A glassing stool — the piece of gear you might be missing
When you’ve been glassing hour after hour, you will soon realize how uncomfortable some glassing situations can be. Foam pads designed for glassing are great, old roll-up sleeping pads work wonders, but sometimes, there is a need for something a little more designed for the task at hand. And a glassing stool fits that description perfectly!
Alright, I know what you might be thinking, why do we need another piece of gear to bring on a hunt? But trust me when I say this, they are worth their minimal weight and a glassing stool adds a level of comfort and can make your glassing efforts more efficient. After all, you can't hunt what you can't see!
This past year, our Optics Manager Cody Nelson turned me on to the Hillsound BTR glassing stool. I took the 17” model on my spring black bear hunt and Neville used the 14” model and they instantly became a huge hit! In my opinion, I don’t think I will ever hunt spring bears again without a glassing stool and I can easily see them fitting into other hunts I have for mule deer too.
Hillsound BTR glassing stool specs
|14" version||17" version|
|Weight||12.6 oz||14.1 oz|
|Material||Seat - 100% nylon mesh
Poles - Aluminum Alloy 7001
|Load Capacity||240 lbs|
Glass in comfort
When glassing all day long, I found the stool enabled me to glass more effectively as I was able to stay more comfortable. Sometimes when glassing off my small pad on the ground, I might catch myself leaning back from time to time and pulling my eyes off the optics. With the stool, I was sitting in the perfect position to glass for long periods of time.
No more glassing with ticks!
It should go without saying, but a glassing stool gets you off the ground and during the spring when hunting black bears, this is huge as you no longer are sitting in vegetation that is full of ticks.
Get off the wet ground
Another obvious benefit to a glassing stool is getting off the wet ground. There is nothing worse than sitting in the snow for long hours at a time. Having a glassing stool can alleviate the loss of critical body heat from being in contact with the ground.
Doesn't take up a ton of room in your backpack
Space and weight is always a consideration on a backpack hunt. And the great thing about the Hillsound BTR is that it folds up super compact and weighs less than a pound. You can easily fit this glassing stool on the side of your backpack or even toss it inside your pack.
Perfect chair for camp
Another added benefit of taking a glassing stool on a hunt, is they add another level of comfort at camp or while cooking.
Hillsound BTR vs. Helinox Chair Zero
The Helinox Chair Zero is another great option. But after using one several times in years past, personally, I don’t like how “laid back” the design is for glassing and you kind of need to have the tripod right over your lap. It serves as a better camp chair in my opinion than a straight-up glassing stool. I also didn’t like how low the chair sits to the ground as it can be sort of hard to get out of the chair for a 6’ 5” guy like myself. If you are worried about weight, in comparison, the Helinox Chair Zero weighs in at 18 ounces and the Hillsound BTR weighs 14.1 ounces. There isn't a big difference in weight but it will mainly come down to what you're looking for in a glassing stool.
While there are many great options for tools that can make glassing more comfortable like glassing pads you make yourself or ones you can purchase like a Therm-A-Rest Z Seat, and even the Helinox Chair Zero. It's always great to have options and after using the Hillsound BTR glassing stool a bunch this season, I now realize what I have been missing. So depending on the style of the hunt I’m going on, I’ll be bringing the Hillsound BTR glassing stool on a lot of my future hunts.