Binoculars under 100 – Buying guide & Comparison
Are you in need of a new pair of high-quality binoculars but do not have the budget needed to acquire the most expensive items on the market? We have reviewed some of the best binoculars under 100 and, after reading reviews offered by various customers and the specifications provided by the producers themselves, we have concluded that the best inexpensive binoculars available for sale are the Nikon 8245 ACULON 8×42 binoculars. There are several features that make them so good; one of them is their lightweight design and excellent ergonomics, aimed at increasing comfort and ease of use. The central focus knob makes them easy to operate and focus, meaning that they can be used by anyone in need. The eye cups are made out of rubber and increase comfort during extended periods of use. Since they are available at a low price and might quickly be sold out, another item worth taking into consideration is the Bushnell Legacy Prism Binoculars.
Our Top Choice
An alternative that speaks to explorers at all levels could be this one. For its price category, it gives you more than an expensive model could: a smooth central focus knob for fine-tuning, a solid body, and excellent performance. And since it is light, you can pretty much take it anywhere with you.
As it is the case with many binoculars, buyers tend to complain that the highest magnification doesn't offer as much clarity as low ones, which is normal.
Quality and affordability are hard to find, that's why you should not miss the opportunity to try it out. If you are an environmentalist, the lead and arsenic-free Eco-Glass lenses will appeal to you, just like the fact that it is equipped for hiking.
Imported equals premium devices most of the time. And it sure is the case with this tool. It has a sleek and very attractive body, and it is crafted from the highest quality materials. Some of its top specs are the wide-angle 8x magnification and the 42-millimeter objective lenses.
Some reviewers mentioned that the plastic pieces meant to protect the eyepieces kept falling off while driving on a bumpy road, not entirely unusual.
You shouldn't hesitate to invest in something that has a long life and that has all the current improvements in the field. If you add its sturdy body to the appealing price tag and magnification power, you'll see that it is a bargain.
Bird watchers and hunters, rejoice, as this model is suited for your lifestyle. It has a minimalist design, with no overly complicated buttons and useless features. It is simple and straightforward and it can magnify any view without distorting colors and without being hard to use or fine-tune.
One flaw could be the fact that it has a compact body. If you have really big hands, you might want something of a larger size so you can use it with ease.
The last thing adventurers need to know about it is that it is water and dust proof. Even if you drop it from a considerable height, the model will function like new since it was crafted from military-grade materials.
Obtaining the best binoculars for your needs is not very easy given that in the past few years the market has been literally flooded with cheap, high power binoculars for professional and amateur use. We conceived this buyer’s guide to make it easier for you to decide what to buy without having to read countless cheap binoculars reviews.
Magnification is an important aspect
Whether you are a bird watcher, a hiker or a trainspotter, having a high magnification power is very important. The distance to the subject and the environment in which you are going to use the binoculars should give you a hint about the magnification desired. In urban situations, a 15x or more binocular is not necessary, and, moreover, the size of such a product can be a drawback.
For these situations, an 8×42 or 10×42 binocular is more than enough. However, when the environment is a wide field of view, a hill or basically any place in nature, 8×42 might prove to be not powerful enough. It goes without saying that for stargazing or long distance hunting such a pair of binoculars is useless.
In the situations aforementioned, a 15×70 and everything above this is desirable. Even though they are larger in size, most binoculars beyond the 15x range are fitted with tripod adapters to increase comfort.
Size does matter
Imagine that you have to carry a pair of huge binoculars in your backpack when going to the mountains. When all space has to be used to store food, water and other accessories used when hiking, it might be that the only option available is to use the strap and tie the binoculars around your neck.
It is uncomfortable, dangerous for the product since it might be subjected to shock and not efficient. In this situation, the smaller the binoculars are, the better it is. Compact and ergonomic designs do not necessarily imply reduced power and range.
Sometimes, you might find that similar magnification is achieved with some of the best binoculars that are very different in size. However, when you are driving your car in the countryside and see a faraway castle, you would have no problem in taking out a big product and using it to magnify the image. In urban environments, compact designs are preferred for their ease of use and portability.
Durability is important too
The customers that have children know too well that the little ones are curious about any new item brought in the house. Your binoculars are no exception, but if they are resistant and sturdy, this will be no problem.
Hikers also appreciate resistance because, when climbing a steep slope, the neck strap might not be tight enough and impacts may occur between the rocks and the product.
Most items are rubber coated and armored, making their grip slip-proof in rainy weather, but also resistant to shock, daily wear and tear or inadequate storage. In urban situations, crowded places might put pressure on the exterior of your item and damage it, if it is not resistant enough.
Field of view and image brightness
The field of view is different for each product. If you do not need a very wide angle, do not go for binoculars that are specialized for this since they might cost more and the money spent might not be worth it. Usually, the field of view is specified for each product or series.
Image brightness and image quality can become very important in low light situations. Multi-coated optics technology increases clarity and brightness, but be careful since some binoculars are less suited for low light scenarios (those used at sea, for example, tend to offer a darker image so that the observer is not blinded by the reflection of sunlight in the water). Fully multi-coated optics are the best as they ensure excellent light transmission.
Other details you should take into consideration
Warranty is a factor that might not seem important, but in the long run might prove helpful. Some manufacturers do not offer any warranty, or they limit it to a certain period, while others have policies that include 1, 2 years of warranty or even lifetime availability.
Eyecups can have a poor design or are not always foldable. Be careful if you are wearing glasses or contact lenses, as these might get scratched while using the binoculars. Eyecups also increase comfort in long periods of use and are surely not to be neglected.
5 Best Budget Binoculars (Reviews) in 2019
Considering the number of objects available on the market, choosing good binoculars for the money can prove to be difficult and time-consuming. After we have checked surveys, reviews written by customers and compared them with the producer specifications, we have compiled a list of the best products. These are showcased below.
1. Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8×42 Binocular
Having good binoculars is essential for every outdoor adventurer out there. Whether you are climbing mountains and desire to zoom in on the villages below or you go hunting or fishing, the Nikon ACULON A211 binoculars should always be by your side in these adventures.
Their lightweight, compact and ergonomic design makes them easy to carry around and comfortable to use. Since the central focus knob is smooth, they can be easily focused and allows for fast magnification changes.
Regardless of what you want them for, it is most likely that you need them to last long and resist impact. The Nikon A211 8×42 compact binoculars have a durable rubber armor coating, made to handle any environment they can encounter.
They have a non-slip grip that resists any weather situations. Rubber eyecups that are adjustable make this item comfortable even if they are used for a longer period of time. The state of the art, multicoated Eco-glass lenses enhance image brightness, delivering great clarity and precision.
Thanks to the ergonomic and lightweight design, these Nikon binoculars are very easy to use and carry around, even if you are planning to do this for longer routes.
The central focus knob is very smooth, which makes it easy to adjust as you are handling the device, saving up valuable seconds in the process.
The binos also feature the Aspherical Multicoated Eco-Glass Lenses technology that works to ensure clear images in various lighting conditions.
Given that the unit features a durable rubber-armored coating, there’s little chance that it can slip from the user’s hands, even in wet conditions.
The lens caps have little gripping power according to some reviews, so you might need to find a solution for this.
You should check with the manufacturer if you are planning to use these binoculars during rain since they are not suitable for wet outdoor weather.Buy from Amazon.com for ($80.85)
A very good binocular for the money is the Bushnell Legacy Porro Prism Binoculars. The high quality materials have been used for manufacturing this product, designed to provide outdoors adventurers with high-quality optics at reasonable prices.
Their fully multi-coated objective lens offer a wide field of view, enhanced by their remarkable BaK-4 prism glass and Porro prism system.The rugged rubber armor absorbs any impacts that might take place during usage, offering a firm grip on the binoculars in any kind of weather and environment.
Speaking of ruggedness, the Bushnell Porro Prism Binocular is 100% waterproof, fog proof, and it comes with a limited life warranty offered by the producer. The eyecups are adjustable and made for long time usage without hurting the eye or becoming uncomfortable.
A central focus knob is easy to reach with either hand, so focusing is a lot easier. Even though they are not very small, their design is compact and ergonomic, with the intention of making them easy to carry around.
This Bushnell model features a 50mm objective which ensures a larger and brighter field of view and, therefore, is suitable for more uses than smaller alternatives.
Thanks to the multiple layers of anti-reflective coating, the device ensures bright high-contrast images.
The IPX7 waterproof construction makes it suitable for outdoor use, given that the O-ring sealed optics remain dry inside even when it’s immersed in water 3 ft. deep for a period of 30 minutes.
You might also enjoy the fog-proofing nitrogen construction that keeps the interior optical surfaces clear and free of any fog that might otherwise appear due to sudden temperature changes or humidity.
According to some reviews, the unit is quite large so someone with smaller hands might have a hard time handling it.
The strap that comes with the binoculars seems a little flimsy, which means that you will probably want to buy a sturdier one.Buy from Amazon.com for ($79)
3. Vanstarry Optics 10X42 High Powered Binoculars
These budget binoculars have been designed to offer sharp and clear images in all environments. Intended for bird watchers and hikers, they have been used by many other kinds of users. This is a pair of compact binoculars.
Their 10x magnification power brings up the details one might want, regardless of the weather conditions. Nitrogen treatment was used to make them waterproof and fog proof, enabling them to withstand any tough environment out there. A lightweight and compact design makes them easy to take around.
Aimed at all kinds of customers, they are also kid-friendly. Wingspan Optics used a specially designed anti-slip exterior grip and a rubber coating in order to make them drop resistant.
A lifetime warranty is also issued by the producer as a special offer for buyers. Focusing is made via the central knob, designed to be easily reachable by all users. Available only in black, they are delivered with a strap, a nylon mesh carrying case, objective lens and eyepiece covers and a non-abrasive cleaning cloth.
If you are new to birdwatching and you don’t want to spend too much money on a new pair of binoculars, this alternative is both high-quality and affordable.
This is an all-weather unit, so you won’t need to worry about water, humidity, fog, or dust, while the anti-slip exterior also makes it safe to handle in any conditions.
Thanks to the multi-coated lenses you will be able to enjoy clear images in a wide range of lighting conditions.
This model is intelligently designed for the user’s comfort, and it can go from a wide view to a sharp focus in a matter of seconds.
If you are wearing glasses, the lenses might feel a little narrow, but the manufacturer can help you with more details.
These binoculars felt a bit heavy to some users, so make sure that you check the unit’s overall weight before placing your order.Buy from Amazon.com for ($73.71)
4. Bushnell Falcon 10×50 Wide Angle Binoculars
The Falcon series was conceived to offer powerful magnification, versatility, and reliability at a reasonable price. This particular item uses quality optics designed for clear and bright images regardless of the environment and weather.
An autofocusing Porro prism system makes them easy to use and comfortable for extended periods of watching. A rugged design with rubber coating means that the grip is slip-proof, protecting the internal pieces against violent shocks.
The Bushnell Falcon 10×50 binoculars were designed for bird watching and for observing outdoor sports on large arenas. The field of view is approximately 300 feet at 1000 yards, with a wide angle; the closest focusing distance is 25 feet.
People with sunglasses or contact lenses can use this item without any problem since the clever fold-down eyecups protect the lenses against scratching and other damage that might result; the eye relief comes in handy. This one comes with fully multi coated objective lens.
The 133450 Falcon binoculars feature high-quality optics that display bright and clear viewings in various weather and lighting conditions.
Thanks to the exterior rubber coating, the chances of the unit slipping from the user’s hands are small, so this is not something to be worried about.
The field of view is large, namely of around 300 feet at 1000 yards, while the closest focusing distance stands at 25 feet.
The unit can be used by those who wear glasses or contact lenses without any trouble, given the fold-down eyecups and the eye relief included in the design.
This model was designed for bird watching, so if you’re planning to look at the night sky for observations, a more specialized unit will work better.
Some users have found it a bit difficult to focus, but this can also be a matter of getting used to handling the binoculars.Buy from Amazon.com for ($36.17)
5. Celestron 71009 SkyMaster 15 x 70 Binocular
The Celestron SkyMaster binocular features very high magnification power at an affordable price. This product is known for its reliability and resistance, but also for the crystal clear image quality it provides.
Multi-coated optical technology has been used to achieve this performance, while a BaK-4 Porro prism binoculars system makes focusing easier. For fine focusing, it has a diopter adjustment included.
Celestron SkyMaster come with a tripod adapter, and their massive power makes them ideal for stargazing and for birdwatching or trainspotting from great distances. The eye cups are foldable, so this is a friendly binocular for those who wear contact lenses or glasses.
Even though they are not extremely compact and easy to transport, they have high-quality materials on the exterior, making them durable and resistant to shock. Like all the other items presented, they are waterproof and fog proof and can be used in almost all environments. Low light settings are no problem for this product because it tends to brighten the image quality.
Thanks to the 70mm objective lens, this unit ensures that maximum image brightness is delivered in any conditions, including low-light and long-range ones.
You will be able to enjoy clear viewings given the 15x magnification power that ensures an ultra-sharp focus over the field of view.
No matter if you are planning to use this device for terrestrial or astronomical views, the multi-coated optics are going to ensure that a sharp image is obtained.
For enhanced long-term use, the rubber easy-grip cover ensures that the binoculars are not going to slip out of your hands, and the unit also comes with a carrying case.
According to some of those who have given this model a try, the binoculars are somewhat heavy, so you might want to use them with a tripod for longer viewings.
In rare cases, chromatic aberrations also appeared, but the seller can help with assistance in this case.Buy from Amazon.com for ($64.99)