Tripod Comparison: Slik 634 vs Sirui T-024 vs Sirui 7C

trogers861

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Definitely not a professional reviewer--so I apologize in advance!

I am in the market for new lightweight backpacking tripod and couldn't decide based on research, so I purchased these three to do a side by side (I'll be returning two). I wanted something extremely light weight but also something that is tall enough for me to stand and glass with on that rare occasion (I am 6'7").

First impression is that the Sirui's build quality and stability far exceed the Slik. The slik is very wobbly and at full extension with any decent weight, the legs wants to start to spread and bend. it just feels very flimsy in comparison to the Siruis.

The T-024 is much shorter than the Slik but that is solved by adding the Sirui SL-100 centerpost extension. They both end up at the same height then and also about the same weight. The slik is 32.4oz and the Sirui with extension is 32.9oz. Even with the extension, the Sirui is more stable than the slik.

The build quality on the Slik just feels 'cheap' compared to the Sirui. The leg angle clips on the slik are plastic and I could see that going wrong easily. The sirui's are metal.

The T-024 also packs down smaller than the slik.

The Sirui 7C isn't really an apples to apples comparison as it is a much more substantial tripod. It weighs in at 44.5oz. It has larger diameter legs and is more sturdy than both. If I were using this solely for standing and glassing, I would probably go with the 7C. However, since I will be using this tripod mostly for sitting and glassing, I don't think the weight penalty of the 7C is worth it.

Lastly, I am awaiting a Sirui AM-124 which weights 41oz. Once I get my hands on this--I think it will be a tough decision between the T-024 and the AM-124. For a 8oz penalty I think the Am-124 will be a much better and more sturdy tripod.

I'll have these tripods for another few days before I return then. Please let me know if you have any questions or want more pictures/etc.
 

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atmat

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Thanks for the review. I actually ran the question of “Slik vs Sirui” by two of our prominent sponsors and both told me that the Slik was better made. Mine arrives today, so now you’ve got me worried!
 
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trogers861

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Thanks for the review. I actually ran the question of “Slik vs Sirui” by two of our prominent sponsors and both told me that the Slik was better made. Mine arrives today, so now you’ve got me worried!
A lot of what I read said similar. I actually ordered the Sirui's first--then read a bunch of threads about how great the Slik 634 was--so I had to get my hands on one. Had I just ordered the slik, I think I would have been okay with it and wouldn't have been as picky. However--since I had them all side by side, I think there is a night and day difference in build quality. Take that with a grain of salt though--a better comparison would be after using both for a year in the field.
 

Wanttohuntmore

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Thanks for the review. I ordered the Sirui months ago and like it, never tried the slik and always wondered if I was missing out.
 

ldrathman

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I can't seem to find any info. on the Sirui AM-124, but at 41oz maybe you are referring to the ST-124? If so, its the same tripod I run and as a taller guy (6'3") it is an awesome tripod. The triangular center post is great because it reduces the overall footprint while folded up, and to me, seems noticeably more stable when extended than a typical circular center post. Also, while a bit heavier than some of the other options in that price range, when you start comparing the max weight capacity vs. weight of the actual tripod...the weight penalty seems like a no brainer. I've read multiple reviews of guys shooting off of it via an arca rail on their rifle; something I sure you couldn't do with the others given their published max capacities.

By 'published' weights:
Sirui ST-124: capacity = 26.5lbs, tripod weight = 41oz
Slik CF 634: capacity = 6.6lbs, tripod weight = 32oz
Sirui T-024: capacity = 11lbs, tripod weight = 35.2oz
Sirui 7C: capacity = 17.6lbs, tripod weight = 55.36oz

I glass standing up with a 65mm Athlon Ares, and even with the center column extended a bit its been rock solid. Even with some wind, I've had zero image stability issues. Really surprised with its stats, it isn't brought up in the 'one tripod to rule them all' conversation more often. It seems to provide alot more options for a minor weight penalty than some of the others that are typically mentioned.
 
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trogers861

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I can't seem to find any info. on the Sirui AM-124, but at 41oz maybe you are referring to the ST-124? If so, its the same tripod I run and as a taller guy (6'3") it is an awesome tripod. The triangular center post is great because it reduces the overall footprint while folded up, and to me, seems noticeably more stable when extended than a typical circular center post. Also, while a bit heavier than some of the other options in that price range, when you start comparing the max weight capacity vs. weight of the actual tripod...the weight penalty seems like a no brainer. I've read multiple reviews of guys shooting off of it via an arca rail on their rifle; something I sure you couldn't do with the others given their published max capacities.

By 'published' weights:
Sirui ST-124: capacity = 26.5lbs, tripod weight = 41oz
Slik CF 634: capacity = 6.6lbs, tripod weight = 32oz
Sirui T-024: capacity = 11lbs, tripod weight = 35.2oz
Sirui 7C: capacity = 17.6lbs, tripod weight = 55.36oz

I glass standing up with a 65mm Athlon Ares, and even with the center column extended a bit its been rock solid. Even with some wind, I've had zero image stability issues. Really surprised with its stats, it isn't brought up in the 'one tripod to rule them all' conversation more often. It seems to provide alot more options for a minor weight penalty than some of the others that are typically mentioned.
I just went on Sirui's website and didn't see it either. Here is the product on Amazon:

I wonder what the difference is between the AM-124 and the ST-124?

All great feedback--thank you. I think I am going to like the AM-124/ST-124 more so than the T-024 and I agree it is probably worth the weight penalty.
 
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trogers861

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I can't seem to find any info. on the Sirui AM-124, but at 41oz maybe you are referring to the ST-124? If so, its the same tripod I run and as a taller guy (6'3") it is an awesome tripod. The triangular center post is great because it reduces the overall footprint while folded up, and to me, seems noticeably more stable when extended than a typical circular center post. Also, while a bit heavier than some of the other options in that price range, when you start comparing the max weight capacity vs. weight of the actual tripod...the weight penalty seems like a no brainer. I've read multiple reviews of guys shooting off of it via an arca rail on their rifle; something I sure you couldn't do with the others given their published max capacities.

By 'published' weights:
Sirui ST-124: capacity = 26.5lbs, tripod weight = 41oz
Slik CF 634: capacity = 6.6lbs, tripod weight = 32oz
Sirui T-024: capacity = 11lbs, tripod weight = 35.2oz
Sirui 7C: capacity = 17.6lbs, tripod weight = 55.36oz

I glass standing up with a 65mm Athlon Ares, and even with the center column extended a bit its been rock solid. Even with some wind, I've had zero image stability issues. Really surprised with its stats, it isn't brought up in the 'one tripod to rule them all' conversation more often. It seems to provide alot more options for a minor weight penalty than some of the others that are typically mentioned.I
I chatted with Sirui customer service and they said that the AM-124 and ST-124 are the same product--just marked with different product numbers for different sales channels.
 

4th_point

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Thanks for the review. I actually ran the question of “Slik vs Sirui” by two of our prominent sponsors and both told me that the Slik was better made. Mine arrives today, so now you’ve got me worried!

S&S Archery has a video comparing SLIK 624, 634, and the SIRUI T-024. They feel that the SLIK are more stable due to wider stance and more secure twist locks.

I believe that GoHunt states the same, that the SLIK is more stable in actual use.

I have bought SLIK and SIRUI. I definitely think SIRUI has more bling, but I wouldn't call it higher quality per se. Two peas in a pod really. It seems like you need to step up in price to get a higher level of quality.
 
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trogers861

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S&S Archery has a video comparing SLIK 624, 634, and the SIRUI T-024. They feel that the SLIK are more stable due to wider stance and more secure twist locks.

I believe that GoHunt states the same, that the SLIK is more stable in actual use.

I have bought SLIK and SIRUI. I definitely think SIRUI has more bling, but I wouldn't call it higher quality per se. Two peas in a pod really. It seems like you need to step up in price to get a higher level of quality.
i watched that same video and is where I got the preconception that the slik was going to be better. But after getting them in my hands--the slik just feels flimsy to me with a load on it compared to the Sirui T-024.

Regarding the twist locks, the Sliks are definitely larger--but they are both effective. When I lock them in on either the Slik or Sirui and then try my hardest to twist/retract the leg, neither brand budges. Photos attached of the twist locks. In this case--I am not sure that having 'larger' twist locks does anything more than add weight.

Another point against Slik in my book is the center post lock. Slik uses a little thumb screw. I can see losing this or breaking it off. Sirui uses the same twist lock system on the center post that it does on the legs. Far superior in my opinion. Photos attached.
 

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4th_point

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Have you used them in the field, with optics? I think that S&S and GoHunt are going off of actual field experience when they say one is more stable than the other.

I don't have a dog in the fight, and am glad that you found something that you like. Myself, I don't think either brand is anything to write home about.
 
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trogers861

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Have you used them in the field, with optics? I think that S&S and GoHunt are going off of actual field experience when they say one is more stable than the other.

I don't have a dog in the fight, and am glad that you found something that you like. Myself, I don't think either brand is anything to write home about.
No field testing--just garage testing as I am returning the ones I don't keep--so I can't really put them through the ringer. I did use my ATX 85mm and NL Pure 12x42s for my 'testing' though. I was looking at things in the 'worst case scenario' which would be legs fully extended, full height. If it feels unstable in my garage looking down the street--then its going to feel that way in the field when I have all the other elements to compete with.

Now with that being said, 90% of the time I would be glassing these tripods sitting down--not at full extension--so does the stability at full height really matter THAT much?

What tripod are you running or do you like? I am trying to find the best lightweight option--not necessarily the cheapest. Just figured while I had all these tripods together at once, i would try to post some information that could help others in the future.
 

atmat

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I think best lightweight option is probably the RRS Ascend with normal platform setup. The Gitzo’s look nice too. They’re just all multiple times the cost of Sirui and Slik, so it’s hard to justify.
 

4th_point

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Just figured while I had all these tripods together at once, i would try to post some information that could help others in the future.
Sharing information is good.

I'm glad that you mentioned the part about seated viewing. Using an 85mm scope on light duty tripods, with legs fully extended, is an unrealistic expectation and muddies the water.
 

sr80

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I went down the tripod rabbit hole trying to find a lighter option than my outdoorsmans medium. I tried out that sirui st-124. I ended up selling it, i do sit for my glassing. And i didnt like the leg angles on it, its seemed tippy to me with my spotter mounted. I could of expanded the legs to be at a wider angle and bigger foot print but if in a hurry to setup thats not always an option.

I also like longer and fewer leg sections, with fewer joints and sections you definitely notice a more stable and less shaky platform. Ive been eyeing up the slik CF-633 for a lighterweight option next. If i did get the 633 i would remove a lower leg section for sure. Seems like a lot of guys are worried about how compact / short a tripod gets when folded up, i dont really see the point of that. As long as it collapses so that it'll attach and not hang above my pack frame its good for me. I also think a little bit of a longer tripod attaches easier to the side of a pack and a short one .

I found this super cheap fluid pan head on amazon and its amazing for the price, i like it over the outdoorsmans pan head in that you can actually set the tension so you can move and pan with your binos and tripod and let it go and it wont flop over because its too loose. I found the outdoorsmans pan head that you either had to have it locked or too loose. On or off basically, with my spotter of course.

I removed the rubber grip and shortened the handle a few inches, probably my favorite head ive tried.

 

4th_point

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Thanks for the info on the fluid head! I've tried the Outdoorsmans head and it just wasn't smooth for me. Maybe it was defective.

I just checked out the SmallRig website and it looks like a well established company. I never heard of them before.

I'm not a fan of the SIRUI leg angles either. Even on the ST series it seems too tippy. The narrow stance makes the whole thing top heavy compared to a wider stance.

I also think the SIRUI twist locks have a lot of slop when you get down to the lower leg sections. They are tight enough where it doesn't collapse axially, but there is more play between the leg sections than with the SLIKs. It actually helps widen the stance though, so maybe it's not a bad thing.
 
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trogers861

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I went down the tripod rabbit hole trying to find a lighter option than my outdoorsmans medium. I tried out that sirui st-124. I ended up selling it, i do sit for my glassing. And i didnt like the leg angles on it, its seemed tippy to me with my spotter mounted. I could of expanded the legs to be at a wider angle and bigger foot print but if in a hurry to setup thats not always an option.

I also like longer and fewer leg sections, with fewer joints and sections you definitely notice a more stable and less shaky platform. Ive been eyeing up the slik CF-633 for a lighterweight option next. If i did get the 633 i would remove a lower leg section for sure. Seems like a lot of guys are worried about how compact / short a tripod gets when folded up, i dont really see the point of that. As long as it collapses so that it'll attach and not hang above my pack frame its good for me. I also think a little bit of a longer tripod attaches easier to the side of a pack and a short one .

I found this super cheap fluid pan head on amazon and its amazing for the price, i like it over the outdoorsmans pan head in that you can actually set the tension so you can move and pan with your binos and tripod and let it go and it wont flop over because its too loose. I found the outdoorsmans pan head that you either had to have it locked or too loose. On or off basically, with my spotter of course.

I removed the rubber grip and shortened the handle a few inches, probably my favorite head ive tried.

I might have to try that Small Rig pan head. I just bought a wiser to try out and both of the complaints I read about stand true--bounce back and the non adjustable handle get in the way of the tripod when trying to glass up a steep hill. It is amazingly small and light though. All about trade-offs I suppose.

Thanks for the info!
 
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trogers861

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Thanks for the info on the fluid head! I've tried the Outdoorsmans head and it just wasn't smooth for me. Maybe it was defective.

I just checked out the SmallRig website and it looks like a well established company. I never heard of them before.

I'm not a fan of the SIRUI leg angles either. Even on the ST series it seems too tippy. The narrow stance makes the whole thing top heavy compared to a wider stance.

I also think the SIRUI twist locks have a lot of slop when you get down to the lower leg sections. They are tight enough where it doesn't collapse axially, but there is more play between the leg sections than with the SLIKs. It actually helps widen the stance though, so maybe it's not a bad thing.
Great feedback. I wonder if there is a QC issue with Sirui and/or Slik? Your comment about the legs having play is exactly what I experienced when comparing the two--except it was the slik that had a lot of play. The legs literally bow outward and can 'wiggle' in the twist locks (not slip, just wiggle) on the lower sections. I agree that the Sirui is a narrower stance though which I guess I am indifferent on--seems to work fine with how I sit and glass.
 

atmat

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I might have to try that Small Rig pan head. I just bought a wiser to try out and both of the complaints I read about stand true--bounce back and the non adjustable handle get in the way of the tripod when trying to glass up a steep hill. It is amazingly small and light though. All about trade-offs I suppose.

Thanks for the info!
I love my Wiser. Glassing up a steep hill can be fixed pretty easily by adjusting one leg. But I do get your point!

Great feedback. I wonder if there is a QC issue with Sirui and/or Slik? Your comment about the legs having play is exactly what I experienced when comparing the two--except it was the slik that had a lot of play. The legs literally bow outward and can 'wiggle' in the twist locks (not slip, just wiggle) on the lower sections. I agree that the Sirui is a narrower stance though which I guess I am indifferent on--seems to work fine with how I sit and glass.
My new Slik 634 has almost no wiggle in the twist locks. So maybe it is a QC issue?
 
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trogers861

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I love my Wiser. Glassing up a steep hill can be fixed pretty easily by adjusting one leg. But I do get your point!


My new Slik 634 has almost no wiggle in the twist locks. So maybe it is a QC issue?
Do you have the bounce back issue with the wiser? I can eliminate it if I crank the tension down but then its not nearly as smooth when panning.
 

atmat

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Do you have the bounce back issue with the wiser? I can eliminate it if I crank the tension down but then its not nearly as smooth when panning.
I do. But mine doesn’t seem to be as bad as the videos I’ve seen. There’s no way around it though: it’s not as smooth as a bulkier head.

I don’t mind it as much, but also I’m not constantly panning. I pan over a bit and spend lots of time picking apart a hill. I can’t speak to how others use it. I think I’m just a turtle when it comes to glassing.
 
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