Whether you are a target shooter, game hunter, or a bird watcher, enhanced vision can make life a great deal easier. Have access to the best spotting scope on the market is making an investment that can pay off over time. While spotting scopes are less portable than binoculars, they often have the best clarity and magnification possible for spotting targets at a distance.
Spotting scopes come in a variety of types and offer the option to see farther on the field. Hunters can detect animals at a longer distance, while bird watchers can see more details as they take in various species of winged animals. There are many factors that go into choosing a spotting scope, including the field of view, magnification, eye relief, aperture, and focus.
Our spotting scope reviews will break down the 11 best spotting scopes on the market today, so you know what your options are. We’ll also share buying information so you can be sure you select the scope that is right for your needs. Whether you are looking for a beginner’s model at an inexpensive price or something that offers the newest technology, there are plenty of options out there.
Best Spotting Scope in 2020: Reviews & Comparisons
Gosky 20-60x80 Spotting Scope
This scope by Gosky might be the best budget spotting scope on the market, which makes it a great option for anyone who wants to save a little extra cash. It offers 20x to 60x magnification through a dynamic lens focusing system that makes it easy to zoom in on a bird or animal.
The scope is fully multi-coated with a green film 80mm objective lens that can offer a view up to 1,000k yards. It offers BAK4 Porro prism optics for exceptional light transmission along with a clear and bright image. The device comes with an adapter for your smartphone, a carrying case, eyepiece, lens cover, and a cleaning cloth, so you don’t need to make extra purchases.
Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope
This hunting spotting scope by Celestron features sharper and brighter images than many spotters with a 60mm lens. It is refractor style with an Achromatic objective lens for top light transmission. The lens has a multi-layer, anti-reflection coating on the lens, zoom, and prisms. The zoom ranges from 20x to 60x magnification.
This scope comes with a padded soft case with zippers on the end so it can be used while mounted on a tripod while staying protected. The design is waterproof so it can be used in all sorts of weather. The scope is just over 18 inches long and weighs less than four pounds, making it easy to transport. The 45-degree eyepiece allows the use of a shorter tripod while viewing or taking photos.
Celestron 52304 Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope
Another top option from Celestron is the Regal M2 65ED spotting scope. It is built out of high-quality materials, including ED glass, to promise a great view from nearly any distance. The extra-low dispersion glass helps eliminate most visual defects so users can enjoy enhanced contrast and resolution.
The lenses are multi-coated with XLT optical coatings which are used in telescopes. This ensures the best light transmission even in a dim environment. This spotting scope is fog-proof and waterproof with a magnesium alloy body and a dual-speed focusing mechanism for quick and easy focusing on targets. It comes with the scope, a padded case, objective cover, eyepiece cover, T-mount adapter, and cleaning cloth.
Huicocy 20-60x60mm Zoom 39-19m/1000m Spotting Scope
When it comes to the best spotting scope for birding, this option from Huicocy is one of the least expensive while still offering great quality. This scope has 20x to 60x magnification so you can use the level best for your needs. The fog-proof and waterproof design offers a large range view with a 60mm objective lens.
The device comes with a table tripod and a kit to mount it to your smartphone. It features a 45 degree angled eyepiece so you can stay comfortable while it is in use. The field of view ranges from 39 to 1,000 meters to bring all the things you want to see right to your eye. It can be used for hunting, shooting, viewing, or any other purpose you have.
Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scope
If what you want is a top of the line spotting scope, you can’t do much better than the Vortex Optics Razor HD. It has a magnification of 11x to 33x with a 50mm objective lens. It has been designed to weigh very little, so you can pack it around with you without any trouble. The Apochromatic lens offers high resolution and color visibility. It also includes an anti-reflective coating for the most brightness possible.
The focus wheel on the spotter has numerous adjustment levels with macro adjustment for quick focusing and micro adjustment for fine-tuning the image. The eyepiece makes it easy to adjust the magnification level and can be folded up or down for use with or without glasses. This scope has a clear-focus of 6.6 feet, so it works up close or at a distance.
Roxant Authentic Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope with Zoom
This is one of the most inexpensive options on our list, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at the features available. The scope comes with a portable tripod, lens cap, and a carrying case, so you don’t need to pick up accessories right away. It has a 45-degree angle eyepiece from comfortable viewing and hunting.
This scope has a weatherproof rubber construction and includes a non-slip grip so it can be used nearly anywhere. The eyepiece is retractable with or without glasses and has an extendable sunshade to cut down on glare. The glass is military-grade and features BAK4 prism for the top light transmission and brightness when viewing.
Gosky Skyhawk 20-60x82mm Ultra HD Spotting Scope Kit
This spotting scope by Gosky offers a fully multi-coated 82mm objective lens, BAK-4 prism, and an ultra-wide eyepiece for a sharp and how powered view of your surroundings. It has a 20x to 60x zoom level for closer and farther viewing, depending on your needs.
The kit comes with the scope as well as a smartphone adapter, carrying case, lens and eyepiece protection covers, handy straps, and a cleaning cloth. The lens is fog-proof, dustproof, and waterproof to offer use in any sort of environment without extra worries. It has a rubber armor construction that withstands harsh weather and an eyepiece shield that can be pulled out for use.
Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope
The second scope from Vortex Optics on our list is the Diamondback which comes in an angled style for comfort while you use it. This is a lightweight device that can easily be carried around, but it has the features you’d expect of a heavier and more expensive model. This includes a multi-coated lens with a built-in sunshade to optimize light transmission and ensure clear images.
This model has a twist and lock collar that allows you to move the scope however you like for the best positioning. The eyecup also moves up and down so you can ensure comfort. It has convenient features, including a powerful zoom of 20x to 60x and a focus wheel that is simple to use.
Emarth 20-60x60AE Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod
The Emarth angled spotting scope is both waterproof and fog-proof so it can be used in almost any weather conditions. The spotter scope is sealed with O-rings to keep out dust, moisture, and debris while the barrel is filled with argon gas to prevent fogging. This is also a scope that comes with a lifetime warranty, which makes it a good choice for the long run.
This scope has a magnification of 20x to 60x and a 45 degree angled eyepiece with an ergonomic design. The field of view is from 39 to 1,000 meters, so nearly nothing is out of your viewing reach. The lens is fully multi-coated and uses BAK4 prisms to offer the best contrast with your images, even in situations with low light.
Landove 20-60X 809 Prism Spotting Scope
This Landove spotting scope features a dynamic focusing system which makes it simple to zoom in any target at between 20x and 60x magnification. The optics are fully multi-coated 80mm green film objective lens with a quality prism and eyepiece to offer the clearest, crispest, and brightest possible images.
This includes a waterproof, antifogging, and shockproof design that can be used in any situation, even where it is humid or moist. It is ruggedly constructed to offer versatility for all types of hunting, viewing, and shooting. It comes with a cell phone adapter that lets you take images and videos of things far away. It also comes with a tripod and mount, eyepiece and lens protection, a carrying case, and a cleaning cloth.
Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scope
This spotting scope from Vortex Optics is angled for comfort and has tons of features to offer the best performance. The optical system uses premium components to ensure high-definition images. XR coatings offer anti-reflectiveness for brighter visuals if you are in a situation with a limited amount of light.
This is an argon-purged and O-ring sealed product for fog-proof and waterproof use. It features an ArmorTek coating to help protect it from dirt, oil, and scratches. The rubber armor housing offers a great grip and durability for the user. It also has an eyepiece that is movable with a locking collar so you can swap between various viewing positions.
How to Select the Best Spotting Scopes for Your Needs
A spotting scope is essentially a small telescope that is made to use when there is daylight. When looking through a spotting scope, the image is magnified based on the lens the manufacturer includes in it. These scopes are smaller than a telescope and meant to be carried out into the field. Some of them are created to be used in all types of weather.
While a spotting scope doesn’t have as much magnification as a telescope, most of them have more than the typical pair of binoculars. You can typically get an excellent look at objects that are hundreds of yards into the distance. Scopes can be used with a tripod if you have the right mounting hardware, which can make them comfortable to use long-term.
Nearly every scope on the market these days offers fog-proofing and waterproofing, which means inclement weather won’t cause a problem. You also benefit from higher magnification for bird watching, hunting, or viewing landscapes. Some spotting scopes can also be used with camera attachments to take fantastic photos.
Features That Matter in a Spotting Scope
The main things to be aware of when choosing a scope are the optics quality, the material of the body, the weight, and whether it is a straight or angled model. Magnification is also important, especially if you are using the scope for hunting or watching wildlife.
There are three numbers that you should watch for on a scope. For example, a scope might read “20-60x” and “80mm.” If the scope has a higher magnification, this can sometimes lead to a reduction in clarity, so a balance is often the best choice. The first two numbers relate to the magnification options, while the second is the size of the objective lens.
Other things to consider when choosing the best spotting scope for the money include:
● Close Focus – This can be a great feature if included on a scope you are already considering. If it has a close focus feature of under 20 feet, that’s an excellent choice. Some of the best scopes on the market can let you view things as close at six feet from you.
● Eye Relief – This is another detail to consider while shopping and relates to how close your eye can be to the eyepiece to offer a full view. Those who wear glasses for vision or otherwise need the eyepiece farther back should look at a 16mm or farther eye relief number.
● Lens Coating – Many lenses have a coating applied by the manufacturer that helps improve the way light is delivered to your eyes. You may see different scopes that are described as fully coated or double-coated, among others. The top shelves often feature both multi and fully coated lens for the best visibility.
● Prism – A prism is offered so you can be sure you look at an image right side up and right to left. While this might seem like something obvious, older scopes did not always include this feature and it could lead to some confusion.
Other things to watch for when choosing the right spotting scope are the size and weight along with the level of waterproofing. Spotting scopes can vary in weight a great deal and the heavier ones tend to work well when using a tripod. However, there are also lighter scopes that work just as well that are easier to transport and carry along with you.
With these spotting scope reviews, you can easily determine the right one for your hunting, bird watching, or landscape viewing needs. Each is going to offer value for the money you spend and includes some of the most modern features possible. Once you find the right one, you can experience just how advantageous it is to see things from far away that you may never have noticed in the past!