Review: Aziak Tripod

After years of hunting and scouting with my rickety, fragile tripod, I’d resigned myself to a choice between strong and light. Until I tried out Aziak's Backcountry Lite Tripod ($275) and Backcountry Lite Ball Head ($75), that is. This combo is a dream—both light and sturdy, with strong components that slide, twist, and turn with the smoothness of equipment three times the weight (and price). No matter what I put on this thing—binoculars (with Aziak's Bino Clamp, $37), spotting scope, or rifle—the tripod holds steady. When the wind gets a-whippin’, a handy hook underneath the center column accommodates a weighted bag or boulder, for additional stability. The oversized feet don’t sink into soggy ground, and the whole thing collapses to a tight, trim size for strapping or stuffing into a pack. And for me, at 5’8”, it’s just the right height: with my spotting-scope’s angled eyepiece, and the long center column in place (Aziak throws in a short column, too), I can use the tripod in any position, from seated to standing.