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 eyecups 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 Binocular.
Obtaining the best product 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 power 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, 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 neck 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 power is achieved with 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 can become very important in low light situations. Multi-coated optical 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).
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.
Top cheap binoculars reviews for 2018
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.
Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8×42
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 8245 ACULON 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 binoculars have a durable rubber-armored coating, made to handle any environment they can encounter.
They have a non-slip grip that resists any weather conditions. 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.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($69.94)
Bushnell 120842 Legacy Porro Prism
A very good binocular for the money is the Bushnell Legacy Porro Prism Binocular. The highest quality materials have been used for manufacturing this product, designed to provide outdoors adventurers with high-quality optics at reasonable prices.
Their multi-coated lenses offer a wide and bright view, enhanced by their remarkable BaK-4 prism glass and Porro prism system.The rugged rubber armoring 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 and fogproof, coming with a limited lifetime 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.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($79.99)
Wingspan Optics 10×42
These affordable 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.
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 fogproof, enabling them to withstand any tough environment out there. A lightweight and compact design makes them easy to carry 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 realized via the central knob, designed to be easily reachable by all users. Available only in black, they are delivered with a neck strap, a nylon mesh carrying case, lens and eyepiece covers and a non-abrasive cleaning cloth.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($249.99)
Bushnell 133450 Falcon 10×50
The Falcon series was conceived to offer powerful magnification, versatility, and reliability at an affordable 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.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($36.72)
Celestron 845-36454 SkyMaster 15×70
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 it provides.
Multi-coated optical technology has been used to achieve this performance, while a BaK-4 Porro prism 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 eyecups 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 carry, 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.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($64.95)