Holiday Gift Ideas for Spotting Scopes 2018

Spotting scopes are the unsung heroes of outdoor excursions. You don’t see nearly as many spotting scopes in the field as you do binoculars and rangefinders. The reason being is that spotting scopes can be heavy can cumbersome to transport on a backpack.

Nevertheless, a spotting scope provides pristine imagery and vision to the outdoorsman/woman on a level that binoculars will be unable to match. If you plan on hunting or birding for an entire day or more, a spotting scope will come in handy for long-range spotting. If you don’t see a spotting scope here that you like, check out our picks for the top spotting scopes of 2018.

This holiday season, look to save big on a spotting scope for the outdoorsman/woman in your life. Spotting scopes will shot that you or a relative are truly passionate about the outdoors and willing to upgrade to the best optics in order to have the best experience. For a complete list of best-selling spotting scopes, click here.


Best Overall Spotting Scope

Upland Optics Perception HD

  • The Upland Optics Perception HD is a specialized hunting spotting scope. With a 60mm lens and variable zooms from 20-60x power, the Perception HD provides exceptional image quality at long range even when light is low.


Best Hunting Spotting Scope

Swarovski 80 mm STS HD Straight Spotting Scope

  • It would be easy to discount the Swarovski scope because of its price tag. However, its 80mm lens and a separate 25-50x power eyepiece, you’re getting unreal image quality at maximum range. It’s also pretty rugged and waterproof up to 13 feet.


Best Target Shooting Spotting Scope

Minox MD 16-30×50 Straight Spotting Scope

  • The Minox MD is a straight facing scope with a comfortable range of 30-50x power levels. It’s coated in nitrogen internally to protect against fogging, corrosion, and other weather conditions.


Best Birding Spotting Scope

Kowa TSN 880 Angled 88mm Prominar Spotting Scope

  • The TSN 880 is a high-quality scope with an 88mm lens. This lens is among the best in compensating for high or low light situations to make sure you get the best image quality. For birding purposes, its eyepiece is adaptable to DSLR camera lens or smartphone lens.


Best Compact Spotting Scope

Minox MD 16-30×50 W Angled Spotting Scope

  • Minox’s next scope is the MD 15-30×50, an angled scope that’s actually pretty small and thus much easier for fitting and transportation. Despite its size, it has solid power levels between 16-30x.


Best Spotting Scope Under $200

Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope

  • The Rampage is an affordable scope with lens and power level that is perfect for any outdoor activity. A 60mm lens and 20-60x will put you beyond the range of most binos, all while still having a low price tag.


Best Spotting Scope Under $500

Vortex Diamondback 20-60×80 Straight Spotting Scope

  • Like most Vortex products, the Diamondback is of rugged construction and is completely sealed against outside debris. It features an impressive 80mm lens with appropriate power ranges of 20-60x.


Best Spotting Scope Under $1000

Vortex Viper HD 20-60×80 Angled Spotting Scope

  • The Viper is of similar design to the Diamondback but offers better vision and image quality at extreme range. Another small perk is that its lightweight despite its size and doesn’t require a large tripod in the field.


Best Premium Spotting Scope

Vortex Razor HD 16-48×65 Angled Spotting Scope

  • The optics on the Razor are some of the best in the spotting scope industry. On top of that, it features noticeable upgrades to its lenses that make it stand out over its predecessors. You won’t be disappointed with image quality when utilizing the Razor.


Do Spotting Scopes Make Great Gifts?

Rifle scopes, binos, and rangefinders are some of the most common optics you’ll see in the fields. A spotting scope will prove that you are intent on having a successful excursion into the outdoors, whether you are hunting, birding, or target shooting. Like most optics, they come in a variety of sizes and power levels.

Spotting scopes don’t come cheap, so that’s why it would be a good idea to snatch one up this holiday season.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Rangefinders 2018

Rangefinders are sort of the unspoken hero of outdoor activities and are as simple as their name suggests. However, we all want to ensure that we are getting the most accurate range possible. None of us want to acquire the range only to miss our shot by a mile when it comes time to golf or hunt.

These tools are especially useful if you’re on your own and don’t have another person with a spotting scope or extra set of binos to help you place your shots. They’ve made hunting and sporting much more accessible and attainable for the solo outdoorsman/woman. Click here to see our picks for the top rangefinders of 2018.

This holiday season, look to purchase a rangefinder for the outdoor enthusiast to drastically improve his or her chances of success. Rangefinders are almost universally handheld and easy to use, the major differences being how some of them acquire the range of their targets. If you don’t see a rangefinder here that you like, check out the general listing page for a complete list of best-selling rangefinders.


Best Rangefinder for Hunting

Nikon 8397 Aculon Laser Rangefinder

  • With a range of up to 550 yards, the Aculon utilizes a powerful laser to acquire range and can be yours for a pretty affordable price.


Best Rangefinder for Archery

Nikon 16228 ARROW ID 5000 Laser Rangefinder

  • The ARROW ID 5000’s maximum range is about 600 yards and even compensates for upward or downward shooting angles. This will be handy when hunting for game that are above or below you.


Best Rangefinder for Bow Hunting

Bushnell 202442 “The Truth” ARC 4x20mm Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder with Clear Shot

  • We can’t imagine you’ll be bow hunting from nearly 800 yards away, but that’s the Truth’s approximate maximum range. For bow hunters in particular, the Truth will help you determine if an animal is worth shooting so you can make sure every shot counts.


Best Rangefinder for Golf

Bushnell Tour V4 Jolt Golf Laser Rangefinder

  • The Jolt has one of the largest ranges of rangefinders on our list and for good reason. This rangefinder has the ability to zoom and is certified by the professional golf leagues, so you can rest assured the Jolt is a top quality tool.


Best Rangefinder under $200

Simmons LRF 600 Tilt Intelligence Laser Rangefinder

  • The Tilt is a simple rangefinder with only one button to simply the laser acquisition process. With a maximum range of around 600 yards, you’ll have no problem viewing and acquiring long distance targets.


Best Rangefinder under $500

Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 with Horizontal Component Distance Rangefinder RRF-101

  • The Ranger is a formidable rangefinder and truly built for the outdoors. It’s completely sealed so its okay to drop in water. The exterior is surrounding in rubber so if you drop it on any surface it’ll hold up better than most rangefinders.


Do Rangefinders Make Great Gifts?

Rangefinders aren’t the most common thing you’ll find in a stocking or under a tree but they’ll be a surprise on any holiday. Think of them as the last tool that will complete the set of gear a sportsman or hunter takes on his or her excursion.

Some backpacks and bino chest straps come with specialized straps to wrap around a rangefinder and keep it secure. So there’s little need for rangefinder accessories save for spare batteries.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Rifle Scopes 2018

Rifle scopes are the premier tool in a hunter’s arsenal of gear. There are few non-scoped hunts and those usually involved a non-bolt action rifle. It can be difficult to choose a scope when there are so many out there and they all bring varying levels of difficulty.

This holiday season, many rifle scopes will be on sale. Since most hunts can’t be done without them, look to save big on a rifle scope that will ensure you, your relative or a friend go home with a kill. If you don’t see a rifle scope that you like below, check out our picks for the best rifle scopes of 2018.

As we mentioned, there is a multitude of rifle scopes on the market and they each have their own variants and updated models. Here we’ll explore some of the best rifle scopes on the market. Click here for a full list of best-selling rifle scopes.



Best Rifle Scope Overall

Vortex Diamondback

The Vortex Diamondback is a rugged rifle scope designed to handle the elements and when conditions aren’t perfect. The optics will hold up in the worst conditions and so will the scope’s aircraft-grade aluminum body. Its applicable to guns other than a bolt-action.


Best Rifle Scope Under $100

UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster

  • The BugBuster is an affordable tactical scope with a wide field of view and a comfortable eye-relief. Its rugged construction means its proven against water, fog, and the occasional drop. It has a number of rings and dials along the body to help you zero it in.


Best Rifle Scope Under $200

Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600

  • The Nikon P-223 provides some of the best eye-relief for high recoil rifles on the market.  This scope comes with built-in settings to eliminate parallax and help shooters acquire targets with specific reticles anywhere from 100 to 600 yards.


Best Rifle Scope Under $300


  • The Prostaff is renowned long range scope that is easy to make adjustments to on the spot. Its optics are multi-coated for appropriate light transmission and elimination of glare. For the price, the Prostaff is well worth it.


Best Rifle Scope Under $500

Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 PA

  • The Viper is a premier scope perfect for the long range hunter. It helps calculate windage like most rifle scopes but also estimates range and bullet holdover after firing. Like the Diamondback, it too has a rugged outer coating for less than ideal conditions.


Best Rifle Scope for an Unlimited Budget

Carl Zeiss Optical Conquest HD5 5-25×50

  • The most expensive scope of our list is the German-made Conquest. It has an HD lens system for above average image quality for targets up to a thousand yards, well out of the range of most rifle scopes. For the price, the Conquest pretty much provides the best optics in the field.


Do Rifle Scopes Make Great Gifts?

Rifle scopes are obviously required if you’re hunting game at long range. They’ll make great gifts this holiday season. If you take good care of them, there’s little need to keep replacing them year after year. Some rifle scopes are going to do better at different ranges but there shouldn’t be a necessity for more than a two or three.

You’ll also want to consider which rifle scopes are compatible with your gun. The railing on top of the gun barrel will determine which rifle scopes are eligible.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Binoculars 2018

This holiday season, consider a pair of binoculars for the outdoorsmen/woman in your life. If you are that outdoorsmen/woman, you’ll know just how important binoculars can be for activities like hunting, birding, and other sporting activities. There is a multitude of binos out there that are specialized for specific activities. There are even binoculars with the appropriate range to view plays and operas indoors.

Click here to see our top picks for the best binoculars of 2018.

The price of binoculars varies dramatically depending on the activity. Mini and hand-held binoculars are more focused towards short range activities like birding and opera while hunting binoculars feature longer and more powerful objects to spot game at a longer distance. Another aspect is detail and coloration. You’ll want a pair of binos that are able to pick up small details to help you locate and identify animals and objects.

If you don’t find a pair of binos here that interest you, check out the bestsellers.


Best Hunting Binoculars

Upland Optics Perception HD 10x42mm

  • Upland’s 10x42mm binos are exceptionally powerful sporting optics. While water and fog proof, they’re on the heavier side, so you’ll probably need to invest in a good chest strap for when you take them out on long excursions.

Best Birding Binoculars

Wingspan Optics Spectator 8×32 Compact Binoculars

Best Theater Binoculars

HUTACT 10x25mm Compact Binoculars

  • These binoculars fit in the palm of your hand and come with shorter range optics. You won’t have to worry about stages being too blurry from indoors because it appropriately distributes incoming light to your eyes.

Best Mini Binoculars

  • The SkyGenius 8x21mm’s also fit in the palm of your hand. Despite their size, they have a wide FOV (field of view) at long range. The knobs that control focus are simple and easy for children to use, making it an ideal children’s optic as well.

Best All-Around Binoculars

Nikon Aculon 10-22×50 Binoculars

  • The Nikon Aculon’s are a variable zoom type of binocular. Most binoculars require you to focus at different distances but Aculon simplifies the process with variable zoom. They’re also pretty lightweight given their size, so they’re the perfect all-around pair of binoculars.

Do Binoculars Make Great Gifts?

Binoculars are the quintessential tool to seeing things that are too far for the naked eye and too close for a spotting scope. Of course, you’ll shouldn’t feel limited by what the company says a pair of binoculars is specialized for. You can pretty much use any pair of binoculars for any purpose. It just doesn’t make much sense to use hunting binoculars in a theater, and smaller binoculars won’t have the power to see far away and differentiate color in the wilderness.

A pair of binoculars under the tree or in a stocking will make a great gift this holiday season. Just make sure you know what pair you’re buying!

Holiday Gift Ideas for Telescopes 2018

Telescopes aren’t the most common gift to appear under the tree or in a stocking but when they do, you’ll know it was for a special someone. Though not as openly discussed as binoculars or spotting scopes, telescopes contain the most powerful optics in the world, and for good reason.

That power can be in your hands this holiday season, as there is a number of popular telescopes on the market that are family and user-friendly. There are some telescopes that can even be controlled with an app on your phone. If you or a relative are entirely new to astronomy and telescopes, check out our beginner’s guide to astronomy.

Nothing really beats the old point and look method, which is why most companies provide you with an interstellar map to guide your nighttime viewing. If you don’t find a telescope on here that you like, check out our picks for the best telescopes of 2018.



Best Telescope for Astrophotography

Celestron NexStar 130 SLT

  • Celestron is well known for their diverse and ever-growing catalog of telescopes. Astrophotography is an ability that was previously only available to scientists and professional astronomers. Now, if you are looking to get a great picture of a planet or object, the NexStar is the telescope for you.

Best Telescope for Beginners

Vixen Space Eye

  • Lightweight and below $100, the Space Eye is the perfect children’s or beginner’s telescope that simplifies the astronomy learner’s process. It’s a lot like the old point and look telescopes and you’ll have to do some fiddling by hand. But there isn’t a more perfect time to learn the basics than at a young age.

Best Telescope for Hobbyists/Amateurs

Celestron AstroMaster 114

  • The AstroMaster is the ideal hobbyist telescope with a wide range of power levels. Whether you want to take pristine shots of the moon or up close photos of birds, the AstroMaster will get it done. With its moderate size, it’s the ideal telescope to take on trips or outdoor excursions to escape light pollution.

Best Telescope for Professionals

Celestron Advanced VX 8″ EdgeHD

  • THe VX 8″ is one of the more powerful telescopes on our list and is equipped with a German equatorial mount. This mean’s the telescope and its turning mechanisms are aligned with the Earth’s, giving a better chance to seem rarer objects in the sky. The German equatorial mount isn’t a widespread telescope mount, hence the high price tag.

Do Telescopes Make Great Gifts?

Like we mentioned, it isn’t always that you see a telescope under the tree. That’s why it’ll be more than just a great gift, it’ll be a great surprise for the astronomer or budding explorer in your life. Telescopes aren’t cheap, so that’s why it’s important to catch them on sale this holiday season.

Some telescopes have shorter range optics so their ideal for other activities like birding, which requires about the same amount of patience that astronomy does. If your relative or friend already has a telescope, you could also look into additional or alternate lenses for that specific telescopes.

  • Most telescopes nowadays have interchangeable parts that are perfectly compatible with parts built by other companies. You’ll want to do some research beforehand, however. Click here for a guide to the best telescope accessories available.

Don’t feel as though you are limited by the stock options on your telescopes. While some telescopes can only handle a certain power level, you can definitely change up some finder pieces and lens to diversify your experience.