Best Hunting Tripods Reviewed & Rated for Quality

Tripods are sturdy stands with mounts that hold up important equipment relating to hunting, photography, media and more. Hunting tripods are a little more complex in their requirements since they will hold everything from guns to cameras. A good hunting tripod is multifunctional and blends in with the environment rather than standing out. With the reliance on top grade hunting equipment to deliver, if the stand they are on is subpar then it negates whatever features that equipment has. So in many ways a hunter that depends on a stand needs the very best, since his entire seasons haul may depend on it.

Featured Recommendations

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB
  • Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Six different styles
  • Price: See Here
Vanguard Quest T62U
  • Vanguard Quest T62U
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Multifunctional
  • Price: See Here
Leupold Compact Tripod
  • Leupold Compact Tripod
  • 4.2 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Non-bulky
  • Price: See Here

Bushnell, Primos, Vanguard and Bog-Pod come to mind. All four companies have a good eye for what makes a good tripod, and more importantly what features a hunter would be looking for. Vanguard is the best out of all the companies, with a large amount of their focus going to compatibility and stability. For the most part all brands make the finish/colors of their hunting tripods plain, or in camo. The reason all of them aren’t in camo is because of the multiple uses for a hunting tripod. A well-equipped hunter can pack up his hunting tripod and use it for other activities if needed. It’s all about keeping the options open when it comes to purchasing a hunting tripod.

Tripod cleaning is simple enough, with the major parts to concentrate on being the feet. Since they will be implanted in the ground almost 100% of the time, there will be a lot of accumulation of dirt with extended use. Dirt on the feet that is left unchecked can lead to balance issues, and in a worst case scenario permanent damage. A tripod with bad feet is useless, since the entire point of the unit is balance. So always clean the feet first, and then move on to the rest of the tripod. Use a mild soap and water to do the cleaning, being very careful not to put too much force in place where dirt is a little stubborn. Hunting tripods are one of the easiest accessories to clean if you keep up with it from the start.

10 Best Hunting Tripods

 

1. Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB

1. Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB
The best of the best is the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB, and by a wide margin. It holds all of your equipment steady while giving you the best options to use when on the road.

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Different Styles

There are six different styles for this product, all focusing on unique features for their specific audience. Besides the one mentioned there is the Alta Pro 283CT. 263AGH. 264AB, 263AP and the 263AT.

Features and Specifications

26mm 3 section aluminum alloy legs
Magnesium die-cast canopy with anti-shock ring

Price/Value

This is the best built hunting tripod on the list but also the most expensive, and the only high priced one. Hunters that want the best the industry has to offer will find instant value in it as an investment that will improve their game hunting.

Decision Time

Vanguard outdid themselves with this model, providing enough options to make anyone happy. The price is high, and the equipment is one of a kind.
Pros
  • Legs can adjust to 25,50 and 80 degree angles
  • Has the highest load capacity on the list at 15.4 pounds
  • 3 section legs
  • SBH-100 ball head
  • Good stability
Cons
  • Fragile safety lock

  • Low quality

2. Vanguard Quest T62U

2. Vanguard Quest T62U
Vanguard takes up the last two spots starting with the T62U, the lower priced model. But just because it costs less than other Vanguard products, that doesn’t mean it isn’t top quality.

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Multifunctional

The T62U can work as a bipod, monopod or tripod. This should fill every conceivable need you have for all types, and makes this model an invaluable all around stand.

Features and Specifications

Removable U shaped yoke
Lightweight aluminum with soft rubber fins

Price/Value

With all the devices you get in one, the low price of this tripod becomes worth it. And the value gets higher if you own a lot of mountable equipment.

Decision Time

The T62U may not be the best Vanguard product, yet it may turn out to be the most useful. Hunters will get more use out of this than any other accessory under their ownership.
Pros
  • Can be used in more positions than any other tripod on the list
  • Quick flip lever controls the legs so you can move at will
  • Multi-functional
  • Rubber fins
  • Light weight
Cons
  • Yoke needs to be more secure
  • Legs don’t drop

3. Leupold Compact Tripod 56446

3. Leupold Compact Tripod 56446
When a hunting tripod is an afterthought, then the Leupold Compact tripod will do just the trick. It is the tripod for hunters that only use them occasionally.

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The Smallest On The List

Non-bulky and compact, buyers will find that this is more suitable when a hunting tripod isn’t the primary focus. At a smaller size it also gets a bonus to balance, so a tradeoff is being able to use it with heavier equipment.

Features and Specifications

Adjusts from 15 – 31.5
Four section legs

Price/Value

It goes for about average to low, so either way it stays away from the high priced category. This is the most unique item on the list, and should be in every hunter’s bag-just in case.

Decision Time

With all of the great models on the list, this compact tripod takes a high spot for offering something that none of the others can. Buyers that are debating how portable hunting tripods can be will find some great luck with this purchase.
Pros
  • Ball head is adjustable
  • Quick release base
  • Compact
  • Full size
  • Aluminium legs
Cons
  • Built in hardware prevents full movement
  • Expensive

4. Vortex Optics HCOUNTRY

4. Vortex Optics HCOUNTRY
The sometimes hard to find Vortex Optics Country tripod is a deal that may flock to when it is available. It’s built tough, and can take on a lot of weight without losing balance.

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Strong and Secure

Weighing 2.1 pounds, the thickness of the entire tripod was made to handle heavier loads. It is rated as being stable even when mounting the maximum of five pounds.

Features and Specifications

Height ranges from 14.8 – 53.8
Compact ball head

Price/Value

For what’s being offered, the low price of this tripod is very competitive with the rest. It’s good quality at a price that fits in with its features.

Decision Time

Other than the slight oversight with the chrome, this turns out to be everything you’d want with a hunting tripod. The price is just icing on the cake to what is an already great deal.
Pros
  • Legs are thick and can handle a lot of weight
  • Priced very well for a tripod of this durability
  • Folded height 18.8”
  • Unlimited warranty
  • Max load=5 lbs
Cons
  • Chrome buttons are a turnoff for hunting
  • Lower quality

5. Hammers SP3

5. Hammers SP3
There is nothing particularly impressive that stands out about this Hammers model, yet that works to its advantage. Without any major weaknesses, this is the best tripod for the consumer that is having a hard time making up their minds.

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Works In Any Position

Whether you’re standing, kneeling or sitting, this shooting tripod can work without a hassle. That’s a big help to users that hate doing major adjustments when changing positions.

Features and Specifications

Can fold down to 25 and extend up to 68
Pivoting V yoke with rubber insert

Price/Value

This is the lowest priced hunting tripod on the list, and maybe in the entire industry. You can get really good value using this model as a primary or a backup.

Decision Time

When Hammers made this hunting tripod, they put a lot of thought into how it would be used in multiple settings. That research paid off, and makes this a very good choice on the list.
Pros
  • Comes with a nylon carrying pouch
  • Only weighs 38 ounces
  • Full size
  • Telescopic legs
  • Pivoting V yolk
Cons
  • Twists on the legs rather than quick release levers
  • Quite expensive

6. Bushnell 784030

6. Bushnell 784030
Bushnell makes the list again, this time with a lower priced option than their first. The difference is night and day with this model since it focuses on being compatible rather than superior.

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Compatible With Major SLR Cameras

The amount of hunting tripods that are great for guns yet so-so for cameras keeps climbing. This Bushnell model finds a comfortable mix between the two without losing any particular angles.

Features and Specifications

3 Way pan/tilt head with universal ¼ 20 mount
Legs are padded with foam cushions

Price/Value

As the lower priced Bushnell product on the list, this could be an alternative option if you wanted a wallet friendly Bushnell tripod. It has the same qualities as their leading models but with a much friendlier price.

Decision Time

For many this is a pretty cut and dry decision, especially with the Bushnell name attached. You’ll get the quality you deserve at a price too low to pass up.
Pros
  • Aluminum legs work well in all weather conditions
  • Instantly compatible with leading Bushnell products
  • 3 way pan/tilt head
  • Centre tension control
  • Universal mount
Cons
  • The legs are not quick release
  • Heavy

7. BOG-POD RLD-3

7. BOG-POD RLD-3
Bog-Pod makes the list again, this time with the RLD-3 shooting stick tripod. The thriftier of their hunting tripod models beats out some of the more accomplished competition by slipping in some manageable features.

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The Velcro Strap Is Built In

Forgetting to tie your tripod legs together can be a pain before going on a journey, since they can make some really bad noises as they clap together. Using the attached Velcro straps, you’ll always have a secure way to transport this equipment.

Features and Specifications

Height markers on each of the three section legs
Non-slip insulated hand grips

Price/Value

Amazingly this is low priced, which is a pretty good value since it is #7 on the list. Hunters will find that it satisfies the bulk of their needs for a hunting tripod.

Decision Time

As the first low priced model on the list, it has a lot going for it. Buyers will have a tough time deciding whether they want to buy two of these or one of the other hunting tripods.
Pros
  • Available as different models- tripod, mono-pod and bi-pod
  • Hand grips make a huge difference when out in the field
  • Travel bag included
  • Velcro strap for carrying
  • Excellent value
Cons
  • Takes longer to set up than other tripods
  • Weak swivel rest

8. BOG-POD CLD-3

8. BOG-POD CLD-3
Bog-Pod and their camo trail tripod is a shining example of a company that wants to try something new. They didn’t go overboard with the features, but made it interesting enough that customers would take a second look.

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Above Average Camo Design

It may seem like a small detail to most people, yet the high quality camo design makes all the difference in the world for hunters. This is especially true for something as portable as a hunting tripod.

Features and Specifications

Legs extend from 22 – 68
360 degree universal shooting rest

Price/Value

So far the theme seems to be average prices for the hunting tripods, and this model is no different. Hunters will get plenty of use out of it over multiple seasons, so the value will increase each season.

Decision Time

Bog-Pod succeeded in bringing something different to the hunting tripod industry, with many people comparing this to some of the top brands. It is a healthy alternative, and one you should invest your time in exploring.
Pros
  • Comes with a weather resistant travel bag
  • Tripod material uses scratch resistant rubber coverings
  • Leg extension from 22 to 68”
  • Non-slip hand grips
  • Available in short or tall
Cons
  • Legs are hard to adjust
  • Expensive

9. Primos 65807

9. Primos 65807
Improving on superior products in their lineup, Primos introduced the Jim Shockey Edition of their hunting tripod to a lot of positive reviews. There are some pretty fun ideas with this model, many that were sourced from older features.

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Gen 2 Improvements

While the first version of this was fantastic, the real critical acclaim was about how they improved the features of the original with this version. It’s more portable, stronger, and better equipped to handle different brands.

Features and Specifications

Removable 360 rotating yoke
7075 Aluminum legs

Price/Value

This is another mid-priced product, and comes to about average with the others in the industry. Going off of how well the original Gen 1 lasted, this is a great value for all levels of users.

Decision Time

Even if you didn’t purchase the original Gen 1, this is a safe bet as a reliable hunting tripod. It’s strong, and has made several improvements to make it worth the buy.
Pros
  • Adjusts from 24 – 62
  • Handle movement is improved from previous generation
  • Aluminium legs
  • Portable
  • Removable yolk
Cons
  • Legs make a lot of noise when transporting
  • Slightly heavy

     

10. Bushnell 784040

10. Bushnell 784040
With all of the optical equipment at the fingertips of Bushnell, it’s no surprise that they would also make one of the best hunting tripods available. This is a good start for any hunter that needs a reliable piece of equipment.

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Great Materials

Bushnell used quality materials to create this durable tripod, and it shows not only in how it functions but also the weight. At only 3.6 pounds, it will add very little to your accessory bundle.

Features and Specifications

Maximum height of 63 inches
Three way pan head

Price/Value

Buyers can expect to spend around midrange for this item, and will get a lot out of it. With the usual Bushnell quality, you’ll get instant value from it on the first day.

Decision Time

Buyers can count on Bushnell to deliver a quality product, and this is easily one of the best hunting tripods you can get your hands on. Check out your equipment for compatibility and you’ll maximize the purchase with no problem.
Pros
  • High durability even with heavy options mounted to it
  • Compatible with binoculars, range finders, cameras and spotting scopes
  • Gearless centre column
  • 3 positions/adjustable
  • Great stability
Cons
  • A bit of a headache to screw things into the tripod
  • Not precise

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Hunting Tripods

With all of the options available for a hunting tripod, choosing the best one for your trips can be difficult. They all share some similar qualities, with some minor differences here and there that sets them apart. Here are the things to look for most when you need to make a quick decision about a hunting tripod.

Price – There is only one expensive hunting tripod on the list, and it is the absolute best. How often will you use your hunting tripod? If only occasionally, then the #3 option would be the better choice since it costs a lot less and is ultra-portable. A compact model is great for hunters that are not sure if they will bring a regular sized tripod with them. By using this logic, paying full price for the best available shouldn’t be a priority, as you’ll never take advantage of its value.

Balance – As silly as it sounds, there are hunting tripods in existence with subpar balance. Without a solid base, hunting tripods won’t achieve their full functionality. This is more to do with the weight that is on top with a gun, camera or whatever equipment you’re mounting. Imagine mounting a gun to a hunting tripod that is not balanced. Not only will you miss your shot, but there is a good chance that something (or someone) else will get hit as a result. All of the hunting tripods on the list are balanced, and in the rare case you get a defective unit, send it back for a working one. Defects are nothing new and can happen from time to time. Never settle for less than optimal balance, since the manufacturers on the list didn’t built the tripod that way.

Compatibility – Some equipment just isn’t compatible with specific hunting tripods, and that can’t be helped. Always play around with the settings to find out if your hunting tripod can meet expectations. Most of the provided models aren’t overly complicated to set up, requiring only a few customizations.

Minimum and Maximum Height – They are all set by inches, so pay attention to that when doing your configurations. Minimum height will usually be more important than maximum height if you’re using it to mount a gun. In fact buying choices for hunting tripods have been strongly tied to the minimum/maximum since it is all about usability for hunters.

Basics – Fundamentally, when you go hunting and you don’t want to be bogged down with an impractical shooting bench – the hunting tripod is the next best alternative for steady, accurate aiming. You may be considering a hunting tripod for the first time to assist you in either your shooting hunts, or simply just to view game through a scope. Of course, you will have an idea of what you want to use your hunting tripod for – and that is the first part of your choosing the right bit of kit.

If you are having the leisurely weekend hunting, chances are you may be setting up camp and have the bonus of a hunting blind. This is a big plus because you can ensure the tripod is set up on terra firma and will be as stable as you can make it. The last thing you want is a wobble on your tripod when you spot the ideal game. The hunting tripod is there to be able to avoid unsteady makeshift supports that are not steady or reliable enough to do the job you want it to.

Types – The market has various styles of hunting tripods on offer, and some are multi-functional. These types often come with an interchangeable head; so you can swap them from being used for rifle aim, to holding your scope or even your camera. The better quality the tripod – the more versatile it is likely to be, this makes this style of tripod very cost effective because it serves more than one purpose.

A point to note here as well, is the weight of your chosen kit to be placed on the head of the tripod. If you are using lighter kit, you can generally get away with a standard tripod – but if your chosen kit is heavy, you may need a more substantial head and/or tripod. Most should come with individual specifications on the item, but it’s probably better to over-compensate rather than run the risk of broken kit or accidents.

Sizes – Tripod sizes start from a table top size, these are compact and easily portable, ideal if you know you have a firm base to stand them on when you’re on your trip. They range from between 8 and 18 inches, they don’t have the benefit of telescopic legs however, and adjustment can be at the least minimal; and often executed through the centre column.

Usually the next size up is the compact tripod, these are ideal for use when you’re in your blind and you prefer sitting to do your hunting/filming. The size of the compact tripod makes it ideal for you pack into a trekking pack and won’t take up too much room or weigh too much. The downside of course, is that it is not suitable for height or for heavier bits of kit.

Ultimately, the full sized hunting tripods are the way you want to go if you want the full experience when you’re on your hunting trip. They are taller by design, and the telescopic legs allow you to adjust them to a convenient height for yourself. They are more bulky, and heavier but in return you get a better height to compliment your kit. There are usually always weight limitations, and it is advised you always double check this capability before you put any expensive kit on the head.

 

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should I Use A Full Size Or Compact Hunting Tripod?

Why not both? There are many situations where one would be preferable over the other. And a compact tripod has the lowest starting height of all models, which can turn into a bit of a bonus depending on the user. Prices for hunting tripods makes it easy to have a main and a backup, so as long as you purchase models that are fundamentally different from one another, you’ll get your money’s worth.

Q: Do All Hunting Tripods Come With Bags?

A: No, and it’s something that can be hit or miss depending on the brand. Always check the specifications and make sure that the hunting tripod you want comes with a bag. Sure you can use your own bag, but not having a custom fit bag can lead to some transportation issues with clanging sounds, messing up the tripod itself or having issues carrying it (if there is no shoulder strap). Buying a hunting tripod with a bag is important, so if that is out of the question then make sure they offer a customized bag for a it as a separate purchase.

Q: If A Hunting Tripod Becomes Unbalanced Can It Be Fixed Manually?

A: For a product that is still in warranty, always contact the manufacturer. Take advantage of a warranty when it is available to save yourself the headache of modifications. For products out of warranty, yes, they can be fixed manually. The feet of a hunting tripod can be worked on if you’re a skilled enough craftsman, or even if you have the slightest bit of curiosity. Use a leveler when you’re done along with a heavy piece of equipment mounted on it. If all is well, then good job! But if it is off even by a little, then try to look at purchasing a new hunting tripod.

Q: Is Weight A Big Factor With Balance?

A: The weight of a hunting tripod will help out a bit, yet it isn’t the determining factor. Most of the hunting tripods on the list are lightweight but still have perfect balance. Because of the three point system, perfect balance for these products is more related to how they are designed rather than their actual weight. However, a heavier tripod is a great thing if portability isn’t a big concern.

Q: Do I really need a hunting tripod?

A: Of course, ultimately it is up to you, but they are proven to improve any glassing and means you can be more focused on the task in hand rather than keeping your kit balanced for long periods.

Q: Does cost make a difference to quality?

A: In a nutshell-yes. There are somethings you can’t benefit from a cheap version and a hunting tripod is no exception. Lesser quality models may not be stable, and the last thing you want is a wobble when you spot your game. The manufacture of the cheaper versions are possibly ideal for starting out, but wouldn’t be functional enough for a hardy hunting trip for the experienced.

Q: What’s the best material to look for in a hunting tripod?

A: Aluminium is a common material used, it is light and nice to work with, but carbon fibre is a better choice, it is not only a lot lighter than aluminium; but it won’t freeze your fingers when you adjust it in the winter like aluminium can.

Are all hunting tripods fully portable?

This information should be checked on the items individual specification, you may want to double check the weight of a tripod before you buy it too – that way you won’t buy gear that’s too heavy to take on your trips.

Sources

  1. The 4 Best Hunting Tripods — Shooting Tripod Reviews 2018
  2. Wikipedia, Tripods
  3. Cabelas, Tripods & Mounts
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