Our top pick for the best portable launch monitor is the SkyTrak Launch Monitor. It offers accurate measurements and is considered the king of value launch monitors. Another great option is the Foresight Sports GCQuad Launch Monitor, which uses advanced camera technology and infrared object tracking for precise measurements. The Full Swing KIT Launch Monitor is another reliable and accurate option, endorsed by Tiger Woods. It has a compact design, customizable OLED full-color screen, and is portable. Keep reading for more detailed insights.
Portable launch monitors provide a lot of convenience, as they can be used indoors and outdoors. They are small, lightweight devices that can be easily transported to the driving range or the golf course. They measure a number of metrics like ball speed, launch angle, and spin rate. This information can help you understand your game better and make necessary adjustments to improve your performance.
But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to know which one to choose.
In this article, we'll be looking at the 10 best portable launch monitors on the market. We'll be reviewing each one in detail, discussing their features, pros, and cons. We'll also provide a buyer's guide to help you make an informed decision.
By the end of this article, you'll have all the information you need to choose the best portable launch monitor for your needs.
No time to read the whole article? No worries. We've done the work for you and compiled a list of the top performers.
Why You'd Want To Buy A Portable Launch Monitor
A launch monitor offers valuable insights into your club and ball data, allowing you to make informed decisions on swing changes, club selection, and bag setups. With access to key metrics such as ball speed, club speed, launch angle, spin rate, etc., you have a clearer picture of how your golf ball is flying and how your swing is affecting the outcome.
The convenience of a portable launch monitor means you can bring it wherever you go, whether it's to the driving range, your backyard, or your favorite golf course.
Touring professionals and amateurs alike can benefit from the instant feedback and data provided by a launch monitor. And with advancing technologies, you no longer have to break the bank to own an accurate launch monitor. There are many affordable options available for golfers at all levels.
The 10 Best Portable Launch Monitors - Detailed Reviews
The following is our final list of the best portable golf launch monitors based on features like budget, accuracy, portability, ease of setup and use, etc.
SkyTrak Launch Monitor
The SkyTrak Launch Monitor has reigned over the value launch monitor market ever since it launched back in 2014. It is one of the most popular units that combined affordability, portability and accuracy comparable to units that cost twice or three times its price.
With features such as Skills Assessment, Bag Mapping, Practice Randomizer, Wedge Matrix, etc., the SkyTrak Launch Monitor provides excellent accuracy when capturing key metrics such as distance and swing speed. This device is perfect for indoor and outdoor use, making it a versatile option for practicing your golf game.
The Launch Monitor is compatible with various platforms and software options, ensuring that you can continue to use it for years to come. You can choose between three in-house software plans: the Basic Driving Range Plan (with a virtual driving range and the possibility to provide metrics), the Game Improvement Plan (with additional features to help improve your game) and the Play & Improve Plan with access to playable virtual courses and online games and tournaments via the WGT software.
Moreover, the unit is compatible with the best software like TGC2019, E6 Connect, Awesome Golf, etc., so you have the choice to include your favorite software; just remember that the upgrade should be done through Skytrak's website or via its software interface.
While its successor device, the SkyTrak+, was released in 2023, the SkyTrak Launch Monitor still remains a popular choice among golfers of all levels.
- Accurate measurements
- King of value launch monitors
- Compatibility with various platforms and software options
- For use both indoors and outdoors
- Plenty of game improvement challenges and game modes
- Decent battery life of 6 hours
- Accuracy is affected if the lens faces direct light (when used outdoors)
While there are pricier commercial systems available on the market, the SkyTrak Launch Monitor is an excellent option for those seeking an affordable yet powerful portable launch monitor.
The Skytrak is such a popular unit thanks to the great value it provides. You get much more than what you pay for.
If you wish to be an early adopter of the 2023 Skytrak upgrade, you can invest in the new Skytrak + launch monitor, which supports the same software components as the original Skytrak, but now combines Doppler radar technology to track both club and ball data more accurately. We have high hopes for Skytrak + based on the great value and quality of its predecessor.
We do have a full dedicated review of the Skytrak + launch monitor if you want to know more about the new and improved device!
Foresight Sports GCQuad Launch Monitor - Portable, But …
The Foresight Sports GCQuad Launch Monitor is a game-changer in the industry, boasting cutting-edge innovation that is a step above its competitors.
This professional-grade launch monitor uses advanced camera technology and infrared object tracking to precisely measure club and ball performance metrics.
The GCQuad is the most expensive portable launch monitor in the GC line (and the priciest photometric unit), but it's worth every penny for the accuracy and quality it provides.
One of the greatest strengths of the GCQuad launch monitor is its portability, allowing you to take this impressive piece of cutting-edge technology anywhere you want. The ergonomic design makes it easy to carry from home to the driving range. However, with a weight of 7.5 lbs ( around 3,4 kilos), it might not be the most portable unit; it might even be the least portable unit among portable launch monitors.
Setting up the unit is straightforward, making it user-friendly. Once the GCQuad is placed around 22 inches away from the hitting area, it will track ball and club data inside a zone that's approximately 14″x16″ large. It takes just 30 seconds to conduct its start-up process, and the blinking green LED indicator shows that it's ready to track. Please note that a greater hitting area can be achieved if some metrics are sacrificed.
The accuracy of the readings is very close to those of TrackMan, which is considered to be the king of launch monitors.
However, the GCQuad has the edge indoors due to its photometric camera technology. The launch monitor never missed a shot during tests, but some issues with carry distance readings may occur with high swing speed.
The GCQuad can also be hooked up to full golf simulation with Foresight Sports' in-house FSX 2020 and FSX Play software and support for Trugolf’s E6 CONNECT and Creative Golf 3D. FSX Play is designed to provide an ultra-realistic golf simulation experience, while E6 CONNECT is a powerful simulator software solution. Golfers on a budget can opt for the Creative Golf 3D program.
All of the supported software options provide practice ranges, full course play, game modes, skills challenges, and opportunities for you to compete with other players worldwide.
Portability? GCQuad VS. GC3 & Launch Pro
As mentioned earlier, the GCQuad is a portable launch monitor that can be used indoors or out and provide extremely accurate data; however, it is a bulkier and heavier unit (compared to other units), and it’s not the easiest to carry around the course.
If you want (almost) the same degree of accuracy and performance of the GCQuad, but in a slightly smaller and more portable form, we highly recommend going with the FS GC3 or Bushnell’s Launch Pro units (Physically, they are the same). These weigh around 5lbs / 2.3kg, which makes them more portable. They both use a triple-camera system to provide very accurate data.
Moreover, the GC3 and Launch Pro are considerably cheaper than the GCQuad, with the GC3 costing around $7500 (with software included) and the Bushnell Launch Pro around $3000.
- Unmatched accuracy for indoor performance- Excellent outdoors, too.
- Sleek and appealing design.
- User-friendly and intuitive operation.
- Effortless session data analysis.
- Remarkably fast and reliable performance.
- Expensive unit.
- Slightly heavy for portability.
The Foresight Sports GCQuad Launch Monitor is a must-have investment for avid golfers who want to take their game to the next level. While it might be too complicated for beginners (because of all the readings and features it provides), it is perfect for advanced players who actually need those metrics and advanced features.
The accuracy of its readings, portability, and ability to hook up to golf simulation software make it stand out from its competitors.
Overall, the GCQuad is a cutting-edge innovation that combines advanced camera technology and infrared object tracking to provide world-class results. You will get (almost) the same performance of the GCQuad plus the increased portability if you decide to go with the GC3 or the Launch Pro.
Full Swing KIT Launch Monitor
The Full Swing KIT Launch Monitor is accurate, affordable and approved by none other than Tiger Woods himself. Woods has been a long-time endorser of the brand and worked closely with them in designing the Full Swing Kit.
This advanced, radar-based launch monitor is designed with high processing power and accuracy, and it comes with a compact design that's easy to take on the go. It's also the only launch monitor with a customizable OLED full-color screen, which makes it easy to read data in any lighting conditions.
Setting up the Full Swing KIT is a breeze, and it can be done in just a few easy steps. Simply press the power button on the left side of the unit, place it about 10 feet behind the ball, and ensure that it's level with the hitting zone.
Then, install the Full Swing KIT app on your iOS device, create a Full Swing account, and pair the device with the KIT. Once you're set up, you can start tracking an array of club and ball data parameters through machine-learned Doppler radar and dedicated processors. You get 16 data points in total.
One of the best things about the Full Swing KIT is its portability. It comes with a protective case that can fit in a golf bag, and it's easy to take with you to the range or any other outdoor location. Furthermore, with the recent firmware upgrade, it can now be used indoors as a golf simulator.
It's currently compatible with the iOS version of E6 CONNECT, which provides a rich and diverse range of features and courses. Whether you're playing indoors or outdoors, the Full Swing KIT is a reliable and accurate launch monitor that can help you improve as a golfer.
- Powerful hardware & lightning fast processing of data
- Compact design and protective case make it easy to take on the go
- Customizable OLED full-color screen
- Measures 16 data parameters with high accuracy
- Compatible with E6 CONNECT for a rich and diverse range of features and courses
- Android devices not supported
- Minor issues with accuracy, but recent firmware updates have addressed this issue
Overall, the Full Swing KIT Launch Monitor is a reliable and accurate launch monitor that's perfect for golfers looking for portability and accuracy.
With its compact design, customizable OLED screen, and high processing power, it's a great option for anyone looking to take their game to the next level.
2023 FlightScope Mevo Plus Launch Monitor
If you're looking for a high-quality golf launch monitor that won't break the bank, the 2023 FlightScope Mevo Plus is definitely worth considering. This device offers a range of advanced-level features, including accurate swing data and customizable views, all while being easy to set up and use.
With a battery life of 3 hours and compatibility with both Android and Apple devices, the Mevo Plus is a versatile tool that can help golfers of all levels improve their game.
The portability of the Mevo Plus is one of its greatest benefits. It is small and lightweight ( as it only weighs 1.76 ounces), making it easy to take with you to the driving range or even use in your backyard. Its compact size also makes it easy to store when not in use.
The device can be used wirelessly, so you don't have to worry about cords getting in the way, and its acceptable battery life means you can get in a full practice session without needing to recharge.
The 2023 FlightScope Mevo Plus is an excellent investment for serious golfers who want to improve their game. Its accuracy, portability, and customizable features make it a valuable tool for both practice sessions and simulator play. The option for add-ons also allows for further customization and growth as a golfer.
- Accurate swing data and metrics (for ball and club)
- User-friendly app with customizable views and shot tracers
- Multiple practice modes for different types of sessions
- Option for add-ons like the Pro Package and Face Impact detection (for more metrics)
- Portable and compact size with wireless use and long battery life
- Can be used as with a simulator package with support for E6 Connect, TGC2019, GS Pro, Creative 3D, and Awesome Golf
- Battery life may not be sufficient for longer practice sessions (or full rounds)
The Mevo Plus is a great device that is a fraction of the cost of other launch monitors on the market. I personally love how easy it is to set up and use, and the fact that I can take it with me wherever I go for a quick practice session.
The improvements brought by the 2023 version of the Mevo+ are welcome additions; these include a redesigned and improved kickstane, increased battery life and support for the all new FS Golf PC software. The software bundle has also been upgraded, as you get 4 additional E6 Connect courses and the possibility to use the software on PC (it was limited to IOS devices only).
Whether you're playing indoors or outdoors, the Mevo+ is a powerful tool that can help you improve your swing and track your progress over time.
Swing Caddie SC4 Launch Monitor Review
Developed by Voice Caddie, the Swing Caddie SC4 launch monitor is a reliable and affordable device that is both a complete simulator and a launch monitor that can help improve your game.
During our testing, we found the SC4 to be accurate, easy to use, durable, and portable, making it a great investment for golfers of all levels.
The SC4 uses Doppler radar technology and provides a range of important metrics, including clubhead and ball speed, smash factor, and launch angles, allowing you to make informed decisions about your equipment and swing technique.
In addition, the SC4 is versatile, with indoor and outdoor settings and a complete virtual display that creates a realistic playing experience on photorealistic courses through the MySwingCaddie app, E6 Connect, or Optishot Orion.
The SC4's portability has been a major selling point for most customers. You can easily put it in your bag and take it to the driving range or to a friend's backyard for a quick practice session. Despite its small size, the SC4 is also very sturdy and well-built, so no worries about it getting damaged or breaking while you are on the go.
- Accurate and consistent measurements
- User-friendly interface and intuitive controls
- Durable and highly portable design
- Provides voice output of distance for instant feedback
- Statistics for each club in your bag
- Barometric sensor for more accurate data
- Some users may prefer more advanced features available on higher-end launch monitors
If you're looking for a reliable and very affordable launch monitor to improve your golf game, the Swing Caddie SC4 is definitely worth considering. It provides precise data and a user-friendly experience at an affordable price point. What I love most about it is the instant feedback provided by the voice output, which can help you make adjustments to your swing in real time and ultimately improve performance.
Overall, the Swing Caddie SC4 launch monitor is a valuable tool for any golfer who wants to make informed decisions about their equipment and technique. With its accurate measurements, ease of use, and portability, it's a worthwhile investment.
Garmin Approach R10 Launch Monitor
If you're looking for an affordable, portable and dependable launch monitor and simulator, the Garmin Approach R10 is a great option to consider. Released in 2021, the R10 was the first launch monitor in its price range to offer golf simulation capabilities. It's portable, easy to set up, and provides accurate measurements for a variety of data parameters (14, to be more specific).
The R10 is incredibly easy to set up and use. All you need is the Garmin Golf App and a smartphone. It measures detailed club and ball path parameters, including ball speed, club head speed, launch angle, and launch direction. Its accuracy is impressive and comparable to higher-end launch monitors, though it may be slightly less accurate for certain club data parameters.
The R10 also supports golf simulation through the Garmin Golf App (with over 42,000 courses accessible with a paid subscription), as well as third-party software such as Home Tee Hero, E6 CONNECT, Awesome Golf, and The Golf Club 2019.
In addition, the Garmin Golf App offers additional features and functionality for the R10, and its accuracy is almost on par with the SkyTrak and Mevo+. It's hard to find better value at this price point.
What really sets the R10 apart from other launch monitors (apart affordability) is its great portability. Its built-in Lithium ION battery can last up to 10 hours of continuous use, and its ability to be carried in its tiny carrying case (included with purchase) make it of of the best units in terms of portability (weighing only 7.79 oz - 220.8 g)
- Accurate measurements for a range of data parameters
- Hard to find better value at this price point
- Good golf simulation capabilities for under $1000
- Extremely portable and easy to set up
- Less accurate for certain club data parameters
- No putting functionality
Overall, the Garmin Approach R10 is a solid choice for golfers who want accurate data measurements and golf simulation capabilities without breaking the bank. The R10 provides a ton of value at its price point, making it a great investment for anyone looking to improve their game.
For all these reasons, I highly recommend the R10 - it's the perfect device for improving your swing and taking your game to the next level.
PRGR HS-130A Launch Monitor
The PRGR HS-130A Launch Monitor is an excellent option for golfers looking for an affordable and reliable portable launch monitor. This pocket-sized device provides accurate data on crucial parameters such as club head speed, ball speed, smash factor, and distances using its advanced Doppler radar technology.
One of the notable features of the PRGR HS-130A is its direct-to-screen output, enabling you to view your data on the device's display screen immediately. While it lacks additional apps or software, it more than makes up for it with its easy-to-operate interface.
This portable launch monitor is incredibly lightweight and easy to carry, making it highly portable to take with you to the driving range or golf course. Its user-friendly design is suitable for both beginners and professionals alike, as it can help golfers improve their swing and optimize their performance and ball flight.
- Very affordable price point
- Advanced radar technology with accurate readings
- Easy-to-operate interface
- Direct-to-screen output & no need to connect it to any other devices
- Highly portable
- Does not include external apps or software
In conclusion, the PRGR HS-130A Launch Monitor is an excellent option for golfers looking for a budget-friendly and easy-to-use launch monitor with reliable radar technology.
Its direct-to-screen output and straightforward design make it an excellent option for beginners or advanced players who want to improve their golf game.
The unit's minimalistic design and operation are its main features, but they are the most divisive ones. Either you love the simplicity of the device and how straightforward it is to use, or you will be one of those who feel it is too limited. A quick tour of customer feedback on major retailers shows that the vast majority of customers were very happy with their purchase of the PRGR HS-130A.
I only wish its name were as simple as its interface!
What To Consider When Purchasing A Portable Launch Monitor
Let's now dive into the factors you need to keep in mind while choosing a mobile launch monitor. These will help you make the best choice possible.
1. Size & Weight
When discussing portable launch monitors, it is important to note their size and weight, as they affect the device's portability and ease of use.
Small, pocket-sized launch monitors may not necessarily offer the most accurate results and might have limited features. Examples include the Garmin Approach R10, Flightscope's Mevo+ and the Swing Caddie SC4.
On the other hand, larger launch monitors may offer more accurate data but might be inconvenient to carry around (despite being portable). Some of the best in this category include the Foresight Sports GCQuad and GC3, Trackman 4 and Flightscope's X3.
When considering a portable launch monitor, potential buyers should keep the level of portability and convenience they require in mind. Choosing a launch monitor that fits in your golf bag seems like an excellent compromise, for instance. The user should also consider carrying it around and account for its weight.
Lastly, keep in mind that the size and weight of the device can have an impact on accuracy. It’s advisable to read reviews to determine whether a device is suitable for your usage needs. Opting for a larger model might result in higher accuracy and a broader range of metrics, while a smaller one might be sufficient if you're looking for something that's more convenient to carry.
It is essential to find the right balance between size, accuracy and convenience based on your specific usage needs.
2. Ball & Club Metrics
Portable launch monitors provide essential ball and club metrics that give insight into the dynamics of your golf swing and provide an opportunity to target trouble areas in your swing and identify strengths.
Different portable launch monitors offer different metrics with varying accuracy levels. For instance, some monitors like Flightscope Mevo offer 16 data points such as launch angle, angle of attack, ball speed, and spin axis, while the X3 provides over 50 metrics covering all aspects of your game (full swings, putting & chipping).
Some launch monitors, such as the original Skytrak, provide accurate readings of data limited to your golf ball (as it doesn't track the club). The most advanced units provide club and ball data related to all game aspects, with the HD Golf simulator even providing data related to balance and weight transfer.
You should look for a launch monitor that provides data points that you actually need, as the priciest and most advanced units offer data that might not be very useful to the average golfer (it is intended mainly for professional players and instructors). The cheapest models may not provide enough metrics or accuracy to be reliable. Try to find that middle ground where a launch monitor offers enough metrics and decent accuracy without costing a fortune.
3. Battery Life
One crucial consideration when buying a portable launch monitor is battery life. It affects the cost and your ability to use the device in the long run. Some portable launch monitors run on 9-volt batteries, as was the case with The Ernest Sports ES14 launch monitor, now discontinued.
Other modern portable launch monitors use rechargeable Lithium ION batteries, which can be more convenient and cost-effective in the long term. They also allow them to run reliably for hours before their next recharge.
When buying a launch monitor, it's best to opt for models that have excellent battery life. It ensures that you can use the device for extended periods without interruptions, saving you money over time. For instance, the Garmin Approach R10 has a 10-hour battery life, giving you more time to practice at the driving range or play a round of golf without worrying about frequent recharging.
Choose a unit that provides a good battery life, combined with good accuracy and number of metrics to ensure the unit is most useful to you. Also, pay special attention to the unit's charging time; the faster, the better!
4. Ease of Use
While some launch monitors come with an array of functions geared towards avid golfers, it's important to find a device that can provide basic information quickly and efficiently without overwhelming you.
A simple-to-use launch monitor can provide you with important data such as ball speed, club speed, and launch angle, eliminating guesswork and helping you to improve your golf game. Not only that, but a compact and portable device allows you to take it with you to the driving range or even use it at home.
When evaluating the ease of use of portable launch monitors, consider features such as a user-friendly interface, clear data readings, and straightforward calibration. Additionally, pay attention to the device's portability and size, as smaller launch monitors are easier to carry and store.
6. Type Of Usage
When it comes to launch monitors, there are different categories of users based on their goals. For business or teaching professionals, an enterprise solution such as Foresight Sports' GC3 or Bushnell's Launch Pro may be necessary to meet their needs and provide the key metrics they require to help their clients improve their game.
On the other hand, for recreational golfers looking to practice and measure their distances, portable monitors such as the Mevo+, Rapsodo's MLM2Pro and SkyTrak offer an affordable and accurate solution. These devices use Doppler radar or photometric technology to track key parameters such as ball speed, club speed, launch angle, and carry distance. They also offer golf simulator software that allows you to play famous golf courses and simulate different scenarios.
Whether you are a business owner, teaching professional, or recreational golfer, there is an excellent launch monitor option suitable for you.
7. Simulation Capabilities
One of the best features of portable launch monitors is that they can be used outdoors for practice and monitoring purposes, and they can also be used indoors with a golf simulator package. The data tracked by the launch monitor is used by the golf simulation software to create a realistic and immersive virtual experience. Players can play virtual replicas of the world's most popular and renowned courses.
Almost all modern launch monitors include support for one or more (usually many) simulation software options. This allows you to use your portable launch monitor with a simulator setup if you wish so.
Some of the best simulation software include Trugolf's E6 Connect, The Golf Club 2019, GSPro, Awesome Golf, etc. If you wish, you can check out our list of the best golf simulator software to pick the best for you (and your setup).
If you want to use your portable launch monitor with a simulator, and have a favorite software in mind, you need to check the compatibility of the two before you buy the unit. The reason is that not all launch monitors support all simulation software.
By checking beforehand, you will make sure the components you get won't have any compatibility issues.
8. Accuracy & Budget
We decided to put these last two factors together because they are closely related; in fact, budget is related to all other factors discussed above!
The most accurate launch monitors tend to be the most expensive, which may not be the best option for the average golfer. To ensure you make the best decision for your game, it's essential to consider the essential metrics that a device should measure.
These metrics can help you improve your golf game by providing insight into your game properties as well as your strengths and weaknesses.
You can get excellent accuracy and game-improvement features even from a relatively cheaper model. Mid-range launch monitors like FS GC3, Bushnell Launch Pro, Full Swing Kit, Skytrak +, and Uneekor EYE MINI provide excellent performance for relatively much cheaper than the best premium units. These usually cost in the $3000-$8000 range.
You can even get decent accuracy from units that cost in the $500-$2000 price range. Very popular units include Skytrak, Flightscope's Mevo Plus, Garmin's Approach R10, etc. These units provide the best value for the money while providing very good accuracy levels and plenty of data points and software features to improve your game.
So, whatever your dedicated budget is, there is a good launch monitor for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Let's now answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding the best portable launch monitors available in the market today.
Which Portable Golf Launch Monitor Is Most Accurate?
The answer to this question can be highly subjective; however, from a professional point of view, most Professional PGA Tout golfers swear by Trackman, which uses a dual radar system coupled with a photometric system to provide the most accurate data possible. Trackman 4 has become a benchmark for accuracy, so whenever a unit's accuracy needs to be tested, it's usually done against Trackman.
With that said, there are many premium launch monitors that compete with Trackman and come really close to it (or exceed it in some aspects). Excellent examples that could be considered the best Trackman alternatives include Foresight Sports' GCQuad (and GC3), Flightscope's excellent X3, Bushnell's Launch Pro, and Full Swing's Kit.
These pricey launch monitors are the most technologically advanced today, and are very expensive units. However, they are still more affordable than Trackman.
Are portable launch monitors worth it?
Yes! Portable launch monitors are totally worth it because of the versatility they can provide. They can be the solution you're looking for. Despite what you may have heard, many affordable options offer quality performance, with high levels of accuracy and a wide range of measurements.
While some may hesitate to invest in a launch monitor, the benefits are undeniable. With a launch monitor, you can improve your swing, track your progress, and gain confidence on the course. Whether you're an average golfer or a Tiger Woods in the making, a portable launch monitor can help take your game to the next level.
So, are portable launch monitors worth it? Absolutely. For a reasonable price, you can access a wealth of information that will help you become a better and more confident golfer.
This article provided insights into the features and functionalities of the best launch monitors available today, making it easier for you to choose the one that best suits your needs. It is important to consider factors such as accuracy, data analysis capabilities, and affordability when making your purchase decision.
It is also crucial to match your chosen launch monitor with your personal requirements, whether you are an average golfer looking for an affordable launch monitor, or a professional interested in premium models with pinpoint accuracy. Regardless of your needs, there is an excellent option for you among our list of the best portable launch monitors.
Feel free to leave a comment below if you need any further advice.
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