RRS TFCT-24L MK2 SOAR® SERIES 2 TRIPOD WITH ANVIL 30 BALLHEAD
It’s easy to think your tripod is good enough… until you actually try one that is. RRS makes the best in my opinion. The TFC-24 is the taller/slimmer brother of the RRS TFC-34. It’s not quite 1/4 pound lighter, but if you are counting ounces it’s 3.2 oz. and it’s still very stable whether mounting a hunting rifle or optics to it. The collapsed length is longer than the TFC-34 by 2.3″. It’s longer than I’d like in the pack, but I got the L version so you tall dudes can use binoculars standing up which is a necessary evil on a lot of hunts like desert mule deer in southern Arizona and Sonora Mexico, and even the hill country in Texas because of the brush.
You’ve never seen your optics so clear as when they’re absolutely rock solid – even the mighty BTX 95 or the ATX 95 cranked to 70 can be used in substantial wind with little or no vibration. If it’s really howling you’ll still be able to glass when most guys would have to pack it up and hike over the ridge to glass the other direction, where the animals aren’t. Pro-Tip: If it’s blowing hard you should be glassing into the wind. Animals will bed on the leeward side of ridges to avoid the wind, so tough it out sis!
But wait… no center column!?!! Don’t sweat it! Losing that crutch (center column) is the best thing that ever happened to the stability of a tripod. Any pro photographer that shoots with telephoto lenses can tell you that raising the center column is going to degrade image quality unless you speed up shutter speed and crank up the ISO to reduce blur. It might take you one extra adjustment to get it to the perfect height for glassing, but it’s worth it. Not having the center column sticking down to bump with your knee is nice too. I pretty much sit inside the tripod legs because there’s plenty of room. The trade off is that the collapsed length is longer for the same maximum height. They have to use a longer main leg tube.
I was never a fan of using ball-heads for glassing – until now. The Anvil-30 head goes from just enough tension to full lock up in about 1/16th of the lever throw. This provides the resolution and feel you need to repeatably set tension for smooth panning up/down, or side to side and locks up with minimal movement of the lever with very little, if any scope sag. The tension stays consistent while panning and you never get the dreaded flop that happens with cheaper heads when you hit a loose spot. The lever is very intuitive and easy to use. Everyone that I’ve had try the head for glassing has been pleasantly surprised. Even us die-hard pan/tilt head lovers get along with it well.
The built-in QD clamp on the Anvil-30 will attach to an ARCA rail (1.5″ dovetail), or a picatinny style rail with it’s dual jaws. Our rifles all have an ARCA tripod plate so you can clamp right into the center near the balance point. Or if you needed a super long bipod, you could remove the bipod and clamp the tripod onto the picatinny bipod rail. The tripod also makes an excellent rear-rest. Check out the brief video I did showing some of these options with the TFC-34 above. The anvil head will also clamp directly on the bottom of most Swarovski branded spotting scopes and binocular/tripod adapters, eliminating the need for a tripod plate.
Having a tripod that doubles as the most versatile rifle rest out there is a tremendous asset to have in your pack. One of the most difficult aspects of making a shot is being able to build a stable position in steep terrain. A tripod with a huge range of adjustment is an absolute game changer. If you can see over the brush, you can get solid. After just a little dry-fire practice to get familiar with using it, most shooters can consistently hammer 10″ steel targets well beyond 500 yards in good conditions.
The RRS TFC-24, although lighter than the 34, still weighs more than your typical backpacking tripod. It’s all relative though – the TFC-24 is extremely lightweight given its size and stability. Many lighter tripods are borderline useless when the wind blows, so your optics and tripod might as well be a sack of rocks in your pack… and you sure as heck aren’t going to shoot accurately off a backpacking tripod.
If you want to make the most of your glassing efforts and have a huge advantage when it comes time to make the shot, the RRS tripods get my highest recommendation. On a hard-core backpack hunt I’d probably give the nod to the TFC-24L. If there’s enough interest, we might get the shorter version (3 oz lighter) and see how people like it.
- Leg Material: Carbon Fiber
- Number of Leg Sections: 4
- Weight: 4.59 lb. / 2083 g (WITH ANVIL 30 TRIPOD HEAD)
- Load Capacity 1st Position Fully Extended: 70 lb / 32 kg
- Load Capacity 2nd Position Fully Extended: 40 lb / 18 kg
- Load Capacity 3rd Position Fully Collapsed: 55 lb / 25 kg
- 1st Position Maximum Height: 68.9″ / 175 cm
- 1st Position Minimum Height: 23.9″ / 61 cm
- 1st Position 3/4 Segments Extended: 52.9″ / 134 cm
- 2nd Position Maximum Height: 48.2″ / 123 cm
- 2nd Position Minimum Height: 17.7″ / 45 cm
- 3rd Position Minimum Height: 6.6″ / 17 cm
- Folded Length: 25.9″ / 66 cm
- Folded Diameter: 3.8″ / 10 cm
- (Heights and Length include the Anvil-30 Ballhead attached)
- Weight: 4.59 lb / 2083 g
TFCT-24L Tripod Legs
Arca/RRS 1.5″ Dovetail Adapter Plate and 1/4-20″ Screw
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