The BOG Fieldpod's one of the most affordable standing tripods available right now, but is it any good? A standing tripod should be rugged if it's going to be any use on the game trail or at the long-distance range. We're tearing down its features and construction with a quick review. Let's get a closer look.
The BOG Fieldpod at a Glance
Picking up the Fieldpod, first impressions immediately say this thing was designed to be carried, and carried a lot. It's incredibly lightweight, and much of that is thanks to its polymer and aluminum construction. Beefier tripods may use stainless fasteners or hardware, which adds weight. Aluminum is lighter and doesn't corrode. Does the Fieldpod feel cheap? Not really. The legs and main hub feel rigid and it locks with a good tactile feel. But what matters is whether it can hold a rifle without feeling wobbly.
Main Features / Specs
- Tilt up to +/- 45 degrees
- Weighs approx. 6.5 lbs
- 20" to 42" of total height
- Rotation of 360 degrees
- Cast aluminum main hub
- Each leg adjusts individually
- Grippy rubberized gun cradles
- Split frame fits box magazines
Removable Foot Pads and Legs
Every shooting rest depends on a good pair of solid feet, and the Fieldpod doesn't disappoint. Three large, conical rubber pads provide extra grip on hardball surfaces and they dig into loose gravel, sand, or dirt easily enough. The feet are replaceable, held in by a small fastener on the inside of the leg. The legs' diameters and the fasteners look like they'll work with universal Harris-style bipod feet, but BOG has their own spiked feet available as an upgrade, too.
As for the legs, they're very well-built. They're made from billet aluminum and sport an anodized finish. They're very stiff and lightweight. It takes some real force to flex a leg, so it's safe to say they can handle the weight and abuse of a heavy rifle or a magnum load.
Center Brace and Leg Adjustments
Moving up, the center leg brace is plenty rugged thanks to a fourth aluminum center pole. The entire assembly is made from aluminum with stainless hardware. It does a great job of keeping the legs stiff and equally spaced on uneven terrain, with no slop or wobble. The brace also glides and folds easily without binding and it does a good job keeping the legs tidy when stowed. Many cheap tripods have sticky braces that bind and break easily, so we're happy to find BOG focused their attention on getting this right.
Also shown are the lever locks for height adjustments. Each leg can be individually adjusted at two points. They're easy to operate and provide plenty of tension without being difficult to pull open or shut. The levers are coated in a matte black finish and are weatherproof, so there's no need to worry about rust or corrosion. At its shortest, the Fieldpod measures just 20" in height. At full extension, it measures 42".
Center Hub w/ Tilt and Rotation
The center hub is the main point of action. The polymer BOG used to mold the hub is very strong. It feels similar to the injection-molded plastic on a Pelican case or equivalent beat-'em-up gun box. Either way, it'll take some abuse and recoil without cracking, bending, or falling apart. The legs are fixed to the hub via stainless steel pins recessed underneath. The hub is a two-piece unit that mates the top frame to the tripod with two plates and stainless hex-head bolts. Up to, you can see the black wingnut used to adjust tension on the tripod. This allows you to stabilize your long gun (or crossbow) and it affords a high degree of control when tilting up, down, or rotating left or right.
This is a big deal that many tripod makers overlook. At distance -- say, 150 to 200 yards -- the slightest jitter or movement on the pod can throw off your muzzle by a couple inches. When you're staring down that trophy buck, those inches can make the difference between a quick kill and a pair of antlers running off. Overall, the unit is incredibly smooth and easy to control with only gross motor skills. That's exactly what you want when you're shooting long-range or getting ready to take your trophy. The main attraction of the Fieldpod gets very high remarks.
Rubber Cradles & Forward Adjustment
The front cradle on the Fieldpod provides similar levels of control. A wingnut adjusts tension for raising or lowering the front of your long gun, providing easy elevation changes on the fly. A channel is cut into the adjustable tube to keep it aligned with the track on the frame. The same polymer material hosts the adjustment tube, providing stability and support. Up top, the cradle is simple and that's how it should be for field work. It's made from pliable, soft rubber that's extra grippy. It does a nice job of keeping polymer, wood, and metal handguards tacked in place and helps to mitigate recoil with .30-caliber loads nicely.
A big selling point on the Fieldpod is the split frame and the fact it can accommodate tactical rifles and semiautomatic long guns with box magazines underneath. To ensure the split frame can host magazines without interfering with the center hub (illustrated above), the front support can also be adjusted forward and backward. This helps you dial in where you want your rifle to sit atop the Fieldpod, and it uses the same locking levers for the tubes, like the legs.
FAQ and Final Thoughts
Q: What's the difference between the Fieldpod and Fieldpod MAX?
A: The Fieldpod MAX is designed for heavier and uniquely long rifles that require even more adjustment than what the Fieldpod provides. The MAX pod comes with a second horizontal adjuster for the rear gun cradle. This provides more back-and-forth movement to fit longer buttstocks and barrels. The center hub is slightly larger to accommodate more weight when tilting and rotating. Lastly, the MAX does not have a center brace supporting all three legs. Instead, the center hub allows each leg's width to be individually adjusted.
Q: What kind of weapons can the Fieldpod accommodate?
A: The Fieldpod will accept any long gun or shotgun, including AR-15s and those with detachable 30-round magazines. BOG says the Fieldpod also hosts crossbows easily. As far as recoil and size are concerned, we found the Fieldpod hosts up to a 24" rifle chambered in .30-06 with room to spare. Larger guns running Nitro or Express cartridges (or .50 BMG, if you like turning things into dust) would likely need the Max instead.
Q: Can each leg's width be individually adjusted?
A: No. The center brace is designed to keep all three legs equidistant from each other, in order to provide the most stable shooting platform. BOG did this to keep the Fieldpod more affordable than the MAX, which uses a more complicated center hub with locking pins to control each leg's width.
Final thoughts, likes and dislikes
The Fieldpod does a great job at being a lightweight but stable and highly adjustable tripod. It's surprisingly easy to carry even with its various adjustment points and folding bits. We like most of all how compact the tripod becomes when stowed away. It measures about one foot tall and with the tilt locked full up or down, the tripod tucks neatly in small spaces. It's not perfect, though. Although BOG made great efforts in getting this tripod to work with ARs and tactical rifles, the front cradle simply doesn't mesh with some handguard attachments.
If you've got a large flashlight or laser side-mounted on your handguard, it won't fit in the cradle without pulling the adjustment forward. Pulling it back will mean having to raise the gun up higher to ensure the magazine clears the center hub and that means adjusting the legs' height instead. This is just one specific scenario in which the Fieldpod struggles with getting set up just right for certain rifles and it ultimately doesn't hinder performance. So, it's not a deal-breaker. If you're using the Fieldpod to hunt or shoot long-range, it's worth the hassle of yanking that accessory off the rail.