Review: Bushnell Trophy XLT Spotting Scope

Bushnell Trophy XLT 20-60x65mm

Outdoor Empire pick for best spotting scope for the money.

Bushnell is a pretty big optics company who has been around for quite some time. They produce mostly sporting optics and are well known for their rifle scopes, as well as for their spotting scopes.

The Trophy XLT is a budget friendly spotting scope that is designed to fill a variety of purposes. It is a Jack-of-all-trades but master of none style optic. There is nothing noteworthy about it, and it doesn’t excel in a particular field.

It is, however, a little good at everything and well-priced for the quality you get. It’s one of the best spotting scopes for the money.

 

Specifications

Bushnell Trophy XLT

The Bushnell XLT has a 20 to 60 power magnification and a 65 mm objective lens. The elephant in the room is the small exit pupil since it has a diameter of 3.25mm at 20 power and only 1.1mm at 60 power. This makes it difficult to use in low light conditions.

It certainly shines during the day — once the sun is up the Bushnell is in its prime. The straight lens makes it easier to track moving targets left to right and to look at things below your line of sight. It is difficult to look upwards though, so birders need to keep that in mind.

The field of view gives you 110 feet at 20 power, at 1,000 yards. At its maximum power, the FOV shrinks to 55 feet at a thousand yards. The FOV is quite wide, especially for the optic’s price, and is great for tracking a target. The optic’s weight leans on the heavy side at 42.3 ounces but isn’t punishingly heavy.

 

 

Comparison to Similar Products

Factoring in the price range, these two optics are close to being direct competitors to the Bushnell XLT.

ProductBushnell Trophy XLT
Bushnell Trophy XLT

Barska Colorado
Barska Colorado

Gosky
Gosky

Magnification20-60x30-90x20-60x
Objective Lens Diameter65mm90mm 80mm
Close Focus32.8 ft32. 8 ft18 ft
Exit Pupil Diameter[email protected] / [email protected]1.2 - 3.6 mm[email protected], [email protected]
Eye Relief18.3 mm1.78 - 14.8 mm17-13.5 mm
Weight42.3 oz49.6 oz28.2 oz
Length13.4 in22 in17.7 in
CostCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

 

Barska Colorado

Barska Colorado

The Barska Colorado 30-90x90mm is a straight spotting scope and is completely waterproof. It matches the Bushnell in terms of outward durability. Both the Barska and the XLT come complete with a tripod, but the Barska’s taller and more robust.

It has a magnification of 30 to 90x with a 90mm objective lens. However, the Bushnell packs a BAK-4 Prism versus the Barska’s BK-7 prism. The BAK-4 is superior and presents a clearer picture overall. Both units suffer from a small exit pupil, making the higher magnifications a bit blurry in low light conditions.

The Bushnell has a larger field of view overall, but this is mainly due to the differences in magnifications. The Barska and Bushnell have similar close focus ranges and both are plug and play kits right out of the box.

For hunting, the Bushnell is recommended; for birdwatching or shooting, the Barska is a better choice. Both are decent spotting scopes, especially for the price, but the Bushnell is slightly cheaper and it has an excellent warranty service.

 

Gosky

Gosky

The Gosky optics is a small company, but they produce a number of optics that are often aimed at the beginner market. They match the Bushnell almost identically in price and specifically the Gosky 20-60x80mm is the closest competitor.

It is a complete kit, with a carrying case, and a tripod. It also comes with a universal smartphone mount. This allows the user to digiscope with almost any smartphone.

The Gosky has a better exit pupil so using it in low light is slightly clearer. The Bushnell’s multi-coating is done better since the Gosky leaves a slight green tint that’s visible in lower light. Both units are waterproof and coated with rubber armor that keeps it from breaking from short falls and stumbles.

The Bushnell again wins out with its BAK-4 prism; this creates a more consistent and clearer picture. A BAK-4 prism makes a smoother focus and a fully illuminated view through the optic.

 

 

Rating the Bushnell Trophy XLT

This is based on a 1 to 5 stars rating.

Clarity

three star rating

The Bak-4 prism makes this affordable optic surprisingly clear. It’s important to understand that at this price point, the clarity doesn’t get much better. The small exit pupil makes the maximum power lose clarity in low light situations. 3 stars for its clarity.

 

Ease of Use

five star rating

It is just so darn easy to use and setup. The controls are simple. Glancing at the 7-page manual explains it all in a single image. The kit also comes with a tripod, a soft, and a hard case that allows easy carry. 5 stars for its ease of use.

 

Durability

four star rating

It is a hundred percent waterproof and sealed to keep ice, water, dirt and debris out of the optic. It’s also coated in a rubberized armor that allows it to survive short falls and drops. It isn’t submersible, and the lenses do not have any coating to resist abrasions. 4 stars for its durability.

 

Cost

five star rating

It is good at a bit of everything. Though there is no feature to point out where it excels, the optic is well priced for the quality you get. 5 stars for its cost.

 

Summary

It got an overall rating of 4.3 stars. It is an affordable optic and what it offers goes beyond its actual price. It is surprisingly well made, and has a nice and clear picture during the day.

It lacks some finesse but once the price is factored in, it is an above average optic that is usable despite its few downsides.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comes with a tripod, carrying case, and a hard case
  • Good daylight clarity
  • Has a good warranty
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Very low exit pupil at maximum power
  • Quite heavy

 

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Clarity
Ease of Use
Durability
Cost
Travis Pike

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes

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