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.
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.
|Product|| || ||
|Objective Lens Diameter||65mm||90mm||80mm|
|Close Focus||32.8 ft||32. 8 ft||18 ft|
|Exit Pupil Diameter||[email protected] / [email protected]||1.2 - 3.6 mm||[email protected], [email protected]|
|Eye Relief||18.3 mm||1.78 - 14.8 mm||17-13.5 mm|
|Weight||42.3 oz||49.6 oz||28.2 oz|
|Length||13.4 in||22 in||17.7 in|
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Comes with a tripod, carrying case, and a hard case
- Good daylight clarity
- Has a good warranty
- Easy to use
- Very low exit pupil at maximum power
- Quite heavy