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Best Travel Telescope: Review & Buying Guide

There are many reasons why you might want to invest in a good travel telescope. Perhaps you love stargazing and want to be able to do so wherever you are. Or alternatively, you’re an amateur astronomer and want to be able to take your telescope with you on trips and vacations.

Whatever your reasons, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the best telescope for travel – portability, weight, size, features, and price. In this article, I will tell you how to choose the best product that will meet all your requirements, and I will share my Top 7.

Telescope for Travel: What Should It Be?

There are a few basic things you need to consider when buying:

  • Type. There are three basic types – refractor, reflector, and catadioptric. Each has its pros and cons, so you need to decide which type is right for you.
  • Size. This determines how portable it is. If you plan to travel a lot, it is better to buy a smaller telescope that is easy to take with you.
  • Price. This can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. You need to decide how much you are willing to spend on a telescope.

Top 7 Best Telescopes for Travel Reviewed

  1. ToyerBee Telescope, 70mm telescope for Adults Astronomy & Kids & Beginners – Top Pick
  2. Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope for Adults Kids Astronomy Beginners – Runner-Up
  3. FREE SOLDIER Telescope for Kids&Astronomy Beginners – Premium Option
  4. Orion StarBlast 90mm Altaz Travel Refractor Telescope Kit
  5. Celestron – 70mm Travel Scope – Portable Refractor Telescope
  6. NASA Lunar Telescope for Kids – Capable of 90x Magnification
  7. Emarth Telescope, Cultivate Kids’ Interest in Astronomy

Below are detailed descriptions of some of the best travel telescopes that are lightweight, portable, and equipped with many features. You will also be able to explore their advantages and disadvantages to choose the option that will help you get the most out of your astronomical observing experience.

1. ToyerBee Telescope, 70mm telescope for Adults Astronomy & Kids & Beginners – Top Pick

Specifications:

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 70 Millimeters
  • Focus Type: Manual Focus
  • Power Source: Adapter
  • Finderscope: Reflex
  • Lens Coating Description: Fully Coated
  • Focal Length Description: 300 millimeters
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8″D x 5.5″W x 20.9″H

This lightweight telescope is a great choice for amateur astronomers and kids alike. It has a 70mm diameter lens and a 300mm focal length, making it ideal for observing distant objects. The telescope also comes with a Barlow lens for magnification, and its full-coverage optics provide crisp and clear images.

In addition, the telescope is easy to set up and use thanks to its simple focus type and the included viewfinder.

PROS:
  • Comes with a telephone adapter and wireless remote control;
  • Features a large 70mm objective lens;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Great for beginners and kids;
  • Reliable service team.
CONS:
  • You may need an adapter or converter for international use.

2. Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope for Adults Kids Astronomy Beginners – Runner-Up

Specifications:

  • Optical Tube Length: 200 Millimeters
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 60 Millimeters
  • Focus Type: Manual Focus
  • Power Source: Adapter
  • Finderscope: Reflex
  • Lens Coating Description: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Focal Length Description: 750 millimeters

This is a great telescope for those who want to get started in astronomy. It has a focal length of 750 millimeters and an objective lens diameter of 60 millimeters, making it great for observing distant objects. The telescope is also equipped with a reflector finder, making it easy to spot objects in the night sky.

The lens is fully multi-coated, making it resistant to scratches and fingerprints.

PROS:
  • Ability to see Saturn, Jupiter, and craters on the moon;
  • Powerful enough for its size;
  • Compact and portable;
  • Comes with an excellent eyepiece and phone adapter;
  • Requires no tools for setup.
CONS:
  • It may be small for some types of photography;
  • Probably have to buy a better mount.

3. FREE SOLDIER Telescope for Kids&Astronomy Beginners – Premium Option

Specifications:

  • Optical Tube Length: 300 Millimeters
  • Eye Piece Lens Description: Barlow
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 70 Millimeters
  • Telescope Mount Description: Altazimuth Mount
  • Focus Type: Manual Focus
  • Power Source: Battery Powered
  • Finderscope: Reflex
  • Compatible Devices: iPhone, Android

This is a great option for children and novice astronomers, as well as those looking for a quality, inexpensive telescope that is easy to take on trips. It will easily distract your child from endless internet surfing and keep them interested in astronomy and the night sky.

It has a 300mm long optical tube, a 70 mm diameter objective lens, and a Barlow eyepiece lens for high-quality observations. And it is also equipped with manual focus, so you can easily adjust the focus to get the clearest image possible.

PROS:
  • Comes with a 3X Barlow lens and two eyepieces for different magnifications;
  • Fully multi-coated lens for superior optics;
  • Comes with a carry bag, tripod, smartphone adapter, and wireless remote;
  • It can be used for day and night observation;
  • Easy installation with no tools needed;
  • Complete support from FREE SOLDIER.
CONS:
  • Some users may not find the image quality to be high enough;
  • Budget assembly and some parts are of lower quality than desired.

4. Orion StarBlast 90mm Altaz Travel Refractor Telescope Kit

Specifications:

  • Eye Piece Lens Description: Kellner
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 90 Millimeters
  • Telescope Mount Description: Altazimuth Mount
  • Focus Type: Manual Focus
  • Finderscope: Reflex
  • Lens Coating Description: Multi-Coated

This is the best travel telescope for beginners and experts alike, allowing you to observe stars and planets both during the day and at night. Its lens is multi-coated to increase light transmission and image clarity. It’s easy to set up and use, making it a great choice for anyone interested in exploring the night sky.

PROS:
  • For day or night stargazing;
  • The telescope, tripod, and all accessories are conveniently packaged in a sturdy carrying case that you can take anywhere;
  • Includes two quality Kellner eyepieces for 20x and 56x magnification;
  • Also included is Orion’s MoonMap 260 for identifying about 260 lunar surface features.
CONS:
  • Some users have reported problems with tripod instability.

5. Celestron – 70mm Travel Scope – Portable Refractor Telescope

Specifications:

  • Eye Piece Lens Description: Glass
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 70 Millimeters
  • Focus Type: Manual Focus
  • Finderscope: Reflex
  • Item Weight: 3.3 Pounds
  • Lens Coating Description: Fully Coated
  • Product Dimensions: 18″D x 7″W x 14″H

This best travel refractor telescope is a great option for those who need a quality device that is easy to transport. It features fully coated glass optics for superior light transmission and quality images. The telescope comes with a viewfinder and tripod for easy setup and use.

PROS:
  • Excellent optics;
  • Powerful eyepieces;
  • Large 70mm lens;
  • Includes bag, tripod, and software;
  • Unbeatable warranty and customer support.
CONS:
  • Some people may find it difficult to use;
  • There are complaints about the tripod being unstable.

6. NASA Lunar Telescope for Kids – Capable of 90x Magnification

Specifications:

  • Optical Tube Length: 1 Inch
  • Eye Piece Lens Description: Galilean
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 1 KB
  • Telescope Mount Description: Equatorial Mount
  • Focus Type: Manual Focus
  • Power Source: No power is needed for this Lunarscope
  • Finderscope: Straight-Through
  • Product Dimensions: 7.09″D x 4.13″W x 17″H

The NASA Lunar Telescope for Kids is a great way to get your kids interested in astronomy and space. This telescope has 90x magnification, making it great for observing the moon and planets. It comes with an equatorial mount, which makes it easy to keep the telescope pointed at your object of observation.

This best travel telescope for astrophotography also comes with a direct viewfinder, making it easy to find objects in the night sky. The telescope is made of durable materials, making it a great investment for your children.

PROS:
  • Allows you to see the moon in detail;
  • Comes with a telescopic sight and powerful eyepieces for easy viewing;
  • The tabletop tripod and smooth mounting system make it easy to scan the lunar surface;
  • Ideal for beginners;
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee.
CONS:
  • Feet are not adjustable;
  • Not designed for observing the surface of Mars.

7. Emarth Telescope, Cultivate Kids’ Interest in Astronomy

Specifications:

  • Optical Tube Length: 360 Millimeters
  • Eye Piece Lens Description: Kellner
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 70 Millimeters
  • Telescope Mount Description: Altazimuth Mount
  • Focus Type: Manual Focus
  • Finderscope: Reflex
  • Item Weight: 2.47 Pounds
  • Lens Coating Description: Fully Coated
  • Focal Length Description: 360 millimeters

This high-powered telescope is a great way to help children learn about the night sky and various constellations. It has a 360-millimeter-long optical tube and a 70-millimeter diameter, fully coated lens for clear images. The telescope mount is altazimuth, which makes it easy to use, and the type of focusing is manual, which allows you to fine-tune the image.

PROS:
  • Easy to set up and use;
  • A great way to encourage kids to explore and learn about space;
  • Tripod is adjustable to find the perfect viewing angle;
  • Comes with lifetime VIP customer service.
CONS:
  • It can be not easy to adjust the viewfinder;
  • The tripod is not suitable for tall children.

What Is the Peculiarity of Travel Telescopes?

Travel telescopes have many features that make them unique compared to regular telescopes. The most notable difference is their size. Travel telescopes are much smaller and more compact than standard telescopes, making them more portable and easy to transport.

They also have less weight, making them even more convenient for travel.

Another important difference is that travel telescopes often have a smaller magnification than regular telescopes. This is because the smaller aperture of travel telescopes limits the amount of light that can be collected, which in turn reduces the level of detail that can be observed.

However, this is not always the case, and some travel telescopes are capable of producing high magnifications.

Finally, travel telescopes usually have a more basic set of features than regular telescopes. This is because they are designed for lighter and more portable use, and so they often lack some of the extra “buns” inherent in their larger counterparts.

Advantages of tourist telescopes

There are many reasons why you might want to purchase a travel telescope. And in this article, we will look at some of the benefits of owning one.

This small telescope can be a great addition to any home. They are relatively inexpensive and can provide hours of fun for the whole family. Many models are small and portable, so they are easy to take with you on vacation or to the park.

Most travel telescopes come with several different eyepieces that allow you to view different objects in the sky. For example, you can use a low-power eyepiece to observe the moon and a high-power eyepiece to observe the stars. This gives you a lot of flexibility in choosing what you can see.

Some travel telescopes have special tracking mechanisms that help keep the telescope pointed in the right direction. This can be very useful if you want to take long exposure photos or view a moving object, such as a planet.

Best camping telescopes are easy to set up and use. Many come with detailed instructions that describe the entire process step-by-step. Even if you have never used a telescope before, you can learn the process quickly.

Overall, a travel telescope can be a great buy for those who like to spend time outdoors. They are relatively affordable and can provide many hours of enjoyment. If you have never used a telescope before, you may be surprised at how much fun you can have with one.

Who needs a portable travel telescope?

A portable telescope is a great tool for those who enjoy traveling and exploring the night sky. They are ideal for children and teens interested in astronomy, as well as beginning astronomers who want to get a closer look at the stars and planets.

There are many different types of portable travel telescopes on the market, so it’s important to know how to choose the right one for you. Below I will tell you what criteria you need to pay attention to.

a portable travel telescope

How do we test it

There are a few things you should check before buying a travel telescope:

  • Eyepiece. Make sure it is clean and has no scratches. You should also be able to see well through it.
  • Lens. This is the lens at the front of the telescope. It should be clean with no chips or scratches, or any other defects.
  • The focus knob. It should rotate easily and allow you to focus on objects both near and far.
  • Tripod. It should be sturdy and not wobbly. It should also be easy to both attach and remove.
  • Warranty. Most travel telescopes come with a warranty. Be sure to familiarize yourself with its terms and conditions before purchasing.

Best Travel Telescopes – Buyer’s Guide

In order to purchase the right portable travel telescope, you must first decide what type of amateur astronomer you are. There are three basic types of portable travel telescopes: refractors, reflectors, and catadioptrics. Each type has its own set of both advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Refractor telescopes

Advantages:
  • suitable for observing planets and double stars;
  • relatively maintenance-free.
Disadvantages:
  • more expensive than reflectors of similar quality;
  • limited aperture.

Reflector telescopes

Advantages:
  • not more expensive than similar-quality refractors;
  • can be made with larger apertures.
Disadvantages:
  • demand more maintenance;
  • not as good for planetary observation.

Catadioptric telescopes

Advantages:
  • compact and portable;
  • suitable for both planetary and deep celestial observations.
Disadvantages:

Travel telescope

What to look for when buying

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the best camping telescope.

Assembly

Since you will have to travel with the telescope, it is important to check if it is easy to assemble and disassemble. Some parts are fragile and can be easily broken, so you need to make sure that they can withstand a long trip.

Optical sight

A scope is used to locate a planet or star in the night sky. It is a small optical instrument that attaches to the telescope. It comes with an eyepiece that is connected to a digital screen. This will help you find the object you are looking for easily.

Travel bag

It is used to protect the telescope and its accessories, so it should be made of sturdy material to withstand all the hardships of travel. The bag should also have padded pockets to protect the lens and other delicate parts of the telescope.

Systematic handling

This is a new advancement in telescopes. It’s only available in some telescopes, but if you want to get the most out of your travel telescope, it’s worth the investment. Systematic controls will help you manage your telescope with ease.

Tripod

It is used to support the telescope, so it should be made of sturdy material to support its weight. It should also be easy to carry so that you can always take it with you wherever you go.

Cost

It depends on its features and quality. If you want the best telescope, then be prepared to spend a little more. However, if you are on a tight budget, you can also find some good-quality telescopes that can be purchased at an affordable price. And there are such options in my top 7.

FAQ

a travel telescope

Is it possible to see Mars with a travel telescope?

Yes, it is possible to see Mars with a travel telescope. Although Mars is not the brightest object in the night sky, it is still relatively easy to spot. With a high-quality telescope, you should be able to see the planet’s polar ice caps, as well as some of its major surface features.

Is a travel telescope enough to view Saturn’s rings?

To see Saturn’s rings, you need a telescope with a magnification that is either equal to or greater than 25x. The higher the magnification, the better you can see them. And since most small portable telescopes have a magnification of 25x or more, so they are powerful enough to observe Saturn’s rings.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of collapsible telescopes?

Benefits include portability, compactness, and ease of installation and disassembly. It can be easily transported and stored, making it ideal for travel or use in small spaces. Its disadvantages include the stability and quality of the optics.

Because the optics are not fixed in place, a collapsible telescope is usually less stable than a stationary telescope, which can make it difficult to get a clear image. In addition, its optics are more likely to suffer from misalignment and other optical aberrations, which can degrade image quality.

Bottom Line

When trying to find the best telescope for travel, there are several things to keep in mind. First is the size and weight of the telescope. A telescope that is too large or heavy can be difficult to transport, so you need to make sure that you choose the right size telescope for travel. Second, it’s quality. It should provide you with a clear and sharp image.

Best Travel Telescope – Comparison Table

ModelObjective Lens DiameterFocal Length DescriptionLens Coating DescriptionProduct Dimensions
ToyerBee Telescope, 70mm telescope for Adults Astronomy & Kids & Beginners

70 Millimeters300 millimetersFully Coated11.8"D x 5.5"W x 20.9"H
Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope for Adults Kids Astronomy Beginners60 Millimeters750 millimetersFully Multi-Coated15.16"D x 7.72"W x 4.41"H
FREE SOLDIER Telescope for Kids&Astronomy Beginners70 Millimeters300 millimetersNo data17.2"D x 11.1"W x 5.6"H
Orion StarBlast 90mm Altaz Travel Refractor Telescope Kit90 Millimeters500 millimetersMulti-CoatedNo data
Celestron - 70mm Travel Scope - Portable Refractor Telescope70 Millimeters400 millimeterFully Coated18"D x 7"W x 14"H
NASA Lunar Telescope for Kids – Capable of 90x Magnification1 KBNo dataNo data7.09"D x 4.13"W x 17"H
Emarth Telescope, Cultivate Kids' Interest in Astronomy70 Millimeters360 millimetersFully Coated18.07"D x 8.74"W x 4.41"H

To avoid wasting time looking at features and reviews, you can use my selection in which I have included some of the best models.

If you have experience buying a travel telescope, please share it in the comments. Also, write in if you have any questions left.

References

  • Refractor vs. Reflector (VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE): https://www.vmi.edu/academics/departments/physics-and-astronomy/research/astrophotography/refractor-vs-reflector/
  • Refracting Telescopes (E NCYCLOPEDIA OF ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS): https://sites.astro.caltech.edu/~george/ay20/refracting-telescopes.pdf
  • Reflector Telescope Design (Joseph A. Shaw – Montana State University): https://www.montana.edu/jshaw/documents/17a%20EELE582_S15_TelescopeDesign.pdf

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About Valery Johnson

Hi, I am Valery and I love nature, the universe and the starry sky. Together with my friend Michael we share our practical knowledge in the field of astronomy and nature observation. We also test different optical instruments to see the strengths and weaknesses of different models. Very often we travel around our country, so we have the opportunity to test optics in different conditions and different seasons. Welcome to Michael's and my blog and we hope you find useful and practical information for yourself.

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