Top 10 Spotting Scopes for Birding – 2020 Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Spotting scopes are one of the most useful pieces of kit for birding. From hundreds of yards away, you get an HD picture of the bird as if you could reach out and touch it.

To make sure you buy the best spotting scope for you, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.

This article discusses the features you should consider when buying your spotting scope.

It covers everything you need to know, including a buyers guide and reviews of the top 10 spotting scopes on the market today.


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Customer feedback

Make sure you check out customer feedback when you’re looking for a spotting scope. Real-life users are ideal for showing the true strengths and weaknesses of any product.

Unlike the company that makes the scope, customers don’t have a vested interest, so you can normally trust their opinion.


Budget + Bundles

Spotting scopes range from less than a hundred dollars to well over a thousand, so make sure you decide on a budget before shopping for a scope.

You’ll also want to decide whether or not you want a tripod, carrying case, and cleaning kit, as some spotting scopes come with accessories while others do not.


Features

When shopping for a spotting scope, you’ll want to check out certain specifications. Make sure you take a look at the magnification (usually around 20-60x, 30x is ideal), the prism, the lens, field of view, and whether or not the eyepiece is angled.

Some scopes come with built-in sunshades to reduce the glare. Other scopes on this list are waterproof, while others are only water-resistant.

Some spotting scopes are fog proof and shockproof, so make sure you take a look at all the scope’s features.


Best Spotting Scope for Birding Available Today (2020 Buyers Guide & Reviews)

1. Emarth Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope

The Emarth Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope is a perfect choice for value-conscious outdoor enthusiasts and bird watchers. With a 20x-60x zoom lens, it’s ideal for close-up and long-range views.

With a comfortable full-field view, it also brings great clarity and color to every scene.

The nitrogen-filled interior helps eliminate fog build-up, and the rubber-coated surfaces provide grip and protection.

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Clear and crisp colors
  • Easy-to-use zoom nob

Cons:

  • Loses detail over 200 yards
  • Hard to keep image centered
  • Low-quality tripod

The Emarth Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope gives great performance without breaking the bank.


2. Roxant Authentic Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope with Zoom

The Authentic is a well-built, compact, and lightweight scope from Roxant with a 45 degree angled eyepiece and 12-36×50 zoom. It comes with a carrying case, instructions, and a tough metal tripod.

It’s easy to use and, weighing just over 1 pound and measuring 9 inches, it’s a nice and compact scope, great for up to around 300 yards.

Pros:

  • Lifetime replacement guarantee
  • Military-grade optics
  • Weatherproof rubber armor
  • Carry case and tripod

Cons:

  • Difficult to center image
  • Loses fine detail

The Roxant Authentic is a great compact, budget scope for beginners.


3. Celestron Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope

A great all-around spotting scope that is relatively compact but doesn’t sacrifice on quality.

The Ultima comes with a comfortable 45-degree viewing angle and has a 20-60×80 zoom.

The Ultima comes with an extended plate, a zoom eyepiece with an integrated T-adapter, and a soft carrying case, as well as an extra case for the eyepiece, a lens cloth, and instructions.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Good clarity at 100 yards
  • Decent performance

Cons:

  • Relatively heavy
  • Relatively coarse focus control
  • No tripod

The Celestron Ultima gives you excellent performance without costing a bomb.


4. HUICOCY Spotting Scope

The Huicocy comes with a 60mm objective lens, a variable 20-60x magnification, and a dynamic lens focusing system.

The 16mm eyepiece comes with a handy shield for extra comfort and protection. There’s also a nice green film coating the lens for a clearer and brighter view.

The aluminum framework and rubber armor give the Huicocy scope a tough, durable feel.

It comes with a cell phone adapter and a metal tablet tripod. Plus, it’s one of the least expensive scopes on this list.

Pros:

  • Budget price
  • Tripod and cell phone adapter
  • Great for beginners

Cons:

  • Lacks clarity
  • Not great for distance
  • Lacks eye relief

The Huicocy Spotting Scope is a decent scope with great value for money.


5. Barska Colorado Waterproof Spotting Scope

The Barska Colorado comes with a powerful and versatile 20-60x magnification with quick-access focus, and a BK-7 prism.

It’s also got fully-coated optics and 60mm objective lenses, giving a bright, clear view.

The Barska Colorado is also one of the toughest scopes out there. It’s shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof.

It’s compact and portable and comes with a soft carrying case for convenient storage and transport.

Pros:

  • Great clarity through the entire magnification range
  • Clear up to 300 yards
  • Includes carrying case
  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • Small and flimsy tripod
  • Short relief
  • Not built to last

The Barska Colorado is a sturdy weatherproof scope that gives a decent performance at a great price.


6. SVBONY Spotting Scope with Tripod

The SVBONY scope is easy to use and super user friendly. The 25-75x zoom on the SV28 is easy to focus on and change the magnification. It has a 700mm large object lens, plus the extendable sunshade built onto the barrel helps reduce glare.

Weighing nearly 2 pounds, it’s not the lightest scope out there, but its low price makes it a perfect spotting scope for a beginner.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive – great for beginners
  • Retractable sunshade
  • Phone adapter
  • Tripod

Cons:

  • Low picture quality
  • Tricky cell phone mount
  • Not suitable for advanced users

The SVBONY Spotting Scope is a perfect, inexpensive scope for a beginner.


7. Landove Prism Waterproof Spotting Scope for Birdwatching

The dynamic lens focusing system on the Landove scope makes it easy to zoom in and focus on the target. It’s also got 20-60x magnification and fully coated optics.

The 80mm green film objective lens, eyepiece, and quality prism deliver crisp, clear images.

The Landove scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof, and is perfect for all weather conditions.

It comes with a cell phone adapter, tabletop tripod, carrying case, protective covers for the eyepiece and lens, and a cleaning cloth.

Pros:

  • Crystal clear images up to 300 yards
  • Rugged construction
  • Comes with plenty of extras

Cons:

  • More expensive
  • Small view

The Landove Spotting Scope is a rugged, mid-range spotting scope perfect for hunting, targeting, astronomy, marine, and general observation.


8. Vortex Optics Razor HD Straight Spotting Scopes

The Razor HD Straight Spotting Scopes is a superb premium scope with 27-60x magnification.

It also has a triple apochromatic lens with high density, extra-low dispersion glass for amazing resolution, and color fidelity.

It comes with a handy locking collar so you can rotate the scope to the best angle. There’s a built-in sunshade to reduce glare. Plus, it’s waterproof and fog proof.

Pros:

  • Superb performance
  • Crystal clear image
  • High resolution and color fidelity
  • Close focus of 16.4 feet

Cons:

  • Heavy – 4 pounds
  • No tripod
  • No carry case
  • Expensive

If you’re willing to pay a little more for your spotting scope, then the Vortex Razor delivers unparalleled performance.


9. Firefield Spotting Scope Kit

The Firefield Scope is a simple and effective scope that offers great value for money. It has a 36×50 magnification, and its nitrogen-purged body helps give decent image clarity. There’s a useful sunshade to cut down the glare, and it comes with a tripod.

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Easy to use
  • Simple design
  • Includes tripod

Cons:

  • Loses clarity above 200 yards
  • Not great for advanced users
  • Tripod feels cheap

The Firefield Spotting Scope does everything you need at a price everyone can enjoy.


10. Solomark Newest HD Spotting Scope

The Solomark scope comes with a 20-60x magnification, a 45 degree angled eye piece, and a multi-coated 60mm green film objective lens.

It has a Bak-4 prism, a sturdy build, a waterproof body, and a tripod. It also includes a carry bag, cleaning cloth, and eyepiece and lens cover for added protection.

Pros:

  • Excellent clarity at 100 yards
  • Includes tripod and carry bag
  • Great for beginners
  • Great value for money

Cons:

  • Not suitable for advanced users
  • Not great above 100 yards

The Solomark Spotting Scope is one of the best scopes for beginners on the market today.


Final Thoughts: Which Product is the Best?

As you can see, there’s a good range of options when it comes to finding the perfect spotting scope for you. Depending on whether you’re a beginner or advanced user, the choice is nice and broad.

If you’re looking for a great all-rounder at a decent price point, then the Roxant Authentic is the perfect spotting scope for you!