Bipod Reviews - Neopod, Evolution and SLK Industries

By Mike Trenholm

In conducting these bipod reviews, I intentionally did not look at any reviews or user comments on the bipods prior to my use and evaluation. I simply read the instructions, attached the bipods to my rifle and took them to the range. I also did not look at the price of any of the reviewed bipods. Knowing the price of an item can easily influence a reviewer when going into a product evaluation.

Each unit was attached to my Blaser R8 long range setup, carrying one of my heavy match barrels. I estimated that using this rifle would give a fair evaluation of the various bipods’ capabilities. The total weight of rifle and scope is just over 12 pounds, heavier than my hunting rifles but not as heavy as many range rifles I’ve shot next to.

First up is the Neopod Ultralight Hunting Bipod from Steinert Sensing Systems. This super lightweight 3 ounce bipod is made of a polymer/carbon fiber mix. The manufacturer calls this material PEEK and claims it has a tensile strength equal to stainless steel while weighing less than aluminum. The bipod feels really strong in the hand and on the rifle. After installation, I was able to load the rifle as I normally do with Harris or other metal bipods.

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The Neopod Ultralight Hunting Bipod easily attaches to your rifle stock with a bayonet style mounting system that can be affixed to a Harris type sling stud. Because of the Neopod has some small parts that could be easily dropped, I highly recommend the unit be mounted before you leave for the range or field. The bipod attaches to the bayonet mount with a spring loaded locking collar. There are many attachment options available to adapt this bipod to a Picatinny rail, a flush mount sling attachment, flat or curved stocks. The bipod can even be mounted with the bayonet reversed to accommodate use with a suppressor attached to the barrel.

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The Neopod Ultralight Hunting Bipod has spring loaded adjustable length legs (6” - 9”) with a powerful spring that can fully extend the legs from any position from fully collapsed or partially extended at about 1/4” increments. The extension stops are secure clicks and operate very smoothly. The legs deploy easily from the stowed forward position and lock down with a cam over type mechanism. To retract, you simply pull away from the mount about 1/4” and move forward to the stowed position.

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When the legs are in the forward position there is a powerful magnet that holds them together and keeps them from making noise while moving. I tested the Neopod from the prone position and from over my hunting pack. As I expected, the legs were very easy to deploy, and I was able to load up the Neopod for proper shoulder pressure. The Neopod’s legs have rubber covered foot pads that are “sticky” enough to hold on most surfaces.

The Neopod doesn’t have a mechanism for controlling cant like the Harris bipod’s pod lock.
You have to hold for stability because the Neopod is able to cant approximately 20 degrees left and right of center. Panning is limited to less than 5 degrees in either direction, and that’s only from slight movement of the legs when in the down and locked position.

This bipod has a very unique, well thought out design. The Neopod Ultralight Hunting Bipod is lightweight, simple to attach, quick to deploy and easy to adjust for various field shooting situations. Neopod markets this unit as a hunting bipod, and I agree that the Neopod is best considered a field/hunting system. For range use, this bipod’s non-locking cant and limited lateral adjustment may not suit every long range accuracy shooter.


Pros

- Super lightweight and strong
- Easily attached and removed once mounting bayonet installed on rifle
- Easily adjustable leg length and deployment

Cons

- No tension adjustment for cant
- Very limited panning range

Bipod Reviews

Next up is the SLK Industries Bipod. This bipod is a more traditional metal bipod that has manually adjustable legs in the same 6” - 9” range as the Neopod. The 14.7 ounce SLK bipod is mounted to your rifle with an ADM style picatinny rail mount, and has a friction adjustable cant lever for maintaining rifle position. There is no panning provision, but the inherent looseness of the legs provides a very minimal amount of panning. The legs are capped with a rubber “chair leg” type cover. This cover grips well on a variety of surfaces.

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When the legs are stored forward, they are friction fitted in position. The legs move a bit in the forward stowed position and could make noise during more active shooter movement. Deploying the legs does not require operating any type of release, much like deploying the legs on a Harris bipod. Movement of the legs does feel a little stiff and almost grating. I suppose that’s a function of being friction fitted in the stowed position and may smooth up with more use. The legs do lock into the down position and require the pressing of a button near the top to be released and moved to the stowed position. Like the Neopod, the legs are either up or fully down. There are no intermediate locking positions or ability to lock the legs to the rear like with a Harris type set up.

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Adjusting the legs is strictly a manual 5 position affair. The shooter depresses a part near the top of the leg and moves it into the desired position. I found this movement also a bit stiff and grating though it was easy to choose your desired position.

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At the range, I found the deployment and adjustment a bit cumbersome. Deploying the legs was rather fast and easy, but making leg length adjustments was not as fast or easy as the spring loaded type of bipod legs. Being prone and making manual adjustments requires the shooter to tilt their rifle and hold that position while depressing the leg extension release and manually pulling the leg out. Not a very easy maneuver to do when behind the rifle and not very fast to get it right.

The ADM pic attachment with cant friction worked very well. However, there is more inherent movement in the loose fitting of the legs to the mount. Properly loaded, this wasn’t much of an issue. It would make the shooter pay more attention to technique when settled in behind their rifle wearing this bipod. This closeness does afford the shooter a degree of panning ability.

I think the SLK bipod, while a well-made sturdy piece of kit, does lack some of the ease of use, smoothness and ease of adjustment other brands of bipods afford the shooter.

Pros

- Sturdy and fast attachment mechanism
- Locking cant friction works very well
- Nice adjustment range

Cons

- Heavy for size
- Bit clumsy when adjusting leg length
- Fit of legs to mount a bit loose and creates movement that may be distracting

Bipod Reviews

The Evolution Bipod from Modular Evolution, LLC is really a shooting support system. It is a modular bipod with removable legs, and is quickly adaptable into different configurations. It can be a short-legged bipod or a tripod-mounted shooting support system within a few minutes.

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The Evolution bipod I used had 3 sets of legs, making it capable of extra short (8” - 11”), short standard (10” - 14”) and sitting length high (22 - 29”) use. I usually don’t use a high bipod as I nearly always use a tripod for taller shooting positions. The bipod attaches to the rifle with another tactical ADM picatinny mount. There is even an adapter available that allows the ADM mount to be used with a tripod. I didn’t try this option, but it would be very secure.

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The Evolution bipod’s lightweight carbon fiber legs are connected to the mount via a very secure quick detach mechanism. The bipod’s leg length is adjusted via a spring loaded mechanism very similar to the mount attachment. I did find the springs a bit weak for deploying the legs to full extension unless the legs were pointed down so that gravity could assist.

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The legs are moved and deployed with an Atlas type mechanism. This allows forward and rearward leg movement and 5 position locking as your situation requires. With the short set of legs extended to the 45 degree position, you can get your rifle down to about 4” above the ground. That’s about as low as I’ve encountered with any shooting support system. Leg movement fore and aft is smooth through the bipod’s full range. The Evolution system is very secure and locks up well. It is not as quick to deploy as some other leg motion and locking systems. A pod lock type friction device controls the rifle cant friction through about 20 degrees of movement and works very well. The mount that I reviewed does not allow for panning.

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This bipod is very sturdy when loaded. This affords the shooter a stable platform for long shots and minimizing movement that would input errors when breaking the shot. At the range I found the versatility of the system to be a distinct advantage. The various leg lengths offer the shooter quickly adjustable options. The Evolution bipod proved steady in prone, sitting, kneeling and various improvised shooting positions. The flexibility of this bipod system greatly assists the shooter when moving between positions. It’s much easier to change a set of lightweight quick detachable legs than it would be to carry additional bipods afield.

A very lightweight and sturdy platform, the Evolution bipod has a natural place on the range, in tactical shooting and in the field hunting. It’s a solid, lightweight and durable bipod system, and there are several other accessories available to make the Evolution bipod even more versatile.

Pros

- Lightweight
- Durable
- Versatile
- Smooth operation

Cons

- Spring tension for leg extension is light
- Lock up of quick detach fittings can be a bit finicky

A few words about my testing protocol. First, due to the time of year here in the vast frozen wasteland of northern Minnesota, I only have access to my backyard range, which limits my shooting options and range. I can only test the bipods by shooting at 90 yards here. I just don't have access to other longer ranges until the frost comes out of the ground. I really gotta move south!

I fired my rifle from various field positions with each bipod. A minimum of 30 rounds were sent with each unit depending on the limitations imposed by the characteristics of the unit. All bipods were shot from prone, over pack and other improvised shooting positions. The Evo Mod with the longer legs attached was also shot from kneeling and sitting positions.

I think the Evo is probably the most versatile and adaptable platform of the bunch. It is easily converted to different configurations and easily adapted for multiple uses. The range of leg lengths makes it usable on the range and in the field. Its light weight would keep it from becoming a heavy burden to carry in the field. I think the springs on the legs could have a bit more tension to them. The legs didn't spring out as smoothly as they could with more spring tension behind them. That may correct itself with more use as things get broken in and smoothed out.

Here's my bottom line - The Versapod would be my choice for purely a lightweight short hunting unit. Especially when backpack hunting. Its use on the range would be limited because of the lack of friction for limiting movement.

The Evo would be the best all-around range and field unit. It’s lightweight, adjustable, adaptable to many uses, and it does them all very well.

The bipods presented here offer the shooter/hunter a wide variety of options they can use and adapt to their specific situations. Bipod selection is, like many other things in the hunting and shooting world, very personal to the shooter. I hope these reviews will assist readers with information they can use to decide on their own bipod purchases.


Mike Trenholm is an avid hunter, shooter and pilot. He is a retired law enforcement officer pilot with near 40 years of military and police experience including over 30 years as a police firearms and marksmanship instructor. Currently semi retired, Mike enjoys hunting all over the world with his wife and German Shorthair pointers. He also still spends a lot of time both conducting and receiving firearms training on both long guns and pistols. He works part-time as Pro Staff for a German rifle maker and Swedish ammunition manufacturer. Spending as much time as possible flying his Super Cub and enjoying the view from above in a much more leisurely manner is another way he enjoys spending his time