Best Telescope For Family Use 2021; Reviews
Here in this “Best Telescope For Family” article we’ve rounded up 11 of the top telescopes of various types, specifications, and budget. Below, you’ll find in-depth reviews of each of the selected models.
Looking at the night sky can be an inspiring moment for not just for youngsters but for the entire family, and the right telescope can drive an interest in skywatching for a lifetime.
Children can be especially awed by the power of a telescope. Instead of reading dry facts about space in their school textbooks, they can turn astronomy into a living subject right before their eyes.
Moreover, with a good telescope for the family, stargazing from your backyard or balcony can be one of the most enjoyable things you can do with your entire family.
Also, if you want to start or nurture your child’s interest in space, you should consider buying them a telescope. You don’t have to be a technical genius to shop around for the best telescope for family use or cool astronomy gadgets. In fact, with this buying guide, ordering a telescope that is perfectly suitable for your entire family will be a breeze.
Table Of Contents
- 1 COMPARISON TABLE
- 2 Best Telescope For Family Use
- 3 Best Overall
- 4 Best Refractor Telescope
- 5 Best For Kids
- 6 Best GoTo Telescope
- 7 Best Dobsonian Pick
- 8 Best Portable Telescope
- 9 Best iPhone Astrophotography Telescope
- 10 Best Budget Pick
- 11 Best Computerized Telescope
- 12 Best For The Moon
- 13 Best Beginners Telescope
- 14 Conclusion
|TopTop Top Top Top Top||Celestron - PowerSeeker 127EQ||Best Overall||Type: Reflector, Aperture: 127 mm(5″), Focal length: 1000mm, Focal Ratio: f/8||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top||Gskyer Telescope||Best Refractor||Aperture:90mm(3.5”), Focal length: 600mm, Focal Ratio: f/6.7||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top||Celestron 21024 FirstScope||Best For Kids||Type: Newtonian Reflector, Aperture: 76mm (3″), Focal length: 300mm, Focal Ratio: f/4||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top||Celestron - 114LCM||Best GoTo||Type: Reflector, Aperture: 114 mm(4.5″), Focal length: 1000mm, Focal Ratio: f/8.8||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top||Orion 10014 SkyQuest XT4.5||Best Dobsonian||Type: Newtonian Reflector, Aperture: 114mm (4.5”), Focal length: 900mm, Focal Ratio: f/7.9||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top||Zhumell Z100 Portable Altazimuth Reflector Telescope||Best Portable||Type: Newtonian Reflector, Aperture: 100mm (3.94″), Focal length: 400mm, Focal Ratio: f/4||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top||Celestron - 70mm Travel Scope DX||Best For iPhone||Aperture: 70mm (2.8″), Focal length: 400mm, Focal Ratio: f/5.7||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top||TELMU Telescope, 70mm||Best Budget Pick||Type: Refractor, Aperture: 70mm (2.75″), Focal length:400mm, Focal Ratio: f/5.7||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top||Celestron - NexStar 130SLT||Best Computerized||Type: Newtonian Reflector, Aperture: 130mm (5.12″), Focal length: 650mm, Focal Ratio: f/5||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top Top Top||Meade Instruments – Infinity 60mm||Best For The Moon||Type: Refractor Aperture: 60mm (2.36”) Focal length: 800mm Focal Ratio: f/13.3||See on Amazon|
|Top||Orion 10012 SkyScanner||Best Beginner Telescope||Type: Reflector, Aperture: 100mm (3.94”), Focal length: 400mm||See on Amazon|
Best Telescope For Family Use
With so many models and characteristics any modern telescope has, it becomes rather hard for both novices and pros to find the one We have analyzed the features that make the best telescope to help you pick out the one that is most suited to your family.
Celestron – PowerSeeker 127EQ
Celestron’s PowerSeeker 127EQ 127mm f/8 Reflector Telescope features a respectable focal length and a large, parabolic mirror that produce detailed images of the Moon, clear views of the planets, and the ability to resolve bright distant objects such as nebulae and galaxies.
The telescope is easy to set up & use. A no-tools-required assembly just involves attaching the telescope tube to a preassembled tripod and an equatorial mount. You can be using this telescope within minutes of unpackaging it.
You could easily fit this telescope and tripod in the trunk of a car and still have room for your other equipment for your late night stargazing expedition.
Or you could easily carry this one of the best telescope for family to your backyard or balcony and set it up for a fun evening of night sky exploration.
The Celestron PowerSeeker comes with a 4mm eyepiece and a 20mm eyepiece, giving you 50x and 250x views right out of the box.
You can also fit the included 3x Barlow lens over either eyepiece to further expand things by a factor of three.
In terms of optics, the Celestron 127EQ is a relatively slow scope with a focal ratio of f/7.9.
A simpler way of saying the same thing is that pictures taken through it will be less distorted than with a low-f scope, especially around the edges of the field of view.
Another advantage is that a bigger f/number generally makes it easier to get an attached camera into focus.
The major drawback of a slow telescope is that, all things being equal, you’ll need to use a longer exposure time for photography. This is where the special mount of the Celestron PowerSeeker comes into play.
The quality of optics Power Seeker 127 EQ has to offer is great; even superb for the money. The entirety of the optical elements sport fully coated glass that provides exceptional levels of clarity, contrast, and brightness.
With its highest magnification level being 250x and lowest 18x, we can safely conclude that it’s absolutely perfect for planet watching, star observation, or gazing at the moon and a good chunk of the stars closest to earth.
- Great optics for the price
- Highly portable
- Easy to use and assemble
- Comes with great accessories
- 2 year warranty
- Slow motion controls
- Unstable locking screws
Best Refractor Telescope
Gskyer Telescope AZ90600
Gskyer is a German company and is one of the best telescope brands in the world, known to produce high-quality telescopes.
This is a great starter telescope for the explorer who intends to take their telescope with them on their journeys. Hiking, camping, and even moonlit fishing trips will be more fun when you have this telescope along with you.
The Gskyer AZ90600 is one of the best refractor telescopes for the money. If you live in the city and you aren’t able to see much of the sky due to light pollution, you’ll want a telescope like this that’s easy to carry with you.
The 90 millimeter aperture is perfect for viewing most of the things you’d want to view, and all of the glass optics are coated to automatically adjust the brightness of the stars to a level safe and comfortable for observation.
Though this is a beginner telescope, you can use it to observe the moon, stars, meteors, and planets. The telescope offers great clarity, allowing you to see the surface of the moon, the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter.
It also comes with a smartphone adapter, which allows you to use the phone as a screen, or as a camera to take great pictures.
Plus, this model is extremely easy to assemble and doesn’t require any calibration. If you’re a telescope beginner, you won’t have to worry about any tricky steps or complicated tests.
The Gskyer AZ90600 comes with an adjustable tripod. This adjustable aluminum tripod offers the viewer many different viewing positions. The height of the aluminum tripod can be adjusted from about 31.5-inch to 49-inch.
This is one of the best telescope for families and children, it’s 90mm (3.5″) aperture gives bright, sharp images for both land and celestial objects.
Whether you’re viewing the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter, surface details on the Moon, or terrestrial objects, the Infinity 90 Refractor allows the amateur astronomer to explore the solar system and beyond.
- Large aperture
- 3 eyepieces
- Smartphone adapter
- Easy to assemble and use
- Adjustable tripod
- Perfect travel telescope
- Good for viewing planets, stars not so much
Best For Kids
Celestron 21024 FirstScope
The Celestron 21024 FirstScope Telescope offers excellent potential as a first telescope for beginner astronomers eager to learn more about reflector style scopes and their optical capabilities.
Although priced towards the lower end, the Celestron 21024 easily stands up against other competitors. Aesthetically pleasing, this particular model features a chic and modern look. The compact design, lightweight frame, and portability make the Celestron 21024 easy to grab on the way out.
The telescope has a tabletop design with a lightweight base. The base has three rubber feet for rock-solid stability on any surface. And the mount is a Dobsonian design, which makes it very easy to use. It is an altazimuth mount, meaning it can be moved in four directions, up-down and left-right.
The Celestron FirstScope 76mm f/4 Signature Series Moon Alt-Az Reflector Telescope is designed as an ideal entry-level optic for observing the Moon and planets, comet-watching, and enjoying meteor showers.
This tabletop telescope features a Newtonian reflector optical design, and comes with two fully multi-coated 1.25″ diameter eyepieces (20mm and 4mm ) that yield 15x and 75x magnifications.
The Newtonian reflector is one of the best telescope for family use as it possesses a fast focal ratio to provide a wide field of view that’s ideal for not just viewing the planets and the lunar surface, but also allows the observer to view diffuse, wide-angle targets such as star clusters.
You’ll notice that the telescope’s base is short, meaning that you’ll need to place it on a table in order to use it comfortably: a hindrance for some observers, however, if you have children who have been pestering you for a telescope, the FirstScope is the perfect solution, especially given its small build and ease of use.
- It is very lightweight, and easy to carry around.
- The mount and base are very stable.
- Excellent build quality and finish, better than some higher priced models.
- The design is so good; it could even be a decorative showpiece.
- Requires no assembly, can be used straight away.
- Does not come with any instructions.
- Magnification capabilities are rather limited.
Best GoTo Telescope
Celestron – 114LCM
The Celestron 114LCM 114mm f/9 Computerized GoTo Reflector Telescope features a 114mm diameter parabolic primary mirror that is coated with highly-reflective aluminum to allow for detailed observation of the Moon and planets, with the ability to reach outside our solar system and view binary stars, clusters, galaxies, and nebulae.
The 114LCM consists of an optical tube with a 4.5-inch mirror and a focal length of 1000mm giving a focal ratio of f/9. It has a basic rack and pinion focuser that takes 1.25-inch eyepieces: 25mm and 9mm eyepieces are provided giving magnifications of 40x and 111x.
The Celestron 114LCM has over three and a half times the light gathering capacity of a typical 60mm starter scope. That means visibly brighter deep space images and the ability to see many more faint objects than a 60mm scope could ever hope to show.
It has 90% more resolution than a 60mm scope as well, to let you see more sharper and detailed views of the Moon, planets, binary stars, and star clusters.
A built-in StarPointer red dot finder helps to aim the telescope, especially during the alignment phase.
The tube is attached to the motorised base via a Vixen-style mounting bar that connects to the aluminium tripod using a bolt on the underside.
The Celestron 114 LCM is one of the best computerized telescope for family use and it comes with a standard StarPointer red dot finder and an extremely short orange anodized aluminum Vixen style dovetail.
The NexStar+ LCM hand controller lets you control, align and operate the telescope. It has a database of 4,000 targets including Solar System, Messier, NGC and Caldwell objects, along with double stars, variable stars and more.
The telescope features a single fork arm altazimuth design with pre-installed enclosed dual DC servo motor drives.
A compartment in the drive base accepts eight user-supplied AA batteries for powering the telescope. An optional AC adapter and rechargeable battery pack are available to conserve battery life.
The preassembled tripod has aluminum legs to damp vibrations quickly. The center leg brace holds a convenient no-tool quick-release accessory tray to keep your eyepieces and accessories.
- Beginner friendly GoTo telescope
- Decent optics
- Free download of astronomy software programs for an interactive sky simulation
- Multiple accessories
- Weak battery life
- Calibration can take some time
Best Dobsonian Pick
Orion SkyQuest XT4.5
The Orion SkyQuest XT4.5 Classic Dobsonian telescope has been designed with ease-of-use in mind. It’s a true “Dobsonian” telescope, having all the great features and value that make the Dobsonian reflector design so popular.
The SkyQuest XT4.5 collects a whopping 260% more light than a typical 60mm-aperture beginner telescope – which simply means hundreds more objects will be visible through this classic dobsonian.
With it’s 4.5″ aperture and 900mm focal length you can have the clear views of lunar craters and plains on the Moon, planets, bright nebulas and galaxies.
You can even see Jupiter’s cloud band, Saturn’s rings.
The XT4.5 is easily the best dobsonian telescope for family use and children as it is compact and lightweight compared to its competitors.
The Orion SkyQuest XT4.5 comes with some amazing accessories. You get a 6×26 Orion achromatic correct-image finder scope and a “navigation knob” for easy slewing of the telescope.
You also get two fully coated Orion 1.25″ Sirius Plossl eyepieces: a 25mm for low-power views at 36x, and a 10mm for getting in close at 91x.
The Orion SkyQuest XT4.5 is one of the best telescope for beginners, it’s not a toy. It’s a quality astronomical instrument capable of delivering high-resolution images of astronomical objects.
The SkyQuest XT4.5 comes with a wooden Dobsonian base. The base also has some Nylon bearing pads, which prevent the scope from moving from position, allowing you to have a vibrations free viewing.
- Affordable telescope with a great quality-price ratio
- Very good optical and mechanical performance
- Fully accessorized
- Perfect for amateurs with its simple and stable configuration
- Short eyepiece height
- Plastic focuser
Best Portable Telescope
Zhumell’s Z100 is one of the low priced telescopes that we highly recommend for an amateur astronomer. Many intermediate astronomers have recommended Zhumell Z100 to be the best first telescope.
It offers nearly all the features of a larger reflector telescope except in a smaller package and much lower price.
The Z100 features a sophisticated 100 mm parabolic primary mirror. This parabolic mirror enables significantly sharper views by removing visual imperfections such as spherical aberration.
You’ll be able to depend on greater than 90% light transmission for brighter views of nebulae and other faint objects.
The Z100 comes on a perfect tabletop Dobsonian mount, which it attaches via a plastic Vixen dovetail saddle.
The mount is made of particle board, but the azimuth bearings are strong Teflon pads.
The Zhumell Z100 Dobsonian Reflector kit includes a red dot finderscope and two fully multi-coated eyepieces, a 17 mm eyepiece with 24x magnification for wide field views, and a 10 mm eyepiece with higher 40x magnification and a screwdriver
The Z100 is perfect for those just getting started with astronomy, or for those in need of a grab-and-go scope for their family.
- Easy to use red dot finder makes aiming the Z100 easy.
- Two included 17mm and 10mm eyepieces for max magnification.
- Dobsonian style base allows for smooth motions and easy tracking.
- Compact and portable
- Will need regular maintenance and collimation
- Not very clear at its max magnification power
Best iPhone Astrophotography Telescope
Celestron – 70mm Travel Scope DX
The Celestron 21035 70mm Scope is an excellent, easy-to-use, portable scope that comes with its own backpack and a variety of features.
The Travel Scope is a great choice for both children who are looking to start off their astronomical hobby and for intermediate astronomers looking to refine their skills.
The scope comes with a 45 degree correct image diagonal, one 20mm and one 10mm eyepiece, a finder scope, a tripod, a lens cleaning cloth and an excellent instruction manual.
The 2.76 inch aperture is well-suited for the purpose of this portable telescope and provides bright and crisp views given its size.
The included eyepieces work very well in providing clear, crisp views of smaller objects. You’ll find it easy to get good looks at the details of the moon and you can even see the crevasses of the moons of Jupiter.
It even provides you the magnification you need to spot the terrestrial objects you’re looking for in the night sky.
The telescope also comes with Sky X software, which allows you to learn the basics of astronomy and how to use your new telescope. Sky X is a great addition to any telescope and is an excellent tool to help beginners.
If you are looking for a small refractor telescope with decent optics then the Celestron 70mm is a great option.
It is one of the best portable telescope for family use and has an excellent value as a beginner’s telescope.
We highly recommend it for all beginner astronomers and especially for those who are always on the move with their telescopes.
The best features of Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope are its price and portability. Given the number of components, the price is extremely small. This is an excellent, easy-to-use, portable telescope.
- Compact size makes the telescope highly portable
- Good value for money
- Decent optics
- Comes with its own backpack
- Good value for money
- Wobbly tripod
- Finderscope and focuser are made of plastic
Best Budget Pick
The TELMU 70mm Aperture Refracting Telescope is a budget entry that tries to set itself apart with the inclusion of a phone adapter. With this, you’ll be able to use your phone as a viewing screen with your telescope or use it to take incredible photographs.
What sets this kit apart is that it’s designed for travel. There’s an expandable tripod that folds down small for travel, and a backpack that’s designed to safely carry the telescope and the tripod.
If you’re looking for a telescope to take on camping trips or other night time excursions, you’ll love what this one provides. It includes a large 70-millimeter lens, which is big enough to make out detail on the moon and some of the planets in our solar system.
The most unexpected feature of the TELMU telescope is that it comes with two magnification lenses that produce high-quality images.
You would not expect such a feature on a cheap telescope. The 25 mm eyepiece lens has a magnification of 16x while a 6 mm eyepiece lens has a magnification of 67x. This 25 mm eyepiece lens is useful when viewing compact images like the surrounding.
However, the 6 mm eyepiece lens has great magnification that you can view the layout of the moon. TELMU telescope’s eyepiece lenses are also adjustable up to 45-degree angles making it easier to view from any angle you wish.
The TELMU telescope is also easy to set up, and operate as there is a user manual that comes with the telescope.
Moreover, the manufacturer has included a link on how to set up the telescope when purchasing it. For this reason, users would not be facing any difficulties when setting up the telescope.
Lastly, the telescope comes with a 2-year warranty which creates customer satisfaction when buying the telescope. The manufacturer is also willing to refund if their product comes with any signs of defects.
- Large lens
- Easy assembly
- Smartphone adapter
- Two eyepieces
- Carrying backpack
- Finderscope could be better
Best Computerized Telescope
Celestron – NexStar 130SLT
The Celestron NexStar 130SLT 130mm f/5 Reflector Telescope is a complete platform for making observations of the Moon, planets, and bright deep-space objects such as binary stars, star clusters, galaxies and nebulae.
The combination of large aperture and shorter focal length translates to a fast f/5 focal ratio making this iteration of the NexStar telescope series ideal for wide-field astrophotography or making detailed images of the Moon.
With the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope comes a handheld computer that features SkyAlign technology incorporated right into the telescope, automatically finding and pointing the telescope to the planet or star that you would like to see by way of a few button presses.
And another great thing is that the Celestron brand is one of the top telescope manufacturers in the world so you can’t go wrong here.
The software in the telescope also boasts a database of over 4,000 celestial objects including nebulae, galaxies and stars.
You can upgrade the software online to ensure that you always have the latest information included with your Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope.
Celestron supplies two nice eyepieces with the NexStar 130. The “wider” of the two, the 25mm, is about right to stare at galaxies or – with an added lunar filter – at the moon. The “tighter,” a 9mm, will show you larger details on planets.
Designed for hobbyists, the NexStar Celestron features a rugged stainless steel tripod accessory tray, with the body of the telescope also made of the same material.
The best part about this telescope’s exterior is that you can have the scope itself out of the box and ready for use in only a few minutes.
Hobbyists will enjoy the SkyAlign technology, and how it eliminates the need for the user to do a manual pole alignment themselves.
- Wide field of view
- Handheld computer makes it easy to find celestial bodies
- Weighs only 18 pounds for simple transport
- Deep views of the sky
- Lightweight & easy to use
- Good for Moon or planetary astrophotography
Drains out battery quickly
Best For The Moon
Meade Instruments – Infinity 60mm
The Meade Infinity 60 mm Altazimuth Refractor Telescope comes with everything you need to view the wonders of the night sky the first time out. It includes an altazimuth mount with a built-in slow-motion control rod, for easy and quick tracking of celestial objects.
It is one of the best affordable telescope for family use, designed for beginners and children, the Infinity 60mm f/13.3 Alt-Azimuth Refractor Telescope from Meade is intended to introduce viewers to astronomy by giving them a complete set up for viewing the Moon, planets, and meteor showers.
Its manual alt-azimuth mount has an altitude lock and slow-motion controls for precise tracking of subjects. Two eyepieces provide 31x and 89x magnifications with a 2x Barlow lens that doubles the magnification of each eyepiece for a wider-range of observing possibilities.
With this amazing telescope you can see the Moon in great detail. Jupiter and its 4 Galilean Moons, Mars and Venus are also visible.
Deep space objects such as the Orion Nebula and a few star clusters are also possible to see. The wing shape of the start structure is clearly visible, which is a huge win with a telescope at this price range. As long as the object you are looking at is bright, you will get a clear image of it.
- Grab-and-Go portable telescope
- Value for money
- Comes with a Barlow lens
- Fold-down rubber eyecups
- Cheap eyepieces
Best Beginners Telescope
The Orion SkyScanner is an affordable entry-level telescope which is perfect for amateurs and great for home astronomy as well.
The telescope’s ease of use and set-up makes it one of the best for the entire family where it can be enjoyed by young and old alike.
With the Skyscanner 100mm reflector telescope you can see the Moon in full detail, with craters and surface textures and shades; Jupiter, with its clouds and moons, in bright and clear images, especially if you live in a low light-polluted area.
You can also see Saturn with all its rings and its moon Titan, Mars, in good colours, depending on the time of year you look at it, the Pleiades star clusters and the Orion Nebula and Andromeda Nebula.
You will receive two eyepieces (20x and 40x magnification) with your purchase, to add some variety in the magnification power of your device.
The Orion SkyScanner features a very useful Orion EZ Finder II reflex sight that is capable of helping you bring forward the area you want to explore with great ease.
Since it is a compact version of a telescope, it is one of the best telescope for family use, beginners or children.
Its small size and light weight not only makes it one of the best telescope for amateurs make it extremely portable. Moreover, consumers have reported that the scope can be set up within about 10 minutes of being removed from the box.
The telescope possesses a 100mm aperture, which is larger than apertures on other beginner telescopes and which is especially large considering the compact nature of the SkyScanner.
Along with the telescope, you get caps for the optical tube and focuser. The tube cap has an inner cap which can be removed for low power lunar viewing.
You also get free StarryNight Basic planetarium software, a DVD with programs giving a tour of the solar system, and an instruction booklet.
Although the Orion SkyScanner is a tabletop telescope, If there isn’t a table nearby, you can easily attach its wooden altazimuth base to a field tripod.
- Strong entry-level scope
- Better value than super-low-cost telescopes
- 100mm aperture offers significantly more light than many entry-level telescopes
- Smooth focusing mechanism allows for greater image sharpness and control
- Comes with a variety of accessories
- Better for wide-angle viewing at low power
- Tabletop mount offers good stability, but astrophotographers may want a tripod for greater stability
We hope that our in-depth review of the best telescope for family use helped you choose a telescope that is perfectly suitable for everybody in your home.
To buy the best telescope, you need to keep the things mentioned above in mind while looking for a telescope, and you’ll find your ideal product. We have made your research work a bit easier by listing down the best products.
All the 11 best telescopes for families in this list are known for their excellent results, and regardless of which one you choose, you will not be disappointed.