Choosing a telescope is an exciting process. But, even if you’re sure of the kind you want, choosing the perfect telescope can still be a little confusing.
fOrion is a great choice for telescopes but they have a lot of products available. They also have many products that are very similar to each other. This can be especially confusing if you’re buying your first telescope and don’t know where to start.
But that’s where we come in. We’ve put together the best Orion telescopes available. Read on for some great products, as well as some tips and guidance for the buying process. Everything you need to know about Orion telescopes is just below.
Eager to see a celestial phenomenon and don’t have time to browse? No problem, here’s our top pick for the best Orion telescope.
OUR TOP PICK
Our number one choice for the best telescope mount is the sturdy, stable, and wonderfully lightweight Orion Tritech II Field Tripod with Fluid Pan Head.
With an array of exceptional features, this mount offers a lot at a great value.
The Orion Tritech II Field Tripod with Fluid Pan Head is ideal if you plan on traveling with your telescope.
It provides excellent portable support of cameras, video cameras, spotting scopes, binoculars, and even more. Although lightweight, it is capable of carrying up to 13.2 lbs of equipment.
You will be able to glide your telescope around to point at distant constellations with absolute ease.
Its 2-way fluid head has a 360-degrees azimuth motion with over 90-degrees of altitude rotation with robust pan and tilt lock levers.
The pan handle’s angles are adjustable with a comfortable grip resulting in outstanding tilt and smooth pan control.
It is important to get your leveling right when stargazing and the Orion Tritech II Field Tripod with Fluid Pan Head has two helpful bubble leaves built in to get that precise level you want.
These are situated at the top of the mount’s legs and at the base of the pan head.
Its aluminum alloy legs are extendable with dynamic flip-lock clamps for the utmost stability. Once extended to its max, the mount can reach up to 56.5 inches.
A geared center column elevator shaft with a lock lever provides 11.7 inches of additional extension for a maximum extended height of 68.2 inches.
Your telescope will always be secure thanks to enhanced safety equipment. A quick-release show remains held to keep your telescope in place at all times.
Easy to transport and store, the Orion Tritech II Field Tripod with Fluid Pan Head is fit to carry your treasured telescope and give you a steady look at the sky.
- Very affordable with a wide selection of features
- Lightweight for easy transport
- Excellent portable support for cameras, video cameras, spotting scopes, binoculars, and more
- Features 3-section extendable aluminum alloy tripod legs with flip-lock clamps and spreader brace for supreme stability
- Includes two handy bubble leaves to achieve a perfect level on any terrain
- Cameras that weigh more than 1 lb may struggle to fit
The best mounts should be lightweight, easy to operate, and stable. The Celestron Regal Premium mount has all of this and more.
Requiring minimal level flipping or knob twisting, the Celestron Regal mount has been designed to be the perfect mount.
Lightweight at only 6.04 lbs, this compact mount can still hold up to 9 lbs of equipment.
Containing a two-way fluid pan head, the Celestron Regal allows you to leave your telescope at an angle within its range.
It is a simple mount to use with a single handle to move the head around. Two knobs, found on the same side of the head, allows you to adjust the pan’s and tilt’s tension easily.
Mounts aren’t just for telescopes. The Celestron Regal has a quick release plate with a standard ¼-20 thread mount so you can easily attach a spotting scope, camera, binoculars, or a smaller telescope.
The quick-release plate also includes a safety mechanism to prevent the telescope from sliding and moving out of the pan head.
The adjustable aluminum legs can change angles as well as length. This is great if you are on rough terrain and one leg needs to be shorter than another.
The Celestron Regal can achieve a maximum height of 69 inches for improved visibility.
When in place, the mount will be stable due to a retractable balance hook towards the bottom end of the column holds.
This is especially handy on windy days. Even if you are out in cold weather, the legs come with padded wraps for comfortable adjustments.
- Provides a leveling bubble to achieve the perfect level on any surface
- Comes with a very convenient carry case to keep the mount safe when traveling
- Provides a small compass for basic polar alignment
- Very lightweight but can hold a good amount of weight with strong adjustable legs
- Can reach a maximum height of 69 inches but still comfortable to use from a chair
- Head screw size is not compatible with all binocular tripod adaptors
The AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod is a brilliant lightweight and affordable option. Setting up this mount is quick and easy so you can marvel at the night sky in no time.
Although lightweight, the AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod is compatible with most cameras weighing up to 6.6 lbs.
The three legs can extend from 20 inches up to 48 inches with leg locks that release smoothly and easily to adjust for your desired height.
If you want the maximum height, simply adjust the center post for a 60-inch mount.
Built-in levels above the legs enable you to know when the base of the mount is completely level.
A second level found on the top of the camera plate lets you know when the camera is most level.
The AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod comes with a few accessories including a carry bag for extra protection and will make transport and storage easier.
- Lightweight for easy transport
- Compatible with most video cameras, GoPro devices, still cameras, and scopes
- Can hold up to 6.6lbs of equipment resulting in an optimal performance
- Includes two built-in bubble levels and a 3-way head for swivel and tilt motion alongside portrait or landscape options
- Can transition between shots quickly with a quick-release mounting plate
- No ball so adjustments cannot be done at all angles
Our fourth pick is the sturdy and very useful Celestron Heavy-Duty Alt-Azimuth Tripod. If you like to view the stars hands-free through large binoculars or a spotting scope, this is a perfect mount for you.
The Celestron Heavy-Duty Alt-Azimuth Tripod is best suited to small or medium-sized telescopes such as the Celestron C90. Nonetheless, the legs of this mount are fully adjustable to match your required height. The maximum height can be extended to 45 inches whilst the minimum is 32 inches. Once the mount is open, a center brace stabilizes the legs in place. A metal accessory tray fits to the center of the brace so you can store various accessories to grab easily.
As the name suggests, the Celestron Heavy-Duty Alt-Azimuth Tripod is made from heavy-duty metal. The alt-azimuth metal head can be controlled in two ways. For large adjustments in altitude, just grab the mount and move to where you want to point. This will then be held in position by a friction clutch.
- Very solidly built and withstands breezes or nudges to keep focus
- Lightweight for you to pick up and go swiftly
- Micro adjustments allow for precise sky viewing and photos at a distance
- Includes a metal accessory tray to grab items quickly and easily
- A bit long when folded making it harder to travel with
Sitting comfortably at number five is the Celestron Omni CG4 mount. This provides strong support for many types and sizes of telescopes with some fantastic features.
The Celestron Omni CG4 German Equatorial Mount contains setting circles and slow-motion controls so you can accurately track objects in the sky.
An attractive factor with this mount is that it has an easy no-tool setup. The heavy-duty stainless steel tripod comes pre-assembled.
You will be able to move your telescope across the sky effortlessly thanks to ball bearings in both axis of the mount.
An accessory tray and bubble level are great add-ons for an easy to use experience.
Finding objects in the sky is easy with the Celestron Omni CG4. With a total weight of 30 lbs, you should be able to maneuver this mount with ease.
You can adjust the height of the mount head and tripod up to 42 inches and 55 inches respectively.
Celestron has a distinguished 40 year history of making top-quality telescopes and mounts.
This is no exception with the familiar Celestron, Vixen, Meade, and Orion mounting bars for serene gliding and an overall effortless star gazing experience.
- Includes RA and DEC slow motion controls and setting circles to track and locate objects in the sky with utmost accuracy
- Includes two counterweights of 7 lbs and 4 lbs respectively for added stability
- Very solid mount that won’t be affected by a breeze or movement
- Comes pre-assembled for a no-tool setup
- Slightly heavy compared to its competitors
Best Telescope Mount Buying Guide
There it is. Our five product reviews looking at the best telescope mounts on the market today. Before you jump the gun and invest in a new mount, there are a few important factors you should consider.
Below are some elements you should think about before buying a new telescope mount. These will help you look for and find the perfect mount for your specific needs.
Maximum supported weight
Before choosing your new mount, the first thing you need to make sure of is if it can support your telescope’s weight. Always find out what the maximum weight is and leave some margin for any accessories you may add to your telescope.
Further items such as finder scopes, large eyepieces, attachable motors, and various plates can weigh a lot when combined. The best option is to choose a platform that can hold a few more pounds than your telescope alone. This will ensure your telescope will be stable even with the added accessories.
Different levels of a telescope
You should also consider your telescope’s level of complexity. Telescopes come in all different shapes and sizes but some are more sophisticated than others. Simple telescopes have minimum controls and don’t require too much space.
Superior models have a plethora of gadgets and buttons for maximum precision and control but these won’t suit all telescope stands. If you’re starting out on your journey of stargazing, it is best to start with a model that hasn’t got all the accessories yet but is capable of accepting more features as time goes on.
This will ensure your mount will support your limited telescope in the beginning but also be sturdy enough as you add more accessories.
Portability and stability
Do you use your telescope at home or are you an intrepid explorer who travels long distances to find that perfect stargazing spot? These are questions you need to ask yourself as a lightweight mount is perfect for those who like to move around.
On the other hand, a solid, heavyweight mount is ideal for astronomers who stay in one spot. Lightweight models offer more scope and opportunities for astronomy.
You will be able to take it pretty much anywhere with you such as a holiday or a camping trip. Nonetheless, if you want absolute precision, the best mounts will be heavier.
You won’t be able to carry it around as much but your telescope will remain stable at all times, even under heavy winds. Heavier options will ensure you get clear views of any celestial objects without tremors. These stands usually come with more complex accessories and controls to help you track and locate objects precisely.
Pointing accuracy and tracking precision
There are two types of telescope mounts; alt-az mounts and equatorial mounts. Both use different methods for tracking and pointing at celestial objects.
Al-az mounts, or altitude-azimuth mounts, vary your telescope’s altitude and azimuth. This allows you to adjust your telescope to follow any object in the night sky.
Equatorial mounts have the advantage of allowing your telescope to stay attached and fixed to an object by driving one axis at a constant speed.
The main difference between these types of mounts is the direction of motion and range they allow. The equatorial mount will allow for greater movement in the north to south direction whilst the al-az mount moves from left to right with a slight movement upwards or downwards.
Finding a mount that moves in a particular direction has a great impact on the telescope’s pointing accuracy. A telescope can only track and follow a celestial object by the range of movement the mount allows.
There are a few ranges of movements that can be achieved with mounts that provide stability and support to a telescope.
It is not easy to reposition a heavy telescope often to find that perfect spot for celestial viewing, especially with the added weight of a mount. If you are tracking a moving object in the sky, you will need to reposition your telescope gradually to follow it.
To combat this, some telescopes come equipped with a belt system to make the entire movement of the system easier.
More advanced mounts come with motors that precisely move all the equipment in the desired direction with the push of a button. This makes the whole process infinitely easier.
These models are significantly more expensive than manual mounts so it is important to consider if your budget or comfort is more important.
Telescope mounts, as well as telescopes, come with wide-ranging price tags. These prices depend on the bases’ practicality, ease of use, and stability.
With many mounts being manufactured with motors and digital controls, the price range is increasing. Mounts with simple controls will usually cost less than $100. Those equipped with state of the art controls can cost upwards of $1,000.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the right ascension and declination?
If you want to track celestial objects, you need to know the coordinates. Just like on earth where we have precise coordination based on locations, space objects have latitudes and longitudes.
Declination is the object’s latitude whilst the right ascension is the longitude of celestial objects. This is important to know as the movement of a telescope is restricted according to the declination (from east to west), and the right ascension which moves the mount from north to south.