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A launch monitor is one of the most valuable assets that any data-driven golfer can have.
It’s the core of most golf simulators, and it allows you to measure ball flight data and track your shots so that you can understand where your game is and where it needs to go.
In contrast to fixed launch monitors such as ceiling-mounted bars, portable launch monitors can be easily and conveniently taken to the range, the course, or used at home as desired. Portable launch monitors can range in price from $300 or less for pocket-sized units to over $10,000 for professional units.
There are many things that make a great portable launch monitor: the amount of data points, accuracy, technology, size and weight are among them.
In this article, we’ll review and compare our picks for the best portable golf launch monitors across a wide range of different budgets.
Note: Golfstead has tested and/or conducted in-depth research into all of the products featured in this guide. Our editorial process for these rankings takes into account a mix of many factors which may include performance, reliability, usability, value for money, cost, and the general consensus from other users of the product. The list that follows may be reassessed or updated over time.
Our Top Picks For Portable Launch Monitors
Based on our own testing, research, and experience, the following are our top picks for portable launch monitors:
- FlightScope Mevo Plus Launch Monitor
- Garmin Approach R10 Launch Monitor
- Uneekor EYE MINI Launch Monitor
- Rapsodo MLM2PRO Launch Monitor
- SkyTrak Plus (ST+) Launch Monitor
- Swing Caddie SC4 Launch Monitor
- FlightScope Mevo Launch Monitor
- PRGR HS-130A Launch Monitor
- Bushnell Launch Pro Launch Monitor
- Garmin Approach G80 GPS & Launch Monitor
The Mevo Plus is a champ. In addition to its portability and usability both indoors and outdoors, there are several other reasons why it earns the #1 spot on our list: it’s relatively affordable, it comes with apps and software out-of-the-box, and it’s compatible with a slew of great simulator software providers.
What’s more, the Mevo Plus is now being offered in a new 2023 Edition which has an improved battery life, upgraded kickstand, and expanded features in the bundled E6 CONNECT software including PC compatibility.
The Mevo Plus has a sharp white/red colour scheme that stands out nicely. It’s ideal for outdoor use due to the Doppler radar, but if you want to use it indoors, your space will require at least 16 feet of depth.
As long as you have enough space behind and in front of you, we think that the Mevo Plus should be a top consideration in the $2000-$3000 price range.
The radar technology of the Mevo Plus measures an impressive 16 ball and swing parameters, which include essentials like distance, ball speed and club head speed, as well as spin loft, spin axis, roll distance, lateral landing, and shot shape.
This is bolstered by Fusion Tracking which adds synchronized image processing for enhanced accuracy and consistency.
On top of this, an optional Pro Package upgrade unlocks 11 additional advanced club and ball data parameters. The optional Face Impact Location add-on for the Pro Package allows you to view the precise impact location on the clubface with heatmaps.
The purchase of a Mevo Plus 2023 Edition launch monitor comes with a trimmed version of E6 CONNECT software for iOS and PC. This software package includes ten golf courses, seventeen practice ranges, and a darts minigame.
You can also get a great driving range practice experience with 3D trajectory views, video recording and more through the FS Golf app for Android and iOS. Other FlightScope apps and the FS Golf PC software can be paired with the Mevo Plus.
The launch monitor is compatible with the full PC version of E6 CONNECT, The Golf Club 2019, Awesome Golf, Creative Golf, and GSPro.
The Mevo Plus should be placed 8 feet behind the ball on your target line for best results. A minimum of 8 feet of ball flight is needed to accurately record data parameters.
Mevo Plus users love the value you get for the money: a lot of versatility, plenty of software to choose from, convenience, and great customer support. The device weighs just 1 pound and comes with a carrying pouch for transport.
For more information on device compatibility, available add-ons (including the Pro Package), and software options, visit this page.
Many people consider the Approach R10 by Garmin, the company behind many of the best golf GPS units on the market, to have revolutionized golf tech like the SkyTrak did back in 2014. It’s very portable and can easily be moved from the home to the driving range or wherever else you want to set up.
The R10 was the first launch monitor to measure detailed club path parameters that you could previously only get in $1800+ units. It was also the first launch monitor under $1000 to have golf simulation capabilities.
It has gotten top marks from critics across the board, who are impressed that something this compact and affordable can do so much.
The R10 can do three main things. First, it directly measures four data parameters using radar technology and derives many other parameters (10+) including spin and face angle. The directly measured metrics are:
- ball speed
- club head speed
- launch angle
- launch direction
Second, the Approach R10 supports golf simulation. Through the updated Garmin Golf app, you can either practice and analyze your sessions on a virtual driving range or play courses around the world on Home Tee Hero, which requires a subscription. You can also play the world-renowned E6 CONNECT software, Creative Golf, Awesome Golf, The Golf Club 2019, and PinSeeker app tounaments.
Third, you can capture video of your shots by setting up your phone’s camera behind the hitting area. Your stats including ball speed, carry distance and total distance, as well as the club you hit with, are overlaid on top of each clip.
The Garmin Golf app, which is required to use the R10, has been around for a while; it enjoys a high average rating that is rare for these kinds of apps. Through the app, you can view club performance data, participate in weekly tournaments, share your results, and more.
The R10 rests on a magnetic tripod mount and is placed 6-8 feet behind the ball. It does a really impressive job in comparison to launch monitors at the $2000 level and above.
What’s more, Garmin continues to update, improve, and build on the R10 over time. So unless you can’t afford it or you want active shot tracing, resisting the temptation to grab one will be tough.
The EYE MINI is designed to pack Uneekor’s proven and successful EYE XO engine into a sleek and portable design that can be used anywhere.
We are extremely impressed with the EYE MINI, and here are all the reasons why:
- it measures plenty of ball and club parameters
- it has an onboard display for viewing your data without software, indoors or outdoors
- it provides a unique slow-motion view of the club impacting the ball
- it’s compatible with plenty of simulation software
- it’s virtually just as accurate as the EYE XO
- it’s more affordable than other units with similar features and accuracy
The versatile EYE MINI can be used inside the home, out in the yard, or at the range. Coming in at just under eight pounds, it has an integrated handle for easy carrying.
The Uneekor EYE MINI is a camera-based launch monitor consisting of two high-speed infrared cameras. It sports an E Ink onboard display which shows six ball parameters and four club parameters after every shot.
The EYE MINI sits in front of the golfer like the SkyTrak+, and it measures 11 total data parameters including seven ball parameters and four club parameters. Five additional parameters are calculated within the software. Club stickers (included) are required to measure club data.
The EYE MINI comes bundled with the Uneekor View software, available for PC or iOS. In it, you can view a simulated 3D ball flight with your data after every shot.
What we like the most about View is the Club Optix slow-motion view of the club impacting the ball. The QED and EYE XO offer this from a top-down perspective; the EYE MINI’s side view gives you a whole new insight into how your ball impacts the clubface.
Currently, the EYE MINI is compatible with GSPro, TGC 2019, and E6 CONNECT, but a software package is needed to unlock third-party capability. Other packages for the EYE MINI unlock additional profiles, sessions, and the Refine+ software.
Given the quality of the EYE MINI, parameters measured, portability, Optix slow-motion view, and excellent third-party compatibility, the EYE MINI is pretty difficult to pass up if you have the budget for it.
The Rapsodo MLM2PRO, created by the same company behind the massively successful SkyTrak launch monitor, is designed to improve on the best aspects of its predecessor, the Rapsodo MLM, while addressing the common pain points users had in the previous generation.
In particular, the MLM2PRO introduces Android compatibility and support for golf simulation, giving it complete visibility into the games of golfers all around the world.
This launch monitor weighs just 2.4 lbs and is highly portable. It comes with a durable carrying case and is easy to store in a golf bag.
The MLM2PRO launch monitor combines Doppler radar with two high-speed cameras. It measures 13 club and ball parameters, although Callaway RPT balls (included) must be used to obtain spin readings.
The cameras built into the MLM2PRO pave the way for:
- Impact Vision: provides a slow-motion closeup of the club swinging through the ball
- Shot Vision: gives a down-the-line video of your shot with a ball tracer
Because the MLM2PRO has no onboard display, its features must be accessed through the companion MLM2PRO app. This well-made app provides powerful analysis features including Rapsodo Combines and Session Insights.
From dispersion circles to performance tests to club gapping details and shot shape trends, the MLM2PRO app will help you understand your game on a much deeper level.
In addition, you can enjoy golf simulation with the MLM2PRO through Rapsodo Range, Rapsodo Courses, E6 CONNECT, and Awesome Golf.
While the MLM2PRO is considered a “budget” launch monitor at well under $1000, a Premium Membership to the app ($200/year) is required to access many of its features. This will bother some people, but the accuracy of the unit is outstanding, and Rapsodo will continue to build on it with updates, improvements and new additions over time.
The SkyTrak Plus (ST+) was unveiled in 2023 as an upgrade and modernization to the original SkyTrak, which is probably the most popular and successful launch monitor of all time.
With a faster processor, dual Doppler radar capability, club data, upgraded software, and other improvements, it’s built to help you understand your game on a better level.
Like the original SkyTrak, the SkyTrak+ is also a portable golf simulator that comes with an out-of-the-box driving range and is compatible with a wide range of third-party softwares. It weighs three pounds and can be carried around as desired.
Thanks to the addition of a new dual Doppler radar system that works alongside a photometric system, the SkyTrak Plus is now able to measure club data which the SkyTrak could not do.
These new parameters are clubhead speed, club path, face to path, and face to target. Even better, unlike other launch monitors, no club stickers or specially marked balls are needed to get accurate readings.
The ST+ also measures various ball parameters including ball speed, launch angle, carry distance, spin, and descent angle. Advanced algorithms are used to calculate additional parameters within the SkyTrak software.
The SkyTrak+ comes with a Basic Practice Plan by default which allows you to view your ball flight and data parameters on a 3D driving range. Upgrades are available to the following:
- Game Improvement Plan: adds challenges, game improvement features, more camera views, custom environment settings, and more.
- Play & Improve Plan: adds integration with World Golf Tour (WGT), with full course play on 15 famous golf courses and closest-to-the-pin challenges, and access to 15 E6 CONNECT courses.
Beyond the in-house software, the ST+ is compatible with an array of third-party solutions including E6 CONNECT, The Golf Club 2019, Fitness Golf, ProTee Play, and Golfisimo.
Because the SkyTrak+ unit sits in front of you, all you need is enough space to swing your longest club. This launch monitor offers simply tremendous value for the cost.
If you’re interested in the original SkyTrak, which costs $1000 less, go here. The SkyTrak is still a great launch monitor and it integrates with the same software as the SkyTrak+.
The Swing Caddie SC4 is the latest and most powerful launch monitor by Voice Caddie, who has made some great launch monitors in the past.
What makes the SC4 so unique is that while it has an onboard display that allows you to get your numbers without any software, it also supports golf simulation.
This is a combination that you really only see in the expensive high-end units like the GC3, so the fact that Voice Caddie was able to achieve this in a portable budget unit, especially one that weighs just a pound, is really great.
The Swing Caddie SC4 is a Doppler radar device that measures eight data parameters: carry/total distance, apex height, spin rate, clubhead speed, ball speed, launch angle, smash factor, and launch direction.
- record your swing with your phone camera and play it back with data overlays
- save, review and analyze your shot data and stats
- get a top-down view of your shot dispersions
In our experience, the app is well-designed and runs smoothly.
The SC4 has two modes: outdoor and simulator. In outdoor mode, you can read all your data points on the onboard display after each shot without any smartphone or software required.
In simulator mode, the SC4 can be used with the world-renowned E6 CONNECT software as well as OptiShot Orion. A separate subscription is required for this.
In addition to the above, it also contains a barometric pressure sensor, remote control, and voice output that reads your distances out to you. The launch monitor runs on a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery.
An impressive amount of value is packed into the Swing Caddie SC4 for the cost. And although it initially had some launch hiccups like lack of simulation and messed up spin readings, Voice Caddie has addressed these issues and now its accuracy and reliability are comparable to the top budget units on the market.
The FlightScope Mevo, the little brother of the Mevo Plus, is lauded both by critics and consumers, and has some of the highest ratings for a portable launch monitor we’ve seen. It has also been used by high-profile Tour players like Bryson DeChambeau.
This pocket-sized launch monitor can be used anywhere: on the range, on the course, or at home, but you’ll need a smartphone or tablet to display the data. To practice at home with real balls, you’ll need to set up a hitting net or impact screen.
The Mevo provides real-time performance data, and it also has a video capture feature that you can use to spot flaws in your swing. It’s small enough that it can fit in the palm of your hand, so it that sense it can be considered truly portable.
How It Works
The Mevo uses 3D Doppler radar technology to measure eight data parameters: ball and club head speed, carry distance, spin rate, vertical launch angle, smash factor, flight time and apex height.
To effectively use the Mevo, you’ll need to download the Mevo app on your mobile device. Once everything is set up, you can view data in real time for every club, track your progress over time, and record and view video with data overlay.
One cool feature included with the Mevo app is automatic video clipping: once your device records your swing, it clips and saves it automatically and then repeats the process for the next shot. This means that you can set up the launch monitor once and then practice without interruption.
To help you achieve an easy, hands-free recording experience with the Mevo, you can use the SelfieGOLF clip holder to stabilize your smartphone from any position or surface.
We suggest attaching the SelfieGOLF holder to an alignment stick, which can then be attached to your golf bag or even anchored into the ground.
The Mevo allows you to save, upload and share practice sessions to social sites like Vimeo, Instagram and Facebook.
If you want to use the Mevo indoors, you’ll need to allow at least 8 feet of ball flight and 4 feet of space behind the impact zone.
In this price range, this is one of the most accurate launch monitors and it provides the most detailed ball flight parameters you can find on the market.
PRGR is an established Japanese company that makes a range of golf equipment. Their latest launch monitor offering is the PRGR HS-130A, and it has received very positive ratings from users.
There are a few reasons why the PRGR HS-130A is so great:
- it’s only a couple hundred bucks, which is very inexpensive even for a portable launch monitor.
- it’s pocket-sized.
- it’s dead simple to use, with no battery-draining external apps or software to complicate the experience.
The PRGR HS-130A features a direct-to-screen output for quickly viewing data right on the device. It measures five essential parameters with a Doppler radar sensor: club head speed, ball speed, total distance, carry distance, and smash factor.
This is a true pocket launch monitor that takes portability to the extreme.
The upgraded 2021 model of the PRGR Launch Monitor features a number of improvements over previous models. These include:
- an extended, higher-resolution display
- ability to be used indoors with a net
- improved ability to read high-lofted wedges
- a toggle between metric and imperial units
- ability to keep shot data for up to 500 shots at one time
The accuracy of the PRGR HS-130A is impressive considering its very low price. Just make sure the device is positioned correctly 3.5ft – 5ft behind the ball as per the user manual, or else you will greatly increase the chances of inconsistent or inaccurate readings.
You’ll see many people in golf communities across the web and elsewhere talk about using the Bushnell Launch Pro, and there are good reasons for that.
This portable camera-based launch monitor is essentially the GC3 (by Foresight Sports) but branded under Bushnell Golf.
With the initial purchase, you’ll be able to view ball and club data parameters on the LCD display after each shot, depending on whether you get the Ball Data Enabled Unit or the pricier Ball & Club Data Enabled Unit. An optional Gold Subscription unlocks more functionality and allows you to use simulation software with the Launch Pro.
The main attraction of the Bushnell Launch Pro’s payment system is that you are much more able to just pay for the features you want and save money foregoing features you don’t want.
The Launch Pro has a sleek, portable design with direct output to a touchscreen-enabled display. The unit weighs five pounds and has a handle for convenient carrying.
This launch monitor measures an array of club and ball data parameters using infrared object tracking and a triscopic high-speed camera system that performs beautifully indoors or outdoors.
Without a subscription package, you can only view your data on the onboard display. A Gold Subscription, which costs $499/year, gives you the following (not limited to):
- full access to FSX Play and FSX Pro software
- twenty-five courses
- ability to save sessions
- ability to set unlimited clubs
- ability to create players and track rounds
- a membership to Awesome Golf
- ability to connect third-party software
Under the Gold plan, the Launch Pro is capable of measuring over 12 club and ball data parameters including carry, ball speed, club head speed, spin tilt axis, back and side spin, club path, and angle of attack. Club stickers need to be applied in order to measure some metrics.
In addition to getting a 14-day free trial to club data if you choose the Ball Data Unit, you also get a 14-day free trial to the Gold plan with the initial purchase.
The Launch Pro is an extremely accurate and reliable launch monitor trusted by pros. If you’d rather gain immediate access to the full power of this launch monitor with a one-time purchase, check out the GC3 here.
The highly rated Garmin Approach G80 is a unique product, made by the same company behind the Garmin Approach R10.
It’s essentially an all-in-one handheld golf GPS with an integrated launch monitor, which means that not only can you obtain the essential data metrics for your shot, but you can also view top-down colour maps and get GPS yardages to any point on the golf course.
The G80 is a handheld device that is built for portability; it’s pocket-sized and can easily be taken along on an 18-hole round of golf, but it also works great on the range or at home.
By pressing the quick-access radar button, you can set up the Approach G80 to measure club head speed, ball speed, smash factor, tempo and estimated carry after each shot. The accuracy is decent, and these numbers are easily viewable on the 3.5″ sunlight-readable touchscreen.
Enhancing the launch monitor experience are:
- a practice mode which evaluates your swing and provides feedback to help improve your accuracy and consistency
- the ability to play virtual rounds on any course against friends or other players around the world
- a tempo training mode which helps you determine the backswing and downswing times that are best for you
In addition, the G80 is a full-featured golf GPS. Preloaded with over 41,000 courses, you can get distances to the front, back and middle of the green, hazards and layups, and you can touch any point on the map to get the yardage to that. You also have access to:
- Green View which gives you a closeup look of the green’s true shape, along with a drag-and-drop pin for precise yardages into greens
- information on the direction of the pin for blind shots
- PlaysLike Distances which account for elevation changes
- green contour data on select courses (with a Garmin Golf app membership)
Furthermore, it can be used as a digital scorecard and can be paired with the powerful Garmin Golf app. The battery life is up to 15 hours in GPS mode.
If you’re content with just being able to measure a few basic parameters and would like to take advantage of golf GPS functionality, the Approach G80 is practically a must-have device.
There are many portable launch monitors on the market, some cheaper and some more expensive, and we understand that making a good buying choice can feel difficult.
It turns out that it’s not that difficult to find the best one for you once you consider all the factors that will affect your experience and match it with what your goals are.
In general, you should invest in a launch monitor that’s sufficiently lightweight, easy to carry, easy to use, and measures all the data points you’re interested in with an accuracy that you are satisfied with.
Here are the most important factors you need to consider when determining which portable launch monitor will suit you best:
What ball flight parameters does the launch monitor track, and what parameters do you want to see?
One of the things you tend to sacrifice with pocket-sized portable launch monitors are the number of parameters that are measured.
Most golfers want key metrics like distance (total, carry) and ball speed, and almost all launch monitors offer this at a minimum. If you’re looking for a more detailed analysis with information like angle of attack, dynamic loft, or face angle, your choice of launch monitors will narrow.
Not surprisingly, the more expensive, advanced and larger the launch monitor, the more parameters it will tend to measure. Make sure that the launch monitor you’re buying has all the data points that you’re looking for.
2. Usage Type
Some launch monitors, like the Mevo+ and Approach R10 reviewed above, work best outdoors (e.g. on the range) where the ball can take its full flight. Launch monitors like the SkyTrak+, on the other hand, are better suited for indoor use.
As another example, the GPS functionality of the Garmin Approach G80 is designed to be used during a round of golf.
If you’re interested in a launch monitor that can be used while hitting into a net or screen, you should verify that it can be used for this purpose and how much free ball flight and clearance it needs to work properly.
You don’t want to find out the bad news later that it can’t accommodate your intended use.
When you’re considering a launch monitor, look at the features. How does the launch monitor display your data, and how can you store and organize it?
Some portable launch monitors like the Mevo+ come with a matching mobile app. These apps generally allow you flexibility in viewing your data, trends, and averages and statistics for each club in the bag.
It’s worth considering if a launch monitor has an onboard display with direct-to-screen output. Such launch monitors generally don’t need apps or software to use, and you can just set them up anywhere and start hitting.
Many portable launch monitors are compatible with third-party golf simulator software, but only higher-end launch monitors tend to provide full short game support.
Launch monitors can come with other unique features that are useful such as GPS maps in the case of the Approach G80. Consider features that you need, want, and could do without, and factor that into your decision.
4. Size & Weight
Portable launch monitors are so named because of their small size and light weight.
Do you want to be able to carry one in your pocket, or just be able to easily stow it away in your bag? Many of the launch monitors on this page are too big to fit in a regular-sized pocket, but nearly all of them can either be quickly and easily stored in a golf bag or carried by hand.
If you want a very small, pocket-sized launch monitor, your choices will be limited.
Also check the weight of the launch monitor. If it’s over ten pounds, it will be more of a hassle to carry around as opposed to something that weighs a few pounds or less, even if you’re just carrying it from the car to the practice area.
Pocket-sized portable launch monitors are generally less accurate than higher-end models like the SkyTrak+, EYE MINI, or Launch Pro. Even within the pocket-sized class, accuracy can vary.
For example, if a portable launch monitor measures a lot of parameters, some of them might not be very reliable. At the same time, models like the PRGR HS-130A that only measure essential parameters can be very accurate.
If you’re looking at a launch monitor that is less than $500 or so, you should look at customer reviews to gauge whether or not the accuracy is acceptable.
Of course, your budget is very important when shopping for a portable launch monitor.
Not everyone can afford launch monitors that cost four figures, much less five. Fortunately, there are options that cost well below this amount. Golfers with large budgets have excellent options as well.
With that said, some launch monitors are cheaper for a reason: they may have inferior technology, less reliability, less ball flight parameters, a less convenient setup, or less added features.
In this guide, we’ve tried to include quality portable launch monitors over a range of budgets that golfers might have. But the great thing is that you don’t have to drop the full cost of it at once.
One of our recommended launch monitor sources here provides easy financing options that allow you to pay for something like the EYE MINI, GC3 or Mevo+ over the course of a year or longer. Don’t forget about this option.
It used to be that you had to pay a pretty penny for a golf launch monitor. But over the years, launch monitors have become a lot more accessible and affordable, and this means more golfers than ever before have been able to own one for themselves.
Finding a portable launch monitor that meets your needs is certainly possible with some research.
Each of the portable launch monitor options reviewed above offer excellent value for the cost. We’ve given you the information you need to make a decision; now it’s up to you to go the rest of the way.
If you want to be able to do more than just view your numbers on a screen, check out the best budget golf simulators here.
We highly recommend reading customer reviews of launch monitors to obtain useful insights as to how they actually perform. This can help you a great deal in the decision-making process.
Thanks for reading this guide. Which portable launch monitor are you considering? Do you have any questions? Feel free to leave a comment down below.