2019 Tripods from Slik for Backcountry Hunting
Out with the old Slik tripods, and in with the new? Well sort of. We have been carrying our 2 favorite Slik tripods for years. Actually for 8 years! Even when Slik decided to drop them in 2014, we reached out and asked if they would continue to build them just for us. And they did!! In fact we sold them so well, that Slik decided to add them back to their line up. We instantly became a victim of our success as we found non-hunting (and a few hunting) websites selling them again. And now for 2019 Slik has decided to make some changes…some good and some bad.
Slik has discontinued both the 624 Pro CF and the 634 Pro CF. We are sold out of both models and we will not able to source them in the future. Don’t ask me why Slik discontinued them, because I don’t know. My only guess is to simplify their line of carbon fiber tripods. (UPDATE!! S&S Archery will be offering exclusive access to the CF-624 in the summer of 2019!!)
Slik has replaced both the 624 Pro CF and the 634 Pro CF tripods with similar models. Well sort of.
634 Pro CF vs Pro CF-634 (old vs new)
See what they did there with the name? Yea, I don’t get it either. It’s a new model, just give it a new name. Fortunately they kept the specs very similar. Basically they kept everything the same, except for a new spring loaded hook at the bottom of the center post. This is a nice new feature that we’ve been wanting for a long time from Slik. Here are the head to head stats for comparison.
|Specs||Pro 634 CF (old)||Pro CF-634 (new)|
|Weight||2.05 lb||2.0 lb|
|Spring Loaded Center Column Hook||nope||yep|
|Load Capacity||7 lb||6.5 lb|
|Head Attachment Fitting||Reversible 1/4″ to 3/8″||Reversible 1/4″ to 3/8″|
|Maximum Height w/o Column Extended||51″||51″|
Something you won’t find on either of the new Slik tripods is a foam grip. This is a feature that I loved on those cold early morning glassing sessions. Although talking to S&S owner Steve Speck, he didn’t seem to mind, so maybe it’s just a personal preference.
624 Pro CF vs Pro CF-635 (old vs new)
Unfortunately the specs on my favorite tripod, the 624 Pro CF did not come across to its “replacement”. The Pro CF-635 is taller and has an additional leg section, but it does come with the spring loaded center column hook. This is a tough pill for me to swallow. I really liked the stability, weight and height of the old 624. Here are the head to head stats, and I’ll discuss the changes below.
|Specs||Pro 624 CF||Pro CF-635|
|Weight||1.8 lb||1.9 lb|
|Spring Loaded Center Column Hook||nope||Yep|
|Load Capacity||8.8 lb||6.6 lb|
|Head Attachment Fitting||3/8″||Reversible 1/4″ to 3/8″|
|Maximum Height w/o Column Extended||36.5″||44″|
|Leg Sections||4 sections||5 sections|
The weight on the new Pro CF-635 is a touch heavier despite not including the foam grips. This is obviously due to the extra leg section, which in my mind is too skinny to offer added stability when fully extended. It is nice to have a few extra inches when you need them. No pun intended…
While this tripod is not an exact replacement for the 624 Pro CF, we are testing another tripod that might fit very nicely into this nitche. Look forward to a complete roundup in a couple months after we have a chance to evaluate our new offerings.
Some things change, some things stay the same
The load capacity is reduced on both tripods, but is still enough to handle the heaviest of spotters you’ll want to carry into the backcountry. Your pan head selection will have more impact on this than anything. Also Slik measures its load capacity more honestly than other manufacturers tend to. Its measured with loads not only on the top of the tripods, but tilted to the side in less than perfect positions as well.
Twist locks are our favorite style and we love the “chunky” feel of the knobs on the Slik tripods. New this year is a tiny hint of blue on the gearing under the knob. Not gonna lie, I don’t hate it..
Stamp of approval
We’ve done our homework and are happy to report that Slik’s newest tripods are still ideal for your backcountry hunts. There are a couple minor disappointments, but for the most part we are happy to see some key changes to these tripods. And fortunately for our customers the prices are staying the same.