Best Compact Spotting Scopes – 2020 Complete Round-up

Observing nature never fails to amuse if one has an eye for beauty, right?  

But, in order to get a more enjoyable experience, one needs to look at both the wide spectrum and the small details. And, it is quite hard to zoom in on all the breathtaking details in a landscape with the bare eye.

This is where a compact spotting scope can be helpful for you. Let’s see what those are and which one you should buy. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Compact Spotting Scopes

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Light, compact design made for convenient carrying
  • Fitted with an ED lens optic system for crisp images
  • Protected design is water and fog-proof
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  • Fitted with diamond coated lenses for durability and picture quality
  • Features Twilight Max Light Management System
  • Compact design that is shock, fog, and waterproof
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  • Best for the Money
  • Rugged non-slip rubber armor construction
  • Wide view range with full fog-proofing
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  • Best Compact Spotting Scope for Hunting
  • Ultra-light design with Razor HD optic technology
  • Extremely durable design featuring wide range of protection
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  • Best Leupold Compact Spotting Scope
  • Provides excellent eye relief
  • Compact design with optimized protection
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  • Best Burris Compact Spotting Scope
  • Light and durable construction from die-cast magnesium alloy
  • allows dual adjustment of coarse and fine focus
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  • Best Bushnell Compact Spotting Scope
  • Completely water and fog-proof with shock-resistant rubber armor design
  • Compact design sold with all needed accessories
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What is a Compact Spotting Scope?

A compact spotting scope is something like binoculars, but a much better option for sightseeing. It helps you zoom in on the landscape in front of your eyes to help you have a closer look at things. Compact spotting scopes are different from usual telescopes in terms of their size and portability.

With a compact spotting scope, you get an optimized and upright image of the view ahead. These have objective lenses that provide effective magnification. This way, they help in tracking game while hunting as well as sightseeing in a national park. Thus, it is a handy tool, which helps you catch better sights when you are on an adventure.

Bird watching has never been so amazing. (Source)

What Does a Compact Spotting Scope Do?

The primary purpose of a compact spotting scope is a magnification of the objects at a distance. This makes it an ideal companion for those who love hunting and adventures. They are a fair treat for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. 

Along with all this, they have ergonomic construction. It helps wide range shooters who need something to provide them a better and more focused aim. These scopes are great for star gazing as well since they have considerable image brightness and optimization capabilities. 

So, a compact spotting scope has many uses depending upon the situation at hand. 

How to Choose a Compact Spotting Scope

Choosing the right compact spotting scope is the key to having a remarkable experience. This is why we have brought you a list of things to consider while choosing one. 

Magnification Range

The magnification range of a compact spotting scope should be your foremost concern. After all, the whole point of investing in one is to have a magnified view of objects. The scopes on the market offer multiple ranges of magnification. So, to make the most out of your unit, you should choose one which has a variable magnification range.

Eyepiece Type

Now, there are two types of eyepieces for compact spotting scopes – angled and straight. The angle of the eyepiece does not cause a major difference in viewing quality. But, it can be important when it comes to the comfort of the viewer. Tall people usually prefer angled eyepiece to avoid any fatigue in the neck. 

Field of View

The field of view of a compact spotting scope is quite significant as well. It affects the kind of texture that you will be viewing through the lens. It also has an impact on the size of the landscape that a spotting scope covers. 

Eye Relief

You have to be mindful of the eye relief of a compact spotting scope too. This is to ensure you do not have to strain your eyes while tracking the game. This minimizes any chances of missed shots while keeping your eye health in regard. 

Quick Take | Best Compact Spotting Scopes

Just looking for the three best compact spotting scopes? Here they are:

  1. Celestron Hummingbird 9-27x56mm
  2. Leupold Mark 4 Spotting Scope
  3. Huicocy Spotting Scope

Review of the Best Compact Spotting Scopes

Well, you already know what makes a spotting scope great. Now, you must be looking for some recommended models to choose from. Considering this, we have reviewed some of the best compact spotting scopes for you to get a better idea. 

Celestron Hummingbird 9-27x56mm ED Micro Spotting Scope - Birder Friendly - Close Focus Distance

PROS

  • Greater clarity with ED lens
  • Close focus distance of 10 feet
  • Magnification range from 9x to 27x
  • Nitrogen filling to protect from weather
  • Waterproof construction to prevent damage

CONS

  • Carry case should be stronger
  • Image optimization could be improved

What Recent Buyers Report

People enjoyed using this Celestron Hummingbird scope because of its simple and practical design. They found its lens quite reliable even during the cold as it does not fog easily. Its waterproof construction also made buyers like it further. It helped them continue using the scope for many years without having to replace it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us with its remarkable weather resistance and the smallness of frame. It is so small that it fits into your pocket quite easily. This way, there are minimum chances of losing your scope while you are out in the wilderness.

Moreover, there is nitrogen filling in the scope, which prevents the lens from scratches as well as weather damage. This way, you do not have to worry about getting a new lens every few months.

Lastly, it has an ED lens that captures enough light to keep the image bright. It actively prevents any dispersion of light, which helps keep the image intact for you.

Bottom Line

Keeping all these in view, the Celestron Hummingbird spotting scope is the best overall. It has a magnification range of 9x to 27x, which is suitable for most bird watchers. Weather resistance and other protective mechanisms in place make it even more worthwhile.

Leupold Mark 4 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope

PROS

  • Round exit pupil for crisp images
  • Ten extra minutes of glassing light
  • Built-in tripod port for better balance
  • Folded light path for sleek construction
  • Higher light transmission with ion assist coating

CONS

  • Has a lower resolution than others

What Recent Buyers Report

This spotting scope has been a huge success among recent buyers with its compact construction. It has a folded light path, which makes it smaller and more efficient in terms of light transmission. The buyers also liked this spotting scope because of its superior image quality. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We have added this to our list of best spotting scopes due to its twilight max light management system. It adds up to ten extra minutes of glassing light to your spotting scope. 

Moreover, it has four Bak prisms in it, which provides an edge-to-edge image sharpness. This way, there is the least possible light abrasion, which makes images clearer. 

It also has a diamond two coat on it, which keeps the lens safe from any possible damages. The ion assist lens coating has a higher light transmission capability as well. The built-in tripod stand helps the scope stay upright when you put it on a stand. 

Bottom Line

All in all, it is an amazing compact spotting scope that works perfectly for most scope users. The scope has an impressive magnification range as well as a 100% waterproof frame. Its folded light path is a nice plus on it as well since it keeps the design minimal. So, going for this one will work out in your favor. 

Best for the Money:
Huicocy Spotting Scope

Spotting Scope,Huicocy 20-60x60mm Zoom 39-19m/1000m Fully Multi Coated Optical Lens Fogproof and Movably Eyepiece Rubber Design Telescope with Quick Smartphone Mount Kit and Tabletop Tripod for Target

PROS

  • Eyepiece angled at 45 degrees
  • Easy to configure phone mount
  • Aluminum frame with rubber armor
  • Glare reduction with extended sunshade
  • Higher light-gathering power with 60 mm lens

CONS

  • The focus ring is loose
  • Slightly heavier than other similar scopes

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a favorite of most of the people who use spotting scopes. The phone mount helped it distinguish itself from the customers because it helps in photography as well. They liked it also because of the durable construction, which increases its chances of staying useful for a long time. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It has caught our eye with the 45-degree angled eyepiece. It helps tall people observe through the scope without having to bend or straining their neck. The angle of 45 degrees is particularly helpful as it provides better eye relief. 

Besides, the scope has an effective phone mount, which takes no time to set up. It is also great due to the extended sunshade, which protects your eyes from any kind of glare. Thus, it can be great for those who are constantly exposed to bright sunlight. 

Furthermore, its aluminum frame has rubberized armor, which increases its durability. 

Bottom Line

To sum up, this is an incredible spotting scope which comes at a surprisingly affordable price. The 60 mm objective lens in it helps in keeping the transmission of light speedy and consistent. Thus, this is a great spotting scope, considering its features and its pricing. 

Best Compact Spotting Scope for Hunting:
Vortex Optics Razor 

Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scope 11-33x50 Angled

PROS

  • Argon purged O-ring of the scope
  • Angled eyepiece for added comfort
  • Anti-reflective coatings for an intact image
  • Ultra-lightweight construction of the frame
  • Both macro and micro-adjustments in the focus wheel

CONS

  • Not for low light conditions

What Recent Buyers Report

The people who took this scope on their hunting expeditions loved its performance. They found it especially easy to carry since it has a very lightweight and sleek frame. The eyecup is adjustable and lets the users view through the scope without any eye fatigue. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It has gained our attention with its superior adjustment levels. You can easily make the required changes in focus at both macro and micro levels. This way, there is a greater precision of observation and shooting as you get to estimate the right distance. 

Other than this, it has an Argon purged O-ring, which keeps the scope safe from all kinds of water damage. It also prevents fogging of the lens in humid or cold conditions. 

To add to this, it has anti-reflective coatings on the lens, which makes sure there is no chromatic aberration. This helps in keeping the images intact, and you get better views with it.

Bottom Line

In our opinion, this is the best bid for nature and adventure lovers. It is particularly more suitable for people who are into hunting. The lightness of its frame and the angled eyepiece further help in using it constantly. 

Best Leupold Compact Spotting Scope:
Leupold 120372 GR 12-40x60mm

Leupold GR 12-40x60mm HD Gold Ring Spotting Scope, No Reticle (120372)

PROS

  • Diamond two coat on the lens
  • Twilight max HD light management system
  • Powerful magnification with a folded design
  • High-quality edge-to-edge clarity of images
  • 100% waterproof and shockproof construction

CONS

  • No carrying case for scope
  • Tripod not included in the package 

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who bought it lately recommend the scope to anyone who loves nature watching. The focus ring and its controls are quite effective, which is why buyers love the scope. It has also left a good impression on buyers with the sharpness of images.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We particularly like this unit because of the powerful magnification range that it has. The folded light pathway increases the speed of light transmission while enhancing the magnification power. 

The scope has a shockproof construction, so you can pack it along with the rest of your stuff. Even if it slips from your hands, there is no need to sweat over it as it can take minor shocks well. 

Moreover, the lens has a diamond-two coating on it, which keeps the lens safe. It also makes the images sharper with edge-to-edge clarity. 

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a remarkable spotting scope with an affordable price and reliable construction. The waterproof frame can withstand humid conditions without any water damage. Its light transmission is quite practical, as well. So, there is hardly anything else that you might want from it.

Best Burris Compact Spotting Scope:
Burris Optics Signature HD

Burris Optics Signature HD Spotting Scope, Angled Eyepiece and Rotating Tripod Mount, 20-60x Magnification

PROS

  • Wide range of magnification
  • Eyecup adjustment for glasses
  • Reliable die-cast Magnesium body
  • Rotating tripod mount for easier balancing
  • Better control with a forward-mounted focus knob

CONS

  • No mount for phone
  • The frame is not anti-slip

What Recent Buyers Report

The Burris spotting scope has left its mark on recent buyers with its amazing features. They have liked the reliability of the frame and its lightweight construction. Its eyecup adjustment has helped those who wear spectacles or glasses a lot. So, those who use visual aids found this scope easy to operate as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The coarse and fine focusing adjustments in this scope help it stand out to us. These adjustments help the users focus on the bigger as well as smaller details in the objects they view. 

Moreover, it has a rotating tripod mount, which lets you adjust it on your tripod stands easily. The scope has a die-cast Magnesium body which can retain its shape and appearance despite the harsh weather conditions. 

To add to this, the eyecup of the scope has an easier adjustment, which helps in using it even if you are wearing glasses.

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this spotting scope is that it has a wonderful magnification range. It can help in magnification from 20x to 60x. This makes it useful for multiple ranges of uses extending from bird watching to long-range shooting. 

Best Bushnell Compact Spotting Scope:
Bushnell 12-36x50mm

Bushnell 12-36x50mm Waterproof Ultra Compact Spotting Scope

PROS

  • 50 mm objective lens
  • Helps in long-range viewing
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
  • Effective light transmission with multi coats
  • Tripod and soft carrying case included in the package

CONS

  • Has poor eye relief

What Recent Buyers Report

This compact spotting scope has impressed the recent buyers with its simple design. Buyers liked its lens for its coatings and size. They are fond of its pricing policy as well. While there have been some problems regarding eye relief, it is ideal for beginners.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

The 50 mm objective lens is one of its most prominent features. It helps in capturing maximum light without any aberration or dispersion. It also has multiple coats on the lens, which help in keeping the light from splitting up. 

In addition, the scope has a long-range of viewing, which helps hunters as well. It has many useful accessories as well, which helps in using it easily. There is a soft carrying case along with a tripod and scope gloves. 

Bottom Line

The final word on it is that it has high usability due to the strength of its frame. The accessories and features of scope are all on-spot. So, it would be a wise decision to invest in it. 

What Are the Benefits of a Compact Spotting Scope?

Investing in a compact spotting scope can turn out to be fruitful for you. Let’s look at how they are worth the money you are required to spend on them. 

Brightness Addition

What happens with most binoculars is that they do not have any additional brightness. This makes the objects at a distance seem blurry. To avoid this, spotting scopes have additional brightness, which makes the images clearer. 

Tactical Use

Most spotting scopes have an ergonomic design, which makes them a better choice for adventurers. They have a stronger outer frame which does not get any damage even in harsh weather conditions.  

Better Image Quality

Another perk of getting a new compact spotting scope is that it will provide you better image quality. The images are upright and have a fair share of optimization. This way, there are no shaky angles to make you have a poor estimate of the distance and aim. 

Portability

The compactness of spotting scopes makes them more portable. So, you can easily carry them wherever you go without having to worry about extra luggage. Also, they resist most of the physical damage, so you won’t have to worry about the safety of the scope either. 

How to Use a Compact Spotting Scope

Using a compact spotting scope is no hard feat. You just have to follow some simple instructions to make sure you use it correctly. 

  1. Open the tripod and set it up nicely. Then attach the tripod plate to your spotting scope and mount it on the tripod. Make sure to balance the spotting scope and tripod stand well to avoid any misadventures.

  2. Now remove the covers from the lens and the eyepiece.

  3. After this, extend the eyecup of the spotting scope if you are not wearing any glasses.

  4. Start at the lowest point of magnification and set the horizon on a clear landmark.

  5. Once you set your eyes on the desired object, increase magnification until it is in focus.

These easy steps will help you set up your spotting scope in a jiffy. Here is a short video demonstrating how to use a compact spotting scope flawlessly. 

Conclusion

To give it a quick wrap up, you need a compact spotting scope to have a better focus on the details that you want to observe. It has to stay within your budget, but there should be no compromise on its quality too. So, buy one that is closest to your ideal model and have fun viewing your favorite sights. 

People Also Ask

Compact spotting scopes can be a nice and practical addition to your adventure bag. They are lightweight and offer clear views, so it would be great to have one. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions to help you clear any confusion regarding them. 

Is an Angled or Straight Spotting Scope Better?

Both angled, and straight spotting scopes are equally good in terms of performance. The only difference is the ease of use. The angled spotting scopes are better for people with a taller body frame, while straight scopes work best for moderate and short individuals. 

Are Compact Spotting Scopes Better Than Binoculars?

Yes, compact spotting scopes are better than binoculars in many ways. They have a better magnification range than binoculars and have image optimization as well. They also have internal image brightness to improve image quality. 

What is the Best Magnification For a Spotting Scope?

The average magnification range for spotting scopes is between 20x and 60x. It serves most spotting purposes well. But, for bird watchers and others who are not using it for shooting purposes, 20x to 30x magnification is perfect.

How Far Can You See With a Compact Spotting Scope?

A spotting scope enables you to look at a distance of up to 1000 meters. This way, you can observe your favorite sights from a remote position. You can even get a more powerful scope if you wish to have a look at something at a greater distance.