[Tweeters] RFI: Vortex tripod carrier

Glenn Nelson gnbuzz at comcast.net
Sat May 11 13:17:22 PDT 2013


I¹ve tried several methods of carrying a tripod, for both a spotting scope
and a camera-plus-lens setup. You can benefit from my trial-and-error (many
errors) quest :-)

I think people buy the Vortex carrier because they go to the Audubon store
and, since they carry it, assume it¹s the one and only, or best. Or, like
me, they didn¹t know there are alternatives to using the strap that came
with the scope, or slinging everything over your shoulder and get excited
upon discovering one.

I bought the Vortex because a few people I knew/met used and recommended
them. Mistake No. 1. Figuring out how to secure your scope and tripod with
the Vortex is a CHORE. And then depending on whether you like carrying your
tripod with legs close or extended, it¹s a constant shifting process to keep
the legs from whipping your back, your rump or your calves. Not only that,
the unit is not very well made. I strongly urge you to cross this off your

The Vortext seems like a good idea ‹ keeping your hands free while you are
hiking and in search of birds. However, if you¹re like me, if you are
carrying your tripod/scope/camera, you intend to use it, often quickly. You
don¹t assume any birds or wildlife will wait until you uncouple the various
straps on the Vortex and set up your tripod. Some variation of slinging the
tripod over your shoulder is, IMHO, the best ³ready² position. If balanced
properly, I can balance my pro DSLR and big 500mm lens on my shoulder with a
pinky finger to secure them. Then, if you have padding, it¹s all a snap.

I¹ve tried all of the following. I personally use a combination of LegCoats
on the tripod that I use for my camera gear, plus the PodPad (that¹s because
the balance point is on or very near the ballhead). My gear is heavy and I
often hike for hours for my photography, so I need a lot of cushioning. I
use the PodPad for my spotting scope setup, but that¹s because I own the
PodPad already. If I were ONLY ever carrying a spotting scope, I¹d use the
LegCoat Wraps because you don¹t need extensive padding, plus they are more
streamlined. I list the Optech Wraps for purely economical reasons; but I
don¹t believe saving $9 over the LegCoats is close to worth the savings. The
sizing of the Optech is not customized; plus they are cheaply constructed.

The difference between the LensCoat LegCoats and LegCoat Wraps, by the way,
is thickness. As mentioned, if you are carrying only a scope, you don¹t need
the thickness. One final thing: the LensCoat products and the Pod Pad can be
purchased in black or camo.

LensCoat LegCoat Wraps ($49):


LensCoat Legcoats ($39):


Pod Pad ($36):


Optech Tripod Leg Wraps ($30):


I hope I didn¹t overdo it, but if I had this much information when I started
my search, I¹d have been in a lot better shape.

Good luck,

I was thinking of buying a tripod carrier and the one from Vortex seems to
be the only one available in the Seattle Audubon Nature store. From the
Amazon reviews though, it looks like it is a terrible product

Is this really that bad? Does anybody have this product? If so, can you
share your experience offline?


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