Spotting Scopes

 

logo-with-border-name-and-small-shadow.jpgThe Best Rated Spotting Scopes Of 2017

 Function In The Field . General Clarity/Brightness . Fine Definition

Design Durability . Value For The Money

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Before You Buy A Spotting Scope

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Our Featured Spotting Scopes 

Ultimate Value is for the better than average hunter who wants an affordable piece of equipment, but wants something that works well for its intended purpose. 

Performance Class is for the serious hunter who wants outstanding performance, dependability, durability, etc. In other words getting excellent “performance” for their money. 

Professional Hunter Grade is the absolute top of the products available in the higher consumer price range. It's a piece of equipment that will handle most any extreme, something worthy of day in, day out, professional-type use.   

 

Ultimate Value Category

Simmons ProSport 20-60 x 60mm Waterproof/Fogproof Spotting Scope with Tripod, Grey

  Field Score   8.56 out of 10   

  • Quality optics with HD clarity

  • Beautiful design and durability built to last

  • 20 to 60x magnification and 60mm objective lens spotting scope

  • High-quality BK7 prisms with fully coated optics for bright, sharp images

  • Rugged non-slip rubber armor absorbs shock and provides a firm grip when wet

  • 100 percent waterproof and fogproof with built-in sunshade for glare reduction

  • Includes tripod, soft case and premium hard-shell plastic case  

 Hunter Quick Review:  The Simmons ProSport is a decent low cost spotting scope. The clarity is acceptable, the tripod is less than, the case it comes with is very nice and better than expected.

The Simmons Pro Sport 20x60x60 is actually a good deal for a hunter on a budget. For around $70 the quality is acceptable and as such it should last quite a few seasons and get the job done. It is weatherproof and fogproof. It comes with a tripod that we would re-gift to someone we don't like. The built in sunshade adds some additional field worthiness.

Overall, it is not a bad spotting scope at all for the money. Fine detail becomes somewhat less detailed past 300 yards, which is normal for lower priced spotting scopes, but you could definitely still quickly spot deer sized objects and overall rack quality out way beyond 500 yards.

rating-system-gear-score-500x300.jpgUSHuntGear's Simmons ProSport 20x60x60 Performance Rating 

Function In The Field

                                                                                                                                                                        8.6

General Clarity And Brightness

                                                                                                                                                                        8.6

Design Durability

                                                                                                                                                                     8.4

Fine Definition

                                                                                                                                                                     8.4

Value For The Money

                                                                                                                                                                            8.8 

  

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Ultimate Value Category

BARSKA 20-60x60 Waterproof Straight Spotting Scope with Tripod

  Field Score   8.60 out of 10   

  • 20x-60x zoom magnification

  • 100 percent waterproof and fogproof

  • Smooth focusing knob

  • Fully-coated optics

  • Includes pan-head tripod and soft carrying case 

 Hunter Quick Review:  Here is another very low cost, entry level spotting scope from Barska that won't financially set a hunter back too far, and yet works pretty good out in the field for basic spotting when it comes time to scout your favorite hunting territory.

The optics are acceptable on the Barska, design is adequate, build is reasonably good. Tripod on this set up is a little better than the Simmons ProSport.

Don't expect great fine detail past 300 yards, remembering this is a very inexpensive spotting scope that gives overall decent performance at a very low price. And as far as a general game spotter, the Barska will do the trick no problem.

Just an FYI: getting the spotting scope warranty serviced costs about the same as the scope itself in the end. Yet, with that said, for around the $70 mark the Barska gets it done without too much of an investment. 

rating-system-gear-score-500x300.jpgUSHuntGear's Barska 20x60x60 Performance Rating 

Function In The Field

                                                                                                                                                                        8.6

General Clarity And Brightness

                                                                                                                                                                        8.6

Design Durability

                                                                                                                                                                        8.6

Fine Definition

                                                                                                                                                                    8.4

Value For The Money

                                                                                                                                                                            8.8 

 

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Ultimate Value Category

Firefield 20-60 x 60 SE Spotting Scope Kit

 Field Score   8.68 out of 10   

  • nylon and hard cases included

  • Bak-4 prism

  • nitrogen purged

  • durable construction

  • large fully adjustable tripod 

 Hunter Quick Review:  We would give Firefield SE a general nod of approval in the lower cost spotting scope arena. The Firefield does have the look and feel of a more expensive spotting scope without the price tag.

The optics are on par with the Simmons ProSport and the Barska with just a little better fine detail and a tad bit more clarity.

The tripod is useable, but it's pretty slight and somewhat lower than we like to use in the field. If a hunter bought the scope itself, and then bought a decent tripod for under $30, this wouldn't be a bad inexpensive set up at all, and it would still keep the hunter around the $100 mark.

rating-system-gear-score-500x300.jpgUSHuntGear's Firefield SE 20x60x60 Performance Rating 

Function In The Field

                                                                                                                                                                        8.6

General Clarity And Brightness

                                                                                                                                                                            8.8

Design Durability

                                                                                                                                                                        8.6

Fine Definition

                                                                                                                                                                        8.6

Value For The Money

                                                                                                                                                                            8.8 

 

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Ultimate Value Category 

Meade Instruments 126001 Wilderness Spotting Scope - 20-60x80-mm Black

  Field Score   8.96 out of 10   

  • Meade high-quality, 20-60 power

  • Zoom porro prism delivers years of use

  • Large 80mm objective gathers plenty of light for bright detailed images

  • Features high index BaK-4 prisms and high-quality, precision ground lenses that are coated with multiple layers of anti-reflection coatings

  • Waterproof, fog-proof, and nitrogen purged to ensure many years of performance regardless of the environment

  • Comes standard with a soft case and camera adapter 

 Hunter Quick Review:  This is a sleeper spotting scope that we believe deserves some attention by more hunters looking for a deal, but still want something that works in the field.

The Meade Instruments Wilderness 20x60x80 starts pulling away from the lower cost spotting scopes primarily because of clarity at higher magnification. it's not quite as good as ED glass, but, surprisingly, its not too far from it either. Even at 40-60 power the MI Wilderness keeps much of its clarity and has some pretty decent fine detail. We would have no problem taking this on a trophy mountain hunt and using it to view cruise ridgelines, ledges, and the thicker stuff.

The Meade Intruments 20x60x80 is a generally good performer, and it is priced reasonably in the $160 range.

rating-system-gear-score-500x300.jpgUSHuntGear's Meade Wilderness 20x60x80 Performance Rating 

Function In The Field

                                                                                                                                                                            8.8

General Clarity And Brightness

                                                                                                                                                                                    9.2

Design Durability

                                                                                                                                                                        8.6

Fine Definition

                                                                                                                                                                                9.0

Value For The Money

                                                                                                                                                                                    9.2 

 

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 Ultimate Value Category

Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope

  Field Score   8.92 out of 10   

  • Multi-Coated Optics

  • Sight tube for quick targeting

  • Soft Carrying Case

  • Zoom Eyepiece

  • Limited Lifetime Warranty 

 Hunter Quick Review:  Celestron is not a household name to most hunters, yet they have been selling some pretty good sporting spotting scopes for quite awhile, and they sell a lot of them. With that said, this is a really good spotting scope for the money. As far as optical quality goes, at 300 yards you can easily distinguish new nail heads on an outbuilding. Thus, for hunting application the Celestron is a keeper and would be great asset in a pack, a deer stand, or in a scouting vehicle. The build is decent and the case it comes with is very nice.

The Celestron Ultima Zoom does not come with a tripod, but a decent one can be had fairly inexpensively. The spotting scope itself will run you about $170 which is a really good deal for the quality of optic in this category.

rating-system-gear-score-500x300.jpgUSHuntGear's Celestron Ultima Zoom 20x60x80 Performance Rating 

Function In The Field

                                                                                                                                                                            8.8

General Clarity And Brightness

                                                                                                                                                                                    9.2

Design Durability

                                                                                                                                                                        8.6

Fine Definition

                                                                                                                                                                            8.8

Value For The Money

                                                                                                                                                                                    9.2 

 

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Performance Class

Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope

  Field Score   9.12.out of 10   

  • Redfield Rampage 20-60x60 Spotting Scope Straight Eyepiece

  • Clear Multi-Coated Lenses

  • Durable Housing

  • Designed with the Hunter in Mind 

Hunter Quick Review:  For less than $200, the Redfield Rampage offers a good, solid, hunting/shooting specific spotting scope.

What we like is the build. It's a tad heavy, but this is a very solid spotting scope. You can tell the engineers who designed this spotting scope were considering hunt-type field use, not just balcony gazing birds. The Rampage will pack well, scout well, hunt well. The weatherproofing seems more than sufficient. All knobs and adjustments appear to be able to withstand years of service.

The optics are fairly good. You will get a little softening out past the 300 yard mark, but nothing that's a deal breaker. The Rampage does come in 80 mm for more money and would give the user some more fine detail and better light transmission.

This is a hunter's spotting scope. The extra few bucks are well worth it, in our opinion, for a spotting scope that should perform very well in the field.

rating-system-gear-score-500x300.jpgUSHuntGear's Redfield Rampage 20x60x60 Performance Rating 

Function In The Field

                                                                                                                                                                                    9.2

General Clarity And Brightness

                                                                                                                                                                                9.0

Design Durability

                                                                                                                                                                                    9.2

Fine Definition

                                                                                                                                                                                9.0

Value For The Money

                                                                                                                                                                                    9.2 

 

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Performance Class

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Spotting Scope

 Field Score   9.20 out of 10   

  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Magnification x objective: 20-60x 65mm
  • Porro-prism design
  • Waterproof construction
  • Textured, non-glare, nonslip rubber Armor coated 

 Hunter Quick Review:  This is a great hunter's package in a spotting scope that will run you just over $200. The Xtreme comes with a very nice tripod and very nice carrying cases, both soft and hard.

The Bushnell Xtreme 20x60 x65 is a sound piece of spotting glass. The optics are good, the design is hunter friendly, and the build is rugged - perfect for the serious hunter. For this price Bushnell has pulled off a very appealing set up that is hard to beat.

Bushnell has also got their act together on their warranty. It's a "No BS, we get you squared away" warranty that many manufacturers are now starting to offer. Their Customer Service is also coming in line with their warranty program.

 

 

rating-system-gear-score-500x300.jpgUSHuntGear's Bushnell Xtreme 20x60x65 Performance Rating 

Function In The Field

                                                                                                                                                                                    9.2

General Clarity And Brightness

                                                                                                                                                                                9.0

Design Durability

                                                                                                                                                                                    9.2

Fine Definition

                                                                                                                                                                                9.0

Value For The Money

                                                                                                                                                                                            9.6 

 

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Performance Class

Konus 7122 20x-60x100mm Spotting Scope with Case

 Field Score   9.60 out of 10   

  • Camera Adaptor and Carrying Case Included. Tripod NOT included.

  • 20-60x100 Zoom

  • FIELD OF VIEW AT 1000M/YDS: 29m /88FT AT 20x - 15m/44FT AT 60X

  • EXIT PUPIL 5mm AT 20x - 1.67mm AT 60x

  • LENGTH 480mm/18.8" 

 Hunter Quick Review:   In our opinion, Konus is a much under-rated optics manufacturer that really deserves a much better following. Anyone who has owned a Konus is aware that you are usually pleasantly surprised by the quality for the price.

The Konus 7122 is, quite frankly, one of the better spotting scopes on today's market and it is very hard to believe that you can buy this kind of quality for the $350 mark. The optical clarity and brightness is just exceptional for this price.

If you have read a negative review out there in regards to the Konus 7122 it is either a phony or a fluke mishap of some sort. This spotting scope cannot be beat for this price point, and we would rate it up at a much higher price level value.

The only drawbacks we can find are in the size and bulk of the Konus 7122...it is a 100mm scope, and that is definitely going to add some size, no way getting around it. But we think the extra size is worth the extra viewing quality.  

rating-system-gear-score-500x300.jpgUSHuntGear's Konus 7122 20x60x100 Performance Rating 

Function In The Field

                                                                                                                                                                                         9.4

General Clarity And Brightness

                                                                                                                                                                                                 9.8

Design Durability

                                                                                                                                                                                        9.4

Fine Definition

                                                                                                                                                                                            9.6

Value For The Money

                                                                                                                                                                                                9.8 

 

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Performance Class

Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope 20x60x80mm

 Field Score   9.64 out of 10   

  • Dielectric Prism Coatings

  • XR Anti-Reflective Lens Coatings

  • Waterproof and Fogproof

  • ArmorTek exterior

  • Angled Body 

 Hunter Quick Review:  The Vortex Diamondback spotting scope is one of the better quality scopes in the Performance Class price range.The optic is built well. The design is very stout, everything functions as needed.

In the 80mm the Diamondback has very good optical characteristics; in the 60mm version, not as much. If you are going to buy the Diamondback spend a few more dollars and get the 80mm version. We think you will be much happier in the long run. The 80mm goes for about $500.

As always, the Vortex warranty and their customer service is probably one of the best out there.  

rating-system-gear-score-500x300.jpgUSHuntGear's Vortex Diamondback 20x60x80 Performance Rating 

Function In The Field

                                                                                                                                                                                             9.6

General Clarity And Brightness

                                                                                                                                                                                             9.6

Design Durability

                                                                                                                                                                                                 9.8

Fine Definition

                                                                                                                                                                                             9.6

Value For The Money

                                                                                                                                                                                             9.6 

 

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Professional Grade

Vortex 20-60x85 Razor HD Spotting Scope

 Field Score   9.72 out of 10   

  • Premium (High Density) extra-low dispersion glass delivers the ultimate in resolution. Ultra-hard-coated Armor Tek protects exterior lenses from scratches, oil and dirt.

  • Dielectric prism coatings provide the clearest, brightest most color-accurate images.

  • Proprietary XR anti-reflective coatings increase light transmission for maximum brightness.

  • Triplet apochromatic lens reduces chormatic aberration. Porro Prism offers maximum image quality and performance.

  • O-ring sealed optics prevent moisture, dust and debris - results in waterproof performance. Argon gas purged to inhibit internal fogging. 

 Hunter Quick Review:  The Vortex Razor is an exceptional spotting scope that uses extra low dispersion glass - AKA the best lenses you can buy. The quality is excellent, the optical clarity is outstanding, the build is rock solid, the design is as good as it gets. The weatherproofing is top of the line, as well is the unconditional warranty that Vortex is famous for.

Yes, the Vortex Razor costs more: around $1200 to $1500 depending on the model and the options. But if you are a very serious hunter and spend lots of money and time pursuing big game, then this spotting scope will do it all for a lifetime; and then some.  

  rating-system-gear-score-500x300.jpgUSHuntGear's Vortex Razor 20x60x85 Performance Rating 

Function In The Field

                                                                                                                                                                                                 9.8

General Clarity And Brightness

                                                                                                                                                                                                 9.8

Design Durability

                                                                                                                                                                                                 9.8

Fine Definition

                                                                                                                                                                                             9.6

Value For The Money

                                                                                                                                                                                             9.6 

 

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 Professional Grade 

Swarovski Spotting Scope HD ATS-65 High Definition Glass 20x60x65mm 

 Field Score   9.88 out of 10   

High definition aluminum spotting scope with 65 mm objective lens

Flouride containing HD lenses

Minimal color fringing and bright, high contrast images

Rubber amour protects housing

Submersible to 13 feet

Lifetime Warranty

12.79 in long

Weighs only 36 ounces 

 Hunter Quick Review:  Swarovski Optics are simply some of the best commercial optics available. The HD ATS-65 is no exception.

The clarity is perfect, the housing is surrounded in rubber armor, the functions are flawless, and the line of eye appeal is truly European. In some ways, this is more a piece of optical art.

The ATS spotting scope also comes in 80 mm which is even more shockingly brilliant in clarity, if that's even possible..

If you have around $2500 for the ATS-65 (price depends on the model and objective size - 80 mm is about $500 more), and want to get the very top of the line spotting scope, this is it! The warranty is limited however, and we suggest buying insurance on your Swarovski glass.

  rating-system-gear-score-500x300.jpgUSHuntGear's Swarovski ATS-65 20x60x65 Performance Rating 

Function In The Field

                                                                                                                                                                                                     10.0

General Clarity And Brightness

                                                                                                                                                                                                     10.0

Design Durability

                                                                                                                                                                                                 9.8

Fine Definition

                                                                                                                                                                                                 9.8

Value For The Money

                                                                                                                                                                                                 9.8 

 

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