Here, Let Me Hold That for You

February 10, 2021
Scott Jessen

Tripods offer an easy-to-use, stable platform for a wide range of optical equipment for up to, and including, all-day viewing/recording. I have used several tripods before, but they were the type that is included as an “afterthought” with some products. The Leupold Compact Tabletop Tripod is a fine, portable, and versatile piece of equipment. It can be invaluable in the field, at the range, at home, at work, while taping your city hall public meeting, or anywhere else you need a support device for your spotting scopes, binoculars, cameras, video cameras, cell phones, etc. To be used “handsfree,” some of your optics may need an additional adapter, while others may not. The good news is that adapters are plentiful and relatively inexpensive. 

The gooder :) news is that you can still use the tripod without an adapter if you just hold the optic while resting it on top. Due to its compact size, this tripod is most useful either on a tabletop, bench, tailgate, etc. or on the ground while you’re sitting, kneeling, and lying prone.

(Note: Although this model is no longer for sale from the Leupold website, it is still available elsewhere.)


Evidence:

Size and Weight – The Leupold Tabletop tripod is really compact. However, at just a wee bit over two pounds, it seems to me to be a little heavy for a “spot and stalk” hunt or long hiking trip. Please keep in mind, though, while I say that, I haven’t done either of them...yet! So, take that for what it’s worth. A majority of the tripod’s weight is in the “head” assembly due to its heavy-duty construction. For just about any other use, the weight should not be a problem at all.


Head Assembly – Very easy, smooth, and precise adjustments of swiveling, rotation, and leveling. Or, “roll, pitch, and yaw,” if you prefer. The mount adapter locking knob is captive, so it stays attached. The other locking knobs are not captive, but they have long-winded threads, so even I would have to try hard to lose them. The assembly has a notch for the mount to tuck into. That helps to protect it while folded and makes this compact tripod even more compact. 

The entire head assembly disconnects from the leg assembly, offering more storage options. It also has four sets of 0-90 markings on it so you can…well, I don’t know why, but I’m sure it has a purpose for people who are smarter than I. Besides, it makes it look cool. 

Head Assembly Adjustment Knobs– Rubberized with “flats” like a hex nut. These features make them very easy to use in all conditions: hot, sweaty, cold, with and without gloves, dry, wet, etc.

Leg Assembly – Three independently adjustable legs made with quality parts offer easy, precise, stable, and nearly infinite position adjustments as well as scores of height choices. The rubberized footpads are silent, give good traction on indoor and outdoor surfaces, and won’t scratch your antique mahogany desk. The legs’ ratcheting knuckles make for quick adjustments and folding. However, while not exactly loud, they are not silent, either. The noise should not be a problem except for people in situations where being absolutely quiet within a few dozen yards or so is paramount. You can overcome that by just being careful not to let them click into place. This tripod’s height range is ideal for table or desktops for indoor use or for sitting, kneeling, or prone positions while in the great outdoors.


Leg Assembly Extensions Knobs – Not as quick as the “flip” style I am used to, but because they are rubberized with flats, they are easy to use and seem to be much more robust and precise.


Carry Bag – Padded, water-resistant bag included. It has a cinch cord and an adjustable carry strap. However, the strap is not long enough for shoulder carry. The bag is the Goldilocks size to allow for quick, easy removal and installation of the tripod – not too big, not too small…juuuust right.


Attention to Detail – Not only does Leupold put a lot of thought into their products, they even print a part number and “artwork” number on their boxes. Neither of them has any direct relevance to the product quality; I just thought that was pretty neat as an indicator of attention to detail.


Closing Arguments:

If I had my druthers [some of you young’uns might have to look that one up], I would like it to be lighter. Because the weight would only be an issue while carrying it for extended periods, for the vast majority of the time, that will not be a problem for me. Otherwise, I think this tripod is the right mix of size, quality, and cost.


Verdict:

I would recommend the Leupold Compact Tabletop Tripod to anyone who wants a quality tripod in a small package and doesn’t mind that it weighs about two pounds. It works very well for a wide range of uses either on a tabletop or for low-level work directly on the ground.

I look forward to using this tripod for many different purposes; at the range, recording official city meetings, home movies, and my first elk hunt. That hunt was supposed to be done already, but that blasted virus put the kibosh on it this season. We were fortunate in that our outfitter refunded our deposit. So, we plan to hire them next year to return the favor and support the hurting hunting guide trade. ~ Scott


Scott Jessen
Scott is a liberty/responsibility minded, retired enlisted military dude who is relatively new to the benefits of being involved in firearms, hunting, self reliance/defense, and politics.  As such, his understanding of how these things interrelate and strengthen every American is constantly evolving.  These experiences fuel his passion for not just "gun rights", but for ALL rights and what it takes to defend them.

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