Hearing that Promaster was coming out with a new series of mobile carbon tripods was both exciting and scary. S&S Archery is always staying on top of the latest gear, and we won’t sell anything that we wouldn’t use ourselves. So seeing new tripods from Promaster is VERY exciting. Promaster is well known for making high quality gear, and we have been using the XC525c for years. It’s easily been our most consistent selling and most versatile tripod. What’s the scary part? Hearing that the XC-M 525c would be replacing our favorite tripod, the XC525c! Will it hold up to our very high standards? Here is what we found!
Out with the old XC525c
The original model, the Promaster XC525c, has been a tried and true favorite tripod of backcountry hunters for years. Without the included ball head it weighed around 2lbs. It broke down to a short 15” and had a single leg that could be unscrewed to become a monopod or walking stick. The best thing about this tripod was its durability and build quality. Thick carbon fiber legs and all cast aluminum parts ensured this tripod would last for years.
XC side by side with the new XCM
In with the new
The new XC-M 525c tripod does add about 5 ounces without its included (and upgraded) ball head. It also loses the foam grip that was found on original model's monopod leg. But that’s where the bad news ends. The tripod has the same rugged build quality, with no plastic parts. The leg sections are the same, the leg locks are the same, and the leg angles are VERY close to being the same. Great news considering the wide stance is what gives this tripod much of its stability.
the dual stage center post is considerably taller
The biggest change is a new 2 stage center post that, like the previous model, locks above the legs making the adjustment easy.This new center post is still carbon fiber, and thick enough so that it doesn’t lose a ton of stability when extended. Having 2 sections can be tricky, turning one can influence the tightness of the other, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it's a nice addition. We have seen this design on other tripods without success, but Promaster somehow made it work pretty well. Full disclosure here, stability will almost always decline when extending the center post, so we always recommend making adjustments with the legs first!
Our favorite upgrade is all three legs that can be unscrewed for use as walking sticks, or tarp poles, or monopods.. or anything else you can imagine using them for. This added versatility is always welcome in the backcountry where every piece of gear should be able to perform multiple jobs.
Oh look at that, the price has been improved as well, $40 less than the XC525c.
Overall we think this is all pretty good news, and you can be sure we'll have more info and a deeper review of this tripod in the coming weeks.