If you love traveling and don’t want to miss your stargazing adventures when on a trip, then nothing can beat investing in the best portable telescope. Traveling with heavy and bulky equipment can be quite cumbersome. So, you can opt for a compact and portable telescope having good magnification rates to give you the best views of the night sky.
The best portable telescope can offer as much power as a full-size model and also gives you the added advantage of being able to carry it with you wherever you want. If you’re on the lookout for the best portable telescope but are not very sure of which one will suit your needs the best, our detailed shopping guide will hopefully be able to help you in choosing the best one that can be a great companion on your travels.
Best Portable Telescopes
Here are our portable telescope reviews.
1. Celestron 70mm Travel Scope
The Celestron 70mm Travel Scope is one of the best portable telescopes for astronomy enthusiasts. The telescope is lightweight, easy to set up and user friendly. The travel scope features a fully-coated optical lens that delivers bright and crisp images. Although the telescope is quite simple, it is great for viewing stars and other celestial bodies. You can carry the telescope along with the full-height tripod in the travel backpack that comes along with it.
- The travel scope has a 70 mm objective lens that offers superior viewing quality and 20x magnification.
- The scope has 2 high-quality eyepieces of 20 mm and 10 mm, that provides low and high-power views.
- This is a manual alt-azimuth scope that features a panhandle that allows you to navigate the skies easily.
2. Gskyer Travel Scope
The Gskyer Travel Scope is a top-quality refractor telescope that is extremely cost effective. The telescope can be set up very easily and quickly. The compact telescope is very portable and you can carry it anywhere you want conveniently. The telescope comes with an adjustable tripod made of aluminum alloy and a carry bag that allows easy storage and portability. The optical capabilities and visual resolution of the Gskyer Travel Scope are top rated and at a very affordable price, the device is a great buy.
- The high-quality optics of the telescope have a 70 mm aperture, 400 mm focal length and fully coated lens delivers excellent images and also protects your eyes.
- The telescope comes with a 3x Barlow lens and 2 replaceable eyepieces.
- The telescope is equipped with a 5×24 finder scope with crosshair lines inside that makes it easy to locate objects and a mounting bracket.
3. Meade Instruments 209001 Infinity Refractor Telescope
Designed for beginners and novices, the 209001 Infinity Refractor Telescope from Meade Instruments offers an excellent way for you to discover astronomical, as well as terrestrial objects. The manual altazimuth mount allows your lower and raises the viewing platform of the scope by using slow motion controls that enable precise tracking of objects. The telescope is equipped with high-quality optics that offer superb value.
- The telescope has a 2-inch (50 mm) aperture that delivers sharp and bright images for celestial and land objects.
- The telescope comes with 3 magnification eyepieces of 4 mm, 12 mm and 20 mm that offer variety for any viewing situation.
- The scope includes a 2x Barlow lens that helps to double the magnification power of the eyepiece.
4. Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Telescope
If you’re on the lookout for the best portable telescope that lets you get clear images of celestial objects, then the Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ is a great choice. Designed for beginners, the telescope is very easy to use and offers superb performance. The telescope comes with a lightweight frame that is quite sturdy, fully coated optics, 2 eyepieces, an adjustable tripod and a red dot finderscope.
- The refractor telescope is equipped with a 70 mm fully coated glass objective lens that allows you to observe objects in the day and at night.
- The telescope has a lightweight frame and an altazimuth panning handle for accurate and smooth pointing.
- The setup of the telescope is very easy and does not require any tools.
5. Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope
The Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope is a powerful telescope that is also very easy to use. The telescope has top-notch features and is extremely intuitive. The telescope features a finderscope attachment that makes centering the object very easy. Not difficult to operate, this user-friendly Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ combines power, quality, features and value and is a beginner’s favorite.
- The telescope has a German Equatorial mount equipped with a slow-motion altitude rod that offers accurate and smooth pointing.
- The telescope includes 2 eyepieces (4 mm and 20 mm) and a 3x Barlow lens that helps to triple the power of each eyepiece.
- The telescope is very lightweight, compact and portable, allowing you to carry it wherever you want conveniently.
Portable Telescope Buyer’s Guide
In this section, we will discuss some of the important aspects that you must consider when purchasing the best portable telescope.
Size and Weight
When you look for the best portable telescope, the size and weight of the scope matters. You don’t really want to be lugging around a heavy and bulky telescope while you’re traveling. Most portable telescopes are small in size; however, when buying the device make sure that it is portable. While the weight of the telescope depends on the materials used to construct it, most portable models weigh around 6 lb or less.
Also, ensure that the tripod that comes with the telescope is lightweight. Look for one that is made of aluminum because these tripods are lightweight, yet durable. While you do not want the tripod to be heavy and add weight, at the same time, you want it to be sturdy enough to support the telescope.
Ease of Use
Both experienced and professional astronomers appreciate portable telescopes that are easy to use and convenient to carry around. A portable model is especially useful for beginners because the shorter length makes it easy to control the telescope when scanning the horizon. The power of the telescope determines the distance that you can see, while the focal length and eyepiece affect the brightness and clarity of the objects. This is applicable whether you’re using the telescope for birdwatching or to view constellations.
The best portable telescopes come with an easily adjustable eyepiece. Some even have hooks that allow you to make the necessary adjustments without taking your gaze off your target. Generally, portable telescopes with longer focal lengths are quite easy to use and they are a good choice if you wear glasses. It is a good idea to check out the mount of the telescope as this affects the ease of use of the telescope.
There are essentially 2 types of mounts – altazimuth and equatorial. Altazimuth mounts are used mostly by beginners and amateur astronomers as they are easy to use. And, since the mount can move vertically and horizontally, you can scan objects on the ground, as well as in the sky. Equatorial mounts are preferred by experienced and professional astronomers.
The best portable telescope will include all the accessories to get you started and most of them come with convenient carrying cases. Hard carrying cases are bulkier and heavier, but they are better for travelers as they help to protect the sensitive equipment from getting damaged. However, if you plan to take your telescope while hiking, then it is better to opt for a soft case, which is lighter and easier to carry but at the same time, it will protect your equipment. You could choose a backpack style case for added convenience, which allows you to carry your telescope while leaving your hands free to do other things.
The most important aspect to consider while buying a portable telescope is the budget. Although portable telescopes tend to be smaller in size, they can still be expensive. And, unless you are a professional astronomer or you need to see details of celestial objects very clearly, there is no need to buy an expensive telescope.
Also, it is important to understand that the price of the portable telescope does not reflect its power. The price is determined by the quality of the lens, viewing tube, type of mount and stand. Once you have a budget in mind, it will be easier to narrow down the choices and find the best portable telescope.
So, if you are a stargazing fan and love to do it on the move, then the best portable telescope is a must have. There are so many options available that the choice of the best portable telescope can be an overwhelming one. It’s a good idea to evaluate the various options and do your homework before you choose your “best traveling partner”.
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