Barska Spotting Scopes Reviewed in Detail for 2018

Barska has a big selection of spotting scopes. They offer multiple models that can be used for various activities. Their scopes have many great features that make them a significant brand on the market. Some of those features include high quality optics, wide field range, and high power magnification.

The difference between a spotting scope and an astronomical telescope

A spotting scope is a modified, smaller telescope, suitable for using during the day. It differs from an astronomical telescope in a few ways. Astronomical telescopes produce a reversed or upside down image sometimes, which is not a problem for astronomy, but would be various other activities. The spotting scope always gives you an upright image, and is also much smaller than the astronomical telescope, making it easy to take with you on any trip. The astronomical telescopes need specialized mounts, whereas the spotting scope can be placed on a regular photo tripod. Most spotting scopes are also fog and waterproof, which is quite rare with the astronomical telescopes.

Why do I need a spotting scope?

You can use Barska’s scopes for long distance target shooting, ranging and surveillance, viewing landscape, birdwatching, viewing wildlife and other distant objects, hunting, and many other instances that require more magnification than that of a pair of binoculars. You can also use them to score pistol, rifle and archery targets. With selected cameras, you can use spotting scopes to take long distance pictures.

Which features should I look for?

In the following article, we’ll cover some of the most important features that you should look for when you’re buying a Barska spotting scope. We’ll lay out some of the difference between different spotting scopes, and help you make an informed decision, on which one would be the best fit for you, and your needs.

Should you go for a straight shooting or angled one?

Most scopes usually come in two different designs, an angular or a straight shooting one. Both of these types have their own advantages and disadvantages, but your decision mainly depends on what you’ll be using the scope for. If you need it for looking at the moon, of birdwatching, then an angular scope would be the best fit for you, and here’s why:

  • You can easily share your scope with others. Even if you set it to a height that best suits you, most people could still use it without even adjusting its position.
  • You can easily use angular scopes for longer time periods.
  • Angled scopes allow you to aim at the sky, to look at the moon, at trees, birds, or even tall mountains.

If your needs are a bit different than those we mentioned above, you probably need a straight shooting scope. A straight shooting scope is more preferable to an angular one, if you need it to stalk wildlife, to point and shoot at targets, or to hunt. A straight shooting scope works well for looking straight down from a high location as well. You can use it to look down from hills, mountains, or even elevated porches.

What do the numbers on them mean?

Most Barska spotting scopes have three numbers on them, for example 20-60×80. The first two numbers (20-60) refer to the magnification range/zoom of the scope and the last number (in this case 60) refers to the size of the objective lens.

What’s the ideal magnification and lens size?

Most of Barska’s spotting scopes allow you to manually adjust the magnification while viewing, similarly to a camera, because they usually have a variable zoom, 15-45x, or 20-60x, for example. Barska’s spotting scopes usually have a 20-60x magnification, but there are some models that have a more powerful zoom range, of 25-125x. The higher the scope’s magnification is, the more stunning details and clarity it will offer.

When it comes to the lens, the larger the lens is, the more detail you’ll be able to see, and you can expect better image quality as well. You should consider both the size of the lens, and the quality, because if you get a large but mediocre lens, if won’t matter how large it is, it still won’t offer the same performance as a smaller, but better quality lens. If you’re not sure what type of lens to choose, go for the one with better quality, not for the larger one.

When choosing a lens, you need to think about portability as well. If that’s an issue for you, you might want to consider getting a smaller model, but if portability isn’t an issue for you, and you’re looking for the absolute best performance, then you should most definitely get a model with a larger lens.

Do I need to buy a tripod, and if so, which one should I get?

The short answer is yes, you do need a tripod for your spotting scope. That’s because they use magnification, and if you don’t stabilize them well enough, you might have a problem with image shakiness.

You do, of course have the option of using some without a tripod, as some models allow for that, but it’s still better to use all scopes with a tripod.

Tripods help you see the full potential of your scope, so you should definitely consider buying one, if the model you have or you’re planning to buy doesn’t already have one that comes with it.

Some scopes have a tripod included I the box, while others are sold as a spotting scope and tripod kit, so before you purchase your scope, make sure you read the product description to find out if it comes with a tripod or not.

Below you can find a list of Barska spotting scope reviews, along with their pros and cons, so that you can get a clear picture of their capabilities and see which one of them suits you and your needs.

Reviews of Barska Spotter Scopes

Naturescape 15-45x60 Straight

A great performer at a suitable price. Good for bird watching and stargazing with a smooth focus and a sturdy tripod. It’s very durable and waterproof which makes it suitable for outdoor conditions. The scope has a powerful 15x to 45x zoom with a 60mm objective.

This scope has all the essentials you need, and provides a very clear image. The lens provides sharp and clear viewing in various weather conditions and at different levels of light.


  • Affordable
  • Has phase coating that helps with resolution
  • Fog and waterproof
  • With an extra low dispersion glass (ED)
  • With a straight eyepiece system
  • Comes with a hard carrying case for protection


  • Doesn’t have a short close focus which makes it harder to see details of an object or animal that’s up-close to it
  • Can be considered a bit heavy by some

Blackhawk 20-60x 60mm

This is a very durable scope that’s perfect to bring with you to the range, when hunting, or on a mountain hike. The powerful 20-60× zoom offers a good view with a lot of detail. It also has a 60mm lens that can gather enough light, which is perfect for viewing objects at dusk and dawn, as well for observing the sky.

The scope is waterproof and fogproof, with multicoated optics, making it very popular and affordable for the quality that it offers.


  • Very affordable
  • Fog and waterproof
  • With a straight eyepiece
  • With an extendable sunshade
  • Has shock absorbing armoring
  • Comes with a tripod, a hard and soft carrying case


  • Doesn’t have adequate eye relief
  • A bit harder to line your eye up and see properly, than it is with other scopes
  • The optics set at 60x can be a bit hazy
  • Works well for 100 and 200 yards, but not for 300
  • Not very durable and very light in weight


Colorado Waterproof Spotting Scope is suitable for naturalists, birdwatchers, and hunters. It delivers good clarity and brightness and its zoom allows you to view your subject in greater detail. The Scope has a 60mm lens, and a variable 20x-60x magnification. It helps you see images in a sharper resolution and vivid colors.

The Colorado Waterproof Spotting Scope is suitable for harsh weather conditions and has an attached lens cover for better lens protection.


  • 100% Fogproof and waterproof
  • Affordable
  • Adjustable zoom with quick access focus
  • Suitable for hunting, targeting, stargazing, and general observation.
  • Comes with a tripod, a carrying case and a neck strap


  • Can be a bit unclear at max magnification
  • The adjustments are sometimes difficult to focus
  • Not very durable
  • The eye piece is very sensitive
  • Not very suitable for long range shooting, works decently up to a 100 yards

20-60x60 Waterproof Straight Spotting Scope

The 20-60x60 Waterproof Colorado Spotting Scope has a completely waterproof and fogproof construction and a rugged housing that serves as protection for difficult weather conditions. The scope has multicoated optics and a wide zoom range, making it suitable for bird watching, long range shooting and hunting.

You can survey an entire landscape using its 20x magnification, and use higher magnification to focus on the details.


  • 100% waterproof
  • Very affordable
  • Covered with rubber armor
  • Adjustable zoom with quick access focus
  • Suitable for hunting, targeting, stargazing, and general observation.
  • Comes with a tripod, a carrying case and an attached lens cover


  • It’s sometimes difficult to focus
  • The image quality may degrade as you zoom in closer
  • The view can become a bit dark after a 100 yards
  • Doesn’t have adequate eye relief
  • Images can be blurry if further than 100 yards

30-90x90 Waterproof Colorado Spotter Scope

The 30-90x90 Waterproof Colorado Spotter Scope from Barska has a powerful zoom magnification which allows you to view the entire landscape, or zoom in to 90x and focus on the details. It has a 90mm lens, so you can be sure that you’ll be able to have a bright and vivid picture each time you use it.

The scope comes with a deluxe tripod, which has an accessory hook that’s there to stabilize the scope even more. The extendable glare reduces sun shade, and makes it easier for observing and shooting in longer distances.


  • 100% waterproof
  • Very affordable
  • Offers a 1000yds field view
  • Fully coated
  • Suitable for bird watching and general observation
  • Comes with a tripod and a travelling bag


  • The travelling bag is a little thin
  • Sometimes it’s difficult to focus
  • A little less sturdy
  • After a 100yds the image gets a little blurry

Spotter-Pro 80 22-66X80 Straight

The BARSKA Spotter pro 22-66x80 is a 100% fogproof and waterproof, suitable for hunters, bird watchers, and other outdoorsmen. The scope has a bark and leaf pattern camouflage, which makes it easily blend in with its surroundings.

The Spotter pro has multicoated optics, and offers a crispy clear view. Its 22-66x zoom allows you to locate targets, zoom-in and get a close up. This is a very durable scope, that can withstand years of use in any weather condition.


  • 100% waterproof
  • Very durable
  • Easily camouflaged in the surroundings
  • Suitable for hunting and wild-life viewing
  • Offers a crisp clear image
  • Good eye relief
  • Comes with bonus accessories, like a soft protective case, and a micro adjustable tripod.


  • The tripod could be improved. It’s not as sturdy as it needs to be
  • Very clear image up to 50x, after that the image quality is descent, but not as good

Benchmark 25-125x88 Waterproof Straight

Designed and dedicated for nature lovers and explorers, this scope provides great performance and quality, and a great spotting experience. Its 25-125x zoom allows you to locate targets from a great distance and focus on them. If you zoom in to maximum, it might feel a little uncomfortable, because of the short eye relief. An Accu grip is included in the purchase, along with a tripod, and soft and hard carrying cases.


  • Compact
  • Affordable
  • Light, and easy to carry with you
  • 100% waterproof
  • Comes with an Accu grip
  • Good eye relief
  • Comes with bonus accessories, like a soft protective case, and a micro adjustable tripod.


  • Has minor focusing issues
  • Has a smaller objective lens
  • Has a short eye relief
  • Poor light transmission capabilities
  • Not very durable