Top 3 Budget-Friendly Spotting Scopes

Spotting scopes are an investment; here are three of the wisest ones we've found.

posted on June 13, 2022

When it comes to choosing a spotting scope, the process can be a tad daunting. What do you plan on using it for?  Do you need an angled body or straight body?  Is the highest magnification possible always the best?  These are among just a few of the many questions that you will be left to answer, among many more that will arise once you begin the process of narrowing down your choices. Each application, whether it be hunting, competition shooting, birding or photography, will have its own specific requirements. Within those, you will still have option upon option to filter through.

When shopping for a new spotting scope, don’t let the hundreds of options and varying price points make you dizzy. Below are a few budget-friendly spotting scopes we have selected that will serve you well whether you happen to be at the range plinking, in the field hunting, competing in an upcoming match, or even vacationing with your family.

1. Vortex Diamondback HD 20-60x85 Angled Spotting Scope – MSRP $599

Hunting excursions are not cheap, especially once you factor in the cost of travel and processing of game. Don’t waste that investment due to an inferior spotting scope or set of binos that cause you to miss out on a trophy. The Vortex Diamondback HD 20-60x85 angled spotting scope provides a clear line of sight and impressive field of view, allowing you to scan the mountainside for anything from moose to ram. This model also ships with a handy neoprene cover, which will protect it from the elements… because as we all know hunting trips aren’t always in the best of conditions!

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2. Kowa TSN 501 20-40x50 Angled Spotting Scope – MSRP $389

If you are looking for an ultra-lightweight and compact spotter, take a look at the Kowa TSN 20-40x50 spotting scope. Weighing in at a mere 14 ounces, this spotter is a must-try for those looking for ultimate portability, while still being easy on the wallet. Ideal for closer range target shooting or competition, the angled body of this spotter makes rotating it while on a tripod a breeze if you happen to be shooting in various positions such as you would be, for example, in an NRA Highpower match. This is also a great option for the birder in the family, as Kowa also offers their own smartphone adapter which you can use to take some up close and personal photographs of the local flora and fauna.

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3. Celestron UpClose 20-60x60 Angled Spotting Scope- MSRP $125

Is your mini-me showing interest in the world of shooting sports? Do they happen to comprise the other half of your shooter/spotter duo? The Celestron UpClose 20-60x60 angled spotter is a great gift option for an upcoming birthday or holiday season. Not only is this the most budget-friendly of the bunch, but it also comes equipped with its very own tabletop tripod, making it ready to use right out of the box. This spotter is a great option for close- to mid-range target practice, or even for bringing into the hunting blind to aid in teaching younger generations the art of spotting game… or at the very least spotting the ice cream man coming a mile away! Click here to learn more:

Doing your research goes a long way in choosing a piece of equipment you will be happy with, and nothing beats trying something out before you buy it. Your local shooting range is a great place to start and most shooters will be more than happy to let you take a peek through whatever brand spotter they may be running, and most will have no problem sharing their opinions on what they like (and did not like) about various brands. Choose one that fits your needs and see all that the world has to offer… up close!





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