Pocket binoculars – Buying guide & Comparison
What can you do when you don’t have much time on hand, and you still want to find the best pocket binoculars for your next trip outdoors? Well, the answer certainly isn’t wasting many days reading dozens of pocket binoculars reviews, since you can get all that information elsewhere. We’ve done proper research and put together our findings into this comprehensive guide on how to find the best pair. According to our research, the first model you should consider is the Celestron 71328-CGL Nature DX 8×25, due to its many useful features. For example, increased contrast and resolution is delivered by the Bak-4 Prisms. Multiple layers of coating applied on the lenses make for brighter images, richer in details. Also, the 6.5’ close focus will allow you to observe your favorite species as if they were right next to you. Should this product be unavailable, we would recommend you check out the Wingspan Optics Skyview Ultra as a great second choice.
Our Top Choice
Superior contrast and resolution are ensured by the BaK-4 prism construction, while the multi-coated lenses increase light transmission, for increased performance in low light conditions. The wide field of view will allow you to follow animals or birds moving around. The close focus feature also makes them ideal for bird watching. They are compact and lightweight, so ideal for many users and a good fit in a pocket or a backpack.
Some buyers talk about minor chromatic aberration that mars the picture quality.
A pair of compact binoculars that is ideal for watching wildlife.
Clarity and amount of detail you can observe through these binoculars makes them a fine choice for passionate bird watchers. The bright, vivid colors that this model can reproduce are delivered by the ED glass lenses. One of the most important advantages offered is that the chromatic aberration is kept to a minimum. Bear in mind that these binoculars are both waterproof and fog proof. Taking them in any weather is possible, and this is a hard-to-ignore advantage.
They don’t particularly perform well in low light conditions, or for stargazing.
These binoculars are ideal for bird watching, and outdoor use.
The fact that these binoculars are waterproof qualifies them for comparison with more expensive models. You will be able to carry them around with you, as they are compact and lightweight, and they fit anywhere you want. On the exterior, the binoculars have a rugged plastic armor that prevents slippage. You can even manipulate them with wet hands, and you will still not be able to drop them by accident. The adjustable focus knob is another great plus users love.
The lens caps aren’t secured, so there is a risk of losing them quite easily.
Waterproof, compact, and reliable, this model is a great choice.
Buying the best compact binoculars certainly isn’t an easy task in this market overflowing with options. Should you need some advice in order to get you started in this matter, we would advise you to read our short guide on how to find good pocket binoculars.
Among the many options available for sale, without a doubt, there is one that perfectly meets your requirements. However, in order to find it, you need to guide your search according to a set of rules that help you distinguish quality from mediocrity.
Establish your purpose
If you’re reading this article you’re probably looking for a small pair that will be light enough to be carried in trips when you don’t feel like taking a heavy backpack, as well as in certain circumstances when you’re already carrying a heavy load and don’t want any more weight added to your gear.
However, aside from that, you should really establish what type of product you are looking for. If you’re a professional and need the help of specific devices designed for your trade, then our advice is to go with brand names you’ve used before if you want everything to go smoothly.
If you’re an amateur and don’t know where to start, buying a less expensive item might be a good idea, to get you used to the matter. Afterwards, perhaps you might want to try and experiment with different features to see what best fits your expectations.
However, it’s important to know that there are small and lightweight models in both categories, so it’s crucial to expand your horizons and think in terms of design and facilities.
The entire experience you have with a pair of binoculars generally relies on the type of lenses the manufacturer uses. We recommend that you pick the ones with lenses coated in multiple protective layers. For example, an anti-reflective layer can increase the amount of light absorbed and thus result in brighter, sharper images with much more detail.
Magnification is relevant of course and with it an entire series of other aspects such as field of view and focal distance. The best experience can be achieved by understanding which type of product best fits your original purpose and systematically searching for it.
A good item is one that can be used in many different circumstances with minimal levels of discomfort. Aside from being light enough to be easy to carry, such a device should also be used in any type of weather conditions without facing major difficulties.
Thus, you should look for the ones that are both waterproof and fog proof, to make sure you can go about planning your next trip without having to constantly check the weather forecast for unexpected rain showers.
A smart looking model is always more attractive than one that features a worn out design. However, aside from aesthetics, we suggest that you look for more important qualities, such as a durable exterior armor that offers a tight grip and prevents the device from slipping out of your hand when you least expect it.
Useful design hacks that should be included are rugged bits in the exterior layer where you can place your fingers to increase stability or a strategically positioned adjustment knob to allow you to focus quickly on moving targets without losing any moment.
The bottom line is that, regardless of how light a model is and how small, more important aspects need to be taken into consideration, think in terms of durability, performance, and adaptability and choose the alternative that’s best suited for you.
5 Best Pocket Binoculars (Reviews) in 2020
In order to give you a few alternatives to the many products available for sale these days, we’ve showcased our top picks below. Check them out if you want to see what an item that meets your expectations should look like.
- 1. Celestron 71328 DX 8 x 25 Nature Binocular
- 2. Wingspan Optics Skyview Ultra HD 8X42 Binoculars for Bird Watching
- 3. Wingspan Optics SpectatorPro 8X32 Compact Waterproof Bird Watching Binoculars
- 4. Bushnell H2O 8 x 42 mm All Purpose Binocular 1508042
- 5. Bushnell Poweview All Purpose Compact Binocular 132514
This reasonably priced pair of binoculars will get you through many different circumstances, due to their structure and materials. For example, the Bak-4 Prisms offer increased contrast and resolution and an overall higher level of detail in the resulting image.
Maximum light transmission is allowed through a system of multi-coated lenses, designed to capture the optimal amount of light even in darker environments and render a brighter image.
The 6.5’ close focus will allow you to observe your favorite animals in their natural habitat as if they were at arm’s length. The wide field of view will also let you follow targets on the move and capture more of their routine.
But perhaps the most important feature when it comes to this particular pair is their size. Small and lightweight, these binoculars are the ideal piece of gear to improve your equipment. They won’t add much extra weight to your backpack, but they’ll offer you the quality you’re searching for.
This pair of binoculars comes with BAK-4 prisms, a feature that ensures enhanced image contrast and resolution so that you can see the details you need.
Given that the lenses are multi-coated, the unit can capture the right amount of light in order to render clear viewings in various lighting conditions.
Even though this is a compact model, the field of view is wide enough to allow the user to easily spot various elements and observe the subject.
The lightweight construction ensures that this pair of binoculars won’t add too much weight to your backpack.
The lens covers are not attached to the unit, which means that you need to be careful and not lose them as you take them off.
In one instance, the device received had a lens ring that could come off, meaning it was a defective product, but customer support can help in such a matter.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
2. Wingspan Optics Skyview Ultra HD 8X42 Binoculars for Bird Watching
You’re likely to find this item from Wingspan Optics useful if you’re a keen birdwatcher. The SkyView model is designed to significantly improve your experience by offering you images with higher clarity and more in-depth detail than ever before.
By using ED glass lenses, the manufacturers managed to obtain a product that goes a step further in offering brighter images with vibrant colors in a wide palette. By reducing chromatic aberration, these binoculars will give you a breathtaking experience, allowing you to observe your favorite wildlife in close detail.
The fully multi-coated lenses make sure the clarity of the rendered image is reproachable. If you’re having second thoughts, you should know that this product is fit to be used in any kind of environment, including those where the weather isn’t very friendly because they’re both waterproof and fog proof.
Again, the aspect you certainly don’t want to overlook is their weight. The SkyViews are light enough to be easily carried and can be used in many different circumstances. They don’t add much weight to your overall gear and are small enough to be used comfortably.
This Wingspan model comes with ED glass lenses, which means that you will be able to enjoy bright images with vibrant colors, for an overall great viewing experience.
The technology included in this device reduces chromatic aberrations so that you can rely on the image displayed and see all the necessary details.
With a waterproof and fog proof construction, you can rest assured that this pair of binoculars can be used in pretty much any weather conditions.
Given that this is a pocket model, the compact design and lightweight construction make it very easy to carry around, even for longer periods.
This is a compact model, so depending on how and where you need to use a pair of binoculars, it might not be powerful enough for certain viewings.
The unit seemed a bit heavy to some of those who have already bought it, but this is a matter of preference as well.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
3. Wingspan Optics SpectatorPro 8X32 Compact Waterproof Bird Watching Binoculars
If you’re looking for a truly affordable item that fits your every other expectation and offers you quality worthy of a professional device, you may have found it in the form of the SpectatorPro. This model is recommended for keen birdwatchers because it offers you in-depth detail and bright images.
You can travel anywhere with this alternative, not only because it is both waterproof and can be used regardless of the weather conditions but also because it is small and light enough to be carried around without causing any discomfort.
Its ergonomic design is thought-out to prevent the device from slipping out of your hand. Thus, a rugged plastic armor coats the ensemble of lenses and prisms that’s inside and offers you a firm grip and increased stability.
You can get a higher level of detail by using the adjustable focus knob placed right in the middle. Start with observing an entire flock and then focus on a singular target in order to experience wildlife in its true entirety.
Given that this model offers bright images and in-depth details, it’s highly recommended for birdwatching, as this entails moving quickly to spot the various subjects around you.
You don’t need to worry about using it in various weather conditions either since we’re talking about a waterproof model, so a little rain is not going to be an issue.
Thanks to the ergonomic design, there’s little chance of having it slip out of your hand, which might otherwise lead to some serious damage.
The focus knob is placed in the middle, which makes the task of adjusting it for quick and clear viewings a lot easier, and this can save precious seconds when it comes to following your subject.
If you know that you prefer models with big lenses, then other alternatives might be better suited.
Users who wear glasses might have a harder time with this pair of binoculars, given that the lenses are rather small.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
4. Bushnell H2O 8 x 42 mm All Purpose Binocular 1508042
As the name itself says, the main feature that makes this item one that’s fit to be recommended is its behavior in wet environments. This means it can be used regardless of the weather conditions and you don’t have to worry about a bit of rain ruining your trip.
Sold for an affordable price, this product manages to offer great quality optics. The HD clarity paired with the improved light transmission that comes from the Bak-4 Prisms results in an overall improved performance and image quality, fit for a professional device.
Their design is not only beautiful and professional-looking, but it’s also ergonomic, the rugged armor offering a few spots that increase grip control in order to prevent unfortunate accidents that would damage the device.
The H2Os work just fine for eyeglass wearers due to their long eye relief. Also, if you’re looking for another feature to get you interested in this product, the adjustment knob that allows you to quickly adjust focus as you wish is worth mentioning.
One of the main advantages offered by this Bushnell model is that you don’t need to worry about the weather, given that it offers a waterproof construction.
The BAK-4 Prisms design is also a very nice feature since it ensures HD clarity and improved light transmission usually found in more expensive binoculars.
Thanks to the ergonomic design that ensures a firm and comfortable grip, you won’t have a hard time maneuvering this device.
The manufacturer also took eyeglass wearers into consideration and added a long eye relief on this model, so that any member of the family can use it.
In one case, the lenses had a black halo around, and if this is the case, then it means that the seller needs to be contacted to provide the necessary details on what you should do.
Some users found this Bushnell model to be rather heavy, so make sure you check the specifications provided by the manufacturer.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($82.99)
5. Bushnell Poweview All Purpose Compact Binocular 132514
If you’re an amateur birdwatcher or generally keen on outdoor activities that involve the use of binoculars, and you don’t have the money or simply don’t wish to invest in an expensive model that you’re not sure you’ll use very much, then this alternative from Bushnell is the thing you’ve been searching for.
A wide field of view makes sure you can observe your favorite wildlife species on the move, and track a target that’s going about their daily routine without being noticed. The HD clarity will offer you the opportunity of observing your favorite animals in a stunning level of detail.
Focus can be adjusted using the wheel built into the center of the item, a fast and easy to use way of targeting your point of interest without wasting any second. The design is durable and built using materials that have been extensively tested to make sure that they qualify.
With the wide field of view offered by this model, you will surely be able to follow your subject wherever they might go, without any difficulty.
Thanks to the camo-like colors this unit features, there is a lower chance of being spotted by wild animals.
Users have also praised the HD clarity offered by this Bushnell device, and this means you will be able to see a high level of details as you watch various wild animals.
Given that the focus knob is placed in the middle, it’s very easy to find and use, which means that you won’t waste valuable seconds doing this.
For some users, this model seems to be a bit heavy, but this also depends on how and where you are planning to use it.
This is a compact model, so you should be aware that it cannot have the same performance as a high-end complex alternative.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($25)