Tripods: Which one is for me?

Shopping for a tripod is overwhelming to say the least. There are hundreds of options, which is great if you’re a professional photographer or videographer that knows exactly what they want, but what about the all around outdoorsmen? The ones that enjoy filming and creating content, but also need something that holds up in any terrain to glass up that dream buck? I have quite the tripod collection, but I want to simplify things by sharing my top 4 in hopes that it aligns with your needs as well; I’m going to focus on how it fits into my personal life, rather than rambling off all the features. I use the following tripods ALL THE TIME, and you’ll see those specific uses under each product.

If you want to see the full product specs and features, click the link within each title.

The Everydayer: Alta Pro 2 263AV

An all around great tripod that weighs a little more than the following options, making it extremely sturdy when needed. If my hands aren’t touching a tripod, I need it to be heavy enough that the wind won’t tip it over. It holds roughly 15lbs, which will more than cover the majority of camera setups used by the everyday outdoorsman.

I use it in the following ways:

  • Self-filming a product review or other video for my YouTube channel.

  • On hunts where I’m sitting in a ground blind, regardless if I’m solo hunting.

  • Attach my spotting scope to watch where my arrows hit the targets at longer ranges, which eliminates the need to take my binos out after each arrow.

The Sharpshooter: Quest T62U

My go-to shooting setup - it’s a tripod, bipod and gunpod all in one. This thing is super versatile while remaining lightweight. The 3rd leg swivels to be in line with the others for storing, or it can be completely removed to become a bipod or monopod. It turns 360 degrees and is extremely stable. The “U” shaped yoke can be removed if you want to use it with a camera, spotting scope, etc.

I use it in the following ways:

  • Night vision hog hunting is the main use because holding an AR up after hauling it around is exhausting (speaking from experience). It was a game changer for resting my gun, especially when you’re shooting at a sounder of running pigs. I personally keep it set up with the “U” because I like my pack to be ready in case we see hogs in the fields and we have to grab-and-go.

  • Turkey hunting - such a great rest for your shotgun so you’re ready when that gobbler comes running in. They can see the smallest movement, so it’s nice to eliminate the need to raise your gun.

  • Predator hunting - I’d say a tripod is absolutely crucial for picking off a coyote or fox that typically only gives you a few seconds to shoot.

The Traveler: Veo 2 235CB

By far my favorite tripod I’ve ever owned. For someone that’s constantly on the road and/or flying somewhere, it’s a great compact option to take with me, even into the backcountry. I’ve used it with my spotting scope on numerous occasions and I filmed with it a handful of times. This is a great lightweight option if you hit the trails often!

I use it in the following ways:

  • Australia + New Zealand in May 2018 for glassing

  • currently packed up for my Alberta black bear hunt in May 2019 to film an incredible story in camp - can’t wait to share!

  • it’ll be on my upcoming Montana elk hunt in September 2019 for my spotting scope and filming.

The Selfie/Vlogger: Vesta TT

A sleek, compact design that’s simple and does its job. It weighs less than .5 pounds! I can’t help but notice how even just the feel of the finish is nice in your hand - I love the attention to detail! The phone mount that’s included puts just enough pressure on your phone to hold it in one place. I’ve had other phone mounts snap when I was tightening it down, but this one has been great so far!

I use it in the following ways:

  • I film a lot of timelapse videos on my phone with this setup.

  • Everyday vlogging on my phone - fits perfectly in my hand and I’m not hauling around unnecessary weight

Full disclosure: I’ve had the privilege of working with Vanguard for 2+ years now, which has allowed me many opportunities to test their equipment in the field. However, I was unknowingly using their tripods before the brand recognition was where it is today. They make quality product, especially in this particular area. While these are all my personal suggestions, they have dozens to choose from and I’m confident you’ll find something that works best for your situation. See their tripod collection here - prepare to be overwhelmed because they have endless options!