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IanF Wednesday 27th August 2003 14:28

How do you carry yours ?
Normally when using the scope and tripod the car boot is not too far away so it's rarely that I need to carry the combo very far and 'over the shoulder' suffices.

Do any members use a particular strap or other contraption for carrying the scope or in particular the tripod ?

My Manfrotto 128RC came with a strap but it's not much practical use for carrying the tripod. We're holidaying in Majorca in a couple of weeks time and I could do with a better way of carrying it about. Any ideas anyone ?

Charles Harper Wednesday 27th August 2003 14:42

Haven't found a better system, but would love to hear of one. Various tripod straps are available, but the top-heaviness of the scope always seems to make carrying the rig via the strap awkward and uncomfortable, and some part of the assembly always digs into shoulder or back.

digi-birder Wednesday 27th August 2003 14:42

I've tried the Optech neoprene strap - one end clamps round the column at the top and one at the bottom. Couldn't get on with that as it wasn't balanced.

Then tried both ends round the top of the column and still not comfortable - kept slipping off the shoulder.

Bought the Manfrotto strap that goes across the body and clamps to the split ring. This was a bit tight and rather harsh at times, digging into the neck. Some days I could get it just right and others I would be in pain after half an hour.

At the Birdfair I bought one like Keith's, which he bought at Slimbash. It's by a small (looks like husband and wife) company called Mondell. There is a neoprene shoulder pad and webbing straps that can be adjusted. This goes over the shoulder and across the body. It comes together in a clamp, the other part of which goes around the top of the centre column. You can then leave the body part on and unclamp the tripod for quick use. It is very comfortable to use.

The only thing is - they don't have a website and they don't take credit cards. You have to order by post and send a cheque.

You can get a waist belt to go with it, onto which you can hang pouches for field guides, etc. They also do a harness type affair which holds the tripod horizontally with three small clamps.

When I get home I will get the address for you to send for a catalogue.

Doug Wednesday 27th August 2003 14:48


My wife and I bought the same kit from Mondell as you. I saw a guy using one in the optics tent, he had bought from them years ago so we tracked them down. It is very comfortable to use and I like the quick release idea.

I also bought the waist strap as this distributes the weight even further and Elizabeth bought the guide pouch too as she carries Collins in the field.

They are a nice couple but the web site/credit card thing is a bit frustrating. He made the comment that they like to go away birding often so a website would tie them to having to process orders and answer emails daily.

I can highly recommend the design - the scope and tripod are no longer a burden and my sore shoulder is nearly healed!!

digi-birder Wednesday 27th August 2003 14:54

Keith bought the waist strap, but he doesn't like it, so I've claimed that and I also bought the pouch for the field guide at the fair.

POP Wednesday 27th August 2003 15:34

Dianne would you keep me posted on the address for the strap.
Many Thanks,


Tannin Wednesday 27th August 2003 16:09

Just balance it on my shoulder. At this time of year it works fine. But in warm weather, it digs into my bones something chronic. I'm thinking about making some kind of cushion to sew onto my shirt to deal with that.

ralphj Wednesday 27th August 2003 19:45

Dear digi-birder, the Mondell system for carrying a tripod sounds excellent. Could you please post the address of the firm to allow your followers to contact the suppliers.
Forgive me just bursting in but I have only recently fallen over this brilliant forum. It is compulsory daily reading.

IanF Wednesday 27th August 2003 20:05

Hi Ralph,

On behalf of Admin and the Moderators, welcome to Bird Forum :t:

It is as you say and excellent site discussing all things to do with birding. I too hope that digi-birder can locate the address as it sounds like it is just what I need. Even better in that it's been field tested !

I did see a stand at the Bird Fair with carrying straps which I only had a brief look at and now wish I'd spent a bit more time there. It may well have been this product. especially as it will likely be next year's fair before I'd see them again!

digi-birder Wednesday 27th August 2003 21:28

Ralph, I love that! My followers. You'll do well here, I can tell!

Here are the details, as promised. A bit late in the day, but we've been out house-hunting (did I tell you I was moving house?).

The people are called Chris MONtgomery and Kathy RanDELL, hence the company name, Mondell. The telephone number to request a catalogue is 01395 232192 (fax number the same). They're based in Exeter.

The catalogue has photos of the products and a price list - I have the Spey Side Sling, with an optional 50mm Karibelt (this slides through a slit in the sling and distributes the weight a bit more, as Doug says). Keith couldn't get used to this, though, and so abandoned it. I also have the Kariguide, which takes a field guide and this is also slipped onto the belt.

To give you some idea of price, the Spey Side sling is 22 with the neoprene shoulder strap, which I would recommend you get. Belt is 5 and pouch is 12.

Ian, they may be able to let you know when they're at another show if you prefer to look before you buy.

Hope this helps you, my devoted followers! If you have any more queries, please do not hesitate to ask.

pete schofield Wednesday 27th August 2003 21:54

Optech strap shortened and attached to rings on Skua case, that's when I could walk. Now just bang it all on the back of my golf buggy and away we go 8 miles an hour.

Another way which is what her indoors uses is a Scopack as sold by Cley Spy norfolk.

This attaches to the neck of tripod just below the head, also to the tops of 2 of the legs then just sling it on your back a la rucksack, Carole swears by it says it is the best way she has found of carrying a scope.

Just to move this thread ever so slightly how do you carry your bins.

We use to use a harness over both shoulders and the bins clip on at the front. We still do but have changed to a Harness that we found at the Bird Fair. Same idea except the harness is now made of elastic.

Excellent hardly feel the weight.


Geoff Brown Wednesday 27th August 2003 22:22


I like your "if in doubt panic", it reminds me of "if at first you don't succeed - give up" from many years back.

digi-birder Thursday 28th August 2003 07:53

I almost went for the golf trolley method, but then I couldn't see that being very easy to use if you have to go over stiles and other barriers.

Also, having seen the Scopack, that does not appear to offer any way of carrying a ruksack as well as the scope, which I can do very comfortably with the Mondell system.

James Thursday 28th August 2003 08:12

Simple solution,

Meet nice girl, marry her, convert her into a birder, get her to carry scope or tripod (or both!) Worked for me!


digi-birder Thursday 28th August 2003 13:11


Originally posted by James
Simple solution,

Meet nice girl, marry her, convert her into a birder, get her to carry scope or tripod (or both!) Worked for me!


Maybe it's just that fake limp she falls for every time!! :t: ;)

IanF Thursday 28th August 2003 13:14

Thanks for the tip Diane, I phoned for a brochure this morning :t:

digi-birder Thursday 28th August 2003 13:19

You're welcome, Ian. Hope you like it if you decide to get one. I haven't found a more comfortable way that still allows me to carry a backpack, as well as the binocular harness. It's so comfortable as there's nothing hanging round my neck and you can still use your arms freely without things falling off the shoulder.

John N Thursday 28th August 2003 14:42

I also phoned for a brochure this morning.Thanks for the number Diane and thanks Ian for starting this thread.


ralphj Friday 29th August 2003 20:49

Diane, thank you for the Mondell info. Isn't Chris Montgomery a helpful guy! He seemed pleased but bemused at the level of enquiries from this forum and gave a good description of the use and merits of their various products. I left with the impression that they would be considering a web site as the way forward.

Aside to James: It worked the other way around in this household. My birder wife (Jane - lovely girl) converted me to the joys of bird observation but I somehow now seem to be permanently festooned with scope, tripod and binoculars - hence the interest in Mondell.


rogerscoth Saturday 30th August 2003 14:31


Originally posted by James
Simple solution,

Meet nice girl, marry her, convert her into a birder, get her to carry scope or tripod (or both!) Worked for me!


I tried that approach James, but after my wife knocked herself a few times she suggested (not very politely) that I carry it myself or it would be returned to me with some force!:flowers:
The Mondell idea seems quite a good alternative solution to the problem, even though my tripod is a fairly lightweight carbon-fibre type.


IanF Monday 1st September 2003 21:10

Well I sent off for the Speyside today along with the Karibelt as the brochure arrived this morning. That combo looks as if it will best suit my needs.

Now it's fingers crossed they arrive before I go on holiday!

Thanks again Diane for telling us all about Mondell.

digi-birder Monday 1st September 2003 21:22

You're welcome. I hope it arrives in time and that you like it.

digi-birder Monday 1st September 2003 21:35

And have a great holiday.

IanF Monday 8th September 2003 22:36

Well my Speyside arrived this morning and I got chance to try it out this evening. It's the perfect piece of kit for my needs, greatly reducing the strain on my shoulder and enabling the scope and tripod to be carried even hands free.

digi-birder Tuesday 9th September 2003 09:36

Marvellous, Ian. Have a pain-free holiday.

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