Having a portable telescope in your collection is always beneficial, whether you’re an amateur astronomer or a seasoned stargazer. Larger telescopes are ideal for getting up close and personal with the stars above. However, they’re clumsy and require far too much effort to move.

The best portable telescopes allow you to observe the universe from any location. You can simply use it in your backyard or pack one for a camping trip to give your adventures a cosmic twist.

Alternatively, walk up a mountain for a better view of the universe away from the light pollution. No matter how you use it, the greatest portable telescopes are constructed for travel. They’re portable, simple, and powerful enough to entice your inner astronomer!

These days, there’s no shortage of telescopes on the market. However, not all models will be portable enough for stargazing on the road.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the greatest telescopes you can take wherever you go. Don’t forget to read our buyer’s guide for the best portable telescopes to learn more about what to look for.

Best portable telescopes

Celestron 70mm Portable Refractor Telescope

Celestron has a long history of making high-quality optics. This 70mm telescope has excellent clarity and a magnification of up to 40X! The lenses are extensively coated to reduce glare and chromatic aberration, even though it is a refractor telescope.

Two eyepieces are included with the telescope. They are 20mm and 10mm in length, respectively. You can get the magnification level you want with the eyepieces.

The telescope fills with light thanks to its broad 70mm aperture, resulting in a fantastic image. It also comes with a lightweight tripod and a small carrying box for easy transport.

Features

  • Lens with a large aperture
  • Coated optics
  • Two eyepieces are included
  • Aluminum tripod
  • Travel bag included

Gskyer 70mm Telescope

This Gskyer telescope is designed for the modern astronomer. It’s little, yet it doesn’t skimp on performance.

The model has a wide aperture of 70mm and a focal length of 400mm. Even so, the telescope is portable and easy to transport.

This telescope is unique in that it includes a smartphone mount. Connect your smartphone to the eyepiece mount that comes with it.

Connect it to the wireless remote after that. You may use your phone to view your targets and take some memorable photos.

Features

  • Mount for your smartphone
  • Wireless control
  • Reliable finder
  • Lens coating with high transmission
  • Compact

Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST

This Orion telescope is ideal for distant retreats, weighing only 27 pounds when fully assembled. The unit is simple to put together and use.

Thanks to the equatorial mount, it doesn’t take long to align things. It also comes with a collimation cap to guarantee that the mirrors within are properly aligned.

The aperture of the telescope is approximately 129mm. The telescope’s body is only 24 inches long, thanks to the wide objective lens.

Despite its small size, it lets plenty of light in to produce a crisp image.

Features

  • Wide aperture
  • Equatorial mount
  • Focuser with rack and pinion
  • Plossl eyepiece
  • Collimation cap

Celestron NexStar 5SE Telescope

This telescope is a wonderful place to start if you’re ready to invest in your astronomy interests. It’s a high-tech telescope that can help you find things. The mount is fully automated.

You may access over 40,000 astronomical objects, including nebulae, star clusters, and more, using a simple control interface. Allow the mount to take control and take you on a tour of the universe. 

The aperture is approximately 127mm wide, producing an extremely brilliant image. The body is very compact and reasonably simple to assemble.

Simply attach the computerized system to the tube assembly to start using it.

Features

  • Computer software is included
  • Automated and computerized mount
  • Wide aperture
  • Easy to put up
  • Wide aperture

Meade Instruments 0.5 PST Coronado H-Alpha Personal Solar Telescope

Professional telescopes include many features, but they’re often difficult to use and aren’t suited for amateur astronomers. You get all of the features you need to locate planets and constellations in the sky with this personal telescope from Meade Instruments. 

A black 18mm eyepiece is included in the box, allowing you to see the stars more clearly. It also has a 0.5mm bandpass filter that helps you focus on a certain object by filtering away objects on the edges of your field of vision.

This telescope, designed for amateurs with more money to spend, has an expensive aesthetic with gold and black pieces. The telescope, which weighs only six pounds, is ideal for use in your backyard, as well as in the outdoors or on a camping trip.

You get a 400mm focal length that allows you to see far into the sky, as well as an internal battery that is charged by sunlight.

Features

  • Filter with a bandpass of 0.5mm
  • 18mm black eyepiece inclusion
  • Black and gold
  • The objective lens diameter is 40mm

Meade Instruments Beginner Refracting Telescope

This beginner-friendly telescope has plenty of power to show you distant stars, planets, and galaxies. For comfortable viewing, it’s a refractor with an erect-image prism.

There’s also a red-dot sight to help you line things up.

Once you’ve got the telescope oriented in the appropriate direction, you may fine-tune it using the slow-motion mount.

Then, using the eyepieces and the Barlow lens, get up close and personal with the subject. The aperture is around 102mm, which lets a lot of light in for a vivid image.

Features

  • Two eyepieces are included
  • 2X Barlow lens included
  • Slow-motion mount
  • Smartphone adapter
  • Red-dot finder

Celestron NexStar 127SLT Computerized Telescope

Here’s a modern telescope that functions as well as it looks.  In Celestron’s SLT range of telescopes, this is one of the larger models and one of the best computerized telescope.

The barrel, on the other hand, is somewhat small. The unit is only about 20 pounds when fully constructed. As a result, it’s an excellent choice when portability is essential.

The computerized telescope allows you to point to over 40,000 different objects. The SkyAlign technology for easy setup is a nice feature of this model.

Simply aim the telescope at three bright targets. The sky will be aligned with the telescope.

Features

  • Computer-assisted mounting
  • Two eyepieces included
  • Two eyepieces included SkyAlign technology
  • Magnification of up to 127X
  • Only weights 20 pounds
  • Computer astronomy software included

Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope

This telescope can help you see better and clearer, regardless of how much experience you have staring at the sky. Celestron designed a computerized telescope with databases to help you find anything you see.

There are about 40,000 galaxies and stars to look up. You can search for a feature and utilize the computer to locate it, rather than look up a star and then look it up in the database.

Not only will the telescope find the object, but it will also track it across the sky as it moves.

The reflector design alters the aperture, allowing you to view things that other telescopes might miss, such as other planets’ moons. You’ll also get a free download of the manufacturer’s software, which you can use to build a stunning sky simulation.

Despite its size, this telescope is lightweight and portable. You can disassemble the components to take them on your next camping trip or to store the telescope.

Features

  • Portable and simple to transport
  • More than 40,000 things can be identified in large databases
  • Two-pinch eyepiece
  • Simulation software can be downloaded for free

Sky-Watcher EvoStar 72 APO Telescope

This lightweight, portable telescope is also from Sky-Watcher. Like the previous model from the company, this telescope does not come with a tripod.

However, it does come with a tough machined plate and cast aluminum mounting rings.

Aside from the body, this telescope offers several excellent performance characteristics. It, too, is equipped with a doublet objective lens.

A metallic coating is also used to prevent misleading colors. When you combine that with a baffling light function to cut down on stray light, you can get a clear view that rivals telescopes far larger than this one.

Features

  • Lens coating with high transmission
  • Light baffling
  • Dual-speed focuser
  • Travel case
  • Flexible mounting plate and rings

What is the best way to travel with a telescope?

Traveling with a telescope, as a delicate device, necessitates preparation. If you’re driving, you’ll have room in the trunk and possibly in the back seat.

This will enable a larger, heavier scope to be used.

You’ll need a smaller and lighter telescope if you’re camping or hiking with all of your supplies in a backpack. You don’t want to be too tired after the hike to stare at the stars since you have limited luggage space Telescopes with many accessories are ideal for a home with plenty of storage.

When traveling, you don’t want to be concerned about extra items being lost.

It must be simple to set up. We looked at models that could be placed on a tabletop. They are quite simple to use. You may become a stargazer by simply pointing and viewing.

You may have to sacrifice some functions for the convenience of portability, as with most travel-friendly products.

In the case of telescopes, the aperture or lens size is frequently the determining factor. Portable scopes have smaller lenses and provide you with a reduced field of vision.

We focused on sharp, clear views vs. mobility in our quest for the best travel telescope to give you the best of both worlds.

Buyer’s guide

Since Galileo’s time, telescopes have come a long way. They are more functional and efficient than ever before.

Furthermore, their straightforward forms make them accessible to even the youngest astronomers.

Choosing the best portable telescopes for you is hard if you’re new to amateur astronomy. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with so many complicated specifications and options to pick from.

We hope this buyer’s guide to the best portable telescopes will help you break down knowledge barriers and choose the appropriate telescope. Here are some things to think about while you’re out shopping.

Types

The first consideration is the sort of telescope you desire. The unit’s core design will have a significant impact on its mobility and clarity.

Reflector

A reflector telescope is one of the most common forms of a telescope. Astronomers use a variety of classifications to describe how the instrument operates.

They do, however, have one thing in common: mirrors.

Mirrors reflect and focus light so that it may be seen via the eyepiece. The Newtonian telescope is the most basic.

A big concave mirror and a diagonal secondary mirror are used in Newtonian reflectors.

After that, there’s the Cassegrain reflector. A big concave mirror and a tiny convex mirror are used in Cassegrain telescopes.

Maksutov-Cassegrain reflectors, which have a lens and a spherical mirror, and Schmidt-Cassegrain reflectors, which feature an aspherical corrector lens, are also available.

You don’t need to be concerned with the specific type of reflector telescope you own. This is particularly true if you’re starting.

The key point to remember is that a reflector telescope’s mirrors produce excellent clarity. Unlike the alternatives, they do not induce chromatic aberration.

Refractor

The refractor telescope is another alternative. There are no mirrors in these units. They use lenses to capture light and magnify the image instead.

When you look through the eyepiece, they can produce chromatic aberration, which can cause some little distortion.

These portable telescopes, on the other hand, offer the added virtue of being durable. Because the lenses are fixed, there is less possibility of their being accidentally displaced.

Dobsonian

Reflector telescopes, such as Dobsonian telescopes, are a form of reflector telescopes. These models, on the other hand, need special attention.

If portability is a priority, they are frequently regarded as one of the better options.

They’re made up of a big optical tube and a solid foundation. These telescopes can capture a lot of light because the tube is huge, and they don’t have the same length as other versions.

They’re usually smaller, making them easier to transport to your stargazing location.

Weight

One of the most important things contributing to their portability is their weight. With a device that weighs only about five pounds, it’s quite easy to take it with you wherever you go to enjoy the sights of our galaxy while surrounded by a lovely environment.

Packing light is essential whether you’re traveling by car, plane, or foot. The weight of the telescopes we looked at ranged from 6 to 36 pounds.

Camping and hiking are made easier with the lightweight variants. For a road trip, heavier models are better. If you’re flying, be sure you don’t take more than the allotted amount of carry-on luggage.

Size

When it comes to luggage, size matters, the majority of portable telescopes are made to be small. Some even feature tubes that may be removed to reduce the overall size.

Capabilities

The last thing you want is to get a low-powered telescope that can’t even see the moon. You can learn about a wide range of specifications. However, there are three key considerations for the best portable telescopes.

The aperture is the first. The diameter of the objective lens, which is the first lens light hits when it enters the telescope, is referred to as the aperture.

The size of its lens influences the telescope’s light-gathering abilities. It’s always better to have a larger aperture. Large-diameter telescopes let in more light, making the image brighter.

Following that, you’ll want to concentrate on the focal length. The focal plane where the picture is created is separated from the objective lens by this distance.

It has a direct impact on magnification power. You’ll be able to get up and personal with the celestial bodies you’re targeting, thanks to the larger focal length and tube assembly.

Last but not least, there’s the focal ratio. This measurement, often known as the F-ratio, can be found on most optical instruments. Without going into too much detail on the technical side of things, it symbolizes the image’s clarity.

The focal ratio of a telescope can be calculated by dividing the focal length by the aperture. You’ll receive a brighter and clearer image with a lower focus ratio.

Focus and eyepiece

The light exits through the eyepiece after bouncing around the telescope. Many versions come with a variety of telescope eyepieces from which to pick. 

The magnification provided by different eyepieces varies. They may also have an impact on the field of view. It will be easier to achieve the right vision if you have a variety of eyepieces to pick from.

Models with a Barlow lens and integrated focuser are also available. For higher magnification, the Barlow lens will expand the focal length somewhat. They can work in conjunction with a normal eyepiece.

Meanwhile, the eyepiece will be moved up and down by the focuser. Because everyone’s eyes are different, you can use the focuser to fine-tune your clarity.

Mount and base

You’ll need a sturdy yet movable foundation. A tripod of some sort is a must-have. They’re simple to set up and can help you keep your telescope steady while looking through it. Pay attention to the mounting system as well.

Standard altazimuth mounts allow for vertical and horizontal movement of the telescope. On the other hand, an equatorial mount compensates for the Earth’s rotation and has a different component to deal with.

A single finder scope will help you figure out where you should position your telescope. Spotter scopes have lower magnification and are usually positioned on the side of the tube assembly.

This enables you to make use of other celestial objects as a point of reference. Some models include a separate travel scope, which can be handy. They are, however, just another item to lug around.

Portability

Stargazing can be made easier with travel cases, foldable tripods, and other mobility features. Larger telescopes may require some on-site assembly.

This will take time away from you being able to focus on your instrument.

Furthermore, those telescopes are frequently heavy and difficult to transport. Choose tiny variants you can carry on your shoulder for the duration of your journey!

Extra features

Many telescopes come with several useful extra features. They aren’t required, but they can make your adventures more enjoyable.

You may acquire astrophotography mounts for your camera or smartphone to get high-quality shots. They normally replace the eyepiece, removing difficulties when shooting an image through those extra lenses.

A computerized telescope is also available. These high-tech gadgets can link to your smartphone, read the night sky, and point to objects in the sky automatically. Advanced models may even point to things in the deep sky!

Through the lens of a telescope, there is no better way to acquire some insight into the universe above. The greatest portable telescope will allow you to see the mysteries of the night sky away from your neighborhood’s light pollution.

They’re ideal for camping trips, mountain hikes, and walks across lonely fields. These telescopes will allow you to be one with the stars no matter where you take them.

FAQs

Apart from planets and stars, what else may be seen using a telescope?

Telescopes can be used to observe deep-sky objects that do not require high magnifications, in addition to stars and planets. The cosmic world contains asteroids, double stars, comets, and other things.

Thanks to the low-power eyepiece, you may also use your scope for birdwatching and tourism.

When and where is the greatest time to see planets?

When observing planets, it’s critical to know the exact time and location. Every planet has its own time and place.

Mercury, along with the western sky, can be seen in the evening. It shows in the morning as the eastern sky rises one hour before the sun. It sets one hour later than the sun. 

From March 27 to October 17, Venus appears at dusk. From November 5 to December 31, it can also be seen. On July 31, around 3:50 a.m. EDT, Mars will be visible.

From January 7 to June 26, Saturn is best seen in the mornings, and from June 27 to December 16 in the evenings.

These models are quite light. Does this imply that they aren’t as strong as the heavier ones?

No. The total performance of a telescope has little to do with its weight.

Is it possible for me to use these telescopes to observe wildlife?

A telescope is optical equipment that can capture any image in its focus plane as long as the spherical tube is pointed in the appropriate direction.

However, if you point your telescope horizontally rather than vertically, it will be more capable of catching the landscape rather than space.

Are pocket telescopes capable of viewing Saturn’s rings?

Any telescope with a magnification power of 25x or more is more than capable of viewing Saturn’s rings perfectly. The more magnification power used, the more distinct the image of the rings becomes.

Most portable telescopes have magnification capacities of more than 25x, making them ideal for viewing Saturn’s rings and more.

Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API