Looking for the best portable telescope for stargazing on the move? This article looks at some compact and lightweight telescopes with high portability.
How Much Is a Telescope for Travel?
How much does a telescope cost – one that’s portable? If your budget is tight, you can pick up one for under $100. But, whether you are looking for the best telescope under 100 dollars or the best telescope under 500 dollars, it’s a good idea to choose one that you are likely to use. In this case you want something to use on the go.
the Best Portable Telescope
If you are looking at taking it travelling, you’ll probably want a telescope that is lightweight, compact, and quick to set up. A neat carry bag that holds everything and protects the gear is another advantage. The following addresses telescopes that fit these criteria.
Reviews of Top Rated Portable Telescopes
Wondering what telescope to buy? You are wanting a fairly high quality telescope that you can take places, right? Or you might be looking for a reasonably cheap one to fit your budget.
Looking for the best telescope for ‘stargazing on the go’ can be overwhelming. The following reviews some popular travel scopes starting with ones in the low price range.
Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope
This Celestron travel telescope is a refractor type with 70mm aperture (2.76″). It features an altazimuth mount with smooth functioning so you can easily point the telescope to identified objects.
It has a 400 mm focal length (16 inches). A short optical tube will give you a wider field of view but you will be limited to lower magnifications. I write about the different features and how they affect performance here.
The Celestron travel scope comes with a light tripod and everything fits into a custom-made backpack, making it compact for easy traveling and storage. It also comes with a high-quality spotting scope, which is useful for landscape and wildlife viewing for when you want to use it in day excursions.
Eyepieces, 20mm and 10mm, and an erect image diagonal are included.
Packs up nicely. Weight when assembled is 4.2 lbs (1.9 kg). Expect to set this one up in less than 15 mins (manufacturer claims 5 – 10 mins).
Downside is the light tripod results in shaky views and you’ll need to look at ways of making it more stable.
One of the least expensive travel scopes, you can buy this online at Amazon. See details including the latest price.
Also check out…Orion 10034 GoScope Refractor
If you are interested in this price range, Orion has a model similar to the Celestron Travel Scope. Competitive in features and price is the Orion 10034 GoScope. It is available at Amazon, where you check out the latest price and real owner reviews. See details.
This refractor telescope has an objective lens diameter (or aperture) of 70mm and comes with a universal wheel tripod. This helps keep the three feet seated on the ground when changing the angle of the telescope and so helps with stability.
Advantages as a portable telescope includes a quick no tool set up, an included rucksack, and a mobile device holder. It comes with a 24 month warranty.
This one weighs 5.6 lbs (2.5 kg), which is more than the Celestron Travel Scope described above, but still light weight.
The TELMU telescope is one for kids or adults wanting a portable travel telescope for viewing celestial objects in the night sky or wildlife in terrestrial landscapes while getting out and about.
A budget buy. Check price at Amazon and also see what real owners say about this portable telescope. See details.
Gskyer Telescope, 80mm AZ Space Astronomical Refractor Telescope
In the bit-higher price range is this highly portable 80mm refractor by Gskyer. It is quick to set up (say 15 mins). But, you’ll need to buy a carry bag separately for this one.
Expect to see more with an 80mm aperture.
The short 400mm focal length makes it portable and light when compared to those with a longer focal length.
Optics come with a blue anti-reflective coating. It comes with three eyepieces – 22, 11, and 10 mm (18x, 40x, and 80x) and a 3x Barlow lens, which effectively increases the magnification of any eyepiece used with it. Other advantages are a 24-hour customer service and a 1 year warranty.
It weighs 17.8 lb (8 kg), nearly twice as much as the Celestron Travel Scope, but the construction is sturdy (mostly made of metal). Your mode of travel will determine the importance of this weight difference. In which case, a 70mm option with 400mm focal length, weighing 6 lbs, is available if you need a lighter version.
As expected you’ll pay more for the 80mm telescope, with sturdy construction, than those listed above. A less expensive and lighter 70mm option with 400mm focal length is also available. Check prices at Amazon – See details.
If you are wanting a carry bag, check out the Meade Instruments Infinity carry bag, available at Amazon. See details.