5 Best Spotting Scope Tripods in 2021 [Buyer’s Guide]

Tori Rhodes
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If you are like me, setting up a telescope is not one of your most favorite pastimes. Who wants to put up a bulky telescope on the ground anyway.

There’s a better way to enjoy the stars. Spotting scopes are a great way to see some deep sky objects without having to deal with a bulky and expensive telescope.

How do you pick the best spotter scope, though?

Spotting scopes are actually small telescopes that can be handheld or fixed to a tripod. Both are roughly as powerful, the tripod version is often used by birdwatchers.

They are small, lightweight, portable, don’t have to be mounted on a tripod and are quite affordable if you want to get a scope for astronomy.

We dedicated a full post to the best spotting scopes, take a look.

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NameCategoryProduct
Manfrotto MT190CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber 4-Section Tripod ,BlackBest OverallManfrotto MT190CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber 4-Section Tripod ,Black
Celestron 82050 TrailSeeker TripodBudget PickCelestron 82050 TrailSeeker Tripod
Bushnell 784030 Advanced TripodUpgrade PickBushnell 784030 Advanced Tripod

1. Manfrotto MT190CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber 4-Section Tripod ,Black

Our rating: 9 / 10

Manfrotto MT190CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber 4-Section Tripod ,Black

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Pros:

  • Easy to operate and adjust
  • Solid construction
  • Folding design for easy portability
  • Uses less weight and space than comparable aluminum models
  • Nothing moves or flexes when in use

The new carbon fiber line of Manfrotto tripods features a sleek, smooth design that will impress everyone. Plus, when you factor in how easy it is to setup and adjust, you have a real winner.

This tripod is constructed using Manfrotto’s innovative spring-locking tripod head to quickly setup and take down. The tripod legs can be adjusted using push buttons that allow the legs to slide into place and lock at any length.

A leg angle selector pin allows you to angle the legs and hit those exact height for your scope which is a feature I really like. When you are done with your scope session the tripod collapses to a small post for easy portability, and you can use the included carrying bag to keep everything together.

2. Celestron 82050 TrailSeeker Tripod

Our rating: 8 / 10

Celestron 82050 TrailSeeker Tripod

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Pros:

  • Adjustable height for different terrain
  • A great tripod for its price

A Celestron tripod will assist you on any hike or trail picking out far away objects. It’s very easy to use and set-up. It uses a quick release plate on top of the tripod which makes assembly and disassembly quick and easy.

If you are looking for a tripod to keep all your hunting gear organized this is a great option. It will keep your backpack, binoculars, and spotting scope all in one place and ready for action.

This tripod allows you to view your wildlife or hunting fields with ease without hunching over or setting up a chair. You can keep yourself in a comfortable position at all times to ensure a great sighting.

3. Bushnell 784030 Advanced Tripod

Our rating: 6 / 10

Bushnell 784030 Advanced Tripod

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Pros:

  • Easy to setup and use
  • Features an integrated level bubble
  • Lightweight

The Bushnell 784030 Advanced Tripod is a great option if you’re looking to get a tripod that you can use for more then just astronomy.

It’s lightweight, and the legs fold up and lock down in a second for quick setup after you “pitch” the tripod with a rock or log.

The tripod not only features a pan head, but an integrated level bubble as well.

4. ZOMEI Tripod,Camera Tripod,Heavy Duty Camera Tripod Camera Travel Z818 Tripod Aluminium Alloy Monopod

Our rating: 6 / 10

ZOMEI Tripod,Camera Tripod,Heavy Duty Camera Tripod Camera Travel Z818 Tripod Aluminium Alloy Monopod

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While you won’t need a tripod for every situation, they are really nice to have if you want to capture image quality photos from afar. Not only does a tripod give you stability, but it also frees up your hands for other purposes.

Let’s face it – blurriness happens. Suddenly you’re snapping away and you’re surprised when you get home to find that you used the wrong setting on your camera, or you tripped over a rock and were shaking the entire time (sort of an involuntary Myspace photo).

A tripod will help eliminate this.

5. Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Camera Tripod

Our rating: 5 / 10

Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Camera Tripod

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Pros:

  • The design is compact and ideal for travel since it collapses to nearly nothing
  • The wide foot pads distribute tripod weight for more stability
  • It is lightweight and easy to carry around
  • Works great for any point and shoot camera, video camera, and digital SLR camera with a small lens or supplemental lens
  • The quick release plate locks right in to the Arca-Swiss standard, so it is compatible with other heads that accept the Arca-Swiss quick release plate.
  • Sturdy, durable and easy to use
  • Ideal for backpacking, Geocaching and at odds areas.

Cons:

  • It will not serve you well for telephoto lens or long shooting
  • It only supports light point and shoot cameras and small DSLR camera

I found this convenient and sturdy tripod will fit in our/your backpack or camera bag easily, it maybe tiny but it is reliable and worth its money.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best spotting scope tripod?

If you are interested in using your tripod with a spotting scope, then you will want to make sure the tripod you decide to purchase has been designed for a spotting scope. The best spotting scope tripod should have an extendable center column that allows it to stay very close to the ground without causing you to stoop. You want to be able to look through the eyepiece while you are standing upright to make viewing easier on your neck.

Your tripod should also have a leveled pan head, which makes it easy to level your scope so that you have a clear view at all times. Also, look for a tripod that has a quick release platform and multidirectional adjustments so that you can adjust the height, swivel, tilt, and pan of your spotting scope quickly and easily.

What is the best magnification for a spotting scope?

There’s a lot to consider when selecting a spotting scope, but it boils down to two key questions:

  • What will be its main purpose?
  • How much space do you have to store it?

For most people, a 60-90mm optic is sufficient, in fact, it is most common. If you plan to use your spotting scope regularly for target shooting or stalking, then an 80mm-90mm scope is a good compromise. On the other hand, if you mostly plan to use it for birding and general outdoor activities in which case, a 60mm-80mm scope might be better suited. It will be easier to carry and use over a long period of time.

How powerful of a spotting scope do I need?

Can I use a camera tripod for a spotting scope?

There is a lot of variation in the market when it comes to spotting scope tripods. While most of them are good quality, there are a lot of bad options too. The most important consideration is to make sure that the tripod is fully adjustable. It should be able to extend a reasonable length and be able to adjust to the height you need.

The other important consideration is to manage your expectations. Spotting scopes are really big and heavy. A lot of tripod manufacturers will claim that their products can hold up a 100-pound spotting scope. Hiking around with a 100-pound tripod is not going to be fun.

You need to look for tripods that support at least 50 pounds, ideally up to 75 pounds. Anything more than 100 pounds will be hard to find. Some tripods come with optional weight kits to increase the capacity, but those are usually an add-on and not included with the package.

Conclusion

So What is the Best Spotting Scope Tripod?

For today’s article, we will be looking at five of the best spotting scope tripods that we feel are worth your time and money.

We decided to focus on tripods that are more centered towards general use rather than ones designed for certain types of spotting scopes.

We will be focusing on performance, build quality, price, and accessories. These five tripods are rated as some of the best available on the market.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Manfrotto MT190CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber 4-Section Tripod ,BlackBest OverallManfrotto MT190CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber 4-Section Tripod ,Black
Celestron 82050 TrailSeeker TripodBudget PickCelestron 82050 TrailSeeker Tripod
Bushnell 784030 Advanced TripodUpgrade PickBushnell 784030 Advanced Tripod