When you’re birding, you’re not always going to need a bulky, large, full-sized tripod. In fact, tabletop models, also referred to as mini tripods can really come in handy if you’re on a budget or looking for a lightweight alternative to its full-sized counterpart.
If you’re looking for a compact tripod, then you’ll love this lightweight, durable model by Reticam. This is one of the best tripods for spotting scopes in terms of durability, adjustability, and overall design. It’s not quite as flashy as full-sized models, but it does offer some great features that will definitely improve your birdwatching experience.
Tabletop models are perfect for birders who spend hours hiking out to rural locations in order to sight some rarer species of birds or to observe their behaviors, feeding habits, and more. If you’re tired of hauling your full-sized tripod to a far off location, then this small, compact model is a great alternative.
Our Verdict: Of course, considering this is classified as a mini or tabletop tripod, it can’t measure up to the big boys in terms of height and adjustability, but it’s still incredibly versatile despite its compact design. It features the popular three-way head tilt and pan action that will allow users to easily track and sight birds, while the quick-release plate gives users the ability to instantly remove their spotting scope in order to track flight activity and more.
The lightweight design is perfect for the birder who prefers hiking out to rural locations. Weighing just over one and a half pounds, carrying this tripod around is a cinch. Priced affordably and beginner-friendly, this is easily one of the best tabletop models on the market.
Overview and Features
This is one versatile model. It’s not just designed for spotting scope use, in fact, it can also be used for video cameras, DSLR cameras, and digital cameras. It also comes with the standard ¼ tripod mount and features the popular three-way tilt and pan head, complete with the quick-release feature. Compact, lightweight, and perfect for beginners, this user-friendly model may not be as adjustable as a full-sized model, but it more than makes up for its lack of height with its lightweight design. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly model, and one that you can take pretty much anywhere, then this compact tripod delivers.
While a full-sized tripod that’s made out of aluminum is considered highly portable, those models have nothing on this compact tripod that weighs in at just one and a half pounds. If you’re not looking for a full-sized model, and you need a tabletop tripod that offers a stable performance, then you’ll appreciate what this model has to offer.
Made out of high-quality aluminum, this tripod features an ultra-lightweight design that’s perfect for tabletop use. Of course, it’ll work well on any height appropriate flat surface such as a wall or flat rock surface. Even though it barely weighs a pound and a half, it still offers a max weight capacity of six pounds, which is pretty impressive.
Legs and Feet
The legs of the tripod are made out of twenty-millimeter aluminum and feature a smooth folding action that allows you to quickly set it up or break it down. Each of the legs comes equipped with a thick rubber cap for improved stability during use. The tripod has a max height of nineteen inches, with a minimum height of just over ten inches.
The legs feature a leg locking mechanism that will allow you to quickly adjust the height of the legs and securely lock them in place for added stability. These quick snap leg locks prevent the legs from sliding out of place, should you need to pick up the tripod during use and move it to a different surface.
The three-way pan and tilt feature will allow you to easily change up the angle of the spotting scope, smoothly, and quickly. This smooth pan and tilt motion makes it much easier to position your spotting scope correctly.
The quick-release plate allows you to instantly remove or mount the spotting scope. This is perfect for the birder who needs a fast action release plate that will allow them to instantly remove their spotting scope if they’re trying to track a bird in flight.
The built-in bubble level will ensure you always set the tripod up correctly on a level surface. While this feature is more important for photography, it’s still a nice feature to have.
For ultimate protection, you can instantly fold up this model and carefully place it in its custom carrying bag which will protect the tripod from scratches, dirt, debris, and the elements as you haul it back to the car or to the perfect birding site.
Not only is this model simple to use and set up, but it’s also earned a reputation for versatility as well.
This tripod comes with the basic ¼ mounting screw, which will work with most spotting scopes, microphones, LED lights, smartphone adapters, digital cameras, and video cameras. As you can see, this is one versatile and important piece of birdwatching equipment.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Lightweight design
- Bubble level
- Quick-release plate
- Carrying bag included
- Easy to use
- Highly adjustable
- Low max weight capacity
- Not a good choice for taller users
Reticam Versus Gosky Tripod -Travel Portable Tripod for Spotting Scopes
The competing model by Gosky is a full-sized tripod that’s incredibly versatile and easy to use. It’s also highly adjustable and can go from eighteen inches in height up to sixty-one inches, which is nothing short of impressive. It also comes equipped with a sliding center column, complete with tension control. The three-way tilt and pan head allow you to track birds during flight, while the well-built, adjustable legs provide the type of stable, sturdy base you need when you’re birding in rural locations.
Of course, this model by Reticam features a much different design and is a better option for the birder in search of a model that offers ultimate portability and a tripod that won’t cause user fatigue when hiking out to a far off destination. The competing model weighs in at just five pounds, but you’ll find that after carrying it around for just an hour, you’ll wish you would’ve gone with the Reticam.
Conclusion and Rating
This mini tripod by Reticam is perfect for the beginner and serious birder. Its smaller, lightweight design will allow you to easily haul it through the backcountry, without breaking a sweat. Its versatile mount works with most models of spotting scopes, just keep in mind that this model has a low max weight capacity of six pounds, which can be a deal-breaker for some potential buyers.
The extendable legs come complete with leg locks that will prevent the legs from accidentally expanding during transport or when moving the tripod from one surface to another. The pan and tilt head allows you to easily track a bird’s activities and action. Overall, if you’re looking for a compact model that offers a stable performance, this model is a total steal for the price. I gave it a rating of four and a half stars out of five.