If you are an outdoor adventurer and need more viewing range than what binoculars or riflescopes offer, then a spotting scope is a great option. Although full-sized spotting scopes offer larger objective diameters and zoom ranges, their size and weight can slow you down. And, this is the reason why compact spotting scopes are becoming very popular because they are more portable and manageable when you’re outdoors. Also, because of their relatively reduced features, compact spotting scopes are also more affordable when compared to their full-sized counterparts.
However, today there are plenty of spotting scopes available and finding the best compact spotting scope for your needs can be challenging. If you are overwhelmed with the choices in the market, our detailed guide of the best compact spotting scope is sure to help you in your quest in finding the best device for your needs.
Best Compact Spotting Scopes
Here are our compact spotting scope reviews.
The Roxant Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope is a compact scope and for good reason. Weighing only 17 oz. and measuring 9” in length, the spotter scope offers good magnification. The spotting scope offers an impressive 170-foot field of view and has loads of impressive features, which is why it is the best overall compact spotting scope.
- The scope has a rubber armor construction that is waterproof, non-slip and rugged.
- It has a fully multi-coated all-glass lens and BAK4 Prism that ensure excellent light transmission and offers crystal-clear viewing.
- The scope features a retractable/extendable eyepiece that can be used with/without glasses.
The Barska 20-60×60 has a multi-coated, 60 mm lens that provides good imaging. The scope is waterproof and has a rugged weather-sealed housing which makes it suitable for outdoor use. The spotting scope is compact and lightweight, which makes it easy to carry it around wherever you go.
- The 20-60x zoom range of the scope makes it suitable for a broad range of viewing.
- The adjustable objective lens of the spotting scope that delivers precision focus.
- The scope comes with a flip-down cover that protects the lens.
The Celestron LandScout Spotting Scope is a highly-rated compact spotting scope. The scope has a 50 mm aperture and offers an excellent field of view. The small-sized and lightweight spotting scope is a great device for close-range observation, target practice, etc.
- The scope features fully-coated optics that increases light transmission and delivers sharp and bright images.
- The scope has a 10-30x zoom eyepiece that offers excellent close-up viewing or a wide field of view.
- The large-sized focus wheel of the scope has a rubber grip that lets you focus on your subject very easily.
The Barska Blackhawk Spotter has a sturdy and durable construction. The spotting scope is affordable, yet extremely reliable. The compact spotting scope is designed to endure any type of outdoor conditions and is an ideal choice for birdwatchers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. Reasonably priced, the Barska Blackhawk Spotter is an excellent all-round scope.
- The spotting scope features a large objective lens and multi-coated optics.
- The scope features an extendable sunshade that helps to reduce the glare.
- The scope has a rugged armor that is shock absorbing and prevents the scope from getting damaged if dropped.
Among the most compact spotting scopes on the market, the Celestron C70 Mini Mak is an excellent spotting scope if you’re looking for something small. The scope is equipped with multi-coated optics that produce fairly clear images and excellent magnification up to 500 yards. The Celestron C70 Mini Mak truly takes versatility and portability to a new level.
- The spotting scope comes with a tabletop tripod that has inbuilt slow-motion controls.
- The inbuilt zoom eyepiece of the scope has a 25-75x magnification.
- The spotting scope features the Maksutov-Cassegrain optical design and has multi-coated optics.
This is a true handheld spotting scope that is compact and ultra-lightweight. Offering a large field of view, the Vortex Optics Razor HD does not compromise on the image quality despite its compact size. Overall, the spotting scope is an excellent ally for all your travels.
- The angled spotting scope features triplet apochromatic lens that is combined with extra-low dispersion and high-density glass which delivers excellent color fidelity and resolution.
- The lenses of the scope have XR Plus anti-reflective coating that offers maximum brightness.
- The Razor HD is sealed and argon purged, which makes it waterproof and fog proof.
Compact Spotting Scope Buyer’s Guide
When buying the best compact spotting scope for all your outdoor adventures, you must look for certain important factors before making your final buying decision. Some key factors to consider are:
Straight Versus Angled Spotting Scopes
Generally, straight spotting scopes are better suited for viewing objects that are at the same height as you. There will be some chromatic aberration if the heights are very different. In that respect, angled spotting scopes have lesser chromatic aberration when you view objects that are at a different height. Also, angled scopes are more comfortable to use because you can adjust the eyepiece at a comfortable angle, irrespective of your position.
Objective Lens Diameter
Generally, compact spotting scopes are around 13-14 inches long and weigh around 35 to 40 oz. The spotting scope’s length has a direct implication on the objective diameter and affects the optical power and resolution of the scope. If the length is shortened, then the zooming range of the scope will be smaller. These scopes are cheaper compared to scopes with a large zooming range. So, when you’re looking for a spotting scope, buy one that has a satisfactory zooming range.
The eyepiece plays a very important role in the overall magnification and field of view. If you’re using your spotting scope for bird watching, you will need an eyepiece that offers a wider field of view, whereas if you’re using it for nature photography or hunting, then you need a narrow field of view as you will be focusing on the details. So, depending on the use of your spotting scope, you can select the device by comparing the eyepieces.
You should look for a compact spotting scope that can tolerate and withstand harsh weather conditions, especially if you will be using the scope outdoors. Generally, most spotting scopes are waterproof; however, you should check for this specifically before you buy the scope.
This is an important factor that affects the buying decision. Typically, you will be holding the spotting scope for longer periods of time and so, it is preferable to buy a lightweight scope. Even if you will be using a tripod to mount the spotting scope, it is better to find a spotting scope that does not weigh a lot. The benefit of buying a compact spotting scope is that it is smaller in size, does not occupy a lot of space, is lightweight and portable.
There are different mounting options for spotting scopes. Some of them come along with small, adjustable tripods, while others come along with a separate tripod kit. Depending on the type of mounting, you can also fix your camera or smartphone to your spotting scope, which allows you to take photos or record at better resolutions. You should also check if the spotting scope can be attached to a window mount. So, it is very important to know if the spotting scope that you’re buying can be mounted with various mounts or not.
We hope that our guide on the best compact spotting scopes will give you a good idea of what you must look for when shopping for a good compact spotting scope. Also, it is a good idea to evaluate the various options of spotting scopes available on the market before making your choice of the best compact spotting scope for you depending on your use.
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