Leupold Spotting Scope Reviews: GR, Kenai & Ventana Models

When you want options, options, and more options when it comes to buying spotting scopes, there’s about a brand a dozen that can throw a basket-full your way.  But, you only want to trust a brand that’s proven itself time and time again.

If you want reliability, value, and performance in your next spotting scope, then make sure you read our Leupold spotting scope review.  It will be in-depth about features, fully-detailed about specs, and honest about ratings.

Leupold Spotting Scope Reviews

Everyone knows who Leupold & Stevens are.  In fact, they’re always going to make a list somewhere in the “Top X” hunting optics brand line-up.  And, the family-owned business since 1907 is well-deserving of it.

Their reputation of quality has grown exponentially over the last 10 years.  And, that’s also thanks to the word getting around that the United States Marine Corps uses their scopes.  If there’s a brand with options that you can trust, it’s Leupold.

Leupold has been one of those brands that’s excelled in everything they do.  From fully multi-coated optics and Synergy Built pledges to compact, lightweight, and lens-specific coatings, you can expect the latest, most cutting-edge technology.

Don’t expect anything less from the American brand when it comes to these spotters in one of the best Leupold spotting scope reviews.

Leupold GR 20-60X80 Review

gr-20-60x80mm-with-reticleThis GR 20-60X80 spotting scope has it all when it comes to feature-packed prowess with the famed GR trademark, FLP system, and an Impact Reticle in FFP.  It has the Xtended Twilight Lens System and DiamondCoat 2 in a magnesium chassis.

There are no online buyer ratings or reviews to report to you yet.  It seems the most expensive spotting scope in Leupold’s spotter options is too expensive for hunters to afford.

And, as the most expensive spotting scope Leupold has to offer, I’m featuring it first.  We may as well start off strong with the jaw-dropper spotter, right?  Besides, there is practically no good or useful information out there on this model, other than what you get from Leupold.  So, here’s to an unbiased, full rundown on the Leupold GR 20-60X80.

I can hear exactly what you’re asking, “What are all those abbreviations and fancy features supposed to mean?”.  Don’t fret, our Q&A has all the answers!

Leupold GR 20-60X80 Q&A:

What does GR stand for?
What is Leupold's Golden Ring Warranty?
What is the FLP system?
What is the Impact Reticle on Leupolds GR 20-60X80?
What is FFP?
What is the Xtended Twilight Lens System?
How does the Xtended Twilight Lens System work?
What is DiamondCoat 2?
Does it have a sunshade?
What is the eye relief on the Leupold GR 20-60X80?
How much does the Leupold GR cost?

GR 20-60X80 Spotting Scope Specs:

  • Viewing Configuration: Straight
  • Magnification: 20-60X
  • Power Variability: Variable
  • Adjustable Eyepieces: No
  • Eyepiece included: Yes
  • Objective Diameter: 80 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 25 feet
  • Length: 15.5 inches
  • Weight: 61.8 ounces
  • Field of View: 121-42 feet/1000 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 30 mm/ 4.1-1.3 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Glass: Not Listed
  • Focus System: Collar/Single Focus
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
  • Digiscope adaptable: Yes

Noteworthy Features:

  • Fully multi-coated optics with XT Lens System and DiamondCoat 2
  • Impact Reticle with MOA and Mrad measurements in FFP
  • FLP system for more compact light path
  • Gold Ring spotting scope
  • Fully fog-proof and waterproof to endure all types of weather
  • Extremely long eye relief of 30 mm
  • Backed by Leupold’s Gold Ring Full Lifetime Guarantee

Rating:

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Leupold GR 10-20X40 Compact Review

gr-10-20x40mm-compact-shadow-grayThis GR 10-20X40 Compact spotting has multi-coated optics, is fully waterproof and fogproof, and has an extremely wide field of view.

At the time of writing, there aren’t any consumer reviews on this specific model online.  But, its exact and discontinued brown counterpart has a near perfect rating from a handful of reviews.  I take it, since these are the exact same spotters, that the gray version should be deserving of the brown version’s ratings as well.

To be honest, it was a tough pick to decide between this 10-20X40 model and the 15-30X50 model.  The feature that won out is the higher reviewer base of the 10-20X and it’s slightly cheaper cost.  But, don’t worry, we’ll see a little more of the 15-30X in this review yet.

So, to get started on comparisons between the two most compact scopes, let’s get right into the Q&A!

Leupold GR 10-20X40 Compact Q&A:

What makes this GR compact?

Why should I buy the Leupold GR 10-20X40 Compact instead of a pair of binoculars?

Should I throw my binocular out when I buy this compact spotting scope?

Can I use this spotting scope free-hand most of the time?
How far is its distance viewing range?
What are the other models in the GR series?
How does this 10-20X40 compare with the other compact models?
Is there a right-handed GR spotting scope?
What GR models does Leupold's camera adapter fit?
Where does this Leupold GR 10-20X40 Compact spotting scope fall in the ranking tier?

GR 10-20X40 Compact Spotting Scope Specs:

  • Viewing Configuration: Straight
  • Magnification: 10-20X
  • Power Variability: Variable
  • Adjustable Eyepieces: No
  • Eyepiece included: Yes
  • Objective Diameter: 40 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 5.5 feet
  • Length: 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Field of View: 199-136 feet/1000 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 18.5-17.2 mm/4-2 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Multi-Coated
  • Glass: Not Listed
  • Focus System: Focus Knob/Single Focus
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
  • Digiscope adaptable: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • 10-20X magnification for low powered spotting
  • Extremely lightweight and compact in size; comparative to binoculars
  • Impressive field of view of 199-136 feet at 1000 yards
  • Fully fog-proof and waterproof to endure all types of weather
  • Hand-held device for free-hand glassing
  • Backed by Leupold’s Gold Ring Full Lifetime Guarantee

Rating:

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Leupold SX-2 Kenai 30X, 25-60X80 Kit Review

sx-2-kenai-30x-25-60x80mmThis SX-2 Kenai has Leupold’s Index Matched Lens System, High Definition Lenses, and is Synergy Built with fully multi-coated optics.  It’s also fully weatherproof, has a built-in sunshade, and an ergonomic and balanced Kenai design.

Online, this particular Kenai Kit has a very satisfying near perfect rating.  Although the reviewer base is only made up of a handful of votes, it’s still a $1000 purchase, so that’s fair enough to base a buying decision on.

I was tossing up between featuring this Kenai and the new Kenai 2, but in the end, the differences are minimal, and the original Kenai won out because there’s a track record to follow.

But, if you’re curious to see why I’ve featured the kit instead of just the scope, here’s the Q&A.

Leupold SX-2 Kenai 30x, 25-60×80 Q&A:

What is the Index Matched Lens System?

What does Synergy Built mean?

What comes in the Kenai kit?

Does the Leupold SX-2 Kenai 30X, 25-60X80 come with the eyepieces?
What is the little knob on the side of the spotting scope?
What are the differences between the Kenai and the Kenai 2?
What are GuardION coatings?
Does the Kenai come with a stay-on cover?
How much is the kit versus the scope?

SX-2 Kenai 30X, 25-60X80 Kit Specs:

  • Viewing Configuration: Angled
  • Magnification: 25-60X
  • Power Variability: Variable
  • Adjustable Eyepieces: Yes
  • Eyepiece included: Yes
  • Objective Diameter: 80 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 11.8 feet
  • Length: 14 inches
  • Weight: 58.5 ounces
  • Field of View: 94-52 feet/1000 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 17.9-17.4 mm/ 3.8 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Glass: BAK4
  • Focus System: Collar/Single Focus
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
  • Digiscope adaptable: Yes

Noteworthy Features:

  • Two eyepieces included in purchase, 30X and 25-60X
  • Index Matched System for lens-specific coatings
  • Fully multi-coated optics with HD and calcium-fluoride elements for maximum brightness, contrast, and resolution
  • Fully fog-proof and waterproof to endure all types of weather
  • Synergy Built
  • Backed by Leupold’s Limited Lifetime Warranty

Rating:

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Leupold SX-1 Ventana 15-45X60 Review

sx-1-ventana-15-45x60mmThis SX-1 Ventana spotting scope is Synergy Built, has fully multi-coated optics, and it’s also covered by Leupold’s Gold Ring Full Lifetime Guarantee.

Online, it has one of the highest reviewer bases for a Leupold spotting scope with over several dozen votes.  And, it managed to draw in an excellent rating!

Again, I was tied between featuring this original SX-1 Ventana and the newer SX-1 Ventana 2.  So, I figured I’ll compare them here, but the older Ventana gets the feature because it has the rating and the reviewer base behind it.

With so many options that Leupold has to offer, you need to know everything about each one before you can make a truly informed buying decision.  So, here’s our fully-detailed Q&A to aid you in your spotting scope quest.

Leupold SX-1 Ventana 15-45X60 Q&A:

Is this a low budget spotting scope?

Where is the Leupold Ventana spotting scope made?

What warranty does the SX-1 Ventana carry?

How many Ventana spotting scopes are there?
What does SX-1 mean?
What are the differences between the Ventana and the Ventana 2?
When were the SX-1 Ventana 2 spotting scopes released to the market?

SX-1 Ventana 15-45X60 Spotting Scope Specs:

  • Viewing Configuration: Angled
  • Magnification: 15-45X
  • Power Variability: Variable
  • Adjustable Eyepieces: Yes
  • Eyepiece included: Yes
  • Objective Diameter: 60 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 13.8 feet
  • Length: 13.5 inches
  • Weight: 30.6 ounces
  • Field of View: 121-63 feet/1000 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 21.5-20 mm/4-1.3 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Glass: Not Listed
  • Focus System: Focus Knob/Single Focus
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
  • Digiscope adaptable: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • 15-45X power for low magnifications and handheld capability to high power for close and fine detail viewing
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Synergy Built; Retractable Sunshade; Armor Coated
  • Backed by Leupold’s Gold Ring Full Lifetime Guarantee

Rating:

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Which is the Best Leupold Spotting Scope for You?

When hunters are looking to Leupold to fulfill their optical needs, what they’re craving is high-end glass for the best price possible.  Disappointingly, it seems their spotting scope series don’t quite deliver on both at the same time.

Take the GR 20-60X80.  For prices rivaling that of Leica, Swarovski, and Zeiss, hunters are most likely going to go with them.  For hunters on a budget, we used to rely on Leupold for the same quality without spending swanky Swaro bucks.

Although the GR 20-60X80 is a fantastic scope, it’s not the best buy today.

The Kenai is a mid-level scope, but it’s outfitted with enough features to justify it’s hefty price.  And, it’s an excellent buy.  But, the Limited Lifetime Warranty and the lack of a stay-on cover is nothing short of confusing.

It could’ve had my top recommendation, but it just barely missed the bar.

My top recommendations actually end up going to the two most affordable, spotting scopes in this review, the compact GR 10-20X40 and the SX-1 15-45X60 spotting scopes.

Although they’re entry level in price and features, they’re exactly what a hunter out in the field needs.  If you’re more of a close-range hunter that just needs a supplement optic to get the job done for 200 yard hunting or shooting, the GR is absolutely the best way to go!

Not to mention, it’s also a nifty and lightweight optic to help train up young hunters or to pass on as a gift.

The SX-1 Ventana, although not stunning in features, is made better with the Gold Ring warranty, and is therefore, an excellent deal!  For a little more magnification than the compact GR, it’s got excellent potential.

Leupold Keeps Things Simple

Leupold’s spotters are easy to use.  Even if I was a bit harsh in my judging of them today, I do admit that Leupold keeps it simple and clean.

So, if you’re on the lookout for the best deals that Leupold has to offer, soak in everything that’s been discussed here in our Leupold scope reviews.