Best Spotting Scope | The Ultimate Guide To The Best Spotting Scopes of 2018

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Are you looking for the best spotting scope for your budget? Our handy guide to the best spotting scope for the money can help you select the best scope for hunting, as well as the best spotting scopes overall. Plus, we’ve included the top-rated spotting scopes on the market.

RankingImageProduct 
1.best spotting scopeVortex Optics Diamondback Spotting ScopeCheck Price
2.Leupold Mark 4 12-40X60Mm Spotting Scope W/Mil Dot 53756Check Price
3.best spotting scope for huntingVortex Razor HD Spotting ScopeCheck Price
4.best spotting scopesBushnell Trophy Xtreme Spotting ScopeCheck Price
5.top rated spotting scopesNikon 20-60x82mm Prostaff 5 Angled Body Fieldscope Spotting Scope Check Price
6.spotting scopeVortex Optics Viper HD Spotting ScopesCheck Price
7.spotting scope for huntingBurris Signature HD Spotting Scope 20-60x85mm Angled Body Sand ScopeCheck Price
8.spotting scopesCelestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting ScopeCheck Price

What Defines the Best Spotting Scope?

A spotting scope is of great help when you’re on the range. Compared to a rifle scope, a spotting scope is a very different tool. Specifically, it is a portable telescope used to observe “terrestrial” objects. In other words, you point a spotting scope at something on the ground, not in the sky. The best spotting scope, therefore, is not just the best spotting scope for the money. When choosing, say, the best spotting scope for hunting, or for target shooting, or for sighting in a scope, you have choices. You can choose from among the top-rated spotting scopes to find the one that is best for you.   With the best spotting scope for your budget, you can observe where your shots go downrange. With this purpose in mind, you can save time and effort while target shooting, hunting, and sighting in a scope.

Finding the Best Spotting Scope for the Money

Finding the best spotting scope within your budget does not have to be difficult. To get the best spotting scope for the money, you just have to follow a few simple steps. Firstly, identify what you want your spotting scope to do. In other words, will you be using it for target shooting, hunting, or something else? Most importantly, a spotting scope doesn’t have to be used for shooting at all if your application differs. That it is to say that some people use them for bird watching and for identifying other terrestrial objects. While this may be true, what really matters is why you want one of the top-rated spotting scopes.

Secondly, determine the features you want in a scope. In other words, determine what your scope should have. Most importantly, ask yourself if there are any “deal breaker” items that might make the decision for you. As much as you might like some features more than others, they are not all critical. Balanced against this is what you absolutely must have.

See Top Article: Best Rifle Scope

Shopping for the Best Spotting Scopes

Our handy guide will help you find the best spotting scope for the money. It’s not enough just to select one of the top-rated spotting scopes, though. The best spotting scope for hunting is not necessarily the best spotting scope for the money. The best spotting scope for you might not be the right choice for someone else. Everyone’s requirements are different. To put it differently, this is a personal process. In other words, choosing a spotting scope is as much about personal preference as it is about evaluating the equipment. Some gear may cost more but, by comparison, it might not be as good as a cheaper option. While you get what you pay for, you also don’t want to pay more than you have to.

1. Best Spotting Scope: Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope

best spotting scopeOur first pick for one of the best spotting scopes is the Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope. This product has a lot of qualities that make it one of the top-rated spotting scopes. Firstly, it is an angled scope that offers heavy-duty performance in a compact, lightweight product. At the same time, it has fully multi-coated lenses and a retractable sunshade. Most importantly, it has a twist-and-lock collar that allows for multiple glassing positions.

Secondly, the scope has a focus wheel that is easy to use. It is O-ring sealed and, at the same time, nitrogen purged. In other words, the scope is waterproof and fog proof. The entire spotting scope, most importantly, is covered in rubberized armor for greater durability.

Thirdly, the scope is part of a popular product line from a reputable manufacturer. At the same time, it offers a nice, bright, clear sight picture. Most importantly, it is very rugged for field use. By contrast, it is light and very portable. Given that, it is a proven field companion.

What Features Make this the Best Spotting Scope?

This scope has many features that make it the best spotting scope for the money. Firstly, its objective lens diameter is 80mm. At the same time, it is under 15 inches in length and weighs less than 48 ounces. In other words, this is a very portable, yet durable scope intended for use in the field.  Most importantly, it has a 22-foot close focus.

Secondly, the scope has a lifetime warranty. At the same time, the manufacturer says it offers “heavyweight performance” in a light and compact envelope. In other words, for the money you get a clear, bright sight picture in a durable envelope that can hold up to field use. Most importantly, the scope is a solid performer that is a good value.

Thirdly, the scope’s retractable and built-in sunshade and XR fully multi-coated lenses offer a high-quality image. Moreover, the twist-and-lock collar allows you to move the scope into different positions. Most importantly, the nitrogen purged and sealed spotting scope prevents fogging and infiltration by moisture.

Related: Best Scope Under $500

Why Shooters Say This is the Best Spotting Scope

Shooters who use this scope have a lot to say about it. Firstly, they praise how compact and lightweight the scope is. At the same time, they are very happy with how durable the scope happens to be. In other words, they like that it is rugged and offers heavyweight performance, but in a portable and manageable package. If you want a solid but easily transportable scope, then this is the right spotting scope for you.

Secondly, users of this spotting scope love the twist-and lock collar. In other words, they like being able to move the adjustable eye cup for maximum comfort while operating the scope in different positions. On the other hand, they are also very happy with the quality of the optics. In other words, the fully multi-coated optics and the lifetime warranty are big selling points.

Thirdly, those who use this scope are happy with its water resistance. At the same time, they are glad the scope is fog proof. To put it another way, the O-ring sealed, nitrogen purged performance is a point in the scope’s favor.


2. Best Spotting Scope: Leupold Mark 4 12-40X60Mm Spotting Scope W/Mil Dot 53756

best spotting scope for the money

Our second pick for one of the best spotting scopes is the Leupold Mark 4. This product has a lot of qualities that make it one of the top-rated spotting scopes. Firstly, this is a “tactical” spotting scope that lets you use any power setting you want with the mil dot to judge range.  At the same time, it is a polymer scope, which makes it sleek and modern. Moreover, the scope offers a multicoat 4 lens system to optimize light transmission. In other words, the scope has great brightness, resolution, and contrast.

Secondly, the scope ships with a protective soft case. In other words, it comes with everything you need to transport the scope safely while in the field. At the same time, the scope has a close focus distance of 36 feet and a 26.87 to 48.9 twilight factor rating.

Thirdly, the Leupold Mark 4 comes complete with a limited lifetime warranty. Moreover, it is waterproof. In other words, it is designed to prevent infiltration by water that could interfere with a proper sight picture.

What Features Make this the Best Spotting Scope?

This scope has many features that make it the best spotting scope for the money. Firstly, it is the official spotting scope of the US Army’s XM110 semi-automatic sniper system. At the same time, its multicoat lenses offer great light transmission for a clear, bright picture. Resolution and contrast, most importantly, are great even at high magnifications.

Secondly, the manufacturer describes the scope as “extremely rugged.” At the same time, the front focal reticle lets you estimate range at any power setting.  Most importantly, it offers “folded light path technology” that makes this a very powerful scope despite its relatively small size. Moreover, the lens multicoating prevents reflection from the surface of the lens. This produces better image quality compared to non-coated lenses.

Thirdly, this scope is suitable for multiple tactical applications. In other words, you can use this scope for spotting in a variety of “operating” scenarios. At the same time, you can use the scope for any other spotting activities that might come up.

Related: Best Scope Under $1000

Why Shooters Say This is the Best Spotting Scope

Shooters who use this scope have a lot to say about it. Firstly, they praise its rugged durability. In other words, the scope holds up well in the field and remains reliable in use. Moreover, the scope offers a nice bright, clear sight picture. Secondly, users of this spotting scope like the front focal reticle, which allows them to estimate range at any magnification. At the same time, they have great things to say about the multicoat lenses. Additionally, users of this spotting scope admire its “twilight factor.” The McCann rail accessory, combined with the mil dot reticle, make this a great tactical choice.

In the final analysis, this spotting scope gets high marks for its durability and its overall fit and finish. Users like the package overall and appreciate the execution. If you want a tactical spotting scope, this one is a good choice. That makes it among the top rated spotting scopes on the market… and possibly the best spotting scope for you.


3. Best Spotting Scope: Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope

best spotting scope for hunting

Our third pick for one of the best spotting scopes is the Vortex Razor HD. This product has a lot of qualities that make it one of the top-rated spotting scopes. Firstly, it is available in multiple sizes, as a matter of fact.  Moreover, it includes an eyepiece cap and objective lens cover, coupled with a view-through carry case, depending on the model you select. Additionally, it offers high definition lens elements. In other words, it offers high light transmission thanks to its multiple anti-reflective coatings. These coatings, most importantly, prevent reflections that could otherwise interfere with the scope’s image.

Secondly, and again depending on which model you buy, the scope offers a triplet apochromatic lens. This is coupled with HD glass to provide unparalleled sharpness. At the same time, the scope has a “porro prism,” which provides for excellent image quality in a traditional spotting scope design.

Thirdly, extra-low dispersion glass provides for excellent resolution. Furthermore, the scope is very durable and covered in Armor Tek. Details such as dialectric prism coatings contribute to the great image.

What Features Make this the Best Spotting Scope?

This scope has many features that make it the best spotting scope for the money.  Firstly, the triplet apochromatic lens cuts down on chromatic aberration. Moreover, the porro prism provides great performance and image quality. Secondly, the scope is O-ring sealed to prevent dust and debris from getting inside. In addition, this prevents moisture from infiltrating the scope. At the same time, the Argon gas purging makes the scope resistant to fogging. In other words, you can count on this spotting scope to perform in the field across a variety of environmental conditions.

The scope comes with some great extras given that these depend on the model you buy. For example, some models come with an eyepiece cap and objective lens cover. In like fashion, some models come with a view-through carry case. This can be very convenient in the field. To sum up, this scope offers high-tech performance in a well-executed package. At the same time, the scope is a good value and will make many different shooters happy. In like fashion, the scope is great for users who have non-shooting applications.

Why Shooters Say This is the Best Spotting Scope

Shooters who use this scope have a lot to say about it. Firstly, they praise the clear, bright picture the scope provides. At the same time, they are very happy with the extras available with some models. Moreover, they give high marks to the technology incorporated in the scope’s fit and finish. Secondly, users of this spotting scope find it easy to use and well thought out. In other words, they like its durability and its intuitive controls. The fully multicoated lenses, most importantly, provide excellent brightness and image clarity. With this in mind, the high technology that goes into the lenses and their coatings is another bright spot.

Given these points, this scope may well be one of the best spotting scopes overall. It is certainly one of the best spotting scopes for hunting. It may also be among the top rated spotting scopes on the market, depending on your standards.


4. Best Spotting Scope: Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Spotting Scope

best spotting scopesOur fourth pick for one of the best spotting scopes is the Bushnell Trophy Xtreme. This product has a lot of qualities that make it one of the top rated spotting scopes. Firstly, its quality optics offer an excellent high definition image. In addition, the scope is made of high-quality materials. At the same time, the scope has been extensively tested to ensure performance. As a matter of fact, the scope earns high marks for its attractive design and its great aesthetics.

Secondly, the scope is nice and compact. By the same token, it comes with a tripod, a car window mount, a hard case, a soft carrying case, and a “scope glove.” In other words, every scope ships with a variety of accessories that protect it and make it easier to carry and use in the field.

Thirdly, the scope has 12 to 36 times adjustable magnification and a 50-millimeter objective lens. Furthermore, those lenses are multi-coated to decrease reflection and increase light transmission. In other words, the lenses are treated to make the picture brighter, sharper, and more reliable.

What Features Make this the Best Spotting Scope?

This scope has many features that make it the best spotting scope for the money. Firstly, its quality optics offer a true HD image. At the same time, extensive product testing makes this scope a high-quality product. Moreover, the scope is built from quality materials for rugged durability. The accessories are equally important. In particular, the car window mount, tripod, soft carrying case, and premium hard case offer you many ways to carry and protect the scope in the field.

Secondly, the scope has versatile adjustable magnification and a 50mm objective lens. At the same time, its excellent light transmission cannot be stressed enough. Moreover, the scope glove is a good feature. Most importantly, the scope is fog proof and water resistant. At the same time, it is coated in shock-absorbing rubber to armor it against damage. In other words, you can take this scope out into the field and not worry that it will break easily. In the final analysis, this spotting scope has many great features.

Why Shooters Say This is the Best Spotting Scope

Shooters who use this scope have a lot to say about it.  Firstly, they praise the scope’s remarkable HD clarity. They are enamored, in other words, with the high-quality optics. They also give high marks to the overall fit and finish. This is a well-executed spotting scope that, in other words, offers great performance in the field.

Secondly, users of this spotting scope are happy with its compact envelope. In addition, they like its appearance. Moreover, they praise the accessories that ship with the scope. These include the carrying cases and the scope glove. They also include the tripod and car window mount.


5. Best Spotting Scope: Nikon 20-60x82mm Prostaff 5 Angled Body Fieldscope Spotting Scope 

top rated spotting scopesOur fifth pick for one of the best spotting scopes is the Nikon Prostaff. This product has a lot of qualities that make it one of the top rated spotting scopes. Firstly, it is a complete kit that includes a precision tripod and camera mount. At the same time, it comes with a universal smartphone adapter. In addition, it has an anti-fog cleaning cloth. Most importantly, it comes with lens cleaner fluid spray. The kit, in other words, has everything you’ll need to use this high-tech scope to its fullest capacity.

Secondly, the scope has an 82mm objective lens. It offers great balance, in other words, between a bright, clear image and the size of the scope itself. In similar fashion, the scope has a smartphone adapter. This allows you to take telephoto images with a smartphone through the spotting scope.

What Features Make this the Best Spotting Scope?

This scope has many features that make it the best spotting scope for the money. Firstly, the precision tripod and case are a great addition. The tripod, in other words, is a great way to keep your shots stable. The smartphone adapter, most importantly, lets you take telephoto shots with the spotting scope and your phone.  Everything about the scope and its accessories is adjustable.

Secondly, the scope is waterproof and fog proof. This means you don’t have to worry about water or debris infiltrating the scope. This means the scope will generally perform quite well in the field. A reliable scope is, by all means, an important issue when you rely on your equipment. That is one of the biggest factors when purchasing from among top rated spotting scopes. That is to say you want reliable gear that makes your task easier. No matter why you are spotting, to rephrase it, you want a spotting scope that just works.

Why Shooters Say This is the Best Spotting Scope

Shooters who use this scope have a lot to say about it. Firstly, they are happy with the accessories that come with the scope. At the same time, they love the smartphone adapter for taking telephoto pictures. In addition, they give high marks to the fog proof, waterproof construction. Secondly, users of this scope say that it is a good value. In addition, many call it extremely powerful. Thirdly, users of this spotting scope praise the tripod and the powerful zoom. At the same time, other users call it a great scope that was a good value.

In the final analysis, this is a great scope for multiple field applications. The many accessories that come with it, coupled with its great value for the price, make it one of the best spotting scopes for the money. If you want a great spotting scope, then this one may well be right for you.


6. Best Spotting Scope: Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scopes

spotting scopeOur sixth pick for one of the best spotting scopes is the Vortex Optics Viper HD. This product has a lot of qualities that make it one of the top rated spotting scopes. Firstly, it has XR anti-reflective coatings and XD extra-low dispersion glass. In other words, it offers sharp, bright, crisp sight pictures under a variety of conditions. At the same time, it has a dual focus wheel. This allows maximum precision in focusing at both coarse and fine adjustment levels. Secondly, the scope also has a rotating tripod ring. This lets the user rotate the eyepiece sideways. Finally, the scope has a sunshade that reduces glare while protecting the lens from rain and debris.

Thirdly, the scope is O-ring sealed. At the same time, it is Argon-purged. Most importantly, the lenses are coated with Armortek to protect them from grime and scratching. In other words, the scope is well protected from moisture infiltration. These features, coupled with the lens coating, means the scope will perform well in the field. This is true across a variety of environmental scenarios.

What Features Make this the Best Spotting Scope?

This scope has many features that make it the best spotting scope for the money. Firstly, it has a dual focus wheel. The user may, in other words, enjoy maximum focusing precision no matter what the adjustment level. At the same time, it has an adjustable eye piece. This means that even users with glasses can operate the spotting scope comfortably.

Secondly, the rotating tripod ring allows you to position the eye piece sideways. This means operation is a breeze when coupled with the sunshade. In similar fashion, the water resistant and fog proof construction is complete with O-ring seals. The scope will function reliably in multiple environmental conditions.

Finally, the XR anti-reflective coatings are a big selling point. These make for great performance when coupled with the extra-low dispersion glass. In other words, users will enjoy a bright, clear, crisp sight picture.

Why Shooters Say This is the Best Spotting Scope

Shooters who use this scope have a lot to say about it. Firstly, they praise the anti-reflective coatings and the extra-low dispersion glass. In other words, they are crazy for the bright, clear image this spotting scope provides. Secondly, they have many good things to say about the dual focus wheel. This feature, moreover, allows for easy adjustment. Thirdly, users have good things to say about the sunshade and rotating eyepiece. This is a great formula for user comfort when coupled with the rotating tripod ring.

This spotting scope is very popular with users in the final analysis. If you want an excellent spotting scope with lots of features, then this one may be right for you. At the same time, this scope has multiple features that contribute to excellent performance. Consider the Vortex Optics Viper HD when choosing from among the top rated spotting scopes.


7. Best Spotting Scope: Burris Signature HD Spotting Scope 20-60x85mm Angled Body Sand Scope

spotting scope for hunting

Our seventh pick for one of the best spotting scopes is the Burris Signature HD Spotting Scope. This product has a lot of qualities that make it one of the top rated spotting scopes. Firstly, it has a 45-degree angle for easy viewing. At the same time, it has high-density, low-dispersion glass. Most importantly, it has index-matched and fully multi-coated optics to reduce reflections. This produces a bright, clear picture.

Secondly, Burris considers this scope their flagship spotting scope product. Moreover, it has an apochromatic lens system.  The result is a bright, crisp, clear image with great color and minimal distortion. At the same time, the scope has a nice, wide magnification range. In addition, the objective is oversized.

Thirdly, the scope is impact resistance and built from lightweight but durable materials. In addition, it is O-ring sealed and Argon-purged. This makes the scope water resistant and fog proof. These features, coupled with the durable design, mean the spotting scope is a strong performer in a variety of environments.

What Features Make this the Best Spotting Scope?

This scope has many features that make it the best spotting scope for the money. Firstly, the angled eye piece makes the scope very ergonomic in multiple positions. Secondly, the rotating tripod collar makes positioning the spotting scope easy no matter how the user is sitting, standing, or lying. Thirdly, the scope has mounting points compatible with the Burris fast fire red-dot sight. This arrangement, coupled with the sight’s other features, make it a great product for locating and tracking subjects. Finally, the scope has variable twenty to sixty times magnification. Its 85mm objective lens offers a great sight picture, too.

Why Shooters Say This is the Best Spotting Scope

Shooters who use this scope have a lot to say about it. Firstly, they praise the 45-degree viewing angle. In other words, they find the spotting scope very comfortable to use. At the same time, they like the bright and clear sight picture afforded by the high-density and low-dispersion glass. Most importantly, they like the scope’s wide magnification range. Users also give the objective high marks. To sum up, this is a well-made scope that is nicely executed and has many high-quality features.


8. Best Spotting Scope: Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope

spotting scopesOur last pick for one of the best spotting scopes is the Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope. This product has a lot of qualities that make it one of the top rated spotting scopes. Firstly, it has an 80mm refractor and multi-coated optics. Secondly, it has a 45-degree viewing angle with twenty to sixty times variable magnification. Thirdly, it has a limited lifetime warranty. In other words, the scope is great for birding and nature viewing as well as general terrestrial observation. In addition, it has a bright, sharp image and an easy to use dial for focusing.

On top of all that, the scope has a soft rubber eye cup that can be folded down if you wear glasses. It comes with multiple accessories, too, including a case, objective cover, eyepiece cover and case, eyepiece pouch, and cleaning cloth. An instruction manual is also included.

What Features Make this the Best Spotting Scope?

This scope has many features that make it the best spotting scope for the money.  Firstly, it is durable and rugged, complete with external armor to make it shock resistant in the field.  At the same time, its image is noticeably brighter than competing scopes with smaller objectives. It offers excellent light transmission because the coated lenses reduce distracting reflections.

Secondly, the spotting scope has a sleek and aesthetically pleasing design. Focus ranges from 27 feet to the horizon and is easily adjusted using the focus knob. All of these features, coupled with the many accessories that ship with the scope, make it a good option for field use.

Why Shooters Say This is the Best Spotting Scope

Shooters who use this scope have a lot to say about it. Firstly, they love the comfortable 45-degree viewing angle. At the same time, they are very happy about the limited lifetime warranty. This means they can trust the scope to perform across a variety of conditions. Most importantly, they praise the waterproof construction while raving about the included accessories.

Still other users are happy with the adapter for DSLR cameras. In other words, you can connect this spotting scope to your digital SLR camera to take incredible telephoto pictures at long distance. The wide range of adjustments available make the spotting scope very comfortable. This means users of different heights and in different positions can use the spotting scope comfortably.

Finally, users praise the focus dial, saying it is very easy to use. They are also very happy about the rugged and durable construction of the scope. In the final analysis, this scope offers great field performance and excellent features. If you are shopping for a scope that is fully featured and offers great value, then this scope may well be the best choice for you. That is to say that if the scope falls within your budget, it does indeed make a great option. In the final analysis, any spotting scope must fit within your budget and have the features you require. This scope can easily do that for you.


Buying the Best Spotting Scope

To sum this all up, buying the best spotting scope for the money is all about determining what your equipment must do. Do you want the best spotting scope for hunting? Are you interested in buying from among the top rated spotting scopes? The best spotting scopes are the ones that perform their function within your budget. That means the best spotting scope for you may well be different from one for another person’s budget. Nevertheless, there are some things about all gear that can be quantified. In other words, not all equipment is created equal. If we examine the features and quality that different scopes exhibit, then we can make an educated choice at any given price point.

Our handy guide for shopping for the best spotting scopes not only lets you find the best spotting scope for you, but also from within your budget. Some of the top rated spotting scopes are quite affordable. Others, while more expensive, are worth what you pay. Still others are specialized. The best spotting scope for hunting is not necessarily the best spotting scope for bird watching or target shooting. As with anything, the best spotting scope for the money will be different from person to person based on what you can afford.

Every Spotting Scope is Different… and Only One is the Best Spotting Scope for You

Even though everyone has different requirements, determining which scope to buy is straightforward. Firstly, what will your spotting scope do? In other words, will it be for hunting, target shooting, or a non-shooting application? At the same time, will you want to use it for more than one activity? Secondly, determine which features you absolutely have to have. At the same time, ask yourself which features you don’t really care about that much. Most importantly, determine what your “deal breaker” features might be.

Thirdly, set your budget. In other words, ask yourself how much money is too much money for a spotting scope. The best spotting scopes will always be the ones you can actually afford. Finally, remember to take your time when you shop. There’s absolutely no reason to rush. If you take your time and shop, then you’ll end up with the right choice for you. You should be happy with your choice.

Finding the Best Spotting Scope Doesn’t Have to be Difficult

Remember, every shooter is different. Moreover, everyone who buys a spotting scope might use it for something different. The best spotting scopes do it all, from bird watching to hunting to target shooting to sighting in a “tactical scope.” You’ll be okay so long as you choose carefully and deliberately. In the event that you get the wrong spotting scope, don’t worry. In the case of a bad choice, you can always sell or trade the scope and choose again. With luck, our handy guide to the best spotting scopes will have prepared you for the task ahead. Good luck spotting out there!

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