The 34 Best Binoculars Reviewed in 2022

A great binocular is not that hard to find if you know what you’ll be using it for. And it doesn’t have to be too expensive.

Are you looking for bird watching binoculars, one with good zoom for Safari, outdoor binoculars for hiking, or one you can use for star gazing?

No matter your needs, we’ve reviewed a pair of Binoculars that will fit your purpose.

The Top 7 Binoculars in 2022

All the Binoculars We've tested

Vortex Optics is one of the leaders in the sports optics industry today. It has all kinds of binoculars suitable for different applications, as well as different budgets. For hunting, the company offers many quality binoculars that can deliver even in the most rugged conditions. One of these optics is the Vortex DIAMONDBACK HD 10X42 an entry level pair that really excels in terms of build quality.

The DIAMONDBACK has been around for years. As an entry-level pair of binoculars, it has always met, if not exceeded, expectations. However, Vortex Optics decided to give it a major upgrade in 2019, introducing the Vortex DIAMONDBACK HD 10X42.

As the name implies, it comes with HD lenses, but what is it really all about, and how different it is from its predecessors? Is it better? If so, what else has improved? We will find out all the answers as we discuss the specs and features of these lauded binoculars in this review. Let’s dive in!

Specs & Features

  • Product Dimensions: 5.7” x 5.1”
  • Product Weight: 21.3 oz.
  • Eye Relief: 15 mm
  • Exit Pupil: 4.2 mm
  • Linear Field of View at 1,000 yds.: 330’

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Things we like:

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    Optimal edge-to-edge clarity with an HD optical system
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    Wide field of view
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    Scratch-resistant properties of the ArmorTek coating
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    Lightweight and heavy-duty magnesium chassis with shock-resistant capabilities
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    Smooth central focus wheel

Things we don't like:

  • check-markSmooth central hinge may become loose over time
  • check-markEye relief not suitable for eyeglass wearers
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 10×42

CROSSFIRE HD 12×50 comes with fully multi-coated lenses to offer the best light transmission possible. It is one of the models you can trust in low-light conditions. If you’re looking for clarity and sharpness on safari or when camping, these are a good choice.

Whether or not you are wearing eyeglasses, you can be comfortable using it with its twist-up eyecups. The center focus system offers further convenience, allowing you to adjust both optics’ focus at the same time.

Like most modern binoculars, the CROSSFIRE HD 12×50 has nitrogen filling and O-ring sealing for optimum performance even in harsh environments. These ensure fogproof and waterproof characteristics, so it does not matter if you are at a high altitude or exposed to sudden temperature changes.

For a firm grip, it is equipped with non-slip rubber armor. You can keep it safe and secure, thanks to its GlassPak Binocular Case and GlassPak Case Harness. The tether straps conveniently attach to the binoculars, so you do not have to worry about accidentally dropping them. The harness has a snug fit to keep you comfortable.

Specs & Features

  • Product Dimensions (Length x Width): 6.6” x 5.3”
  • Product Weight: 29.5 oz.
  • Eye Relief: 15 mm
  • Field of View at 1,000 yds: 273'
  • Field of VIew (Angular): 5.2 degrees

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Things we like:

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    Twist-up eyecups
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    Center focus system
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    GlassPak Binocular Case
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    GlassPak Case Harness
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    Tainguard eyepiece cover

Things we don't like:

  • check-markSome very slight chromatic aberration in some conditions
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Vortex Optics Crossfire HD

Celestron is known for being a product innovation leader in the optics industry, and it has developed a high-performing entry-level pair of binoculars that is sold at an affordable price— the Celestron Nature DX 8×42.

Though an American company with a history in telescopes, this is a pair of Chinese-produced binoculars that have kept up with the market by punching above their weight when they can. The DX 8×42 is an example of Celestron’s attempt to deliver a decent birding/hunting pair of optics at a cheap price.

Anyone looking to build up their outdoor enthusiasm is often intimidated to start because of the expensive price tags. The Celestron Nature DX-8×42 is worth looking at.

Let’s dive in and discover if it truly has the same capabilities as expensive binoculars!

 

Specs & Features

  • Product Dimensions: 5.3” x 4.9” x 2”
  • Product Weight: 22.2 oz
  • Angular Field of View: 7.4 degrees
  • Linear Field of View at 1,000 yds.: 388’
  • Exit Pupil: 5.25 mm

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

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    Relatively brighter and higher quality images than most entry-level binoculars
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    Natural and accurate color reproduction
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    Dependable low-light performance
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    Compact and lightweight
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    User-friendly focus knob providing the right amount of resistance

Things we don't like:

  • check-markPolycarbonate chassis may need a little extra care for a long-lasting durability
  • check-markFairly thin and hard rubber armor coating
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Celestron Nature DX 8×42

You can still find affordable binoculars with rugged, all-terrain characteristics and performance. One of these products is this mid-range, wide-angle pair from Athlon, the Athlon Midas 8×42 UHD.

These binoculars are equipped with the specs you will find in many high-range optics, but come relatively affordable.

Read the in-depth review to discover what makes these Athlon binoculars a popular choice for amateur glassers looking for high performance and quality at an affordable price!

Specs & Features

  • Product Weight: 25 oz.
  • Eye Relief: 17.2 mm
  • Angular Field of View: 8.1 degrees
  • Linear Field of View: 426’ at 1,000 yds.
  • Close Focus Distance: 6.5’

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Things we like:

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    True color fidelity
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    Surprisingly brightness and clarity
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    Scratch-resistant exterior lenses
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    Wide field of view
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    Lightweight and heavy-duty construction

Things we don't like:

  • check-markStiff central focus knob
  • check-markNot suitable for use in low-light settings
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Athlon Optics Midas 8×42 UHD

Compact Image Stabilizer

The Canon 10×30 IS II is the world’s most compact ISB. Image-stabilized binoculars (ISBs), powered by batteries, have a mechanism that will correct shakes and tremors with a single push of a button. If you are a casual user of binoculars or just starting, you will be surprised by what these binoculars can do.

ISBs have significantly changed the way we experience glassing. They are so versatile that they can be used for practically all applications, even stargazing and other astronomical viewings. More importantly, they have eliminated the need for additional paraphernalia like tripods.

Canon has many ISBs with different magnifications and objective lens diameters. However, the Canon 10 x 30 IS II is one of the most famous and most trusted pairs of ISBs today. Let’s dive in to find out how its IS system works and what other features give it its reputation!

Specs & Features

  • Product Dimension: 5” x 5.9” x 2.76”
  • Product Weight: 21.16 oz (excluding batteries)
  • Power Source: 2 AA Alkaline Batteries or 2 AA NiMh Batteries
  • Angular Field of View (Real): 6 degrees
  • Angular Field of View (Apparent): 55.3 degrees

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

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    Improved IS technology with faster startup time than its predecessor
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    Suitability for all light conditions and various applications
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    Superior edge-to-edge clarity with doublet field-flattener lenses
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    Compact design
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    Anti-reflective exterior coating ideal for direct sunlight exposure

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe battery case has no additional protective layer
  • check-markEye relief slightly lower than the recommended eye relief for eyeglass wearers
  • check-markHuge eyecups
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Canon 10×30 IS II

Best Budget Binoculars Under $150

Vortex Optics is known for making high-quality binoculars, such as the RAPTOR 10X32. For binoculars with a price tag less than $150, they render pretty impressive images from dusk to dawn.

The fully multi-coated lenses offer enough light transmission for bright and crisp images. You can easily adjust the focus using the central knob and adjust the eyecups using the twist-up mechanism.

You can also change the interpupillary distance (IPD) or the distance between the centers of both pupils by merely rotating the binoculars until the IPD aligns with your pupils. However, these optics are not the best choice for eyeglass wearers. They have low eye relief of 13 mm.

With nitrogen purging and O-ring seals, this pair performs considerably well regardless of the weather, and is capable of doubling as a pair of marine binoculars. There’s no visible fogging when the temperature suddenly changes. Additionally, the rubber armor body offers a non-slip grip.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 32 mm
  • Weight: 17.6 oz
  • Dimensions: 4.5" H x 5.7" W
  • Field of View (Linear at 1,000 yds): 339'

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

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    Relatively good low-light performance, considering the price point
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    Bright and crisp images
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    Easy-to-use focus knob
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    Doesn’t fog easily

Things we don't like:

  • check-markLow eye relief
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Vortex Optics Raptor 10×32

For Low Light Environment

Hunting is a demanding hobby that requires discipline, the right skills, and the appropriate tools. Needless to say, having the skills would not suffice without the right equipment, such as a great pair of binoculars.

When selecting hunting binoculars, it pays to be picky and to consider your tools a worthwhile investment and not a mere expense. Many factors come into play, such as lens coatings, prism technologies, focus systems, magnification, objective lens diameter, chassis construction, the field of view, eye relief, among others.

Leupold & Stevens is one of the leaders in the tactical gear industry, and its binoculars have been tried and tested through time. A specific product that has won the hearts of many hunters is the Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide HD 10x42mm. Let’s dive in and discover why!

Specs & Features

  • Product Weight: 24 oz.
  • Linear Field of View at 1,000 yds.: 326’
  • Angular Field of View: 6.2 degrees
  • Eye Relief: 16 mm
  • Exit Pupil: 4.2 mm

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Things we like:

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    Exceptional low-light performance
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    Superior edge-to-edge clarity
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    Improved light transmission with advanced exterior lens coating
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    Reliable, long-lasting durability with maintenance-free, hydrophobic lens coating
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    Uncompromised image quality in both tight and wide-open spaces

Things we don't like:

  • check-markPoor quality lens caps that do not fit snugly
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide HD 10x42mm

The simply-named B.3 binoculars is a premium compact model from Wyoming-based Maven. It combines many cutting-edge features in a small package that can fit in your pocket.

This is an above-average quality 30mm glass at a below-average price.

A roof prism model with surprising performance, the model we tested met our expectations well. On paper, a good binocular for birding and hiking, the B.3 proved it could do a little more than that.

Compact binoculars are trendy today. They offer a quality glassing experience without the bulky profile of traditional binoculars. This pair also comes in at a decent price, in the mid-range.

Let’s dive in and learn more about these binoculars!

Specs & Features

  • Product Dimensions: 4.7” x 4.6” x 1.6”
  • Schmidt-Pechan Prism
  • Dielectric Coating
  • Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) Glass
  • Fully Multi-Coated Lenses

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

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    Versatile and can be used for different activities
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    Minimized color fringing and high-contrast images
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    Satisfactory edge-to-edge clarity
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    Heavy-duty construction with a superb waterproof rating
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    Scratch- and oil-resistant lenses

Things we don't like:

  • check-markA harder case would be nice instead of included cinch bag
Read full review

Where to buy:

Maven B 3 Product Image

Maven B.3 Binocular

This powerhouse features a wide range of components that justify the seemingly high price tag. Starting from the 8x+ magnification and 42-50 mm and ending with twistable eyecups and premium high-density glass, there is nothing Vortex Optics Razor HD binoculars are short of.

This model’s lens coating is anti-reflective, which means that the highest level of brightness in low light conditions is guaranteed. The construction of the binocular is bulletproof – it has got a magnesium chassis that makes it lightweight yet strong. The indents located in the rugged armor of the binoculars ensure you have a good grip on your equipment in every weather scenario.

You are able to adjust the eyecups in a way that makes it easy for you to see the furthest objects without putting too much strain on the eyes. The eye diopter is adjustable too – the focal difference between both of your eyes is promised to be kept at a minimum.

For the given price, you would expect them to perform well and last a long time. These expectations are fully met – this model of Nikon binoculars has argon purging and o-ring seals that offer you a lifetime waterproof and fog-resistant execution.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 8x-12x
  • Objective Diameter: 42-50 mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 285-388 ft.
  • Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.2 x 4.2 in (8×42 version)
  • Weight: 1.54 lbs (8×42 version)

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

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    The premium construction of this binocular ensures a lifetime use without damages
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    This model can be used in any weather condition without compromising the quality of the image
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    The interpupillary distance can be easily adjusted for the sharp image

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe price tag is extremely high
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Nikon Prostaff 7s Binocular 42mm

Finding a versatile pair of binoculars that genuinely give you value for money is not that easy. There are many choices in the market, and it is often difficult to choose the right binoculars that really meet your needs, especially if you are not well-versed in outdoor and tactical equipment.

The good news is that Leupold & Stevens has easy-to-use binoculars suitable for different activities and environments. The Leupold BX-2 Alpine HD 10×42 is a mid-range pair of binoculars with a rugged construction and an impressive performance quality. In this comprehensive review, we will take a more in-depth look at its features and specs to help you decide for yourself if it is worth the investment. Let’s dive in!

Specs & Features

  • Product Length: 5.5”
  • Product Weight: 28 oz.
  • Twilight Max Light Management System
  • Linear Field of View at 1,000 yds: 368’
  • Angular Field of View: 6.5 degrees

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Things we like:

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    The advanced light management system delivers crisp images
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    The advanced light management system is ideal for low-light conditions
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    The magnesium body offers long-lasting performance
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    The compact design and accessories allow for convenient handling
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    Leupold binoculars have a lifetime guarantee

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe central focus knob may need frequent adjusting.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Leupold BX-2 Alpine HD 10×42

The right pair of binoculars can make the difference between inconvenience and ease. Outdoor activities like bird watching and hunting require a certain level of precision that only high-performing optics can deliver.

An 8×42 binocular is an excellent choice for general use. They are easier to handle than 10×42 binoculars. Moreover, they usually perform better in low-light conditions than the latter. They allow you to locate your subjects quickly with their wide field of view. Practically, they are more than good enough for hunting.

A great pair of 8×42 binoculars that is ever more popular these days is the Maven B1.2 – 8X42. It is an updated version of Maven’s flagship model under the B series, Maven B1 – 8X42.

In this in-depth guide, we will talk about the significant updates made to this model. We will also discuss what features were retained from their predecessor and we will also look at how they fare compared to cheaper alternatives, so let’s dive in!

Specs & Features

  • Dimensions: 5.2” x 5.7” x 2.2”
  • Weight: 26.81 oz.
  • Exit Pupil: 5.25 mm
  • Linear Field of View: 420’ at 1,000 yds.
  • Eye Relief: 18.1 mm

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

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    Versatile and suitable for different activities
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    Wide field of view
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    Reliable color fidelity and image quality
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    Good low-light performance
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    Generous eye relief

Things we don't like:

  • check-markExpensive
  • check-markNo carrying case
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Maven B1.2 8×42

The Maven B.6 10×50 binoculars are a higher end glassing option that will appeal to birders and hunters. Its low light and night time clarity make it an interesting model for stargazing as well as tactical uses by law enforcement or security.

This pair is notable for its performance, robust build quality and ease of use. There are very few drawbacks of all the B.6 models and this 10×50 model demonstrates Maven’s innovation and high standard.

It rivals the performance of many well established names like Nikon and Steiner. And it’s assembled in the US.

Let’s dive in and find out whether or not it delivers on the promise of affordable quality!

Specs & Features

  • Product Dimensions: 5.2” x 6.6” x 2.3”
  • Product Weight: 30.7 oz
  • Exit Pupil: 5 mm
  • Linear Field of View: 341’ at 1,000 yds.
  • Eye Relief: 18.1 mm

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

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    Impressive brightness and contrast
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    Impeccable edge-to-edge sharpness
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    Good low light and night time
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    All weather tough
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    Grippy housing

Things we don't like:

  • check-markMounting on tripod can be tricky with the wrong adaptor
  • check-markRims around objectives lack protection
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Maven B.6 10×50

Don’t let the simple design make you underestimate the power of this pair of Bushnell Legend Ultra HD M-Series binoculars. ‘Less is more’ is perfectly applicable for this model and you are going to find out why right about now. Their 10×42 optical resolution is the definition of power – whether you are on a safari trip in Africa looking at wild animals or at the Knicks game in New York, you are bound to see the action up close in detail. The ED prime glass and the RainGuard HD technology offer you the clearest picture with enough contrast and light even in the darkest conditions. The Oleophobic lens coating works to keep the fog, water and oily fingerprints away from your field of view.

No droplets will ever come in your way of missing that long-awaited picture-perfect moment. There is a locking eyepiece diopter to keep your dominating eye fixated on the picture at all times. Find the setting you are the most comfortable with and forget about the annoyingly moving ring mechanism. Every box is checked for this model of binoculars and you will come to appreciate the wide array of features from the very first use.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Diameter: 42mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 340 ft.
  • Dimensions: 7.8 x 6.5 x 3.5 in
  • Weight: 1 lbs

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

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    The ED Prime Glass is the ultra-low dispersion glass that allows you to have an improved picture without chromatic aberration
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    The ultra-wideband coatings deliver a crystal clear picture
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    Comes with a neck strap for transportation and a cloth drawstring bag for storage

Things we don't like:

  • check-markDon’t have the wow factor – the features are pretty average
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Bushnell Legend Ultra

Affordable Pocket Pair

When it comes to binoculars, size is not necessarily proportional to performance. Sometimes, even the smallest ones are more powerful than the biggest. The Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars is a great example of a lightweight pair of optics that does a pretty decent job.

Adjustable eye cups, manual diopter and center focus work pretty well.

The Occer 12x25s are popular–at least they seem to sell really well–because they have a very appealing price compared to more expensive brands. That immediately draws attention to the question of its quality, and therefore more relevantly, to its usefulness.

We ordered these tiny binos with an eye on testing them out.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 12x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 25 mm
  • Weight: 8.8 oz
  • Field of View (Linear at 1,000 yds): 273’
  • Prism System: BaK-4 Porro

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

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    Real color reproduction with little-to-no daytime color distortions
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    Suitable for glassing at mid- and long-range distances
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    Easy-to-use central focus knob
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    Lightweight and portable
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    Nice grip

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNoticeable blurring around the edges
  • check-markNo night-time performance, contrary to being advertised as such
  • check-markMagnification is likely overstated
  • check-markRight and left eyepieces are not aligned, producing double images
  • check-markNot waterproof
Read full review

Where to buy:

Occer 12 25 Compact Product Image

Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars

This affordable model of binoculars by Celestron is your winning ticket if you are in search of good-quality stargazing equipment that won’t break the bank. They are a phenomenal value considering how well-performing they are over long distances. The SkyMaster Giant features BaK-4 prisms and optics with multiple coatings for enhanced clarity and contrast. When added a large 70mm objective lens, you get a piece of equipment that allows you to gaze at the sky in the non-stop regime for hours. Its body is rugged and armored for the secure gripping when you are placing it on the tripod or in a smartphone holder. The exterior is also water-resistant, which comes in handy more often than not when a sudden rain makes its appearance out of nowhere.

The eyecups are soft and rubberized for the comfort of your eyes that don’t deal well with direct light. Even eyeglasses wearers will be able to reap the benefits of these binoculars – the eyecups can be easily folded down for optimal convenience. Adjust settings for a fine focus, sit or stand in a comfortable position, and get ready to enjoy the view of constellations.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 15x
  • Objective Diameter: 70mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 231 ft.
  • Dimensions: 8.7 x 4.3 x 11 in
  • Weight: 3.28 lbs

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

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    The focus that can be achieved with this 70mm pair of binoculars is mind-blowing
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    The 15 power magnification allows you to see the tiniest of the stars in the cloudiest night sky
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    If you are an eyeglasses wearer, you can still use this pair of binoculars and get a perfectly clear picture

Things we don't like:

  • check-markHeavier than other binoculars in this guide
  • check-markThe neck strap is narrow
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Celestron SkyMaster Giant

Clear and bright pictures are not only promised but are full-on guaranteed with Hawke’s lifetime warranty. You heard it right – they vouch for your product to be of a high-quality and take it upon themselves to fix it if required. Let’s hope there won’t be a necessity, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? Well, besides this great news, the model itself is holding up to the high standard – it has got ED glass monoculars that have very low dispersion that results in a fine picture with realistic colors. The multi-coated lenses ensure that no details are lost when looking at an object in a far distance, while the precision focus secures the sharpest possible outcome.

No matter whether you choose a compact version of the model or the powerful 12×50 one, the eyepiece is designed to be twistable on every single one of binoculars. This means that your viewing sessions are bound to be comfortable and accompanied by no eye strain. Invest in the version that fits your needs best and start bringing it with you whenever you head out and about.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 8x/10x/12x
  • Objective Diameter: 32-50mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 246-388 ft.
  • Dimensions: 8.25 x 6.9 x 3.05 in (10×42 version)
  • Weight: 1.44 lbs (10×42 version)

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.6

Things we like:

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    The focusing is effortless and the field of view is impressive making the binoculars efficient
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    The high-grip rubber body ensures no slippage and a good traction
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    The waterproofing and fog-resistance factors allow you to bring this model of binoculars outside regardless of weather conditions

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe design of the equipment might not be your cup of tea
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Hawke Endurance ED

Best Budget Lightweight Binoculars

With 10x power, the Steiner Safari Ultrasharp 10×26 are ideal for concerts, live sports, and watching wildlife. With the lenses’ advanced UV coatings, you can see details clearly from a distance.

The Makrolon® housing with rubber armor is rugged enough to handle harsh environments. They can withstand an impact of 11 Gs, so they won’t easily break over the years. Whether it’s wet or dry, you can count on these binoculars.

Steiner’s ClicLoc® system lets you quickly attach and release a strap or harness with a push button. That makes using and carrying these optics hassle-free. Meanwhile, the eyecups are comfortable enough for prolonged hours of glassing.

If there’s anything that Steiner can improve on this gear, it’s the field of view. 302’ at 1,000 yds is not the best, particularly for wildlife viewing.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 26 mm
  • Weight: 10.5 oz
  • Dimensions: 4.7" H x 4.6" W x 1.8" L
  • Field of View (Linear at 1,000 yds): 302'

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.4

Things we like:

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    Offers detailed images from a distance
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    Rugged, shock-proof housing
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    User-friendly neck strap
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    Comfortable eyecups

Things we don't like:

  • check-markField of view is not the best
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Steiner Safari UltraSharp

Being the industry leader in sports optics, Bushnell has become the number one pick of many birdwatchers and stargazers. Their equipment proved to be of the highest quality and reliability that there is, which is what draws everyone to invest in a pair of binoculars by Bushnell. This Powerview Compact Folding Roof model is distinguished by its extremely compact design that can be easily folded and put in a deep pocket of pants or in a backpack. Aside from having a fun size, these binoculars offer a regular-range 8x magnification and 378 ft field of view. Combined with a rubber armoring that ensures prolonged and slip-free use, this model presents an impressive piece of equipment for being so small.

It has got a roof prism that folds when needed and a coated lens that provides a crystal clear picture at any time of the day. Adjust it on your neck on your next bicycle adventure or bring it in your bag to a sports event and get ready to share it with your friends and family. You might even influence them to buy a pair of binoculars for themselves.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Diameter: 21 mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 378 ft.
  • Dimensions: 5 x 8 x 6 in
  • Weight: 0.44 lbs

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.2

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The dimensions of this binocular are ideal for carrying it around
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    The field of view is spectacular considering how compact the model is
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    The magnification is good enough to be able to see the smallest details of a sports game or a rare bird species

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe objective lens diameter is not very wide
  • check-markNot waterproof/fog-resistant
Read full review

Where to buy:

bushnell-powerview-compact-folding-roof-prism-binoculars.jpg

Bushnell Powerview Compact

Falcon series of Bushnell binoculars are known for their superb power and build quality for an affordable price. The 133410 model fits this category perfectly well – it disposes of InstaFocus lever that offers an accurate picture and a Porro prism with coated lenses for the sharpness of the image. Besides, it has got foldable eyecups that are especially useful for those of you who wear eyeglasses on a daily basis. Fold them down and thus eliminate the distance between your eyes and binoculars for a bright and steady picture.

Although a 35 mm objective lens might seem insufficient, the real-time buyers prove that it fully meets their outdoor and sports-watching requirements. Bring it with you on your next outing that calls for binoculars in a case that comes with it and enjoy the view in comfort.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 7x
  • Objective Diameter: 35 mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 420 ft.
  • Dimensions: 8 x 6.2 x 3 in
  • Weight: 21 oz.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    In spite of belonging to a budget line of binoculars, this model can be compared to any other feature-rich pair of binoculars on today’s market
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    The 420 feet field of view is quite impressive for affordable equipment
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    Its price won’t break anyone’s bank

Things we don't like:

  • check-mark
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Bushnell Falcon 133410

You won’t find many cheap binoculars like the G4Free one no matter how hard you try. Cheap doesn’t equal bad quality, however, as this model succeeds to prove. They have got an XMC Technology with BAK4 prism built into them to reflect the light and offer you a bright and sharp picture. Even in low light conditions, these binoculars don’t fail to impress – their night vision feature allows you to gaze at stars or at your favorite football player when the sun had already set (check out these night vision binocs if you’re looking for something specifically for pitch black conditions). Rain is not an issue either – the binoculars are water-resistant enough to withstand some mild rain and foggy weather conditions.

The 12x magnification is surprisingly high for a budget-friendly model of binoculars, while the 25mm objective lens is wide enough to provide you with a clear picture of that distant object you are focused on. If you are a light traveler or simply cannot be bothered to carry hefty equipment with you at all times, give this model of binoculars consideration.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 12x
  • Objective Diameter: 25 mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 273 ft.
  • Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.77 x 4.4 in
  • Weight: 0.6 lbs

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    You can easily adjust the distance between the eyes by rotating eyepieces and center focus the wheel for a clear picture
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    Although it is not advised to use these binoculars in heavy rain, mild showers are totally compatible with this model
  • check-mark
    It is the most compact and budget-friendly pair of binoculars available on the market

Things we don't like:

  • check-markDue to the binoculars’ dimensions, they don’t have the features of their high-end counterparts
Read full review

Where to buy:

g4free-12x25-compact-binoculars.jpg

G4Free 12×25

Best Budget Binoculars Under $50

Many quality binoculars often have a starting price over $100. The Aurosports 30×60 Folding Binoculars are an exemption. For less than $50, they are reliable gear you can use at live events or for birdwatching.

Equipped with high-quality BAK4 prism and multi-coated lenses, this pair of binoculars provides you with a clear and steady view. The natural rubber material of the Aurosports body is easy to grip without slipping even when holding for long periods.

These binoculars are compact and easy to use. The central focus knob is easy to reach and adjust. The binoculars are foldable so you can squeeze them into almost any bag pocket. You can carry them with you wherever you go or even leave them in your car’s glove compartment to be ready for any action, any time.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50 mm
  • Field of View (Angular): 7.3
  • Tripod Adaptability: N

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.1

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Suitable for use at live events and amateur birdwatching
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    Foldable
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    Easy to focus

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNot ideal for low-light settings
  • check-markBudget build
Read full review

Where to buy:

aurosports-30x60-folding-binoculars-telescope.jpg

Aurosports 30×60

The Endeavor series released by Vanguard feature an ergonomic and open-bridge design that makes them appealing to a big number of outdoor lovers. This model of binoculars has got a premium ED glass that helps to reduce color dispersion and thus offer you a high-resolution picture. The wide viewing angle and reliable BAK-4 roof prisms strengthen the quality of the image even more. The eyecups have three stages of twisting, which provides you with long eye relief. These binoculars are nitrogen-charged and o-ring sealed as well, which supports the already built-in waterproof and fog-resistance qualities.

The premium lifetime warranty makes you want to purchase the equipment and use it as much as you need without worrying about damaging it – Vanguard will repair or replace it free of charge. This is what a brand devoted to providing high-quality stuff looks like.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 8x-10x
  • Objective Diameter: 32-42 mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 340 ft.
  • Dimensions: 6.1 x 5.1 x 0.1 in (10×42 version)
  • Weight: 1.61 lbs (10×42 version)

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The performance is top-notch due to the highly qualitative features
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    The eye relief provided by the twisting eyecups is what makes them stand out from other binoculars
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    The range of magnification and objective lens allows you to choose the version that meets your requirements the best

Things we don't like:

  • check-markChromatic aberration is not good
Read full review

Where to buy:

vanguard-endeavor-ed-10x42-binoculars.jpg

Vanguard Endeavor ED

Equipped with an Abbe-Koenig prism, the RAZOR UHD 8×42 has a relatively longer optical path that delivers sharp resolution in these higher-end binoculars. These could be the last binos for birding you’re ever going to need. The apochromatic (APO) index-matched lenses offer reliable color correction, so the images you see are always as precise as they could get.

Moreover, the UHD optics effectively eliminates chromatic aberration and enhances light transmission. For optimal clarity and performance even in low-light conditions, its lenses come with the XR Plus fully multi-coated technology.

RAZOR UHD 8×42 has a magnesium body, delivering exceptional ergonomics while significantly reducing weight. With ArmorTek coating, the exterior of the optics is surely scratch-resistant. The rubber armor grip complements this chassis, with the firm grip offering you a worry-free handling experience, especially when the conditions call for it.

Of course, these Vortex binocs has fogproof and waterproof capabilities, too. Both the argon gas filling and O-ring sealing guarantee that moisture and dirt would be the least of your concerns.

Specs & Features

  • Product Dimensions (Length x Width): 7” x 5.6”
  • Product Weight: 32.2 oz.
  • Eye Relief: 16.7 mm
  • Field of View at 1,000 yds: 420'
  • Field of View (Angular): 8 degrees

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

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    420' field of view at 1,000 yds
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    8 degrees angular field of view
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    UHD optics
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    XR plus fully multi-coated optics
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    Magnesium chassis

Things we don't like:

  • check-markRelatively pricey
  • check-markLow close focus distance
Read full review

Where to buy:

vortex-optics-razor-hd-roof-prism-binoculars.jpg

Vortex Optics Razor

A dupe for Vortex Optics Razor HD is right here – the manufacturers of the Nikon 7576 Monarch 5 binoculars kept up with the timeless legend and created a model that exceeds all of the users’ expectations. Extra-low dispersion lenses? Check. Turn-and-slide eyecups? Check. Dielectric high-reflective multilayer prism lens coatings? Check. Waterproofing and water-resistance features? Check. This lightweight number is an exemplary tool that will make your hunting or stargazing experience memorable. Due to the multitude of features, this pair of Nikon binoculars provides you with great light transmission in every condition, rich and accurate picture colors and comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses.xx

Like the best Vortex binocs, the body of the equipment is rubber-armored and durable – even the wettest weather conditions won’t make you put your binoculars in the back pocket. The smooth central focus knob brings faraway objects into focus like no other binocular. Is there anything this model is missing? We doubt that.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 8x-10x
  • Objective Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 330 ft.
  • Dimensions: 5.7 x 5.1 x 2.4 in (8×42 version)
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs (8×42 version)

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The extra-low dispersion glass lenses alleviate the possibility of the wrong chromatic aberration
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    The central focus knob makes it easy to focus on the objects you want to see
  • check-mark
    Serves as an affordable dupe for the Vortex Razor HD model of binoculars

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe build is cheaper than the Vortex Razor HD binocular
Read full review

Where to buy:

nikon-7576-monarch-5-8x42-binoculars.jpg

Nikon 7576 Monarch 5

Best Budget Binoculars With a Wide Field of View

If you are looking for a pair of compact binoculars with excellent focus, resolution, and field of view that you can shove in almost any bag, the Opticron Discovery WP PC 8×32 are an excellent choice. They are one of the tiniest roof prism binoculars you will find on the market today. Put the neoprene strap around your neck, and you’re ready to go.

These optics have a relatively wide field of view of 393’ at 1,000 yds. That, together with fully multi-coated lenses and phase-corrected prisms, helps you observe objects in outstanding resolution and color.

The generous eye relief and twist-type retractable eyecups allow you to use these binoculars comfortably. Even if you are wearing eyeglasses, you won’t have trouble panning and observing the environment around you.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 32 mm
  • Weight: 13.8 oz
  • Dimensions: 4.3" L x 4.6" W x 1.6" D
  • Field of View (Linear at 1,000 yds): 393'

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Compact
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    Relatively wide field of view
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    Excellent resolution
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    Generous eye relief

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNeckstrap, focus wheel, and lens cover connectors feel cheap
Read full review

Where to buy:

opticron-discovery-wp-pc-8x32-binoculars.jpg

Opticron Discovery WP

The most powerful binoculars in the professional optics industry are hands down the Canon 18×50 ones. With this model in your hands, you are bound to see every little detail that didn’t seem reachable before. Those tiny birds on high trees and hidden constellations in the night sky are all of a sudden available for you to witness firsthand. This is mainly due to the image stabilization feature that is essential for binoculars with high power. A unique Vari-Angle Prism is located between the objective lens group and the porro prism on both the right and left sides of the equipment.

This allows for the image to be stable and not shaky when focusing on that faraway object. Independent horizontal and vertical sensors along with microprocessors reinforce image stabilization even more. The shock and water-resistant body of the binocular is backed by the rubber coating with a non-slip grip. This means that no rain will ever stand in your way of enjoying the view.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 18x
  • Objective Diameter: 50 mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 213 ft.
  • Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 5 in
  • Weight: 2.6 lbs

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The most powerful binoculars on the market
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    Made from bulletproof material that is able to withstand every weather
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    Has image stabilization feature that ensures the absence of a shaky picture

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe most expensive binoculars on this list
Read full review

Where to buy:

canon-18x50-image-stabilization-all-weather-binoculars.jpg

Canon 18×50 Image

FURY HD 10×42 is the best Vortex binoculars for distance ranging capabilities. It is the perfect pair for hunters, thanks to the easy-to-use controls on the right side that allows for one-handed manipulation. You can easily use other tools with your other hand, such as a bow or a rifle.

It has a Horizontal Component Distance (HCD) mode, an angle-compensated ranging technology that provides you with the actual distance data you need for maximum accuracy. Meanwhile, the Line of Sight (LOS) mode shows the actual LOS range. Moreover, you can set the illuminated right barrel display in either yards or meters.

This pair of Vortex binoculars comes with proprietary XR Fully Multi-Coated lenses, which significantly improve light transmission with as little light loss as possible. It also has a phase-correction coating that optimizes overall contrast and resolution.

To prevent moisture from compromising your viewing experience, the FURY HD 10×42 is purged with nitrogen and sealed with O-ring sealing. With these features, you can definitely use it even at the highest peaks without fogging. Moreover, these features make the Fury HD 5000 an ideal pair of marine binoculars.

Furthermore, the rubber armor construction gives it a tight grip, ensuring the best external protection possible. For your comfort, the tapered eyecups offer a natural fit. You won’t find yourself in an uncomfortable position even after hours of use.

Specs & Features

  • Product Dimensions (Length x Width): 5.75” x 5”
  • Product Weight: 31.8 oz.
  • Eye Relief: 16 mm
  • Field of View at 1,000 yds: 321.6'
  • Field of VIew (Angular): 6.1 degrees

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Easy-to-use controls on one side
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    HCD mode
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    LOS mode
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    Illuminated right barrel display in yards and meters
  • check-mark
    XR fully multi-coated lenses

Things we don't like:

  • check-markOnly recommended for rangefinding
Read full review

Where to buy:

vortex-optics-fury-hd-display-photo.jpg

Vortex Optics Fury HD 5000

It is indeed tricky to find compact equipment that would retain the qualities of a full-size one. The Leica Ultravid BR 8×20 binoculars are the exception. The present a fine line between size, quality and weight with minimum to no compromises made by the manufacturer. The suppression of stray light is uncanny – its roof prism mixed with the HighLux-System HLS and phase correcting coating P40 provides you with a bright and clear picture. The HDC multicoating and AquaDura coating present on outer lenses ensure you get a good contrast in the daytime.

The central focus knob allows you to focus on the object in the distance with no issues. Although this pair of mini binoculars cannot offer the same field of view that the regular-sized binoculars can, you still receive a comfortable viewing that is more than satisfactory. Pack it with you whenever you head out to explore your surroundings and you are bound to get a kick out of your viewing session.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Diameter: 20 mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 113 ft.
  • Dimensions: 4.4 x 3.7 x 1.5 in
  • Weight: 0.5 lbs

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The contrast and clarity of the picture you get is impressive for a binocular of this size
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    If portability is your top priority when choosing a pair of binoculars, this model is your best bet
  • check-mark
    The body of the equipment is made from aluminum, which is a strong material that lasts a long time with continuous use

Things we don't like:

  • check-markHas less high-end features than the regular-sized binoculars
Read full review

Where to buy:

leica-ultravid-br-8x20-compact-binoculars.jpg

Leica Ultravid BR

The Snypex Knight ED 8×42 binoculars are designed to help you view the objects from far away without having to come close to them. They are made from Extra-low Dispersion glass and roof prisms that enhance the contrast of the picture and provide you with a clear and sharp outcome. The fully multicoated optics with anti-reflection add-ons complement the glass and the prism of this model by improving the light transmission and allowing you to use the equipment in low light conditions. This is particularly useful for stargazing and late-night sports game watching.

The open-bridge construction helps to reduce the weight of binoculars and thus contribute to their transportability. The rugged body is magnified by the O-ring sealed and nitrogen-filled functions that make the binoculars almost undestroyable. Bring it with you for a day out in the animal safari or to a classical theatre show and you won’t be disappointed with the picture.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 393 ft.
  • Dimensions: 5 x 5.2 x 2 in
  • Weight: 1.68 lbs

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

5

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The rubber armoring aids in protecting the equipment from water droplets and providing you with the good grip
  • check-mark
    The twistable cups not only accommodate eyeglasses wearers but also offer a great level of eye relief
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    The glass along with the prism eliminate the chromatic aberration and equip the picture with true colors

Things we don't like:

  • check-markNo high-end features
Read full review

Where to buy:

snypex-knight-ed-8x42-hunting-binoculars.jpg

Snypex Knight ED 8×42

Let us bring your attention to the beloved Bushnell’s gem recognized as Excursion HD Roof Prism binoculars. With 10x magnification power and 42mm objective lens, this pair of binoculars offers you an experience of a lifetime. They are fully multi-coated with BAK-4 prisms and PC3, which results in a sharp and bright image. When birdwatching, these characteristics are particularly important. The body of the equipment is lightweight yet rugged, thus giving you a balanced tool to use for years. The manufacturer made sure to make this model waterproof and fog-resistant for you to be able to bring it outside and not be worried about ruining it.

The lockable center focus knob makes it easy to adjust focus in an instant – this feature gives this binocular an advantage over many other models. The field of view is quite wide too – you will have access to the tiniest background elements that would not be seen otherwise.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 341 ft.
  • Dimensions: 7.09 x 6.1 x 5.91 in
  • Weight: 1.48 lbs

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.3

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    The body is hefty yet not heavy, which makes it a perfectly balanced piece of optics
  • check-mark
    The quick and easy change of focus means that you will be able to capture every moment with no fail
  • check-mark
    The waterproof and fog-proof qualities ensure your binoculars won’t get damaged if there is a sudden change in weather

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe lens caps are not of a good quality
Read full review

Where to buy:

bushnell-excursion-hd-roof-prism-binoculars.jpg

Bushnell Excursion HD

It doesn’t feel like you’re looking at owl through binoculars – rather, it seems like you are right next to it. This is how powerful Swarowski EL binoculars are. The fluoride-rich ED glass lens ensures color fringing is reduced to the minimum while the brightness and clarity are increased to the maximum. The optics coatings known as Swarotop, Swarobright and Swarodur enhance the outcome and thus result in the perfect color reproduction. The lens has got a field flattener that enables the binocular to provide you with the sharp edges of the object you are focusing on.

The manufacturer included a focusing wheel for you to adjust the focus without efforts. It is made to be non-slip and tough enough to operate efficiently even after many years of using it. There is a wrap-around grip that is originally designed by Swarowski makes your viewing sessions comfortable and carefree. Bring it with you on your next hunting adventure and enjoy the razor-sharp view of the tiger with this tool in use.

Specs & Features

  • Magnification: 8x-12x
  • Objective Diameter: 32-50 mm
  • Field of View @1000 yds: 423 ft.
  • Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 7 in (8×32 version)
  • Weight: 4.55 lbs (8×32 version)

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Compatible with eyeglasses wearers due to the widest possible field of view
  • check-mark
    The ergonomic design makes this model appealing to everyone
  • check-mark
    The non-slip focusing wheel ensures a long life cycle of binoculars

Things we don't like:

  • check-markOne of the most expensive binoculars on the market
  • check-markHeavy and bulky
Read full review

Where to buy:

swarowski-el-binoculars.jpg

Swarowski EL

For Birdwatching

VIPER HD 8×42 is one of the best Vortex binoculars because it is one of the lightest, full-powered, yet compact models available in the market today. These are ideal for hunting. Made to endure long-lasting performance even in the most challenging environments, its lenses are protected by proprietary, ultra-hard, scratch-resistant coating, ArmorTek. The body has a non-slip grip, so it won’t easily break if you accidentally drop it.

Filled with argon gas and sealed with O-ring sealing, it offers fogproof and waterproof capabilities. Moisture and dust won’t easily penetrate the binoculars, giving you the confidence you need in the extreme outdoors.

With premium extra-low dispersion (ED) glass, the VIPER HD 8×42 delivers quality images in the most accurate colors possible. For reduced light loss during transmission, it is built with XR fully multi-coated optics. All air-to-glass surfaces have multiple anti-reflective coatings to ensure optimal light transmission. Moreover, the phase-correction coating offers enhanced contrast and resolution.

It is compatible with a tripod adapter for your convenience, enabling you to mount it on either a car window mount or a tripod. You can definitely bring it to all your adventures, thanks to the GlassPak Binocular Harness with tethers you can attach to the binoculars. This accessory lets you keep your binoculars safe and secure at all times, and allows you to use them as marine binoculars.

Specs & Features

  • Product Dimensions (Length x Width): 5.6” x 4.9”
  • Product Weight: 24.5 oz.
  • Eye Relief: 18 mm
  • Field of View at 1,000 yds: 409'
  • Field of VIew (Angular): 7.8 degrees

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Comfortable eye relief
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    ArmorTek lens protective coating
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    Premium ED glass
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    XR fully multi-coated optics
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    Phase-correction coating

Things we don't like:

  • check-markMay not meet expectations in low-light conditions
Read full review

Where to buy:

vortex-viper-hd-display-photo.jpg

Vortex Optics Viper HD

Good Zoom, No Shake

The Canon 12×36 IS III will be a game-changer for some people. Image-stabilized binoculars (ISBs) offer a smoother glassing experience by ensuring stability without a tripod’s support.

They come in really handy, especially for birders, hikers, and even sports fans. With 12x magnification, stabilization assistance promises to cut down on shaky viewing.

Canon is recognized for pioneering IS technology in binoculars, changing the game forever. Over the years, it has introduced many ISBs, significantly improving them from time to time.

Let’s dive in and discover how it is an upgraded version of its predecessors!

Specs & Features

  • Product Dimensions: 5” x 6.85” x 2.76”
  • Product Weight: 23.28 oz. (excluding batteries)
  • Power Source: 2 AA Alkaline Batteries or 2 AA NiMh Batteries
  • Angular Field of View (Real): 5 degrees
  • Angular Field of View (Apparent): 55.3 degrees

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Advanced and intuitive IS function that engages almost instantaneously
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    User-friendly IS button
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    Impressive edge-to-edge clarity with doublet field-flattener lenses
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    Unobtrusive with anti-reflective exterior
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    Energy-efficient

Things we don't like:

  • check-markMay not be suitable for eyeglass wearers
  • check-markNot fogproof and waterproof
  • check-markProduces minimal chromatic aberration
Read full review

Where to buy:

canon-12x36-is-iii-binoculars-product-photo.jpg

Canon 12×36 IS III

With cutting-edge features like the APO system, premium ED glass, and XR Plus fully multi-coated lenses, there is no wonder why KAIBAB HD 18×56 is considered one of the best Vortex binoculars. Their high magnification and wide-field of view are great for viewing over vast areas.

The APO system’s index-matched optics provide color correction across the visual spectrum, complementing the premium ED glass that delivers reliable color fidelity and resolution. On the other hand, the XR Plus fully multi-coated lenses guarantee exceptional clarity regardless of the lighting conditions. There is little to no light loss during transmission.

KAIBAB HD 18×56 has a rubber-armored body that offers a non-slip grip, no matter the environment. It also has scratch-resistant capabilities, thanks to the proprietary ArmorTek coating that protects the exterior lenses.

Fogproof and waterproof capabilities are also essential. For a worry-free outdoor experience regardless of the weather, it is filled with argon gas and sealed with O-ring sealing. It is also compatible with a tripod adapter, so you can mount it whenever needed for your convenience.

Specs & Features

  • Product Dimensions (Length x Width): 7.7” x 5.7”
  • Product Weight: 43.5 oz.
  • Eye Relief: 16.4 mm
  • Field of View at 1,000 yds: 194'
  • Field of VIew (Angular): 3.7 degrees

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

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    Excellent close focus distance
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    Premium ED glass
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    XR fully multi-coated lenses
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    ArmorTek lens protective coating
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    Deluxe padded carry case

Things we don't like:

  • check-markHeavy
  • check-mark194' field of view at 1,000 yds only
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Vortex Optics Kaibab HD

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FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What strength binoculars do I need?

With so many numbers prevailing in the world of binoculars, it might be overwhelming to decide which ones to take into consideration when purchasing a pair. To not flood you with even more explanations of what each one of them means, examine the following when making the investment.

The golden rule suggests that you should search for binoculars with magnification power ranging between 7x to 10x. To be more specific, the avid lovers of theatre might want to look into binoculars with the power of 3-5x, while the sports games fans should seek 7-8x binoculars. For hunting and stargazing, consequently, you better check out binoculars with the biggest magnification number of 10x or even higher.

What should I look for when buying binoculars?

If you are a bird watcher, sports fan or a safari adventurer, chances are you already have a pair of binoculars or are looking into upgrading to a new model. Regular users who don’t have much experience with binoculars, on the other hand, find it harder to spend their money on a pair due to the lack of knowledge. To help you out, investigate these features before purchasing binoculars: lens quality and coating, magnification, objective lens diameter, waterproofing and fog-resistance and weight.

Perhaps one of the most important characteristics to consider is the quality of the lens. A good quality lens ensures the aberration-free image with good contrast and compatibility with low light conditions. The coating of the lens is not any less significant – it decreases the amount of reflected light and permits more light to enter the lens.

The correct magnification number can either make or break your long-distance watching experience. Normally, the further away the object is, the higher should the magnification be. Yo see a lion located 1000 meters away from you, for instance, you would need binocular with the power of 10x – this way you will be able to see it as if there were merely 100 meters between you two. Remember that binoculars with magnification over 12x tend to require tripod due to their hefty weight.

Depending on the size of the lens, you can expect a certain amount of light that enters your pair of binoculars. For this reason, the worse the light conditions are, the wider the lens you would need. You should follow the ratio 5 in relation to the magnification rule to receive the best picture possible. In case there is a choice between an 8×25 and 8×40 binocular, for example, you better pick the latter to get the brightest and clearest picture.

For outdoor use, waterproofing and fog-resistance are essential features that your binocular should have. While regular binoculars can withstand a few minutes of light water/fog without getting damaged, anything longer than that will certainly have a detrimental effect on your equipment. So, if you find yourself out in nature a lot, consider investing in a model of binoculars with waterproofing and fog-resistance markings.

Lastly, the weight of binoculars plays a big role in your long-distance watching session and thus has to be given attention too. Prolonged usage of binoculars will tire even the healthiest eyes, so consider purchasing the model that prioritizes the eye relief and comes with a tripod of a sort. The more high-end your binoculars are, the less eye strain they provide.

How do you focus binoculars?

Some people give up on binoculars before they even try to properly adjust them. For this scenario to not happen to you, there are some guidelines to follow in order to correctly focus your binoculars and get a real-life picture.

You should start off by adjusting the binoculars’ eye caps. They are responsible for reducing the distance between the eye and the equipment and thus deliver the best picture possible. If you are an eyeglasses wearer, fold down the eye caps to get closer to the lenses. If you don’t wear glasses, unfold the eye caps so that they create a ‘tunnel’ of a sort for you to look through.

Once the eye caps are in place, it’s time to adjust the width of the binoculars in relation to your eyes. Take a look at an object from the distance and adjust the width accordingly so that you receive a round image of the object. You should be seeing the same image with both of your eyes.

Just like with prescription glasses, dioptries play a huge role in showing you the accurate picture. With binoculars, you have to pick an object in the distance and fix the central focus for either one of your eyes on sharp while keeping the other one shut. Repeat it with the other eye until both of them see the sharp image without discrepancy.

That’s it – now you can focus on the desired object and look at it through your binoculars. Keep in mind that if the picture is not sharp, your eyes might compensate for it, which will result in them getting tired quicker than usual. That said, you can always repeat these steps to get the best picture.

Are compact binoculars any good?

The idea of carrying around a hefty pair of binoculars during your travels or even to the closeby sports match is not exciting, to say the least. Unless you use your binoculars very often, there is a good reason to invest in a compact model of binoculars that will do the job just as well.

There are certain challenges, however, that arise with creating a compact binocular that will retain the qualities of the regular-sized one. The primary issue is to minimize the loss of light transmission that inevitably occurs with downsizing the equipment. This means that although in the daytime there will be no difference between standard-sized binocular and the compact one, as the sun starts to set in, the quality of the image on the compact binocular has the tendency to get worse.

The focusing details along with the lens coating and the glass quality are the essential parts to consider before purchasing a compact binocular. They are the trickiest to get to a high-quality level, meaning that the difference between the compact binoculars of different brands is big.

All things considered, a compact model of binoculars can be a real life savior for those looking to purchase a piece of equipment that will do the job well and still be easily transportable. Certainly, a few sacrifices will have to be made in favor of a smaller and more compact binocular, but in return, you get a tool that can fit into your backpack without taking all the space.

How do you remove moisture from binoculars?

Regardless of how the water particles have got into your pair of binoculars, they have to be removed in order to supply you with a clear picture. The prolonged moisture inside your binoculars can also cause some long-term damages, which is never a good flow of circumstances. Follow these 3 steps to remove the moisture and you won’t have to waste a couple of hundred of dollars on replacing your old equipment:

  1. Consider leaving your binoculars in a dry and warm place for a few days. Due to the construction of the equipment, water will evaporate into the dry air.
  2. Seal your binoculars inside a plastic bag that doesn’t allow air to come in. Put dehumidifiers known as desiccants in the bag to absorb the excess moisture.
  3. For future uses, don’t expose your binoculars to rain or foggy weather if they are not waterproof/fog-resistant. If they happen to accidentally catch some moisture, wipe them off as soon as you can to avoid potential damages.

If you already have a binocular or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.

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