Best Telescope Under $300

6 Best Telescopes Under $300 (Reviews Updated 2020)

Have you ever caught yourself looking up at the stars and wishing you could get much closer to them? Well, short of becoming an astronaut, you have only one other option — getting a great telescope! And given how much technology has progressed, great telescopes are accessible to everyone, without having to decimate your bank balance for the same!

At a time when almost everything is available online, including people’s grandmothers, telescopes are no exception and for as little as $300 or less. However, the sheer number of products available can be a little overwhelming, not to mention time-consuming, having to go through millions of products until you settle on one for yourself.

To make life easier, here’s our list of the top telescopes under $300, with reviews as well as a buying guide on how to pick out the right telescope!

Best Telescopes Under $300

Here are our top telescopes under $300 and their reviews:

1. Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ Telescope

Best Overall

Celestron Astromaster 70az Telescope

This refractor telescope comes with fully-coated glass optics, an adjustable-height tripod and a ton of power and user-friendliness! The lightweight frame and panning handle with Alt-Az control enable accurate, smooth pointing, and the set-up is quick and easy, requiring no tools for the same. It also comes with a bonus Starry Night Basic Edition astronomy software for interactive sky simulation.

Some of its features include:

  • Includes 2 eyepieces (20 mm and 10 mm) with an erect-image star diagonal
  • Also includes a red-dot finderscope and travel tripod
  • Fully-coated 70 mm glass optics objective lens with erect-image optics for easy daytime and nighttime viewing
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2. Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 Telescope

Editor’s Choice

Orion 8944 Skyquest Xt6 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

Quoted to be one of the best Dobsonian telescopes for beginners, the Orion 8944 SkyQuest XT6 is a hard-to-beat combination of a great price and an amazing aperture size. It’s simple to use and quite user friendly without compromising on any of its efficiency and functionality; you don’t even need to polar align it! With efficient light-gathering capabilities, this telescope is great for casual planetary viewing as well as deep-sky viewing (such as viewing galaxies, nebulae and star clusters).

Some of its features include:

  • 6-inch aperture
  • 6-inch diameter f/8 parabolic mirror for better views
  • A stable base and smooth motions to provide undisturbed and vibration-free viewing
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3. Gskyer Astronomical Refractor Telescope

Best Value

Gskyer Telescope, 80mm Az Space Astronomical Refractor Telescope

This 80mm AZ Space Astronomical Refractor Telescope from Gsyker gives you ultra-clear images, great magnification and is super user friendly. This makes it a great option for beginners and more serious astronomers alike. Additionally, it comes with a 1-year free replacement guarantee.

Some of its features include:

  • 400 mm focal length and 80mm aperture for efficient light-gathering
  • 3 replaceable eyepieces (80x, 40x and 16x) with a 3x Barlow lens for thrice the magnification
  • Includes a 6×30 finderscope with an erect-image diagonal and mounting bracket to make finding objects easier
  • Also includes an adjustable full-size tripod for stability
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4. Orion 10015 StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope

Orion 10015 Starblast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope (teal)

A great telescope that even kids as young as 13 can effectively and efficiently use, the Orion 10015 StarBlast is a great option for beginners to the world of astronomy. This grab-and-go telescope has a focal length of 450 mm with a stable tabletop base that provides smooth altazimuth motion, making it easy to manually track celestial bodies — another reason why it’s great for entry-level astronomers. At a price nearing $200, this telescope is a great deal for the features, user-friendliness and efficiency it comes with.

Some of its features include:

  • 5-inch aperture and fast f/4 focal ratio for bright, clear images
  • Comes with 2 Explorer II 1.25-inch Kellner telescope eyepieces (17 mm and 6 mm)
  • Also includes EZ Finder II reflex sight, an eyepiece rack, a collimation cap and Starry Night Astronomy software
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5. Gskyer Telescope AZ Astronomical Refractor Telescope

Gskyer Telescope, 600x90mm Az Astronomical Refractor Telescope

Admittedly, the Gskyer Telescope AZ Astronomical Refractor Telescope comes pretty close to the $300 mark, but it’s well worth the price! With high-quality optics, high magnification and user friendliness about it that you’d be hard-pressed to find with other telescopes, this telescope is a great bet for beginners and more serious astronomers alike. Additionally, it’s super easy to set up, requiring no tools for the same.

Some of its features are:

  • 600 mm focal length (f/6.7) and 90 mm aperture with fully-coated optics glass lens with high transmission coatings to give you clear, bright images
  • Includes 3 replaceable eyepieces (120x, 60x and 24x) with a 3x Barlow lens
  • Includes an adjustable tripod with length adjustable from 31.5 to 49 inches to allow a range of viewing positions
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6. Celestron 114LCM Computerized Newtonian Telescope

Celestron 114lcm Computerized Newtonian Telescope

As with most Celestron products, the 114LCM Computerized Newtonian Telescope is equally great for beginners and serious astronomers. Being computerized, the 114LCM comes with the ability to automatically locate over 4000 celestial bodies, with its hand control and GoTo mount that uses star locating technology to track objects easily. With such advanced features, this telescope is a steal at the price it comes at!

Some of its features include:

  • A Sky Tour facility that automatically generates a list of the best celestial bodies available to view at a given point in the sky
  • Includes two high-quality eyepieces (25 mm and 9 mm) as well as a StarPointed red-dot finderscope
  • Comes with free Starry Night software and the option to download and use the SkyPortal app for interactive sky simulation
  • Includes a full-height adjustable tripod with a motorized Altazimuth mount
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Under $300 Telescope Buyer’s Guide

Figuring out which telescope under $300 is the right one for you requires to consider certain factors, such as:

The Type of Telescope

There are different types of telescopes available, such as reflector, refractor, Dobsonian and compound telescopes. Out of these, refractor, reflector and compound telescopes under $300 are the most common. Refractor telescopes under $300 are simple to use, low in maintenance and increase in price with an increase in aperture size. These telescopes use a lens to gather light and let you view the heavens.

Reflector telescopes under $300 use a mirror to gather light and let you view objects and are the cheapest telescopes under $300 available. However, they need to be calibrated regularly (collimated), which can be frustrating. Compound telescopes, on the other hand, use a combination of mirrors and lens to gather light and view objects. They’re lightweight and great options for those looking for portable telescopes under $300.

Aperture Size

One of the most important factors to consider in a telescope is the aperture size or the diameter of the lens. The bigger the aperture, the more light it allows inside and the better the magnification and views. You’ll also be able to easily view objects that are extremely far away, such as Saturn and Jupiter.

The Mount Type

There are 3 common types of mounts available — the altitude-azimuth or “alt-az” mount, the Dobsonian mount, and the equatorial mount. The first one lets you easily move the telescope up and down, as well as clockwise and counterclockwise, whereas the second one’s main function is to reduce stress on the internal components. Equatorial mounts let you turn the telescope as desired to track celestial objects, making them extremely useful for long-exposure photography; however, they require careful calibration for the same.


Some telescopes under $300 are computerized, while some are not. Computerized telescopes let you automatically track stars; once they’re calibrated, they automatically realign with any object that you input. Some even come with in-built databases so you can learn about and track new celestial bodies. This makes them a great option for beginners.

However, computerized telescopes under $300 require frequent calibration and are also extremely power consuming, quickly burning through batteries; this also makes them more expensive to operate.

Getting a telescope under $300 can be an easier process if you know what you’re looking for, and hopefully, this guide gave you an idea of what to look for in a telescope, as well as a breakdown of the best telescopes available under $300.

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