I ordered that tripod from Camofire a few months ago. Its the first one I ever bought so I don't have anything to compare to. It seems really solid but too heavy IMO. It will probably be for sale when I get back from WY this year and I will be looking for something lighter.
Originally Posted by Murdy
I have a vanguard I have used for the last 3 years and I have no complaints about it.
You will find there are always compromises on most gear purchases, and tripods especially. Do you need to glass standing up, or 100% of the time are you seated? You can get a lot of tripod in a light weight if you don't ever need to stand up behind it. Where I hunt, if you can't stand up, you can't see over the brush in some great glassing areas, so how tall the tripod goes is key because hunching over to glass is just wrong.
And weight is a huge factor if you plan to pack the thing. My old tripod had me leaving my #1 weapon (optics) back in camp as I got more fatigued later in the hunt because the darn thing just wore me out packing it. So a big heavy cheap tripod will work fine if you keep it next to the truck all the time.
My feeling is that metal tripods are too cold compared to carbon. I tend to hang my hands somewhere on the pod while using it, and when I've used my buddies metal tripod, my fingers get cold even on early hunts.
So it boils down to a compromise somewhere. The Slik line of tripods at S&S Archery are a good place to start. Sorry to say that a buck and a half on a tripod holding something that could cost over two grand easy is bad math IMO. My decision after screwing around for ten years was to compromise on the cost and just pay for the features. Would have saved me a lot of frustration and money if I'd arrived here to start with!
My solution was an Outdoorsman's pan head sitting on a Gitzo 1542T Traveler. Pricey, but never a second thought on performance in the field, absolutely 100% satisfied! And the price never occurs to me while glassing animals my friends missed!
Ask yourself how much being the first one on the ridge to say "there they are" is worth to you, and work back from there.