A look at Vortex’s new Summit Carbon II and Ridgeview Carbon tripods
Earlier this year Vortex dropped several new tripods on the market. The two I've been testing are the Summit Carbon II and the Ridgeview Carbon. Being that I love glassing and testing different setups I had to get them out in the field and see what they were all about. Luckily I had a few hunts planned this past winter and there’s no better way to fully test something than putting them through the paces on an actual hunt. Testing them on a hunt is a true way to see how fast everything functions.
Below I’ll walk through the specs and my thoughts on both of these tripods.
Comparison of Vortex's new tripods
|Summit Carbon II||Ridgeview Carbon|
|Weight||2 lbs 6 oz||3 lbs 2 oz|
|Folded Dimensions||18.1" x 3"||29.0" x 3.2"|
|Leg Locks||1/4 turn||1/4 turn|
|Leg Material||Carbon Fiber||Carbon Fiber|
|Head Mount||Arca Swiss||Arca Swiss|
Similarities between the two tripods
The Summit Carbon II and the Ridgeview Carbon tripod carry some similarities.
Each tripod has three angled pivot locks that allow each leg to be set at a different angle depending on the terrain. So you could kick one leg up if you are glassing a ledge with some rocks or other terrain features in your way. The adjustable position legs also give you the ability to drop the tripod to a very low position which can come in handy in the wind.
The center column of each tripod has a hook to attach a weight to make glassing more stable in windy conditions.
Two-way pan head
Both tripods come with Vortex’s new 2-way pan head. I’ll admit that using a two-way pan head is pretty foreign to me, but for simplicity’s sake… it’s kind of a slick way to glass once you get used to it. One really cool feature worth mentioning is that the pan head is Arca Swiss compatible. If you have a tripod head that you prefer, you can easily remove Vortex's pan head.
The two-way pan head has a 22-pound load capacity. I tried to put this to the test by using the head with my Swarovski BTX and a 95mm objective and I can glass with it just fine by just keeping a little more tension in the handle.
Removable center column
Both tripods have a removable center column. This allows for the tripods to be mounted super close to the ground if needed.
Summit Carbon II
If you’re an ounce counter, you'll feel right at home with the Summit Carbon II tripod. At 2 pounds 6 ounces (tripod with the head) you will hardly notice this in your backpack. And while that weight is light, I didn’t find it overly too light for some serious glassing sessions.
What's also nice about this tripod is the compact size. I barely noticed it when strapped on the side of my backpack and there were even times when I just strapped it right under my top lid and it didn't stick out and get in the way when hiking. The compact nature is accomplished by using four leg sections.
The Ridgeview Carbon is the tallest tripod in Vortex’s entire lineup.
I’m 6’5” tall and this tripod was a breeze to stand up and glass with. The max height of the tripod is listed at 73.8" and in this awkward photo of me, you can see both the Ridgeview and Summit Carbon II in their most extended version. I can easily glass with a spotting scope and binoculars off the Ridgeview while standing up.
One feature I really liked about the taller legs was they made the tripod very easy to use when sitting down. So while glassing sitting down, I only had to minimally adjust the height of the legs to achieve the perfect glassing position. This meant I could avoid adjusting the center column, which when used, can cause some noticeable movement when looking through optics.
As mentioned in the specs table, the Ridgeview tripod folded up is 29" tall, but it easily fits on the side of a backpack.
These two tripods have been great to glass with on several hunts this past winter. If you have any questions about these tripods, be sure to drop any comments in this article. Also, you can reach out to our Optics Manager Cody Nelson. He is a wealth of knowledge and a person you should take advantage of when deciding what tripod or optics to purchase. Cody can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (702) 847-8747.