Best Handheld Telescope [Top Picks & Buyers Guide]

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If you plan on being reasonably mobile during your observation sessions, a handheld telescope may be the best fit.

But which ones are the best in quality and which one should you buy? Choosing a handheld telescope that meets your specific needs can be challenging.

This buyer’s guide will go through some of the best portable telescopes on the market right now.

Here are the top three picks:

Editors Choice
Gosky 12×55 Handheld Telescope
Wingspan Optics Explorer 12x50
Feemic High Power Monocular Telescope
Gosky 12x55 High Definition Monocular Telescope and Quick Phone Holder-2020 Waterproof Monocular -BAK4 Prism for Wildlife Bird Watching Hunting Camping Travel Secenery
Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12X50 Monocular. Bright and Clear. Single Hand Focus. Waterproof. Fog Proof. For Bird Watching, or Watching Wildlife. Daytime Use. Formerly Polaris Optics
Monocular Telescope High Power 8x42 Monoculars Scope Compact Portable Waterproof Fogproof Shockproof with Hand Strap for Adults Kids Bird Watching Hunting Camping Hiking Travling Wildlife Secenery
Editors Choice
Gosky 12×55 Handheld Telescope
Gosky 12x55 High Definition Monocular Telescope and Quick Phone Holder-2020 Waterproof Monocular -BAK4 Prism for Wildlife Bird Watching Hunting Camping Travel Secenery
Wingspan Optics Explorer 12x50
Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12X50 Monocular. Bright and Clear. Single Hand Focus. Waterproof. Fog Proof. For Bird Watching, or Watching Wildlife. Daytime Use. Formerly Polaris Optics
Feemic High Power Monocular Telescope
Monocular Telescope High Power 8x42 Monoculars Scope Compact Portable Waterproof Fogproof Shockproof with Hand Strap for Adults Kids Bird Watching Hunting Camping Hiking Travling Wildlife Secenery

Gosky 12×55 Handheld Telescope

Gosky 12x55 High Definition Monocular Telescope and Quick Phone Holder-2020 Waterproof Monocular -BAK4 Prism for Wildlife Bird Watching Hunting Camping Travel Secenery
  • 12x55 high power magnification - have the best view in your outdoor adventures. To see 12x closer with a clear and bright image with the generous, light-gathering 55mm objective wide lens. Perfect for hiking, hunting, climbing, bird watching, ball games, concerts, watching wildlife and scenery.
  • High powered monocular promises brighter, crystal clear views during all your outdoor adventures
  • Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and wilderness explorers, a handheld and must-have for bird watching, wildlife, hunting, hiking, mountaineering, camping, surveillance and traveling.
  • The long eye-relief with the twist-up eye cup makes this high-end monocular set stand out among competition!
  • Argon purging provides waterproof, fog proof, dustproof and shockproof protection in any weather, and any environment. Rubber armored body strengthen its durability.

Features & Specifications

  • Prism: BAK4
  • Field of view: 325ft/1000yds
  • Field Angle: 6.5 Degrees
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 2.5mm
  • Exit Pupil: 4.2mm
  • Exit Relief: 18mm
  • Dimensions(in): 2.19(L)x3.25(W)x5.45(H) Weight: 15.85oz

Pros

This monocular telescope, specially created for any nature lover, is ideal for trekking, bird watching, gazing at the sky, natural landscapes, and many other activities.

Fantastic Optics

It can magnify at a great range and can easily deliver high-resolution photos with excellent reproduction of colors.

It allows you to see objects on the horizon providing highly accurate and detailed images.

With the Gosky handheld telescope, the 12×55 magnification enables you to have the most remarkable vision possible throughout your outdoor observation experiences.

In addition, the spacious, 55mm objective wide lens gathers light exceptionally well and allows you to view up to 12x magnification with a clean and brilliant view. 

This well-renowned monocular guarantees brighter, more transparent images for all of your sky-gazing sessions.

This telescope works admirably thanks to the BAK-4 prism and the quality objective lens, which is multi-coated.

This handheld telescope is designed to provide crisp and detailed viewing at a fairly significant distance. 

Capture Moments

What truly distinguishes this scope is the addition of an adaptor for smartphones.

With this unique feature, you can connect a cellphone, and it’ll allow several people to see the telescopes view through the phone’s screen at the same time.

With the accompanying cellphone adaptor, you may photograph the magnificence during your observation and share the most significant parts with your loved ones.

All-Weather Protection

You’ll also benefit from argon purging, which protects the telescope against rain and in any weather situation.

High Durability

Its body is covered in rubber which helps with shock absorption and increases its durability.

Take the handheld telescope anywhere you want, as you can use it in nearly any weather condition possible because the telescope has nitrogen on the inside, giving its internal components a tight seal.

Great Eye Relief

Furthermore, the extended eye relief distinguishes this monocular as one of the best options available in 2021.

Moreover, it can also record video footage, and the Gosky comes with some stellar optics. 

Additional Features

It has a number of minor yet valuable additions.

You’ll find a secure strap for your hand for safe and easy one-hand use.

The telescope also has a standard tripod mount in case you’re looking for more stability.

With this, your videos and photos will have a much steadier outcome.

Cons

Focus Challenges

What hinders it from being many people’s number one choice is that it has difficulty remaining in focus, necessitating continual tweaking of your view.

Of course, a tripod could help with some of this, but it would only help mitigate the issue.

The telescope itself still needs consistent maintenance on your part for the best view possible. 

May Require A Tripod

If you’re looking for a steadier view, then you’ll want to consider reliable tripod.

Unfortunately, there are have been a fair amount of complaints about the quality of the mount built for this telescope as it doesn’t seem to be the strongest.

Overall, this is an excellent telescope, and there aren’t a ton of significant cons.

Wingspan Optics Explorer 12×50

Wingspan Optics Explorer High Powered 12X50 Monocular. Bright and Clear. Single Hand Focus. Waterproof. Fog Proof. For Bird Watching, or Watching Wildlife. Daytime Use. Formerly Polaris Optics
  • 12X50 MAGNIFICATION - See things 12X closer and Get Clearer and Brighter range of view with 50mm lens - The most powerful hand held monocular available in the market today, that also provides the most pleasant and clear view.
  • DURABLE EXTERNAL ARMOR - Provides a secure, non-slip grip, and durable external protection.
  • WATERPROOF AND FOG PROOF - Prevents moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the monocular - designed to inhibit internal fogging. For any weather and any environment.
  • SINGLE HAND FOCUS - Ergonomic design helps you focus on your target quickly and accurately with one hand.
  • THE BRIGHTEST AND CLEAREST VIEW OF ANY MONOCULAR ON THE MARKET TODAY - Allows you to get the best view possible for bird watching, watching wildlife or scenery. And highest-rated on the market with a 12-month promise.

Features & Specifications

  • Magnification: 12x
  • Obj. Lens Diameter: 50mm
  • Type Of Prism:  Bak4
  • Eye Relief: 14mm
  • Field Of View: 246 Ft/1000 Yds
  • Close Focus: 2.5m
  • Water Proof/Fog Proof: Yes

Pros

Optimal Magnification & Image Quality

12x is often regarded as the greatest magnification that can be used beforehand coordination becomes an issue for the image quality.

Hands down, the Wingspan Optics Titan is the greatest overall portable telescope due to its magnification and overall image quality. It has a magnification of 12x, which is equivalent to many of the greatest modern binoculars you can find today.

This indicates that you also have sufficient magnification to conduct simple stargazing with ease.

This excellent telescope has a clear and crisp range of view up to 1000 yards away, giving you the most fantastic view possible throughout your outdoor excursions.

Known for creating brilliant pictures, this monocular makes it easier to notice things from a far distance. 

Furthermore, brighter telescopes let you see more in the early hours and twilight, making stargazing a simple task.

Optics

If you’re wondering about the quality of the optics, this particular telescope has some of the best.

A Bak-4 roof prism is included, which ensures exceptional clarity dispersal of high-definition color.

For the 12×50, you can rest assured that the optics are entirely multi-coated and come with a reflective coating on all external glass surfaces.

Because this is predominantly a daytime telescope, it is excellent for screening out unwanted sunlight.

All Weather Resistant

This monocular telescope is also waterproof and fog proof, so the internal components will always be safe, making it suitable for usage in rainy or even densely humid environments.

Regarding this telescope’s weather resistance, it’s a monocular that is entirely waterproof and fog-resistant.

This means you won’t have to deal with water, dust, or debris getting inside.

It’s O-ring-sealed and nitrogen-purged, and this allows you to be confident that it won’t fog up the internal components either.

This is a considerable concern when there is a quick temperature shift, and many lower-quality telescopes have issues with this.

Lightweight

It only weighs a little over one pound, making it lightweight enough to take it anywhere or stuff in a rucksack as you’re on the go.

This is an excellent scope to investigate if you want a decent combination of picture quality and mobility.

Cons

Eye Relief

Some users may have issues with the eye relief on this telescope.

Although it has a twist-up eyecup, the eye relief is only 14mm, which isn’t the best.

If you wear glasses and don’t have the luxury of taking them off, you may have a problem with this telescope.

There aren’t any adjustments for this issue, so this may be a bit of a squeeze for some people.

Feemic High Power Monocular Telescope

Monocular Telescope High Power 8x42 Monoculars Scope Compact Portable Waterproof Fogproof Shockproof with Hand Strap for Adults Kids Bird Watching Hunting Camping Hiking Travling Wildlife Secenery
  • 【WIDE-ANGLE AND HD VIEW】High quality precision design featuring all glass high end optics, (FMC Superior BAK-4 Green Film Prism), The High Power monocular telescope provides 8X magnification with 42mm objective diameter wide lens, 360ft/1000yards of large field of view, let you have the best view in outdoor adventures
  • 【LIFE-WATERPROOF, FOGPROOF, DUST-PROOF, SHOCKPROOF】Nitrogen-filled waterproof, This monocular built in lens dust cover can prevent lens from dust/moisture/debris, make sure you see everything in a clear detail. Its rubber finish has shock resistance, durable external protection makes it usable to withstand the tough weather conditions
  • 【High Quality】The 8x42 monocular is made of high quality material. Large BAK-4 Prism and FMC Fully Multi-coated Lens Elements strengthen the key function of a monocular. High light transmittance reaches up to 99.9%. Light reflection and minimal distortion, multi coated optics guarantee superior light transmission and brightness. Low-light-level night vision built-in design help you see things in low light
  • 【Comfortable Convenient】This compact monocular (5.7''x1.9''x1.5'') is convenient to use by single hand. Adjustable eye cups can be easily and rapidly twisted up and down for optimal viewing with or without glasses. Rubber armor with stripes increases the friction, keeps it from slipping out from your hand. The monocular scope also comes with hand strap and carry case, There also has a tripod connector at the bottom of monocular offers steady viewing when connect a monocular tripod
  • 【Wide Application And Satisfaction Warranty】The Easy focusing HD monocular perfect for Hiking, Hunting, Climbing, Bird watching, Watching Wildlife and Scenery, Golf, Scope, Surveillance, concerts and travelling etc. Come with friendly customer service, 30-days hassle-free money back guarantee and LIFETIME WARRANTY. NO ANY worries about your purchase. Also a great gift for your family or friends

Features & Specifications

  • Magnification: 6x
  • Obj. Lens Diameter: 30mm
  • Prism: Bak4
  • Optical glass: Multi-coated
  • Field of view: 250 feet/1000 yards
  • Weather resistance: Water and fog proof
  • Weight: 7.8oz
  • Size: 1.8”x5.5”

Pros

Light Transmittance

This handheld telescope provides a high transmittance of light of up to 99.9%, as well as night vision for low light situations and a high definition view with a wide-angle that emits little distortion in the reflections of light.

Compact User Friendly Design

The small design allows for single-handed use with adaptable, versatile eyecups, and the design is also child-friendly, so almost anyone can use it.

This telescope from Feemic is easy to operate with one hand.

Adjustable eye cups can always be adjusted down and up quickly and effortlessly for excellent vision.

Durability

There’s no need to worry about the monocular’s durability, as this scope is protected by rubber strips that enhance friction and prevent it from falling out of your grip.

If by chance, you drop it on accident, there will be no harm done to the integrity of the scope.

It includes a dust cover for the built-in lens, which protects the lens from external debris and unwanted moisture.

All-Weather Protection

It’s watertight, fog proof, overall weatherproof, and shockproof due to its rubber coating.

Tripod Attachment

Although a tripod isn’t included, the telescope does come with an interface to attach a tripod of your choice.

This allows you to connect a telescope of your choice to high powered scope.

As usual, when utilizing a tripod, the viewing quality will naturally improve significantly.

Furthermore, suppose you wish to get more of the family involved.

In that case, children interested in observing outdoors can easily use this telescope as it’s a long-lasting monocular that’s both friendly for all ages and childproof as well. 

Versatile

If you’re looking for an affordable yet long-lasting and high-quality monocular telescope, this model from Feemic should easily cover your observation needs.

It’s ideal for outdoor activities such as climbing, bird viewing, and even some simple star gazing on a clear night.

In addition, a  storage bag, dust cloth, a hand strap for stability, and an instruction manual are included with this excellent handheld telescope.

Cons

Although this may be a great starter monocular, there have been a few consistent complaints about certain features it provides.

Stability

Considering its handheld, the stability this monocular offers isn’t the best for starters, and it could use a bit of assistance from a decent tripod.

If you choose to operate it entirely handheld, you’ll need to get used to a bit of shaking in your view.

Clarity

In addition, some users expressed disappointment with the clarity of view.

Of course, this may be dependent on the current weather conditions around you, but you should still be mindful of this as it could be a deal-breaker for some.

When it comes to observing at long distances, image stability and clarity are essential, especially in regards to astronomy.

Eyepiece Detaches

This may not be a huge issue, but from time to time, it’s been reported that the included eyepiece will occasionally detach itself from the monocular, which can be cumbersome for many people, especially if you’re wearing glasses.

A monocular is an excellent mobile and handheld telescope option, but make sure its features and capabilities will meet your observation needs.

Handheld Telescope Buyer’s Guide

How To Choose A Monocular Telescope?

To properly choose a monocular telescope that will fit your needs, you’ll want to take a look at the provided magnification, type of prism, field of view, weather resistance, size, and lastly, how much it costs.

There are many other features and specifications you should look at before deciding to buy, but that handful of features above will cover the base of your needs.

Features To Look For In A Monocular Telescope

Before deciding on your purchase, you’ll want to take a look at the monocular’s pros and cons.

The specs you’ll want to look for in handheld monoculars are the provided magnification, build quality of the product, tripod mount for stability, the field of view, and the capabilities of its weather resistance. 

This particular spec is overlooked by many, but the weather resistance capabilities are paramount if you plan to observe in many different locations.

A simple change in weather can ruin a viewing experience if your monocular isn’t built to withstand minor bits of moisture, debris, and dust. 

What Is The Best Magnification For A Monocular Telescope?

If you’re looking for a handheld monocular telescope with the best possible magnification, then you’ll want to look at options that provide a magnification of 12x and up.

Once you reach a view this powerful, you won’t be too far off from some of the best binoculars on the market.

Not only will the monocular be more portable, but it’ll also cover any of your mobile observation needs, in addition to providing a more detailed view for a night of stargazing. 

Final Verdict

Choosing a handheld telescope can be challenging as you want to ensure extended-lasting use with the best possible view no matter the weather conditions.

Combining these features with a particular budget can send you down a rabbit hole as there are numerous monocular telescopes to sort through.

The three listed in this article cover many features and specifications that suit many different budgets.

Moreover, each one can be used by any age group, making them perfect for solo or family outings.

However, the Gosky is one of the most well-renowned and a fan favorite amongst many different types of outdoor and even astronomy enthusiasts.

Regarding the Explorer from Wingspan Optics, this monocular provides some of the best magnification at 12x and still holds an affordable price range of under $100.

When you take a quick look at the High Power Monocular from Feemic, they are one of the most cost-effective monoculars on the market with the highest quality.

Overall, each of these options covers many different specs and can be used in many outdoor environments day and night.

But if I had to pick only one, then it would be the Gosky and I would buy it from Amazon for the best price 👇