Welcome to Basin & Range Outdoors

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Basin & Range Outdoors was created to share the adventures experienced by two brothers in the American West. From the highest alpine terrains to the lowest sonoran deserts we will chronicle the pain and triumph that accompanies all of our outdoor pursuits.

There will be no high-fence hunts, no fly fishing lodges, no streamside caviar and wine breaks. Instead, you can expect cold nights sleeping in the dirt, flat tires on old trucks, and big dreams realized on small budgets. With Basin & Range Outdoors you will find useful reviews of hunting and fly fishing products, techniques, locations, and a general review of our outdoor expeditions on public land.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Velbon Sherpa 600RF

If you have an extra $949.98 you might take a look at the Outdoorsmans lightweight tripod (tall) and pan head.  The few that I have had the pleasure of handling seemed sturdy and smooth operating.  Unfortunately, the price is far out of my reach, and probably out of reach for most people.
Knowing the importance of a good tripod and head, I searched high and low for an affordable setup. I could only spend a couple hundred dollars, but wanted something reasonably light, sturdy, and smooth
operating. I was expecting to purchase the tripod head and legs separately and wasn’t sure that I could get both, of any quality, in my price range.

  After a month of searching, I settled on the Velbon Sherpa 600RF. I purchased this setup, with the 3-way pan head, for $99 dollars. After doing some weight comparisons, I was surprised to find that Outdoorsmans lightweight tripod with the pan head weighs approximately 3.64lbs and the Sherpa with 3-way pan head weighs 3.8lbs (a mere .16lb difference). Granted the Outdoorsmans tripod/head are of higher quality, more compact, smoother, and will probably endure longer in a hunting environment, but it is difficult to justify the price tag.
  The Sherpa has served me well with only a couple negligible faults. The tripod is bulky when packing and the pan head is a little slipshod. It is worth noting that the pan head can be removed and replaced with another such as the Outdoorsmans and Jim White heads.

  It is my opinion that the Velbon Sherpa 600RF is a perfect tripod for use with heavy glass. It is sturdy in high winds, the legs independent for setting up in boulders, it is tall enough to use standing, and the head operates smoothly enough. For $90 I couldn’t find a better tripod for glassing big game in the West.