Best binoculars to buy – Guide & Reviews

Best binoculars to buy – Guide & Reviews

Last Updated: 18.08.18

Top Binoculars to Buy Reviewed – Buying guide & Comparison for 2018

We know that finding the best binoculars to buy can seem like a daunting experience. To help you save time, we have read the most popular reviews of good binoculars and considered their quality and affordability. We've concluded that the model you should get is the Vortex Optics Diamondback. If you are looking for high-performance hiking binoculars, the 8x magnification and the 42mm objective lenses will offer impressive optical quality and durability. The dielectric, fully multi-coated lenses will help transmit more light and fight off glare for a clearer and brighter image. What’s more, the short hinge design with a rubber armor and thumb indents will provide an easier, non-slip and secure grip. If by an unfortunate event our first pick is not available for sale, but you are still resolute on finding a product capable of meeting your requirements, we recommend the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD as your second-best alternative.

We know just how difficult it can be to compare all the options currently available on the market because they all seem to have similar features to an untrained eye. To simplify the entire process, we have taken the time and compiled the buyer’s guide below. Here you will find what the key points of consideration are when looking for good binoculars to buy.

Magnification power and objective lens diameter

If you’ve started prospecting the market you’ve probably noticed that binoculars are identified by two numbers. These numbers show the magnification power and the lens diameter. For example, an 8x42 option will have a magnification power of 8.

A magnification power of 8 means that the object you are trying to view will appear eight times closer than it would to the naked eye. So for example, if you were to view a deer that stands 240 yards away from you through an 8x binocular, the deer would appear as if though it were only 30 yards away.

The second number refers to the diameter in millimeters of the objective lenses. So in the example above, the 8x42 option will have an objective lens diameter of 42mm. The diameter of the objective lenses will determine just how much light your binocular can gather.

It all depends on how you plan to use the binoculars. If for example, you are looking for quality wildlife viewing binoculars, and you intend to use them in low-light conditions, a larger lens diameter will translate to more light reaching your eyes so that you get a clearer view of the object you are observing.

The field of view

The field of view is the size of an area that can be viewed using the binoculars. Depending on your needs, it is important that you get an option that features the right width. Generally, higher powered binoculars will give you a smaller field of view and the opposite is true for lower powered binoculars.

The reason for this is rather simple -- the more powerful the zoom, the more focused your view is going to be. So, for example, if you are looking for the perfect safari binoculars, you could use a higher powered device that gives you a smaller field of view.

On the other hand, if you are in the market for high-quality hunting binoculars, you might want to focus on a larger field of view because when hunting you need to be aware of your surroundings. As such, a wider field of view would be much more important than a potent magnification power.

Comfort

Owning a powerful device is great, but unless it is comfortable to use you are just left with a fancy piece of equipment that you are never going to use. If you wear glasses, you should look for models that are built to offer eye relief. For glass wearers, look for eye relief of 11mm or more.

Similarly, if you spend a lot of time outside, you will find better lens coatings advantageous. If you want to avoid glare coming off the lenses, look for binoculars that come with lens coatings. This feature will help remove any glare and allow for as much light as possible to enter the optics.

If the lenses features a single layer on at least one lens, it will be called "coated." Fully-coated means that the unit features a single layer on all air-to-glass surfaces. Multi-coated means that the model features multiple layers on at least one lens. Fully multi-coated is used for multiple layers on all air-to-glass surfaces.

Our 2018 list: Find the right binocular for your needs

Even though it is important to do your own research, there are times when the insane variety of options available can cause you to feel even more confused. If you are indecisive but you still want to find cheap binoculars to buy, we have gathered some of the top-rated models below.

Vortex Optics Diamondback

With an 8x magnification power and 42mm objective lens, the Diamondback alternative is known for the impressive optical performance and durability that it offers. The argon purging and the rubber armor provide enhanced waterproof and fogproof performance even in extreme weather conditions.

The dielectric and fully multi-coated lenses will transmit more light and will help protect the user from unpleasant glare. What’s more, this cutting-edge coating will lead to creating images that are much clearer and brighter. The multi-position eyecups twist up will allow for an adjustable eye relief for increased comfort.

To make things even better, if you are looking for good golfing binoculars that are capable of getting you a splendid view of the golf course, this option features the largest field of view in its class. This feature will also make the option viable for hunting, birding, or hiking purposes.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($219)

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD

If you are looking for an option to take with you in the big outdoors, the Bushnell Legend features a rain guard water-repellent lens coating that will keep the lenses dry and fog-free. The lightweight magnesium chassis combines durability with a compact design for people that are always on the move.

It has a magnification of 10x and an objective lens diameter of 42mm. The optics feature high-quality ED Prime Glass, Ultra wideband coatings, and RainGuard HD coatings. It employs an ultra wide field of view with long eye-relief so that even the users that wear glasses can enjoy a clear and comfortable viewing experience.

The ED Prime Extra-Low Dispersion fluorite glass will deliver amazing colors and contrast and will eliminate chromatic aberration and color-firing to bring out the most distinct details even in low-light conditions. As a plus, you also get a soft carrying case, cleaning microfiber, and a quality binocular strap.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($194.8)

Nikon 7543 MONARCH

The Nikon alternative is another rugged device built to handle the heavy use of an active person. It is incredibly sturdy and built to handle all kinds of terrain and weather conditions. It is nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed which makes it waterproof, fog proof, and shock resistant.

The 10x magnification power is ideal for long-range viewing, while the 42mm diameter of the lenses will allow for enough light to enter the objective for crystal clear images even in low-light conditions. Night time viewing is improved with the help of fully multi-coated lenses to deliver an even higher light transmission.

The multi-setting click stop eyecups will allow for an adjustable eye relief, which makes it perfect for glasses wearers. All the lenses and prisms used for this option are non-arsenic and non-lead Eco-Glass. The slim, lightweight and ergonomic body design is perfect to be carried comfortably all day.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($267.26)

Vanguard Spirit ED

The Vanguard Spirit ED uses the extra-low dispersion glass, also known as High Density (HD) glass for the lenses. This special glass is made to reduce the amount of chromatic aberration in a viewed image. You will no longer have to worry about the blurring at the edges of the various colors in an image.

Just as the other options before, this model also features a magnification power of 10x and an objective lens diameter of 42mm. These specifications make it a versatile purchase that can accommodate many activities. The advanced lens coatings will allow for outstanding performance in both sunny and low-light conditions.

A rubber armor is applied to the outside of the binocular body and that helps achieve a measure of cushioning. It will also make it much easier for the user to hold the Spirit ED in wet or cold conditions. Customers were also impressed with the quality and performance of the focus wheel.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($129.99)

Leupold Rogue Compact Porro

Do you want a compact and affordable binocular that you can take with you anywhere? The Leupold option packs all the features of a full-sized model into a palm-sized package that manages to offer impressive performance and quality. The small and lightweight design is achieved without sacrificing on optical performance.

The 10x magnification power combined with the fully multi-coated lenses will help create a crisp and bright image so that you don’t miss a single detail. While the 25mm objective lens diameter might not make it ideal for low-light conditions, this option can still deliver decent results.

You also get an adjustable eyepiece that provides quality eye relief. The one feature that customers love the most has to come in the form of the rugged construction of this unit. Despite the compact and lightweight design, the use of durable materials and a very well made construction will ensure the unit will last for many years to come.

Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.77)
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