The Best Spotting Scopes in 2023

August 18, 2023

Connor Merritt

Connor Merritt

Spotting scopes are indispensable for hunters and it’s important to have one you can trust when operating out in the field. Picking the right one for you can mean the difference between precisely spotting that faraway game and losing your prey among the environment and going home empty-handed. We’ve compiled a few of the best spotting scopes out there, but before that it’s important to understand how to pick the best one to suit your needs.

What to Look for in Spotting Scopes

Choosing the right spotting scope for you depends on a variety of factors, ranging from magnification and objective lens diameter to the angle and ergonomics of the piece.

If you want higher quality images at longer distances, then you’ll want to get a large lens with high magnification. The downside to this is that larger lenses are more expensive and increase the weight and size of the scope. Lenses with a smaller diameter and lower magnification will be less expensive and less of a burden to carry but might not be able to give you a clear image at the same distances.

When choosing whether to buy an angled or straight spotting scope, you need to decide if you want convenience and flexibility when glassing (the angled spotting scope) or if you prefer packability and intuitiveness (the straight spotting scope). Angled scopes tend to be more comfortable in more situations, but can be harder to pack, while straight scopes are more compact but, since you must be at the same level of the scope, is usually less comfortable to operate.

How to Pick Your Spotting Scope

If you find yourself hunting at shorter ranges and don’t tend to glass for long periods of time, then smaller objective lenses with a straight design is likely good enough for you; however, if you need a crystal-clear image at long distances and find yourself glassing for long stretches, then it is likely worth it to invest in a larger spotting scope.

While the ultimate decision is based on your preferences, here are a few suggestions to help get you started on your search.

The Meostar S2 82mm HD and Maven S.1A 25-50 X 80mm FL Spotting Scope excel in providing high-quality optics and construction, ideal for serious enthusiasts and professionals. On the other hand, the Hawke Sport Optics Nature-Trek 16-48×65 and Maven CS.1 15-45X65mm Spotting Scope offer versatility and portability, making them fantastic options for those seeking reliable performance on the go. Let’s delve into their features and capabilities.

Best Premium Spotting Scopes

Meostar S2 82mm HD

spotter scopes

The Meostar S2 82 HD Angled spotting scope offers a superb balance between performance and portability. The HD fluoride lens eliminates chromatic aberration to deliver extremely sharp images popping with accurate contrast and color fidelity, while its 82mm objective lens diameter ensures ample light transmission, making it an excellent choice for low-light conditions. The angled eyepiece design provides ergonomic viewing, reducing strain during prolonged sessions. Available for $2,999.99.

Maven S.1A 25-50 X 80mm FL

spotter scopes

For those who demand uncompromising performance, the Maven S.1A spotting scope shines with its impressive specifications. The 25-50x magnification range allows for impressively detailed images, while the 80mm fluorite objective lens delivers exceptional light-gathering capability. Fluorite lenses significantly reduce chromatic aberration, resulting in images of unparalleled clarity and color accuracy. Additionally, the dual-speed focus mechanism allows users to fine tune it to their specifications, and the aluminum body can withstand any environment, making it one of the most versatile options out there. Available for $1,950.00.

Best Budget-Friendly Spotting Scopes

Hawke Sport Optics Nature-Trek 16-48×65

spotter scopes

Compact yet powerful, the Hawke Sport Optics Nature-Trek spotting scope has a zoom range of 16-48x, allowing users to easily transition from wide-angle views to close-up observations, while its 65mm objective lens gathers plenty of light for crisp images. Its lightweight and portable design makes it easy to pack in your bag and carry wherever you need to go. Additionally, the rubber-armored body ensures durability and shock resistance. Available for $314.99.

Maven CS.1 15-45X65mm Spotting Scope

spotter scopes

The Maven CS.1 spotting scope is a precision machine: With a magnification range of 15-45x and a 65mm objective lens, it has excellent magnification and light-gathering capabilities. The extra-low dispersion glass and fully multi-coated lenses reduce chromatic aberration to a minimum while ensuring excellent light transmission.  Meanwhile, the focus knob allows for smooth adjustments, making it easy to maintain a clear view of moving subjects. Available for $800.00.

Ultimately, the spotting scope you pick depends on your individual preferences and use-case scenarios. Backcountry hunters in the desert could benefit from larger scopes with higher magnification, while hunters in more densely populated environments might be okay with a more compact tool. Whichever scope you choose, they’ll make it much easier to spot and track your prey.

Keep these terrain features in mind while hunting deer on iSportsmanUSA.


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