Seven travel-friendly binoculars and backpack telescopes for stargazing on the go

Small, lightweight and easy to use, these highly portable optics bring mobile magnification to star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Ideal for clear winter skies, with prices starting at HK$770

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 1:03pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 1:02pm

Celestron Regal M2 100ED

Arriving in a water-resistant soft case that’s easy to carry, this spotting scope (HK$8,930) is made for the outdoors. Waterproof and rugged, it goes up to 67x zoom and can be mounted on any regular camera tripod. Hunt it down at sightron.com.hk.

8 of the best places for stargazing in Asia (and 5 sights Hongkongers can enjoy)

Canon 10x42 L IS WP binoculars

If you find binoculars difficult to hold steady, try these all-weather binoculars from Canon (HK$10,080) with image stabilising software. Simply focus them on an object then depress a button on the side. The image is then held steady in your view, which is perfect for studying the moon and stars. Available at canon.com.hk.

In pictures: Hong Kong photographers show how to shoot night skies over city

Vixen SG 2.1x42 wide-field binoculars

These are possibly the most travel-friendly binoculars around. No bigger than a compact camera (HK$2,289), these small binoculars’ 2.1x magnification creates incredibly bright close-ups not of stars, but of constellations. It’s like having widescreen super-vision. Available at ebay.com.hk.

Celestron TravelScope 70

A good-value option for those just starting to venture out with a telescope, the entry-level 70mm/2.7-inch Celestron TravelScope (HK$770) and basic camera tripod kit provides up to 40x magnification. It can be set up in seconds, and comes with a backpack for easy portability. Available at sightron.com.hk.

Meade ETX125 Observer

With a 127mm/5-inch aperture and great quality optics, this compact GoTo telescope (HK$5,800) is best transported in a vehicle. It provides audio commentary on night sky highlights, and can be easily controlled to focus on any of 30,000 objects. Sold at grandeye.com.hk

Orion ShortTube 80-A

Ideal for amateurs looking for a step-up telescope for astronomy, this highly portable refractor telescope (HK$1,907) comes with two eyepieces. It also includes a handy finder scope and a soft carry case. Get it from outlets.hk.

Zeiss Victory 8x42 HT binoculars

Although these are good all-round binoculars (HK$19,000), suitable for bird watching and other observations as well as astronomy, their high-transmission lenses are designed to brighten up when used in deep twilight and beyond. Sold by grandeye.com.hk.