Spotting scopes: the name might not sound familiar to many people, but those who know what they are can fully appreciate the brilliance of their design. Magnifying distance like binoculars but containing a single eye piece like a telescope, spotting scopes are all distance and no object mirroring. I describe it to any hunting enthusiast as the love child between Fred Bear and Galileo, even if that might be a bit much to say about a spotting scope. Still, the combination of features is what my son would refer to as “epic.”

Cabela's Big Sky ED 20-60��FD66

Scopes from Cabela’s are known for perfecting low light vision, and there is a good reason for that reputation. If I’m on the lookout near dawn or dusk, I’ll have Cabela’s Big Sky scope either ready and mounted or waiting in my lap. When it comes to enhancing low light visibility, there is no such thing as competition with Cabela’s.

Nikon Prostaff 20-60��FD82

When it comes to binoculars, nobody seems to consider the critical importance of eyepieces. It’s easier than you would think to break an eyepiece, find it irritating to your eye socket, or wear it down. Nikon’s Prostaff is one of the most accommodating binoculars I’ve found when it comes to selecting the right eyepiece. With the quality fit, you’d think it’s customized just for you!

Leupold Sequoia 20-60��FD80

Luxury and stability go hand in hand with Leupold’s Sequoia binoculars. The exterior is ultra protected, resisting water and fog while enduring quite a bit of force. I’ve made the mistake of packing one of these spotters at the bottom of a duffle, and it came out without a scratch. But you won’t know what hit you when you look through and see the brilliant color in the Sequoia’s vision.

Bushnell Excursion FLP 20-60��FD80

Fully waterproof and conveniently lightweight, Bushnell’s Excursion is fun and easy to tote with you. If you’re in the market for a spotting scope that doubles as a compact, look no further than this effective “little” guy.


Cabela's Alaskan Guide 20-60��FD70

It’s no coincidence that you’re seeing Cabela’s on the list for a second time. I wasn’t kidding when I said they have a reputation for advancing spotting scope development. Their Alaskan Guide is great particularly because of its easy mountability.

LEUPOLD Golden Ring 10-20��FD40 Compact Spotting Scope

Cabela’s isn’t the only one to reappear! Leupold really outdid itself with the Golden Ring because I can’t recall a finer specimen of spotting scope from them. This one is still a frequent go-to for me because it’s easy to carry on my neck and has unique handheld capabilities. 

Konus Konuscamo 20-60 x 70 Spotting Scope

Although I’m not much for hunting these days, this has served me well when my top priority is blending into my surroundings in the wilderness. Its camouflage and quiet function makes it perfect for watching or pursuing nature.

Swarovski Optik STS 80 HD

“High definition” almost feels like an understatement with the sheer brilliance of the Optik’s vision. Dimness or haziness are no stop to you with this spotting scope at your side!

Swarovski Spotting Scope HD-STS 80 High Definition Glass(Eyepiece Required)
Amazon Price: $2,543.33 $2,369.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 3, 2016)

Bushnell Elite 78-8045 (20 - 60��FD80 mm)

Bushnell is the third and final returning brand on my list, and it comes as no surprise. Like Cabela’s and Leupold, Bushnell pursues perfection, releasing scopes with diverse strengths. The Elite’s strength is rubber outer protection, keeping it light while surviving even the worst drops. From my years of clumsiness, I know for a fact! 

Pentax PF-80ED (20 - 60��FD80 mm)

Although it’s definitely on the pricier side of the spectrum, I’ve never regretted spending a little more for a lot greater quality. This Pentax spotting scope never weighs me down, and no bad weather can stop its sight. An excellent choice for anyone having to endure potentially brutal conditions while outdoors.