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Are you in need of the best spotting scopes? Do you want to buy a spotting scope? Spotting scopes take viewing to a whole other level. Today, you would find many different brands available. We have researched and reviewed some of the best spotting scopes to help you make an educated choice for your outdoor activities.

1.  Gosky 20-60×60 HD Spotting Scope

The Gosky 20-60×60 HD Spotting Scope makes it very easy to zoom in on the target with its powerful zoom magnification range from 20X to 60X. It is ideal for hunting, bird, and wildlife watching, target shooting, hiking, outdoor sports, star gazing and so much more.

As one of the best spotting scopes, it also features a large field of view, high resolution, and light-gathering power with its 60mm large objective lens. Additionally, you benefit from comfortable viewing thanks to the 45 degrees angled eyepiece which allows adjustable viewing angles.

The eyepiece can be protected and glare reduced with the retractable sunshade feature. This spotting scope is waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-proof ensuring that it can be used in all weather conditions.

The Gosky 20-60×60 HD Spotting Scope ensures a non-slip and shockproof grip as well as durable external protection with its high-quality rubber armor and durable framework. This spotting scope also features a digiscoping cell phone adapter which gives you the opportunity to take the recording anywhere.

      What We Like:

  • Advanced FMC Objective Lens
  • 20-60X Zoom Eyepiece
  • Smart Phase Correction BAK4 prism
  • Compatible with All Tripods
  • Rotatable Scope Body
  • Retractable Sun Shade
  • Waterproof Spotting Scope

2.  Emarth Angled Spotting Scope

The Emarth Angled Spotting Scope features a dynamic lens focusing system which makes it easy to zoom in on the target using the zoom knob. It has a 20-60x60mm zoom lens which is used for close-up and long-range views. To read a review of the best hunting tripods, read this article.

With the Emarth Angled Spotting Scope, more light is transmitted to the entire field of view with its BAK 4 prism. This brings brighter edges of the field of view, a higher refractive index rate, and the circular shape of the exit pupil. It also has a fully multi-coated lens. It renders different magnifications with different eye reliefs. Hence, you get high magnification for close viewing and low magnification with a wider field of view.

       What We Like:

  • Dynamic Lens Focusing System
  • BAK-4 Prism & FMC
  • Upgrade Stable Tripod
  • Durable Construction
  • Waterproof & Fogproof

3.  Gosky Spotting Scope

The Gosky Spotting Scope is ideal for archery, target shooting, hunting, bird and wildlife watching, hiking, camping, and more. It features a variable 20x to 60x zoom magnification which allows you to zoom in on the target.

You benefit from a brighter and higher-contrast view with its fully multi-coated green film eyepiece lens. It provides light-gathering power, high resolution, and a large field of view with its 80mm large objective lens.

Additionally, you get more comfortable viewing with its 45 degrees angled eyepiece. This spotting scope is waterproof, shock-proof, and fog-proof which allows it to be used in very harsh weather conditions. Its retractable sunshade protects the eyepiece and minimizes glare when it is stretched out.

       What We Like:

  • Advanced FMC 80mm Objective Lens
  • 20-60X Zoom & 45-degree Angled Eyepiece
  • Rotatable Eyepiece & Retractable Sun Shade

4.  SVBONY Spotting Scope

The SVBONY Spotting Scope features a powerful light-gathering ability with its 70mm large objective lens. It also has a fully multi-coated lens which allows more light to go through the objective lens thereby reducing reflected light. You can read a review of the best red dot scopes by clicking on this link.

The SVBONY Spotting Scope also has a BAK4 prism which transmits more light and restores the edge image details. It is waterproof and fog-proof to withstand most weather conditions.

       What We Like:

  • Dynamic Lens Focusing System
  • BAK4 Spotting Scope
  • Waterproof & Fogproof
  • Fully Multi-Coated Lens

5.  BARSKA Spotting Scope

The BARSKA Spotting Scope has a powerful magnification range of 15 – 40x zoom range. It is a lightweight zoom spotting scope that is ideal for bird watching, hunting, and many outdoor activities.

It features multi-coated glass and a BK – 7 Porro prism that transmits bright mages through its zoom range. This spotting scope’s adjustable objective lens gives you the capability to make adjustments to the settings while still maintaining a visual of the target. It comes with a tabletop tripod to provide steady viewing.

       What We Like:

  • Wide Magnification Range
  • Precision Focus
  • Steady Viewing
  • Transport and Storage

6.  Athlon Optics Spotting Scope

The Athlon Optics Spotting Scope renders a high level of light transmission to provide true color and brightness with its fully multi-coated lenses and Porro prisms.

It is waterproof and fog-proof. This spotting scope has rubber armor which makes it durable and easy to handle. With its rotating tripod mounting ring, you can rotate this spotting scope to any angle to get a better spotting angle.

The Athlon Optics Spotting Scope comes with a tripod to ensure stability. Its built-in extendable sunshade minimizes glare and reflection thereby rendering a clearer image.

       What We Like:

  • Rotating Ring
  • Extendable Sunshade
  • Tripod Mountable
  • HD Glass
  • Argon Purged
  • Waterproof

7.  Creative XP HD Spotting Scope

The Creative XP HD Spotting Scope’s HD optic glass is also fully multi-coated to minimize aberration and have clear images at high magnifications or dim light conditions. The fully multi-coated feature also makes the lenses scratch-resistant. Smooth and accurate focusing is achieved using the two fine focus knobs. It also features eye relief at 17-12mm which is comfortable.

       What We Like:

  • Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
  • Eye Relief at 17 – 12mm

8.  Roxant HD Spotting Scope

As one of the best spotting scopes, the Roxant HD Spotting Scope provides superior light transmission and brightness with a fully multi-coated lens and high-grade BAK4 prism. This spotting scope is compact and durable as well as versatile and usable. It features 12-36×50 zoom magnification which renders crisp and pure color viewing.

It features a 45-degree angled eyepiece which produces comfortable viewing. Its eyepiece is extendable which makes it easy to use with or without glasses. It is well-built with rubber armor for a non-slip grip.

        What We Like:

  • BAK4 Prism
  • Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
  • 12-36×50 Magnification
  • 45-degree Angled Eyepiece
  • Non-Slip Grip

9.  Celestron Spotting Scope

The Celestron Spotting Scope has a 20-60x zoom magnification. It is waterproof and fog-proof with its sealed o-rings which are nitrogen purged. It comes with a T-mount adapter for digiscoping which allows you to capture bright and very clear images. This spotting scope also features an achromatic objective lens.

You benefit from the superior light transmission with the multilayer anti-reflection coatings on the objective lens as well as on the zoom eyepiece and the BAK-4 prisms. This spotting scope is well-designed and is one of the best spotting scopes for outdoor activities like hunting, bird watching, and star gazing.

       What We Like:

  • 20-60x Zoom Magnification
  • Achromatic Objective Lens
  • BAK-4 Prisms
  • Waterproof & Fog proof

10.  Vortex HD Spotting Scope

The Vortex HD Spotting Scope’s XR anti-reflective coatings on the exterior surfaces produce brighter views in low-light situations. Its smooth helical focus lasers in on the image for crystal clear viewing and also maintains a trim profile.

Eye relief is ensured with a multi-position eyecup while a locking collar allows this spotting scope to rotate into different viewing positions. It is waterproof and fog-proof with its sealed o-rings which are argon purged. Its lenses are protected from scratches, oil, and dirt with Armortek coatings.

It features an extendable sunshade to keep out any light interference. This sunshade also protects the objective lens from mechanical damage and further damage from fingerprints and precipitation. This Vortex HD spotting scope is considered one of the best spotting scopes from Vortex.

      What We Like:

  • Extendable Sunshade
  • Waterproof & Fogproof
  • Armortek Coatings

What To Look For In The Best Spotting Scopes?

1.  Magnification

Magnification refers to how close to you the target will appear. The best spotting scopes usually have magnification in the range of 15x to 60x. Determine the magnification you want for your spotting scope.

2.  Zoom Lenses

The best spotting scopes feature zoom lenses. They are just phenomenal. Zoom lenses take your outdoor activity to a whole new level. With just a single adjustment, zoom lenses alter the magnification power to as much as 3 times its normal magnification power. Think about that.

3.  Glass Quality

The type of glass spotting scopes are made of is very important. When you are in a low-light viewing condition, the importance of glass quality becomes so obvious. You will notice a stark difference in brightness and image clarity between high-quality glass scopes and scopes made with standard glass.

High-quality scopes are made of ED (extra-low dispersion) glass or fluorite-coated, HD glass. When buying your spotting scope, you want to seriously consider which type of glass you want for the scope. Most of the best spotting scopes are built with high-quality glass to produce clear and high-quality images.

4.  Light-Gathering

The light-gathering capacity of a spotting scope is directly related to the size of the objective lens. The sizes are typically in the range between 50mm and 100mm. You benefit from brighter images with large objective lenses; the larger the objective lenses, the heavier the scope. The best spotting scopes have very good light-gathering capacity to produce crystal-clear images.

5.  Eyepiece Placement

There are two types of eyepiece placement – the 45 degrees angled eyepiece and the straight-through. The 45 degrees angled placement is the better choice. It makes viewing easier and there is a trend toward 45 degrees angled eyepiece than the straight-through. Most of the best spotting scopes manufacture today feature the 45 degrees eyepiece.

6.  Eye Relief

Eye relief is the distance between the lens of your scope to the tip of your eye. You must get your eye relief right. 12-15mm of eye relief is the normal range for eye relief. How much eye relief is offered by a spotting scope is very important. If you use a scope with the wrong eye relief, you may see a distorted, fuzzy picture with a black ring around the field of view.

7.  Focusing Mechanism

Most scopes today have a focus knob. You use it to get a sharper image. The other way of focusing is using a focusing collar that you twist to create a sharper image. The trend today is with the focus knob. The focus knob is commonly found on the best spotting scopes today.

Types of Spotting Scopes

1.  Refractors

The refractor uses optical glass lenses to bend light while the catadioptric primarily uses mirrors to reflect the light. They are durable, reliable, and low-maintenance equipment. Its objective lens is mounted permanently and aligned.

There could be noticeably some color aberration but those using apochromatic lens design or refractors with fluorite or extra-low-dispersion glass elements eliminate this issue. Refractors provide sharp, high-contrast images and are very popular for hunting and outdoor activities.

2.  Catadioptrics

Catadioptrics design is a combination of a corrector lens and a pair of mirrors to get the image into focus. This system has a long focal length which is folded by mirrors into a compact optical tube.

Catadioptrics can provide high magnification and good telephoto lens performance without the bulk. It can produce magnifications up to 200X or more from the combined effect of its long focal length and a large aperture size of around 90 to 100mm.

The downside for catadioptrics is in the design and it limits them to astronomical observations. The field of view is restricted with long focal lengths. They are less desirable for hunting as they are equipped with a 45-degree or 90-degree erecting prism.

Due to the fact that Catadioptrics scopes work at high magnifications which result in narrower fields of view, usually, the finder scope is supplied to center the main scope on a distant object.

Spotting Scope Accessories

1.  Spotting Scope Adaptor

The spotting scope adaptor allows you to take pictures and record videos.

2.  T-Mount Adapter

T-Mount adapters are also a handy and useful accessory for spotting scopes.

3.  Eyepieces

There are many eyepieces on the market which work with spotting scopes.

Is angled or straight spotting scope better?
The straight scope is ideal for faster target acquisition while spotting and stalking but the angled scope’s advantage is the opportunity to use a lower tripod height for better stability.
What is the best size spotting scope?
100 yards is good for range and target shooting while a spotting scope of 15-40×50 is ideal. For distances up to 200 yards, the magnification should be increased to 15-60x and the lens diameter to 80mm.
What size spotting scope do I need for hunting?
To use a spotting scope for hunting, a magnification in the range of 15X to 45X and an objective lens of 60 to 80mm is preferable.
How far can you see with a spotter scope?
The regular spotting scope offers a viewing distance between 25 to 100 yards.
What to look for in buying a spotting scope?
When you are choosing a spotting scope, you should pay attention to features such as magnification, lenses, glass quality, focusing ability, eye relief, eye placement, and light gathering.
When should you use a spotting scope for hunting?
If you are in open areas or hunting large game in the West, then using a spotting scope is a good idea.

Best Spotting Scopes

The Bottom Line

Spotting scopes have become very popular in a short period of time. We have discussed the factors one must consider when one chooses a scope. It is our hope that this review will help you decide on what is the best spotting scope for your needs. Our recommendation for a spotting scope is the Gosky Spotting Scope.

We also reviewed the best red dot scopes, the best monocular telescopes, the best night vision monoculars, and the best night vision binoculars.