I've owned inexpensive camera tripods in the past, but when I stepped up to a quality (heavy) spotting scope, I decided that I needed to pair it with a quality tripod to get the most from it.
Manfrotto has an excellent reputation for quality and based on my experience with this tripod, that reputation appears well earned. I paired this with a horizontal grip style head and the combination has proven to be outstanding for my needs. Set it and forget it. Even with winds gusting into the 30mph range, the spotting scope not only stayed on my target frame at 100 and 300yds, but the scope didn't have any perceptible shake until the magnification was increased into the 50x+ range.
I haven't had an opportunity to use the horizontal configuration at the range but I have configured the tripod for prone shooting use as proof of concept. Again rock solid. I haven't seen another brand of tripod with this level of flexibility of use.
I bought this tripod primarily for use at the shooting range, so this wasn't an issue for me but it may be for others: the tripod is built like a tank and tips the scales like one as well. If light weight is a priority for your intended use, this might not be the ideal choice.
Not inexpensive, but certainly worth the cost, to me.
Pros: Rock solid, incredibly versatile
This review was written in the old system and had content requirements that are different than reviews written today.