the ground is covered with cactus you will have to glass standing up.
I’ve used Monfrotto, Outdoorsman, Slik and some really cheap tripods and finally settled on Sirui Carbon series. They’re light weight and the models I use fold over themselves making them the most compact I’ve found. I’ve got two, a short and a tall, and use both with Outdoorsmans pan heads and bino mounts. Both hold a big Leica spotter well.
I can adjust the legs on that manfroto to work from standing to almost flat on my stomach. I like options! Works great for anything I put on it (10’s to 15’s to 85mm spotter). And is very stable and solid in the wind.
All that said, I am still looking for the perfect light weight tripod setup for serious backpacking. Have burned a lot of money on tripods that I thought would work for that over the years and still looking! In the meantime I’ll just keep hauling the manfroto...
Treeline, what model Manfrotto Tripod and head do you have? My old faithful Verlbon aluminum tripod has served me well but it’s time for a lighter weight upgrade.
Good point elkstabber, here in NM we have cactus but I can't say I've been in areas with so much I had to stand up to glass.
SD, sorry I’m not home to be able to get that info right now.
I might touch base with my coues hunting guru and get his model #s.
Heck, Carl’s been down there in NM so long he’s got calluses on his backside that can take care of any little stickers, goatheads, cactus needles, mesquite thorns, or even pesky buzz-worm bites! He’s got buns of steel!
My buddy has a 055CX3 tripod and 700RC2 fluid pan head. His is older and I think mine was a little different model. He cut the handle down on the head and that does work better.
For me I prefer tripods without twist locks. I have the carbon Slik but still use my Manfrotto whenever possible just because of that. If I am self filming sometimes the Slik works as my stationary and my Manfrotto for actual glassing or if I am adjusting much.
I've been using the Sirui [#1205 I think] tripod- its excellent.
I put a fluid head on there...manfrotto 700 something...its a bit heavy but smooth