There are multiple considerations when you’re looking for a telescope for a kid.
How much should you spend?
Will they stay interested in astronomy?
Is a telescope durable enough to handle abuse from children?
Let’s face it. A kid’s interest changes every five minutes, so you don’t want to spend a lot.
Kids are rough – not always on purpose but mishandling is inevitable. A good telescope will help to keep children interested and motivated to seek out more of deep space.
Enter here the Emarth Travel Scope for kids.
It’s a 70 mm refractor and is one of our top telescopes under $100, and it’s covered under a 24-month satisfaction guarantee warranty.
All pleasure and no risk!
✔️ Best Feature: Good optics
❌ Worst Feature: Poor instructions
👌 Ideal For: Celestial Viewing, Terrestrial Viewing, Stargazing, Lunar & Planetary Observation, Kids
- Optical Design: Refractor
- Aperture: 70 mm
- Focal Length: 360 mm
- Focal Ratio: f/5.1
- Eyepieces Included: 25 mm, 10 mm
Our Verdict: As a real telescope designed for kids, the Emarth Travel Scope satisfies all aspects a parent requires. It has real optics, it’s affordable, and you can see space objects. It will get the kiddos out of the house, off the electronics, and enjoying the universe beyond.
Who is the Emarth Travel Scope 70 mm Best Suited to?
Although the Travel Scope is designed and intended for kids, it’s far from a kid’s toy. The tripod extends to a height suitable for children than it is for adults, although, it can be propped onto an extension like a small table for older kids and excited grownups.
There have been many reports from buyers that claim it has withstood the abuse from their children for over a year. Fortunately, if you’re dissatisfied at all with the scope, Emarth will refund or replace the telescope without issue. They’re a budding company so building customer rapport is essential.
How Does the Emarth Travel Scope 70 mm Perform?
The Emarth telescope is a low to mid power telescope with a very short focal length of 360 mm. It’s definitely not an imaging scope or a professional viewing model – again, it’s made for kids. But, it works well with its included Kellner eyepieces for viewing the moon and perhaps some planets if you know where to look for them under good conditions. You will not be able to see planetary features, but a Barlow lens could help you zoom in more for a closer look to observe the floating orbs. With the right filters, you can use this same telescope for viewing eclipses when the time is right.
As a real telescope for children, it could be used to its max potential with older kids. It’s a great model to teach them the basics of using accessories, setting up, packing up, etc. Young children from the ages of 3-7 will require parental guidance throughout the entire observation session. For a telescope that lives up to the demands of children and a parent’s concerns, I’d say the Emarth Travel Scope holds up pretty well.
Features & Benefits
The refractor Travel Scope has good optics for a kid’s telescope – not a toy, but one of the best kid’s telescopes. It has BaK4 glass with multi-coated optics. The fast f/5 focal ratio is ideal for wide-field gazing, but due to its small aperture, it won’t be do those deep sky objects justice – if you can find them. You’ll need a good finder and some experience to do that. But, with kids, you want to start off easy. Start with the moon and then move onto easy to identify planets like Jupiter and Saturn before seeking out to fit Orion Nebula within the field of view or nearby double stars and clusters.
The Emarth Travel Scope comes with a boatload of accessories. Eyepieces are stock Kellners, 25 mm and 10 mm, and they provide 14.4x and 36x magnification respectively. No mention of the type of focuser is made, but it is a 1.25” rack-and-pinion focuser that accepts 1.25” accessories. Keep that in mind if you expand your eyepiece kit or if you buy various filters.
A 5×24 finder scope is also included with the telescope which isn’t always the case with a budget telescope package. The finder does need to be attached and aligned to the telescope. It’s not very effective as it may be too small to effectively sight an object. One thing newbies should know is that it’s an achromatic optic, so images will appear upside down which is of no consequence in space.
An erect image diagonal is also thrown into the package and is a neat inclusion. It allows the young user to look through the eyepiece and use it for terrestrial observation. Images will be seen as you would normally see with correct image orientation.
A tripod is also included which is nice for the price, but the fact that a carry case is also packaged into the buy and it fits both the tripod and the tube is outstanding. You’ll also find a pan handle, star and moon maps, and an instructional manual in the box.
The mount is very basic with azimuth movement. It allows the user to make side-to-side motions as they search across the sky or landscape. The tripod has legs that extend to 42.7” at full length, but it can retract down to 15.7” – small enough to be packed into the trunk of your car. At full length, it can become flimsy, but depending on the height of your children, it’s likely better if it’s retracted somewhat anyway. You can always keep it retracted to its most reliable position and then mount it atop a table for extra height.
The entire setup is designed for portability in mind. As discussed, the tripod retracts down to a convenient size of approximately a foot and the included carry case holds both the tripod and the tube. The tube is approximately 18” long and the entire assembly is very lightweight. Remove the tube from the tripod for easier transportation and storage.
Thanks to the closed optics, this telescope has been made waterproof. Sealed optics allow for protection against accidents and light rain. This may prove to be a valuable benefit of the scope for those times you underestimated the weather or the kid’s Kool-Aid found its way near the tube. The tube body can easily be wiped down and cleaned but use special optical tools to clean the lens or a microfiber cloth in circular motions being careful never to touch or scratch the glass.
Unfortunately, it’s been said that the instructions aren’t very helpful for buyers. The lack of quality instructions, labeling of parts, and lack of education about telescopes and how to use them effectively has turned some buyers sour against the travel scope. If you have some experience with telescopes, you’ll have a leg up in putting it together and using quality accessories to find targets and see clearly.
Can You Use the Emarth Telescope for Terrestrial Viewing?
Emarth include an erect image diagonal that allows for terrestrial viewing. It corrects the image orientation so that you can see it as you normally would through a spotting scope. With the eyepieces, you’ll have high power for viewing wildlife at a distance. The scope will still be suspect to mirage as spotting scopes are.
What Age Group is the Emarth Travel Scope Designed for?
Emarth states that children over three years old can use the Emarth Travel Scope for kids. Children in the young age group of 3-7 will require adult supervision at all times.
Can You See Planets with the Travel Scope 70 mm Refractor?
The telescope is designed to allow excellent views of the moon. Emarth specifically states it’s not intended for planetary viewing. However, with some quality eyepieces (if you already have them) and perhaps a Barlow lens, you may be able to push the optical limits to get a glimpse of Jupiter.
Can the Telescope be Used on a Different Tripod?
Emarth says the telescope can be mounted onto a different tripod if you want to switch it out for a longer tripod. This may be more convenient for older children or adults.
Are Images Upside Down Through the Travel Scope Telescope?
As a telescope, yes, images are upside down. In space, this is of no consequence as you view the moon. However, for land-based viewing, you must attach the erect image diagonal to correct for image orientation.
The Emarth Travel Scope 70 Refractor is more expensive than a kid’s toy because it’s not a kid’s toy.
It’s a refracting telescope with real glass and azimuth movement to explore the moon with. It may not be the first choice for a tween, but for young kiddos that need a durable and easy to use instrument ready for the taking at a moment’s notice, the Travel Scope is up to the job.
For parents, it fits the budget and will keep the kids busy and entertained for many evenings to come.
The Emarth refractor is a decent starter telescope especially for those small and sticky fingers that want to get a close-up of bodies hovering in the night sky.