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The Best Spotting Scope Tripods on the Market Today

  • June 12, 2016 /

Spotting Scope TripodIf you own any optical equipment, then you know that tripods are very important. A modern tripod can be used for several different types of optical equipment. Some tripods work very well for spotting scopes while others are designed for binoculars, cameras or telescopes.

Tripods are very effective at keeping equipment steady, which is especially important for spotting scopes and cameras. If you’re using high-magnification equipment, then a tripod is needed to keep the equipment from moving around too much.

Since they’re made from heavy-duty materials, tripods are also good at supporting heavy equipment. Without a tripod, you might struggle to support the weight of a heavy spotting scope, and even if you can hold the weight, you wouldn’t be able to hold it for several hours at a time, which is commonly required for many types of equipment.

All tripods are built with a head and legs. Depending on the product, you might need to purchase these parts separately. Before you purchase a spotting scope tripod, it’s important to be aware of the main types.


There are many full-size tripods to choose from, and these work very well for individuals with an average height. A full-size tripod makes it possible to use a spotting scope while standing up.

However, the full-size label doesn’t imply that these tripods are automatically suitable for heavy scopes. The weight of your spotting scope should match the weight that the tripod is designed to handle.

Although they’re much less expensive, most cheap plastic tripods can’t hold very much weight. A typical full-size tripod might have a height of 72 inches.


The market is filled with compact tripods. These products are almost always larger than tabletop tripods, and they can be very convenient to use.

Since they’re extremely portable, compact tripods are frequently used by mountain hunters and backpackers. If you end up choosing this type of tripod, it should only be used to hold spotting scopes that are no higher than 70mm.

There is nothing wrong with choosing a compact tripod, but you’ll need to realize that smaller tripods should only be used for smaller scopes. If you have a large spotting scope or plan on buying one, then you might want to consider getting a larger tripod.


A quick look into the market should reveal no shortage of tabletop tripods. Also called shooter’s tripods, these products are designed for use on a shooting bench or table. Most tabletop tripods aren’t taller than 18 inches. You’ll find that these tripods almost never have telescopic legs, so they can be extremely difficult to adjust.

A tabletop tripod is usually equipped with a small knob, so you can make adjustments for wind and elevation. Although these tripods can work well for smaller spaces, they’re not recommended for supporting heavy spotting scopes.

How to Choose a Spotting Scope Tripod

There are hundreds of different tripods to choose from, so the thought of finding the right tripod for your spotting scope might seem a bit farfetched. However, once you know what to look for, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the perfect tripod for your scope.

When shopping for a tripod, it’s important to realize that the tripod is vital for proper operation of your scope. If the tripod isn’t compatible with your scope, then the scope will be almost completely useless. Purchasing the correct tripod is especially important when you own a straight scope.

When a tripod’s center column has been raised, it makes the scope much more susceptible to vibrations. For the best results, you should consider a tripod that can hold your scope as close to your head as possible while keeping the center column low.

If the tripod is too short, you’ll be forced to raise the center column higher, and with every inch the column is raised, the scope becomes increasingly vulnerable to vibration and wind. In other words, you want to choose a tripod that doesn’t require you to raise the center column too high.

When shopping for the best spotting scope tripods, you’ll also need to consider the total weight and load capacity. High-quality tripods should have no trouble supporting the weight of the tripod head and spotting scope.

Different Scopes for Different Folks

Single-unit tripods should work well for spotting scopes that are between 50mm and 60mm. These are tripods that come as a single piece, so you don’t need to purchase the legs and head separately.

If you have a heavier spotting scope, you might want to consider getting a tripod that has separate parts. Although they’re great for increased adaptability, these types of tripods tend to be sturdier than single-unit products.

It’s also important to consider the materials that the tripod is made of. Below, you’ll find some reviews for some of the top spotting scope tripods on the market.

Bushnell Advanced Tripod

For quite some time, Bushnell has been a leader in the industry. This company is known for producing many high-quality view finders, and they design all sorts of different hunting products. One of the best tripods available is the Bushnell Advanced Tripod.

Since it’s a full-size tripod, it can hold some of the heaviest spotting scopes. The heavy-duty components will hold heavy scopes and prevent them from being negatively influenced by vibrations and wind. It weighs 5.5 pounds, and it’s classified as a full-featured tripod.

It’s designed to support spotting scopes that are no more than 11 pounds. It features a minimum height of 18.3 inches, and it can be raised to a height of 61 inches. You don’t even need to extend the column to achieve a height of 61 inches. If portability is a major concern for you, then you might want to consider a smaller product.

The Bushnell Advanced Tripod has a universal head, which is compatible with a variety of scopes. Although it works exceptionally well for spotting scopes, this tripod can even be used with range finders and binoculars.

It has built-in features for corrosion resistance and shouldn’t need repairs for several years. If you plan to use a spotting scope from a roadside, deck or platform, then the Bushnell Advanced Tripod is a great product to consider. It has aluminum legs and comes with a three-way head, which can be panned or tilted. Since each leg can be adjusted individually, you can quickly get the exact height that you need.

The Bushnell Advanced Tripod also comes with legs cushions that are made of padded foam, and the sliding center column has rubber leg tips and tension control. Overall, this is one of the best tripods for spotting scopes, and it’s especially useful for heavy scopes.

Vanguard Alta 264AO Aluminum Alloy Tripod

Another top product is the Vanguard Alta 264AO. It’s made from aluminum, so you can expect decent durability. It features a pan head and can support spotting scopes up to 11 pounds. It weighs 4.63 pounds and has dust and waterproof leg locks.

It’s made with large foam grips, which are designed for use in any weather conditions. To prevent damage to your spotting scope, this tripod comes equipped with an anti-shock ring. It has rubber feet and retractable spikes, so it’s ideal for rough terrain.

The legs can be adjusted individually, so you get total control over the positioning. The legs can be adjusted to three different configurations, so you can easily adjust the Vanguard Alta 264AO for better stability on uneven ground. It has a canopy that is made of magnesium die cast, and its pan head also has a quick-release plate.

If you’re looking for a tripod that offers superior stability, the Vanguard Alta 264AO is a top choice. Its pan head has a backup safety lock and bubble level. Overall, this is a great tripod and works well for heavier spotting scopes. With the customizable legs, it works exceptionally well on uneven surfaces.

AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod

Here is another top tripod to consider. This is an excellent choice for consumers who’re on a budget. It’s compatible with spotting scopes but can also be used for digital cameras, still cameras and video cameras. It can hold a maximum load of 6.6 pounds, and it offers better overall performance than many tripods that cost more money. Since it weighs only three pounds, it’s quite portable.

The height can be extended from 25 up to 60 inches, but to reach 60 inches, you’ll need to extend the center column. A nice bonus is that this tripod comes with a carrying case, so it’s easy to transport it between different locations.

It has two bubble view levels built into it, and the three-way head allows for tilt and swivel motion. You can set it up using portrait or landscape options, and it can easily support most types of spotting scopes.

To ensure quick transitions between different products, this tripod comes with a quick-release mounting plate. Although it’s sold at a mid-range price, the AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod delivers features that you’d expect from high-end products.

RetiCAM Tabletop Tripod

If you’re looking for the best tripods for spotting scopes, then consider the RetiCAM Tabletop Tripod. Since it’s a tabletop tripod, it can be used for a variety of purposes. Its design makes it suitable for use on decks and platforms, but you can always get creative with the placement.

Although it works extremely well for spotting scopes, you can even use this tripod for camcorders, smartphones and cameras. Since it features a lightweight design, it’s very portable, and you should have no trouble transporting it between locations. It’s important to remember that this is a tabletop tripod, so the overall design is quite small.

It can be extended to a total height of 10 inches, and it has a three-way pan head. The smooth panning and tilting options let you get your spotting scope into the perfect position for viewing. The RetiCAM Tabletop Tripod features a quick-release plate, so you can easily mount or remove your equipment.

The legs are made of durable, sturdy aluminum, and to keep the legs in a desirable position, there are quick-snap flip locks. The center posts have a diameter of about 22mm and make height adjustment quick and easy. These features make it easy to adjust the tripod’s height while on the move.

The RetiCAM Tabletop Tripod has a built-in bubble level, so you can always make sure that it’s on a level surface. The level also makes it exceptionally easy to set up the tripod quickly. This product even comes with a convenient carrying bag. If you’re looking for a high-quality tabletop tripod for your spotting scope, this is one of the best products available.

If you’re a hunter, then you need a tripod for your spotting scope. Many scopes can cost several thousand dollars, so it only makes sense to get the best tripod for them. The tripod that the scope sits on must be solid enough to support the scope, or you won’t be able to take advantage of the fine optics found within your scope.

The Right Tripod For You

When high levels of magnification are involved, a solid tripod becomes even more important. If you’re going to pay a lot of money for a high-quality scope, then it doesn’t make sense to choose a weak tripod. It’s important to understand that there are many kit tripods available, and although many of the kits are great, some of these products tend to have weaker heads.

Before you make a purchase, you should make sure that the tripod’s head is suitable for a spotting scope. There are many tripod heads that are designed for still photography, and these products don’t work very well for spotting scopes.

The right tripod can dramatically improve the results that you get with your spotting scope, and with the information on this page, you should have no trouble finding the best tripod for your needs.