Recommendations for backpacking spotting scope

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by alfred, Apr 22, 2010.

Help Support Long Range Hunting by donating:

  1. alfred

    alfred New Member

    Apr 22, 2010
    I’m looking to buy a spotting scope for the first time. I plan on taking this with me occasionally when hunting, more often for scouting (backcountry) and general wildlife watching. I’m willing to spend in the neighborhood of $1,000. A little more if it’s really worth it.

    Because I plan on humping this up the hills with me, being light and compact is important. While I could afford those Swarovski or Ziess scopes if I waited a bit, I wouldn’t want to pack them around.

    From what little research and asking around I’ve done, I am looking hard at the Leupold Golden Ring 12-40x60 (maybe in HD?). Based on what I’m looking for, I was stoked to see the compact model. But I don’t know… something bothers me about being a compact and such a lower price.

    At any rate, I don’t even attempt to be a long range shooter, I just figured there are people here who know spotting scopes and can give some advice. Thanks in advance!
  2. bb204

    bb204 Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    I use a Pentax PF 65EDIIA that I really like. It is fairly light and compact. Clarity is excellent.
  3. NJS

    NJS Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    The 60/65mm spotting scopes are super for backpack hunting... I'd look for a used or "demo" Leica/Zeiss or Swaro spotter... MHO... NJS
  4. Moman

    Moman Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Alfred, I have that 12x40 HD scope and it is quite a scope. The only thing is that I have had days that I wish it was lighter. I have looked at the lighter weight Leupolds and may end up getting one of those as well for packing. I've read some of the reviews and they look pretty good. I'll probably keep the HD for glassing at or near the truck and a lighter one for the long days on foot. Good luck.
  5. 4th_point

    4th_point Well-Known Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    I just bought an ED50 and have carried it on a couple of short hunts. I really like how compact it is. I paid $400 for a refurb with 16x digiscoping eyepiece, then got a 13-30x zoom eyepiece for $50. I'm using a Slik Sprint Pro with it. Before the ED50, I had a Stokes Sandpiper 15-45x65, but never packed this scope. The Sandpiper had a great image for the price, and was lightweight for a 65mm but was too bulky for me.

    I have also used the Leupold 10-20x40. Nice and compact, but I wasn't impressed by the image quality. I also thought about the 50mm Leupold, but the ED50 seems to be the #1 compact scope with many people. Its really a nice image with excellent depth of field.
  6. cody finch

    cody finch Well-Known Member

    Jul 9, 2007
    how does that nikon work in low light with the 50mm objective ? thank you ahead for your info
  7. TrentSwanson

    TrentSwanson Member

    May 2, 2010
    Take a look at the Kowa TSN-660 series. The 60mm objective, combined with the quality of the glass and 26oz weight makes a great backpacking spotting scope. The Outdoorsmans, one of the sponsors of this site, sells them for $810.

    If you can sacrifice a little more money and weight, look at the 66mm Kowa for $925 (standard lenses) or $1340 (XD lenses).