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light weight compact tripods
I am in the market for a light weight compact tripod. I currently have and use redhead, it is junk. I will be using the tripod mostly a sitting position on a slop. Weight is a concern, but I will sacrifice weight for better quality. A quick Amazon search I find quite a few ranging from 60 to $180. What are you using, do you like it? What should I be looking for as far as quality? Thanks for you help.
If money is not an issue check out ..... outdoormans.com Top quality but you pay for it. Another place to look at and call is ... cameralandny.com these guys have a big selection and know what their talking about .
Slick Sprint Pro II with the supplied ball-head has served me well for 7 years for the Swaro 65mm spotter. It works sitting fine with the legs kicked out to the second notch, and does extend enough minus the extension post for use standing with angled spotter if you are <6' tall...but isn't a good tripod for standing use. Only cost $90 or so and weighs 28 oz.
My buddy has the Outdoorsman set up with the pistol grip adjust ball head and it is a fine unit...the drawback is price and weight. His isn't very good standing either as it is the medium. Good luck!
I went down the tripod rabbit hole and between amazon and ebay, it's overwhelming. jdee is right though, money not being an issue, Outdoorsmans or Gitzo carbon fibers are pretty good. However, those two are like Ferraris...pretty cool and nice, but not necessary.....perhaps...
Depends on how much weight you want to load (big spotter vs 15s for example), head style, and leg locks. I finally got tired of researching and found a Manfrotto Element Traveler. It's light, holds my 15s easily, twist locks are solid, and folds to a little over a foot. Has a ball head with pan feature to scan a hillside, adjust up, and scan again. $120 and pretty dang happy.
Field Optics Research. There, I just ended your search quandry.
Seriously, the price can't be beat on these. Compare weights and features with pricing on the best competitors and it's a no-brainer.
I got mine from Texas Binoman, and he saved me some money on demo models that were as new.
My set up now covers the ff., with a the carbon fiber tripod: shooting sticks; walking sticks; tripod for binos and/or spotting scope. I saved weight in my pack by doing this - buying their walking stick grips and the shooting stick adapter...and losing the walking sticks I currently carry.
I second the Slik Sprint Pro II. I use it for optics and cameras and its a great tripod for the price/weight!
I have a Sirui carbon fiber which is rock solid- but its about the same weight as the other CF tripods....about 2# -2.5# with head.
I also have a cheapie Aluminum unit thats pretty good for a little over one pound....its not as stable as the Sirui.
I'm also looking for a Ultra light version under a pound capable of holding a big 15x bino. So far the very light systems I've seen don't work.
I have the Vortex Summit SS-P, weighs 2lbs and collapses to 14", it's held up very well for 4 years now...
I would contact Doug at Camera Land long before I’d use Outdoorsman, JMO. Doug can give you a lot of different options at a fair price.
Yeah, not a fan of the Outdoorsman tripod. Slik 624 or equivalent current model would be my preference.
I have used cheap Vortex aluminum tripods but picked up a Promaster 325 carbon fiber tripod two years ago. It is 10x better. The carbon fiber legs reduce weight and dampen vibration so you have a more stable image through your optics. It weighs almost 3# but is stable for glassing when I'm standing. Cost was $500+ with an Outdoorsmans head. It is 10x better than any aluminum. If you only will be glassing from a sitting position then there are much cheaper aluminum tripods that will get the job done.
Remember that while "lightweight" is easier to pack, it is NOT stable in windy conditions.
Get a lightweight tripod, but rig some sort of hook so that you can hang a rock from it to stabilize it when the wind picks up.
I'm old and know about stuff like this from guiding sheep hunters for many years! I've learned it the hard way!
Vortex Summit is my go-to
Vortex summit ss-p comes with a hook...
I'm not glassing super windy places, nor hunting/ packing in the mountains with mine, but I do use it routinely throughout the summer glassing velvet whiteys and its performed great. Not sure how well it'll handle large optics/ spotters, could imagine its not the most stable option.
Can't go wrong with a Manfrotto. They may weigh and cost a little more but are very stable. I've had mine for at least 20 years. Most, if not all, lightweight pods get shakey in wind. Not my Manfrotto.
I appreciate everyone's input, it will help with my decision. It looks like there are a lot of options under $300. What is the difference in quality between a $500 outdoormans (or a like) and a Sirui T-025SK for $250? What does the outdoormans give you for the extra $250? I ask because I do not want to do the same thing I did when I purchased and re-purchased binoculars.
Tripods with carbon fiber legs are generally quieter than the metal legs like on Outdoorsmans