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Best portable telescope

Last Updated: 07.07.20

 

Portable telescopes – Buying guide & Comparison

 

If you want to make sure you will always be able to catch the most out of the sky wonders no matter where you travel, heavy equipment is a big no-no. Instead, you can opt for a portable telescope with a compact design, but with great magnification rates to provide you the best sky spectacle.If you are in need of such an item but you’re not really sure which one would best suit your needs, our comprehensive shopping guide will hopefully answer your questions. After reading plenty of online reviews, we believe that the Orion 10149 is the best choice because it is lightweight and extremely portable, it can be easily used without a tripod and will provide the perfect lighting so you can enjoy amazing images both during the day and at night. If the Orion 10149 is not available for purchase, you can always opt for the Celestron 21061 as the perfect alternative.

 

 

Comparison table

 

The Good
The Bad
Verdict
Price

 

 

A portable telescope can provide you with just as much power as a heavier, full size model, and you have the added advantage of being able to take it with you for use almost anywhere. Having a portable telescope allows you to enjoy different views of the sky, along with the surrounding scenery. There are several portable telescopes to choose from and not all perform the same. To help you find the best portable refractor telescope we have highlighted the main aspects you should be aware of in this buying guide.

1-orion-10034-goscope-ii

 

Price

According to the best portable telescope reviews one of the first aspects to consider is your budget. Even though these telescopes are smaller in size, they can still be priced as high as some of the stationary models. Unless you are a professional astronomer or really want to be able to clearly see features on Mars, you probably don’t need to buy the most expensive portable telescope on the market. It is also important to note that the price of the telescope does not always reflect its power.

The price is also determined by the quality of the materials used to construct the lens, viewing tube and even stand, along with the type of mount that it comes with. Once you have a set spending limit in mind it will be easier for you to narrow down your choices and find a portable telescope that fits your needs and budget.

 

Size and weight

It is important to remember that size and weight really does matter when you are looking for a portable telescope. The last thing you want to do is lug a heavy telescope around when you are traveling. All portable telescopes are smaller in size, so this is rarely an issue. Simply make sure that the product description specifically states that the telescope is designed to be portable.

The weight can and does vary according to the materials used to construct the telescope, though on average most portable models weigh less than six pounds. It is also important that you check the weight of the tripod, since chances are you will be taking it with you. Tripods constructed from aluminum are typically recommended since this material is lightweight and durable. While you don’t want the tripod to add a lot of additional weight, you do want it to be sturdy enough to support the telescope.

 

Ease of use

Even professional astronomers and experienced users appreciate a portable telescope that is convenient and easy to use. This is especially true for beginners who often start off with a portable model since its shorter length can make it easier to control when you are scanning the horizon. While the telescope’s power will determine how far you can see, the eyepiece and the focal length will affect how bright and clear the objects appear. This is true whether you are gazing at the constellations or using the telescope for birdwatching.

The best portable telescope for beginners will come with an eyepiece that is easy to adjust. Some come with small hooks so you can make the necessary adjustments without taking your eyes off of the object. As a rule, portable telescopes that come with longer focal lengths are easier to use. They also have the added advantage of being a great choice if you happen to wear glasses. You also want to pay attention to the type of mount, since this will also affect how easy it is to use.

There are two types of mounts, equatorial and altazimuth. While equatorial mounts are often used by professionals, most beginners and amateur astronomers prefer the altazimuth since it is extremely easy to operate. Since the mount can move in two motions, vertical and horizontal you can easily scan the ground, horizon and track objects in the sky.

Cases

The best small portable telescope will come with everything you need to get started, and this includes a convenient carrying case. Hard cases are a little heavier and can be bulky, but they are a good choice for travelers since they are able to protect the sensitive components from damage. If you plan on hiking with the telescope you will probably want to choose one that comes with a soft case. This way it is still protected, but the lighter case is significantly easier to carry when you are hiking to the perfect viewing spot. For added convenience you can find backpack styled cases so you can carry the telescope and leave your hands free for other things.

 

Types of telescopes 

When it comes to optical devices, the most important aspect is knowing which one to choose based on your needs. From the optical tube to the accessories they include, there can be significant differences across telescopes. For this reason, the first thing you want to do is understand what the options are, and then take your pick. 

The refractor telescope is one of the main types of such devices that you should know about, since it’s a pretty popular alternative. The optical tube uses a refractor mechanism, which means that the front part comes with a large lens that collects the light, and then beams it into a specially placed mirror in the back, which then works to create the image you need. 

If you intend to use your unit to observe Earth and space objects, then a refractor telescope can help you in this matter. It’s also a good option for those who are not necessarily used to having telescopes around, as it requires very little maintenance, and it’s extremely easy to use. The sturdy design renders it durable, while the sealed tube means that the optical components are kept safe. 

On the other hand, these telescopes are quite heavy and large, so they are not ideal if you want to travel with your device for longer distances. They are, however, more affordable than their reflector counterparts that we’re going to look at next. 

The reflector model comes with a different construction and operates on other principles, even though this device includes a mirror at the end of the tube as well. This mirror’s purpose is to gather light that is then sent to yet another mirror, before making its way towards the eyepieces. 

The result is that the image rendered is of high-quality, which makes this optical device ideal for viewing faint objects such as those located in space. Moreover, reflector telescopes come with a lightweight and compact design, so they can be used for those who want to travel often as well. On the other hand, they are pricier, so it all depends on the budget you have available for this. 

While it may seem that reflector telescopes offer only advantages, the truth is that you will also have to take good care of the optical tube, as this component is vulnerable to dust. Therefore, regular maintenance is necessary, which might make these travel telescopes less appealing to some users. 

The third type of telescope that you want to keep in mind is the compound one, which is also called a catadioptric telescope. Unlike the previous two models, this one comes with two mirrors, one located in the front and one at the back of the tube. 

These two elements work together to offer the user a good-quality image of the subject, no matter if we’re talking about Earth or space objects. With a sealed optical tube that won’t accumulate dust, this alternative is ideal for those who are not familiar with ensuring regular maintenance. 

While it works great for viewing Earth objects, the compound telescope can also be used for observing those located in space. On the other side, you should bear in mind that this type of telescope tends to be a bit bulkier, so using it when you travel might be a bit uncomfortable, while the image brightness is a bit reduced as well, given the additional mirror it features. 

 

How to choose the right telescope 

Now that you know what the three main types of telescopes you can find on the market, it’s probably a bit more clear which one to choose. However, there are many other details and aspects that you should take a look at, especially more technical ones. 

The device’s aperture is one of the major elements that can influence its performance and the image rendered, and if you are not sure what it means, the answer is that the aperture is the diameter of the mirror or lens included in the optical tube. 

While it’s true that the choice here depends on how far and how clear you need to see, the general rule says that the larger the aperture, the better the image. Devices that feature a very large aperture allow more light to reach the eyepieces, so observing faint objects will be much easier.  

No matter if you want to use the telescope for Earth objects or for those located in space, if you don’t want to spend a fortune, you should get the biggest aperture that fits within your budget, as this element can really make a huge difference when it comes to image quality. 

The focal length is another important aspect that you need to take into account when choosing an optical device. This indicator measures the distance between the lens or mirror and the telescope’s focal point. While, according to many, it’s not as important as the previous subject we’ve discussed – the aperture – you should still keep it in mind. A larger focal length means that the image you are observing is going to appear much larger. 

 

A bit about magnification & electronic elements 

Many people tend to think that having a telescope with a very large magnification power means that you will get better results. However, the truth is that even if you get the image you want closer, if it’s not clear, then the entire effort is pretty much pointless. That’s why, when it comes to optical devices, you should take a look at the aperture first. 

Besides magnification power, aperture, or the optical tube, there is another aspect worth considering, if you want to make your life a lot easier. Many of the telescopes used to require manual operation, but thanks to the many technological advancements made in this category of optical devices, you can now enjoy the benefits of automatic capabilities. 

Today, there are multiple models on the market that include built-in computers that are ideal to detect and observe various space objects. From the Orion constellation to the moon, you will be able to spot the details with the help of a specialized unit, such as those from the Celestron NexStar line. 

It’s true that these units might be out of the price range that average users are willing to pay, but if you are into astrophotography and space is something you are passionate about, then you should definitely keep this alternative in mind. 

 

 

9 Best Portable Telescopes (Reviews) in 2020

 

A portable telescope is a great choice whether you are star gazing, bird watching or simply want to see a stunning view of the city lights. While we can’t choose the right model for you we can help you make an informed decision, which is why we have the best portable telescopes in 2020 showcased below.

 

 

1. Orion 10149 StarBlast 62mm Compact Travel Refractor Telescope

 

2-orion-10149-starblastEven though this portable telescope doesn’t come with a tripod, its lightweight construction and small size ensures that you can easily use it with or without one. If you do want the convenience and support of a tripod, it can be easily mounted with the necessary hardware.

This 62mm refractor telescope makes the perfect addition to any serious astronomer’s collection. It is also a great starter for anyone just getting interested in astronomy. The lens system is designed to provide you with bright and clear images of distant objects, whether you are using the telescope during the day or night.

If you want to scan the horizon during the day or distant wildlife simple insert the 45 degree correct image diagonal. The included 20mm eyepiece allows you to enjoy wide, panoramic views which is great when you want to scan your surroundings or track an object as it is moving.

Beginners and experienced users will also appreciate how easy it is to bring a distant image into sharp focus. With the included protective hard case that even has room for the eyepiece and diagonal it has never been so easy to take your telescope with you wherever you go.

 

Pros

This is an extremely portable and lightweight telescope that you can easily carry around and enjoy everywhere you go, without too much trouble or harsh mounting.

The small-sized construction allows for easy packing and carrying in your backpack.

The 4-element lens systems allow for a sharp and detailed view of the Moon, the surrounding planets, as well as plenty of bright sky objects. You can also use this telescope during the day for bird watching, hunting or simply observing the wildlife.

The product is suitable both for beginners and for experimented astronomists.

 

Cons

It doesn’t come with a tripod, meaning it will be quite difficult to carry it around with you all day long without causing fatigue or hurting your hands.

Those who are merely beginners may find the price of this scope quite challenging. If you don’t plan on sticking to this hobby on the long term, we suggest opting for cheaper devices.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($399.99)

 

 

 

 

2. Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope

 

If what you are looking for is a highly portable telescope that allows you to get clear images of celestial objects, then Celestron’s 21061 model might be exactly what you need. The device comes with a permanently mounted StarPointer and given the erect image optics, it’s ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use.

In case you are looking for a telescope that was designed for beginners in terms of ease of use but also offers excellent performance, then it’s a good thing that this model includes the AstroMaster 70AZ refractor which offers sharp, detailed views of Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s moons, and many more.

With the help of the 210161, you discover one of the simplest ways to explore the night sky, even if you don’t have a lot of experience when it comes to astronomy and celestial objects. Also in terms of usability, the model is very easy and quick to set up, requiring no additional tools, so that’s one less thing to worry about.

 

Pros

The manual Alt-Azimuth Mount is an intuitive functionality that includes a panning handle and that makes locating celestial objects a breeze.

The telescope also features a sturdy and full-height adjustable steel tripod.

In terms of optics, the two 1.25 inches eyepieces (20mm and 10mm) offer good details of the objects you are observing.

The telescope also comes with a finderscope and a free Starry Night astronomy software to assist you in your newly found passion.

The optical tube has a length of 36 inches while the lens diameter stands at 2.6”.

 

Cons

For some users, the tripod is fairly sturdy but the clutch system makes it sometimes hard to follow a celestial object as it moves. If you deal with this situation, you can either try to adjust the tripod or use another one in case you already have it.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.95)

 

 

 

 

3. Celestron 21035 Travel Scope 70 Telescope

 

4-celestron-21035Even first time stargazers will feel like a professional with this portable telescope by Celestron. Its sleek black design and included aluminum tripod look professional, while still being easy to use. Since the tripod is constructed from aluminum it is lightweight and durable so it is capable of supporting the 70mm telescope, and also easy to carry.

To ensure that the telescope and tripod are protected during travel they both fit inside the included carrying case. You will also appreciate the case’s “backpack” design for hands free carrying when you are navigating busy airports or hiking to the ideal viewing spot.

The glass optics are fully coated so objects appear crisp and clean through the lens. The telescope also comes with a diagonal which is perfect for birdwatching or getting a closer view of your surroundings. To ensure you can easily scan the horizon and follow objects vertically this telescope also comes with a user friendly altazimuth mount.

For those who want to find specific constellations and track and identify objects in the night sky, you will appreciate the astronomy software that comes with your purchase.

 

Pros

The glass optics of this telescope are fully coated, ensuring a clear vision for all observing elements. Thus, the images will appear clear and crisp.

It features an erect image diagonal for views that are perfectly oriented and an overall easy experience, even for beginners.

The product is extremely easy to set up, without requiring additional tools or too much time.

It comes with a custom-made backpack that will help perfectly store both the telescope and the included tripod. This way your product is perfectly packed for traveling and easy storage anytime, anywhere.

It also offers an astronomy software equipped with a 10,000 object database and 75 enhanced images.

 

Cons

Some customers were not pleased with the overall quality of this product, claiming they can barely see the Moon with it and nothing else.

The tripod is not of superior quality either, and can easily break after only a couple of uses.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($83.2)

 

 

 

4. Vanstarry 70mm Aperture 400mm AZ Mount Refractor Telescope 

 

This portable telescope boasts a lightweight frame that packs superior optics for a better exploration of the night’s sky. The 70mm objective lens can achieve a maximum magnification of 120x. The lenses are also composed of multi-layered glass, and they have a green coating that will increase the brightness of the celestial objects you plan to observe.

This model is designed to be used by both kids and amateur adults, and as such, the installation is simple and shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. The lenses can be swapped easily, and the alt-azimuth mouth and the slow-motion lever will work together to simplify the process of tracking celestial objects.

To add even more value to this option, the manufacturer included a couple of extra items in the package. You get a tripod, an adjustable phone holder so that you can take photos with your phone’s camera, and a stylish carry bag where you can store the telescope and all of its accessories.

 

Pros

It is an affordable option that delivers exceptional value since the telescope uses superior optics for better image quality, and it comes with a wide list of bonus accessories.

The portable telescope comes with two replaceable eyepieces that are very easy to swap and one 3X Barlow lens that can achieve a magnification of up to 120x.

While this model is designed primarily for the exploration of the night’s sky, it can also be used for nature and bird watching.

This model is easy to install and use, which makes it a great purchase for kids or for adults who are looking to start their journey into the world of astronomy.

 

Cons

The design of the telescope isn’t very robust, but it is usable, and you shouldn’t encounter any issues with it as long as you are careful when transporting it from place to place.

The dust caps that come supplied with the product are loose and can come off easily during transport.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($81.59)

 

 

 

5. Orion Observer 80ST 80mm Equatorial Refractor Telescope

 

Who said you need a big and bulky telescope to enjoy beautiful images of the night sky? With Orion’s Observer, a short focal length refractor model, you can get similar results but with a compact and hassle-free device. You can take it outside and set it up right away, whenever you feel like watching celestial objects.

With the versatile objective lens which features an 80mm aperture, you get a short focal length of 400mm, meaning that the Observer 80ST is extremely portable and compact, but also ensures a very good performance.

Given its fast f/5 focal ratio, the device’s strong points are the bright, wide-field views of the stars and of the deep-space objects. So if there’s one in particular, you are interested in, this telescope might prove to be the right partner to observe it closely, even if you are on-the-go, given its portable design.

 

Pros

You can easily track celestial objects while viewing them, as the smooth and stable EQ-18 equatorial mount and tripod come equipped with dual slow motion controls that ensure a smooth maneuvering of the telescope.

The device also comes with a reflex sight, 90 degrees diagonal (1.25”) and 10mm and 25mm Kellner 1.25” telescope eyepieces that also feature an anti-reflection coating.

Additionally, the refractor also includes the useful MoonMap 260 that can help you identify interesting lunar features you might not be aware of, but that you can see in the telescope.

Therefore, if you are all about exploring the Moon and get wide views of bright planets and other closeby moons, nebulas, galaxies, or other star clusters, this nifty telescope will be your partner, even if you don’t have that much experience in this field.

 

Cons

The telescope doesn’t come with a backpack, bag or case for transporting it, so if you want to take it somewhere outside your home, you’ll need to find a solution.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($109.99)

 

 

 

 

6. Gskyer 60mm AZ Refractor 

 

Another accessible, well-equipped model is the Gskyer Telescope, 60mm AZ Refractor Telescope. Specially designed for the novice in the field of astronomy, this unit comes outfitted with a wide 6 mm aperture, a focal length of 350 mm and a focal ratio of f/5.8.

What is more, the device has a high magnification eyepiece of no less than 10mm, reason why, by settling for this model you’ll be able to capture clear, bright images.

As a plus, all the optical components that this product contains are made from a glass that has been coated so that the image’s brightness and overall quality is enhanced.

Furthermore, the product has a body made out of an aluminum alloy that makes it durable but still lightweight. Hence, the model can be effortlessly be transported whenever you want to go on a stargazing trip.

 

Pros

This entry-level alternative has a 60mm aperture and a 350mm focal length. Besides, the device features a rack-and-pinion focuser as well as a low and a high eyepiece that you can use to see clearer images.

According to the users, this model is suitable to be used by travelers because it has a sturdy aluminum construction. Moreover, this item is light in weight and very portable.

The 3x Barlow lens included in the design of the model is said to double the magnification power of each eyepiece so that the user is provided with a high-quality viewing experience.

Furthermore, the unit includes an altazimuth mount that has a slow-motion control.

 

Cons

Some have remarked that this unit does not come fitted with a special software that can help beginners to find certain celestial objects.

When compared to other devices, this unit is a tad expensive. Still, most of its buyers were happy with its price.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($75.01)

 

 

 

 

7. White TwinStar AstroMark 80mm 16-40x Portable

 

If you are willing to go over your budget and invest in a model that is a bit more expensive, we recommend that you check out the White TwinStar AstroMark 80mm 16-40x Portable Telescope.

With an 80mm fully coated achromatic objective lens and 400mm focal length, this device is capable of catering to an astronomer’s needs. Additionally, the unit has a brightness ratio of f/5.0 F that makes it apable to deliver crystal clear, detailed images.

Even more to this point, this telescope also features one medium power 25mm Kellner eyepiece, one high-powered 10mm Kellner eyepiece as well as a 6×26 finding scope. Each eyepiece has its own special container for depositing.

If you are worried about transporting the model, you should know that this product comes shipped with a probable, easy to use mini-tripod as well as with a practical carrying bag. Yet, the telescope is said to fit any standard full-size photographic tripod.

 

Pros

This option has an 80mm fully coated achromatic objective lens as well as a focal length of measures 400mm.

To make this telescope easy to use no matter the environment, the seller has supplied it with a portable mini-tripod and a carry bag.

The item can provide you with clear and bright images as it has a f/5.0 F-ratio that most previous users spoke highly of.

Moreover, this unit comes with two Kellner 1.25″ diameter eyepieces that measure 25mm and 10mm.

A 6×26 finding scope is also included in the price of the model. So, you will find it effortless to locate various objects.

 

Cons

It has been claimed that this option was manufactured from cheap materials. Because of this, it won’t stand the test of time.

One user noted that the images provided by this device are not clear. Not many other users agreed with this statement.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($79.99)

 

 

 

 

8. Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ

 

Last but not least, we couldn’t have ended this top without mentioning the Celestron PowerSeeker 70EQ Telescope. Although some might consider it a bit expensive, this model has a series of top-notch features that might interest you.

For instance, the unit comes equipped with a 70-mm aperture and has a focal length of 700mm. Also, its focal ratio is 10 while its focal length of eyepiece ½ varies between 20mm/4mm. Besides, with a star diagonal of 1.25 inch, this unit erects the image diagonally and has a German equatorial mount type.

A favorite among beginners, this telescope includes a finder scope attachment that makes centering it in order to locate an object effortless. Moreover, in order to mount this model one does not require any tools.

According to current users, the telescope is user-friendly and very intuitive. Therefore, all beginners will find it not difficult to operate.

 

Pros

This choice is easy to set up as the person doing so does not have to use any type of specialized tools.

Because it comes supplied with slow-motion controls, this model allows for a smooth tracking of celestial objects.

This item features erect image optics. Therefore, it can be regarded as ideal for both terrestrial and astronomical use.

Furthermore, this telescope comes equipped with an astronomy software that has a database that includes no less than 10,000 objects and numerous sky maps that you can use.

 

Cons

Users have remarked that the collimation process on this scope is rather challenging. Because of this, the owner has to show a lot of patience while using it.

Putting the model together can be difficult if one does not follow the steps from the instruction manual given by the seller. Yet, keep in mind that many did so easily without needing extra help.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($129.95)

 

 

 

9. ToyerBee Telescope for Kids& Beginners 

 

Nothing could get kids into astronomy better than a fun to use telescope. This model is exactly that, and you will be impressed with its plethora of features that cater to the needs of novices. With a magnification power that goes from 15x to an impressive value of 150x, it is clear why this model scores high in beginners’ preferences.

Two eyepieces come with your purchase, which grants the unit flexibility. Also, you will notice that the technical specs are ideal for a novice’s tool. The aperture is 70mm, while the focal length is 300mm, and both features ensure that the image you see through the telescope is always bright and clear.

If you want to use the telescope to take pictures of the night sky, you will be pleased to see that there is a smartphone adapter and a wireless camera remote included. With their help, you will be able to snap pictures and save them in the memory of your device.

 

Pros

The extensive magnification power you can take advantage of, due to the available 3x Barlow lens and the two eyepieces, is a solid recommendation for this model.

You will find that this telescope is easy to assemble and take apart, and you will be glad to see that the manufacturer goes to extra lengths to offer the necessary information through video tutorials.

Its large aperture is a guarantee that the unit has proper light-gathering abilities, something that significantly contributes to the image quality you will perceive.

Exploring the images offered by the telescope through your smartphone or wireless camera is possible, which is another great plus of this unit.

The installation process is a breeze, and that happens due to the many installation videos offered by the manufacturer.

 

Cons

The tripod that comes with the unit is on the small side, so you may find it limited in its uses.

 

Buy from Amazon.com for ($64.99)

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

 

Q: How do I use a portable telescope?

If you’ve decided that a travel scope is the right option for you, then you will be happy to know that using it is not going to be very difficult. The first thing to keep in mind here is that, no matter what brand you’re choosing, whether it’s Orion or another one, you will get a set of instructions that you need to carefully go through before taking your travel telescope for a first viewing. 

Next, you need to make sure that you have a reliable surface on which to place it or a sturdy tripod, if one was not included in the package. The good news, when it comes to travel scopes, is that they are lighter, thus not needing as much space as other models. 

On the other hand, it’s still important to make sure that the device has the right support so that you can enjoy observing the Orion constellation out in space without worrying that anything might happen to the unit.

Q: Based on what criteria should I choose a portable telescope?

When it comes to optical devices, especially those designed to travel, the first thing you want to look at is the unit’s weight and overall size. Given that you are planning to travel with it, you want to make sure that you will be able to handle it in multiple situations. 

In terms of optical tube and other technical elements, you want to think about the unit’s aperture first, as this determines the quality of the image you are going to see. You should look at the tube as well, especially if you are not used to ensuring a telescope’s maintenance, as there are both sealed and open options on the market. 

The former would be a better choice, given that you can travel with it and be sure that everything inside the tube remains safe. You can look at Orion telescopes if you are in the market for a good brand as well. 

 

Q: Can you see galaxies with a portable telescope?

The answer here depends on the travel unit you are going to choose. Spotting constellations such as Orion, or other similar objects in space is possible, as long as you make sure that the model you go for comes with the minimum requirements in terms of optical performance. You want to look for a unit with a large aperture and high magnification power. 

Space objects also have different sizes, so it depends on what you are trying to observe as well. If we’re talking about the moon, then things are going to be a lot easier than if observing Orion. 

In the end, if you are already experienced, then everything depends on your preferences, but if you are still new to using a good telescope, then you want to go for a model that is easy to handle and use, but that also offers good optical performance. 

 

 

Unavailable products

 

Orion 10034

 

best-portable-telescope-2000-1Kids, families and amateur astronomers will love using this portable telescope by Orion. It is designed specifically for travel, and comes with a lightweight and durable construction. Since it only weighs 3.5 pounds it is even light enough for most kids to safely carry.

Even the tripod is constructed with weight in mind. The aluminum tripod folds down for convenient storage, and it won’t add any noticeable weight when you are carrying the telescope. It also comes with a backstyle carrying case, so you can easily take the telescope with you on hiking and camping trips.

On of the reasons this is considered the best refractor portable telescope is due to the included accessories that ensures you have everything you need for day and night viewing.

The 70mm telescope has a 400mm focal length that ensures objects are bright and clear. There are also two eyepieces that are easy to change out as needed, and the 5×24 finder scope makes it easy to aim in on a particular object. Beginners will also appreciate the included map of the moon so you can easily identify prominent features on its surface.

 

Pros

This refractor telescope is perfect both for day and night traveling and seeing. The lightweight design makes it extremely portable and convenient to transport on all your trips.

It comes equipped with two sets of eyepieces, 25mm and 10mm for 16x and 40x magnification rate to see your favorite items as close as possible.

The product is suitable for a wide array of outdoor activities, from birdwatching to viewing wildlife, observing the Moon or the nearby bright planets.

By purchasing this item you will receive a handful of useful accessories, including a rugged tripod for easy watching without your hands.

 

Cons

One of the available accessories, the Orion Moon Map is available only for an additional purchase if you want to learn more about the Moon.

Some customers say that this telescope is hard to focus and cheaply constructed, meaning it resembles more a large binocular than a true telescope.

 

 

Geertop 90X

 

5-geertop-90x-portable-astronomical-refractorThis portable telescope comes with everything kids or adults need to get started watching the nighttime. This refraction telescope is also ideal for terrestrial viewing, and is a favorite among bird and wildlife watchers. The telescope and included tripod are designed to be lightweight and durable.

This ensures that they are easy to take with you when you travel, and are rugged enough to survive the trip. It should be noted that this telescope and tripod combo do not come with a convenient carrying case, but one can be purchased separately for a small fee.

What really sets this portable telescope apart is its power, along with the fact that it is easy to focus and use. The 1.5x erecting eyepiece allows you to zoom in on objects so every detail is crisp and clear, and all you have to do is to attach it to the telescope. It also comes with a 20mm and 6mm eyepiece for added clarity on mid and long distance views.

For added ease of use this portable telescope also comes with a smooth performing altazimuth mount so you can scan horizontally and vertically without any problems.

 

Pros

This product is extremely portable and lightweight, making it a suitable alternative for those who are passionate about stargazing but cannot afford a highly expensive product just yet.

It can be easily used both by adults and kids and is one of the favorite items amongst wildlife watchers too. In other words, you can enjoy its benefits during the day or at night, depending on your preferences.

It also comes with a sturdy tripod which will not only help you see better but will also survive even the bumpiest trips.

The item is powerful and very easy to focus and utilize.

 

Cons

As you would expect for a telescope at this price, the overall quality is not great.

Some customers said they were unable to focus, while others simply said that the product is extremely hard to use to by kids. We suggest investing in higher-quality equipment for stargazing.

 

 

Orion 10016 StarBlast 6 Astro Reflector Telescope

 

Orion’s 10016 StarBlast 4.5 Astro Beginner is one of those telescopes that was designed for beginners in terms of ease of use, but that can be easily enjoyed by experienced observers, as it comes with many cool features that ensure very good performance.

The model is designed to be compact, offer a wide-field and be user-friendly, at the same time including functionalities that allows it to boast a 73% more light-gathering area than the smaller models, ensuring clear and bright images with good details. The scope is also highly portable, as it weighs only 23.5 lbs.

The neat part about it is that is comes fully assembled right in the box, so you don’t need to worry that you’ll have to start a complicated process of putting small pieces together that you are not even sure are correctly placed.

 

Pros

The 6” aperture reflector optics reveal the planets and other deep-sky gems in very good detail. The wide field of view provided means that finding and tracking objects around the sky is way easier than with longer focal-length models. This is one of the features that make this model an excellent one for beginners of all ages.

Another good thing is the non-stick bearings and adjustable altitude tension on the base that ensures the smooth maneuvering of the StarBlast 6.

Plus, the two handle cutouts included in the base allow an easy lift and transportation of the device.

This model comes with the Starry Night software, as well as with the EZ Finder II aiming device, for an enhanced overall user experience that ensures the desired results in terms of observations.

 

Cons

In some cases, when the EZ Finder is used extensively, it might drain the battery. Therefore, if you know you are planning a longer use, you might want to find a backup solution.

 

 

Meade Instruments Infinity 209001 

 

Engineered for novice astronomers, the Meade Instruments Infinity 209001 allows users to view the planets, the Moon and spectacular meteor showers.

The height-adjustable manual altazimuth mount enables you to raise and lower the viewing platform using slow-motion controls that also enable precise tracking of viewed objects. This model ships with three eyepieces that provide 30x, 50x, and 150x magnifications, which can also be doubled using the supplied 2x Barlow lens. This enables you to make the most of a wide range of viewing possibilities.

Looking through the instrument is easy and comfortable thanks to the 90° erect-image diagonal that comes in the package. This inclusion makes it easy to aim the scope toward the zenith.

The prism of the diagonal provides horizontal and vertical image correction to enable use of the instrument for terrestrial viewing too. The built-in dew shield helps protect the external surface of the objective lens from condensation while serving to block excess peripheral light from making celestial viewing more difficult.

 

Pros

Pointing this telescope in the direction of the celestial object you want to observe is easy because of the altazimuth mount.

You get three eyepieces with varying magnifications to provide the exact level of viewing you need from low (20mm) to medium (12mm) to high (4mm). What is even more incredible is the supplied 2X Barlow lens that amplifies the magnification of each eyepiece twice so you can see greater detail and have more clarity in images.

The included Astronomical Software and Instructional DVD provide useful information for the various objects you are bound to see in the night sky at any given time of the year.

The 5X24 ViewFinder simplifies the search for your favorite celestial object and also works for targets on land. No need for guesswork or intensive research.

The accessory tray on the mount allows you to store other eyepieces you might have, keeping them handy and within easy reach.

 

Cons

The thumbwheel that holds the scope to the mount tends to come loose from time to time so it is imperative that it gets checked regularly for tightness.

 

 

Celestron NexStar 8 SE Schmidt-Cassegrain Computerized Telescope 

 

Who says astronomy has to be complicated? With the help of this computerized telescope, you will be introduced to a fascinating world of exploring the celestial bodies in the starry night sky. There are many reasons why you should like this model more than the others. A 25mm E-Lux eyepiece is included with your purchase, and that’s just the beginning.

This model also comes with the StarPointer Finderscope, as well as a steel tripod that is delivered pre-assembled so that you don’t have much to do when you must put together your telescope for the first time. You will also love that this model comes with the SkyAlign technology, specially designed to help beginners find their way around the numerous celestial bodies in the sky.

Don’t forget that the 8-inch aperture is an essential trait, which is, to say, a trademark for this company that tries to offer beginners excellent quality at the right price.

 

Pros

People who are new to astronomy will find this telescope very convenient and easy to use as they will find their way around the night sky without a glitch.

Its 8-inch aperture offers superior light-gathering abilities that guarantee that you will get clear images of the celestial bodies you want to explore.

Another thing that should be mentioned is that you will see more than just the Moon and the planets in our solar system; even deep sky objects such as the Hercules Globular Cluster can be freely examined.

The fully automated GoTo mount comes in handy, and you will love having access to a database with more than 40,000 sky locations stored in its memory.

Make use of the SkyAlign technology that gets your tool in position so that you can immediately start exploring the night sky.

 

Cons

The spotter scope provided with your purchase is of somewhat inferior quality compared to the rest of the unit.

 

 

Bibliography:

1) Types of telescopes

2) How Do Telescopes Work?

3) Why do we use telescopes?

4) All you need to know about telescopes

5) Celestron.com

 

 

 

Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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