Guns and gear fall into two categories: purpose built and general purpose.
General purpose products are designed to fill a wide variety of roles. They may not be great at anything, but they can be deployed for multiple applications and scenarios.
The V2 SnipePod from Kramer Designs Corporation isn’t like that. It’s a purpose-built piece of gear.
It’s not designed for competition or tactical use—frankly, it’s kind of a pain to use casually at the range. But it’s ideal for western mountain hunting: for lugging 10 miles into the wilderness and taking a seated shot at an animal 300 yards downhill.
That’s the scenario it’s built for, and that’s the scenario in which it shines.
Jerry Kramer founded Kramer Designs Corporation in 1992, and he serves the mountain hunting community from his headquarters in western Montana.
Kramer has been trekking through the mountains for decades, but he discovered early on that the gear he wanted wasn’t always available from the big corporations.
“I learned years ago that the gear that addressed my demands, was usually not the gear offered to me at the local boxmart, sporting goods dealer, or in the bass-belas catalog,” he writes on his website.
So, he started designing and producing his own products. Each piece of gear is designed to be ultra-lightweight, compact, and functional.
Kramer sells his gear directly to the consumer, which keeps his prices reasonable and his options almost infinite. If you’re looking for something specific, you can reach out to him directly. From my experience, he’ll be more than happy to steer you in the right direction.
The V2 SnipePod
The V2 SnipePod is a foldable bipod designed to be carried in the collapsed position and unfolded when needed. It’s constructed from Easton 7075-E9 tent poles affixed to ball joints for maximum flexibility.
If you’ve ever set up a modern backpacking tent, unfolding the bipod legs will feel familiar. The sitting model I received uses five 5” aluminum poles held together with shock cord. When the Velcro straps are loosened, the segments fall towards the ground and snap together—just like tent poles.
The legs attach to your rifle’s front sling stud using a quick-detach mechanism that allows the entire unit to fold along the underside of the gun’s barrel. The mechanism folds up when not in use but swings down and snaps into place when the user loosens the looped cord holding the legs underneath the barrel.
If this setup sounds a little clunky, well, it does take some practice. It has more “moving parts” than a traditional bipod, and it feels more fragile than a beefy steel bipod. But it’s not built for hundreds of rounds of tactical use. It’s built to weigh as little as possible while still providing a solid foundation for awkward shooting positions. And that’s exactly what it does.
The model I received is a “sitting model” designed for people between 5’5” and 5’11”. It extends to 27” at its full height, which is the perfect height for comfortable seated shots. Kramer offers prone, sitting, and standing models for people from 5’ to 6’9”.
The ball joints can be moved to lower or raise the height depending on the terrain and shot angle, but the joints are stiff enough that they won’t move while you’re setting up for a shot.
Hunters know that a stable, prone shot is never certain, and when an animal is farther than about 100 yards, a good rest is crucial. Trees and fence lines work in a pinch, but it’s nice to have a bipod that can extend to shoot over the grass or brush that might be between you and a trophy.
But if that prone shot does come along, the sitting models of the V2 SnipePod can be folded to be shot in the prone position. It takes a minute to set it up, but it works just fine.
The SnipePod will provide a stable rest during those crucial moments before a shot, but until that happens, it won’t weigh down your pack with unnecessary bulk.
My sitting model weighs a scant five ounces. Prone models can weigh as little as two ounces, and standing models only weigh 11. For comparison, Magpul’s polymer bipod, which obviously cannot accommodate standing shots, weighs 11 ounces while an Atlas PSR prone bipod weighs 13 ounces.
Compared to other sitting bipods, the SnipePod looks even more svelte. Caldwell’s sitting bipod weighs three times as much as the SnipePod at 15 ounces and Swagger Bipod’s Black Hunter series weight 23 ounces.
These other bipods offer their own unique advantages, but if you’re trying to cut weight, it’s tough to beat the SnipePod.
Ease of Use?
Fiddling with your bipod is about the last thing you want to be doing with a bull elk in sight. All that weight saving won’t mean much if your animal gets away thanks to a bipod that doesn’t function as it should. The SnipePod does take some practice, but once you get it down, it can be deployed in just a few seconds.
There are a few different ways to carry the bipod, depending on how quickly you think you’ll need to use it. It can be carried totally detached from your gun, completely folded along the gun, and partially folded along the gun.
For the quickest deployment, I found that the third method works the best. It wouldn’t take long to attach the unit to your gun and unfold the legs, but if you’re in country where you might need to take a quick shot, that third partially folded method is the way to go.
You can see how quickly I was able to take a shot from the seated position. The bipod can be folder either along the barrel or back towards the rifle’s recoil pad.
Other than that, there isn’t much to it. I got the hang of it after about half an hour of practice, and I feel confident the SnipePod won’t give me any trouble in the field.
The SnipePod might not be for you. If you’re a casual range goer or a competitive shooter, I’d take a pass. But if you’re a hunter, even if you don’t target high-altitude animals out west, the SnipePod can be a crucial piece of gear. It gives you a stable yet flexible base to take sitting shots over brush and grass, and it weighs significantly less than any other sitting bipod on the market (and less than many prone bipods as well).
For $145, that’s not a bad deal.
Click here to learn more about the V2 SnipePod from Kramer Designs.