Light Weight Spotting Scopes


Jul 13, 2008
Well - weight is part of it! I'm looking for a light weight / somewhat compact spotting scope for backpack hunts where I'm typically packing the game out and looking for space/weight saving.

Always trying to optimize my gear; truck, rifle, backpack etc - and as the years and personal pounds grow I'm trying to lighten up.

I've done some searching here and other places. In the 1k-1.2k range or less (preferably) it seems that the Kowa TSN-881, a Pentax 65ED or one of the Nikon models might be the right choice for a relatively small - packable scope with good clarity? I hear about the Leopold but have been generally unimpressed with them when I picked one up @ bass pro or cabelas.

Also heard of the Minox as being a good glass in the $500-600 dollar range?

I've lugged the big scopes and tried to find a safe spot for them in the pack while loading roasts and backstraps... but what I'm looking for is something lighter and to still have the clarity - edge to edge (within reason) for the money. Am I reading that the Kowa, Pentax and a Nikon are in the right category? I can't afford a Sw, Leica etc...

Also warming up to the angled eyepiece. Running a Tred Barta Eberlstock pack with big side pockets which will accomodate either - but when I run a smaller pack - I want it to "tuck" somewhere - especially when loaded for the hike out.

Thoughts on those and any recomendations on specific models? Consider clarity -weight - size per dollar probably.
Here's what i'm using now--Elite 3200 2.5 "doubler" makes the Leupold 50x, and very good image, the Leicas beome 25x with an OK image. But this system is not for long spotting sessions, IMO...but it's about as portable as it gets--


I know a guy who is using the Nikon Pro Staff Spotter in 16 x 48 without a tripod. He is using it on shooting sticks that he carries all of the time. It's a nice setup for field judging but not so good for long glassing sessions, but he does save some weight.

I personnaly use the Leupold HD 12x40 and love the quality of the optics. The packable tripod that comes with it is pretty handy too. This setup gets a little heavy at times but is a great setup for long glassing sessions.
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