Thought you might like this. This is a VERY VERY light weight option for back country spotting.
KRAMER DESIGNS CORPORATION GRANITE PEAK TRIPOD
Just the Facts:
The Granite Peak Tripod is designed for individuals who do not have a requirement for a firearm bipod. Backpackers, archery hunters, birders, and lightweight photographers also have the same desire for a ultra lightweight and compactness in a tripod design.
CNC machined from 6061-T6511 aluminum to exact tolerances, the Granite Peak is a rock solid and flexible solution. Each of the leg ball sockets provide over 80° of mobility, which allows quick and easy height adjustments. The mobility of the leg ball sockets also allows the Granite Peak to easily straddle your body when sit-ted so that your binos or spotting scope is perfectly position for long, comfortable viewing sessions. No arching your back, straining to get behind your optics, just easy comfortable viewing!
At the top of the Granite Peak is a fourth ball socket. This "optic" ball socket provides the same 80° of mobility as each leg socket. There is knurled adjusting wheel for fine adjusted of the tension on the optics ball socket. Adjust the wheel for light tension, and you can easily pan your optics and cover wide angles, yet with a bit more tightening you can "lock down" the optics socket to hold a desired position.
The optional OBA (Optics Balance Adjuster, compensates for poorly-balanced optic solutions and makes pinpoint target acquisition during the lock-down of the optics ball socket.
There is a knurled "optics plateau" with a rubber/cork blend washer threaded onto the optic-standard 1/4" X 20TPI screw. You can directly attach your spotting scope, camera, bino adapter, etc. to this screw, and tighten the optic plateau up to the bottom for a security mount. And of course, our OBA can mount the same way.
The sitting model of the Granite Peak all tip the scale at an amazing 8 ounces or less.
Our simple and straight forward "triple-string" is also included. Attach a clip to each of the three legs, and add weight to the center or pull down with
Oh, what a year it has been. The fire season this year was the worst in recent memory and the rainfall just as bad. It seemed that Mother Nature was doing everything in her power to keep me out of the woods. Well, all her efforts were in vain as I was not to be stopped. I had a new product to get out and test and I was determined.
I had a fantastic conversation with Terry Kramer the owner and engineer of K.D.C. and after shooting the breeze about optics, hunting, and gear it was decided that I would give the Granite Peak tripod a look. Terry threw in a few extras like the Rapid Release System and Binocular Tower. I was also sent the Optic Balance Adjuster (OBA). It was peak scouting season and I had all the reason in the world to get out and use some great new gear.
Alas, the fires fought back and as one would go out another would start. The brave crews that battled blaze after blaze had no choice but to shut off the woods. I was itching to get out but not at the risk of my safety or putting others in harms way who may have to save me for being stupid. Terry had turned me onto an Optics company named Opticron and I was sent some of their glass to test out. The 50MM MM3 scope that I was sent was a great fit for the Granite Peak as it is compact and lightweight. So, there I sat looking at every telephone pole and tree as far as I could see from my yard. I traveled outside of town from time to time to look across some of the wheat fields but the blue hills were off limits and the smoke made glassing anything a real challenge. My real test would have to be put off until November when I would get out into the wilds of Idaho.
Our trip or trips(s) were simply planned as weekend trips. We would be going over several times looking for both whitetail and mule deer. The deep, steep, and unforgiving terrain in Idaho’s Wilderness make it a perfect place to test out optics and optics platforms. Why not let your eyes do the walking for you? That is my philosophy.
The Granite Peak is the lightest tripod that I have ever seen or used. What is more impressive is how durable it appears to be. This little fella would not hold up well against a bulky 85mm scope or heavy filming equipment. But we are not filming. It’s not that it would not hold those things it’s just that it is not intended for that use. We are backcountry hunting and in the backcountry every ounce matters. For this you want compact and functional with no unnecessary weight or size. The Granite Peak will not only do the job of a standard tripod it will do it at a weight of only 8 ounces. Sure there are other tripods with bells and whistles but, why would you add additional weight when it is unnecessary?
This tripod has been masterfully engineered to suit the backcountry hunter. It breaks down to nearly the size of your hand. Each leg is securely attached by a ball joint that allows for adjustments in all terrain. The legs can be purchased at different lengths but they are what they are. This is not going to be a tripod that you will be standing up with. For me that is ok as the higher you go the less stable all tripods are. I prefer to be down on my butt whenever possible. The more points of contact you have with the ground the more stable you will be. To help with stability the (RRS) and (OBA) system work together to allow for perfect balance of the scope or binocular. This makes glassing a breeze as you can easily hold sight pictures for extended viewing.
The attachment point of this tripod is its only weak spot. The ball joint that allows for pivoting is secured by a small wheel. When tightened it keeps the scope or binocular stationary. This is great but as an animal may be moving you will need to move the scope. This must be done by loosening the wheel which gives the ball joint a lot of freedom and can lead to losing sight picture. If you attempt to keep the wheel tight and force the scope to move it will cause the base that is screwed into the scope to come loose. There is definitely a learning curve with this part of the system. I feel that some improvement could be made in this area. Possibly a lug that would keep the scope from turning on the (RSS) base or (OBA) once it has been tightened.
The Binocular Tower paired with the (OBA) and (RSS) works wonderfully. The only part that I would like to see an improvement is where the lug that is attached to the binoculars and the dovetail type attachment point meet. There is a small lever here for tightening this up. I would like to see it “cam over” it’s not that it does not work. It is more that it would offer piece of mind that it is fully secured. That is a personal preference though and should not take away from the fact that the system works great.
Over all I am very happy with my K.D.C. Granite Peak tripod and the accessories that go with it. It is a fantastic solution to the bulk and weight issues that come with other tripods. I would recommend this system to any backcountry hunter who is looking to shed some weight and save some space on their next adventure. Fine job Kramer Design Corporation!
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What can be done better?
As stated above I think that the wheel and ball joint attachment point could use a little tweaking. The system works but it requires some learning. The additional accessories are great and other than a little tweak to the binocular attachment point they are flawless. I think this is a great system and see it as a great addition of any backcountry adventures gear list.
I give this 4.75 stars as there are a few limitations and design improvements that I can see. This is truly a great product and worth a long look.