Best Spotting Scope Tripods | Complete Buyer’s Guide For 2019

The best spotting scope tripod for you is out there. But it’s difficult to wade through the number of choices that are available. We’ve handpicked eight different products that are considered the best available. One of these might be your next addition. But there are always a couple of factors and even some personal preferences you may have that can influence a decision.

Comparison of the Best Spotting Scope Tripods

PRODUCT DETAILS
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AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag

  • Lightweight; Weighs in At Around Three Pounds
  • Quick-Release Plate for Fast Transition
  • Compatible With Scopes, Cameras, Smartphone Adapters, etc.
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Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod Series

  • Extends From 67.1 Inches and Folds Down to 24 Inches, Making it Versatile
  • Backed With a Lifetime Warranty
  • Quick-Release Plate for Faster Attachment and Detachment.
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Vanguard VS-82 Table Top Tripod

  • Maximum Load of 5.5 Pounds
  • Two-way Panhead for 360-Degree Movement.
  • Non-Slip Rubber Feet for Excellent Support.
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Bushnell 784030 Advanced Tripod

  • Lowest Height is 18 Inches and Can Extend to 61 Inches
  • Padded Foam Leg Cushions for Added Comfort in Either Hot or Cold Conditions.
  • Three-Way Pan and Tilt Head for Easy Movement
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Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB

  • Adjustable Leg Angles With Three Different Angle Settings.
  • 15.4 Pound Maximum Load
  • Quick-Flip Legs and Rubber Feet Equipped With Retractable Spikes to Ensure It Stays on the Ground, Even in Windy Conditions.
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Celestron 82050 TrailSeeker Tripod (Black)

  • Sturdy Aluminum Offering that Folds From 19 Inches and Extends to 71 iInches
  • Comes With a Case and a Shoulder Strap so That it’s Easy to Carry
  • Legs Can Be Set to Three Different Angles
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Orion 5378 Paragon HD-F2 Heavy Duty Tripod

  • Can Be Fully Extended to 72 Inches High
  • Tri-Braced Legs for Enhanced Stability and Spiked Feet To Accommodate Any Terrain
  • Provides Stable Support for Large Binoculars and Scopes
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Vortex Optics Summit Tripod Series

  • Balance Hook to Hold the Tripod in Place While Situated in Windy Conditions
  • Aluminum Legs for Sturdy Support and Rubber Feet for Solid Footing on Wet Surfaces
  • Three-Way Pan Head for Smooth Vertical and Horizontal Adjustments
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Do I Need A Tripod For My Spotting Scope?

Cutting to the chase: yes. And there are a few good reasons why you do need one. When you’re out and about, you’ll need the scope to remain stable while you’re looking through it. This especially goes for when you’re out hunting. Scope stability is the difference between making a target in one second and losing it the next.

One major advantage of having a tripod is providing stability for the scope while you're either hunting, taking pictures, or just exploring the outdoors. Some scopes are lightweight, while others are considered "heavy" and weigh around ten pounds. Another advantage is you can quickly deploy your scope while you're moving from one place to the next. You can simply attach the scope and carry it around without in your hand.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Aside from your personal preferences, there’s always going to be an aspect or two that you need to consider before making your final decision on which spotting scope tripod you want to purchase. Buyers have often considered these aspects to be important in their purchasing decision:

Your Intent or Purpose

Not all scopes are designed to be all-purpose. Some of them are the best fit for a certain use. For example, one spotting scope would be perfect for hunters because it is lightweight and easy to deploy so hunters won't miss their next opportunity at bagging another deer or whatever they are hunting.

Versatility​

Today, there are products on the market that are completely versatile in their use. Some users have hunting benches and have relied on tabletop models. Others use standing models. If you want the best of both worlds, it's important to find a stand that not only can extend itself to a certain height, but also one that you can adjust low enough for the feeling of a tabletop scope.

Standing Tripod for Target Shooting (Source)

Stability​

One of the chief advantages of a spotting scope tripod is stability. The materials used often play huge roles in long-term stability and durability. At the same time, it's not just the legs that play a role. The feet may come with something like rubber to ensure that the scope is on stable ground and can hold it for as long as it's attached.

Ease Of Use​

No one wants a tripod that is difficult to use. You want the scope to move easily, swivel around, and so on. Some stands will likely be equipped with a hydraulic system that will make the user experience much easier.

Additional Accessories​

Some products come with additional accessories. Some don’t. In other words, will you only get the legs? Or will you get any additional accessories like a head? The easiest thing to do is get one that may come with the additional accessories. While it may cost a bit more, it is worth the value and extra expense.

Quick Take - The Best Spotting Scope Tripods

Review of the Best Spotting Scope Tripods

Below are eight of the best spotting scope tripods on the market right now. It is imperative that you look through each of them carefully to see if one of them is the right fit for you. If you’re interested in more than one, sometimes it’s better to play a game of “process of elimination” based on which feature you want the most.

AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag

Pros

  • Very Affordable for Those on a Budget
  • Very Versatile, Can Be Used While Sitting or Standing
  • Rubber Feet Do An Excellent Job of Keeping the Tripod Stable

Cons

  • May Be Wobbly at First
  • Not Ideal for Heavy Scopes
  • No Lifetime Warranty, Only a One-Year

Our first tripod up for review is the AmazonBasics 60-inch lightweight offering. This is one of the more affordable products on the market. This weighs 3.3 pounds, making it lightweight and easy to carry around. It has the ability to extend up to 60 inches.

However, if you prefer sitting down or have a hunting bench, you can lower it down to about 24 inches. Either way, you get some pretty good versatility with a stand like this. This also comes with two built-in bubble view levels and a three-way head that you can use for easy movement and swiveling.

If you’re on the go, the quick-release feature will definitely come in handy. Just attach, detach, and reattach in a matter of seconds. If you happen to be on a budget or just need a something of a starter tripod, the AmazonBasics may be the product for you.

Bottom Line

Considering that this is the best overall, it is also one of the best products to start out with for your scope. For its price, it does a good job. If you're looking for an item that is versatile, affordable, and is great for most purposes, the AmazonBasics might be the right choice for you.

Best Hunting Tripod For Spotting Scope:
Vortex Optics Pro GT

Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod

Pros

  • Handles Heavier Spotting Scopes
  • The Legs and Overall Construction is Very Sturdy
  • The Lifetime Warranty is a Good Sign You Will Have a Very Durable Product on Your Hands

Cons

  • Not as Lightweight, But Probably for Good Reason
  • May Be Heavy for Other Purposes Like Backpacking.
  • Some Have Complained About the Level Being Flimsy Due to its Plastic Construction

The Hunters would benefit best from an item like this. But does it also go as far as their accessories? The short answer: yes. This tripod, in particular, can handle your heavy scopes. That's because it has a maximum load capacity of ten pounds.

This is also a versatile scope that you can adjust to a sitting or standing position. It can extend to about 67 inches and go as low as 24 inches. This is excellent for most purposes.

If you need a tripod for your scope that can even handle windy conditions, the Vortex is a great choice for that. The balance hook is used to hold it in place, even when nature decides to unleash a good old-fashioned wind gust. The Vortex is as tough and durable as it can get. If you want a spotting scope tripod that will last you a good while, then the Vortex might be your best option.

Bottom Line

Of course, Vortex once again proves itself to be one of the top-dog brands in all things scopes. Their scopes are insanely durable and apparently, so are their accessories. If you want a product that can withstand any conditions and be able to still stand on windy days, the Vortex will be your best hunting buddy.

Best Table Top Tripod For Spotting Scope:
Vanguard VS-82 Table Top Tripod

Vanguard VS-82 Table Top Tripod

Pros

  • Backed by a Two-Year Warranty.
  • Compact and Easy to Store When Folded
  • For a Table Top, it Actually Does Pretty Well With Heavy Scopes

Cons

  • No Quick Release Plate
  • Rubber Feet May Not Lay All the Way Flat
  • One User Wished the Legs Would Extend Out a Little Further

Next up is a tried and true tabletop tripod for spotting scopes. The Vanguard VS-82 is a lightweight offering that weighs just under a pound. Because of this, it is easy to carry around. The Vanguard stands at about 9.8 inches, so it won't wobble on you like what some standing tripods would do.

The legs fully extend and are further secured by non-slip feet. The two-way pan head gives you 360 degrees of movement, so your scope has the freedom to move in one direction or another. Maybe even in a complete circle.

With the features that it has, the Vanguard is one of the more reliable tabletop models on the market. The maximum load is 5.5 pounds, which means you can load a good scope on here without having it fall in your lap.

Bottom Line

The Vanguard may be your tripod of choice if you just want one that is solely a table top. It is, for the most part, durable, and has a pretty good max load for its type. The 360-degree panning is pretty good, which can explain why there is no quick release plate that you would otherwise find on some of the other stands. However, if you want a good tabletop product and don't want one that extends to a standing height, get the Vanguard.

Best For The Money:
Bushnell 784030

Bushnell 784030 Advanced Tripod

Pros

  • Very Sturdy and Durable
  • Versatile for Hunting Benches and for Standing
  • Can Handle Heavy Scopes as it has a Maximum Load Capacity of 11 Pounds

Cons

  • No Quick Release Plate Available
  • It’s Not the Most Lightweight, Again, No Surprise as it is Very Strong and Durable
  • One Reviewer Complained About Lack of Level Indicator, so Leveling May Be Questionable

Bushnell has long been a reliable brand for scopes. The reliability is pretty much the same with their accessories. The Bushnell 784030 is very durable and one of the most stable standing scope tripods on the market. Mind you, it is not a lightweight product. But it’s a pretty good explanation as to why it has the ability to stay in place once you place it.

Plus, it’s going to last you a pretty long while. It can extend up to 61 inches and be brought down to about 18 inches. So whether it’s for a hunting bench or if you just want to stand the whole time, you have the versatility in this tripod.

If you’re on a budget, this stand may be affordable if you have some breathing room. If you care more about quality and are also willing to spend a little extra, then the Bushnell may be your best choice. It will last you quite a long time so long as you use it properly.

And since this is quite a durable product that can last you a long time, Bushnell stands by this with its lifetime warranty. So, should anything happen to it, you’ll get a replacement with no problems at all. It’s one of the many reasons why Bushnell is considered one of the better brands for their scopes and accessories.

Bottom Line

The Bushnell has proven itself to be one of a handful of brands that can be relied on. No, it may not be the most lightweight, but there’s always a good reason why. Sometimes, the not so good things come with the territory of good things.

However, if you want a product that is designed to last for a long time and on a budget with a little bit of breathing room, the Bushnell tripod can be your best choice.

Best Tripod For Birding:
Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Aluminum Tripod with SBH-100 Ball Head for Sony, Nikon, Canon DSLR Cameras, Black

Pros

  • Very Sturdy Construction
  • Lightweight, But Very Solid
  • The Extension and Folding Lengths Are Pretty Decent

Cons

  • May Be a Tad Difficult to Move Around When Filming a Moving Target
  • Some Reviewers Have Had Issues With the Plastic Knobs Being Low Quality
  • One Reviewer Said That the Folding Height Doesn’t Shrink Low Enough for Some Desks

Once again, we go back to the Vanguard for a look at the best tripod for birding. The Vanguard Alta has a multi-angle central column (MACC) that will give you the ability to shift the central column from zero to 180 degrees in different angles, whether horizontal or vertical. You can also set the leg angles to 25, 50, and 80-degree angles.

At a folded height, it stands at 28 inches while it can fully extend to 68 inches. It does have the ability to be a good tabletop tripod like the Vanguard we've reviewed beforehand, however, it also can extend for those who want to get an even better view standing up. The loading capacity of the Vanguard is an impressive 15.4 pounds. This means that it has the ability to withstand some heavy duty scopes.

Bottom Line

The Vanguard does a good job as a spotting scope tripod for birding, as it is lightweight, but strong. And the folding and extending lengths are pretty good for this type of product. If you want a good birding scope, the Vanguard may be the best option for you.

Best Tactical Spotting Scope Tripod:
Celestron 82050 TrailSeeker Tripod

Celestron 82050 TrailSeeker Tripod (Black)

Pros

  • Legs Are Very Sturdy and Can Handle Any Terrain
  • Leveling Bubble Included to Indicate How Level the Tripod Is
  • The Shoulder Strap is Considered a Very Convenient Feature

Cons

  • Not for Scopes Heavier Than Seven Pounds
  • One Reviewer Complained About the Head Design Being Terrible
  • One Reviewer Complained About the Quick Release Plate Not Securing Very Well

The Celestron is a light, portable tripod for your spotting scope that is perfect for most scopes below seven pounds. This is the perfect option if you’re outdoors or hiking. That’s because it is equipped with simple lever leg locks and the legs themselves can handle any terrain. The foam padding is perfect for easy carrying from one point to the next. Best of all, portability is a breeze with the equipped shoulder strap.

The center column allows it to be raised up to approximately 71 inches and it can be folded down to around 19 inches. So you get a tripod that is good for sitting and standing. If you want a good standing scope for hiking trips, the Celestron may be a great choice for you.

Bottom Line

If you’re a hiker that loves to do some long-distance exploring with a spotting scope, you can never go wrong with a tripod like this. Given the fact that it is lightweight, it is not a surprise that it won’t handle heavy scopes.

Besides, you don’t need a lot of weight to lug around while hiking, do you? That being said, the Celestron is a great one to have if you want to make your hike or nature walk a more enjoyable one.

Best Heavy Duty Spotting Scope Tripod:
Orion 5378 Paragon HD-F2 Heavy Duty Tripod

Orion 5378 Paragon HD-F2 Heavy Duty Tripod

Pros

  • Can Easily Handle Heavy Scopes
  • Very Durable, Hence Why it is a Heavy-Duty Scope
  • Spiked Feet Do a Good Job Holding the Tripod Steady in Any Terrain

Cons

  • Head Can Be a Little Wobbly at Times
  • One Reviewer Complained About the Head Being a Little Stiff
  • One Reviewer Complained About One of the Legs Not Being Secured Properly

For the best in heavy-duty tripods, we look to the Orion Paragon. This item weighs about 7.5 pounds and is fully extendable up to 72 inches. For a quick and easy setup, the Orion comes equipped with aluminum-tubed legs that have lever locks and spiked feet to keep it in place.

For quick attachment and detachment, it comes with a quick release plate that you can use without having any extra tools handy.

Bottom Line

The Orion Paragon is good to have if you know that you’re going to be treading on some rough grounds. The spiked feet are quite helpful when you want to plant it into the ground so it stays stable. It will have no problem holding heavy scopes. It’s even better for taller individuals that want to look through the scope without ever having to hunch over.

Best Tripod For Shooting:
Vortex Optics Summit

Vortex Optics Summit SS-P Tripod

Pros

  • Backed by a Lifetime Warranty
  • Great for Not Just Shooting, but Also for Hiking
  • Lowest Folding Height Ranges From 15 to 18 inches. So it’s Perfect for a Bench or Desk

Cons

  • One Reviewer Had Some Issues Wth the Head Being a Little Wobbly
  • One Reviewer Complained That it’s Not as Rugged as it’s Supposed to Be
  • One Reviewer Complained About the Legs Being a Little Stiff at First, Requiring Lubrication

For our last scope, we will finish it off with the Vortex. At this point, you already know that this brand is a very trustworthy one. And it’s for all the right reasons. If you want a product that will stand still in windy conditions, this will be your best option. That’s because it’s equipped with a balance hook that helps the tripod stay centered and in place.

When out target practicing, you may already be having wind issues to begin with (affecting he direction of your shot). Considering the fact that it is lightweight, it is surprisingly strong and durable.

Also included is a carrying case for easy transportation, a quick-release plate so you can quickly attach and detach, and a three-way pan head for maximum swiveling and movement.

Bottom Line

Like with all Vortex products, it’s backed by a lifetime warranty. And that should come as no surprise since most of their products are built to last. If you want a tripod that can withstand the wind and the rough terrain, the Vortex Summit could be the best tripod option for you.

Conclusion

Finding the right spotting scope tripod doesn’t have to be hard. Before making a decision, you should consider the factors mentioned in this article, plus some of your personal preferences. You can have a lot of fun using your scope when you find the right product that fits you and your scope perfectly.

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