Best Hunting Tripod in 2020 [Our Reviews & Comparisons]

Responsible hunters understand the value and importance of each piece of gear and equipment they bring into the field – especially optics and optic accessories that allow them to make more accurate shots on the animals they are harvesting.

This is why hunters don’t blanch at all at the idea of spending a lot of money on quality scopes, sights, binoculars, and spotting solutions. And it’s why they don’t mind investing significantly in the best hunting tripods on the market today to keep them rock solid and stable while hunting, too.

Below we dig a little deeper into the best hunting tripod options money can buy, the kinds of hunting tripods that are going to give you a significant advantage when spotting on your hunting trips. Particularly useful out west – especially in rough, rocky, mountainous terrain and on the flat plains – owners all over the country recommend and use each of the scopes we break down below.

Let’s get right into it!

Our Best Hunting Tripod Reviews and Comparisons

IMAGEPRODUCT
EDITOR’S CHOICE 1. Ballachy 56-Inch Tripod

  • Extends out to 56 inches tall
  • Weighs only 1.9 pounds
  • Has a maximum load capacity of 7 pounds
  • Made almost entirely out of lightweight aluminum
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RUNNER UP 2. Vanguard Alta 264AO Tripod

  • Extends out to 70 inches tall
  • Weighs in at just over 4.5 pounds
  • Can accommodate up to 11 pounds of optics or equipment
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3. Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod

  • Extends out to 67 inches tall
  • Weighs in at 4.4 pounds
  • Can accommodate up to 10 pounds of optics and equipment
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4. Vortex Optics High Country Tripod

  • Extends out to 52.3 inches tall
  • Weighs in at just 2.2 pounds
  • Can accommodate optics and equipment weighing in at 5 pounds
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5. Vortex Optics Summit Tripod

  • Extends out to 54.5 inches tall
  • Weighs only 2 pounds
  • Capable of handling up to 5 pounds of optics and equipment
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6. Manfrotto Element Traveller Small Tripod

  • Extends all the way to 52.78 inches tall
  • Weighs in at only 2.5 pounds
  • Features a maximum equipment capacity of 8.82 pounds in glass, optics, and accessories
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7. Sirui T024SK / VA5

  • Extends out to 57.75 inches tall
  • Weighs in at only 4 pounds
  • Capable of handling 14 pounds of optics, scopes, and accessories
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8. Slik 522 / Benro S2

  • Extends out to just over 57 inches tall
  • Weighs in at less than 3 pounds
  • Can accommodate up to 6 pounds of optics, equipment, and accessories
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9. Field Optics Micro

  • Extends out to slightly over 50 inches tall
  • Weighs in at right around 2 pounds total
  • Can accommodate up to 8 pounds of optics and equipment
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10. Field Optics Pro Max

  • Extends up to 62.7 inches tall without sacrificing stability
  • Weighs in at just slightly over 4 pounds
  • Can accommodate up to 11 pounds in optics, sites, and accessories
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1. Ballachy 56-Inch Tripod

Product Highlights

Certainly, one of the best hunting tripod options you’ll find available for sale today, this particular set up remains relatively compact and almost unbelievably stable while still providing plenty of extendibility and adaptability for any of the hunts you might find yourself.

Lightweight, durable, and features a locking mechanism that guarantees precision and accuracy tough to find with other tripod options out there, this is definitely going to help you spot and hopped a lot more effectively.

Features

    • Extends out to 56 inches tall
    • Weighs only 1.9 pounds
    • Has a maximum load capacity of 7 pounds
    • Made almost entirely out of lightweight aluminum

What We Like About Ballachy 56-Inch Tripod

The lightweight and durable features of this tripod from top to bottom separated from the rest of the pack. The pan head operation is very smooth and eliminates jerky transitions, too.

What We Don’t Like About Ballachy 56-Inch Tripod

The lack of spiked feet on this hunting tripod are a bit of a disappointment, to be fair.

PROS

  • Aluminum construction materials are lightweight, strong, and very durable
  • Includes a waterproof carrying bag to protect your equipment
  • Pan head operation is buttery smooth

CONS

  • Lack of a tripod hook for unstable services is a bit disappointing
  • Lack of spiked feet is a letdown, too

2. Vanguard Alta 264AO Tripod

Product Highlights

Those in the market for a full-size tripod but aren’t interested in carrying around an oversized hunk of metal all over the woods are going to want to take a closer look at this setup.

Sure, it weighs just slightly over 4 ½ pounds (making it one of the heavier tripods on this list) but that’s going to give you a lot of support, a lot of stability, and a lot of confidence when you drop a spotting scope on it in the woods.

Folding down to a relatively compact form factor (and extending to a full-size tripod), you’ll be impressed by the smoothness of the articulating had, the stability of the feet, and the overall value you get for the money here.

Features

    • Extends out to 70 inches tall (and down to 25.5 inches tall)
    • Weighs in at just over 4.5 pounds
    • Can accommodate up to 11 pounds of optics or equipment

What We Like About Vanguard Alta 264AO Tripod

The fact that you can get so much tripod height out of this unit is something that can’t go understated. A relatively compact form factor that can extend up to 70 inches tall is a rarity in the hunting tripod world.

What We Don’t Like About Vanguard Alta 264AO Tripod

This thing is much heavier than most of the other tripods on the list.

PROS

  • Made out of high quality aluminum and steel construction components
  • Feels very durable and rock solid
  • Includes a dedicated locking mechanism to hold your spotting scope in place

CONS

  • Panning can get a little bit jerky if the mechanism gets wet or collects dirt/debris
  • Again, this thing is very heavy

3. Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod

Product Highlights

The folks at Vortex make some of the best hunting scopes, spotting scopes, and binoculars on the planet today – all of them engineered to give hunters every advantage possible – and this tripod from the same company features many of those same qualities.

Manufactured out of high-quality aluminum construction components and synthetic elements, designed to offer rock-solid stability over the most uneven terrain imaginable, and still remaining relatively compact while extending up to 67 inches tall you’ll want to take a very close look at this hunting tripod.

Features

    • Extends out to 67 inches tall (and down to 24.5 inches tall)
    • Weighs in at 4.4 pounds
    • Can accommodate up to 10 pounds of optics and equipment

What We Like About Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod

As far as full-size tripods are concerned – specifically those designed to accommodate heavy spotting scopes, long-range optics, and the like – there may not be anything out there that can quite rival the Vortex Optics Pro GT. Everything about it is top-tier across the board.

What We Don’t Like About Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod

Once again, though, weight is going to be an issue. This is particularly important when you are out west on long, mountainous hunts on the last thing you want to do is hike around with an extra almost 5 pounds on your back.

PROS

  • Unbelievably high construction quality across the board
  • Top-tier lifetime warranty (unconditional warranty) is the best in the business
  • Balance hook system beneath the center column provides improved stability in awful conditions

CONS

  • This is a heavy tripod, there’s no way around it
  • The included carrying bag leaves a bit to be desired
  • Feature3

4. Vortex Optics High Country Tripod

Product Highlights

An almost identical carbon copy of the Vortex Optics Pro GT tripod we highlighted a moment ago, except for the fact that it uses super lightweight aluminum construction materials to shave almost half of its total weight without sacrificing stability, this just might be the best high mountain/backpack style hunting tripod available right now.

Engineered from top to bottom with the same degree of care and attention that Vortex applies to all of their products, this is a rock-solid and reliable system that packs away much more comfortably than the 4+ pound options out there do.

Features

    • Extends out to 52.3 inches tall
    • Weighs in at just 2.2 pounds
    • Can accommodate optics and equipment weighing in at 5 pounds

What We Like About Vortex Optics High Country Tripod

This is one of the best Vortex tripods made by the company, and the fact that it is so lightweight, so compact, and still so close to a full-size tripod (coming just 18 extended inches short) makes it a real game-changer in the industry right now.

What We Don’t Like About Vortex Optics High Country Tripod

Because this tripod is a bit lighter weight than some of the other, totally full-size options, there’s going to be a little more wiggle and a little more wobble. That can be compensated for with the adjustable legs and proper placement, though.

PROS

  • Super sturdy while remaining lightweight thanks to the aluminum (and weatherproof) construction materials
  • Works well with spotting scopes but works really well with high quality binoculars (like the ones from Vortex)
  • Texturized and rubberized feet allow this tripod to get a good grip on almost every surface

CONS

  • Maximum height falls just short of a full tripod
  • Legs are a little narrow and may become shaky in high winds
  • Feature3

5. Vortex Optics Summit Tripod

Product Highlights

Another offer from the folks at Vortex on our list, this particular option has been engineered with spotting scopes in mind that is a little bit lighter – and it really works well with high-quality binoculars and rangefinders, too.

Extendable up to 54.5 inches tall (close to full-size tripod height) is also down to 14 inches tall – making it perfect for those that want to do some spotting while hunting when they are crouched or sitting down.

The pan head articulation of this unit is top-tier, with super-smooth operation that isn’t jittery or jumpy while allowing for really fine and deliberate movements and adjustments to be made as well. Rubberized components keep this platform “locked-in” on the ground, too.

Features

    • Extends out to 54.5 inches tall (and down to 14 inches tall)
    • Weighs only 2 pounds
    • Capable of handling up to 5 pounds of optics and equipment

What We Like About Vortex Optics Summit Tripod

There are a lot of things to like with this Vortex hunting tripod, from the aluminum construction materials to the super-compact form factor to the twist lock legs that stay positioned in place without any fear of slippage whatsoever.

What We Don’t Like About Vortex Optics Summit Tripod

The only hitch we found with this particular hunting tripod is that the quick release plate component can be a little bit stiff to manipulate when it is brand-new.

PROS

  • Unbelievably lightweight construction materials from top to bottom without sacrificing any stability
  • One of the smoothest operating pan heads on the market today
  • Fantastic compact form factor for those that cannot get into and out of the woods with an oversized tripod

CONS

  • Twist legs can take a bit of time to get cemented into place
  • Quick release plate is stiff right out of the box

6. Manfrotto Element Traveller Small Tripod

Product Highlights

Hunting and dismounting set up of this hunting tripod is fantastic, thanks in large part to an intuitive and well-engineered overall tripod mechanism but also a universal mounting component that makes it easy to slap your favorite optics, spotting scopes, and binoculars on top of this tripod.

Capable of reaching (almost) full height for hunting tripods – just shy of 53 inches tall – it can also be pulled down to just 12.6 inches tall. That makes it a dream to use in hunting blinds, and the crouched position, or while you are sitting and classing for potential targets.

Using a ball head mechanism, you’ll find this hunting tripod easy to adjust, quick to maneuver and manipulate, and a dream to use with a buttery smooth action.

Features

    • Extends all the way to 52.78 inches tall (and down to 12.6 inches tall)
    • Weighs in at only 2.5 pounds
    • Features a maximum equipment capacity of 8.82 pounds in glass, optics, and accessories

What We Like About Manfrotto Element Traveller Small Tripod

The ability to completely remove the center column of this hunting tripod allows you to get even lower to the ground than you might have been able to with more traditional hunting tripod options, and that is a big game-changer in this department for sure.

What We Don’t Like About Manfrotto Element Traveller Small Tripod

The ball head (as opposed to a pan head) set up can take a little bit of time to get used to as far as fine adjustments are concerned.

PROS

  • Legs extends and collapse very quickly but remain stable when locked into position
  • High-quality construction components and materials throughout
  • Super lightweight and perfect for backwards and backpack style hunts

CONS

  • Twist locking legs are little bit stiff in operation when this tripod is still brand-new

7. Sirui T024SK / VA5

Product Highlights

A nearly full-frame hunting tripod specifically designed with spotting scope applications in mind, this brand may not be quite as well-known as some of the others on this list (at least in North America) but it is certainly one of the most respected and well-regarded in the tripod industry.

Featuring an innovative spring-loaded mechanism that helps to stabilize and position the tripod legs regardless of the terrain you are setting it up on, this tripod also has center post height adjustments that are smooth and reliable, a quick-release universal mounting plate system, and one of the largest weight capacities in the hunting tripod world.

Features

    • Extends out to 57.75 inches tall (nearly full-size)
    • Weighs in at only 4 pounds
    • Capable of handling 14 pounds of optics, scopes, and accessories

What We Like About Sirui T024SK / VA5

The smooth motion of the fluid only articulating head and universal mounting system on this tripod belongs right up there with the best in the industry.

What We Don’t Like About Sirui T024SK / VA5

The twist-lock knobs aren’t quite as easy to use as some of the other proprietary locking mechanisms found on other options, and the plate release can get a little bit difficult to manipulate when it is cold or wet.

PROS

  • Spring-loaded stability mechanism is a big bonus
  • Wider, rubberized feet hold positions well
  • Super stable even at full extension

CONS

  • Collapsing the tripod can be a bit of a chore
  • The foam handled isn’t that comfortable when it gets wet and compressed

8. Slik 522 / Benro S2

Product Highlights

Intentionally designed and engineered as a super ultralight hunting tripod, you’ll be amazed at just how strong, stable, and how reliable this platform is – even though it weighs less than 3 pounds total!

Very dependable, providing nearly full-size tripod height when totally extended, and one of the most compact systems, when it is collapsed (though still stable) if you need something that packs away like while you are out hunting this, is definitely a hunting tripod you’ll want to focus on moving forward.

Features

    • Extends out to just over 57 inches tall (and collapses down to 18 inches tall)
    • Weighs in at less than 3 pounds
    • Can accommodate up to 6 pounds of optics, equipment, and accessories

What We Like About Slik 522 / Benro S2

For starters, there aren’t all that many ultralightweight hunting tripod options available for sale that are also this stable and this dependable. You aren’t going to compromise utility a lot when you choose this particular system.

What We Don’t Like About Slik 522 / Benro S2

The inclusion of the fifth leg section is a neat feature, but it is a little bit sloppy and you can lose some stability when it is deployed on uneven surfaces.

PROS

  • Rubberized feet and rubberized legs make this a joy to use in any weather conditions
  • Like sections have very smooth operation
  • Universal quick release plates are very affordable if you need multiple options

CONS

  • A little extra attention to keep things locked into place would be a nice bonus
  • The center post extension adjustment can flight you when it is brand-new
  • Feature3

9. Field Optics Micro

Product Highlights

Not every hunting excursion is going to require you to bring a full-sized, full-frame – full weight – tripod out into the woods with you. Sometimes (especially on day hunts, when you’re looking to get in and out of the woods in just a couple of hours) you want something a lot more compact and a lot more flexible.

That’s where this super-compact option comes into play.

One of the smallest extendable thing tripods on the market right now, you may not be able to stand at full height and use this tripod the same way you could with more traditional full-sized options – but you’re going to find it to be very stable, very portable, and a dream to use when you are crouched, sitting, or set up in a blind or stand some way.

Features

    • Extends out to slightly over 50 inches tall
    • Weighs in at right around 2 pounds total
    • Can accommodate up to 8 pounds of optics and equipment

What We Like About Field Optics Micro

The compact form factor of this tripod sets it apart from most everything else, and while it may not be the “last tripod you ever need” – especially if you can make use of a full-sized option – it’s a great alternative to have on hand when you don’t feel like lugging something that heavy around.

What We Don’t Like About Field Optics Micro

There’s a little bit of extra play and flex in the legs of this tripod, something you will want to be aware of before you jump right in.

PROS

  • Incredibly compact form factor makes bringing this into the woods a dream
  • One of the lightest weight tripods you’ll find on the market right now
  • Rock solid locking mechanisms to keep your optics focused downrange without any headache

CONS

  • Double-jointed center post can be a little finicky
  • Some of the threading on the like blocks can be very aggressive
  • A little bit of flex in the legs as mentioned above

10. Field Optics Pro Max

Product Highlights

Field Optics Research has pulled out all the stops with this hunting tripod, giving you a full-sized unit that you’ll be able to rely on and depend on in rough and rocky terrain – as well as in wet, swampy terrain – thanks to the innovative proprietary coating that they have applied to the legs of their system.

On top of that, this tripod has been engineered to take advantage of OEM and third-party attachments that dramatically improve the capabilities and functionality of this system. You’ll be able to mix and match different components to your heart’s content to get the ultimate tripod set up that’s really custom to your needs without any headache or hassle.

Features

    • Extends up to 62.7 inches tall without sacrificing stability
    • Weighs in at just slightly over 4 pounds
    • Can accommodate up to 11 pounds in optics, sites, and accessories

What We Like About Field Optics Pro Max

The attachment system that this Field Optics Research unit leverages is really innovative in the hunting tripod world. The fact that you can custom tailor your set up to your specific needs – and then reconfigure everything depending on the needs of a future hunts – is a huge advantage.

What We Don’t Like About Field Optics Pro Max

When fully extended there is a little bit of bounce and play in the leg joints, something you are going to want to monitor in high wind situations.

PROS

  • Full-sized hunting tripod that isn’t going to break your back when carrying it over long distances
  • Super rugged carbon fiber/aluminum design can handle pretty much anything you throw at it
  • Accessory system is really unique and a joy to use

CONS

  • Twist locking mechanisms are going to be supertight for the first year or so
  • The included trekking polls have a lot more bounce and flex and them than you’d probably expect

Final Verdict

With so many different options out there on the market to pick and choose from – including the top 10 options we highlighted above – zeroing in on the perfect tripod can feel like a bit of an uphill battle.

At the end of the day, though, you really can’t go wrong with the Vortex Optics High Country Tripod option.

Superstrong, super flexible, as reliable as they come – and with the best, 100% unconditional lifetime guarantee in the hunting tripod world – you know that you can trust high quality equipment from the folks at Vortex.

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