Best Spotting Scopes Under $300: A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide

I purchased my first spotting scope 5 years ago and was quite impressed. Before then, I used to watch birds with a pair of binoculars and although they did the job quite well, they only delivered a small amount of magnification. Buying a spotting scope was a fantastic investment because it practically offers better magnification and clarity than any other optic equipment out there, and this makes it extremely easy to spot animals and birds from a long distance. 

Being the avid bird watcher, I am always on the lookout for premium quality, high-end performing, and affordable spotting scopes on the market. After some extensive research and window shopping, I have compiled the top 5 best spotting scopes under 300. Here is a comprehensive buying guide.

Top 5 Best Spotting Scopes Under 300 Comparison

Celestron 52250 80mm Spotting Scope

With a budget of not more than $$$, you can get this incredibly sleek and powerful Celestron 552250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope with excellent performance. Generally, it comes with everything you need in a spotting scope.

The spotting scope offers brighter, clearer, and sharper images, thanks to its incredibly powerful 80mm Achromatic objective lens with a refractor style. Its multilayer anti-reflection coatings on the lens, zoom eyepiece, and the BAK-4 prisms provide excellent light transmission for clearer views. It provides a 45-degree viewing angle with a sight tube for quick targeting.

Featuring a sleek, sturdy construction with waterproof design (for spotting in all weather conditions) and rubber armored housing for a firm grip, you will absolutely love and enjoy using this spotting scope.

The spotting scope goes for less than $$ on Amazon.

Pros

  • Bright, crisp clear, and sharp images
  • Excellent light transmission for clear views
  • Clear viewing angle
  • Quick targeting feature
  • Sleek, sturdy construction
  • Waterproof
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • A complaint about poor optics- poor sharpness and shallow depth focus
  • No hash reticle option

Buy now on Amazon.com

Redfield 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope

For less than $$, you can get yourself this all-in-one spotter for the best hunting or bird watching experience.

The Redfield 20-60 by 60 Spotting Scope is a full-size prismatic spotter featuring high-quality BAK4 prisms that deliver big-time performance with a reasonable price and unrivaled image resolution and clarity, giving you brighter, crisp clear and very sharp images every time. 

The Redfield spotting scope features a retractable lens shade that reduces glare and significantly increases visibility when hunting or bird watching in unprotected, wide-open area. Its durable polycarbonate body is light yet sturdy enough to resist breakage or any form of pressure. It’s waterproof and fog proof for clear spotting in all weather conditions. It also comes with a built-in tripod adapter that lets you mount on a vast majority of standard tripods or window mounts. The kit also includes a straight eyepiece, a view-thru case with strap, objective lens covers, and soft storage case.

Pros

  • Unmatched performance thanks to its high-quality BAK4 prism
  • Great image clarity and resolution for bright, clear, and sharp images
  • Glare reduction
  • Excellent visibility
  • Sturdy body construction
  • Waterproof and fog proof

Cons

  • Warranty is restricted
  • Poor focus and clarity at maximum zoom of 60

Buy now on Amazon.com

Leupold SX-1 Ventana Angled Spotting Scope

From a versatile magnification range to a sturdy, waterproof construction, the LEUPOLD SX-1 is a one of a kind spotting scope costs less than $$ on Amazon.

Its 15-45x magnification range makes it an awesome all-purpose spotting scope. It features a Multicoat 4 lens system that provides a superior light transmission with for maximum brightness, contrast, clarity, sharpness, and color fidelity. Its Retractable Lens Shaped completely eliminates the glare on the lens for excellent image quality- perfect for crystal-clear, long-distance views. The comfortable twist-up eyecups together twist non-critical eye relieve gives you long glassing sessions. Its aggressive knurling on the lens shade and focus knob effectively provides sure and positive adjustment, even when wearing gloves.

The spotting scope is 100% waterproof and fog proof with a rugged construction suitable for all weather conditions and for excellent durability.

Pros

  • Excellent brightness, clarity, contrast, and color
  • Provides excellent eye relief
  • Eliminates glare on lens for better picture quality
  • Easy to zoom and focus
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Excellent quality and durability
  • Unique ergonomic design
  • An all-purpose spotting scope thanks to its magnification range
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Difficult to use angle
  • Poor focus at 15 x
  • Unsteady tripod system

Buy now on Amazon.com

Konus 7120 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope

Whether you are a birdwatcher, hunter, or photographer, the Konus 7120 will not disappoint.

The spotting scope is equipped with a powerful 20 x-60 x magnification range with an 80mm objective lens delivers bright, crisp, crystal-clearer, and high-quality images for scenic nature photography or animal photography. The spotting scope offers a complete field view of 157.2 at a thousand yards. 

The package includes a Tripod and Case plus a sightline that assists in spotting your target subject fast. 

It features a metal body with rubber armor which provides an antishock barrier for additional toughness and excellent durability. 

Also included in the package is a photo adapter, a forward-expanding lens hood, zippered nylon case, a tissue case, and a tabletop tripod.

Pros

  • Great resolution and clarity
  • Quality images
  • Long-distance viewing thanks to its powerful magnification
  • Reduced glare
  • Great zoom and focus
  • Great shooting range
  • Provides sightline which aids in spotting your subject
  • Sturdy construction
  • Waterproof and fog proof for crystal clear views in all weather conditions.

Cons

  • Poor focus 
  • Loses some clarity at 50 x
  • Heavy weight
  • Simple case

Buy now on Amazon.com

Redfield Rampage 114651 Spotting Scope

A remarkable full-size spotting scope with big-time performance to die for, the Redfield Rampage 114651 is one of your best bets in the $$$ and below price range.

Excellent magnification, 20 x-60 x60 with 60mm with a durable construction, waterproof, and fog proof design are just but its few desirable features. 

Its powerful unrivaled magnification delivers excellent views of the subject from a long distance. The focus knobs are rubberized for excellent focus and easy adjustment. Its BAK4 prism system delivers unmatched image clarity and resolution for crisp, clear images at all times. The spotting scope comes with a generous field view of 114 feet at 20 x and 51 feet at 60 x for a wide, clear view. Its retractable lens shade reduces glare and increases visibility when spotting in unprotected, wide-open areas. 

Its polycarbonate body is exceptionally light yet remarkably strong to withstand any force during use. 

It goes for less than $$ on Amazon.

Pros

  • Excellent clarity, focus, and zoom
  • Amazing magnification for clear views
  • Provides maximum brightness, contrast, and color
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Excellent build quality
  • Good quality lens cover
  • Provides general eye relief
  • Good quality glass and prisms for crisp image in most lighting
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Images are less crisp at higher magnifications
  • Too big and heavy

Buy now on Amazon.com

Final Thoughts

You must have noticed that spotting scopes at this price range all have the same features and quality, although there are a few surprises with the models performing much better than those priced over the $$$ mark.

All the same, their performance is great and basically, you are spoilt for a choice. Good luck with your selection and keep in mind that you can never go wrong with Leupold, Redfield, Celestron, and Konus.

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