Best Spotting Scope Under 100: Most spotting scopes cost more than 200 dollars and the premium ones even go up to 500 dollars. But if you know what’s important to you, then you can definitely find good spotting scopes without spending a lot of money.
So to help you buy the best spotting scope under 100, we reviewed the 5 most popular spotting scopes:
- Barska Colorado 20-60×60
- Emarth 20-60x60AE
- Celestron Landscout 12-36×60
- Firefield 20-60×60 SE
- Tasco World Class 20-60×60
In case you don’t have time to read through the reviews, then here is the Best Spotting Scope Under 100 for you:
|Barska 20-60×60||Emarth 20-60x60AE|
How to Find the Best Spotting Scope Under 100
Most seasoned hunters will tell you that as long as the spotting scope has the features you need, it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. Premium spotting scopes come with bells and whistles that you may not even use so why pay extra for them?
If you think about what you really need and make a list of your must-haves; then you will probably find those features in a less expensive model. When I am buying a spotting scope, I only look for five features: Magnification, Optical System, Eyepiece, Eye Relief and Weatherproofing. Accordingly, I decided to give maximum weight to these factors in our reviews to find the best spotting scope under 100 dollars.
Magnification on scopes in this price range can go up to 60x or more. However, scopes under 100 dollars need optimal lighting conditions to produce good quality pictures at higher magnifications. So, in my opinion, a weatherproofing system or higher quality optics are better investments than looking for the highest magnification.
Optics come with different type of coatings to help improve your view of the target in different lighting situations. Most spotting scopes under the 100 dollars mark come with fully coated optics. Image quality at higher magnifications is significantly impacted by the effectiveness of the optical system in directing light into the scope. The lens quality on your optical system is also important, because if you have a poor quality glass then it will severely limit the efficiency of the entire optical system.
The angle of the eyepiece is a personal preference for any hunter. Some hunters swear by the straight angle as being the most effective for hunting wild game because it gives you better control over your focus and you can use it quickly. Others say that the angled eyepiece, when used in tandem with a good tripod, gives you the maximum amount of control over your scope especially in windy conditions.
The eyepiece will also have something called “eye relief” which allows your eye to sit some distance away from the lens. The more generous the eye relief, the more comfortable you will find looking through the eyepiece to line up your shot.
Good weatherproofing on any scope will guarantee that the image is not blurred or foggy because of condensation in the lens. If you hunt in extreme weather, you may want to invest in a scope that has high quality weatherproofing rather than maximum magnification. A bad seal on a scope will let humidity in and sometimes that can ruin the lens permanently. Some lenses will experience bubbling because of humidity seeping into the coating. Some others will completely narrow the field of view by creating a “fish eye” effect where the image is barely viewable.
Most scopes, at this price point, come with a tripod. However, as per general user experience, the tripods that come included have a poor build quality. Investing a little more in a good quality tripod will increase your chances of getting that perfect shot even with a scope that costs less than 100 dollars.
Different tripods work best for different terrain. If you are hunting off the side of a windy mountain, then you want a short heavy tripod for the best support and control. If you are using your vehicle, then having a tripod with a car mount will work best for you.
Now let’s move onto the reviews. I hope that our reviews help you get a better understanding of the most popular spotting scopes under 100 dollars. We also have a clear winner at the end of the reviews.
Review of the Best Spotting Scopes Under 100 Dollars
Winner: Best Spotting Scope Under 100. We really like Barska 20-60×60 because it’s 100% waterproof, fog proof and comes with fully coated lenses. Waterproofing and fog proofing prevents the dust and humidity from getting inside the unit and distorting the image. So even if the weather takes a turn for the worse while you are hunting, you will still get clear pictures while using your spotting scope.
Now, let me tell you about the optical system. Barska Colorado 20-60×60 comes with a 60mm objective lens and fully coated optics, which prove extremely useful in less than optimal lighting conditions. You will greatly appreciate the amazing light gathering when hunting during dawn, dusk or on overcast days. The light gathered by the optical system will be projected onto the image to brighten it up. Even while hunting in bright sunlight, the coating on the lens eliminates any glare that might reflect off your lens.
The 20x to 60x zooming range provides ample magnification for spotting animals or birds at the range. The magnification is extremely clear at lower levels. Although images blur out a bit at higher magnifications, they compare favorably to other spotting scopes in this price range. In my experience, I was able to spot hits on targets up to 200 yards.
Barska 20-60×60 is a straight spotting scope and it’s extremely useful for hunters who need to make quick adjustments while focusing on the target. Although this spotting scope comes with a tripod, you can use it fairly easily without the tripod as well.
- 20x-60x magnification gives you a clearer image from farther away
- 100% waterproofing eliminates blurry images due to condensation
- Fully coated optical system to maximize light gathering in low light conditions
- Some user have reported issues with waterproofing not keeping moisture out
Runner Up: Best Spotting Scope Under 100. The best feature of Emarth 20-60x60AE is the angled eyepiece which gives you great control when used with a quality tripod. The angled eyepiece also makes focusing more comfortable and provides more stability to the scope even when used in high winds.
Another feature of the Emarth 20-60x60AE that I like is its optical system which comes with “BK-7 prism”, 60m objective lens and fully multi-coated optics. The optical system maximizes the light gathering capabilities of the scope and provides clear images even during late dusk hours. Emarth 20-60x60AE is completely waterproof and fog proof allowing you to get maximum hours of usage during your hunting trip.
The build quality is also pretty impressive at this price range. Emarth 20-60x60AE comes with rubberized shock absorbing coating which makes the chassis quite rugged. The lenses are sealed with O-rings to make the optical chamber both waterproof and fog proof.
Emarth 20-60x60AE is also ergonomically superior in design to other spotting scopes under 100 dollars so you can feel more comfortable using it. It is perfect for hunters who happen to be on the tallish side and don’t want to keep bending down low to make adjustments.
- Angled eyepiece and ergonomic design are great for control and comfort
- Fully multi-coated optics make the picture brighter
- Completely waterproof and fog proof
- Comes with a tripod and carrying bag
- Shallow eye relief makes it difficult for eyeglass wearers to use the scope
- Some users have reported issues with spotting small bullet impacts at 100 yards
One of the best features of this scope is the 60mm objective lens combined with multi-coated optics which enhances the images in lower light situations. If you want to get some target practice out at dusk or just as the sun is about to go down, the optics will gather any light still left and focus it on your image. This way you won’t miss the shot because the target will be lit up.
Another feature that I like is the 12x to 36x zoom which allows you to zero in on targets which are a fair distance away. Eye relief, at 14mm to 18mm, is quite lacking though and would be an issue if you wear eyeglasses.
Celestron Landscout 12-36×60 has a lightweight design, which proves useful on long hunting trips where there will be a lot of walking.
- Multi-coated optics helps you see your target in low light
- Zoom up to 36x will let you focus in for long range shoots
- Lightweight design makes it perfect for long hunting trips
- Easy to use large focusing wheel with a rubber grip
- Shallow eye relief means you need to press your eye right up to the lens
- Some users have reported image distortion issues at higher magnifications
- Also, users have reported poor visibility beyond 100 yards
Firefield probably has the biggest range of spotting scopes under 100 dollars: Firefield 20-60×60 SE, Firefield 12-36 x 50 SE and Firefield 20 x 50. This is hardly surprising as Firefield are known for their range of budget friendly optics. We picked up Firefield 20-60×60 SE for review due to it being the most popular among the three spotting scopes under 100.
We like this scope because of its design. The scope is made with a “nitrogen-purged” body which has a sunshade. You will find this very helpful on sunny days because you will not get any glare when you try to focus on your target. The design also protects the lens from rain so that it doesn’t get foggy and block your images.
Another useful feature is the wide magnification range which makes it easier to zero in on your target at longer ranges. The 20x to 60x magnification will give you a full view of your target so you get the most accurate shot possible. The FireField also features a fully coated optics system which gives you a crisper, clearer image in any type of lighting situation from direct morning sunlight to dusk.
- Body design comes with a built-in sunshade to reduce glare
- 20x to 60x magnification provide a good view of your target and surrounding areas
- Fully coated optics system maximizes the amount of available light
- Shallow eye relief means that you need to really press your eye into the lens
- Some users have reported blurry images at longer ranges
- Some users have also reported unstable images at greater than 40x magnification
Tasco World Class 20-60×60 has a 45 degree angled eyepiece which makes the spotting scope very comfortable to use. You will the angled eyepiece especially useful if you are fatigued from too much bending that happens during hunting. The angle allows you to focus in from a much more upright position and have greater control over your aim.
This spotting scope comes with a 60mm objective lens and features a magnification range of 20x to 60x. The magnification very helpful if you want to get nice and close to your target without physically startling your prey. We used this scope to target animals as far away as 500 yards.
Tasco World Class 20-60×60 comes with a car mountable tripod. If you are using your vehicle to position yourself for a great shot, then the car-mount will help by making the scope more stable.
- Magnification distances up to 60x is great for long-range hunting
- Angled scope means that you will be able to focus more comfortably in an upright position
- Tripod is designed to mount on your car if you are using your vehicle to gain ground
- Optic system is fully coated for gathering light to brighten up your image
- Quality control is not always the best and product can become defective during shipping
- Field of view is very narrow and makes the target impossible to see at greater ranges
- Poor clarity when using magnification at higher levels
Conclusion: Best Spotting Scope Under 100
In our article, we reviewed 5 spotting scopes under 100 dollars:
- Barska Colorado 20-60×60
- Emarth 20-60x60AE
- Celestron Landscout 12-36×60
- Firefield 20-60×60 SE
- Tasco World Class 20-60×60
The best spotting scope under 100 is clearly the Barska Colorado 20-60×60. This scope provides a greater magnification distance of 60x that is not always usable with other scopes in this price category.
Barska Colorado 20-60×60 is a straight scope which when used with a tripod provides greater accuracy in determining the distance of the target. Barska’s waterproofing and fog proofing do an excellent job of keeping moisture and dust out of the lens. While a lot of other spotting scopes under 100 also boast this feature, Barska’s design is actually effective at giving you the optimal images in any weather.
Barska also provides better eye relief than other spotting scopes in this price range. Also, due to its straight design, you won’t find yourself pressing your eye up against the lens to get a good image.
We hope you like our choice of the best spotting scope under 100. In case you feel we missed out on a great product, then please let us know via comments and we will try to include it in our next update of the best spotting scope under 100.