12 Best Compact Spotting Scopes Worth the Money (2020)

You might think only a bulky or large spotting scope can bring high quality results. But it’s not like that. A compact scope can also give you the best on-the-field results.

The good thing is that there are a variety of compact spotting scopes available, so you won’t have to compromise on magnification or other specs either.

Out of overwhelming products on the market, making the right choice might seem a bit of a daunting task. Therefore, here are the best compact spotting scope reviews of this year.

We Recommend

Best for birding

Celestron Hummingbird

Best for shooting

Leupold SX-1

Best price/value ratio

Vortex Razor HD

Compact spotting scopes

1. Celestron 52238 C70 Mini Mak Spotting Scope

On top of the list of the compact spotting scope review, the Celestron C70 compact spotting scope leads this category by far. 

It goes by the name Mini Mak and comes with a variable magnification that ranges from 25x to 75x. 

The spotting scope features inbuilt slow motion features and your purchase will also feature a tabletop tripod.

For convenient field-ready portability, you will also get a carrying case. Versatility and compactness get to a whole new level. 

The lens of this spotting scope comes with multi-coating while the scope has a Celestron’s signature Maksutov-Cassegrain construction. This compact spotting scope is well known for compact designs and ease-of-use. 

And it is an excellent option for both astronomical and terrestrial use. It is the best compact spotting scope in terms of performance durability and price.

Check the price of Celestron 52238 C70 Mini Mak Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Versatile in use
  • Compact yet powerful
  • Compatible with multiple astronomical eyepieces
  • Tabletop tripod and carrying case included
  • Multi-coated lenses and prisms
  • Excellent magnification and focus
  • Folding eyecups

What we didn’t like

  • The image becomes blurry at 60x plus magnification
  • Tripod is small
  • Better suited for value starters

Weight: 0.2 pounds
Dimensions: 11-inch x 6-inch x 16-inch
Aperture: 70mm
Magnification: 25x to 75x
Field of view: 37 feet to 68 feet @ 1000 yards
Prism: Maksutov-Cassegrain
Close focus distance: 32 feet
Eye relief: 16mm
Weatherproof: No
Best for Target shooting

2. Leupold GR 10-20x40mm Gold Ring Compact Spotting Scope

If you are looking for a super-compact spotting scope then there is none better than this Leupold compact scope

The magnification that you’ll get with this compact spotting scope ranges from 10x to 20x and it is equipped with a 40mm lens size.

Another exceptional feature of this compact spotting scope is that it is very effective in producing results. 

It has full weather and a shockproof design. There are multi-coated lenses that Leupold has used in the construction of this spotting scope for optimal clarity.

The contrast and brightness you get from this lens will be superb in the dim-light conditions due to its Twilight Management System. These lightweight scopes by Leupold can easily manage an extra ten minutes of glassing light. 

Its focus system is mounted on the side for better adjustments and you will also get an inbuilt port for the ¼-20 tripod. The small scope is a great choice for lightweight backcountry hunting.

Check the price of Leupold GR 10-20x40mm Gold Ring Compact Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Extremely compact construction
  • Weather and shockproof design
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Twilight management system
  • High-quality magnification due to the folded light path feature
  • The ergonomic side-mounted focusing system
  • Inbuilt tripod adapter

What we didn’t like

  • Not very high magnification
  • Not for bright light conditions
  • Small aperture

Weight: 1.48 pounds
Dimensions: 11.6-inch x 4.6-inch x 3.5-inch
Aperture: 40mm
Magnification: 10x to 20x
Field of view: 136 feet to 199 feet @ 1000 yards
Prism: Prism-less (folded light path)
Close focus distance: 15 feet
Eye relief: 18.5mm
Weatherproof: Weather and shockproof
Best for: hunting and target shooting

3. Celestron Hummingbird 9-27x56mm ED Micro Spotting Scope

As the name goes, this compact Celestron spotting scope is the best option for birders. 

Hence, being a birder you will find this scope very useful on the field. 

The aperture size of this scope is 56mm and it can conveniently manage a variable zoom ranging from 9x to 27x.

And with the ED microlens, you get a significant-close focus distance. 

With such a lens system the scope provides very sharp results with vivid colors. The compact size of this spotting scope is small enough for you to place it in your belt pack, shoulder bag, or coat pocket.

With its angled design, this lightweight spotting scope is a birder-friendly option with a close focus distance of 10 feet per three meters. 

With the close focus distance features, the scope becomes a very useful tool for the birders.

Check the price of Celestron Hummingbird 9-27x56mm ED Micro Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Nitrogen filled for waterproofing
  • Excellent in humid conditions
  • Birder friendly long-distance focus feature
  • ED lens for better color management and clarity
  • Very compact in designs and easy to carry
  • Versatile mounting
  • Compatible with astronomy eyepieces

What we didn’t like

  • No tripod included
  • Shaky image at high zoom
  • Slightly expensive

Weight: 1.43 pounds
Dimensions: 11-inch x 7-inch x 5-inch
Aperture: 56mm
Magnification: 9x to 27x
Field of view: 98 feet to 216 feet @ 1000 yards
Prism: BaK4
Close focus distance: 10 feet
Eye relief: 15mm
Weatherproof: Waterproof
Best for: Birding

4. MINOX MD 50 W Spotting Scope

Looking for the best compact spotting scope for low light conditions then you won’t find anything better than the Minox 50W scope

The lens system of this scope makes sure that you get the right kind of light transmission especially the twilight conditions.

This lightweight scope is an excellent option if you are looking for a product that provides quality water and weatherproof. 

The nitrogen-filled scope will take care of any fogging to ensure top quality results. The lightweight scope can produce natural color rendition and high contrast results for better picture quality.

You can keep it submerged underwater (16 feet) and it is extremely lightweight as well. Thus, it is built for top-quality field performance. 

Its eyepiece is fully adjustable and it can manage a magnification range of 16x to 30x. It is the best compact spotting scope for hunting due to its compact size and weight.

Check the price of MINOX MD 50 W Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Has a very compact and lightweight design
  • Completely water-resistant
  • Excellent field performance
  • Magnification ranges from 16x to 30x
  • M-lens coating ensures better light transmission
  • Adjustable eyepiece
  • Non-fogging due to nitrogen filling

What we didn’t like

  • No eyepiece adjustment
  • Doesn’t include a case
  • Not very impact resistant

Weight: 2.0 pounds
Dimensions: 9.2-inch x 2.5-inch x 5.3-inch
Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 16x to 30x
Field of view: 28.3 feet to 38.7 feet @ 1000 yards
Prism: BaK4
Close focus distance: 16 feet
Eye relief: 17mm
Weatherproof: Waterproofing
Best for: Birding

5. Nikon Fieldscope ED50 Angled Spotting Scope

This Nikon Fieldscope compact scope is one of the best choices because of its high-quality optics. 

The brand is well-known for its high-quality products and this scope follows the same trend. 

The objective lens of this little maestro is 50mm in size and it is capable of great low light performance. 

It is the best lightweight scope or one of the best in this category. The lens of this scope features extra-low dispersion features for reducing any chromatic aberration. 

Nikon has also used multi-coated optics to ensure that the user gets an optimal level of brightness and vivid colors. Nikon has filled this scope with nitrogen to make sure that it can resist water. The small spotting scope is compatible with six different MC eyepieces as well as three different DS eyepieces. 

You can also attach a 55mm filter to the objective lens for further enhancements. It is one of the best choices if you’re looking for a handheld spotting scope. This small scope is the lightest spotting scope on our list.

Check the price of Nikon Fieldscope ED50 Angled Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Very lightweight and compact
  • Large 50mm objective lens drivers dim light conditions
  • Fully waterproof construction
  • Compatible with various DS and MC eyepieces
  • Extra-low dispersion lens
  • Easy adjustability
  • High powered zoom and better color rendition

What we didn’t like

  • Not that great for bright light conditions
  • Doesn’t come with any accessories
  • May be little shaky at high magnification

Weight: 1.04 pounds
Dimensions: 0.78-inch x 3.72-inch x 2.31-inch
Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 20x to 30x
Field of view: 157 feet to 171 feet @ 1000 yards
Prism: BaK4
Close focus distance: 9.8 feet
Eye relief: 13mm
Weatherproof: Waterproof
Best for: Birding

6. Vortex Optics Recon R/T 15x50 Tactical Scope

There is nothing better than this Vortex compact spotting scope if you’re looking for hunting or target shooting in a wide range of conditions. 

The tactical monocular comes with a 15x magnification which remains static and it also has a 50mm objective lens. 

It is the best lightweight spotting scope with a compact size that’s great for mobile hunting.

It is a great choice for range estimation as well as long-range observation. The lens that Vortex has used in the construction of this scope is ED glass and it has an anti-reflective coating. Therefore, it is a great option for low light conditions.

These small spotting scopes by Vortex also come with a flared eyecup that can block any extraneous light and they can fold down as you use the glass. There is a focus wheel present on the Recon R/T and it is very easy to use. 

There is a utility clip present on this scope and it attaches to pack webbing for easy access. This feature makes it the best handheld spotting scope for small size and weight.

Check the price of Vortex Optics Recon R/T 15×50 Tactical Scope here

What we liked

  • Very easy to use
  • Ambidextrous grip ensures convenient holding
  • Textured rubber armor with ArmorTek coating
  • Prevents lenses from scratching
  • Completely fog and waterproof
  • Very compact in design
  • ED glass with AR coating

What we didn’t like

  • Not the right option for bright conditions
  • Image distortion at high zoom
  • Static magnification

Weight: 1.8 pounds
Dimensions: 4.5-inch x 9-inch x 4-inch
Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 15x
Field of view: 215 feet @ 1000 yards
Prism: BaK4
Close focus distance: 12 feet
Eye relief: 16mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Best for: Hunting and target shooting

7. Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scope

Here’s another one that comes from the house of Vortex Optics! The HD razor is one of the top choices when it comes to compact spotting scopes. 

This scope can manage a dynamic zoom ranging from 11x to 33x and it features an objective lens of 50mm.

This scope is very light and it is easy to pack into a small space. 

The scope features a triplet apochromatic lens with an HD ED glass. Therefore, this scope can produce high-quality results in terms of better color fidelity and resolution.

Vortex has also applied anti-reflective coating to make sure that the scope performs as well in low light conditions. The adjustable eyecup in this scope makes the viewing experience further better. 

And you also get to use micro image adjustments so that you can make the results even better according to your needs. It is one of the top choices for the best small spotting scope for target shooting.

Check the price of Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Argon purged and o-ring sealed
  • Prevents any damages due to moisture, dirt, and dust
  • Fully adjustable eyepiece
  • Can maximize brightness and colors in low light
  • Anti-reflective coating on ED glass
  • 11x to 33x dynamic zoom
  • 50mm objective lens for better light gathering

What we didn’t like

  • Low close focus
  • Slightly heavy
  • Higher price tag

Weight: 4.2 pounds
Dimensions: 14.3-inch x 7.4-inch x 5.4-inch
Aperture: 50mm
Magnification: 13x to 30x
Field of view: 96 feet to 191 feet @ 1000 yards
Prism: BaK4
Close focus distance: 6.6 feet
Eye relief: 19mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Best for: Target shooting

8. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Black Ed Glass Spotting Scope

For a high-quality low light performance, you need to consider the Ultra HD Legend by Bushnell

Bushnell is widely popular for its high performing outdoor optics. And this Bushnell compact spotting scope is no different.

The mini spotting scope is equipped with a 60mm large diameter objective lens so it will perform very well in low light conditions. 

Moreover, the scope is equipped with a high-quality dynamic magnification ranging from 15x to 45x. So as per the lens specs, this scope is the best hunting in various conditions.

You will get high-quality optics that can produce top-notch HD results. Bushnell runs extensive tests on all its products to make sure the reliability and quality stay intact. 

Therefore, you will get a product that will continue to perform for a long time to come. The resolution and the colors that this scope can produce can match a full-scale spotting scope.

Check the price of Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Black Ed Glass Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Dual focus controls
  • Rapid fine-tuning adjustments
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Rainguard coating for protection against moisture
  • Large objective lens for better light gathering
  • Good dynamic magnification range
  • Quality materials

What we didn’t like

  • Subpar tripod
  • Better for larger objects at a distance
  • Not easy to see through a rotating eyepiece for higher or lower zoom

Weight: 7.01 pounds
Dimensions: 17-inch x 12-inch x 5-inch
Aperture: 60mm
Magnification: 15x to 45x
Field of view: 63 feet to 140 feet @ 1000 yards
Prism: BaK4 Porro
Close focus distance: 18 feet
Eye relief: 20mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Best for: Hunting, birding, and target shooting

9. Leupold SX-1 Ventana 2 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope

This Leupold compact spotting scope is a high powered spotting scope but it still has a very compact construction. 

It can match the performance of a quality regular-sized spotting scope. 

But due to the optics systems that this scope has, it is very delicate too. You have to be very careful while using it.

In terms of performance and reliability, it does exceed the expectations and is the best compact scope for its price. It has a full weather-resistant body so you can use it in the outdoors with full confidence. 

The lens that this compact scope has comes with Guard-Ion coating. It means that the lean of this scope can easily shed water fingerprints or dirt. Consequently, you will get a high-quality image with excellent clarity.

Leopold’s signature Twilight Management System is there as well. Therefore, the scope will perform in the conditions where most other scopes don’t do well. 

The large-sized objective lens of this scope has a huge credit due to the scope’s top-notch performance because it can gather light very effectively.

Check the price of Leupold SX-1 Ventana 2 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Large diameter objective lens
  • Excellent performance in low light conditions
  • Twilight management system for better clarity in dim light
  • High-quality prism-less performance with folded light technology
  • Very compact and lightweight construction
  • Inbuilt tripod adaptor
  • Extended eye relief

What we didn’t like

  • 50x plus magnification is blurry
  • Shaky over 250 yards
  • Not the best option for birding

Weight: 2.31 pounds
Dimensions: 5-inch 18-inch x 6-inch
Aperture: 80mm
Magnification: 20x to 60x
Field of view: 47 feet to 89 feet @ 1000 yards
Prism: BaK4
Close focus distance: 18 feet
Eye relief: 26.4mm
Weatherproof: Fog and waterproof
Best for: Target shooting

10. Bushnell 781548P Elite 15-45x60mm Spotting Scope

The Elite 781548P spotting scope by Bushnell has a very compact and simple design but it’s extremely reliable. 

Bushnell has made sure that this spotting scope is the right option for outdoor use.

It is completely fog and waterproof and Bushnell has used high-quality rubber armor to create its external body. 

Therefore, this scope is resistant to shock as well. It also features a zoom eyepiece and can manage a dynamic magnification that ranges from 15x to 45x with its 60mm objective lens.

The scope also features high-quality BaK4 phase-corrected prisms paired with a fully multi-coated lens to ensure better low light resolution and colors. 

Bushnell has also gone for high-quality ED fluoride prime glass to further improve the images that it can produce.

Check the price of Bushnell 781548P Elite 15-45x60mm Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Lenses with RainGuard coating to shed water
  • Rubber armor for shock and impact resistance
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • 60mm objective lens for excellent dim-light performance
  • Dynamic zoom ranging from 15x to 45x
  • Roof prism with phase correction
  • ED Prime glass features fluoride for brilliant color edition

What we didn’t like

  • Not the right choice for swiftly moving targets
  • Not for shaky hands
  • High magnification works better for larger objects

Weight: 2.65 pounds
Dimensions: 5-inch x 5-inch x 16-inch
Aperture: 60mm
Magnification: 15x to 45x
Field of view: 65 feet to 125 feet @ 1000 yards
Prism: BaK4
Close focus distance: 12.2 inches
Eye relief: 12mm
Weatherproof: Fog, water, and shockproof
Best for: Birding, hunting, and target shooting

11. Nikon Prostaff 5 60-Straight with Zoom Spotting Scope

This Nikon compact spotting scope is also among the high-quality compact spotting scopes. 

These high-end scopes come with an inbuilt sliding shade to keep the sun away. 

Therefore, you won’t have to deal with the glare in bright conditions.

The Prostaff 5 is significantly the best compact spotting scopes that you can find to use in bright daylight. The coating that is present on the lens also keeps rain and dust off from the objective lens. 

The body of this scope is also very ergonomic and you can use it for long hours if you want to. Its objective lens is massive and it does need some protection from the external elements. 

The 60mm lens makes sure that your images are bright and it performs in the below light conditions too. Due to the multi-coated optics, you will get the results that are brighter and have better colors.

Check the price of Nikon Prostaff 5 60-Straight with Zoom Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • There is an inbuilt  sunshade that slides and reduces any glare
  • Very lightweight and ergonomic
  • Massive 60mm objective lens
  • Fog, shock and waterproof construction for excellent outdoor performance
  • Multi-coated lenses for brighter images and exact color rendition
  • Easily to adjust focus
  • Inbuilt mount mechanism

What we didn’t like

  • Lacks clarity at high zooms
  • Very delicate eyepiece
  • Works better for larger targets at a distance

Weight: 3.3 pounds
Dimensions: 15.5-inch x 4-inch x 3.5-inch
Aperture: 60mm
Magnification: 16x to 48x
Field of view: 61 feet to 136 feet @ 1000 yards
Prism: BaK4
Close focus distance: 13 feet
Eye relief: 17mm
Weatherproof: Shock, fog, and waterproof
Best for: Birding and target shooting

12. Zeiss Carl Optical Dialyt Field Spotter 18-45x 65 Spotting Scope

Zeiss is the brand that needs no introduction in the world of lenses and optics. 

They are known for their high-quality products and this Zeiss spotting scope maintains the same trend very well. 

This scope features a dynamic ranging magnification from 18x to 45x and there is a 65mm objective lens present in this scope. 

It is the best light gathering scope in the small category. This aperture and magnification combination is worth-noticing for a compact-sized spotting scope. 

These specs mean that the scope can manage a superb performance both in low and bright light conditions especially in low light. This high-end spotting scope is very compact and it is an excellent option for hunters on the go. 

General observers can use it and can get a great benefit from it. You can expect a high-resolution image at any magnification and the scope will get the job done with its high-quality optics.

Check the price of Zeiss Carl Optical Dialyt Field Spotter 18-45x 65 Spotting Scope here

What we liked

  • Dynamic magnification of 18x to 45x
  • Larger 60mm aperture
  • Excellent low light performance
  • Vivid color rendition
  • Fully multi-coated optics to ensure better quality results
  • Rubber armor for better shock and impact resistance
  • Very compact and ergonomic construction

What we didn’t like

  • Higher price tag
  • Slightly delicate
  • Not for novices

Weight: 2.63 pounds
Dimensions: 3-inch x 3-inch x 3.1-inch
Aperture: 65mm
Magnification: 18x to 45x.
Field of view: 69 feet to 120 feet @ 1000 yards
Prism: BaK4
Close focus distance: 33 feet
Eye relief: 19mm
Weatherproof: Fog, shock, and waterproof
Best for: Hunting, target shooting, and birding

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