When looking for the best spotting scope under 300 dollars, there are many options to choose from. While performance and quality can vary wildly, we narrowed down a selection of what we feel are the best scopes for this price range.

Ultimately, the Leupold SX-1 Ventana 2 Spotter was our number one pick, which we’ll explain later.

Our Pick: Leupold SX-1 Ventana 111357 Spotting Scope

Update: Leupold SX-1 Ventana has been discontinued and replaced by the Leupold SX-1 Ventana 2. 

This is a durable angled scope that manages to be lightweight while still being able to withstand the rigors of the field. It features a rubber-armored body and is 100% waterproof and fog proof. It has precision ground fully multi-coated optics and a good-sized 60mm objective lens. The 15-45x magnification range makes it a great all-purpose spotting scope. It measures 13.5 inches long and weighs around two and a half pounds, making it a good choice for field use as it won’t be too cumbersome while hiking out to your secret hunting spot.


It’s a rugged scope with generous eye relief and has a built-in, retractable lens shade. This makes it very functional. It also has Leupold’s standard and uncompromising great optics, making it a high-performance scope for the money. While it cannot compare with multi-thousand-dollar spotting scopes, it is still a great and affordable scope that will get the job done.


An impressive 91% of all buyers gave this spotting scope a rating of four or five stars. Many commented that this scope is an excellent buy for the money, with quality optics and generous eye relief that worked well even with sunglasses. Some individuals did think that the scope’s size was a little large for what it is.

Runner-Up: Celestron Ultima 52252 Spotting Scope

This is the largest spotting scope in Celestron’s popular Ultima line. It has a wide 100mm objective lens that lets in a lot of light to provide you with clear, bright images even when lighting conditions are not ideal. It comes with the Ultima standard 22-66x magnification range, which provides plenty of power for long distance shooting at the range.

The 45 degree angled eyepiece is great for nature observers and birders. It also features a wide field of view that allows you to watch multiple targets simultaneously without having to readjust the scope – a great feature when you’re trying to show up your buddies at the shooting range.


This spotting scope has multi-coated optics and a rubber shock-resistant coating to give it some durability in the field. However, this scope is a little on the large size, measuring 22 inches long and weighing around 8 pounds. While that’s generally not considered heavy for a spotting scope, it does mean you’ll need to purchase a sturdy tripod as this will tip over with a flimsy tripod. The angled eyepiece makes for easier viewing for birders and nature viewers, but this could be problematic for use while hunting, however, this really comes down to personal preference.


This spotting scope has great reviews, with 88% of buyers giving it a four or five-star rating. General comments are that this is a great scope for the money, outperforming spotting scopes at higher price ranges. The optics are good, producing clear images at 600 yards easy and should perform well at 1000 yards, depending upon conditions. Great for use birding or for amateur astronomy.

Budget Pick: Konus 7120 Spotting Scope

This angled spotting scope features an 80mm objective lens and a 20-60x magnification range. The forward expanding lens hood paired with the rubber armored housing makes this scope rugged and able to handle the elements as it is shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof. Size-wise, while it’s not a compact scope it isn’t too large at nearly 17 inches long and weighing just over 3 pounds. This makes it a good choice whether you’re birding, punching paper at the shooting range, or trekking across the mountains.


It has a wide objective lens that lets in a lot of light and a fairly standard magnification range that holds well after 50x in good lighting conditions (any scope will be shaky at that range.) It has a good, rugged construction and is light enough to haul out into the woods with you. It does come with a tabletop tripod, but as would be expected at this price range, the tripod doesn’t match the quality of this scope or its optics.

The FOV (field of view) is a little wide: at 20x, 157.2 feet at 1000 yards, which may be a disadvantage when hunting but can be useful at the shooting range.


This scope has a bit more varied reviews, with 76% of buyers rating it four or five stars. Some buyers have stated this scope as being comparable to a more expensive Kowa in terms of optics quality, with a great fine-tuner and very useful mini aiming sight located on the side of the scope. Numerous buyers stated that the tripod is inadequate and that a higher quality tripod would be required.

Update: This product has been discontinued. Check out the upgraded version, Konus 7126

Also Great: Redfield Rampage 114651 Spotting Scope

This angled spotting scope has a wide 80mm objective lens and features a magnification range of 20-60x. It weighs just over three pounds and measures 16 inches long, making it a manageable size and weight for use at the shooting range or taking out in the field. The rubber armored body makes this scope durable and tough, and it is waterproof and fogproof. The focus knobs are also rubberized, making for easy focusing.


This scope has the ruggedness needed for use in the field while hunting, as well as the magnification, to let you see your target at a distance. It comes with a shoulder strap, lens covers, and soft carrying case, which are adequate but may need to be replaced with ones a bit more durable. The focus knobs turn smoothly, although they do not adjust so easily with the nylon cover on (this isn’t a problem with the straight scope, just this angled eyepiece scope.)


Eighty-five percent of buyers give this spotting scope a ranking of four or five stars, citing great optics and rugged construction as its most impressive qualities. Complaints are limited to the lower quality tripod that it comes with and that the image quality reduces at higher power (which is a problem for any scope, regardless of price range.)

What is the Best Spotting Scope Under 300?

Generally, spotting scopes in this price range all have the same features, with similar quality optics. But, as you can see, there are a few surprises with some scopes performing as well as much higher priced spotting scopes. After looking at these spotting scopes closely, we had to choose the Leupold Ventana Spotter as our pick for the best spotting scope under 300.

The optics of this scope give it a performance level that rivals much more expensive scopes, making this an affordable option that will provide years of use. It’s also durable and relatively lightweight, which make it great for use out in the field. It does, however, have a smaller magnification range, but we feel the great optics quality compensates for that fact as the image quality is still excellent at higher magnification levels.

References & Resources

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *