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The Best Binoculars For Birds, Nature & Outdoors in 2017

Binoculars come in handy for just about any outdoor activity. Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher, or need some help viewing a sporting event, you need a good set of binoculars. If you’ve been looking for the best binoculars for you, but aren’t sure what to get, this review will help you. You can find out what makes for the best binoculars for whatever you need.

The Best Binoculars

Things to Consider Before Buying - Best Binoculars

Size

Some say that size doesn’t matter, but this isn’t always the case. Depending on how you’re going to use the binoculars, you should make sure you have the right size for your needs. You can choose ones that are full, mid, or compact sizes, and they have their benefits.

Depending on where you’re going, and how you’re going to use the binoculars, you want to make sure they work for you. Whether you’re going birdwatching, attending a sporting event, or gazing at the stars, each size is going to be ideal for each event. You want to know how you’re going to use them before deciding on a pair.

Magnification

The magnification power is crucial to how much and how far you want to see. Every binocular has a magnification power, and you can see how far you’re going to zoom in. For example, you may want to use a 7 x 35 binocular, which means an object can appear 7 times closer to you.

One thing about a higher magnification power, is that your subtle movements can affect your viewing experience. The more you zoom in, your shaking hands can make the binoculars bounce around. You should consider what you’re going to look at, and how much power you should use.

Lens Diameter

The lens diameter allows you to have a wider field of view. This means, that if your subject moves out of the center of the binoculars, you want a wider field of view to recapture them. It also means your binoculars can affect how much light will be gathered.

The larger the lenses, it can capture more light, and allow you to see the object easier. When you’re in low lighted settings, you want to maximize the amount of light you can see. It’s ideal for those that are outside when the twilight starts to set in.

Exit Pupil

The exit pupil refers to the brightness of an object when you’re in low lighted settings. The higher the number of exit pupil, the bright your object will appear. You will have a full image for a longer time, even if your hands are moving around or shaking.

Depending on the time you’re going to be using the binoculars, you want a higher exit pupil setting. Low light situations are going to need a higher exit pupil setting, while daylight viewing isn’t going to require any. You should consider when you’re going to use the binoculars to get the most out of them.

Relative Brightness

The relative brightness refers to how bright an object will appear to your eyes. When the relative brightness is higher, objects will appear to be bright. When you’re in low light settings, you want a higher number to make sure the object is as bright as possible.

There are other factors, such as prisms and lens elements that can affect how much light is coming through the lenses. You should consider the coating on the lenses, and how well they work. If you can find some that make everything brighter, you can find your object quickly and easily.

Eye Relief

The eye relief is critical to those that wear glasses or corrective lenses. It refers to the distance of the eyepieces to your eyes. Longer eye relief allows you to use the binoculars further away from your eyes. If you do wear glasses, you need to make sure the eye relief is long enough to look through the binoculars with your glasses on. The images should be easy to see, and you should have excellent clarity. The recommended eye relief for those with glasses should be 11mm or more.

Focus

You want to make sure the binoculars will focus for your needs. There is a central focusing dial, usually in the middle of the binoculars. This makes it easy to focus the barrels of the binoculars. You may find some that have independent focusing rings on each barrel.

You can compensate for differences in your vision when you’re looking through the binoculars. You can focus the binoculars to your correct vision to make sure you have the right settings. This provides a clear picture of what you’re looking at, and prevents the binoculars from becoming useless.

Waterproofing

The binoculars should be waterproof, and most of them are. Some binoculars are filled with nitrogen or argon, which not only helps with the vision, but also prevents fog buildup. If you’re looking for a pair of binoculars, make sure they are O-ring sealed, as well.

10 Best Binocular Reviews for 2017

1. Swarovski New 2016 Model 8.5x42 EL42 Binocular 

Swarovski New 2016 Model 8.5x42 EL42 Binocular with FieldPro Package

Clear Optics

These binoculars have clear optics, allowing you to see further than with traditional binoculars.

The have a large field of view, as well, letting you see more to the sides than other binoculars.

Ergonomic

These binoculars have an ergonomic design, making them easy to hold onto when you’re using them. The ergonomic design is ideal for those that don’t want to wear down their wrists when they’re holding the binoculars up to their face.

Easy to Use

The binoculars have lenses that make it easy to see objects, even in low light settings. They can work in the middle of the day, or during the twilight hours. No matter when you need to use the binoculars, you can use them any time.

Versatile

Whether you’re using them for birdwatching, or at a sporting event, you can use these binoculars anywhere. They have an excellent range to let you see everything in front of you. They’re practical for anything you want to find.

Pros:

  • They are powerful
  • You can use them for anything outdoors
  • Provides a lot of light

Cons:

  • May not work for everyone

2. Leica BCR Binocular

Leica BCR Binocular

Robust Design

The robust design of the binoculars allows you to pack them up and take them with you anywhere you go.

The binoculars are bright, making them easy to find when you put them away. If you love being outdoors, you need binoculars that are durable.

Great Magnification

You can magnify the binoculars to your furthest distance. You will have excellent clarity, even if you’re looking at something far away. If you’re planning on being outdoors, you need binoculars that allow you to see further away from you.

Compact

The binoculars have a small, compact design, making them ideal for traveling. If you need to pack them away to save space, or wear them around your neck, the binoculars are ideal for any trip. You can take them with you wherever you go.

Easy to Use

The binoculars include a unique single knob diopter correction, making them ideal for anyone to use. When you’re trying to focus on an object, you want to make sure you can zoom in on it quickly.

Pros:

  • The clarity is excellent
  • There aren’t color aberrations
  • Large knob makes it easy to adjust

Cons:

  • The warranty should be better

3. Vortex Optics Viper HD 8x42 Roof Prism Binocular

Vortex Optics Viper HD 8x42 Roof Prism Binocular

High Density

The high-density dispersion glass allows you to see everything clearly. You’ll have an impressive resolution that will outline every detail.

The colors won’t get distorted when you’re looking through the binoculars. You’ll have high definition in your hands.

Increased Light Transmission

The binoculars have an increased light transmission, allowing you to see more around you. The anti-reflective coating on the lenses allow you to see things more clearly. They won’t fog up when the weather is a bit colder out, as well.

Clear Images

The lenses have a multi-layer prism coating that helps with the clarity through the lenses. The colors will be accurate, allowing you to spot a small bird within the trees with ease. You’ll have a bright place to see everything through the binoculars.

Enhanced Resolution

For those that want to have clarity and excellent resolution, these are the perfect binoculars. The coating on the roof prism will enhance the resolution and contrast, allowing you to have a clear picture of what you’re looking at.

Pros:

  • The binoculars are reasonably priced
  • Provides excellent eye relief
  • The lenses have an anti-scratch coating

Cons:

  • Not ideal for sporting events

4. Nikon 7581 MONARCH 5 8x56 Binocular

Nikon 7581 MONARCH 5 8x56 Binocular

Great Glass Lenses

The glass lenses are excellent, and have extra low dispersion glass. This cuts down on the chromatic aberrations when you’re looking through them.

You’ll have excellent clarity, and any color fringing is diminished. It’s ideal for looking for something that’s far away from you.

Prism Coating

The multi-layer prism coatings are on all the lenses and prism coatings, making them ideal for finding objects with high-contrast. You can easily tell where your target is, even if they’re the same color as the background. You will have an accurate color reproduction with the binoculars.

Superior Light Gathering

The superior light gathering allows you to use the binoculars in low light conditions. The light will focus more when they hit the lenses, making them ideal for anyone looking for quality lenses.

Lightweight

The lightweight design makes the binoculars ideal for taking on any outdoor adventure. You can use the binoculars for a hiking or sporting event trip. It’s ideal for those that want to take the binoculars anywhere they go.

Pros:

  • The price is excellent
  • The image quality is bright and clear
  • You can use eyeglasses with them

Cons:

  • May not work for everyone

5. Vanguard Endeavor ED II Binocular

Vanguard Endeavor ED II Binocular

Perfect Colors

The binoculars have excellent colors, thanks to the low dispersion glass. You’ll have true color transmission when you’re using the binoculars.

You can see everything clearly through your entire field of view. You can find your target quickly and easily.

Improved Light Reflection

The lenses have a coating that allows you to use them during the day. The phase-corrected prisms allow light to come in, have better reflection, and provides a high contrast. You’ll have true color fidelity when you’re using these binoculars.

Nitrogen Filled

The binoculars are filled with nitrogen, preventing fog from building up on the lenses. The O-rings keep water and moisture out of the inside of the binoculars. This combination makes the binoculars ideal for anyone in humid weather. They are more durable than other binoculars.

Lightweight

The binoculars include an open-bridge design combined with magnesium-alloy chassis to make them lightweight. They are lighter, yet durable enough to take for any outdoor activity. You can take them anywhere you want to go, without sacrificing durability.

Pros:

  • The optics are impressive
  • Focus wheel is easy to use
  • Excellent for using in low light

Cons:

  • May not provide excellent eye relief

6. Nikon 7549 MONARCH 7 10x42 Binocular

Nikon 7549 MONARCH 7 10x42 Binocular

Wide Field

You can see more when you’re looking through these binoculars, thanks to the wide field of vision. You can easily track your target, even if you lose them for a split second.

No matter if you’re following wildlife, or attending a sporting event, you can find your target quickly and easily.

Multilayer Prism Coating

The lenses have a multilayer prism coating that allows you to follow high-contrast images. You’ll have an accurate color reproduction, making it easy to distinguish the difference between animals and foliage. You can easily tell what is an animal, and what isn’t.

Durable

The binoculars have a durable rubber armored coating, making them ideal for any outdoor activity. No matter if you drop the binoculars, or pack them in a terrible spot, the binoculars will not break easily.

Comfortable

The binoculars are comfortable, thanks to their eye relief. If you wear glasses or contacts, you need a pair of binoculars that have eye relief. You can use the binoculars longer when you can see through the lenses comfortably.

Pros:

  • The binoculars are reasonably priced
  • They are easy to use
  • The binoculars are durable

Cons:

  • Some people may not like using them

7. Zeiss Under Arm ED Binoculars

Zeiss Under Arm ED Binoculars

Superior Optics

The binoculars feature superior optics compared to other binoculars. The glass has a coating that provides a pure and bright image.

If you’re looking for a pair of binoculars that have clarity, and provides vivid images in low light, these are the perfect ones.

Large Views

The binoculars allow you to have a wide field of view. You can easily find your target when you’re looking through the binoculars. If you can’t locate them right away, the large field of view allows you to scan quickly. You can cover more ground when you’re scanning across the field.

Precise Focus

The binoculars provide a precise focus, making it easy to zoom in on your target. You won’t have to fiddle with the binoculars to get the perfect focus on your target. If you’re looking for a pair of binoculars that are easy to use, these are ideal.

Ergonomic

The binoculars have optimal ergonomics, making them comfortable when you’re holding them up to your face. The innovative modern design makes them more comfortable to carry around. The binoculars are compact, making them ideal for carrying around.

Pros:

  • The quality is good for the price
  • The focus is smooth and easy
  • They have excellent clarity

Cons:

  • The pouch doesn’t protect the binoculars

8. Celestron 72023 SkyMaster 9x63 Binoculars

Celestron 72023 SkyMaster 9x63 Binoculars

Multi-Coated Optics

The lenses have multi-coating optics, allowing you to use them in a variety of environments. They can be used in low light settings, making them ideal for anyone looking for binoculars that work anywhere. They’re perfect for any outdoor activity.

Nitrogen Gas

The binoculars are filled with nitrogen, making them fog proof in any temperature. The nitrogen also allows you to look through the binoculars easily. You’ll have excellent clarity when you’re using the binoculars.

Shock Resistant Rubber

The shock resistant rubber provides excellent durability for the binoculars. You will have a secure grip when you’re holding the binoculars up to your face. Even if you drop the binoculars, they will bounce when you drop them, making them shatterproof.

Snug Fit

The binoculars feature a twist up rubber eye caps, making them comfortable to wear. You won’t have to fiddle around with the binoculars to make sure they fit properly. Once you start wearing the binoculars, you’ll notice how comfortable they are to wear.

Pros:

  • Ideal for stargazing
  • The optics are well designed
  • The images are sharp

Cons:

  • May not work for everything

9. Vortex Diamondback 8x28 Binocular

Vortex Diamondback 8x28 Binocular

O-Ring Sealed

The binoculars are sealed with an O-ring, preventing any moisture from getting inside. Not only does it block out the moisture, you won’t have to deal with any dust or debris getting inside.

You can use the binoculars in any environment, making them ideal for any outdoor lover.

Reliable Performance

The binoculars are ideal for any outdoor activity, and you can see everything easily. You’ll have reliable performance when you’re using the binoculars. It’s ideal for those that want to adventure around outside. You’ll be impressed with the quality of the binoculars.

Argon Gas

The binoculars have argon gas filled up in the middle. The argon provides clarity when you’re using the binoculars, and prevent any fogging on the lenses. You can use the binoculars in a wide range of temperatures, making it ideal for anyone.

Easy to Focus

The twist knob makes the binoculars easy to focus. You can twist and turn it until your target becomes clear. You can use the binoculars with or without glasses, making it ideal for anyone needing a good pair of binoculars to see anything.

Pros:

  • They are easy to use
  • The view is excellent
  • They are reliable

Cons:

  • The size may be too small for some people

10. Eagle Optics Shrike 10x42 Roof Prism Binoculars

Eagle Optics Shrike 10x42 Roof Prism Binoculars

Multi-Coated Lenses

The multi-coated lenses are ideal for looking around in any environment. You won’t have to worry about moisture building up on the lenses.

It’s ideal for those needing binoculars they can use anywhere they want to.

Rubber Armoring

The rubber armoring on the binoculars allow you to have a secure grip on the binoculars when you’re using them. They won’t slip out of your grasp, and if they do fall, they won’t break. It’s ideal for those wanting a pair of durable binoculars.

Adjustable Eye Caps

The adjustable eye caps allow you to comfortable view and focus everything you want to see. No matter how you’re going to use the binoculars, you can focus on your target quickly and easily. They work with or without glasses, allowing you to use them how you want to.

Waterproof

The binoculars are water and fog proof, allowing you to use them in any environment. No matter how you want to use the binoculars, you don’t need to worry about moisture getting inside the binoculars. It’s ideal for those that spend a lot of time outdoors.

Pros:

  • Ideal for beginners
  • The clarity is good
  • The price is reasonable

Cons:

  • May not be ideal for bird watching

Conclusion

Binoculars are an excellent tool to use when you’re planning an outdoor activity. If you’re thinking about getting a pair of binoculars, we recommend the Eagle Optics Shrike 10x42 Roof Prism Binoculars. These binoculars are durable enough to handle any environment, and you have excellent magnification. They’re ideal for a wide range of outdoor activities, and you’ll love having them for anything you want to do. You can also choose from our top 10 list of best binoculars above.

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About the Author Kevin Fox

A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!

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