Spartan Precision, based in southern England, burst onto the backcountry hunting scene just a few years ago with their flagship product, the Javelin Bipod. I was on a backpack hunt in southern Arizona with two friends when late-night talk turned to gear as it tends to do when hunters get together. I admired the proffered lightweight bipod by headlamp before begrudgingly returning it to my buddy’s outstretched hand. The quality of the bipod was apparent, and I knew I needed more information about the Spartan lineup of products.
Years have gone by since that night in Arizona and my gear list has grown in quality and equipment. I’ve packed a Spartan Ascent tripod and Davros Pro Head Gen 2 for many miles through sheep and moose country in Alaska as well as a plethora of hunts in Montana. As a hunting guide in some of Alaska’s most rugged sheep habitat, tough, dependable gear is a requirement and needs to perform when called upon. The Ascent and Davros pair not only lived up to the challenge but exceeded my relatively high expectations.
The Ascent is Spartan’s lightest tripod and comes in Mountain or Woodland options. I used the slightly shorter and lighter Mountain option, specs are below:
Spartan Ascent Tripod Specs
|Attachment||Spartan Classic & Optics Adapters|
|Ground Clearance||27cm – 128cm / 11″ – 50″|
|Cant & Pan||90º Cant & 360º Pan|
|Weight||1.4kg / 3.2lbs|
|Leg Pitch Positions||23º, 35º, 51º, 74º|
|Packed Length||61cm / 24”|
|Packed Diameter Ø||9.1cm / 3.6″|
|Trekking Pole Max Height||123cm / 48″|
The Ascent is made from multi-layered carbon fiber and 7075-T7351 aluminum with a hard-anodized black finish. I can attest to the durability of the finish as my Ascent has ridden in Super Cubs, on packhorses, boats, and four-wheelers in its life and still has few battle scars to show for it.
The Spartan Ascent Can Be Used As a Trekking Pole
One of my favorite features of the tripod is the detachable legs that can be used as trekking poles. The replaceable carbide tip is protected by a rubber boot but comes in handy and bites hard when used a as trekking pole. It’s a testament to the strength of the tripod that a leg can be unscrewed and used as a stand alone support for an adult with a loaded pack. I used one after shooting a bull elk five miles from camp; a mid-weight (60-70 pound) pack pushed me down the mountain several thousand feet in elevation while using the Ascent leg as a pole with no issues. The legs feature a twist lock, can be extended out to a maximum of forty-eight inches, and are compatible with a trekking pole head sold by Spartan as shown below.
The center column of the tripod is adjustable for small elevation changes and holds an included small tool kit. A user simply unscrews the bottom, picks a bit, sets it in the threaded portion on top of the center column and uses the column as a driver for whatever might need to be repaired.
Spartan Ascent Tripod Is Compatible with Other Products
The Davros Pro ball head mounts on the Ascent or can be retrofitted to other tripods or shooting sticks if desired; it’s made of aero-space grade aluminum and has the same anodized finish as the tripod. While I’ve preferred pan heads in years past, the Davros’ knurled adjustment knobs and positive-locking friction control make it easy to glass smoothly then lock an optic on a target, allaying my concerns about head slippage even on a full-size spotting scope. Specs are below for the Davros Pro Gen 2 head:
|Weight||255g / 8.9oz|
|Cant||45° left and right|
|Pan||360° with dedicated pan adjustment control|
|Attachment||Spartan Classic Adapters & Optics Adapters|
|Mounting Thread||UNC ⅜ – 16 (Bush included for 1/4″-20 threads|
Spartan Ascent Tripod Attachments Use Magnets!
Spartan has developed one of the most unique features to hit the hunting world in a long time, namely, the attachment method for optics and rifles to their system. With adapters built for optics, tools, or rifles a user can install one of several adapter options onto their spotting scope, binocular, or firearm. By using proprietary rare earth magnet technology, the adapter fits magnetically onto the tripod head, giving hunters an ultra-stable 365-degree platform to glass and shoot from. When needed, simply lift the optic off the head and set a rifle with installed adapter onto the tripod when it’s time to shoot. My son, who’s thirteen, utilized this system on a successful deer hunt last fall and has raved about it ever since.
As a guide, I’m always on the lookout for products to make my and the hunter’s life easier. This year I took an extra adapter for a moose hunter and installed it in minutes on his rifle, thereby giving him a stable base over the brush while I attempted to call in a lovesick bull for him. The hunt was a success although I had to chase the hunter down to get my adapter back.
Like most good backcountry equipment, the Ascent isn’t cheap. The options for utilization and the overall quality lend themselves to the “Buy once, cry once” ethos, meaning one good quality piece of gear is worth much more than two or three substandard ones with a smaller sticker price. The MSRP on the tripod and Davros Pro Head is $1080.00 and is backed up by Spartan’s one year warranty (two years if the product is registered on their website) so shoppers can buy with confidence. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your existing platform or purchase your first tripod, check out the whole line of Spartan Precision Equipment at https://javelinbipod.com.