We all know not to look directly at the sun during an eclipse, but getting a really good view of the big show will definitely require eclipse viewing gear. Eclipse gear depends on your needs. Plus, it can run the gamut from inexpensive to super fancy. So, finding what you’ll need requires some research. Do you want the best view possible? Are you taking pictures? Trying to get kids excited? Want to nerd out with a party? There’s great eclipse viewing gear for all of those needs. And the best part is, you can save all of this stuff. There’s another eclipse that’s going to hit the US, Mexico, and Canada on April 8, 2024, so you’ll be prepared.
Last time we posted this blog to social, it didn’t get much attention. That’s fine. We can adapt. We hear you: You’re oversaturated with NORTH AMERICAN 2017 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE content. So, if that’s the case, then maybe we can interest you in one of these…
Use Protection 2017 Total Solar Eclipse T-shirt – “Use protection” is advice that is both hilarious, and solid.
I Don’t Care About The Solar Eclipse T-Shirt – The perfect way to let everyone know how dry your sense of humor is, and how little joy you find in rare and magnificent events.
I Slept Through The Solar Eclipse T-Shirt – Wouldn’t it be hilarious to show up late to an eclipse party wearing this?
Whether you’re looking for some background info on eclipses, or just want a really good story, there are plenty of awesome eclipse-themed books out there (not including Eclipse, of the Twilight saga). Here are a few of our favorites.
American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World – This book’s title is quite the mouthful, but the story of the 1878 American eclipse is bananas. It’s got everything you could want: adventure on the frontier, train robberies, Indian skirmishes, feminism, and Thomas Edison. Read about what astronomers were able to learn from the historic eclipse as it passed over some of the Wild West’s craziest areas.
Eclipse: History. Science. Awe. – If you’re looking for an all-encompassing guide to the solar eclipse, this book is for you. You’ll learn how other cultures reacted to this strange and fascinating phenomena, from Ancient Egypt to the people who built Stonehenge. It also includes detailed information on the science behind the eclipse. Add in maps, guides, tips, and tons more, and it rounds out a thorough, interesting read.
Solar Eclipse Road Trip: The Complete Kids’ Guide and Activity Book – If you’ve got kids, you’re probably figured that the solar eclipse of August 2017 is a great time to get them really excited about science. Whether you’re taking a road trip to the heart of the eclipse or you’re just driving to your local state park for a better view, this book will give kids (between 5-11) something to do on the way there. It’s also useful for entertaining younger ones while they’re waiting for the eclipse, and once it’s over. Games, coloring pages, activities, and loads of info make it the perfect companion for kids!
ECLIPSE VIEWING GEAR
Good eclipse viewing gear can make or break your experience. Whether you’re looking for the best possible view, the comfiest glasses, something with personality, or just a couple decent pairs for the whole crew, here are a few solid options.
Celestron EclipSmart Total Solar Eclipse Binocular – For the very best view of the eclipse, a good pair of solar-safe binoculars are perfect. These give you a close look at the sun with a wide field of view so you get the ultimate look at the event. You can even see the sunspots on the sun, and you’ll get an incredible look at the solar disc during the eclipse.
3 Pack of Solar Eclipse Goggles – If style is just as important to you as safety, then these swanky specs are for you. Not only do they add a mad scientist flair, the goggles completely cover the eye and eliminates ambient light for a better view. The adjustable strap on the goggles is comfy, fits all sizes, and stay on better than paper glasses. Plus, you can reuse them for your next steampunk cosplay.
Celestron ISO Certified EclipSmart Solar Observing Kit – This eclipse viewing kit should cover all of your basic needs. It comes with two double-power foldable paper binoculars, made with ISO-compliant material, so you and your BFF can get a nice view of the fun. Also included is a vintage travel poster-style foldout with tips, facts, and a map of the eclipse.
If you’re a photographer, you’ll need special eclipse-viewing gear to get that perfect shot. Luckily, your eclipse-photographing tool kit doesn’t have to be expensive or fiddly. Here are a few items that will help photographers shoot the eclipse.
Solar Filter Sheet for Telescopes, Binoculars and Cameras – These 6″x6″ sheets of black polymer can be used on telescopes, binoculars, and cameras. It’s a common filtering material that can make any lens solar-viewing safe. Simply tape it over the lens! It’s much cheaper than buying a factory-made filter and works just as well.
How to Take Pictures of an Eclipse: An astrophotography beginner’s guide to capturing solar and lunar eclipses – If you’re really serious about taking amazing eclipse photos, then this is your guide. It has lists of gear, techniques, tips, and more. Eclipses don’t last long and don’t hit America too often, and the book will help you make the most of every second.
Celestron 21035 70mm Travel Scope and Eyeskey Universal Phone Spotting Scope Adapter – The portable travel telescope and phone adapter can be used together to not only give everyone a great view of the eclipse from your phone, but to take pictures of the eclipse from your phone as well. The setup is safe for viewing, AND you can use it to take pictures of the night sky, and other far-off scenes.
Total Solar Eclipse 2017 I Was There T-Shirt – Never let anyone forget that you witnessed the eclipse of 2017 with this shirt. Eclipse shirts, of course, aren’t hard to find online. But, the postcard-looking design on this one is really cool. And, it’s perfect for anyone who road-tripped to witness it.
Eclipse Polar Ice Sugarfree Gum – Genius thought: chew Eclipse while watching the eclipse. Seriously, right before the eclipse starts, whip out a pack and hand out some gum. Who’s gonna say no to sugar-free fresh breath? If you’re having a party, this is basically the perfect party favor.
FBSport Car Travel Inflatable Mattress – If you’re road-tripping to a place in the path of the total eclipse, you might notice that hotel rooms and campsites are going like hotcakes. This air mattress is designed to go in a car and will let you turn your vehicle into a mobile hotel. Just find a place to put it in park, inflate the mattress, and you’re good to go.