Best Budget Telescope 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews

Expert Contributor

Rose Annemarie

Are you an amateur astronomer looking for a budget-friendly telescope with a great field of view? Do you want to know more about what to look for in a beginner’s telescope? Or, are you perhaps seeking the perfect gift for kids interested in exploring the solar system? Well you’re in the right place to find yourself the best value option! This article will talk you through ten cheap but good telescopes to help you find the best affordable picks which are high in quality without being high in price.

You may be wondering, “what is a good telescope?”, “what makes a telescope suitable for entry level astronomers?”, and “what are the best telescopes on the market today?”. We will will provide you with the answers to your questions, while the links on our site will take you to quality products without the astronomical price tag.

10 Best Cheap Telescopes in 2020

Here you’ll find ten of the latest options for sale with a description of what makes it a good choice, followed by the pros and cons of each.

1. Gskyer Telescope AZ70400

Gskyer Telescope

Best Features:  Excellent image quality. Simple and easy to use.


Our first choice of best inexpensive telescopes is from the brand Gskyer. Receiving consistently high ratings on Amazon, the Gskyer AZ70400 is one of the best telescopes on the market. Not only is it a high quality telescope with 70mm aperture, it is also easy to use, making it a great choice for beginners. Gskyer’s model comes with two eye pieces and features cross-hair lines to make locating celestial objects all the more easy. Included is a smart phone adapter and a wireless camera remote for those who are astrophotography enthusiasts.

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2. Celestron 70mm Travel Scope DX

Celestron - 70mm DX

Best Features:  70mm aperture. Lightweight and easy to set up.


This telescope is the perfect design for the travelling astronomer. The Celestron 70mm Travel Scope DX is a refractor telescope equipped with a 70mm aperture objective lens which allows for enhanced viewing, all while boasting a lightweight frame ideal for those outdoors camping trips with your family.

This low budget telescope is capable of viewing more stars than you would be able to see with the naked eye, as well as planets, the brightest nebulae, and star clusters. This Celestron model also comes with a digiscoping smart phone adapter, as well as a free download of Starry Night, one of the top rated astronomy software programs.

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3. Celestron 70mm Travel Scope

Celestron Portable Refractor Telescope

Best Features:  Lightweight and easy to set up. Low in cost compared to other Celestron telescopes.


Sharing many of the features of our second choice, the third on our list is the Celestron 70mm Travel Scope. This particular telescope differs from the Celestron 70mm Travel Scope DX as it does not come with a digiscoping smartphone adapter. However, this will save you an additional $10, making it an affordable purchase for beginners who are looking to view all the celestial objects the night sky has to offer.

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4. Emarth 70mm Refracter Telescope

Emarth Telescope - Portable Telescope for Kids

Best Features:  Ease of use. Interchangeable eyepieces.


Our fourth choice, the Emarth 70mm Refracter Telescope, is suitable for beginners who have an interest in learning more about space. Making a great gift, this telescope is quick to set up and comes with interchangeable eyepieces. The high quality optics characteristic of Emarth provides good viewing power, especially for the price point. Ideal for the budding astronomer, this product is easy to use and allows for crystal clear viewing of the moon, stars, and planets.

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5. Solomark 70mm Refractor Telescope

SOLOMARK - Good Travel Telescope with Backpack for Kids

Best Features:  Adjustable tripod. Lightweight and portable.


This Solomark 70mm Refractor Telescope is certainly suitable for taking up amateur astronomy, making a perfect budget model for those seeking a beginner’s telescope. Featuring two eyepieces, this product allows for an enjoyable viewing experience of the night skies. Boasting a quick and easy set up, the lightweight and adjustable aluminum tripod makes this a highly portable model. A specially designed backpack is also included with this purchase, making it even easier to take your stargazing kit when you’re eager to venture further than your backyard.

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6. MaxUSee Kids Telescope F40040M

MaxUSee Kids Telescope - Blue

Best Features:  Low cost. Ideal for children.


Coming in at a considerably lower price tag than other beginner telescopes, the MaxUSee Kids Telescope F40040M is a great gift idea for all children seeking a new hobby in backyard astronomy. This model is quick to put together and easy to handle. On top of this, a moon mirror is also included in your purchase, helping kids and beginners to clearly observe the moon without having to deal with a reflected glare when there’s a full moon. The bonus features of a finder scope and a compass give the user all you could need for a fun stargazing experience.

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7. Hutact Refractor Astronomy Telescope

HUTACT Upgraded Telescope HD 400/70mm

Best Features:  Includes accessories. Adjustable tripod.


The Hutact Refractor Astronomy Telescope is new to the market, having only been released in April 2020. Featuring a 70mm aperture and 400mm focal length, this model boasts an excellent user experience. Accessories come with with this purchase; four moon filters, an adjustable tripod, and a backpack ready for on-the-go astrology. Also included is a wired phone controller so that scenery can be recorded and re-watched.

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8. Celestron AstoMaster 114EQ Newtonian Telescope

Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ - Reflector Telescope

Best Features:  Excellent image quality. Sturdy design.


We weren’t quite finished with recommending Celestron’s models! The Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ Newtonian Telescope is a powerful and user-friendly pick. Both sturdy and lightweight, this is suitable for both adults and children. Setting it up is quick and easy and this model has the advantage of having an adjustable tripod. As with the Celestron 70mm Travel Scope DX, the AstoMaster114EQ Newtonian Telescope also comes with a free astronomy software download.

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9. Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ Telescope

Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ - Manual

Best Features:  80mm aperture. Excellent customer service.


The large aperture distinguishes the Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ from our list of best telescopes. One of Celestron’s most highly rated telescopes on sale, this model has 80mm aperture, providing the user with excellent image clarity. Appropriate for campsites, backyards, or dark sky observing sites, the PowerSeeker 80EQ has the high end features of a great telescope while being compact, portable, and, importantly, low cost.

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10. Ecoopro F360-70

Telescope for Kids/Adults

Best Features:  Features a finder scope. Receives consistently good ratings from users on Amazon.


With a quick, no-tools set up and an adjustable tripod this Ecoopro F360-70 is the perfect gift for solar system enthusiasts beginning their journey into night sky observation. Suitable for both children and beginners, this model has 70mm aperture and comes with a finder scope to make locating space objects easier and faster with increased accuracy. The tripod is adjustable, allowing for any viewing angle to be taken.

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Best Telescope on a Budget

Our best recommendation for those on a budget has got to be the Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ Newtonian Telescope. Coming in at under $200, this is a powerful, sturdy, and user-friendly option. With the guarantee of excellent customer service from Celestron as well as the added bonus of the free software download, amateur astronomers can’t go wrong with this one.

Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ - Reflector Telescope


Cheapest telescope Available

The cheapest of our best telescopes is the MaxUSee Kids F40040M; costing under $40 this model is ideal if you’re looking for an introductory telescope. The F40040M makes for a great, affordable gift for kids embarking on a new stargazing hobby.

MaxUSee Kids Telescope 400x40mm with Finder Scope for Kids & Beginners + Portable 10X42 HD Monocular with BAK4 Prism FMC Lens for Moon Viewing Bird Watching Wildlife Scenery
  • Portable Telescope & Monocular that easy to use and suitable for Kids & Beginners, High Quality Optics make your view brighter, clearer and delivers crisp images.
  • Focal length 400mm Refractor telescope with 5X18 finder scope makes locating objects easy and fast.
  • Includes two interchangeable eyepieces H12.5mm & 20mm, comes with a Moon mirror & Compass built-in the telescope tube, Stars map & Moon map included.
  • 10X42 HD Monocular with BAK4 Prism and FMC Lens perfect for Travelling, Bird Watching, Camping & Wildlife Scenery.
  • Educational Science Kit of Telescope & Monocular that Quick to set up & Easy to carry, bringing lots of fun and joy to Children.

What is the best inexpensive telescope?

The best, yet inexpensive, beginner telescope has got to be the Gskyer AZ70400. Considering this is a telescope for sale under $100, almost 2000 Amazon users have provided an average rating of 4.6 stars. The Gskyer AZ70400 is an all-round great option for backyard astronomers.

Gskyer Telescope


What is the best telescope for viewing planets?

If viewing planets is your goal, the Emarth 70mm Refracter Telescope could be for you! Thanks to its interchangeable eye pieces and good viewing power, this is an affordable way of experiencing a crystal clear picture of the planets.


What is the most powerful telescope for home use?

If you’re interested in purchasing a powerful telescope which also happens to come in at under $200, the magnification and inch aperture quality of the Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ may be for you! With reviews applauding the performance of this model, viewing galaxies will be no problem. Celestron is renowned among telescope brands, making this a great purchase without breaking the bank.

Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ - Manual


 

Buyer’s Guide and Considerations When Choosing a Telescope

Choosing the right product on a budget can be a challenge, but we’re here to guide you through cheap telescopes for beginners. We’ve compiled a few key points to take into consideration before buying the best telescope for the money you have available.

Purpose

To get started, you will need to ask yourself what it is that you want to observe; are you interested in viewing planets, gazing at stars, or looking out at deep sky objects?

Looking for telescope for beginners? Well, each telescope comes with its own unique features, whether that be its aperture, the magnification, or the presence of a moon filter. Ease of use is a factor to look out for too; a lightweight, compact frame and a stable base cannot be underestimated when you’re in need of a portable device for trips out to a dark sky viewing area.

Aperture

One of the most important characteristics to check for in a telescope is its aperture. This refers to the diameter of its light-gathering lens or mirror. Ideally, your future telescope should have at least 70mm aperture. Simply put, the larger the aperture, the finer the detail and the more clearly you’ll be able to see fainter objects in the sky.

Tripod

Often under-appreciated in a model’s listed features is its the design of its tripod. All of the products listed below conveniently come with their own tripods, however it is worth noting that not all are adjustable and so it will be essential for you to consider who will be using it. Perhaps height adjustment is an important factor to you, maybe a tabletop telescope will fit your needs, or maybe your telescope is for young children eager to begin exploring the cosmos.

Portability

Whether you intend on observing the night sky from your bedroom window or instead taking your telescope on a hike to find the perfect viewpoint, the portability of the model you select will be a factor to consider when researching consumer telescopes. Ensuring a quick and easy setup to get you on your way to stargazing is important and, luckily for you, the deals we’ve found come without a complicated process of putting your telescope together.

About This Expert

Rose Annemarie
Full-time writer. Blogger. Dedicated wife. Mother of 3 amazing kids. I love learning about everything from the latest tech gadgets, innovative new home designs and can be found regularly reading up on parenting tips. There is always room to grow!