Best Binoculars

Whether you are out hunting looking for that trophy catch or simply just out for a nice day of bird watching binoculars are a must have tool. Now you might think a pair of binoculars is just that, a pair of binoculars but, there is so much more to it than that. In this list you will find all the ins and outs of binoculars have not only been brought together for you to see but, you will also find these are the best and most versatile binoculars out on the market today.

Our Top 3 Picks

Nikon Monarch 7
  • Nikon Monarch 7
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Water/Fog proof
  • Impeccable clarity
  • Price: See Here
Wingspan Optics Compact
  • Wingspan Optics Compact
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Wide focus field
  • Price: See Here
Carson 3D series
  • Carson 3D series
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Long eye relief
  • BAK-4 Prisms
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Binoculars

 

Nikon Monarch 7

Nikon Monarch 7
When it comes to Nikon they are no strangers to the optical game by any means and they keep that reputation going strong. Nikon has been making the Monarch series for a few generations now, improving each one tenfold as they move forward. All of the Monarch’s that Nikon has put out have been spectacular but with the latest Monarch 7 they have outdone themselves thus the top spot on our list.
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Viewing Quality

The Dielectric high reflective prism they have applied to the lenses allows for the ultimate contrast and true color experience. And if that wasn’t enough they went the extra mile to use extra low dispersion glass that is non reflective glass that cuts down on glare.

Field of View

Very large Field of view is sort of an understatement when it come to this viewing area. Some have said there may be a slight blurring on the complete outer edge but when we are talking about the edge we are literally talking about a very small and miniscule portion that doesn’t seem to be much of an issue if at all. Not to mention it holds one of the widest field of views out on the market today.

Weatherproofing / Grip

If you were to ask for more out of the weatherproofing on these you would be asking for the impossible. They are completely water and fog proof keeping them in working condition even in the most wicked storms mother nature has to offer. The fear of dropping these are not an issue whatsoever with their non slip, rubber, all weather coating.

Weight

While most binoculars these days are pretty lightweight these are no exception. Coming in at a weight of merely 1.3 pounds they are near the lowest of weights in their class.

Price

These binoculars have all of the features anyone would want or need while doing so at the highest of qualities and it shows in the price. These are expensive and not for you if you are not going to be using them either for something that you only need them every few weeks or months. That being said, you get what you pay for and these have everything.

Summary

Like mentioned above in the price section, these are probably not for you if you are looking for something simple and are not planning to be using them quite often
Pros
  • Dielectric High reflective prism coating
  • Anti reflective (anti-glare) lenses
  • Water & Fog proof
  • Rubber non-slip all weather coating
  • Made with extra low dispersion glass
  • Impeccable clarity
  • Quick and easy to operate
Cons
  • A bit on the expensive side

Wingspan Optics NatureScout 8X32

If you are looking for a good pair that are easy to store anywhere including those filled backpacking backpacks these are a good option. Being extremely affordable anyone from the hardcore backcountry backpacker to the diehard sports fan in the nose bleeds will be able to consider these an option.mpact model.
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Viewing Quality

Wielding a BAK-4 roof prism and a fully multi-coated lens coating these little guys pack a big punch. The quality of view on these is nothing short of being considered HD by any means putting out great clarity and colored views.
Field of View

The field of view was not compromised by size when these were designed not one bit. Having a very nice and wide field of view in this pair of binoculars will allow the user to view nearly everything that is at a distance that they want to.

Weatherproofing / Grip

While offering waterproofing and even claiming to be drop proof, they don’t seem to be fog proof. This could be become a problem in some weather conditions by fogging up the viewing area.

Weight

With weight a possible issue for some users, this offers a solution to your weight worries for sure! Weight in at 0.94 pounds they are one of the lightest pairs you can buy! This comes in handy for any type of users allowing them to be carried around anywhere and not become a burden.

Price

The price is another pair that lands in the reach of nearly any type of users. This is great because it allows the compact yet great quality to anyone out there wanting to utilize a tool like binoculars and they can do it not matter their budget.

Summary

When it comes down to overall quality, performance, and durability of just about anything you want a company to be confident they thrive in all areas and stand behind their product. One of the many reasons these are often highly recommended is that Wingspan Optics is one of those companies and they show it by offering a lifetime warranty on their products. So overall being a quality option at an affordable price and being guaranteed a solution if something does go wrong, how could you not consider this one of the top options on your buying list?
Pros
  • Very compact
  • Affordable 
  • Waterproof
  • Wide field of focus
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Touchy focusing 

Carson 3D series

The Carson company has done a great job in the design of these binoculars for sure. The features on these are almost everything you will ever really need. They have everything from viewing quality to durability and even comfortability not skipping anything in between.
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Viewing Quality

The ED glass lenses that are equipped, provide for a very clear and bright view of your subject allowing these to be used for any activity binoculars might be used in. Extra long eye relief also give these an ultimate comfort by not making the user be jammed up against the binoculars but with a little more room between. Also These binoculars come with dielectric coated BAK-4 Prisms so they are up there with the best view you can buy for sure.

Field of View

An amazing field of view comes along with all the other perks these have to offer. They claim to to be able to see 314 feet at 1,000 yards out. This is outstanding! Perfect for watching a large area without having to constantly scan the horizon for what you are looking for because you can nearly see the whole darn thing.

Weatherproofing / Grip

As far as water and fog proof goes, yes they are decent at that. Although the actual grip on theses is not super graspable. Sure you can hold them just fine but when the weather rolls in you may want to just put these little guys away.

Weight

the weight for these are neither good nor are they bad. They are not the most heavy set out there by any means but if weight is an issue for you I recommend heading back up this list. If weight is not an issue and run of the mill is okay for you then these are it.

Price

Price for this item is a little tricky. It is properly priced but they don’t have any features drawing someone in making them want to pay this much for this class of binocular. If you are going to spend this much money you can find a lot better pair.

Summary

When it comes to the end of the day these are basically a run of the mill and mundane pair of binoculars. That being said they do stand behind their product 100% by offering what is supposed to be one of the best warranties you can find out there. If you are they everyday guy that wants a little better binocular but do not want to jump to “the pro’s” then this would be a perfect choice for you.
Pros
  • Water/ Fog proof
  • Extra long eye relief
  • Unbeatable warranty
  • Outstanding field of view
  • Dielectric Coated prisms
  • BAK-4 Prisms
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Stock Accessories could be with a better quality

Celestron 71404 TrailSeeker

To the naked eye these binoculars look pretty simple and yet that is what makes them so beautiful. Celestron’s sleek design not only is appealing but they have managed to pack in many great features. These might be a better option for you if you just want a pair for weekend viewing and not all of the time.
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Viewing Quality

These binoculars come with phase and dielectric coatings on their BAK-4 prisms. The color quality you get from this pair is defiantly above par. Not only were the colors nice and vivid but the clarity was outstanding as well.

Field of View

The field of view is more than good it amazing. The extremely wide field of view allows for minimal movement back and forth to look at objects because everything tends to be in view up close and far away.

Weatherproofing / Grip

This is where this particular pair falls apart. Not only does the body not have much if any grip to hold on in different conditions, but these are not fog proof which is a huge deal. That being said these are waterproof so it didn’t completely fall short.

Weight

Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, the weight is only 1.45 pounds and is about the size of the average cell phone! It keeps everything compact and at the ready any time you may need to look down range.

Price

These binoculars are pretty decently priced. Considering all of the high quality components that are included it’s a great deal and definitely stays on the lower end of today’s binoculars.

Summary

All and all this product is pretty darn good. Its everything you would want in a pair of binoculars although I would be cautious about the whole not being fog proof ordeal. If you are not going to be in wet conditions then these are highly recommended!
Pros
  • Very reasonably priced
  • BAK-4 Prisms with phase and dielectric coatings
  • Extremely wide field of view
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Close and distant viewing options
  • Waterproof
Cons
  • Does not perform so well in fog.

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD M-Series

The Bushnell brand has been around this market for some time and know what they are doing. This pair of binoculars can be used for everything from birdwatching, to hunting, and any other outdoors enthusiast’s desire and does it well across the spectrum.
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Viewing Quality

This particular pair includes ED Prime Glass allowing for a pretty good view down range. The dielectric coating allows up to about 92% of light transmission making the subject very visible in any condition.

Field of View

The field of view is by no means small yet it is nothing to bat an eye at. It is definitely just mid ranged ranking amongst the other binoculars out there. This is one of the only places where they are not bad but just don’t shine.

Weatherproofing / Grip

The weatherproofing is a focus point on this pair of binoculars. With what they call their complete rainguard it will stand up to any water or fog you throw its way. That being said the body seems pretty slick and doesn’t have much to hold onto.

Price

While looking for the right pair of binoculars you might find yourself getting up there in price you will find these near the top of the list for what you are getting. For this price you may want to keep looking.

Summary

Although they are one of the more expensive choices for the quality you get they are by no means a bad purchase. These will get you through any type of activity and do it well since they are so versatile. If you will be jumping tasks often then definitely take these into consideration.
Pros
  • ED Prime Glass
  • Locking eyepiece diopter
  • Dielectric coating allowing up to 92% light transmission
  • great value for the money
Cons
  • A bit pricier than competitive models

Vanguard ED 1042 Binocular

The open bridge on these binoculars make usage a little more comfortable and the qualities below Vanguard backs these with a complete lifetime warranty. So lets put them through the ringer and see how they do.
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Viewing Quality

Although just like most on this list, comprise of outstanding ED glass, all weatherproof/fog proof, BAK-4 prisms making the viewing experience a very pleasant experience. Now what sets these apart from the competition is they do all of this great work producing a clear and colorful image but they also do it in low light conditions and do it well.

Field of View

The view you get while looking down range from these are actually not bad. It offers an exceptional wide area to view from and to top it off they do well up close and personal as well as distant as you need to be.

Weatherproofing / Grip

For weather conditions rolling in putting away your binoculars is a thought that may cross your mind, well not with these. They are fully water and fog proof. Although there does not seem to be much actual grip to hold onto in a wet situation.

Weight

The quality of these binoculars show that sometimes to get all the good things you want you have to sacrifice something and that is the weight. If you want to compare to the others and get down to the nitty gritty (which you have to do since most are very close) then these are a tad on the heavy side. That being said they only weigh about 1.6 pounds.

Price

These particular binoculars are actually reasonably priced for what they offer. You can get all of the fun stuff and not break the bank when going after these babies.

Summary

The Endeavor ED 1042’s are not a bad choice for those that want a good quality pair without hitting the bank too much. Besides being on the heavy side for binoculars and the grip missing from existence these are very recommendable binoculars. Especially with a lifetime warranty you can not really go wrong here.
Pros
  • ED Glass lenses
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Great performance in low light
  • Wide field of view
  • Durable
Cons
  • Quite expensive for the quality it offers

Leupold Cascades Roof Prism

If you know the brand name Leupold then you know they are renowned for their quality of work that they put out and this pair of binoculars is no exception to the outstanding craftsmanship with this pair of binoculars being no exception. There is one huge drawback to these that is if it becomes a problem for you but for most it is overlooked to get the quality that is put forth by this brand.
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Viewing Quality

The quality of the view on these is not as good as others out on the market. Not to say they are a bad view and to the untrained eye you may not even be able to tell, although it does lack the BAK-4 prisms. Even without those it foes come with a multi coated lens system that not olny allows for a pretty good view but unlike a lot of others these do it well in low light situations as well which is a hard quality to find.

Field of View

The field of view for these are pretty standard and like not like most on this list where others have exceptionally wide fields of view and shine bright these do not in this area. That being said, they do have a very close focusing range up to near about 8 feet.

Weatherproofing / Grip

If you have crazy kids or you yourself a bit clumsy of a person then these things are definitely for you! These things are like tanks and very weatherproof with their all-weather gripping and the overall quality of these are just so well built that you really have no worries of drops and dings.

Weight

Now, this is where we fall apart. Coming in at a whopping 2.7 pounds these bad boys can definitely be considered the tanks of the binocular world. But with this weight you get the aluminum chassis accompanied by a rubber armored housing to keep them all peachy when they accidently take a tumble.

Price

These binoculars are extremely expensive for what they are although the used prices can be very, very affordable so these may start a wild goose chase to find the right price.

Summary

While the design and overall quality is thriving like no other the weight of this item makes it nearly impractical in today’s world of binoculars. If you have to do much hiking we’d probably not recommend these at all now if you have children and or will be going through all types of weather conditions then yes go for it for sure.
Pros
  • high quality components
  • Great low light performance
  • Multi-coated lens system
  • All weather grip
Cons
  • Stock accessories are less sturdy
  • Heavier than most models

Vortex Optics Vulture Hd 15 x 56 Binocular

Vortex Optics Vulture Hd 15 x 56 Binocular
When it comes to quality and reliability Vortex Optics has you covered. Their products are so trusted that in some places even law enforcement relies on Vortex Optics’ HD line of sight and for good reason. Every piece used to make these binoculars are all high-quality material both in durability and in utilization.
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Viewing Quality

Outstanding HD images are produced by these along with anti-reflective lens coating to prevent glare. They brag to have enhanced resolution and contrast.

Field of View

Field of view for these are once again nothing special. They are not bad by any means but they do not stand out against the competition.

Weatherproofing / Grip

These have not specifications on being water or fog proof which is a huge concern. But they do very well against dirt, oil, and scratches.

Weight

For the weight it is another one that you might want to look away. These bad boys come in at an astonishing 2.5 pounds and are very bulky. Need we say more…

Price

The price of these are absolutely ridiculous. Why their price is so high for such a mediocre product is beyond us but if the law enforcement buys them they must get some business.

Summary

Recommending these to a friend or family member would be cruel and unusual punishment maybe save it for that guy at the office that annoys you that you can pawn it off on him as a joke. But all joking aside the quality of the image is decent but there are so many other downsides that do not out weight the good or the product itself.
Pros
  • High density/Extra low dispersion HD images
  • Anti-reflective lens coating
  • Enhanced resolution and contrast
  • Dirt, oil and scratch-resistant
Cons
  • Heavier than most models
  • A bit bulkier than most

Nikon 8245 ACULON A211

Nikon 8245 ACULON A211
Nikon has made a name for itself especially in the photo and video worlds and their quality has carried straight on over to their manufacturing of these binoculars. Now yes there are some immediate concerns when you first lay eyes on them such as their noticeably bigger stature compared to all of the other options our list here. But not everything is about looks.
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Viewing Quality

These are accompanied with the Eco-Glass lenses which produce an okay quality image. Also, it is given the roof prism design which is highly sought after in the binocular design.
Field of View

The field of view on these are actually very large. Expanding almost 100 feet more than most of the other options out there today.

Weatherproofing / Grip

These binoculars are very comfortable to use and focus in right on top of your subject while holding onto what Nikon calls “Rubber-Armored Coating” which allows you to keep that firm and steady grip at all times no matter the conditions

Weight

These are extremely heavy once again and not to mention very bulky design.

Price

This is perhaps one of the most budget-friendly choices on this list allowing nearly anyone to be able to purchase them on any budget.

Summary

If size and weight is not an issue for you then do not hesitate to buy these! They are cheap compared to the market and don’t produce the best image like others but again to the untrained eye you will not notice a difference.

If size isn’t an issue and budget is, do not hesitate because these are for you!
Pros
  • Eco-glass lenses
  • Easy and comfortable to use
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • A bit bulky
  • Heavier than other models

AUROSPORTS Folding Binoculars

If you’re looking for a compact and lightweight option and are on a budget then this is your answer hands down! Cost wise it is extremely affordable yet at the same time does not skimp on features.
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Viewing Quality

Coated with the BAK-4 prisms the view is extremely clear and colorful. But that’s all they have to offer for image quality. But hey at least it is the BAK-4 prisms.

Field of View

While these may be small the field of view is right behind it in size. The viewing area again is not small by any means but definitely not the widest out on the market for sure.

Weatherproofing / Grip

They are also outfitted with non-slip rubber that also protects from shock of dropping not to mention they are waterproof.

Weight

Weighing in at an astonishing 0.34lbs it is compact and even folds to take up less space while you’re hitting the hiking trails or carrying it around anywhere you please. Highly recommended to anyone especially someone looking to cut weight in a backpack without sacrificing too much quality.

Price

While most on our list kind of up there in price these are the complete opposite and are extremely affordable even for the broke nomad trying to cut weight tin his pack.

Summary

When it comes down to it these may be at the bottom of our list although they do serve a great purpose for those looking for something compact and lightweight. If you are a backpacker out there looking for binoculars, these right here are your best friends.
Pros
  • Highly Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable
  • Dual focus capability
Cons
  • Not good in low light
  • Craftsmanship a little lacking

 

Criteria for Evaluation

The Lens and Prisms Used

We took a look at these because these are the core components of these binoculars. These are what makes the images so clear and colorful that you guys are after. We looked closely at only the best types of prisms and coatings out on the market today and if you notice they all have about the same type of prisms.

Do The Binoculars Fit Your Budget

If you look closely at the prices of binoculars you will notice that there are the cheap type that may or may not suit your needs, and then there are a little more pricey pair. There isn’t much in between on this market so sit down and think where, when, why you will be using them and decide if you really need a few hundred dollar binoculars for just a sporting event every other month versus an avid birdwatcher or hiker that goes out every week or so to use them. You don’t want to spend the money and have them be a paper weight.

Magnification

We cannot forget about magnification when talking about binoculars, it is a huge key component. The magnification level is the numbers shown with a little x thrown in the middle of two numbers. For the first number, the number represents how much closer objects will seem to you or commonly known as the magnification of the lens. Now the second number tells you how big (in millimeters) the lens actually is. With a bigger lens, it makes it easier to see in lower light conditions because the lens can let more light into the binocular.

Field of View (FOV)

Now yes we have talked some about field of view already, but we are going to talk about it a little more because it is important. The FOV tells you how much you are actually going to be able to see while looking down range without having to move side to side. This is important because it is great if you can see thousands of miles away but if you FOV is too small you are going to have to move around a lot just to follow your target. Large FOV has its benefits in any way you are going to use your pair of binoculars.

 Are you most likely to use the binoculars often?

To start the first two biggest questions to ask yourself are what will you be using them for most and secondly, along with the same lines, is how serious of a binocular user you plan to be. When it boils down to it we all want to be serious consumers about every purchase we make, although binoculars do not have to be a life decision for someone that will only occasionally use them. Now, by all means, do not skimp because you get what you pay for but if you pay the price and not utilize them you might be upset; we want the ultimate goal to be satisfied for the whole time you own these. Now back to the somewhat more important matter which is what you will be using them for most. If you are a diehard bird enthusiast and can sit in a spot watching birds all day then the weight is not really an issue for you. Now flip side to that. You are the devoted backpacker that is in the midst of planning your trip down the entire John Muir Trail, the biggest worry for you is going to be size and weight because every ounce counts in those packs. So you aren’t either one of those types of people and weight is just weight to you but you still have specific things to look for depending what you are looking to do. For instance watching fast paced or moving objects you are going to want a larger field of view so you can see all that is going on.

 

How Far Do You Want to Look?

Also, consider a greater magnification level if you know you will be quite distant from your subject you might need a great magnification. And last but not least, if you are going to be around any kind of moisture the waterproof/fog-proofing are a must! When water finds its way in there it is nearly impossible to clear them up anytime soon. All of that will get you started on your journey to finding the perfect pair of binoculars for you and your lifestyle.

FAQs

Q: What does low dispersion mean?

A:  Dispersion of light means that when the light passes through the lens it is refracted and the light is bent, so to speak, slightly altering colors. With the low dispersion glass used on many of these binoculars, it cuts the refraction of the light down, in turn, giving you a more true and vibrant colors.

Q: What is binocular eye relief?

A:  Eye relief in terms of binoculars refers to the maximum distance your eye can be from the eyepiece of the binoculars and still be able to attain the full angle of view. This helps allow your face to not constantly be jammed up against the device allowing more comfort for the user.

Q: What does dielectric coating mean?

A:  Dielectric coatings are the top of the line coatings that are used inside the binoculars that reflects at or just over 99% reflectivity allowing for the image to be brighter and more clear.

Q: What does field of view mean?

A:  Field of view for binoculars is quite straight forward. This tells you how wide of a view you have while looking down range. The bigger the number means the wider the angle thus allowing you to see more area in front of you.

Q: What is bak4 prism?

A:  Not only do you usually find these in mostly higher end binoculars they serve an important purpose when it comes to light let into the field of view. The BaK4’s allow more light to enter the outsides of the lenses permitting things towards the edges of the field of view to be further illuminated and therefore making it easier to see things to the sides.

Final thoughts

After sifting through many pairs of binoculars and considering the many features we have as available possibilities in combination with each other, these companies did not make it easy to make a choice on which pair to purchase. Although except for the one exception (the Celestron 71404 TrailSeeker) to get a good pair that is going to go above and beyond your demands alongside being long lasting, it is pretty obvious that you get what you pay for here in binocular buying. The only reasons that the TrailSeeker pair wasn’t higher on the list were simply the fact that yes they are very compact and that is awesome although being that compact and not having much if any better options for the hand to grip onto just means that much more chance they take a dive and are ruined. Not to mention they are not fog proof which for these devices out in the wilderness can happen easily causing them to be just as useful as that rock you just hiked past on the trail.

All that being said don’t be afraid to settle somewhere at the top or middle of this list because those options not only will go the extra mile for you but they are built with great quality allowing you to keep this investment for years to come.