Best Shooting Rest: Review and Buying Guide

shooting rest

If you are trying to increase your shots’ accuracy, using a quality shooting rest will help you do that.

Shooting rests come in various styles, and once you find the right type for you, you will understand why this inexpensive piece of equipment is so valuable.

We have put together a review of five of the best shooting rest for 2021. Each rest has its own particular advantage. Consider how you will want to use the rest when deciding which one will suit your purpose best.

Best Shooting Rest For 2021






Caldwell Handy

Durable & Lightweight


Vanguard Quest

360-degree swivel


Vanguard Porta

Lightweight & portable



Quiet use



360-degree rotation


Product Reviews

The Caldwell Handy Rest NXT is a versatile front rest. Designed with a full six feet of elevation adjustment at 100 yards, the Caldwell has a front sling stud clearance groove. Constructed of durable, lightweight materials, this rest will help improve your accuracy.

Its innovative design includes a removable handgun support attachment. This attachment easily converts the Caldwell rifle rest into a handgun rest. The front rest and handgun support feature material with a surface material that will not scratch or damage your firearms, but at the same time offer a steady shooting surface. The rest also features a front sling stud clearance groove.

Here is a video to take a look at how the Caldwell rest works.


  • 3 inches of elevation adjustment at the cradle
  • Front sling stud clearance groove
  • Durable, lightweight polymer with rubber over molding
  • Removable handgun support for use with a pistol, revolver, or rifle
  • Lock knob for repeatable accuracy

The Quest T62U is a tripod, bipod, and gun pod all in one! Made from durable, heavy-gauge aluminum alloy, this shooting stick is sure to be sturdy. The Quest has a removable third leg to use as a monopod. 

The soft foam, contoured handgrip makes it easy to use the Quest, and the anti-slip rubber feet provide a stable platform. The shooting stick has a removable U-shaped yoke with rubber fins. 

The yoke swivels 360 degrees so that you can take shots at every angle. This can be done without having to reposition the shooting stick. By removing the yoke and using its universal ¼ inch thread bolt, the Quest will serve as a mount for spotting scopes, camcorders, or cameras. 

You will be able to easily take the Quest along wherever you go, as it weighs just over two pounds and folds to less than 2.5 feet in height. The quick leg locks will make height adjustments quick and easy.


  • 27-62 inch adjustable leg length
  • U-shaped yoke with rubber fins
  • 360-degree swivel
  • Flip leg locks
  • Foam hand grips
  • Anti-slip rubber feet
  • Leg spread strap
  • Matte black 

Constructed of sturdy aluminum, the Vanguard Porta-Aim provides stable shooting support in a portable device that is perfect for the hunter. The Vanguard will enable you to get locked on your target and stay there with help from a 360-degree swiveling bag. 

There is a quick height adjustment, and the compact design gives you the ability to set-up and break-down in just minutes. With a quick single-handed center column adjustment ring, the unit collapses into a convenient size for carrying to your next set-up location. 

Lightweight at 1.7 pounds, this shooting rest is an easy carry. The Vanguard will help you to increase the stability and accuracy when you shoot. Vanguard Port-a-Aim Gun Rest will be a valuable addition to your shooting arsenal.


  • Patented quick height adjustment
  • Folding shape
  • Compact design
  • Fast set-up
  • Lightweight and portable
  • 360-degree swivel

This versatile gun rest is excellent for hunters and shooters alike. The YPOD ticks all the boxes for being durable, adjustable, adaptable, and easy to use. Made from machine grade plastic in an injection molding process, this rest will endure harsh environments. 

All of the components are constructed for strength and longevity. You can adjust the height of the YPOD from seven to eleven inches, depending on the shooter and the caliber of the firearm. 

This ensures a quiet operation with the tension ring inside the upper assembly. The last thing you want is a noisy adjustment in the field that might startle the game. Designed for two environments, a deer stand or a hunting stand from a shooting rail. 

The rubber base of the YPOD will hug the shooting rail without slipping or noise. The barrel of your gun will be raised well above the shooting rail and provide you with a comfortable shooting position; no hunching over. 

The design is ideal for the shooting range or from a tabletop. The base of the YPOD will sit firmly on a table or shooting bench and provide a steady position.


  • Quiet use
  • Works with any firearm
  • Use on shooting rails.
  • Use on tabletop
  • Adjust the height from 7 to 11 inches
  • Machine grade plastic

Made with a heavy-duty aluminum alloy and polymer, the Pormucal shooting rest will stand up to the elements when you are on the hunt out in the field. The tripod design makes this rest perfect for shooting at the gun range or on the ground in a hunting situation.

With a 360-degree rotation, yoke gives you the ability to react to whatever situation arises. Non-slip rubber feet keep the tripod steady and offer steady shooting support. The soft rubber-covered yoke will hold all types of guns securely.

An easily adjustable height turning control will adjust from 8.6 inches up to 12.6 inches. When moving to another location, the Pormucal folds easily, and at just 10.5 ounces and 13.5 inches long, you can slide the rest into a large pocket.


  • Height adjustment from 8.6 to 12.6 inches
  • Portable
  • Lightweight at 10.5 ounces
  • Constructed of heavy-duty aluminum alloy and polymer
  • Tripod design
  • 360-degree rotation V yoke 

What To Look For When Buying The Best Shooting Rest

As we had said before, there are many types, sizes, and styles of shooting rests. Every kind of rest will have its advantages and disadvantages. Here are the main types of gun rests. Consider each to decide if this is what will work for how you shoot most often.

The Lead Sled Shooting Rifle Rest

A lead sled is a general term for any type of shooting rest that will hold, support, and contain a rifle solidly in place. These types of shooting rests focus on eliminating human error. Once the rifle is sighted in, it is up to the shooter to get the right aim and follow-through by squeezing the trigger.

A lead sled is most often used with high caliber rifles or pistols that are hard to control or have significant kickback. A rest like this will be heavier in weight, as they require a heavy-duty design. If the rifle has a long barrel, additional weight will be added to minimize the recoil. These rests tend to be the heaviest, the bulkiest, and the most expensive.

Shooting Bags Are A Portable Shooting Rest

Before shooting rests were readily available, sandbags were employed to stabilize guns while practicing. The shooting bags available today use that same concept to good effect. They are a relatively inexpensive and portable way to tote your rest from place to place.

The shooting bag reduces recoil and gives additional support to help the shooter increase control. With practice, this results in better aim.

A shooting bag, while it can be a bit heavier to carry, is a convenient, versatile way to provide stability and recoil reduction from multiple shooting positions. Shooting bags are suitable for beginners and those that have more experience as well.

Shooting Tables

These shooting rests are definitely on the more elaborate end of the rest scale. Some rests will fold, and you can stow in your pocket, but a shooting table is not that tool. A shooting table will have a seat, usually padded, and a tabletop.

Some shooting tables will be more elaborate than others. The table will be portable, but definitely not a put-in-your-pocket type of portable. Some of them will have a fold-down construction that you then put on your back like a backpack for transporting.

If you do practice shooting or have a hunting spot that you are likely to set up in, a shooting table will give you a comfortable platform and a stable tabletop to shoot from.

Adjustable Shooting Pod Shooting Rests

Many shooting pods are used for out in the field hunting, especially with long-range shots. These types of rests are available in bi-pods or tripods and are most often portable. They are usually compact, lightweight, and able to fold up.

Once you get it set up, it gives you the support and stability needed to take an accurate shot. Ensure that if you choose this type of shooting rest, it has a 360-degree rotation on the rest.

Further Considerations When Choosing The Best Shooting Rest

When looking for a shooting rest, some are better than others, but there is not just one perfect option that works for all gun types. There are various types of rests, and one will work better in certain circumstances than another. Your needs might change depending on the circumstances presented at the range or in the field.

Varying factors will go into figuring out what type will work best for you, and you may find that you may need more than one rest to accommodate your shooting needs.

When thinking of what will work best for you, take into consideration:

  • The cost of the rest and your budget
  • The durability of the rest: will it hold up to what you need it for?
  • Benefits of the rest: will the particular rest provide the specific benefit you want?
  • Ease of use: is the rest easy to set up, take down, and use?
  • Shooting position: what position will you be in when using the rest for practice or in the field, and will the rest accommodate that position?

In Conclusion

Having the right shooting rest can make your target shooting times on the range more fun and let you focus on improving your aim and your skills without getting aching arms and forearms.

It also allows you to be a more conscientious hunter. Using a shooting rest to improve your accuracy, you are a more humane hunter.

For all circumstances, using a shooting rest is a win-win. Once you try a shooting rest, you will see how valuable this simple piece of equipment is.

Tips For Using A Shooting Rest

Even if the shooting rest that you use is solid and stable, your shoulder can nudge the gun at the moment of firing. When pulling the trigger, you can tug the gun off the target. Here are some tips for the proper technique when using a shooting rest.

Rest the for end of the gun, never the barrel. 

When a bullet passes through the barrel, it vibrates like a tuning fork. Direct pressure will cause the muzzle to sling the bullet off course.

Position the gun so that the rest contact the forend near its midpoint

 If you bear down on the gun that is rested too near the forend tip, you can bend the forend into the barrel. Support far to the rear, and you lose control as the gun can swivel.

Be aware of your body position.

A shooting rest doesn’t guarantee a good shot; it only helps you make a good one. An unsteady position can ruin a shoot, even in the best of circumstances.


How many types of shooting rests are there?

There are four types, or styles, of shooting, rests: lead sled, shooting bag, shooting table, and shooting pods.

Are shooting rests just for hunting or just for recreational shooting?

A shooting rest increases the accuracy of your shot. Whether you are hunting or at the firing range, accuracy is important. It is a valuable tool that will help you bag the game or improve your target practice. A shooting rest is for both hunting and recreational shooting.

What shooting rests are best for beginners?

Depending on what type of shooting you do and your individual needs. While there are many options, it might be a good idea to try one of The Best Caldwell Shooting Bags first. A shooting bag is useful at many levels of shooting and hunting. It works at the range or out in the field.

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Andrew Garfield

Andrew is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He has years of experience in hunting with expert knowledge in hunting tactics, rifle scopes and all types of hunting gear.

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