The Best Tripod Deer Stands for 2023
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Updated Jan 17, 2023 10:42 AM
Tripod deer stands feature three steel or aluminum legs that create a broad base leading to a narrow top where the seat is attached. They give hunters an elevated view, so many prefer them over ground blinds where sight is restricted by vegetation or the landscape. A feeder is often placed nearby, allowing hunters to chase deer and other critters from virtually any location. That’s the great thing about a tripod—put it up where you want it, stick it in some cover, and hunt where the game is.
Many tripods are constructed from ultra-light materials that make transport and setup a breeze, while others are made with steel and meant to be left in one location for years. Some are fitted with La-Z-Boy-like seats and promise season after season of use. Many are between 10 and 12 feet tall. Here are some of the best tripod deer stands on the market so you can get in on the action.
- Best Portable: Millennium T-100 10-ft Aluminum Tripod
- Best Two-Person: Muddy The Quad Pod
- Best for Bowhunting: Muddy The Liberty
- Best for Rifle Hunters: Summit Watchtower 10-ft Tripod
- Best Budget: Guide Gear 12-ft Tripod Deer Stand
How We Chose The Best Tripod Deer Stands
Living out West, I will admit my tripod use is somewhat limited. However, each tripod mentioned in this article has been tested by yours truly or recommended by a whitetail fanatic.
There was a time when there were only four or five tripod stands on the market, limiting a hunter’s options. Today, many treestand makers offer at least one tripod. Some of the features most considered were durability, safety, comfort, ease of construction, and height and weight. Seats that swiveled were tested for noise, and I will note that tripods left out in the elements for years sounded like a rusty gate when the climbing system was used or when one’s butt shifted even slightly in the seat. Tripods that were cared for performed as advertised.
The Best Tripod Deer Stands: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Portable: Millennium T-100 10 ft Aluminum Tripod
Why It Made The Cut: I’ve used this easy-to-construct tripod for years, and you can’t beat its comfort and 360-degree swivel seat. Plus, you can add a 4-foot extension to take the seat’s height to 14 feet.
- 36 pounds
- 10 ft. high
- Lightweight and durable
- Swivel seat
- Fast setup
- No shooting rest addition
- Small platform
Millennium designed the T-100 for those demanding a lightweight, easy-to-set-up model that will last for many seasons. The total stand weight is 36-pounds, and the setup time, if you read the owner’s manual, is less than a minute. The 10-foot height is perfect for backing the stand into the brush so the hunter can disappear in a vegetated backdrop. The four-foot extension is handy for those areas where cover is sparse, and the hunter wants to gain extra elevation. If your primary goal is to bow hunt from this tripod, I recommend adding the extension. The frame is durable; the ComfortMAX seat lets you sit for hours in total comfort, and the seat’s 360-degree silent swivel allows you to take full advantage of your hunt area.
If you don’t abuse the tripod—leave it out in the elements year after year—it holds up well and stays quiet. But it will squeak if you leave the swivel seat out in the woods year after year. I like the footrest, and the powder-coat finish reduces game-spooking glare. The tripod is stable, and the steps are large and ensure sound footing even when hunting in damp conditions.
Best Two-Person: Muddy The Quad Pod
Why It Made The Cut: This all-steel tripod promises remarkable longevity, and the Muddy Flex-Tek seats are uber comfortable. The stand itself is very stable and makes entrance and exit safe and easy even for inexperienced hunters.
- Steel construction
- 500-pound weight rating
- Comfortable seats
- Two-person use
- 500-pound weight rating
Few things are more enjoyable than hunting with family and friends. I’ve hunted with my now 16-year-old son from Muddy’s 12-foot Quad Pod, and it was awesome. It’s the Cadillac of two-person tripods. Muddy’s 110-pound tripod stand was built around the concepts of safety and huntability. Standing 12-foot tall to the shooting rail, the tripod is fitted with a sizable 57-inch by 57-inch steel floor and two Muddy Flex-Tek seats.
The tripod does come with an attachable blind with shooting windows that match up perfectly with the shooting rail. The blind is an excellent addition in locales where cover is sparse or when the wind is sketchy, and scent control is ultra-important. Standing height is 84-inches, and the tripod is extremely stable as long as you stay under the 500-pound weight rating.
Best for Bowhunting: Muddy The Liberty
Best for Bowhunting
Why It Made The Cut: I like the stand’s height along with the 360-degree shooting rail, and bowhunters who prefer to stand and shoot will appreciate the generous circle-type platform.
- 16-feet to shooting rail
- 42-inch diameter platform
- Swivel seat
- Comfortable swivel seat
- Adjustable legs
- 300-pound weight rating
Muddy’s The Liberty is weight rated for 300 pounds and has itself a finished weight of 134 pounds. This isn’t a run and gun tripod. But for bowhunters looking to hunt their favorite food plot, water source, and the like, this 16-foot-tall to the shooting rail tripod is a win. The adjustable legs make setting the stand on uneven terrain possible, and other features like the padded armrests, backseat cushion, and foam seat boost comfort.
At 42-inches in diameter, the steel platform is large enough to stand and walk on, and the shooting rail adds an element of safety and gives rifle and crossbow hunters a solid rest. Though, you can assemble the stand without the rail. The Liberty doesn’t require a NASA internship to construct, and the ladder-style entrance and exit reduce the chances of a slip or fall.
Best for Rifle Hunters: Summit Watchtower 10-ft Tripod
Best for Rifle Hunters
Why It Made The Cut: The stand’s 102-pound weight makes it sturdy but not too heavy to move from location to location, and the 36-degree swivel Textilene seat is exceptionally comfortable.
- Integrated ladder
- Flip-up gun rest
- Removable swivel chair
- Removable seat
- Large platform
- Padded shooting rail
- Ladder system
- One-year limited warranty
- Ten-foot tall
Summit has deep roots in deer hunting lore. And much of the manufacturer’s white-tailed genius can be seen in this 10-foot tripod. Fitted with a padded shooting rail that raises and lowers, Summit’s Watchtower tripod was built for the gun hunting enthusiast. The all-steel tripod is thick and durable, and the 42-inch by 42-inch platform is generous. Covered by a one-year limited warranty (it should be longer), the Textilene seat is quiet, comfortable, and will rotate 360 degrees. The seat can also be removed, and a carry strap lets you tote it out of the woods. Seat dimensions are 21 inches wide by 18 inches deep, and the stand comes with a full ladder entrance and exit system. I love the complete ladder system, and the seat can be easily removed for storage when the season is over to prevent damage from Mother Nature, squirrels, raccoons, and the like.
The only drawback is that you must keep movement to a minimum with the seat only 10-feet off the ground. And while this height will work for rifle and slug-gun hunters, it’s a tad on the low side for bowhunters. Still, the platform size is generous, and the padded shooting rail creates a solid rest.
Best Budget: Guide Gear 12-ft Tripod Deer Stand
Best for the Money
Why It Made The Cut: For around $200, the value is fantastic, and these stands are a great choice if you want to add multiple tripod stands to your deer dirt.
- Three foldable legs
- 12-feet to shooting rail
- 66 pounds
- Sturdy construction
- Small platform
- No ladder only steps
One of the most popular tripod stands on the market, Guide Gear’s 12-ft Tripod Deer Stand has a wallet-pleasing price point and ensures easy setup. The stand is lightweight and portable, weighing 66 pounds and featuring collapsible legs. The simplicity of the setup is terrific: You can fold this tripod down, toss it over your shoulder, and move it where you want without machinery or human assistance.
The seat showcases a thick backrest cushion and comfortable Flex-Core cushioned seat pad. The chair will swivel a full 360 degrees. The 20-inch diameter footrest is small, and while you can stand and shoot in this stand, you’ll want to be very careful. The tripod is fitted with a stationary padded shooting rail and armrests.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Tripod Stand
If your very best deer spots have trees that will hold a lock-on, climber (here’s our roundup of the best climbing stands), or ladder stand, you don’t need to worry about the best tripod deer stands. Just hunt in the tree stand of your choosing. The nock on tripods is they limit how high you can get. When hunting white-tailed deer, most hunters—gun and bow—prefer to be 18 feet up where movement is less likely to be spotted. Many deer hunters like to be higher in a tree for wind purposes—thinking the higher they are, the better chances their human stink will blow out and over approaching deer.
You need a tripod or 10 if you love to hunt from an elevated position and don’t live in an area with suitable treestand trees. If you want to climb and hunt, but the thickest trunk in your woods is two inches in diameter, a tripod is your only option.
There are those hunt locales loaded with piles of great tree stand trees, but if there isn’t one overlooking your favorite food plot, fence gap, waterhole, etc., and you don’t want to hunt from a hub-style ground blind, you need a tripod stand. Here are the criteria for determining what will be the best tripod deer stand for yourself.
You’ll also need to match the style of the tripod stand to your hunt situation. For instance, if you’re carrying the tripod without the use of equipment for any significant distance and know that you’ll likely move the stand from spot to spot, total tripod weight should be high on your list of things to consider.
You’ll want a shooting rail for support if you’re shooting a rifle or crossbow from the tripod. If you’re toting a vertical bow, you want to make sure you can draw and shoot from sitting and standing positions and some tripods make this more straightforward than others.
It would help if you also considered comfort. The more time you spend in the woods, the better your chances of filling the freezer. It’s a cliche saying, but so very true. It’s hard to stay in the woods if your legs and back are going to sleep. Remember, you’ll spend 90 percent of your time sitting when hunting from a tripod. Seat and platform build are essential. Spending so much time on your butt means having a tripod with a swiveling seat that doesn’t creak and squeak when you move in it.
Number of Hunters
You’ll also want to consider if there’s a chance another hunter will be joining you from time to time, or you might be putting the tripod up so you can sit with a young hunter. Plenty of tripods allow two hunters to sit together side by side, and this is one area of the tripod market that is growing.
Q: How much do tripod deer stands cost?
There are Ford Pintos and there are Teslas in the tripod world. If you own or lease your deer property, it’s a good idea to spend a little extra coin and get stands that are sturdy, get you off the ground, promise longevity, and ensure comfort. If you like to hunt with a spouse, kid, or buddy, go the double tripod route. The more amenities a tripod stand has, the more it will cost.
If you own or lease deer ground loaded with lots of stand trees and are looking to set a few tripods in locales where there isn’t a good tree option and plan to leave those tripods out year after year, go with a more straightforward stand that is built tough but lacks bells and whistles.
Q: How much weight can a tripod deer stand hold?
Most are rated at 300 pounds, which seems a bit low, but that weight rating is the norm. The main exception to that rule is two-person tripod stands. These stands typically have a max in-stand weight of between 500 and 600 pounds.
Q: Are tripod deer stands safe?
Some hunters will attach a lifeline to the tripod, and this will work if the tripod is anchored correctly. Tripod stands built with ladders for entrance and exit boost safety, as most tripod falls happen during ascents and descents. Something else to keep in mind is platform size — a tripod with a larger platform will be a safer option.
Q: How do I anchor a tripod stand?
You can adjust most tripod legs independently to compensate for uneven ground. However, the more even ground you can find, the better. Some stands also have a wider leg angle, creating a broader base, creating stability. A few stands I’ve seen have been anchored with large stakes — homemade jobs mostly — but some will come with earth anchors that drive into the ground and attach to the stand’s base via a cable and turnbuckle system.
Q: How do I hide a tripod deer stand?
In many locations, hunters don’t try to hide tripod deer stands. They use feeders to take the attention off the hunter in the stand, but deer get wise to this. When possible, always try to tuck your stand in tall brush or a section of lesser-sized trees that won’t accommodate a regular tree stand but will break up your human outline.
Q: Can deer see me in a tripod stand?
Deer can see you on an elevated stand if you create unnecessary movement or noise. Tripod stands, especially if the stand has not been placed in cover, make it easier for deer to spot the hunter due to the hunter’s distance (10-14 feet) off the ground. Movement must be kept to a minimum when hunting from a tripod stand.
Final Thoughts on the Best Tripod Deer Stands
I’m not going to tell you tripod stands are the bee’s knees of the treestand world. I would much rather be in a lock-on treestand 20-feet up a hardwood, but that is not always an option. Tripod stands are must-have items for deer hunters who hunt terrain void of trees capable of holding a lock-on, ladder, or climber stand. When hunting this type of terrain, common in Texas and parts of Oklahoma, the use of a feeder is often a must, and it’s essential to blend the tripod into natural cover.
I also like the tripod for outside-the-box whitetail moments like what I mentioned earlier in this article. Without that tripod, I would have never killed that 8-point. If you hunt the West, Midwest, or East — locales where tripods aren’t often used — don’t be afraid to give one a go. The best tripod deer stands work exceptionally well for rifle hunting over food plots, water sources, and the like. And if disguised carefully, they will work for bowhunting in these locations.
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How to choose the right tripod? 12 main parameters.
How to choose the right tripod?
12 main parameters
July 17, 2016
First of all, you need to understand that there are no ideal tripods. There are three main characteristics – stability, lightness and reasonable price, but at the same time a tripod can combine no more than two of them. That is, in all cases, you will be forced to compromise. By the way, this is why professionals usually have several tripods for different occasions.
Here we choose between aluminum and carbon fiber. Aluminum tripods are cheaper, more stable and heavier. Carbon ones are significantly lighter, usually less stable and more expensive. The lower wind exposure of aluminum tripods is precisely determined by their greater weight. But carbon absorbs vibration more effectively, which means it behaves better with telephoto lenses.
Equally important is how far and how long you have to carry your tripod. Don’t overestimate your strengths.
Manfrotto 055 carbon fiber 3-section tripod view
her tripod is folded. But it should be understood: each additional section worsens its stability. In addition, a tripod with a large number of sections is inferior in reliability. But there are times when compactness is most important.
Manfrotto 117B Video/Movie tripod Inox Legs
3. Leg diameter
The diameter of the widest part of the tripod is critical to stability. The larger the diameter, the higher the stability. For some unknown reason, both sellers and buyers bypass this parameter. And in vain.
Manfrotto Digi Mini 4-Section Tripod with Quick Release plate
Mostly Chinese. But, in order to minimize the error when buying, it is recommended to pay attention to only three – Gitzo, RRS and Manfrotto. Most likely, it is the latter, since Manfrotto tripods are the most famous and best represented in stores. A good tripod cannot be cheap: really high-quality models from Chinese manufacturers are not much cheaper than the mentioned “big three”. Therefore, it makes no sense to risk buying a cheap tripod of dubious quality.
Manfrotto Super Professional Tripod MK2
5. The central column
is convenient in situations when height is primarily important, not stability. For example, in the studio. But when it is important that the tripod is installed securely and firmly, for example, when shooting architecture or landscape photography, the central column will simply get in the way. And even a swivel column will not solve the problem, since it is extra weight, and it does not carry practical benefits for most fans. Again, it will get in the way when trying to lower the camera as low as possible. Therefore, it is advisable to recommend as the only and universal tripod without a central column.
6. Tripod and shooting height
These are important parameters that determine the range of operation in the vertical plane. The height of the tripod itself is important primarily for tall people and in cases where, for example, you need to shoot a portrait “eye to eye”. In other situations, it is more likely to be overweight and problems during transportation. Plus, with LiveView and a swivel display, you don’t necessarily have to lean towards the viewfinder. With a tripod, it is just more convenient to focus on the display.
Manfrotto Triman Camera Trpod black without Head
But the minimum height is critical for macro or landscape photography. And, in fact, it is determined by the limit of the tripod legs opening (as well as by the presence of the same central column). If you plan to regularly shoot landscapes, then you should make sure that the minimum shooting height from a specific tripod. By the way, if you have already settled on a tripod with a central column, then take a closer look at models that allow it to be rotated, because this directly affects the minimum frame height.
Manfrotto Table Top Tripod
This parameter is rarely noticed. Meanwhile, it can quite complicate the work. A small base diameter (especially if it is smaller than a future tripod head) has a bad effect on stability, and too large a diameter can become an obstacle when turning the camera on a tripod by 90 degrees – the camera will simply rest against the base. So the base and the head must be chosen at the same time and very thoughtfully.
8. Folded tripod dimensions
difficult to fit even in a large suitcase. Meanwhile, a travel tripod is a useful thing, so if you plan to take it with you regularly, then consider the size.
Manfrotto M-Y Carbon Fiber Tripod
9. Load Hook
Many tripods are equipped with it, and this is a very noticeable plus. This hook not only allows you to hang your camera bag instead of leaving it on the ground, but also adds stability due to the extra weight. So, ceteris paribus, choose a model with a hook. Come in handy.
Manfrotto Pocket Support Small
spikes or platforms, as well as combined models. The use of one or another type of tips is determined by the shooting conditions: sticking spikes into parquet is not very common, and rubber pads will be less stable on soft ground. In general, spikes are better for soft surfaces, and rubber tips are better for hard ones.
11. Lock on tripod legs
The lock does not really affect the quality of the shooting, but it is very important for your convenience. There are three types of locks.
1. Latch lock – primitive, but quick and convenient to unfold and assemble the tripod. True, the latches also do not clamp the legs of the tripod very securely. In general, not the best option, despite the maximum convenience.
2. Ring lock – no protrusions, so it is very convenient to transport. Holds tripod legs securely. But, alas, the tripod with it is the most unhurried in unfolding.
3. The wing lock is very inconvenient to transport, as it often clings to something. But it is considered the most reliable in terms of the degree of clamping of the legs of the tripod.
Manfrotto MPRO Carbon Fiber 3-Stage Video Tripod
Its purpose is to fundamentally speed up the installation of the camera parallel to the surface plane. Literally in one move. This is very useful when shooting landscapes or architecture. It seems to be an obvious idea, but, unfortunately, it is not implemented so often. However, the level platform can be purchased separately, so if you plan to actively shoot the world around you, then we highly recommend purchasing this useful additional accessory.
How to choose a tripod for your camcorder? Main parameters
There are a lot of articles on the Internet about how to choose a tripod. The question arises: why another one? The fact is that the vast majority of articles advise choosing a tripod for the camera, but the difference with a tripod for video shooting is greater than it might seem at first glance. Before you buy a tripod for a video camera, we suggest understanding what they consist of.
As a rule, a tripod consists of the following parts:
- Handle to head
- Spreader (spider)
90 002 The head on a video tripod is the most important part and is usually , the head separately from the rest of the tripod costs 2/3 of the cost of the tripod assembly. Its difference from the photo head is that the video head usually has 2 rather than 3 axes of rotation, but the main difference is still in the smoothness of panning due to hydraulic damping. If the operator cannot smoothly start moving, drive and stop smoothly, then this is not a video head, or it is broken.
For more expensive heads, in addition to horizontal and vertical movement stops, there is a smoothness adjustment, usually from 3 to 10 gradations, for example, Libec RS-250D, Libec NX-300C or Cartoni FOCUS 12 2st Alu Gr. These controls are adjusted according to the nature of the shooting: when shooting a rock concert or sporting event, the operator needs to be able to quickly position the camera, even at the expense of smoothness. And vice versa, when shooting a concert of a symphony orchestra, any trembling or sudden movement in the frame is a marriage.
Another difference between the video head and the photo is the presence of counterbalance. The counterbalance system consists of two springs that guide the head to the zero (horizontal) position. In more advanced heads, the counterbalance is adjustable. Ideally, the counterbalance is adjusted so that at any time the operator can release the tripod handle, and the camera freezes in this position. Quite often, when choosing a tripod for a video camera, the operator considers a “heavier” head in order to have a margin of safety and the tripod served longer. It only makes sense to do this if the tripod head has an adjustable counterbalance, such as the Cartoni FOCUS 18 2-Stage SDS CF System, which at its minimum will be less than the weight of your Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro camcorder with accessories.
The handle of the tripod head is of little importance, except for very accurate and smooth movements it is desirable that it be telescopic. Most professional camcorder tripods usually come with an optional handle such as the PH-8B.
The tripod tripod is the second most important part in a tripod and the following parts should be taken into account when choosing:
- Number of links. Typically 2 or 3. For stationary surveys, 2-link tripods such as the Libec T102B are preferred because they are stiffer and stronger. For outdoor shooting, you should pay attention to the 3-link Libec T103B, as they are more compact when folded and higher when unfolded.
- Tripod clamp design. more convenient for operational shootings. Pretty much any Manfrotto or Cartoni tripod will come with clamps. The screw clamp used in the LX7 M tripod fixes the legs more securely. Well-known manufacturers, as a rule, have a clamp adjustment system, since the clamps loosen over time, and during prevention it is worth being able to tighten the latch.
- Material. Most tripod tripods are made of aluminum, but there are also tripods made of carbon fiber (carbon fiber), which are lighter and stronger than aluminum, which in theory can be important for reportage shooting. But since the bulk of the weight of a video tripod falls on the head, I come to the conclusion that this is more of a marketing ploy, although not indisputable.
- Stretching or spider – can be performed both in the floor and in the middle level. In theory, floor stretching is more convenient for reportage video shooting, where speed plays a very important role, and the average speed is more convenient for frequent shooting on uneven surfaces (steps, stones, ground). In practice, this is more a matter of habit of the operator, and, preferably, just that the tripod tripod has the ability to install one or another stretch or to install on a dolly (trolley).
Which brand of tripod should I choose?
Today, despite the huge supply and activity of the Chinese goods market, there are no Chinese (cheap) and at the same time high-quality tripods.