See the World Differently With These Great Binoculars
It doesn’t matter where you are. At some point, you may have come across a scene where binoculars would have helped you get a better glimpse at something in particular. It could be a football game, surveying property, or even bird watching in your backyard. But it’s sometimes difficult getting the best binoculars without putting a dent in your wallet. The seven products below will help you do all the activities just mentioned and more, offering high magnification and clarity for those with or without slight vision impairment. Once you’re done with the reviews, check out the Buyer’s Guide that follows for tips and how to choose the right one for you.
Before you go to the reviews, take a moment to view the comparison table to get a point-by-point rundown on the parallels and variances between each binocular.
Aculon A211 8X42
|Celestron 71198 |
|Bushnell Legacy WP||10x||50mm||2.13 lbs||Yes|
|Celestron 71347 |
Outland X 10×42
|Olympus 118760 |
Trooper 10×50 DPS
|Bushnell H2O 10×42||10x||42mm||1.56 lbs||Yes|
|Celestron SkyMaster |
Top 7 Best Binoculars Under $100
1. Nikon 8245 Aculon A211 8X42 – Best Binocular For People With Corrective Lenses
The Nikon 8245 Aculon A211 is a sleek, all black binocular that’s lightweight in design and easy to pick up and carry. The eyecups can be moved and adjusted to fit the wearer’s upper face, so if you plan on doing any viewing that will take several minutes or more, you won’t feel any discomfort or irritation.
This helps out a lot when looking in areas under low visibility. Take it outside at night if you’re an amateur astronomer and get a glimpse at the stars and planets, almost to the same degree as any standard telescope.
As you hold the device, your holds also won’t feel tired. Of course, there is some weight to the binocular. 2.35 pounds isn’t exactly the lightest one you’ll find being sold on the market. But it’s certainly not the heaviest. Rather, it’s a good combination of just the right poundage; it doesn’t look or feel cheap. You could bring it out with you to during hikes or any other outdoor activity and not worry too much about damages when handled carefully.
Although the rubber portions of the binoculars are a nice touch, it can be moved around by a user that forces it. In fact, if you were to do this too much, it could even break. And the device isn’t waterproof. As stated, you can take it outside but be careful as to not get it too wet. Rainy environments are probably not the best, so anyone that lives in a drier climate will be better off in this situation. Like many binoculars with extensive magnification, the clarity will diminish slightly it the highest levels. That means you won’t get the same brightness from images that are possible under closer objects. Even with these minor setbacks, the Nikon 8245 remains a top contender for anyone looking for a good binocular and is one of the best features of all products to be shown on this list.
2. Celestron 71198 Cometron 7×50 – Best Binocular For Image Clarity
The Celestron Cometron is for Serious Binocular Lovers
The Celestron 71198 Cometron has a nice solid black matte finish on the outside, but powerful objective lenses on the inside.
When you peer through the scopes, the image quality will surprise you by how much better things look in contrast to your own vision. Field range is big, and you’ll not only get large visuals but a wide frame without the dark edges that are seen in many lower quality binoculars. There are also multi-colored lenses on the inside, so the colors will really shine, even when using in the fog or haze.
Keeping Moisture Away
Just don’t let too much water get on the outside. Things should hold up but there is a small risk of fogging. It probably won’t occur, however. And some models might have small visual imperfections, almost as if the binoculars could have been handmade. Again, this is not a general problem among every device but bears mentioning because a little scratch or two on the surface isn’t unheard of. It doesn’t tarnish anything that the product can do, so if you’re willing to look past this, the Celestron 71198 might be the greatest binocular you’ve ever used, no matter if you’re a beginner or long-term enthusiast.
3. Bushnell Legacy WP 8X42 – Best Binocular For Outdoor Use
One of Bushnell’s Finest
The Bushnell Legacy WP is third on the list and goes by the selling point of being completely waterproof and fog proof. You could take it out on during hunting and get rainwater over the housing; nothing would happen to damage the objective lenses. Speaking of objective lenses, it’s 42 millimeters. That isn’t the highest but keep the dimensions of the product down a bit. This is ideal for people will smaller faces and hands. Weight is decreased, and carrying it around your neck and shoulders won’t feel as if you’re holding a backpack.
The Carrying Case and Image Issues
The carrying case is also well made. There’s padding in all the right places, having portions that are large enough to fit other accessories inside if you need to do so. The strap that goes on the binocular itself could be improved. It’s thin, and wearing it on the neck will leave marks on the skin if left in such a position for a long time. And focus may also be slightly off, so be prepared to make lots of adjustments when you take it out of the box for the first time.
Other than these minor flukes, the Bushnell Legacy WP is another good binocular that helps the famous brand keep it’s place on the go-to choice for scopes of any kind.
4. Celestron 71347 Outland X 10×42 – Best Binocular For Carrying Long Distances
Easy on the Eyes
Compact, lightweight, and easy on the hands, the Celestron 71347 is probably the most visually appealing binocular reviewed thus far.
It looks and feels like something you would have no qualms about if it because dirty or wet when out and about; take it with you to football matches or camping trips. You will be happy to have it around.
Strong Rubber Coating
The outside is enveloped in rubber, so the grip stays firm, even when humidity is high. And if you wish to use with a tripod, the bottom will have no problem fitting with most brands, although getting one from the same company is advised over others. But it’s not perfect either, and neither is it expected to be. Turning the focus is a little hard, and that can get easily put off at the slightest touch. It’s very sensitive. You might find yourself frustrated by how many times you must turn the knobs to keep things from blurring up while you thought they were already clear.
The most ironic aspect is the wide placement of the eyesight. Having already mentioned how compact it is, this portion remains pretty side, which could make it a little awkward to view if your face it’s flush with the sights themselves. There’s also less than perfect light visibility when using it in a setting which has overcast or too much shade. Bright areas are okay, but comparing it with other models usually shows signs of dimmer colors than what’s featured on those shown already. Still, try out the Celestron 71347 is you need binoculars that are easy to pick up and hold in most situations.
5. Olympus 118760 Trooper 10×50 DPS – Best Binocular For Glare Protection
Basic but Functional
The Olympus 118760 may look like a traditional binocular that you would see anywhere, but it excels in one regard, which is glare protection. Many scopes have the issue of showing circles and light pollution at certain times of day when trying to look through the lens. Glare is often the culprit. The lenses here are resistant to this, and using them offers a good resolution to images because of it.
Analyzing it’s Magnification
But where glare is unlikely, double vision is possible.
And the exterior has plastic portions that make the entire binocular feel cheaply made. However, it’s still a good choice to get for beginners or even children. It does what it’s advertised to do, so it will hold up for a while under normal care (to not damage anything).
6. Bushnell H2O 10×42 – Best Binocular For Durability
Grip in the Right Portions
Another Bushnell on the list, the H20 looks a tad bit different to the binoculars shown already.
It’s a good tool to have around if you’re viewing something from a moving vehicle, lowering blur and keeping things stable. The grip seems to add to this attribute, so sightseeing during road trips or vacations are some places in which it could be used to the fullest potential.
Straps or No Straps
The primary flaw lies in the straps that attach to the binocular. They seem a bit out of place, to the point where wearing it over your neck would feel too uncomfortable to do for longer than a few minutes. Definitely take the carrying case with you, or simply place it in a backpack when you’re not viewing anything. But this is forgiven quickly by how easy it is to adjust the focus knob. It’s very large and remains loose but not too much when you want to look at something quickly. Get it for this reason, but change out the strap for a padded alternative if you want to suspend under your shoulders or neck area.
7. Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15×70 – Best Binocular For Wide Viewing Angle
Bold and Beautiful
The final product on the list is another Celestron. It’s the SkyMaster Giant. Those words are somewhat of an understatement because the binocular has 15 times zoom and 70 millimeters of lens diameter.
Be prepared to do some tinkering around with the adjustment screws underneath the binocular, however. Every model shipped comes with bad collimation, which must be changed by the user. And the instructions don’t show exactly how to do this, either. Here are instructions that will quickly get things working for you if you decide to buy this binocular. When that’s done, the operation is fully functional and a great device for anyone that doesn’t mind the weight and size.
It’s not hard to find binoculars. They are everywhere, including electronics stores, military surpluses, and even toy stores. But if you want something that won’t break after the first few times of using it, you’ve got to look a little deeper. Below is useful info for you to know when you’re ready to settle on one or more of the products shown above. It’ll help you select one that’s catered to your individual needs.
No matter what quality binocular people search for, the primary focus will be on the range. High quality and mid-range types will be able to give you a clear view of an object or set at a range of at least 8 or higher. That means the magnification will go up to at least eight times the normal viewing size. As a result, you’ll be able to see things as if you were standing closer to the object in question. But even with a high magnification, it doesn’t necessarily make any binocular a must-have item. Other factors must also be good that coincide with the viewing range you’re attempting to get from a device. But the gauge is a good starting point to narrow down searches to binoculars that possess such attributes, namely those that have been reviewed above.
Also, you may have noticed that the binoculars shown have numbers following their title, such as 7X50. Using the latter specification as an example, the first number (seven) indicates the level of magnification, whereas fifty gauges the objective lens’ size in millimeters. Use this to pinpoint how bright a binocular is (high magnification indicates less brightness) and the size of the device. The larger the objective lens is in millimeters, the higher the dimensions of the product will be. This could also be used in knowing how wide of a viewing field you wish the binocular to be.
Even the best binocular could be useless to someone that relies on corrective lenses to see like normal, especially if there aren’t any features available that could adjust the optical lenses in the product itself for the individual to see into the eyepieces. Those that do have the ability can work as normal but retain additional functions made specifically for external lenses on eyeglasses.
If you have prescription lenses, stick to the brands you see advertising the feature in their product description. Most of them work the same way, so if you are farsighted or nearsighted and see flaws in the lens when you’re looking through it, it could be the lenses. This means those who don’t need corrective glasses could experience the same issues.
Binoculars are a lot like stereos in that the exteriors on some can resemble a beautiful work of art but have substandard features on the inside. Just because something looks good, don’t assume it will function in the same manner once it’s acquired. Multicolored lenses should be a top priority. With these, you’ll be able to get a crisper image that’s brighter than it appears when viewed with the naked eye. As such, unlikely settings that include rain, overcast, and even nighttime viewing is possible.
These things can be ruined rather quickly if you the binocular doesn’t have a water resistant or waterproof coating along the outside. If you don’t plan on taking yours out into the elements, none of this should be of any concern. But if you do have one that offers no such protections, get ready for the lens to become fogged and possibly waterlogged in areas if there’s a heavy downpour. Planning on using your binoculars during a camping trip of hunting? Always choose water-resistant brands at the very least.
If you have a small face, some binoculars might feel a little too wide for you as you place your eyes close to the sights. Typically, wide scopes are oftentimes heavy as well, so carrying them around could prove to be a bigger hassle than what’s expected. It won’t hurt to check the dimensions of the product and compare to the size of your face if need be.
There’s nothing more annoying the lugging a large object around when you’re not using it, so stick to lightweight brands when you plan on using them for viewing something that requires you to place it above your head. Stargazing is one such scenario. Fatigue and discomfort can settle in quickly, and even those with neck straps could do little to help if the weight makes it dig into your skin. In short, weighted binoculars and lighter types are left up to personal preference. If you must have one that’s heavier than average, try to purchase one that has a good neck or shoulder strap for you to carry it with, or at least a case for storage.
Where to Use
Binoculars are good for more than just bird watching or tracking game in the wilderness. They make great assets for lots of different sports activities, both where you’re the participant and the observer. For instance, you can take them to football games to get a better view (no more squinting in the nosebleed section!) or take them along to a golf course. Granted, there are scopes specifically designed for golf, but some serious players like to rotate in between their infrared scopes and binoculars. Whatever the case, getting accurate should likely be a lot easier when your view is magnified. And then there’s general sightseeing. Bring them with you on a vacation; most brands are compliant to get through TSA at airports without any issue. They are guaranteed to be a conversation starter, that’s for sure.
Assuming you have an idea about the product you want by now, see how it stacks up against those featured in the reviews shown above. Of the seven analyzed, the Nikon 8245 Aculon A211 and Celestron 71198 Cometron are at the top, having great lens clarity, good construction quality, and swift adjustment options. But the remaining five dominate in specifics areas on their own, so don’t rule them out without going over the details on why they are on the list. Above all, get what you know will work best for your eyesight. Then get ready to see the world differently, all made possible by the binoculars described.