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Traveling? What’s The Best Portable Telescope Option

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 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.

Portable telescope comes with carry bag.

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.

Price

One of the least expensive travel scopes, you can buy this online at Amazon. See details including the latest price.


Also check out…Orion 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 GoScope. It is available at Amazon, where you check out the latest price and real owner reviews.

Orion GoScope III 70mm Refractor Travel Telescope
GoScope 70mm Refractor

available at Amazon


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.

German technology.

Expect to see more with an 80mm aperture.

Gskyer Telescope, Telescopes for Adults, 80mm AZ Space Astronomical Refractor Telescope, Telescope for Kids, Telescopes for Adults Astronomy, German Technology Scope
Gskyer 80mm AZ Space Refractor

available at Amazon

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 – 25, 10, and 5mm (16x, 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.

Price

As expected you’ll pay more for the 80mm telescope, with sturdy construction, than those listed above. 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.

Still not sure? Here's a tool by Orion Telescopes to help you select the best telescope or binocular to meet your personal needs. Orion's Product Wizard