Looking for the best portable telescope mounts in the market? You have come to the right place!
As a telescope requires ultimate stability to perform its function while producing the quality of image it is intended to, mounts and tripod stands have become the most valuable accessory related to telescopes.
Here is a list of affordable yet qualitatively best portable telescope mounts available in the market. Whereas our buying guide includes almost every aspect, one ought to carefully evaluate before purchasing a telescope. In short, our blog contains everything you need to know about portable telescopes.
Best Portable Telescope Mounts Based on User Reviews
Let's take a look at the top products on the market, based on the average rating by real customers just like you.
Best Portable Telescope Mounts: A Complete Review
If you've made it this far into the reviews then you must be serious about your buying choice.
Now that we've covered the quick list of products, let's break down each of them to see why they have been chosen.
In this section we'll cover the pro's and con's of each and give you some ideas of who each product is most suitable for.
The Orion Atlas Pro is a computerized telescope mount. It has been the most popular telescope among astronomer’s community. The mounts also come handy when you plan to go to different places for astrophotography.
The mount can hold almost 44 pounds of weight. Telescope’s extra weight needs additional support to keep it balanced on the polar axis. That is why the German Equatorial mounts come with counterweights on the other end of the telescope.
The telescope mount has robust structure and stability. It also has a high torque belt drive motor mechanism. The system controls the motion, so it is more precise and more comfortable to handle. It also includes a new feature of Polar Alignment software that helps in natural alignments.
The Orion Sirius is one of the best and highly used telescope mounts for astrophotography. It is a computerized mount that provides precise and smooth movements. The mount of the telescope can hold up to 30 pounds of weight for all the astronomical applications.
You can adjust the mount at your desired position and view great views of divine celestial objects. The mount has a go-to hand controller so that you can adjust the view according to your ease. You can view approximately 42,900 celestial objects with high precision and ease.
The computerized hand controller has made life more manageable. It is effortless to understand and align. The tripod that comes with the mount is exceptionally robust. It has stainless-steel legs and a cast-metal spreader plate.
The sturdiness of the mount is unmatchable with any other mount. The mount has easy polar alignment because of the polar-axis scope included. You need a 12V DC power supply for and more for the motorized operations.
The Celestron Computerized mount and tripod is a must-have accessory with a telescope. It helps you observe the divine celestial and terrestrial objects with ease and precise control. It can handle up to 55-pound of weight.
The additional weight of the telescope is balanced with a counterweight on the mount at the other end. So, it is stable at the polar axis as long as you observe the sky. The frame structure has a robust construction and can be carried around on trips.
The tripod also comes with the mount and is very stable. It provides a stable and less shaky foundation. The handheld control of the computerized mount allows you to watch over 40,000 celestial objects like the moon, stars, planets, and galaxies.
It has an improved database and motorized focus of the mount. The CGX Celestron Mount has the brand-new feature of polar alignment software that helps in easy alignments.
The Orion SkyView is a lightweight and small, but sturdy mount. It is perfect for traveling as you can carry it with you in a carry bag. The mount is capable of holding up to 7-pounds of weight. That is why it is made to hold a small telescope or other astronomy equipment.
The features of this telescope are not less because of its size. They are comparable to any other telescope mount. It has a rugged metal equatorial mount head that is settled on the tabletop. The tripod that comes with the mount has three spreading legs and has a robust design structure.
The movement of the mount is precise and controlled. You can observe and locate faraway celestial and terrestrial objects easily. It is adjustable, and you can lock it at your desired position for viewing astronomical objects.
The mount is compact and portable, with a wide tracking platform. It also includes a counterweight to help balance the telescope on the polar axis and prevent breakage or falling. Mount has dual tracking cables for manual tracking and great latitude adjustment.
The Orion AstroView EQ Mount is a great option for an upgrade. It is not the cheapest production by Orion. This is an upgraded model as compared to other Orion mounts. It can hold up to 12-pounds of payload weight of your telescope or camera equipment for astrophotography.
This mount is best made to balance the small refracting telescopes. It is not a computerized equatorial mount, but that is not a thing to worry about. The tracking motor keeps the focus on the first object you pointed it at.
The movement of the mount is not shaky. It is smooth and provides a precise movement. The EQ-3M mini-motor that is attached to the mount is automatic and helps you track the celestial and terrestrial objects.
This mount has an improved and enhanced head design structure. That features the replaceable dovetail for a quick telescope attachment.
The Sky-Watcher is an Orion SkyView Pro with motors and GoTo installed. The frame is quite sturdy yet lightweight. That makes it perfect for traveling and beginner’s astronomy.
The EQM-35 is fully equipped with advanced features, just like other mounts available in the field. It is compatible with desktop control software, autoguider, or any other thing that you need for astrophotography.
The telescope mount can hold up to 22-pounds of weight. The best way to utilize this telescope is with a small telescope refractor or lens.
The whole design of the mount is innovative and customizable. It can be used as a small tracking platform. The SynScan hand controller of this mount allows you to observe more than 42,000 celestial objects at ease.
The database can store data of countless nights of astronomy without getting held. Sky-Watcher mount has a large 180-tooth RA gear on it. That makes the tracking of the Mount smooth and precise.
The mount for learning the astrophotography Sky-Watcher HEQ5 is perfect. It is quite similar to Orion Sirius, and the only difference is that it is a pro-version of a telescope mount. The frame is sturdy yet lightweight.
It has exceptional tracking control for navigating celestial and terrestrial objects. The mount can hold up to 30-pounds. The HEQ5 has precise and controlled tracking that is beneficial for locating faraway planets and stars. It is compatible with EQMod drivers and a bunch of hardware accessories.
The EQ computerized mount is lightweight so you can carry it around in a storage bag easily. It has a high-quality metal roller bearing on the right ascension and the declination axis of the mount. The built-in finderscope that helps navigate the planets easily.
It also helps the astronomer in easy and quick polar alignment. The mount database SynScan can hold up to data for more than 42,000 celestial objects.
The Celestron Computerized mount is a must-have with a telescope. It helps you observe the divine celestial and terrestrial objects with ease and precise control. Celestron is a well-known name in the industry of astronomy equipment.
It manufactures one of the best German Technology Equatorial Mounts. It can handle up to 12-pound of weight. The extra weight of the telescope is balanced with a 7 and 4-pounds of counterweights at the other end.
The tripod also comes with the mount, and it has an accessory tray. It provides a stable and less shaky foundation. It has an improved database that controls the telescope and motorized focus of the mount.
The CG-4 Celestron Mount has the brand-new feature of polar alignment software that helps in easy alignments. It also includes RA and DEC slow-motion tracking controls that help in precise tracking of the planets and other celestial objects.
The Orion Min-EQ is a tabletop mount for small telescopes. It supports a payload of 7-pounds and does not have any GoTo features like other telescopes. It has a rugged metal equatorial mount that is attached over a tripod.
The frame structure is sturdy and heavy-duty. It is feasible for wide-field astrophotography. You can easily adjust the angle at your desired position and view the divine celestial object at ease.
The mount is small yet robust. That is why it is perfect for traveling. It features a counterweight that holds the telescope in balance.
The dual slow-motion cables are included for precise manual tracking and latitude adjustment. This mount is the perfect compact tracking device for astrophotography.
The Orion Sirius Pro is one of the best telescope mounts for astrophotography and visual observation. It is a computerized mount that provides precise and smooth movements. The mount of the telescope can hold up to 30 pounds of weight for all the astronomical applications.
It can support two telescopes side-by-side. You can adjust the mount at your desired position and view great views of divine celestial objects. You can view approximately 42,000 celestial objects with great precision and ease.
The computerized hand controller has made life easier. It is effortless to move manually, and you will not lose the GoTo alignment. It is compact and collapsible.
Portable Telescope Mounts Buyer's Guide
It is not an easy job to select a tripod stand as it can become your partner for all your future astronomical endeavors, or it will end up sitting in your closet for the rest of its life. Since purchasing mount is a hefty investment, one ought to think properly before putting down an order.
To help you through the process of selecting the mount perfect for your needs, we have created this buying guide that has all the information about the different types of mounts and their essential features.
Altitude Azimuth Mount
One of the basic designs of telescopic mounts is the altitude azimuth mount; it is also abbreviated as an alt-az mount. Just as any place on earth has a specific number defining its location, the stars have their longitudes and latitudes as well.
The motion of the mounts handling the telescopes is relevant to the movement of the stars. For altitude azimuth mounts, the left and right movement are called the azimuth, and the up-down movement is called a shift in altitude.
As the movement of the mount depends upon the position of the NCP and stars, an altitude azimuth mount is only good when placed directly underneath the NCP, i.e., at the north pole. Since most people tend to observe the night sky from the comfort of their own homes or known camping spots, the NCP is faraway, and the natural movement of the mount in the azimuth direction becomes a hurdle.
If you have a specific plan for your telescopes and their mounts, then an altitude azimuth mount can prove beneficial for you. But if you are a general astronomer who wants to spend the night comfortably star gazing into the sky, then an equatorial mount should be your preferred type of telescope mount.
The problem of altitude azimuth mounts is fixed in equatorial mounts by fixing the azimuth axis to shift towards the NCP automatically. In equatorial mounts, the terminology is changed as azimuth is described as right ascension and altitude as the declination axis.
When you fix the equatorial mount to the polar axis, it gets into the right ascension drive. Through the right ascension drive, a mount carrying a telescope automatically points at the relative star you want to follow so that you do not have to continuously change the direction of the mount as the earth moves along its axis.
The declination axis only needs to be changed when you want to shift from a particular field of view into another one. As the declination axis does not act as an automatic axis, so it needs to be changed manually. It is one of the more advanced versions of the typical altitude azimuth mount, which limits the movement when it is away from the North Pole.
The mounts we have mentioned previously do not have any artificial intelligence added to them; an equatorial mount only blindly follows the star it is pointed at when it’s set in the right inclination axis.
However, the newer most advanced type of mounts has become intelligent due to the input of digital devices along with the basic structure of the mount. Once you enter the information about your location, date, time, and the particular celestial object you are looking for, your GoTo mount will automatically point the telescope in the relevant direction.
It will also present you with a list of options and celestial objects that you can observe from your location.
Telescopes cannot perform their function without having external support. Such support is provided by mounts and tripods that are built to provide a steady ground and safe spot for your telescope.
Tripods have three legs than fan out and provide a heightened yet stable base for your telescope and also aid in its movement. Telescopes are used for many purposes involving astrophotography and star gazing; most of them cannot be performed until the device is steady and stable.
Just like all other optical devices, if there is even slight diversion in the stability of the telescope the image they produce will most likely become obscured. For optimum functionality of a telescopic device, it is necessary to purchase a mount.
One of the important factors is the building material that acts as a base of the mount itself. The telescope is not a lightweight device, due to the incursion of multiple lenses and mirrors with the multiple coated spherical tube, a telescope is not only heavy it is also pretty delicate—all the more reasons for the mount to have a sturdy construction itself.
Most companies make their mounts with aluminum for ultimate protection and sturdiness, but in reality, any metal with a good tensile strength can act as fine material. However, plastic or any other material that cannot match the tensile strength of metal should not be molded into a mount as it can easily break under the weight of the telescope.
Intelligently engineered mounts have deployed an ingenious method of balancing a hefty device such as a telescope on a simple accessory with three delicate legs, and that is by introducing a couple of counterweights.
The counterweights are a couple of heavy objects that are placed in the middle of an opened tripod stand. They provide balance to the entire system as they hang directly underneath the telescope reducing the chance of the system to trip over due to any misplacement technically to zero.
It is better to purchase a mount with counterweights as it provides an increased level of security and stability to the device.
There are different qualities of a telescope that make it desirable but, at the same time, limit its capacities as well, such as higher magnification power being related to a smaller field of view. To compensate for this issue with equally high resolution, instead of resorting to finder scopes, people end up purchasing two or more telescopes.
Without the smart technology of a GoTo telescope, it is not easy to point both telescopes in the same direction. Since mounts themselves are not cheap, people often hesitate to purchase them. To counter this issue, some companies have introduced mounts and tripod stands that can support two telescopes at the same time.
This involves having two separate bases on top of one tripod stand where you can lock in your telescope for safe viewing.
There is a limit to everything, just as a mount has a limited capacity of weight it can bear on top of itself before succumbing to the pressure and breaking down. Typically mounts can hold a minimum of 30 pounds of weight, and the range often extends to 70 pounds.
Be sure to check the weight of your entire system, including the extra eyepieces and finder scopes. Weight of everything except for the tripod stand needs to be included in the calculation before purchasing the tripod stand.
Especially when the mount offers to hold two or more telescopes, you need to calculate the weight of both telescopes before buying the accessory.
A telescope is a delicate device, and it needs optimum security, especially when it is going to be placed in the mount that has the support of three long thin legs. On the actual surface where the telescope is placed on top of the stand, there is a small lock that fits the device into place, and its movement is then only associated with the movement of the mount.
The sturdiness of those locks holds its vitality as it is an essential component in keeping the device safe in one place.
As the question place is suggestions for portable telescopes, it is necessary that the accessories involved, especially mounts and tripod stands, must be easily portable as well. A mount is convertible and can easily be stored into a confined space in the bag with the telescope, so it checks out on being an easily portable device.
Other aspects that factor in the practicability of the mount include the weight of the mount itself. It is proven that the heavier the mount, the more stable ground it produces for astronomical adventures.
As a mount holds more weight, its sturdiness also increases, and so a heavier mount is supposed to last longer. Even though the extra weight seems like a bit of a burden while traveling, we assure you it is worth the trouble.
The durability of any product can be increased by manufacturing it with quality materials and carefully engineering its design to perform its optimum function. Secondly, a product lasts its life only if it is treated with care, so mostly it is upon you to make your product last longer.
The warranty offered by the company shows only the level of confidence the company has on its device, and it proves the sturdiness of the device even more now that you can get a refund on your deposit if the mount fails to deliver.
We are not going to hold back on this front as it is quite evident that any advance mount is going to set you back a couple of thousand dollars. All expensive tripod stands are either GoTo mounts or equatorial mounts equipped with motorized belts.
The more basic altitude azimuth mounts do not cost as much as the GoTo mounts as you can procure an alt-az mount only for a couple of hundred dollars.
Frequently Asked Questions
One cannot fathom using a telescope to its maximum limits without the help of a sturdy telescope. Whether it involves simple stargazing, astrophotography, or observation for research purposes, mount is an essential accessory that a telescope can’t just do without.
In every process, the telescope needs to be steady, and the mount is the only device that can provide stability while still offering an extensive range of movement.
Take a look at the reviews of the best portable telescope mounts that we have reviewed for you along with the buying guide and choose one that suits you perfectly.
Happy Stargazing, Folks!