20 Best Binoculars under $100 (2019): Buyer’s Guide and Unbiased Reviews

Are you on a quest to find the best binoculars under $100?

Then you’re in the right place. Because I have done the hard work for you and have reviewed dozens of products to bring you the best binoculars under $100.

In addition, I will introduce the following related topics.

  • Product Details (Including advantages and disadvantages) 
  • Binoculars Buyer’s Guide
  • Uses of Binoculars
  • ..

I will also answer some common questions.

  • How do I focus binoculars?
  • What do focus-free binoculars do?
  • Can you use binoculars with glasses?
  • What is the best magnification to use?
  • How do you clean the lenses?
  • How are binoculars calibrated?

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Chief Editor


Hi! I’m Brian, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science. I used to be an editor of a sports magazine. I like to read sports and recreation magazines, such as Outdoor Life, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and Runner’s World. I hope that this article can be helpful to you.

Latest posts by Brian (see all)

Hours Researching

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Researched Sources

Top 3 Picks ( In a Hurry? Here are the winners )

Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
Professional's Choice
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 42-mm, Black
Best Value
Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars with Case (Black, 7x35 mm)
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 42-mm, Black
Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars with Case (Black, 7x35 mm)
Our Rating
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Professional's Choice
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 42-mm, Black
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 42-mm, Black
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Best Value
Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars with Case (Black, 7x35 mm)
Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars with Case (Black, 7x35 mm)
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon

Best Binoculars under $100

A quality pair of compact binoculars can quickly become your top traveling friend. They are small and light. For your hunting trip, they are a fairly bulky item and are ideal for other activities like bird watching, hunting, and hiking. When you are looking for a good pair of compact binoculars, there are several things you will want to consider. The top compact binoculars for less than $100 are lightweight and small enough that you can take them with you where you go, and also feature a quality build, durable, good magnification, and clear options.

1. Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter – Editor’s Choice & Best Seller

Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
  • Multi coated optics
  • Large aperture perfect for low light conditions and stargazing
  • Tripod adapter 13 millimeter (0.51 inch) long eye relief ideal for...
  • Diopter adjustment for fine focusing; Angular field of view 4.4...
  • Large 70 millimeter objective lens offers maximum image brightness in...

The SkyMaster 15×70 Binoculars are one of the top products on our list. It is from the Celestron line, which is one of the leading optics manufacturers. The device performs great for Astronomy and also does very well for sports, wildlife watching, birdwatching, and hunting. The binoculars feature a 70 mm objective lens and 15x magnification which provide bright and clear images no matter what the weather conditions are.

However, the device weighs more than 3 pounds, so that makes them somewhat heavy and hard to carry over extended periods of time. The device does feature tripod compatibility which is a solution for this. That allows you to view it more smoothly and steadily without getting tired.

  • Multi-coated lenses
  • Dioptre adjustment
  • Great performance in conditions with low light
  • Very affordable
  • Compatible with tripod mount
  • A bit heavy

2. Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars with Case – Best Value

Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars with Case (Black, 7x35 mm)
  • Fully coated optics for superior light transmission
  • Instafocus System for fast focus on moving targets
  • Non slip rubber grip pads for secure grip in all weather conditions
  • 7X magnification, auto focusing porro prism
  • 35 Millimeter lens diameter, 21 Ounce weight

Bushnell Falcon 7×35 binoculars feature a classic design and are affordably priced as well.

Fully-coated Porro prisms are used to provide plenty of clarity and light to your pupils. That does increase the weight and makes these binoculars bigger in your hand, but you also get a sufficient amount of light transmission for using the binoculars at night.

The field of view is impressive: 420 feet from 1,000 yards.

It features a 7x magnification which is more than sufficient to view far-objects without the image bouncing around and with clarity.

An InstaFocus lever allows you to focus without needing to spin a knob. After it is set, the “auto-focusing” prism means you won’t have to adjust the focus for objects from 40 feet up to infinity, theoretically.

However, there is a disadvantage that comes with InstaFocus. They rely on your eyes in order to change the focus, and for some people that can cause eye strain.

The Bushnell Falcon 7×35 is a decent budget do-anything binocular but might strain some individual’s eyes and is lacking magnification for fine details.

  • Field of view is very impressive
  • Suitable for astronomy
  • Auto-focusing prisms eliminate the need to have a knob and helps to keep the price lower
  • Low-quality accessories
  • Fixed-focus might produce eye strain

3. Wingspan Optics Spectator 8X32 Compact Binoculars for Bird Watching

Wingspan Optics FieldView 8X32 Compact Binoculars for Bird Watching. Lightweight and Compact for Hours of...
  • WIDE FIELD OF VIEW -View An Entire Field Of Action Then Focusing In On...
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY Plus 30 Day Money Back Guarantee Make These the Last...

The Wingspan Optics Spectator 8×32 is very small. The binoculars, in fact, can nearly fit in the palm of your hand. You can also fit the pair of binoculars inside a pocket. These binoculars, despite their small size, are a worthwhile investment.

Looking through the lens, it is obvious that Bak-4 glasses are used by Wingspan for making its glass prism, and that is surprising considering that Bak-7 glass is used by most manufacturers. Another surprising thing is the binocular features a roof prism design.

This binocular, due to is magnification and compact design is best suited to use for birdwatching. Therefore, they are the perfect choice for anybody that is searching for affordable binoculars for birdwatching. It is considered to be one of the best birdwatching binoculars less than $100 and is worth buying. In addition to bird watching, these binoculars can be used for wildlife watching as well.

  • Easy to carry due to its compact design and are lightweight
  • Built to withstand the occasional knock and drop
  • Comes with a lens cover for protecting the lenses
  • 30-day money back guarantee is included
  • Not equipped with fully multi-coated optics
  • Not waterproof

4. Bushnell Falcon 10×50 Wide Angle Binoculars

Bushnell Falcon 10x50 Wide Angle Binoculars (Black)
  • Exit Pupil (millimeter):5, Eye Relief (millimeter):9
  • 25 Feet close focusing distance, 27 Ounce weigh
  • Boasts durable design and rubberized, abrasion resistant finish
  • Porro prism; full lens coating provide sharp viewing

Bushnell has long been one of the outstanding companies that satisfy its customers on a consistent basis. That is why a majority of hunters will usually prefer to purchase the Bushnell Falon as their first pair of binoculars.

This product’s 10x magnification system will always help you view smaller objects larger. The zooming, of course, will not cause any problems whatsoever with the picture quality.

The 50mm lens diameter is one of the best aspects of this product. Also, you will get an autofocusing system that allows you to clearly see views. This product has a close focusing distance of 25 feet.

This is why this product can be used for different kinds of purposes. The design of the product makes it a lot more durable. The body of the product is completely sealed. There is practically no leak if water gets inside to ruin the system.

Its rubberized system helps you be able to get a firm grip on the binoculars. They won’t slip from your hands when you are using them to see your target or the jungle environment.

  • Its rubberized body help you be able to get a firm grip on the binoculars
  • Roll down eyecups are available
  • Coated lenses provide the sharpest view
  • Comes with an integrated autofocusing Porro prism
  • Its 10x magnification system helps with zooming in on even the smallest animals without the picture quality being ruined.
  • A majority of the time the infinity focus fails to provide you with sharp images.
  • Its rubber cover that goes over the main body is a bit loose. For users, it provides an uncomfortable feeling.

5. Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 42-mm – Professional’s Choice

Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 42-mm, Black
  • Quality optics with stunning HD clarity; Exit Pupil: 4.2 millimeter /...
  • 100 percentage quality materials used and tested extensively. Field of...
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last
  • 100 percent waterproof, O ring sealed and nitrogen purged for...
  • BaK 4 prisms and multi coated optics offer crisp clear images with...

The Bushnell H20, despite it being a roof prism type of binocular, is a high-quality but still affordable pair of binoculars for those who love the outdoors.

This pair of binoculars offer outstanding optics construction which enables it to provide high-definition display clarity. All of its parts are designed well. The binoculars have been engineered for harsh environments and extensive applications due to its ruggedness and durability.

Since they have been tested so extensive, you can be guaranteed that this model of Bushnell binoculars will serve you well for a very long time. They provide the necessary ergonomics also so you can easily use them.

The entire binocular features a non-slip rubber shell which prevents them from slipping out of your hands. It also features a soft texture grip for tighter gripping and shock-absorption. The optics of the binocular in the meantime is sealed with O-rings. Therefore, water as well other elements can breach the product.

It can be said that the product is immune to water and fog due to this specific capability. The lenses also have been purged of nitrogen to enhance reliability. The binoculars also feature a large nob on the center to allow you to make adjustments quickly.

  • Allows for hassle-free and quick adjustments
  • Optics are fog proof and waterproof
  • Equipped with 8x magnification power
  • Optimized light transmission for improved low-light viewing
  • For clearer displays, features Bak-4 prisms and multi-coated optics
  • Comes with noticeable drawbacks

6. Aurosports 10×25 Folding High Powered Binoculars With Weak Light Night Vision

Aurosports 10x25 Folding High Powered Binoculars With Weak Light Night Vision Clear Bird Watching Great for...
  • Perfect compact lightweight binoculars for bird watching. Can be Used...
  • Large field of view. Focusing in on your target for brilliant detail...
  • Fully multi-coated lenses, waterproof, hyper-durable anti-slip grip...
  • 10x magnification with 25 mm objective lens allows you to see objects...
  • Suitable for both adults and kids, fit for hunting, hiking, exploring,...

This type of binoculars is multipurpose and is the best quality. In terms of the best binoculars less than $100, it is on top of our list. Like most binoculars, they can be used during the day.

However, if you need to use it at night, then you won’t be disappointed and rest assured you will be fully equipped. It has a big enough field of view, so you can observe objects clearly that are as far away as 1000 yards.

The binoculars have multicolored lenses to provide you with HD images and its objects are magnified which allow you to have clear viewing at 10x magnification. It has easy handling with a rubber handle so that it won’t slip out of your hands. The binoculars are lightweight and enhance their portability. For better packaging, they can also be folded.

  • Its magnification makes images appear like they are only a foot away
  • The multi-colored lenses offer an improved view of objects.
  • It is very lightweight which allows you to carry it a lot more easily.
  • Multi-used, both night and day.
  • Waterproof.
  • A little complication for children to operate.
  • Only found on specific platforms when you are wanting to buy one.
  • Best to view objects that are 1000 yards away.

7. SkyGenius 10 x 50 Powerful Full-Size Binoculars for Adults

SkyGenius 10 x 50 Binoculars for Adults Powerful Full-Size, Clear Durable Binoculars for Bird Watching...
  • 【Professional Powerful Binoculars】Designed with 10X power...
  • 【Weak Light Vision with Quality Optics】Design of Aspherical lenses...
  • 【Durable, Solid and Anti-slip Grip】Durable structure with odorless...
  • 【Easy to Focus】Corrective optical coating are great for color...
  • 【Adjustable Eye Cups】The rubber covered eyepiece can be twisted up...

We are all aware the people go hunting not just in sunny weather but go hunting in dark weather also. They even travel into places where the sun rarely reaches.

This is why Skygenius made these binoculars that are a great performer even in conditions with low light. The 10 x magnification systems are very good for today’s perspective.

As previously mentioned, this product is a great performer even in darker situations. The multilayer coated aspherical lens elements are integrated to reflect light very well.

Due to that, you won’t get any distortions. The binoculars’ rubber finish makes the product shock resistant. It also will give you a firm grip. And it can be held for a very long time, even when it is raining.

These binoculars are easy to control and use. They are made for all kinds of different users. The focus can be adjusted by yourself very easily.

  • The central wheel and the right eyecup are able to adjust the focus.
  • The rubber finish provides you with a strong grip on the binoculars. It makes this product shock resistant as well.
  • They have multilayer coated lenses which help to ensure that you are able to view images with better quality and contrast.
  • Comes with a 50 mm object lens diameter that provides clean images during when the lights are low.
  • This product is less substantial compared to other products in the market that are similar.
  • The neck strap is not very durable, so you should avoid using it.

8. Wingspan Optics Feather ED Lightweight Binoculars – 8×25 Folding Binoculars

Wingspan Optics Feather ED Lightweight Binoculars - 8x25 Folding Binoculars for Bird Watching w ED Glass,...
  • ULTRA HD FOLDING BINOCULARS: Get an almost 3D feel to bird watching...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT TRAVEL BINOCULARS: Wingspan packed big optics into...
  • STEP-ADJUSTED EYE CUPS: Wingspan's fully adjustable eyecups mean no...
  • WIDE ANGLE 8X25 BIRDING BINOCULARS: These Lightweight birding...
  • WATERPROOF AND FOG PROOF: The tight tolerances and integrated seals on...

High-quality binoculars are made by Wingspan Optics at an affordable price. The Feather ED 8×25 from Wingspan Optics are among the rare ED binoculars that are available for less than $100.

ED is short for “extra-low dispersion.” When combined with roof-style Bak-4 prisms and phase coating, you get very high light-gathering and extreme optical clarity despite its 12-ounce weight and smaller 25 mm objective lens.

It has a 356-foot field of view from 1,000 ards and has a 6.5-foot close focus range, which when it comes to binoculars is not much of a distance.

For fog-proofing, the feather line is nitrogen-purged and is also waterproof, so you can use the binoculars are practically anywhere, whether it is a sports event, hunting, or camping.

The only real drawback is that since Wingspan Optics need to fit expensive glass in these binoculars under $100, it results in the body not being well made as some of the other binoculars that are at a similar price point.

If you would like to have a compact, small pair of binoculars for less than $100 that have excellent clarity, you should opt for the Wingspan Optics Feather ED 8×25 binoculars.

  • Fog-proof and waterproof
  • Very lightweight and compact for all-day comfort
  • High-definition glass at a non-high definition price
  • Doesn’t have the best light-gathering capabilities (however for a 25mm objective lens it is better than expected)
  • The glass is made better than the body

9. Bushnell Legacy WP 8 x 42 Binocular

Bushnell Legacy WP 8 x 42 Binocular
  • Cameras & photo binoculars
  • Made of the highest quality materials
  • Another great Bushnell product
  • Wide-angle 8x magnification, 42-millimeter objective binoculars
  • Porro prism system with fully multi-coated optics and BaK-4 prisms

Another outstanding pair of binoculars by Bushnell that may be fit your budget needs well is the Legacy WP. This is a powerful unit that offers magnification power of up to 8×42. The binoculars can observe targets from a great distance without any resolution being lost.

Most notably, it has excellent light transmission, that allows it to perform well in low-light conditions.

The binocular can be used in basically any outdoor application. It also can help you raise your game in whatever weekend activities you participate in. It is an excellent gear that you can add to your tactical tool collection (i.e. tactical boots and tactical knives). The price is affordable, but that optics and housing still have a very good construction.

The binoculars come with fully multi-coated optics so you can have a better view of whatever your surroundings are without compromises. The Bak-4 prisms help to ensure light transmission and image clarity. The binoculars’ body is fully rubberized so it is able to perform well in wet conditions.

  • Can do both wide and near viewing
  • Impressive light transmission capabilities
  • Ensures slip-free performance
  • Rugged and tough housing
  • Fully waterproof construction
  • These binoculars are heavy
  • It is hard to turn the focus knob

10. Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars for Adults

Gosky 10x42 Roof Prism Binoculars for Adults, HD Professional Binoculars for Bird Watching Travel Stargazing...
  • 【Compact Roof Prism 10x42 Binocular】 10X power magnification and...
  • 【HD Superior Optics】 Best 42mm fully multi-layer coatings green...
  • 【Durable Framework and Rubber Armor】 Its tight fitting protection...
  • 【Complete Binocular Accessories】 Comes with Newest Smartphone...
  • 【Lifetime Warranty And Lifetime Technical Support】 Shop with...

Wouldn’t you be satisfied if you received a product that is made for multitasking purposes? These are the best hunting binoculars that can be used anywhere.

So whether you are going out climbing or hiking or go to football games or opera can use these binoculars to see bigger. This product has been designed in a way that can be used in almost any situation.

The 10x power magnification of these binoculars makes them more useful for hunting. These binoculars have green film fully multi-layered coating objective lenses. It comes with 18 mm blue film eyepiece as well.

This combination assures you will get clearer and brighter images. They use durable rubber armor to increase durability. Not only that but it helps to ensure you can use the item in wet weather as well.

The rubber armor is shock absorbing as well. This product has extra features as well. There are lens piece covers that have been added so that your product can be kept safe while you aren’t using them and much more.

  • Has a large field of view of 307 feet/ 1000 yards.
  • Designed for multi-tasking, outdoor activities in particular.
  • Durable frameworks help with increasing durability that allow the binoculars to perform their very best.
  • Rubber armor offers maximum protection and is shock resistant.
  • There are binocular neck straps that are available so you can hang it on your shoulder.
  • There is an integrated quick aligned Smartphone mount so you can use it with phone cameras as well.
  • Complex adjustment systems
  • The extra features don’t have special qualities. Sometimes they might fail.

More Products (Our Rating: 4 Stars)

11. Eyeskey HD 10X42 Hunter Binoculars for Adults
Eyeskey 10X42 Fully Waterproof Binoculars for Adults Compact | Wide Field of View | HD Bright Clear Night...
  • Roof-Prism Binoculars Can Obtain Much More Spaces and Get More Sharp...
  • Large And Smooth Central Focusing Knob Makes You Easy And Quick To...
  • Adjustable Eye-Cups Is Easy And Rapid For You To Twist Up And Down For...
  • Fully Multi-Coated Green Films Eco-Glasses and BaK-4 Prisms Ensure You...
  • These Lightweight Binoculars Are Equipped with User-Friendly features...
12. POLDR 8x21 Small Compact Lightweight Binoculars for Adults Kids Bird Watching Traveling Sightseeing
POLDR 8x21 Small Compact Lightweight Binoculars for Adults Kids Bird Watching Traveling Sightseeing.Mini...
  • Lightweight Small Binoculars: You can throw them into your backpack...
  • Compact Binoculars Clear vision: 8x21 optics binoculars with a 8X...
  • Easy on Focus: Just adjust by Smooth "center-focus knob" and right eye...
  • Compact Binoculars with BAK4 prism which can 100% reflect the light to...
  • Application: Perfect for adults, kids, concerts, theater, opera,...
13. Nikon Aculon A211 10x42 Binoculars
Nikon Aculon A211 10x42 Binoculars
  • ACULON A211 10x42 binoculars are designed to be as light as possible...
  • Turn-and-Slide Rubber Eyecups allow for comfortable viewing during...
  • Made with A spherical Multicoated Eco-Glass Lenses bright and clear...
  • The smooth central focus knob makes these binoculars simple to operate...
  • A durable rubber-armored coating ensures a non-slip grip, even in wet...
14. Kylietech 12X42 Binoculars with Phone Adapter Professional HD Compact Waterproof and Fogproof Telescope Sports-BAK4 Prism FMC Lens for Bird Watching Hiking Stargazing Hunting Concert with Carrying Bag
Kylietech 12X42 Binoculars with Phone Adapter Professional HD Compact Waterproof and Fogproof Telescope...
  • 【High Power 12x42 Roof Prism Binoculars】 With 12x high power...
  • 【Premium BAK4 Prism & Multilayer Coated Optics】42mm fully...
  • 【Quality Optics】Equipped with FMC(fully multi-coated) green film...
  • 【Comes with a Smartphone Adapter 】This binoculars can be used with...
  • 【Waterproof, Fog-proof and Anti-slip Grip】 Prevents moisture,...
15. Bushnell PowerView 10 x 50mm Porro Prism Instafocus Binoculars, Realtree AP
Bushnell PowerView 10 x 50mm Porro Prism Instafocus Binoculars, Realtree AP
  • Quality optics with stunning HD clarity
  • 100% quality materials used and tested extensively
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last
  • View 10 x 50mm
  • Instafocus binoculars with 10x magnification and 50mm objective lenses
16. ZoomX Binoculars for Adults. 10x42 Waterproof Lightweight Compact Binocular Prism Bak4. HD Binocular for Bird Watching Hunting Traveling and Sightseeing with Smartphone Adapter
ZoomX Binoculars for Adults. 10x42 Waterproof Lightweight Compact Binocular Prism Bak4. HD Binocular for Bird...
  • [Waterproof] Made for those who can’t see their life without...
  • [Binoculars 10x42] 10x42 binoculars with the best fully multi-coated...
  • [Design] The best field binoculars X-007 Ever. Rubberized body: Fits...
  • [Lightweight, compact] Roof binoculars HAD never been so weightless:...
  • [Binoculars phone adapter] get more with the newest Adapter: make...
17. Nikon ACULON A30 10X25
Nikon Aculon A30 10x 25mm Binocular, Black
  • Multicoated Lenses
  • Smooth Central Focus Knob
  • Weighs less than 10 ounces
  • 10x Magnification; 25mm Multicoated Lenses
18. OMZER 10x42 High-Powered Compact Binoculars with BAK4 Prism FMC Lens, Waterproof, Fogproof and Shockproof Binocular with Carrying Bag for Adults Bird Watching, Hiking, Hunting, Camping, Concert
OMZER 10x42 High-Powered Compact Binoculars with BAK4 Prism FMC Lens, Waterproof, Fogproof and Shockproof...
  • 【SUPERIOR QUALITY FMC OPTICS】The design of fully multi-coated...
  • 【EASY TO FOCUS】 The bird watching binoculars can be folded and...
  • 【ADJUSTABLE EYECUPS】The high-powered binoculars are adaptable to...
  • 【DURABLE AND WATERPROOF CONSTRUCTION】Made of premium materials,...
19. BNISE Binoculars for Adults Compact, 10X42 HD Professional, BAK4 Prism FMC Lens, Suitable for Outdoor Travel, for Bird Watching, for Hunting, Concerts, with Smartphone Adapter
BNISE Binoculars for Adults Compact, 10X42 HD Professional, BAK4 Prism FMC Lens, Suitable for Outdoor Travel,...
  • Binoculars for adults - 10X Magnification, 303 ft / 1000yds large...
  • High-quality optics parts - the 42 mm full multilayer coated film...
  • Durable frame and rubber-armored housing - firm protection allows it...
  • High Profile - A 2018 latest quick-aligned smart phone adapter comes...
  • BNISE Worldwide Warranty - 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: You are...
20. Binoculars, 10x42 Professional Compact Binoculars with BAK4 Prism FMC Lens for Outdoor Hunting, Bird Watching, Traveling and Sporting Events with Strap
Binoculars, 10x42 Professional Compact Binoculars with BAK4 Prism FMC Lens for Outdoor Hunting, Bird Watching,...
  • 【HIGH RATE FOCUSING】: binoculars for adults compact focus system...
  • 【HIGH-QUALITY OPTICAL LENS】: FMC coated lens, 42cm ultra large...
  • 【ULTRA WIDE VISUAL FIELD】: Compact binoculars view scenery away...
  • 【WATERPROOF AND DUSTPROOF DESIGN】:Filled with nitrogen, structure...
  • 【COMPACT AND DURABLE DESIGN】:Compact shape and appearance, durable...

Uses of Binoculars

Binoculars have a wide range of uses, and some of them will be highlighted below. We will also note the best type of binoculars for each type of use in the following section.


If you are looking for an all-round pair of binocular for general sports or marine use, you should opt for a pair with 7 x 25 lenses at the very least. For general use, your main aim should be to get a pair with adequate magnification, but not too much to mess with your field of view. If you plan to use your binoculars for general sports or marine purposes, you should get pairs with a field of view that ranges between 300 and 350 feet.

Hunting and Bird Watching

If you in search of a pair of binoculars for hunting or bird watching, you should opt for a product with a 30mm objective lense and 8x magnification. On top of this, the best field of view for hunting and bird watching is 350 feet at least. But, if you plan to look at animals from a far off distance, you should opt for more powerful pairs.


If you want a nice pair of binoculars for your occasional rounds of golf, you should go for a model with a 17mm objective lense and 6x magnification. When golfing, the objects in your field of view will not be too far away and therefore you’ll not very powerful lenses to see your targets.


With astronomy, things get a little bit different because the objects being viewed are essentially very far away. To make matter even more complicated, astronomy viewing is done at night when there is very minimal light. Because of this, you should opt for a pair with a 40mm objective lense and at least 10x magnification.

Buyers Guide: Features To Look For In A Pair of Binoculars

There are plenty of options to choose from in the market today when it comes to binoculars. Different models have different characteristics, prices, coatings, prisms, and sizes. Choosing the right model for you can be quite challenging but it doesn’t have to be that way. In this article, we have highlight some of the key features you should look for when looking a pair of binoculars that meets both your needs and budget.

There are certain key facts you should make yourself aware of as a first-time buyer in order to properly navigate this product space. Learning some of the basic technical specifications of these products will greatly help you in choosing the right model for you.


The main work of any pair of binoculars is to bring objects that are far away closer. It’s therefore extremely crucial to understand and know the amount of magnification you need from a pair of binoculars. A model with a magnification rating of 8 x 42 can magnify objects 8 times their normal size when looking at them with your naked eyes. A model with 10 at the beginning will magnify objects 10 times their actual size from a distance. However, a higher magnification rating does not necessarily make a pair of binoculars the best in the market. The best models offer between 8x and 10x magnification.

Size of Lense

The size of the lense is measured in millimeters. If a pair of binoculars has a rating of 8 x 42, it lense has a diameter of 42 mm. This is the same case with a pair that has a rating of 10 x 42. This pair has a similar lens diameter of 42 mm, but has a higher magnification. The lense diameter determines the physical size of the model. A large model that makes use of big lense will be heavier and bulkier, but it will be able to capture more light for clearer images.


Binoculars usually has different types of prisms that are used to correct the image that passes through the objective lense. The Porro prism is large and has its eye pieces next to each other while the Roof prism is smaller and better suited for compact binoculars. Porro prism is cheap and offers relatively good performance. The Roof prism on the other hand is compact and better suited for mechanical adjustments.

External Features

External features cover everything from quality of view, optics level, ease of use and durability. If the outer structure of the pair of binoculars is made of high-quality materials, the model will be perceived to have better performance and overall durability.

Chassis Material

The chassis is situated underneath the rubber coating. The most common materials used to make the chassis are Polycarbonate plastic, Aluminum and Magnesium. Plastic or Polycarbonate binoculars are light, cheap and less likely to expand and contract due to harsh weather conditions, thus making them ideal for extreme outdoor use.

Eye Cups

The eye cups create a bridge between your eyes and the ocular lenses. Low-quality models often come with simple rubber eye cups that fold to adjust the eye relief. High-quality models come with twist-up and down-eye eye cups that have better adjustments options for optimal eye relief.

Diopter Adjustment

A pair of binoculars with diopter adjustment can be locked or integrated with central focus wheel. Diopter adjustment can be either lockable or standard. Standard diopters are commonly found in prism binoculars while lockable diopters are found in high-spec binoculars in order to prevent accidental alterations to the settings.

Prism Type and Coatings

The prism type, coatings and glass greatly influence the level of performance you will get from your binoculars. Barium Crown glass has a low critical angle due to its higher refractive index that improves light transmission and overall image quality. BAK4 is more expensive that BK-7, but it does not possess the best light transmission properties.

Type of Prism

Roof prism require multiple coatings in order to produce a high quality image. Porro prism does not need multiple coatings to achieve the same effects.

Prism Coatings

Roof prism binoculars have multiple unique coatings making the best in this department. Although costly, Phase correction coatings correct the light travelling through it for high-resolution images and better contrast. Reflective coatings reduce the amount of internal light lost for a brighter and clearer image.

Dispersion Glass

Some models have low while other extra-low dispersion glasses. The latter have correcting chromatics and spherical aberrations. For optimal functioning, the extra-low glasses should be fully-integrated into the system.


Your budget will greatly influence the type of binoculars you get in the end. Regardless of the pair you opt for, it’s crucial that it has most of the above mentioned features and is within your budget.

Angle or Field of View

This is the scene offered by the binoculars. The field of view is measured in times of feet or meters while the angle of view is measured in terms of degrees. You should choose a model with a field of view that allows you to see as much of the scene you are looking at. A model with a higher magnification will have a narrow field of view so you should be on the lookout for that.

Exit Pupil

This is the diameter through which light passes through to meet your eyes. It relates to the magnification and les objective size to determine how it will perform in low light. A larger exit pupil will allow your light to get more light.

Eye Relief

Those who wear eyeglasses or spectacles should look for binoculars that provide a significant amount of eye relief. Find a model with an eyepiece that allows for easy adjustment in order to get a full view of the scene.

Interpupillary Distance

A good pair of binoculars should have the ability to change the distance of the eye cups so that both your eyes can be at the same level. You should b able to close and open the hinge found on the gadget to adjust this setting to suit your personal preference.


How do I focus binoculars?

Look into the eyepiece on the left. Next, rotate the focus apparatus until you cannot see clearly. Then place your focus on the right eyepiece with your right eye. Rotate the diopter ring and slowly adjust it until everything appears clearly within view.

What do focus-free binoculars do?

Most times, a pair of binoculars has a focus adjustment. This allows you to see anything by controlling the adjustment. There are some binoculars, however, have the capability of focusing on anything using your natural eyesight. This is how focus-free binoculars work.

Can you use binoculars with glasses?

You can. When you wear eyeglasses, though, your eyes are set back further from the binoculars. So you want to use your eyes as you adjust the view by setting the barrels to the distance that your eyes are from the binoculars. Adjust the focus until you can see clearly from both eyes.

Can I use binoculars comfortably if I wear glasses?

This depends on the distance of eye relief. This varies depending on the binoculars. For anyone wearing glasses, it helps to use long-eye relief binoculars. Pick a pair that has 16mm or greater eye relief.

What is the best magnification to use?

The ideal magnification is 15x binoculars. This means the binoculars have 15x magnification with a range of up to 10 x.

How do you clean the lenses?

Use a lens cleaning pen and brush the lens with it until all debris has been cleared away. Moisten the lens with cleaning solution and wipe with a soft cloth or with lens tissue. Your lenses should then be crystal clear.

How are binoculars calibrated?

Choose something that is approximately 30 feet from you and look through the binocular with your right eye closed. Focus the object and hold it when you can see it clearly. Next, close your left eye and keep the right one open. Turn the diopter adjustment and stop it when you can see the object clearly. Your binoculars are now calibrated.

How far can I see with binoculars?

This depends on the power of the binoculars, but most optics technicians suggest that it is possible to see something large about 500 yards away.

What do the numbers mean?

Numbers like 5×50 can be confusing to understand. They basically stand for the magnification power. In this example, the item would be seen five times closer than it actually is. The second number refers to the diameter of the objective lens. This is measured in mm. The diameter of the lens works in proportion to the transmission of light.


Now that you have read the FAQS, you are better prepared to use your binoculars when heading outside to hunt or do other activities. Make sure you have all the appropriate tools with you. Without them, you could face hazards unprepared and have an accident.

Binoculars are not always the first thing you think to bring with you when you go camping or hiking but they can be extremely helpful. Besides allowing you to see better they can help you pinpoint hazards and see dangerous animals or snakes ahead of you.

You do not have to spend a fortune on binoculars to get a decent pair. Simply shop for the best pair you can find for under $100. I made this list for you so that you can see the quality products that are available. Even though they are at beginner level usage you will find they are a pleasure to use.

If you have any questions or suggestions, write them in the comments section below. That’s all for now!


Best Binoculars under $100 ( Top 3 Picks )

Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
Professional's Choice
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 42-mm, Black
Best Value
Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars with Case (Black, 7x35 mm)
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 42-mm, Black
Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars with Case (Black, 7x35 mm)
Our Rating
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Professional's Choice
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 42-mm, Black
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 42-mm, Black
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Best Value
Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars with Case (Black, 7x35 mm)
Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars with Case (Black, 7x35 mm)
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon

Last update on 2019-11-07 / Rating by Author / Affiliate links, Images, Descriptions & Price from Amazon Product Advertising API

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