This 60-inch lightweight tripod by Amazon Basics is very adjustable and comes equipped with rubber feet for improved stability during use. It’s also very compatible with most spotting scopes, GoPro devices, still cameras, digital cameras, and video cameras. As you can see, its versatility and compatibility are pretty impressive. If you’re on a tight budget and you’re looking for a lightweight model that comes with some great extra features, including highly adjustable legs and center post, and a free carrying bag, then your search is over.
While it’s not the flashiest tripod I’ve come across, it’s definitely one of the most beginner-friendly, offering a faster than average set up and breakdown time, which is something birders of all skill levels can appreciate.
Our Verdict: This lightweight aluminum tripod by Amazon Basics scored well in many areas. The highly adjustable center post and legs make it perfect for taller birders or those who enjoy sighting birds in a wide variety of environments, whether it’s climbing a mountain to sight that rare bird of prey, or hiding in the brush to catch a glimpse of local wildlife. The quick-release plate allows for faster set up and breakdown times while the included free carrying case will allow you to securely store the tripod when not in use.
The lightweight design itself makes this model suitable for long tracks to your destination, weighing in at just a little over six and a half pounds. Combined with a low selling price this model is a total steal. I would recommend this model for both beginner and pro birders.
Overview and Features
Those new to birding are often searching for a tripod that’s compatible with their spotting scope, one that’s easy to use, and one that won’t break the bank. If you normally rely on your spotting scope to sight rare birds on your outings, then you’ll need the help of a stable tripod, which will allow you to quietly sit back and wait for the appearance of elusive and rare species of birds. These tools are designed to hold your spotting scopes at the perfect angle, without shaking or moving, which will provide an optimal viewing experience. Too often, many top of the line models are well out of the birder on a budget’s price range.
That’s where this model comes in. While it may not be the lightest model on the market, it’s one of the most budget-friendly. And despite its lower price, it still comes loaded with some nice extras that all birding enthusiasts can appreciate, such as a highly adjustable design and a free carrying case that makes it easy to haul this model to your destination.
This model comes equipped with a couple of built-in bubble levels, in addition to a 3-way head design that allows for ultimate swivel and tilt action for both landscape and portrait options. It also comes equipped with a must-have quick-release mounting plate which will allow you to quickly detach your spotting scope if you want to track a bird you’ve sighted.
Despite its light frame design, it can handle weight up to six and a half pounds. The tripod itself weighs in at just three pounds, which makes it perfect for the birder who often hikes several miles to their favorite birding spot. If you don’t want to struggle with hauling your tripod to and from your car on your next bird watching excursion then this type of lightweight model is a great option.
Combined with the quick-release mounting plate and the lightweight design, setting up and breaking down this tripod is fast and easy. Additionally, it comes with a storage bag so you can quickly pack up your gear and go.
The legs can be extended from 20 inches up to 48 inches. Using the leg lock release mechanism you’ll find that adjusting the height of the legs is fast and smooth. You can also crank up the center post to 60 inches in height which is perfect for taller users. If you’re trying to check off all the birds on the nocturnal birds list, then you’ll need to do some hiking. This model’s adjustable, compact design allows you to haul it up mountain trails, through thick brush and can be used on a wide variety of terrain types, thanks to its durable design.
The tripods built-in bubble levels are located above the legs and will allow the user to determine when the base of the tripod is perfectly level. The first bubble level will ensure that the platform itself is level, while the second bubble level ensures that the vertical adjustment is level. However, since you’ll be using this tripod with a spotting scope, a level isn’t much of an advantage. Yet, if you decide to use the tripod with a still or digital camera, then these levels will come in handy.
This model comes equipped with every feature the beginner birder needs. The highly adjustable legs and center post will allow the user to achieve the perfect height based on the environment and the height of the user. Additionally, changing the angles is super fast and easy thanks to the Innovative three-way head swivel design. To change the angle you can use the adjustment knobs which are large and easy to grip.
Like any other tripod, this particular model may not be compatible with every model of spotting scope or camera on the market. If you’re not sure whether or not this tripod is compatible with your spotting scope, make sure you do your research before you buy. This can involve contacting customer support or searching online for a list of tripods that are compatible with your specific model of spotting scope. Of course, compared to many other tripods on the market, this model is very versatile and works well for most makes and models.
This lightweight model weighs in at six and a half pounds and is made out of aluminum and hard plastic for improved durability. Since aluminum is very durable, rust-resistant, and lightweight, it’s a great design choice for this model and the birder who loves sighting adventures in wet weather conditions.
This tripod is made out of durable materials, so you know it’s designed to last. The legs are highly adjustable and are equipped with thick rubber feet. While you may find yourself struggling to adjust the legs on some lower-priced tripods, this model’s leg extensions pull out smoothly and will stay in place perfectly. Additionally, the small ball joints on the feet provide a very stable base regardless of the type of terrain that the tripod is placed on.
The tripod features a basic crank up height adjustment that makes it easy to achieve the perfect height. The small protruding handle will allow you to move, tilt, and swing the scope vertically, while the large knob allows the user to easily pan the area. You’ll also find a small wingnut on the center post which will allow you to tilt the scope 90 degrees to the right.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Quick-release plate
- Adjustable legs and center post
- Included carrying case
- Lightweight design
- Low price
- May not work with all models of spotting scopes
- User’s manual is not very detailed
Amazon Basics Versus Vortex Optics Pro GT Tripod Series
So how does this model measure up to the competition? The latest model by Vortex Optics goes for over three times the price. It comes equipped with a three-way quick-release pan-and-tilt head that’s designed to deliver solid and smooth support for all types of optics. It also features three aluminum anodized legs for ultimate stability.
Other features such as the flip lever leg locks allow for a faster height adjustment and set up time. The included balance hook works to hold any extra weight located on the bottom of the center column, which is perfect for windy conditions. Overall, it offers a more durable and sturdy design compared to this lower-priced model however, this model by Amazon Basics is a much better choice for the birder on a tight budget.
Conclusion and Rating
This model by Amazon Basics is highly adjustable and comes loaded with all the right features that make it one of the best tripod spotting scopes on the market. The lightweight aluminum design allows you to easily take this tripod wherever you want to go whether it’s up a mountain trail or through thick brush. The adjustable center post and legs allow even taller users to spend hours birding in total comfort.
Even though this is a very lightweight model, it still provides top-of-the-line durability which is exactly what the birder needs if they’re searching for a model that can handle backcountry conditions. Additionally, this tripod can also be used for still cameras, digital cameras, and video cameras, which makes it highly versatile. I gave this model a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.