Thu, Aug 23, 18

The 10 Best Telescopes Under $300

The 10 Best Telescopes Under $300

Similar to our list of the best telescopes for beginners under $500, we have created another budget-friendly telescope gift guide! If you're not sure or ready to own a higher-end telescope, any of these telescopes make a great start into astronomy.

Choosing the Right Beginner Telescope

With such a large variety of telescopes, cameras, and accessories, beginning astronomers might have difficulty making the right decision on first-time purchases. Each of the descriptions below come with the telescope's features and technical specifications to help you make a better decision. Scroll below to see our top 10 best telescopes under 300!


10 Best Beginner Telescopes - Meade StarPro AZ Package

Observe details of the Moon or deep space objects like nebulae with the Meade StarPro AZ! This 102 mm telescope comes with an array of accessories to help you get started in your night sky journey, an exclusive deal at OPT! Capture the universe with the smartphone adapter that allows you to easily share the beauty of the universe. 

Meade StarPro AZ Telescope Features

  • Aperture: 4.02 inches.
  • Lightweight and compact enough to take almost anywhere.
  • Includes a full-size aluminum tripod with an integrated accessory tray to keep your accessories in one place.
  • AutoStar Suite Astronomer Edition Software on DVD displays thousands of celestial objects to learn from! 


Celestron AstroMaster 130 EQ w/ Motor Drive

Celestron Nexstar 6se F/10 Goto Telescope

The Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ MD comes complete with a pre-assembled mount and tripod. The Celestron CG-3 equatorial mount is quite stable, with setting circles and slow-motion controls on both axes for easy, smooth tracking and now a clock drive that continually tracks objects in right ascension, making it a great choice for novice astronomers! This telescope not only performs well but remains durable after years and years of use.

Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ-MD Telescope Features

  • Fully multi-coated optics for bright, crisp, clean images.
  • Quick-release dovetail attachment for user-friendly set-up and storage. No tools needed!
  • Permanently mounted StarPointer finderscope projects a red laser dot onto a non-magnified viewing window for easy aiming.
  • The Sky Level 1 - planetarium software with a 10,000 object database and enhanced images.



best telescopes under 300 - starsense

Tour the night sky with your smartphone and the StarSense Explorer DX 114AZ telescope—no experience required! The StarSense Explorer app calculates your position in real time and guides you with a list of currently visible objects. See planets, brighter nebulae and galaxies, star clusters, and double stars from the city. See faint, deep sky objects from darker skies. Dual-axis slow-motion controls on a manual alt-azimuth mount make it easy to follow arrows in-app to your target. Eyepiece viewing is ready when the app’s bullseye turns green.

Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ Smartphone Telescope Features

  • Lock targets for eyepiece viewing with in-app bullseye and slow-motion manual controls.
  • 114 mm (4.5-inch) Newtonian reflector with highly reflective coatings for excellent viewing.
  • Includes 10 mm and 25 mm eyepieces, 2x Barlow lens, smartphone dock, red dot finderscope, and full-height tripod.
  • Smartphone not included.


Meade Polaris 114 mm German EQ Reflector

Sky-watcher 8" F/6 Traditional Dobsonian Telescope


The Meade Polaris 114 mm Newtonian Reflecting Telescope is an excellent beginner's telescope, allowing you to see bright galaxies, planets, stars and more. The Polaris comes complete with everything you need to view the wonders of the night sky the first time out. The featured stable equatorial mount with slow-motion controls makes it easy to track celestial objects as they move across the night sky. The 3 included eyepieces provide low, medium and high powered magnification for viewing a wide range of objects (Moon, planets, or land) delivering bright and detailed images

Meade Polaris 114 mm German EQ Telescope Features

  • Aperture: 114 mm (4.5-inch).
  • Observe the Moon, stars, and even nature!
  • Includes AutoStar Suite Astronomer Edition Software with a library of more than 10,000 celestial objects.
  • 3 eyepieces included- low, medium, and high powered magnification.


Celestron PowerSeeker 127 EQ

Skywatcher Evostar 80mm Doublet Apo Refractor With Allview Alt-az Mount


The Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ is a 127 mm (5-inch) aperture Newtonian Reflector Telescope equipped with an Equatorial Mount and Tripod. This is a great telescope to open up the wonders of the Universe to beginner and aspiring astronomers. PowerSeekers are designed and manufactured using all fully coated glass optical components with high transmission coatings for enhanced image brightness and clarity. Enjoy the perfect combination of quality, value, features, and power as a first-time telescope user!

Celestron Powerseeker 127 EQ Newtonian Reflector Telescope Features

  • Quick and easy tool-free setup!
  • Fully coated glass optical components with high transmission coatings for enhanced image brightness and clarity.
  • 3x Barlow lens triples the magnifying power of each eyepiece.
  • Accessory tray for convenient storage of accessories and added stability. 
  • The Sky - Level 1  planetarium software with 10,000 object database and enhanced images.


Celestron Inspire 70AZ f/10 Doublet Refractor

Celestron Nexstar 6se F/10 Goto Telescope

The Celestron Inspire 70AZ Refractor is a perfect entry-level very portable scope for anyone interested in astronomy. A 70 mm (2.75-inch) aperture achromatic refractor telescope with an Alt-Azimuth mount on a sturdy tripod. Not only does it offer easy transport due to its lightweight design, but it is also packed with features rarely if ever seen on entry-level scopes; these increase the Inspire telescopes' flexibility and other key traits greatly! 

Celestron Inspire 70AZ Doublet Refracting Telescope Features

  • Smartphone adapter to share images with friends and family.
  • Fully coated glass optics provide bright, clear views.
  • Sturdy steel tripod with fold-up accessory tray to keep accessories in one place.
  • Built-in red LED flashlights to help your eyes stay adjusted to nighttime light settings.
  • Includes finderscope, tripod, diagonal, and two eyepieces.


Meade 114 mm LightBridge Mini

Meade Starnavigator Next Generation 125mm Maksutov

The LightBridge Mini 114 allows you to set up and share a stargazing experience in seconds. Whether you are camping in the outdoors or relaxing in your backyard, the LightBridge Mini 114 Dobsonian is the ideal “grab-and-go” telescope. It offers an easy and portable observation with its removable optical tube. With its sleek, compact size, it’s both functional and eye-catching. The stylish tabletop design allows the LightBridge Mini to be displayed as a decorative piece yet readily available when the moment strikes.  

Meade 114 mm LightBridge Mini Telescope Features 

  • Parabolic Newtonian Reflector with a large 114 mm (4.5-inch) aperture for a great view of planets, star clusters, and nebulae.
  • Lightweight (10.8 pounds) and compact with a removable 450 mm optical tube for portability.
  • It comes with 26 mm (17x) and 9 mm (50x) eyepieces for low and high magnifications.
  • 360-degree swivel mount and a simple point-and-look design for easy use.


Celestron  PortableTravel Scope 70

Sky-watcher 8" F/6 Traditional Dobsonian Telescope

The Celestron Travel Scope 70 was designed with traveling in mind while offering exceptional value. The Celestron Travel Scope is made of the highest quality materials to ensure stability and durability and comes with two full-size eyepieces and a 5X24 finderscope. All this adds up to a portable telescope that gives you a lifetime of pleasure with a minimal amount of maintenance. Featuring a compact and portable design with ample optical performance, the Celestron Travel Scope 70 is ideal for terrestrial as well as casual astronomical observation

Celestron Travel Scope 70 Portable Telescope Features

  • All coated glass optical elements for clear, crisp images.
  • Erect image diagonal so that your views are correctly oriented.
  • Quick and easy no-tool set up.
  • The telescope and tripod fit inside the custom backpack for easy traveling and storage.
  • Includes The Sky X - First Light Edition CD-ROM.


Want to learn more about different types of Telescopes? Check out our Blog Posts on the Newtonian, Dobsonian and Cassegrain Telescopes.

1 comment

  • Gregg Crenshaw

    No Dobs?? A Dobonsian mount is easiest to set up. You must know how to set up a German Equatorial Mount which is too difficult for a beginner.

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