Affordable binoculars – Buying guide & Comparison
There’s no need to worry if you don’t have time to search for the best inexpensive binoculars because this short paragraph might help you get the product you desire. According to our team of researchers, the Wingspan Optics SkyWing is the best possible choice thanks to the wide field of view and clear bright images the item provides. Moreover, it ensures a perfect zoom that enables you to see even the smallest details from 1000 yards away. The binoculars are made of a durable and ergonomic material that provides a firm grip while sightseeing. Also, the neck strap comes in handy for quick and easy access. If the Wingspan Optics SharpView 8X40 is out of stock, make sure to check the Bushnell 138005 H2O 8x25mm, another good option.
Our Top Choice
This is a model that is bound to impress any adventurer looking for affordable binoculars. It can be used for a wide range of activities, including sightseeing and bird watching. The pair is light and ergonomic, and it can zoom in without losing any clarity, saturation or contrast.
Because no product is without flaws, some buyers mentioned that the strap that comes with the binoculars is poor in quality.
Ultimately, this is a piece that offers versatility and many features in a tight body, which feels good in the hands of the holder. The materials used for the construction are durable, and using the unit is intuitive.
If you want a gadget that comes from a trusted brand, this one should satisfy all your needs. It features an improved design, and it's both water and fog proof, things which transform it into the number one choice for all environments. Plus, its images are super clear.
As a setback, its tiny size means it is not ideal for situations that require a lot of light, even if it provides life-like images.
The Bushnell-made piece comes with the BaK-4 prisms for bright and crisp viewing, with multi-coated optics and with improved light transmission, all in a compact body that will take up no space in your bags.
Another highly rated pair of binocular is this classic and elegant piece. Past users appreciate that it offers HD clarity and that pretty much all of its settings can be adjusted. It can magnify up to ten times, and it features auto-focusing, which is rare in this price range.
The main drawback that customers found has to be the fact that the hinge is a bit rigid the first times you use it, but that goes away quickly.
There's no wonder why this model became popular so fast. It has a close focusing distance, it weighs very little, and the rubberized design makes it nice to hold with one or both hands at the same time.
In your attempt to purchase the best budget binoculars, you should be aware that there are some mandatory features you must take into consideration. In order to make your job a tad easier, we’ve gathered some useful information and made an interesting buying guide that you can read below.
The most simple way to define binoculars is to say that they are magnification tools made of two telescopes mounted on a metal or plastic frame that allows the viewer to get a close up of the targeted images.
There are a plethora of models for sale that you can choose from, and it all comes down to their capacity to provide accurate and crystal clear images.
Basically, the process of viewing images is done using curved glass lenses and multiple lenses within the frame that magnify the object every time it passes through the next lens. The only disadvantage is that the quantity of light is reduced with each phase. In order to prevent that, modern binoculars are equipped with unique prisms that bend the light as it enters the objective lens. Then, the image is magnified as it passes through the frame. This results in small and compact tools that have a powerful zoom.
Before you buy a pair of binoculars, you must establish the purpose and how often do you intend to use them. For instance, you need different tools for watching a concert in comparison to the binoculars used for admiring birds and landscapes.
Instruments that have a high power range make it harder for you to keep up with the action on the game field or the concert stage. Therefore, it really isn’t necessary to invest in large sized zoom binoculars because smaller ones will do the trick.
Focusing the binoculars
If you want to get good binoculars for the money, you must understand how these items work. Most of them have a center focus wheel and a right eye diopter that can be adjusted according to your preferences. These are located near the eyepiece in order to provide the same accuracy for each eye.
When looking through the binoculars while your target is at about 30 to 50 feet away, you should close your eyes and focus using the wheel in the center. Repeat the process until the image is clear for your left eye.
Once the view is clear, close your left eye and open the right one. Look at the same objects and adjust the right side diopter only on the right eyepiece without using the center focus wheel. When the image is finally clear, open both eyes and make adjustments with the center wheel. Some models might work a little different, but the principle remains the same. Just make sure to read the instructions carefully.
Consider the magnification
According to various inexpensive binoculars reviews, all of these instruments are identified by a set of numbers.
If you read the product description, you will notice numbers such as 10×42 or 7×20, which refer to the magnification and the objective lens diameter. Therefore, the first number means that the binoculars have 10x or 7x magnification power and can make the objects appear 10 respectively 7 times closer than it appears to the naked eye.
As a general rule, you should be more than fine with binoculars that range from 7x to 10x. If you want to enjoy a theater play, then you can choose something in the range of 3 to 5x, depending on your seats. For bird watching and landscapes, you can go with something more powerful than 10×42, but these tend to present some difficulties after a while, so a tripod might come in handy.
Size of the lens
Binocular lenses are measured in millimeters. The human eye can accommodate to the view and the surrounding light conditions, but the general rule is to use a tool that has five times the magnification level. So if you want a pair with 7x magnification, you might consider a lens size of 35 or a pair that is described as 7×35.
5 Best Affordable Binoculars (Reviews) in 2019
After carefully studying some consumer reports and many efficiency studies, we’ve managed to come up with some product suggestions that you might want take a look at. All of them are high-quality and deliver excellent performance based on the feature mentioned in the buying guide.
If you’re just starting to discover birdwatching or other activities that require binoculars, you might want to see this model from Wingspan Optics. The product features a sleek design and a high magnification power that ensures crystal clear viewing.
Due to its 8×40 measurements, you can use these binoculars for plenty of situations and the images will always present in a clear and bright way. Moreover, the second number which represents the lens is 40. Therefore, it obeys the rule of 5 which implies that the lens must be 5 times the number of magnification power.
Outfitted with perfect contrast and resolution, this tool is excellent if you plan on admiring birds or landscapes from a far distance that goes up to 1000 yards.
One aspect worth mentioning is that the product is made of a durable exterior and an ergonomic non-slip material that ensures a perfect grip. Furthermore, it comes with a neck strap and a nylon mesh carrying case that provides you quick and easy access to the binoculars.
Compact and lightweight, this pair of binoculars is easy to carry, as you can simply slip it into your pocket and be ready to explore with your new set of eyes.
The high-quality optics make this unit perfect for bird watching and the compact design does not compromise on detail, brightness or clarity.
It comes with a comfortable neck strap so that you can have quick and easy access to your binoculars when you are traveling.
Protection is very important, which is why the case is made of durable shock-resistant materials while the eyepiece and lenses are protected by the included covers.
The package also includes a non-abrasive microfiber cleaning cloth that you can use to clean the lenses and keep your viewing experience as clear as possible.
They don’t provide the best magnification and it might be best to look for other models if you want a product that can provide excellent distance viewing.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($169)
2. Bushnell H2O 8 x 25 mm Compact Binocular 138005
This piece from Bushnell is an excellent choice of binoculars if you need a waterproof product that does a great job even in fog conditions.
Besides being resistant to water and fog, the product has a soft texture that ensures a perfect and easy grip no matter the outside weather. The material is a non-slip rubber that absorbs the shock and keeps your hand in an optimum position while admiring the objects.
Also, the binoculars come with multi-coated optics that provide a good light transmission. The BaK-4 prisms add more clarity and brightness to the viewing process.
This item is outfitted with O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged for fog-free watching. In addition, it has twist-up eyecups, a large center-focus knob, and a long eye relief.
There’s no need to worry about safety when getting closer to animals or birds because this pair of binoculars has a 15-foot close focus distance.
These Bushnell binoculars are designed to be great for use even on the water and the non-slip rubber armor coating will protect the optics against shocks and provide a firm grip.
It features an excellent field of view, one of the widest you can find in binoculars with 8X magnification and it will let you see 341 feet of terrain at 1,000 yards.
Whether you want to use them in bright sunlight or in low-light conditions, this versatile model will offer good results no matter the time of day.
The low price is another selling point for this option and something that we noticed is quite often mentioned in the numerous positive customer reviews this product has garnered.
While it is nice that the manufacturer has included a soft carrying case in the package, many buyers have said it is too small and snug and it does not fit the binoculars properly.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($42.05)
3. Bushnell Falcon 10×50 Wide Angle Binoculars
These binoculars from Bushnell deliver outstanding performance thanks to their HD clarity feature.
The product delivers a powerful magnification of 10x and 50 millimeters lens that makes this item suitable for various activities such as stadium sports, birdwatching, hunting, and concert viewing.
Thanks to the rubber fold-down eyecups the model is designed with, the binoculars are comfortable to wear and provide enough light without affecting your sight. If you wear eyeglasses or sunglasses just make sure to roll down the eye cups in order to improve your field of view. This way your lenses are protected from scratching, as well.
You can take the binoculars in every journey you make because the carrying case and the neck strap ensure easy access and storage. Moreover, the model boasts a durable exterior made from a top-notch resistant rubber.
Designed with auto focus Porro prism, these binoculars provide a 25-feet close focusing distance and a field of view of 1000 yards.
This excellent pair of binoculars can fit almost any task since you can use them for numerous outdoor activities such as hunting, hiking, bird-watching, safaris, and many more.
Included in the package you will find a protective case which will help you carry the instrument everywhere you travel without worrying that it will get damaged.
Customers have also mentioned that this model can be used for astronomy since the large objective lenses and the powerful magnification can provide some breathtaking lunar shots.
The large objective lens improves light-collection capability and that allows the binoculars to be used in low-light conditions.
It’s hard to compete with this model since not only does it offer excellent features, but it also has an unbeatable price.
The lenses are not multi-coated and their performance could be better but unless you are used to more expensive instruments, you won’t be able to tell the difference.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($21.69)
4. Celestron 71198 7 x 50 Cometron Binocular
The product features large objective lenses and multi coated optics that ensure the images look crystal clear and crisp.
Due to the BK7 Porro prism design, this pair of binoculars ensures a rich depth of view and an ideal contrast that matters especially if you enjoy stargazing activities.
Because of the rubber eyecups, this item optimizes the long eye relief and prevent the light from getting in the peripheral vision area. Aside from this, the pair can be folded down if you wear eyeglass or sunglasses.
This model of binocular comes with a center focus wheel that enables quick and fast access with both hands if you want to adjust the precision. In addition, the wide field of view and the objective lenses create a perfect optical system that does a great job when watching astronomical phenomena.
The wide field of view makes this option ideal for astronomy since it can reveal a larger portion of the night sky and it is perfect for panning the Milky Way or observing moving objects.
While the binoculars were originally designed for observing the night’s sky, they perform just as well in daytime use for viewing distant terrestrial subjects.
The large 50mm objective lenses provide outstanding light-gathering ability without sacrificing portability since the binoculars are light enough to take everywhere with you.
Comfort is very important which is why Celestron has equipped this product with soft and folding eyecups that are very agreeable to the eyes and that can be used with or without eyeglasses.
For long sessions, you can mount the binoculars on a tripod since the unit is tripod adaptable.
The main issue buyers have reported is that when used without a tripod or adaptor, the image can be difficult to keep steady.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.95)
5. Bushnell Powerview 10×25 Compact Folding Roof Prism Binocular
The product is built to last and made of durable materials that have been previously tested in order to match the needs of each customer.
Thanks to the fully coated lens, the image of the targeted object is clear and bright enough. The black rubber ensures enough comfort especially if you use the tool while wearing eyeglasses or sunglasses. Plus, the eyecups can be folded down, and the camouflage design provided safety while being outdoor.
There’s no need to worry about having to carry the binocular with you because the provided carrying case and the built-in neck strap ensures fast and easy access each time you want to enjoy a binocular viewing session. The rubber material is ideal for offering a strong grip of the instrument.
If affordability is one of the main criteria for your purchase then this is a product worth considering since it is one of the most affordable and reliable sports optics available.
The non-slip rubber cover can absorb shocks, including drops on a hard surface and will give you a firm yet comfortable grip to let you hold on to the binoculars for longer.
The “fold-down” feature and the 9mm eye relief allows eyeglass wearers to enjoy a comfortable viewing experience.
The product is lightweight, compact, and discreet so that you can take it with you during a theater performance or a concert so that you can get a better view of the stage.
With thousands of positive customer reviews, it is hard to dispute the quality and reliability that this product offers.
Because of the small objective lenses, this unit does not perform very well in low-light conditions.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($19.18)