By Johnny Mack
A year ago I night hunted for coyotes standing upright for the very first time off of a tripod. What I found is shooting off a tripod is an absolute game changer unless your tripod falls short in stability or height. The tripod I was using at the time was a perfect mix of lightweight and sturdiness but only from the sitting position. Shortly after that hunt, Vortex Optics released the new Vortex Radian Carbon Tripod and I knew that I needed to get my hands on one to see how it would handle afield.
The first time I laid hands on the Radian Carbon tripod was when I was shopping at a local Sportsmen’s Warehouse. Seeing it in person and holding it gave a completely different experience than I expected. Being that I mostly backpack hunt, a large heavier tripod isn’t going to make it into my pack for a hunt, but that isn’t what the Radian Carbon is made for and when used in the settings that it is made for, it truly shines.
The first thing that I noticed about the tripod was the sturdy thick legs it offers. When hunting or glassing from this tripod, I have not had to counter balance the tripod to support the effectiveness of it and reduce shake. The second thing that stood out to me right away was the size of the ball head and how smooth it was to operate. When I am not shooting off of the tripod, I am filming and the ball head is smooth for video operation and for digi-scoping.
- Extremely sturdy
- Carbon Fiber legs do not freeze your hands in cold weather unlike aluminum
- Twist lock legs are quick and easy to use for adjustments
- Max height is just short of 6 ft., which is ideal for taller shooters
- Thick carbon fiber legs are very strong to aid in stability
- Vortex VIP warranty – This is important to note and something that is typically not available for tripods.
- Make sure the rubber feet are securely tightened so you don’t lose them afield (I use loktite on mine)
- Head is removable but the tripod does not support other fluid video heads such as the Manfrotto 509HD
- $899 at most retailers ($1199.99 MSRP)
- Ball Head with fluid horizontal movement
- ARCA-Swiss Head mount
- Weight – 7.3 lbs
- Folded Dimensions (HxW) 28 x 6 inches
- Leg Material Carbon Fiber
- Leg Sections 4
- Max Load 55 pounds
- Max Height 67.3 inches
- Min Height 8.3 inches
The Radian Carbon is a great addition to any outdoorsman’s gear and I highly recommend it if you can swing the price tag which was my biggest reservation. For visual reference of how tall this tripod gets with all 4 sections of legs extended I included a picture of my friend Will standing next to it for comparison.
Helpful Addition to any tripod
Being that the Radian Carbon is Arca-Swiss compatible, if you add any sort of arca rail to your gun you can mount your gun directly to the tripod head for a more stable shooting position. However if you do not want to add a rail to your gun, consider adding a triclawps saddle to your Radian Carbon setup for the ultimate shooting experience.
Thanks for reading this review. If you want to know more about the Vortex Radian Carbon Tripod and our experience with it, feel free to ask by clicking HERE. In the meantime make sure to go subscribe to the Washington Backcountry YouTube channel as well as follow us on Instagram @Washington_Backcountry. Knowledge is power and MENTORSHIP IS CONSERVATION.