Best Shooting Tripods: Hunting & Precision Game Changers
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As a hunter and provider, there is no worse feeling than knowing you just made a poor shot on an animal due to a lack of stability. As hunters, we want to make the most ethical shot possible so the animal doesn’t suffer, and that begins with a stable shooting position.
That’s why many hunters often lay prone on the ground. While this works, it also increases the number of obstacles.
Hence, the reason for a shooting tripod.
A good shooting tripod provides the stability we all need in a comfortable position to avoid obstacles and make a clean, ethical shot. But how do you ensure a tripod fits with your hunting style? No worries! We break down the world of tripods to make it easy.
In This Article
Shooting Tripod Comparison
Below is my list of the best shooting tripods. I list the best choices in terms of value, performance, design, and cost.
Click on the name to head to the product page, read reviews and check prices or skip ahead to the list of tripods.
How We Picked
We evaluate the stability of the tripod by mounting a standard 5.56 NATO-chambered AR with a 16-inch barrel — roughly a 7 lb rifle — on it and testing how much it shifts and wobbles during firing.
We asses the adjustability of the tripod by forcing the tripod through its full range of motion and the ease of use for each of the tripod’s joints or pivots.
We measure the weight of the tripod and evaluate its portability and ease of setup.
Ease of Use
We test the durability of the tripod by exposing it to different weather conditions and simulating impact tests
More on our testing process
Why Listen to Us?
As a hunter myself, I’ve flat out missed shots due to a lack of stability or obstacles in my way while prone shooting. On my first elk hunt, I missed an elk at 125 yards because I was using a rock to stabilize my rifle, and in the excitement, I failed to see that the end of my barrel didn’t fully clear the rock.
I knew immediately that I missed when the rock in front of me exploded, and the elk trotted another 10 yards. Thankfully, I quickly placed an ethical shot on it after it stopped, but I was kicking myself for not taking my tripod out of my bag for the initial shot.
You can now bet that whenever I might need a shooting tripod, I will use one because it is an essential tool.
Shooting Tripod Reviews
1. ShadowTech PIGLite Carbon Fiber Shooting Tripod
ShadowTech manufactures and sells quality mid-range tripods, adaptors, and other shooting accessories.
This lightweight carbon fiber tripod was designed for backpackers and outdoorsmen, which will be versatile. You can purchase a tripod adaptor for your spotting scope and your gun so you can be ready to use either when needed.
The carbon fiber construction drastically cuts weight without sacrificing strength and durability. The feet of the tripod can be unscrewed and replaced with spikes so you can adapt to the environment in which you are hunting.
You should purchase this product if you are constantly moving while you hunt and need a solidly constructed lightweight tripod.
2. BOG Gear DeathGrip Tripod
BOG Gear is known for its shooting tripods and hunting accessories. They manufacture game cameras, hunting blinds, and hunting chairs.
The DeathGrip tripod has an aluminum or carbon fiber option. Its primary purpose is firearm stability, so at 8.5 lbs the aluminum version is more of a precision tripod than a backpacker, but the carbon version knocks off a pound and is easy enough to pack in and out of camp, and both have retaining straps that help hold the legs together when on the move. BOG’s new Deathgrip Ultimate adds and ARCA-style rail and drops the weight down another pound, but cranks the price up to $450, which is a full 30% more than the original Deathgrip, and isn’t worth it from our perspective.
The clamp adjustment knob is big and beefy, helping you get a solid grip on your firearm when placing it atop the tripod. Screwing the clamp from the fully closed to fully open position takes about 13 rotations of the knob, so it strikes the right balance between speedy adjustments and solid torque. I’ve tested this with ARs, bolt guns, and large format pistols with it — and calibers of all stripes — and it locks them all down. You get 3.5″ inches of room in the clamp, and I couldn’t find one rifle it wouldn’t accommodate.
Plus, I’ve used this to zero a full collection of scopes for testing, which required cycling a huge variety of rifles over and over — and the Deathgrip holds fast through lots of testing.
Testing the clamp adjustment repeatedly, I found it smooth and reliable, with no hiccups, catches, or hangups along the guide tracks, and the knobs are big and spacious, which helps you really torque down on them.
I personally like more of a static tilt position, which can take some cranking to get just right, but I lent a friend of mine who had a shoulder injury my Deathgrip to hunt coyotes that were intruding onto his property almost nightly, and he successfully bagged a few. Now he won’t stop bugging me about using it for his next hunt, so you can really make this work for a variety of use cases and abilities.
The DeathGrip clamp can be used with any weapon, so you are free to glass or take a quick breather and relax, knowing your firearm is secure at the range or on the hunt.
If you hunt or shoot with different weapons such as a crossbow and rifle, this is the perfect tripod for you because you won’t have to purchase multiple tripods or tripod attachments.
I really like the Deathgrip’s preset leg angle adjustments — the first adjustment at 20-degrees gives you the tallest orientation for standing shots, drop into the 45-degree position for sitting or kneeling shots, or go all the way down to 85-degrees for a prone shot. This option also drops all the way to zero degrees for a fully flat position.
Another killer feature? Dual-purpose feet. The feet are tipped with a spike, which can be uncovered by screwing the foot up to expose the spike, or for harder terrain unscrewing the foot conceals the spike (and saves your floors from unwanted scratches). Really smart engineering.
One thing that would improve the DeathGrip, from my perspective, is some kind of demarcation on the legs to ensure all 3 are at similar heights when adjusted. The level bubble helps with this, but getting to level involves more trial and error than it should with a product of this caliber.
3. BOG Gear FieldPod Magnum
BOG Gear entered the hunting and shooting space with innovative products to help make these sports more accessible and enjoyable to a broader array of people.
Their FieldPod tripod is ideal for sitting in a blind and waiting for a deer to come into range. It is too bulky for backpacking or hunters that are constantly on the move.
The FieldPod Magnum bears the gun’s weight and holds it steady for you. You can secure it to the tripod and forget about it until you need it.
If your idea of hunting is sitting in a shooting house or ground blind for hours on end, then this tripod will perform best for you.
4. BOG-Pod Rapid Shooting Rest Tripod
BOG Gear made this compact shooting tripod to add to their line of excellent hunting products.
The BOG-Pod is a lightweight and compact tripod. It deploys quickly and easily but forces you to shoot from a prone position. It works like a gun rest.
This tripod collapses to just under 13 inches, making it easy to carry in a backpack. It only adjusts from 7” to 11”, so you will not have to worry about hauling a big bulky tripod around to get an ethical shot.
The BOG-Pod is perfect for hunters who hike miles to get close to their target and often shoot from a prone position. It can also double as a tabletop tripod for days at the range.
5. Primos Trigger Stick Gen3 Shooting Tripod
Primos is a leader in making affordable hunting accessories. They are a well-known and respected brand in the hunting industry and their Trigger Stick is respected by many.
The Trigger Stick Gen3 tripod allows shooters to get on target sitting, kneeling, or standing because it adjusts from 24” to 62” so you can adapt to what is needed during the hunt and maintain a steady shot. Alto, their Quick Detach Yoke System makes it super easy to swap from one use to another — such as from supporting a rifle to optics for rangefinding.
You can adjust the Trigger Stick height and leg angles with one hand by pulling the trigger and twisting the grip even on uneven terrain. The rotating joint offers smooth panning while using optics or finding your target.
The Trigger Stick tripod is excellent for hunters under 6’ tall who want a quick-deploy tripod at an affordable price.
6. Vanguard Quest T62U
Vanguard has designed and manufactured tripods, bags, and sporting optics for over 30 years. They strive to disrupt mediocrity and push for innovation at affordable prices.
Weighing only 2.2 lbs, the Quest offers stability and adaptability without weighing your pack down. It’s constructed of aluminum and can be folded to 27.5” and extended to 62”. The Quest also accepts a variety of weapons, spotting scopes, camera mounts, and binoculars.
The Vanguard Quest stands out because it offers hunters the option to have a tripod, bipod, or monopod, and the hunter doesn’t have to choose until the moment they need the Quest.
The Quest T62U is ideal for hunters who need adaptability from their tripod. I wish I would have used mine more on my elk hunt.
7. Vanguard VEO 2 AM-234TU Shooting Stick
Vanguard creates the highest quality products for outdoor enthusiasts at affordable prices. They’ve been around for more than 30 years.
The VEO 2 AM-234TU aluminum shooting stick with U yoke pans smoothly because of the ball joint feature so that you can stay on target and stable. You can take the U yoke and interchange it with a spotting scope or camera, and the foam grip keeps the VEO 2 from getting slippery in the wet or roasting your hand when soaking up the sun in hot weather.
The ball joint is at the base of the shooting stick so that you can shoot from many possible angles. It also doubles as a walking stick when the feet are folded up.
This is an excellent option for the hunter looking for a tripod that’s versatile and non-traditional.
8. BOG Havoc Series ShootingTripods
BOG Gear introduced the Havoc lineup to compete with entry-level tripods at similar prices but superior quality.
Since it’s constructed of heavy-duty aluminum, you know you can depend on it for hunt after hunt and not sacrifice weight. You can deploy the twist lock legs quickly from 20” to 40” so you won’t be able to shoot from the standing position.
The foam grips at the top of the legs give you a firm grip on the tripod to help stabilize you while sitting or kneeling.
The BOG Havoc tripod is an excellent choice for turkey hunting or any other hunter who needs a stable shooting platform from the seated position.
9. TRUGLO Solid-Shot Collapsible Hunting Tripod
TRUGLO primarily manufactures optics for firearms, bows, and crossbows. They also introduced an entry-level hunting tripod.
The Solid-Shot tripod fits rifles, shotguns, and crossbows, so no matter what you hunt with, you can experience a more stable shooting platform. The twist-lock adjustable legs make for quick and easy height adjustments between 22” and 68”.
This is one of the tallest tripods on our list, and it can be used as a monopod if you don’t have time to set the needed adjustment on all three legs.
This is an excellent tripod if you are new to hunting and looking to test out a quality tripod without breaking the bank.
10. RokStad Shooting Tripod
RokStad manufactures tripods used for photography and hunting applications.
The RokStad Tripod is versatile enough to sit, kneel, or stand and shoot while using it. You can adjust the feet for a secure spike or rubber when you need it.
It comes with a two-year warranty and is made in China. It is 31” collapsed and 74” when fully extended. It’s a little heavy for carrying long distances.
I would recommend this tripod to someone who doesn’t plan to hunt with it as much as possible. At the MSRP, it’s the best tripod for beginners.
11. VANGUARD VEO3GO235CB Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod
Vanguard is known for making quality tripods for the photography and outdoor industries.
While their Carbon Fiber Tripod was initially designed for supporting a camera, it’s a sturdy tripod that’s rugged enough to handle any mountain hunting situation. It has the optional spiked feet so you can feel better knowing you’ve done everything to ensure your gun is stable.
The Vanguard travel tripod will adjust from 13” to 54”, meaning you can lay prone, sit, or kneel and shoot. This tripod wasn’t explicitly designed for hunting, so you will need to purchase a gun mount.
This is a great tripod if you are primarily a photographer who occasionally hunts.
12. Vortex Optics Summit Carbon II Tripod
Vortex is known for making high-quality optics for hunting and watching wildlife. Naturally, they have tried to make tripods to steady their products being used in the field.
The Summit Carbon II Tripod weighs 2.5 lbs, one of the heaviest tripods on our list, but it has a max load of 22 lbs, making it one of the strongest on our list. Retracted, it is just under 7”, and fully extended, it is just over 53”.
You can quickly switch between your spotting scope and firearm with the Arca-Swiss quick release system. It has a pan head instead of a ball head. Because this tripod was designed primarily for optics, you will need to purchase a separate gun mount adapter.
The Summit Carbon II Tripod is a perfect fit for the Vortex optics lover needing a compact and versatile tripod.
13. Vortex Optics Radian Carbon Tripod
Vortex manufactures high-quality hunting optics at affordable prices. They also have several models of tripods that are sure to fit your shooting needs.
The Radian Carbon is Vortex’s premier tripod for its optics and provides a stable base for your rifle. It has a ball head giving you the control to make the cleanest shot possible.
It’s constructed out of aluminum and carbon fiber, so it is the heaviest tripod on our list, but it also supports the heaviest weight limit at 55 lbs, so it’s the strongest as well. The Arca-Swiss quick release system means you can quickly switch between your spotting scope and rifle if you have the rifle mount adapter.
This tripod is heavy, so if you plan to go on extended hunting expeditions, I wouldn’t recommend buying this, but if you can handle the extra weight, then the Vortex Radian Carbon won’t let you down while hunting in the mountains.
14. Predator Tactics Deadeye Rifle Tripod System
Predator Tactics manufactures predator hunting gear such as spotlights, headlamps, and tripods.
The Deadeye Rifle tripod system has a minimum height of 17.5” and a maximum of 70” with a 26 lbs max load. It has a ball head and is constructed of aluminum to hold up to the abuse of predator hunting.
It securely attaches to any gun with Picatinny or NATO rails. Built-in rubber and spiked feet ensure once you set it up, it’s not moving from that spot unless that’s what you want.
As the name suggests, the Predator Tactics Deadeye rifle tripod is ideal for predator hunters. However, if you hunt with a firearm with Picatinny or NATO rails, this tripod is well worth a look no matter what you pursue.
15. Leupold MARK 5 CF-440 Tripod Kit
Leupold is known for its optics, such as scopes, binoculars, and spotting scopes. They also manufacture tripods to support their optics and the firearms that use them.
The Mark 5 CF- 440 tripod is a carbon fiber tripod that will attach to your gun. Twist-lock legs mean you can quickly adjust to the height you need, and the ball head allows you to hone in on the exact angle required for an ethical shot.
This tripod is compact at 21” and surprisingly versatile with a maximum height of 60”. Since it is constructed of carbon fiber, it is lightweight and durable.
The Leupold Mark 5 is primarily for competition shooters and predator hunters.
Types of Shooting Tripods
As you can tell, there are a few different types or styles of tripods available on the market.
While most shooting tripods are freestanding, a tabletop tripod is very short and typically doesn’t have legs that extend; this makes it easier to shoot off of a table or bench while at the range without having to fiddle with the tripod legs. The maximum height of a tabletop tripod is usually around 12” for maximum comfort.
A compact tripod collapses into a manageable size because of its telescoping legs. They are ideal hunting tripods for backpacking and long expeditions because they are lightweight but sturdy enough to hold a firearm or optics.
Full-sized tripods are the strongest but also the heaviest of tripods. While they collapse to a reasonably manageable size, they are often double the weight of a compact tripod but support double the weight, ideal for long-distance shots but not so much hiking into the backcountry.
Important Shooting Tripod Considerations
When choosing a tripod, there are many factors to take into consideration to ensure an accurate shot and a good fit with your intended purpose. Below we have listed a few to make the best decision possible when purchasing your new tripod.
Height, Weight, and Dimensions
Your tripod’s height, weight, and dimensions will determine the total weight your tripod can support and your viable shooting positions. These features vary from tripod to tripod and ultimately are a matter of personal preference and how you intend to use it — the best hunting tripod might be one that packs up small and is as light as possible — ensuring you’re packing less weight around the mountain.
A tripod system designed for a competitive shooter can mean additional adjustment options, spaces for other accessories, and more weight to maximize stability when shooting longer distances.
Tripod Head Types
There are a couple of different head types for a shooting tripod. The head type determines the price and versatility of the hunting tripod.
Ball heads will be the most expensive but also the most versatile because you can position the gun in the exact spot you need very quickly with one adjustment knob. The 360 degrees of movement means you get the maximum adjustment range for your hunting rifle — helping to ensure you can get on target no matter the direction your prey runs.
A pan head is less expensive than a ball head because it doesn’t adjust as smoothly or quickly as a ball head.
Most tripods are typically constructed from two different materials, aluminum, and carbon fiber. Aluminum is cheaper, heavier, and slightly more durable than carbon fiber. High-end tripods are usually constructed out of carbon fiber and aluminum.
The most important feature a tripod offers, above and beyond monopods or shooting sticks, is stability.
If the tripod provides a stable rifle rest, helps you get a clear sight picture, and ultimately make an ethical shot, it’s worth whatever dollar amount you spent. If your tripod isn’t sturdy, then it’s not doing you any good, regardless of your shooting style. The stability is determined by the quality of materials used by the manufacturer, the angles of the legs, and its overall weight.
An additional feature to look for is a counterweight hook. These screw into the bottom of the tripod’s center column and allow you to hang extra weight from the bottom for increased stability in windy or stormy conditions— something mountain hunters know all too well.
There are two quick-release levers. One is used to quickly deploy/release the legs, such as with the Primos trigger stick Gen 3, and the other is used to switch between your spotting scope, camera, and firearm like the Vortex Radian Carbon does. Both are convenient but they are not essential for every hunter.
Rather than static legs found on some older tripods or shooting sticks, look for telescoping legs which have at least 2 locking levers or twist locks.
These will ensure you can deploy the tripod quickly, get the most adjustability when the legs extend, and ensure it will fit into a backpack or bag for hiking. Also, look for the ability to swap out the feet, so you can better address soft ground or snow with spikes or snowshoes.
Why Use a Shooting Tripod?
Mountain hunters want to set themselves up for the greatest chance of making accurate shots while hunting — meaning a tripod is a must. A tripod helps you stabilize your firearm against the wind and elements while taking the onus of supporting your rifle off your body weight.
They also allow you to get the perfect shot from sitting and standing positions, adding flexibility to the kinds of hunting situations you’ll encounter, such as when using tree stands.
Tripods are used by competitive shooters, too, so they can make better shots when long-distance shooting. This generally means a heavier tripod than those used for hunting, as more weight means more stability. These tripods also need to support the heavy rifles long-distance and competitive shooters tend to use.
I have also used a tripod to help sight in my rifles and for target practice when I didn’t have a bench and sandbags handy.
Price Ranges vs. Features
The price range of tripods varies tremendously. An entry-level tripod will cost you around $50, or a top-of-the-line tripod can cost nearly $2,000. The price is determined by the features and materials used to make the tripod.
- $50 – $100. Many tripods within this price range are entry-level options, but you can certainly find the right tripod if price is the top priority. They will likely be made from aluminum. They might have a pan head, but some will just have a gun rest that swivels.
- $100 – $500. You should be able to find a tripod that lasts you a lifetime in this price range. Often they are made from high-grade aluminum or carbon fiber. At the lower end of the range, they will have a pan-head, and as you increase in price, the tripods will change to a ball head.
- $500+. As you enter this range, you find professional-grade tripods. These tripods can become highly specialized, like those for the long-range shooting community. They can maintain their versatility but increase the materials’ quality and attention to detail.
How We Selected Our Recommendations
Ideally, we would love to test every tripod on the market, but that’s not financially possible. Instead, we rely on our personal experience with tripods, online reviews, and speaking with tripod experts so that we can come to the best conclusions possible.
All the tripods listed we would personally use while hunting, depending on different circumstances.
June 6, 2023 — Added notes about recent hunting excursion with the BOG Deathgrip, and after reviewing ther new Deathgrip Ultimate, our recommendation is unchanged. The Ultimate is too expensive for the additional, nice-to-have features. All other recommendations are unchanged.
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