Barska Spotting Scope Reviews: 6 Spotters Priced Under $300

Looking for low budget spotting scopes? Don’t have a lot of money to spend? Are you overwhelmed by the availability of affordable options? If you need a fully detailed summary of the best Barska spotting scopes for hunting and shooting at the range, you’ve come to the right place. In this Barska spotting scope review we are going to check out the:

Here, you’ll learn that you don’t need to break the bank to get one. I’ll take you through some of the most affordable scopes to one of the higher-end Barska options – stay tuned, you might be surprised.

Barska Spotting Scope Reviews

Barska has been known to have it all… low budget optics to pricier options, bare basics to all the toppings, and most of their optics have sported every color under the sun.

Barska caters to every type of outdoor enthusiast that you can think of, and thankfully, their spotting scope options are much easier to sift through than some of their other optics.

And, with all the options and definitely for the low prices, they’re worth a purchase every now and then – especially if you’re new to scopes. Barska is a great brand to start with for the entry level user or young hunter.

All the spotting scopes in this Barska review are going to be fully weatherproof, have variable zoom eyepieces, and most importantly, affordable.

While Barska is known for their huge inventory, I’ve picked the very best that hunters might want to consider for the next tagging season.

Barska Spotter-Pro 22-66X80 WP Review

spotter-pro-22-66x80-wpThis huge Spotter-Pro has a large 80 mm objective lens and 22-66X power with multi-coated optics. The straight scope has the porro prism design, is fully weatherproof, and has the ever-popular Mossy Oak Camouflage finish.

Online, it does excellently for a Barska with a great rating. I should mention that at this point in time, it only has a few reviews. The first thing that caught my eye about the Spotter-Pro is the Mossy Oak Camo finish – I’ll be totally honest, it’s awesome. But, I also chose it for this review since it’s one of Barska’s more expensive spotting scopes outfitted for the hunter and birder.

But, as the most expensive scope in one of the best Barska spotting scope reviews, let’s examine more closely to see if it’s worth its hefty price tag.

Barska Spotter Pro 22-66×80 Q&A:

Q. What is the eye relief on the Spotter-Pro?

A. This happens to be my favorite feature on this Barska. It has extended eye relief of 34.5 mm at 66X. If you’re looking for long eye relief, this is it.

At the lowest magnification of 22X, you’ve still got a really good 17.3 mm of eye relief. This is usually where most other eye relief starts at high magnification, so if you’re worried about wanting to keep your specs or your shades on, there’s no question about it here.

Q. Is it convenient to take into the field?

A. While this is no compact scope, an 80 mm objective lens certainly disqualifies that feature, it’s still a pretty decent optic to consider if you wanted to tote it around on a hunt.

Surprisingly, it only weighs a light 2.18 pounds. It’s also only 15.5 inches in length, and these specs seem quite favorable to consider if you’re a hunter on the move.

Q. Is the 66X magnification necessary for hunting?

A. While the 66X power is an excellent convenience for long distance ranging, it’s usually unlikely that a hunter is going to need that much power. And, when that much power is needed, clear, quality, and bright glass is a must.

Unfortunately, with most low budget optics, clarity suffers the higher magnification you use.

And, the lack of additional optical coatings and ability to fine focus on details tells me that you’ll most likely experience aberrations of some sort at 66X power.

Short answer: 66X power isn’t a necessity from this Barska for sub-300 yard hunting.

Q. What level of coatings does it have?

A. Multi-coated. This means that at least one air-to-glass surface has been coated several times for ultimate light transmittance.

But, what does this mean in terms of value?

For what you’re paying for this Barska, you should at least see the best level of coatings you can get – fully multi-coated. But, alas, we will have to settle with the next best.

Q. How much does the Spotter-Pro cost?

A. This particular model is one of the more pricier Barska scopes I’ve featured, and it has a price tag of $300 – well, just barely under.

For these kinds of prices from a Barska, you should be seeing all the fancy trappings. Perhaps, fully multi-coated coatings, dielectric phase coatings, ED glass, dual focus knob, and maybe even an external lens protection coating, just to name a few.

And unfortunately, it doesn’t have it.

 Spotter-Pro 22-66X80 WP Spotting Scope Specs:

  • Viewing Configuration: Straight
  • Magnification: 22-66X
  • Power Variability: Variable
  • Adjustable Eyepieces: No
  • Eyepiece included: Yes
  • Objective Diameter: 80 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 26 feet
  • Length: 15.5 inches
  • Weight: 34.88 ounces
  • Field of View: 78-42 feet/1000 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 34.5-17.3 mm/ 3.4-1.2 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Multi-Coated
  • Glass: Not Listed
  • Focus System: Focus Knob/Single Focus
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
  • Digiscope adaptable: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • 22-66X super high zoom for long distance ranging and detail-viewing
  • Large 80 mm lens for optimal light gathering
  • Multi-Coated optics, Porro Prism Design, Straight Viewing Design
  • Fully waterproof and fogproof for use in all types of weather
  • Mossy Oak Camouflage finish; Black also available
  • Comes with Soft Carry Case and Table-Top Tripod
  • Backed by Barska’s Limited Lifetime Warranty

Rating:

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Barska Benchmark 8-24X58 WP Review

benchmark-8-24x58-wpThis Porro prism Benchmark spotting scope is lightweight, compact, and has the straight viewing design. It has fully coated optics, Blue Lens technology, and Barska’s Dynamic Focusing System.

For having a decent review base online, it does pretty well for itself with a pretty solid rating.

While I’m always looking for spotting scopes that are practical for hunters, this small and compact one grabbed my attention. And, I found that it’s worthy to mention in the top five spotting scope reviews in this Barska line-up.

But, if you’re wondering what all the new technology is that’s apparently crammed into this small thing, take a look at our Q&A for all the answers.

Barska Benchmark 8-24X58 WP Q&A:

Q. What does WP stand for?

A. I don’t blame you for asking this question. With all the terms and acronyms floating around in the optics industry, it’s hard to remember them all or to distinguish one interpretation from another.

But, in this case, WP stands for waterproof.

All the spotting scopes in this Barska scope review are all fully weatherproof. That means you’re going to be able to stay out with the herd when the rain pours down and the temperature dramatically changes on you.

Q. What are Blue Lens?

A. It’s no secret that Barska likes to throw out fancy terms without thoroughly informing us of what exactly it’s supposed to mean. So, for you hunters out there that are asking this question, I’ve got an answer for you.

The idea of blue lens technology is to apply a special coating to the lenses to help filter out blue from the color spectrum. This is supposed to heighten image contrast, and it often gives the image a yellowish tint.

But, with colored lenses, you’re not seeing the image in “true color” and this could be a detriment when you’re trying to discern between foliage and a sleeping doe covered in Autumn leaves.

Q. Are there extra accessories that come with this Benchmark scope?

A. With your $50 Barska purchase, you’ll receive a soft carry case, a tripod, and a lens cleaning cloth. But, the most notable accessory in the box will be the Accu Grip Handheld Tripod Mount.

Because the Benchmark scope has such low magnifications for a spotting scope, Barska also throws in the Accu Grip so that you can easily use the scope free-hand.

Just thread it into the tripod bushing on the underside of the scope and you have a comfortable hand-held device.

Q. Where is its focusing knob?

A. More often than not, you usually see a focus knob that protrudes from the front side of the scope, and it’s missing from this Benchmark scope. And no, they’re not playing hide-and-seek with it.

The focus knob is actually not a knob at all. Instead it’s an integrated Dynamic Focusing System that can be found at the front end of the scope on the objective bell. That whole, knurly ring is the focusing piece.

And, if you’re wondering if it’s going to be inconvenient to focus because scopes are typically long in length, you don’t need to worry. Looking through the scope and focusing at the same time is a breeze. Why? Read the next question for the answer.

Q. How is this Benchmark a compact spotting scope?

A. This is definitely a compact and small spotting scope that’s easy to use because of its small dimensions.

You can easily focus the scope using the objective bell piece because the entire length is a very short 7.8 inches! You won’t have to leave your sight to try to focus at all.

It’s also extremely lightweight at 1.54 pounds, or 24.64 ounces. These specs, including its low 8-24X power, are extremely comparable to a set of binoculars!

Benchmark 8-24X58 WP Spotting Scope Specs:

  • Viewing Configuration: Straight
  • Magnification: 8-24X
  • Power Variability: Variable
  • Adjustable Eyepieces: No
  • Eyepiece included: Yes
  • Objective Diameter: 58 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 10.8 feet
  • Length: 7.8 inches
  • Weight: 24.64 ounces
  • Field of View: 225-19 feet/1000 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 19-14.5 mm/ 5.6-1.8 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Fully-Coated
  • Glass: Not Listed
  • Focus System: DFS/Single Focus
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
  • Digiscope adaptable: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • 8-24X magnification for ideal ranging for most hunting activities
  • Large 58 mm lens for optimal light gathering with 5.6 mm exit pupil
  • Fully-Coated optics, Porro Prism Design, Straight Viewing Design
  • Fully waterproof and fogproof for use in all types of weather
  • Comes with Soft Carry Case, Tripod, Accu Grip Tripod Hand-Held Mount
  • Ergonomic and compact design
  • Extremely lightweight at 24 ounces and 7.8 inches in length
  • Backed by Barska’s Limited Lifetime Warranty

Rating:

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Barska Level Angled 20-60X65 WP Review

level-20-60x65-wpThis Level Angled 20-60X65 scope has fully multi-coated optics and BAK4 prism glass all within an angled eyepiece system. It’s fully weatherproof, has a textured rubber body, and comes with a pan head tripod.

Well over a dozen reviewers have given this Level scope a rating, and it has an outstanding rating with many people giving it top marks.

As one of the more pricier options that Barska offers, and one that has an excellent customer satisfaction rating, I was curious to see what all the hoo-haah is about.

If you expect to see some premium features here like I do, let’s hit the Q&A for confirmation of our suspicions.

Barska Level Angled 20-60X65 Q&A:

Q. What high-end features does this Level Angled scope have?

A. If you’re going to compare Barska’s high-end features with premium brands, you’re going to set yourself up for disappointment. But, there is a feature or two that is worthy of its more expensive price tag.

The Level scopes have fully multi-coated lenses with BAK4 prisms.

This is pretty much the best type of glass you’re going to get from Barska. It’s also the highest quality of glass discussed in most Barska spotting scope reviews, including this one.

Q. What is BAK4 prism glass?

A. This is an indication of a premium scope since it has the higher quality glass. BAK4 is a term that stands for Barium Crown glass. And, although most people are familiar with BAK4 Schott glass, most of the time, BAK4 isn’t what you think it is.

There is also the Chinese BAK4 prism glass which is made out of phosphate crown glass which isn’t bad, but it’s not as flawless as premium Schott glass. It still has a higher refractive index rate and dispersion rate than BK7.

BAK4 prism glass loses less light light within the optical pathway from non-internal total reflections, and so your picture quality is going to be brighter, clearer, and sharper.

The edges of your field of view should be as crisp as your center image and your exit pupil should be a nice, round circle without any aberrations or capping.

Q. What outdoor activities is this scope good for?

A. The high quality glass makes it an excellent option for most outdoor activities. But, even with its great coatings and BAK4 glass, it still has trouble providing sharp and clear images past 45X power.

But, for $200, a light weight of 39.2 ounces, and a total length of 15.75 inches, it’s a decent option to take into the field with you for your hunt. At the shooting range, you can see up to about 200 yards clearly to see bullet placement. With good conditions, 300 yards would be doable.

Q. Does it have a dual focus knob?

A. This would be a nifty premium feature, especially on a scope with 20-60X magnification. But unfortunately, there is no dual focus for it.

As you get closer to max power, it would be nice to be able to fine-tune the focus for sharper and clearer adjustments.

Q. How do I use the pan head tripod?

A. There is a pan head tripod that comes in the package when you buy this Level spotting scope. It allows you to tilt, pan, and rotate on many angles and in many directions so that you can get a full view of your hunting area.

Pan head or video tripods are easy to use. Just attach the scope to the tripod mount and ensure it’s properly secured. Then use the handle on the tripod to rotate the spotting scope in whichever direction you want to use it in.

Level Angled 20-60X65 WP Spotting Scope Specs:

  • Viewing Configuration: Angled
  • Magnification: 20-60X
  • Power Variability: Variable
  • Adjustable Eyepieces: No
  • Eyepiece included: Yes
  • Objective Diameter: 65 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 29.52 feet
  • Length: 15.75 inches
  • Weight: 39.2 ounces
  • Field of View: 72.45-30.45 feet/1000 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 17-15 mm/ 3.1-1.1 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Glass: BAK4
  • Focus System: Focus Knob/Single Focus
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
  • Digiscope adaptable: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • 20-60X magnification for long viewing ranging for general hunting activities
  • BAK4 Prisms with Fully Multi-Coated optics for highest possible light transmission for bright and clear images
  • Porro Prism Design, Angled Viewing Design
  • Fully waterproof and fogproof for use in all types of weather
  • Comes with Soft Carry Case and Hard Carry Case
  • Also comes with a convenient and easy to use Pan Head Tripod
  • Textured rubber armored body and built-in glare-reducing sunshade
  • Backed by Barska’s Limited Lifetime Warranty

Rating:

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Barska Blackhawk 18-36X50 WP Review

barska-blackhawk-spotterThis Blackhawk 18-36X50 is fully waterproof and fog proof with multi-coated optics and shock absorbing armor.

There are loads of reviews about this scope online, it’s doing extremely well with an excellent rating.

The Blackhawk name and the magnification + objective lens size combo of this spotting scope is what won it a spot on this Barska scope review. With low powers and a decent sized 50 mm aperture, I’m seeing why it’s a big hit with hunters out in the field.

If you’re wondering what makes this Blackhawk different from the rest, the Q&A holds the answer to your questions.

Barska Blackhawk 18-36X50 Q&A:

Q. How far out can you see with the Blackhawk?

A. If you’re target shooting at the range and you’re using your spotting scope to conveniently see where your bullet lands, this 18-36X scope will get the job done.

Its close focus distance is 23 feet, so from about 23 to 100 yards on any color target paper, you’re going to get positive bullet strike images. At 200 yards plus, you’ll want to start using splatter or shoot-n-see targets.

But, for while you’re out ram, elk, or mule deer hunting, you’ll be able to count the rack on a buck or confirm the sex of your billy from 400-600 yards away.

Q. What is the build quality like?

A. The Blackhawk is aesthetically pleasing, but what matters most is how it’s going to hold up while out in the field. And, with the help of the shock absorbing armor, it should stand up to a few knocks and dings.

But, what’s the reality?

Disappointingly, this particular Blackhawk has numerous complaints of the cheap, plastic assembly that’s made to hold the o-ring and objective lenses.

While a lot of low budget scopes are made with this piece being plastic, quite a few Blackhawk ones are found to be defective in workmanship, where the objective lens is misaligned or the plastic piece cracks and breaks easily.

Word of caution: be prepared to return this scope and use your warranty or call it a loss for $80.

Q. What are the other models in the Blackhawk series?

A. There’s quite the variety when it comes to the Blackhawks, and this particular 18-36X50 model is just one of 12.

While 12 sounds like a lot, I’m including the angled and straight models. That number also includes quite the variety of 20-60X60 Blackhawk scopes as well. But, one other platform includes a 25-75X100 model.

Q. Is this a good scope for low light conditions?

A. No. I’ll be upfront from the start. The exit pupil on this scope is only a mere 2.8-1.4 mm. This is barely good enough to stay bright with maximum light transmission during daylight.

And, combine the small exit pupil with anything less than the best type of coatings, and image clarity and brightness is going to be extremely weak come low light hours.

Blackhawk 18-36X50 WP Spotting Scope Specs:

  • Viewing Configuration: Angled
  • Magnification: 18-36X
  • Power Variability: Variable
  • Adjustable Eyepieces: No
  • Eyepiece included: Yes
  • Objective Diameter: 50 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 23 feet
  • Length: 12 inches
  • Weight: 52.8 ounces
  • Field of View: 137-100 feet/1000 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 20-17 mm/ 2.8-1.4 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Multi-Coated
  • Glass: Not Listed
  • Focus System: Focus Knob/Single Focus
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
  • Digiscope adaptable: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • 18-36X low magnification suitable for 400-500 yard ranging and 200 yard target shooting
  • Multi-Coated optics, Porro Prism Design, Angled Viewing Design
  • Fully waterproof and fogproof for use in all types of weather
  • Comes with Soft Carry Case, Tripod, and Lens Cloth
  • Shock absorbent rubber armored body
  • Backed by Barska’s Limited Lifetime Warranty

Rating:

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Barska Colorado 20-60X60 WP Review

colorado-20-60x60-wpThis Colorado 20-60X60 spotting scope has fully coated optics and BK7 Porro prism glass. It’s also fully waterproof and fog proof, has the straight design, and a nicely grooved zoom dial.

Once you hear how many reviews this Colorado has, there will be no doubt why this one is being featured. It has hundreds and hundreds of reviews online and it’s still maintaining a fantastic rating.

It was a tough pick between this one and the other Colorado 20-60X60. But, the huge review base was the tie-breaker. However, don’t be disappointed if you wanted to know about its counterpart too, I’ll include comparison details of the two for a thorough Barska Colorado spotting scope review.

So, if you’re ready to dig into the details of the twin scopes, here’s the Q&A.

Barska Colorado 20-60X60 Q&A:

Q. What is the product number for this Barska Colorado?

A. Because there are three straight design 20-60X60 Colorado spotting scopes to distinguish between, this is a very good question!

The product number for this particular Colorado is CO11502.

Its counterpart that will be mentioned in this review is CO11216.

If you have a visual of the two scopes, the former one is black and somewhat bulky looking. The latter is Barska’s olive green shade that I think looks more streamlined and aesthetically-pleasing. But, the reviews have spoken to which they like better!

Q. What is the field of view?

A. Because of the extremely high magnifications of spotting scopes, fields of views can’t be compared to binoculars or even rifle scopes. They’re typically somewhere near the 100 feet range.

This Colorado has a decent field of view of 106.5 feet at 1000 yards at its lowest power setting, 20X. At its highest, 60X, the field of view is reduced to 46.9 feet at 1000 yards.

The other Colorado had a field of view of 91 to 45 feet at the same power and distances.

Q. What are BK7 prisms?

A. Both of these Colorado spotting scopes have been built with the Porro prism design with BK7 glass. BK7 is another term coined by Schott AG, and it’s a designation for a very common crown glass, borosilicate.

Although BAK4 is commonly touted for its seemingly superior optical qualities, BK7 is still an excellent source for high refractive index and dispersion rates. It’s also cheaper to manufacture which helps to keep overall costs down for you.

However, BK7 glass often loses more light in the optical pathway, bubble count is typically higher, and finishing and polishing processes aren’t administered with as much finesse as more expensive types of glass.

This can result in less clear glass and a squarish exit pupil with grey caps that affect the edges of the field of view while glassing.

Q. Is it comfortable to glass with?

A. It’s not going to be as comfortable as you would hope it would be, especially if you wear glasses or if you like to keep your sun glasses on.

It has very short eye relief of 14.5 mm at 20X and 11.2 mm at 60X.

With short eye relief, expect to find it difficult to maintain a focused image, to see the entire field of view, and to experience eye exhaustion and discomfort while glassing for long periods of time. Should I also mention the “eyecup digging into your eye socket” syndrome?

The other Colorado scope has a little more forgiving eye relief of 18.1 mm at 20X and 15.2 mm at 60X.

Q. What is the Limited Lifetime Warranty?

A. This is your standard warranty that will require Barska to repair or replace your spotting scope once they’ve inspected it and depending on your service requests.

They offer a 21 day refund policy, but then after those 21 days, you have to jump through a few hoops before you can even see a repaired scope or a replacement.

Here are some tips to help with the smokescreen of Barska’s warranty: inspect your scope immediately upon arrival, keep all packaging and paperwork, and most importantly, keep your receipt/proof of purchase.

You’ll also need to remember that you will be responsible for shipping costs and a standard processing fee to even have Barska look at the defective scope. Sometimes, this is even as much as 25 percent of the total cost of your scope!

Colorado 20-60X60 WP Spotting Scope Specs:

  • Viewing Configuration: Straight
  • Magnification: 20-60X
  • Power Variability: Variable
  • Adjustable Eyepieces: No
  • Eyepiece included: Yes
  • Objective Diameter: 60 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 26 feet
  • Length: Not Listed
  • Weight: Not Listed
  • Field of View: 106.5-46.9 feet/1000 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 14.5-11.2 mm/ 3-1 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Fully-Coated
  • Glass: BK7
  • Focus System: Focus Knob/Single Focus
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
  • Digiscope adaptable: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • 20-60X magnification, good to around 200 yards at the target range
  • Fully-Coated optics, Porro Prism Design, Straight Viewing Design
  • Fully waterproof and fogproof for use in all types of weather
  • Comes with Soft Carry Case and Pan Head Tripod
  • Backed by Barska’s Limited Lifetime Warranty

Rating:

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Which is the Best Barska Spotting Scope for You?

While Barska isn’t necessarily a brand that’s first on the lips to recommend to others, they do provide a good scope for temporary and entry level use. And, it’s the low budget prices that convinces many hunters to buy Barska spotting scopes – the extremely high reviewer base is evidence of that.

The most expensive Barska of the review was the Spotter Pro 22-66X80 for just under $300. And, as it turns out, it’s not the greatest buy of the lot.

It is, however, surprisingly lightweight for a 80 mm scope, it has the Mossy Oak Camo finish, and the extended eye relief. So, if those things are important to you, this could be your Barska buy.

The Level Angled 20-60X60 scope was impressive with its fully multi-coated optics and BAK4 prisms, but it really could’ve had more. But, if you’re looking to spend under $200 for a well-built scope with the best glass from Barska, this scope is it.

Now, the Blackhawk scope was a big disappointment. There wasn’t anything spectacular about it that made it stand out from the others. But, for a low $80(approx), it will do as a temporary until you either get a better quality and more durable scope or Barska takes more care in building quality scopes.

The other roughly $80 scope is the Colorado 20-60X60. I think this may be the only fair priced scope in the review. It has what you should expect for a scope under $100, but with over 600 reviewers behind its back, it’s worth the small investment.

But, my highest recommendation would be for the compact and lightweight Benchmark. Yes, there were features that could’ve been better like higher quality coatings and it could’ve done just fine without the Blue Lens.

But, the Accu Grip, extremely large field of view, its light weight and short size, and low magnification, make it an excellent hand-held choice for while you’re out in the field and in the hunt. It’s a little pricey in my opinion, around $150, but I like more about it than what I don’t like about it. If you want to stretch your budget out you might be interested in reading about 3 of the best Zeiss spotting scopes available.

Barska: For Hunters on a Budget

A lot of the time, and between all the options, it’s a hit and miss with Barska. But, the low budget prices often make taking the risk to buy, worth it. Just hold on to your receipt if you plan on keeping your Barska for several hunting seasons.