If you’ve found this review, then you might be looking for a pro spotter without actually spending pro money.
What this means is bidding in for the best scope that would do a hunter proud.
Here’s a few options that might raise your ego without raising the bid!
The Best Spotting Scopes for Under $300
This price range is what you could consider the high-end of the entry level market. Expect to see the best of basic features here, but you might also be surprised to see a few additional perks that should impress.
We should also disclose that this budget range tends to be slim when it comes to happy buyers. To eliminate buying doubt when you’ve only a got a few hundos to spend, we’ve only offered the best there is. Feel free to be picky since we’ve picked each of these scopes apart. Get the most of what you can afford right here!
|Viewing Configuration||Eye Relief/|
|Bushnell Legend Ultra HD||20-60X 80mm||Angled||18mm/4.0-1.3mm||View on Amazon|
|Redfield Rampage||20-60X 80mm||Angled||19.3-16.6mm/ 4.0-1.3mm||View on Amazon|
|Leupold SX-1 Ventana 2||15-45X 60mm||Angled||21.5-20 mm/ 4.0-1.3 mm||View on Amazon|
Our 3 Top Spotters Less Than $300
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60×80
There’s good reason why this Bushnell is listed first – it’s the best. For the price, it seriously has some bonus features that you might not see elsewhere. We’ve tweaked the rules a little for this scope. It’s actually a little over $300, but as we mentioned earlier, the pickings are slim.
Now, about those features. First off, the spotter is huge. Its 80mm lens and 20-60X range will be a trustworthy asset in the field especially when you’re counting on long distance target acquisition. Additionally, you’ve got a dual focus system, special lens coatings, and ED glass. This spotting scope is better than entry level, and you’d be a fool to pass over the Legend Ultra. So, are you smart enough to recognize a steal when you spot one?
Redfield Rampage 20-60X80
The Rampage spotting scope can definitely give you that extra reach you need. Its quality is top-notch without the costs. You’ve got a polycarbonate body to limit weight, BaK4 glass, and fully multi-coated lenses. It’s completely weatherproof, has twist-up eyecups, and it even comes with some extra freebies. There’s nothing too fancy about the Rampage, but that’s been the running theme we’ve seen from Redfield: keep it simple but do it great!
The eye relief is excellent, there’s a nice field of view, and it has a great close focus distance that you don’t always expect to see with high-powered scopes. Everything about the Rampage spotter speaks quality, and quality means performance. Can you trust Redfield to get it done? The masses do, will you?
Leupold SX-1 Ventana 2 15-45X60
It should be no surprise that Leupold claims spot with the SX-1 Ventana 2 15-45X60 for having the best hunting spotting scope under 300 big ones – well, it’s technically right at about $300.
This is a classic, entry-level spotting scope with quality and precision written all over it.
It passed our optical performance testing with its fully multi-coated optics – a pleasant surprise in the low budget arena. And, ease of use is a breeze since its low power range makes it an extremely nifty, free-hand tool when you’re not quite ready to set up.
And… there’s more. The Ventana spotting scope has a warranty worth more than the cost of the scope itself and a few other little secrets I’m not going to spill. You can find out yourself by reading all about it in our complete review.
What to Look for in a Spotting Scope in This Price Range
It’s always attractive to see a scope with as many extra features as possible. However, in this price range, that’s not always the case. What you do want to see is high quality in the basic features.
If there are extra perks built in, be brand-specific to ensure the premium features do exactly what they’re marketed to do. Here’s what to look for to not get caught in the hype of getting “premium features” for bottom dollar. It might just end up being a bottom dollar scope.
- Design: Consider whether angled or straight is for you.
- Glass: The higher the quality, the better.
- Coatings: The more, the better. Additional prism-specific coatings should also be expected in this price range.
- High power 20-60X: You want to make sure you get accurate distances with these spotting scopes by being brand-specific. Going higher-powered in this price range may result in poorer image quality.
- Eye relief 13-18 mm: Ensure your investment is comfortable to glass with.
- Exit pupil 3-5 mm: Smaller than 3 mm? Expect to lose out on a lot of light-gathering potential.
- Quality Warranty: If you’re spending the best of what you can afford, ensure you have a warranty to match the quality of your investment.
Keep It Simple, Stupid!
This is the price range to keep it simple. Look for a spotter that has a solid foundation when it comes to the basic functioning of the scope. Be wary of scopes with a boat load of premium features as the quality may be spread out and performance may be compromised in other areas.
If you want the best of what the entry level market has to offer, this is the price range you want to be in. Know what to look for, and keep it simple, stupid!