Choosing a good quality spotting scope is indispensable for tracking a target and seeing the creatures as closely as possible. You probably know the performance and quality vary widely, so choosing a high-quality spotting scope under 300 dollars is not always easy.
In the pursuit of discovering the finest spotting scopes available without breaking the bank, we started on a comprehensive journey of evaluation and scrutiny. Each of the products on this list has undergone rigorous testing, with our team dedicating countless hours to evaluating their optical capabilities, durability, and overall value.
As a result, we proudly present our top 10 spotting scopes under $300, rigorously vetted to provide you with an unparalleled viewing experience without a hefty price tag. You will be surprised to see a few additional perks including the recent models. These models are also well constructed to handle rough use and travel with ease.
Best Spotting Scopes Under $300 In 2023
Update ranking of the best spotting scopes under 300 dollars in 2023…
- 1. Gosky HD 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope – Our Top Pick
- 2. CREATIVE XP ED80 with Tripod – Editor’s Preference
- 3. Bresser Corvette 340° Spotting Scope – Ready to Use
- 4. Gravitude 20-60x80mm HD – Best for Target Shooting
- 5. Landove LDPH001A6767 – Best Spotting Scope for Hunting
- 6. CREATIVE XP HD80 with Tripod – Best Value for the Money
- 7. MaxUSee Dual Focusing Zoom – Slim & Beautiful Design
- 8. Gosky Go20x60-80new Updated – Versatile Choice
- 9. SOLOMARK 20-60×60 HD Angled – Lightweight
- 10. BARSKA AD12360 WP Level – Coarse Adjustment
1. Gosky HD 20-60x80mm Angled Spotting Scope
The HD 20-60x 80mm is an excellent all-around spotting produced by a leading company in the sector, Gosky. According to our field test, it is one of the best multi-function spotting scopes under $300 in 2023 among all the budget models currently sold online.
You will be very impressed with the glass quality looking through this model. With lenses featuring advanced multi-coating, they allow an astounding 98% of light to pass through each surface, resulting in significantly enhanced picture brightness. In fact, it is a versatile spotting scope that can be used both to observe the Moon and the brightest stars and for terrestrial observations.
Gosky HD spotting scope is equipped with a zoom eyepiece with a magnification level from 20 to 60x. Its excellent characteristics of compactness, low weight and total impermeability make it ideal for hunting and sports use, in particular for target shooting. It has an adjustable eyepiece for people who wear glasses.
It is built with anti-reflection and refraction treatments, with a roof prism at 45 ° inclination. The body is resistant and completely waterproof and fogproof in order to protect it from rain and foggy weather. The compact dimensions also make it very easy to carry.
The package includes a tripod, a smartphone adapter (you can take pictures and videos thru your phone), a soft carrying bag and a protective case. Overall, you won’t find an alternative to the Gosky spotter at this price range.
- Excellent built-in quality
- Compact and resistant
- Durable and solid
- Very clear optics
- Easy to use
- Comes with multiple accessories
- It has only one focusing wheel
2. CREATIVE XP ED80 Spotting Scope with Tripod
CREATIVE XP presents its Ed 80, a powerful and functional spotting scope under $200 that is one of today’s best sellers. Its lens has a full multilayer coating which helps you to get clear and glare-free vision. It allows you to zoom up to 60x, so you can always see your lenses from very close, and as far as the field of view is concerned, it is about 114 feet.
You will be able to see everything clearly thanks to the large lens of 80 mm which favors greater light entry, even when the external conditions are adverse.
It doesn’t matter if it rains or if you are in the mountains because the CREATIVE XP Ed 80 spotting scope is waterproof and built with resistant materials. The nitrogen purged with a Sealed O-Ring also prevents it from fog or shock damage.
You can incorporate a compact, astronomical, or even an SLR camera into the scope via the T-thread for attachment. Another advantage is the top-grade construction materials that make this device compact and robust and therefore, it is also suitable for mountain excursions.
With dual focus knobs system and comfortable eye relief, CREATIVE XP Spotting Scope offers bright & clear viewing without any chromatic aberrations. However, the focus rings are a bit stiff, which makes it hard to keep your subject in view while using these rings.
In the package, you will also find a comfortable carrying case that gives you the possibility to carry it wherever you want. However, some users claim that the scope is quite heavy and we find it as well. At the price at which it is offered for sale, it is difficult to expect as many qualities as it offers.
- No chromatic aberration
- Very durable structure
- All accessories included
- Easy to Zoom & Focus Quickly
- Best spotting scope for the money
- A little bit heavy
3. Bresser Corvette 340° Rotating Body Spotting Scope
Bresser Corvette spotting scope is particularly suitable for nature and land observations and for observing games and birds. You don’t miss a single detail of your objective! The spotting scope’s powerful zoom ranges from 20 to 60x and is easily adjustable in 10x intervals via a rotary knob. The field of view on the other hand can reach up to 36 meters.
The lens is equipped with a fully multi-layer anti-reflective coating, to get a clear and bright vision free of any kind of reflections. The 80mm lens aperture results in very clear images, even if the weather conditions aren’t the best.
Bresser spotting scope is designed 340° rotating housing body. This will give you more stability and comfort for upward observation, making it much more ergonomic than a completely straight model. The rubber covering the scope tube is not only non-slip; it is also colored black, making it pleasant to see.
This device is completely waterproof, so it can be used outdoors even when it rains and in humid places without any problem. It comes with a carrying bag, a cleaning cloth, and a tabletop tripod. You don’t need to expend extra bucks on a tripod separately if you want to have more stability when observing. The tripod clamp can be rotated and snaps gently into place, which is great. However, the shoulder strap is firmly sewn.
- Fully multi-layer coating
- Waterproof housing
- Extendable lens hood
- Includes table tripod and transport
- Robust rubber body for a lot of grips
- Compact and robust
- Can be rotated 340°
- Not fog proof
4. Gravitude 20-60x80mm HD Spotting Scope
If you are wondering where to buy a powerful & versatile spotting scope under $300, for Target Shooting, Hunting, or Bird Watching, then Gravitude is the ideal answer to your question. It is a refracting spotting scope that is equipped with an 80mm diameter lens and an eyepiece with a magnification range from 20 to 60x.
However, as you increase the magnification level, the focus performance decreases, and at higher levels, you cannot achieve complete sharpness.
This model is especially recommended for naturalistic observations. For hunters, its powerful optics allow for sharp enlargements even during the worst light conditions, namely dawn and dusk. The optics are mounted according to the Porro configuration, and the prism is of the BaK-4 type.
The Fully Multi-Coated Lenses eliminate reflections while the two Fast Focus Knobs quickly sharpen your perspective. However, the eyepiece magnifying focus ring is a bit stiff but works well.
You can connect this device not only to smartphones but also to cameras, thanks to the special adapter produced by the same company. The Extendable Sunshade effectively eliminates sun glare and incorporates Alignment Features, aiding in the precise location of wildlife and targets even at extended distances.
According to our experience, its main advantage lies above all in its excellent value for money. But despite the fact that the optics have good characteristics, it is still inferior to that of Gosky and Creative XP.
- Design for all weather conditions
- Lifetime warranty
- Powerful and durable
- Value for the money
- Focuses easily and is quite clear
- Ready to use
- The minimum focal distance is 32 feet
5. Landove LDPH001A6767 Spotting Scope
The LDPH001A6767 is the entry-level spotting scope from Landove. However, it features 20% more weight than the Landove 20-60X 65 models but a newly developed eyepiece with a retracted projection design for maximum comfort during the observation.
The eyepiece is compatible with many of the compact cameras produced by Landove. The main body is filled with nitrogen gas in order to avoid fogging of the lenses. The high-quality construction and non-slip & shock-proof grip bring you a better experience. You can also look through it like your binoculars.
Landove optics consist of an 80mm diameter lens with a multilayer coating. The weather conditions will not be an obstacle for you because the device is watertight, rainproof, and capable of withstanding up to one meter underwater for a duration of ten minutes.
It also stands out for its refined and decidedly elegant design; the integrated sliding hood is also very functional. The only flaw is a consistent increase in chromatic aberrations as the magnification factor is increased.
The package comes with a digiscoping cell phone adapter (which fits most smartphones), so you to take videos and images in the distant world. A black oxford carrying bag, a metal table tripod, a cleaning cloth, and two lens covers also include delivery. To ensure quality, Landove offers a lifetime warranty.
However, the included tabletop tripod with this Celestron scope falls short in terms of usability, particularly when attempting to make adjustments at higher magnifications. It’s imperative to consider investing in a more reliable tripod for an enhanced experience.
- Adjustable comfortable eye relief
- Dynamic fully multi-coated green lens
- Elegant and functional design
- Solid metal framework
- Lifetime warranty guarantee
- The fine focus adjustment on the front was stuck during the test
- Quite a bit of chromatic aberration
6. CREATIVE XP HD80 Spotting Scope with Tripod
Among the different models we have compared, it is not at all a surprise to come across a CREATIVE XP product again in sixth position, specifically the 80HD professional spotting scope, belonging to the CREATIVE XP ED80. It’s completely waterproof and fogproof, so frequent hazy or humid weather won’t fog the lens.
Like the ED 80 examined previously, this model is equipped with a similar optic, namely an 80 mm diameter lens with a roof refractor. The fundamental difference, however, is the shooting range. The CREATIVE XP HD is a basic model, while the previous one is qualitatively superior. However, the price is significantly lower than the previous one.
The eyepiece has a magnification factor of 20 to 60x. You are able to see clearly at a long-range, even 1000 yards away. It is also an all-around spotting scope, suitable for terrestrial observations and the night sky, hunting, sport, and in particular target shooting.
Thanks to the BaK-4 roof prism and the multilayer anti-reflective treatments, which are able to reduce drastically flare and chromatic aberrations.
This model is also equipped with a Tripod, Protective Case, Cell Phone Adapter, and Photo Clicker. As long as the tripod has the normal attachment that most tripods have. Fortunately, you can pick this model for around half of your budget.
- Crystal clear optics with edge-to-edge sharpness
- 100% waterproof and fogproof
- Easy to focus and zoom
- Widely customizable
- Cheap price
- Standard optical quality
- The zoom knob on the eyepiece lens is a bit tight for the first few days
7. MaxUSee Dual Focusing Zoom HD Spotting Scope
MaxUSee is undoubtedly one of the best spotting scopes, based on value for money. With this dual-focusing spotter, you will be able to capture the details of your lens even at very long distances thanks to its maximum zoom of 75x.
In addition, the 80mm aperture gives you a very wide field of view up to 99 feet. It lends itself to many uses and is often used, for example, to visualize celestial bodies. The inclusion of two-speed focusing wheels enables a seamless and precise focus adjustment, resulting in remarkably sharp images.
The non-slip cover and the scope frame are very resistant to shocks and falls, making it perfect for outdoor use. Then, the universal smartphone adapter gives you the ability to use your mobile devices to capture and share everything you see on social networks. However, connecting the smartphone adapter is not that easy the first time. But with a little practice, you won’t have any more problems.
MaxUSee spotting scope is fully adjustable according to your needs! The 45 ° angle can be changed according to the light conditions, to always get a clear and flawless vision, as well as free of reflections. It also has a nice handle, so you can sling it over your shoulder.
It has been designed with a sturdy frame that makes it resistant to shocks and drops. The rubber protector ensures maximum stability and also includes a lens protector.
- Powerful zoom magnification
- Comes with a stable tripod & carrying bag
- Durable construction
- Shockproof design
- Easy to set up
- A little bit heavy
- Very limited window
8. Gosky Go20x60-80new Updated Spotting Scope
The Gosky Go20x60-80new is also one of the best quality spotting scopes under $300 for different usage. It is a versatile device and can be used for target shooting, archery, hunting, bird watching, wildlife watching, hiking, camping, scenery, outdoor sporting, astronomical observation, etc. For target shooting, if you are shooting at 25-200 yards, this model will make you happy.
Its variable zoom from 20 to 60x lets you see your lens just as if you were standing next to it. Magnification is also very easy to adjust using the magnification knob. The 80mm multi-layer lens allows you to get a wide, clear, and bright view of your surroundings. The field of view can vary from 48 to 82.9 feet.
The lens’s dynamic focus system is notable for its stability. Thanks to Gosky, in fact, you can move the focus from one object to another in just a few seconds, to take close-up and long-distance photos with extreme ease. You can take it with you even when it’s raining outside.
You can connect the scope to your smartphone to take pictures and record everything you observe. In this way, you can immediately share the content on the social networks you usually use.
This new Gosky updated model comes with a large tripod, a zippered carry bag, a smartphone mount/holder, eyepiece and lens protection covers, and easy-to-read instructions. Definitely a cheap spotting scope but of great value for its performance.
- Retractable sunshade
- Heavy-duty but portable
- Anti-fog and waterproof
- Comes with a cell phone mount
- Hard to focus physically
- Tripod is too tall
9. SOLOMARK 20-60×60 HD Angled Spotting Scope
For all those who are looking for an entry-level ultralight spotting scope for less than 300, we recommend the SOLOMARK 20-60×60 HD. It has an educational value and helps to stimulate scientific curiosity. Also, it is the cheapest model among all those examined in our guide. Therefore, it is ideal for those looking for a spotting scope at low prices.
As we mentioned earlier, it is a spotting scope for beginners. However, it is easily usable and customizable for all ages people. From a structural point of view, it is well-made and wrapped with high-quality non-slip grip rubber. The waterproof design can adapt to extreme environments and excellent sealing prevents dust from entering the glass.
SOLOMARK 20-60×60 HD spotting scope is equipped with a 60 mm diameter lens with a maximum magnification factor of 60x, perfectly functional even if not very powerful.
It is also lightweight without sacrificing optical quality, and much lighter than other spotting scopes on the market. This model is easy to watch with one hand and easy to carry.
The focusing can be performed using a ring nut, as in normal modern spotting scopes, and it must be lengthened or shortened according to the distance from the pointed object.
The 45-degree angled eyepiece provides more comfortable viewing and the multi-coated objective lens provides a field of view at 1000 yards. However, do not expect miracles because it is still a basic spotting scope. And included carrying case was poorly designed.
- Sturdy frame and high-quality rubber
- Lightweight and portable
- Good value for the money
- Complete accessories
- Comes with a solid tripod
- Not very powerful
- Narrow field of view
10. BARSKA AD12360 WP Level Angled Spotting Scope
We conclude our guide of the best spotting scopes under $300 with another high-quality optic intended for any type of long-distance viewing. The AD12360 model from BARSKA is a decent spotting scope with an opening of 80 mm that will not disappoint you at all. It offers you high-resolution images thanks to the BK-4 lens with multilayer coating. It guarantees excellent light transmission and a total absence of shadows and reflections.
It will give you the ability to adjust the magnification in a range from 20 to 60x very easily, so you can see objects just as if they were right in front of your eyes. You will also find that eye relief is very useful which makes it particularly suitable for people who wear glasses.
Rest assured, you will not have to bend down to use the scope as it is designed with a 45 ° structure. Furthermore, the O-rings positioned on the lenses prevent the entry of dust and rain, so this device can be used in any weather condition. To make everything even better is the nitrogen treatment that prevents the formation of internal condensation.
BARSKA AD12360 spotting scope is compatible with tripods and comes with Pan Head Level Tripod and therefore can be fixed in the most comfortable position for you. You will also receive a sturdy carrying case in the package that protects it from shocks during transport. Lens caps are also very useful.
Finally, it was built with top-grade materials which makes this scope very resistant to shocks.
- Wide field of view
- Good optical Performance
- Textured Rubber Body
- Comes with a nice carrying case
- Large eyepiece
- Tripod is short, with no adjustable height
Buyer’s Guide: Best Spotting Scopes Under $300
Before buying a spotting scope at this price range, consider as many extra features as possible because some models are better for hunting, while others are suited for the stars.
Let’s see some important factors in detail:
You can choose different objective lens diameters depending on your purpose of use. The bigger the lens, the brighter the image you see. That means the larger lens brings more bright images. However, a large lens is recommended when you need to observe subjects from far distances or in low-light conditions.
Spotting scopes lenses sizes vary between 45 and 100mm. Keep in mind that the size of the lens increases the overall weight. So if you have to carry your spotting scope for long distances then make sure you get a comfortable carrying case with your order.
On the market, spotting scope has a variable magnification level, usually having magnification ranges up to 60x. The higher the numbers, the larger or closer the image will appear to be. Going higher-powered magnification may deliver poor image quality.
Remember that the lighting and outside weather greatly impact the effectiveness of the magnification range. According to our experience, if the weather is not ideal, you may not be able to use full magnification.
Shortly, eye relief is the distance between your eye and the eyepiece. Before buying a spotting scope, also make sure that it will provide comfortable eye relief (recommend 17.9 – 15 mm) especially if you wear glasses. Good eye relief allows you to focus comfortably without any adjustment.
Variable eye relief also could be better for multiple users.
A fully multi-coated lens is best for light gathering to give you bright and clear images when less light is available. The good news is, most spotting scopes under $300 on our list have fully multi-coated lenses.
Field Of View
Field of View is measured distance, how wide an area you can see through a spotting scope. More powerful spotting scopes have a wider field of view. For wildlife viewing, a wide range of field views is worthwhile as sometimes you cannot get close to the animals.
Spotting scope basically has two types of viewing angles: straight and angled.
The angled scope is suitable for groups of people when they are aiming at something in the sky like a bird or the stars. You don’t need to move it around when it is mounted on a tripod. Straight scopes are good for hunters who want to be able to zero in on the subject quickly from different points.
Spotting scopes can be constructed with carbon fiber, a metal alloy, or other lightweight materials (most scopes at this level will use a polycarbonate chassis).
A rubberized armor coating is crucial for added extra protection. Even if you don’t plan to go outside in the rain or foggy weather, we would recommend buying Nitrogen Purged and O-Ring Sealed models. Most spotting scopes under 300 dollars in our list come with weatherproof and dustproof designs.
The last factor to consider when you intend to buy a spotting scope is: included accessories. These can in fact improve the performance of the appliance or make it more practical or even facilitate its transport.
High magnification spotting scopes need stable tripods. It is important to check if there is this element, as buying it separately involves an additional expense.
The most common accessory that can be included in the package of a spotting scope is certainly a shoulder bag for transport.
Spotting scopes often have a smart device adapter.
Lens cover, lens, and eyepiece cleaning cloth are sometimes supplied.
Can these spotting scopes withstand adverse weather conditions?
Indeed, many of the scopes on our list are built with weather-resistant materials and sealed optics to withstand light rain or mist. However, we recommend you exercise caution and avoid exposing them to heavy rain or extreme weather. Additionally, consider using protective accessories like scope covers or carrying cases designed for inclement weather.
How about eyeglass compatibility? Can they be used comfortably with eyeglasses?
All spotting scopes in our selection have generous eye relief and adjustable eyecups. This design ensures that, if wear eyeglasses, you can comfortably use the spotting scope without experiencing discomfort or compromising the field of view. With the eyecups adjusted to the correct position, you can maintain a comfortable distance between your eyeglasses and the eyepiece, allowing for a clear and unobstructed view of the subject.
Do these spotting scopes come with a warranty?
Yes, each of the scopes on our list comes with its respective manufacturer’s warranty. The duration and specific terms may vary, so we recommend checking the details provided by the manufacturer.
Are cheap spotting scopes suitable for long-duration observation sessions?
Spotting scopes under $300 can certainly be suitable for long-duration observation sessions. Many scopes in this price range are designed with user comfort in mind. They often feature ergonomic designs, comfortable eyepieces, and smooth focusing mechanisms, all of which contribute to a more pleasant and less fatiguing viewing experience.
Are these scopes suitable for both terrestrial and celestial viewing?
While primarily designed for terrestrial observation, several spotting scopes in our selection offer versatile features like interchangeable eyepieces, making them compatible for basic celestial observation.
In the end, the Gosky HD 20-60x80mm Spotter is our number one pick under $300 because it will give high performance that rivals much more expensive scopes. It has a high magnification range, and we feel the quality of the great optics. It’s also durable which will provide years of use and is relatively lightweight, which makes it great for use out in the field.
However, all models presented on this list are worth their prices. We hope our assistance helped you to select the best spotting scope for your needs. If you have any questions, leave a comment below and we will answer them.