The Astro Tech 72 weighs in at a bit over 5 lbs, it has a sliding dew shield, and a rotating focuser ( which I found is very nice!). I also purchase the reticle finder. Asking the folks at Highpoint how to mount it they suggested I look into Universal Astronomics. I spoke with Larry on the phone and through e-mail and we worked out a UA Dwarf Star which I would mount on a SLIK 700DX tripod I already owned. It happened I was taking the family to Maine and New Hampshire for a vacation and I stopped in Larry's shop to pick up the mount in Massachusetts. Larry found the Dwarf Star worked with my tripod well and gave advice on a handle and eyepiece tray. He spend extra time checking what my needs were. A really great person to work with.
Once home I mounted the AT72 to the Dwarf Star and had some looks. I found scanning the sky with a 24mm Panoptic to be a beautiful experience. The Moon looked great with no false color that I could see. On Venus it does show color at high magnification as on Jupiter.
A few months later my brother-in-law invited us to his parents house in the Catskills. I had my daughters and niece outside looking at Saturn while waiting for the sky to get dark. Although small they got to see Saturn and everyone enjoyed looking. Then as darkness fell and the Milky Way popped out, the little scope started to shine. We all stood in awe looking at the immense star fields, galaxies, and clusters. His dad said I can't believe we can see so much from something so small! In dark skies a small scope act's much bigger!
After 18 months I often repeat those words. This little scope has shown me more than anything else. Its not that its got tons of aperture or its a high end apo, quite the contrary. It's small light and you have no excuse not to use it or bring it along on a trip. My XT8 would have shown me so much more that night in the Catskills. However, with two kids a pack-n-play, diapers, a stroller, and all the luggage it wouldn't fit. So it goes to the beach, camping, or anywhere we go.
Some club nights I bring my little scope. I am usually parked in between a big SCT and a Dob. One perfect night we had fun going from the 10 inch dob to the AT72, Sure we couldn't see things we could in the 10 incher, but we did see plenty. The Dumbbell, Swan, Ring, M13, M3 and so on. We all hung around looking at the Veil one night. I find it a pleasure to use both day and night. Birds at the feeder become something wonderful through the eyepiece. A small solar filter shows the Sunspots in great detail.
The Dwarf Star and the AT72 work as one. I often forget the mount is there. I just use the little handle and move it around the sky. Moving the center post up or down for Adults or Kids to look through. After all this time I have little to complain about. I have pushed the magnification to 172X which is my limit with eyepieces. I think it does start to break down around that point. Maybe you could push it more on a tracking mount? I see why folks love there little refractors. Grab and Go does have its advantages. I'll give some pro's and con's.
Its Light and easy to move. ( I use one hand to carry out of the garage.)
The focuser is nice and smooth. ( I have adjusted the tension screw for heavier eyepiece)
Works well as a Terrestrial scope. ( I enjoy it for birding)
It's well made and comes with a hard case.
Shows little in the way of color except on bright objects.
You can bring it anywhere.
You have no excuse not to observe.
Not for Aperture hounds.
About 150X is the max for magnification on my mount ( I have read some other scopes Televue 76, TAK 78, handle higher powers better. Can't say!)
It can be back heavy with a 2 inch diagonal and large eyepiece.
You start to think "I enjoy this so much should I save up for a high end refractor!"