CAMPING & HIKING

Best Binoculars: How to Select Your Finest Pair

The best binoculars review
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

Finding the best binoculars suitable for your outdoors and wilderness expeditions is an ideal pre-trip strategy. Precision in product manufacture and optical treatments are major factors that influence the quality of your product choice. But those technicalities might not be interesting to everyone.

So, if you are like one of those people who like to skip the technical bits, how would you get best binoculars for your next trip? This article will describe outstanding features of some very good products that will help your purchasing process.

After a good read through, you may just find yourself confident enough to go out there and make a fantastic choice for yourself, or even recommend a great choice to someone for their purpose and budget too.

Why Get Binoculars?

Any binoculars would do. Is it not just to make objects and things appear closer? However, why do you really need a pair of perfect binoculars? It may be because you want to see things nearly as good as they are from a distance. Sometimes, you may want to get into the moment of an activity far away from where you are in their natural setting.

Why get binoculars

Other times, you may want to plan for advancement unto the other side of a field, land, lake, or forest some distance away. Maybe you hear danger coming, and you want to see it as clear as you can from a distance in order to prepare adequately for survival.

Binoculars are basically fantastic for watching wildlife in their natural settings.

Since would not want to get too close as not to set them on the move, you could spy on them comfortably with a pair of binoculars from somewhere away from these wonderful creatures and see their uncommon display of gestures, features, and also observe first-hand details of some wildlife habitat you may never have been able to get close to. Watching through the eyes of some perfect binoculars, is a prodigious way to spend time in the wild!

Features to Keep an Eye Out for

When it comes to shopping for a pair of binoculars, there are plenty of technical features that you should examine before you buy the first one you come across. Knowing what these features are can make all the difference in the world, and will ensure that you’re getting the most for your money.

Binocular features

Some of the important features to keep in mind while you’re comparison shopping are:

  • Binocular size: they come in a variety of sizes, and will be heavier or lighter according to this size. The come in full-size, mid-size, and compact.
    • full-size (8 x 42, 10 x 50): these are mostly used for boating and serious viewing of wildlife. They allow more light into the lens, especially during low-light situations so that the image is always crisp and clear. They also provide a wider field of view, and the images are much steadier than with other sizes of binoculars. However, they are quite large and heavy, so they may not be ideal if you’re aiming to backpack light.
    • mid-size (7 x 35, 10 x 32): this is the middle tier of binoculars, and is the best all-around choice, regardless of your activity. They are still a bit heavy for backpacking, but they do provide great images, even in above-average light.
    • compact (8 x 25, 10 x 25): the smallest and lightest of all the kinds, they’re great for backpacking. However, because of the unsteady imagery it provides, using them for extended periods of time can lead to discomfort.
  • Magnification power: when it comes to binoculars, they are identified by two numbers: magnification power and lens diameter. As seen above in the sizes, the first number is the magnification power. So a compact binoculars generally has a magnification power of 7 or 10. Any binoculars that has a magnification power greater than 10 is hard to wield, as even the smallest movement of your hand is going to result in an unsteady image.
  • Lens diameter: this is the second number, and refers to the diameter of the objective lenses in millimeters. The objective lenses are those that are farthest from your eyes, and determines how much light the binoculars can gather, providing clearer images.
  • Exit pupil: this number is calculated by dividing the lens diameter by the magnification; the result is a measure of how bright the object will appear when viewed in low-light situations. The higher the number, the better. The human pupil can widen up to 7mm in low-level light, so you want to aim for an exit pupil number that is larger than this.
  • Binocular eye relief: this is how far apart the eyepieces are from each other, as well as how far they are from your eyes. Long eye relief generally increases comfort by allowing you to hold them farther from your face. This features is mostly useful to those who wear glasses, as it can be uncomfortable to press a pair of binoculars against the lenses of your spectacles. If you do wear glasses, aim for eye relief that is 11mm or more.
  • Waterproof, Fog-proof and Weather-Resistance: these features are essential when you’re going camping and need a rugged pair of binoculars with you. A pair of binoculars that isn’t weather-protected isn’t going to last very long out in the wild, and you’ll have to buy a new pair all over again. Fog-proof binoculars prevent the lenses from fogging up when the binoculars are moved between different temperatures, such as the warm inside of your tent to the crisp and cool outdoors of the early morning.

Now that we’ve discussed the various features you should keep an eye out for, here are some of the top rated binoculars in the market so that you have a good place to start your shopping experience.

Top Products on The Market

Bushnell Powerview Compact Binocular

Features:

Bushnell Powerview Compact Binocular

  • Maximum Magnification: 8x to 16x
  • Objective lens diameter: 21mm to 32mm
  • Item weight: 195g to 353g
  • Color: Black, Camo, and Computer colours
  • Field of View: 1000yards

Description: Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism Binoculars are non-slippery as they have rubber armors that also absorbs shock while providing a firm grip.

Their lenses are fully coated and they have these artistic fold-down eyecups with centre focus systems, and their styles all look contemporary. They all have adjustable stereo vision that is quick, smooth and stays in place when you find it. Most of them also have their individual fine petite soft cases.

They are suitable for hikers, birders, campers, or horse race watchers and other outdoor events. But also suitable for indoor activities such as concert watching. The variation in their prizes and features gives you a range of good products to pick from. They cost from about $11.50 to $164.46 online.

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular

Features:

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular

  • Maximum Magnification: 10x
  • Objective lens diameter: 42mm
  • Item weight: 54 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Field of View: 100s of yards

Description: Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular was designed to be water-repellent with its rain guard HD lens coating and has an ultra-wide field of view, a locking dioptre, and long eye relief system.

The Legend Ultra HD, is a binocular that has an ED prime glass which makes it an exceptional optics. It has a lightweight, magnesium chassis with a long eye-relief system that microfiber carrier bag and strap to hang it on the neck.

The Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular is a 10×42 high quality product that is suitable for long and wide range viewing, and also to capture tiny creatures flipping, flapping or perching in the wide. It sells for about $233.88 on line.

Canon 12×36 Image Stabilization II Binoculars

Features:

Canon 12x36 Image Stabilization II Binoculars

  • Maximum Magnification: 12x
  • Objective lens diameter: 36mm
  • Item weight: 96 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Field of View: 100s of yards (extra-bright view – battery aided)

Description: Canon 12×36 Image Stabilization II Binoculars is for professionals in the wild, who can get a great sense of precision in color, visibility, movements, gestures, and distant communication of wildlife. It is a product that leaves you confidence once you step out with it for a hike. It is a piece of powerful gear, as well as sleek and light.

Its image stabilizer and double field flattener technologies keep images steady and shape from edge to edge respectively. Although it uses lithium AA Batteries to keep it working, it is water-resistant and has a non-slip rubber coating which enhances your grip, and also stays recharged for up to 12 hours, giving you a lot of time to take in the sights. This product is precisely a work of a genius. It sells for about $999.95 online.

Vanguard 10×42 Binocular with ED Glass

Features:

Vanguard 10x42 Binocular with ED Glass

  • Maximum Magnification: 10x
  • Objective lens diameter: 42mm
  • Item weight: 6125 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Field of View: 340feet/1000 yards

Description: Many products may be in the market place, but only a few can be considered special. The Vanguard 10×42 Binocular with ED Glass is one such product. The product has an ED Glass that influences colour dispersion to readily produce clear and high resolution colours.

It has fully multicoated lenses with its Bak4 Phase-coated prism and a long eye relief due to its three stage twist out eyecups and locking dioptre rings. It is argued to be 100% waterproof and also fogproof, which makes it usable for research and birding even in unfriendly weather conditions. Some of its special features include: It sells for $257.12.

Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8×42 Binocular

Features:

Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8x42 Binocular

  • Maximum Magnification: 8x
  • Objective lens diameter: 42mm
  • Item weight: 38 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Field of View: 420feet

Description: The ACULON A211 is a lightweight outdoor gear with excellent ergonomics. It has got a perfect turn and slide rubber eyecup which makes it easy on the viewer even in long period of wildlife watching.

It’s a great tool for working in the wild. This is a product that is clear in many light environments, because it is produced with Eco-Glass lenses that are aspherical and multicoated.

It is easy to focus and simple to operate because they have smooth central focus knobs. In dry and wet conditions, it is non-slippery because it has a durable rubber armoured coating that increases grip. It is perfect for boating, sea bird watching and other outdoor activities. It sells for about $79.95 online.

Swarovski New 2017 Model 8.5×42 EL42 Binocular

Features:

Swarovski New 2017 Model 8.5x42 EL42 Binocular

  • Maximum Magnification: 5x
  • Objective lens diameter: 42mm
  • Item weight: 38 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Field of View: 100s of yards

Description: It includes a 10-year warranty, so you know you’re paying for quality! The Swarovski’s EL42 Binocular comes with a field bag, an eye piece cover, objective lenses cover, and a carrying strap. The EL 42 is complemented for its long range optics.

The product has a uniquely developed ergonomic design that includes wrap-around grip, which offers an amazing height of comfort while hunting and an invaluable eyepiece cover, as it has a sturdy strap and objective lenses.

This optical machine is made to give a significant 20mm eye relief. Everyone who enjoys long range viewing should think of trying out this piece of quality. It for wilderness experts who understand the worth of go into the wild with quality products to get the best out of nature. It sells for about $2,549.00 online.

Vortex Optics Viper HD 8×42 Roof Prism Binocular

Features:

Vortex Optics Viper HD 8x42 Roof Prism Binocular

  • Maximum Magnification: 8x
  • Objective lens diameter: 42mm
  • Item weight: 6 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Field of View: 100s of yards

Description: The Vortex Optics Viper HD 8×42 Roof Prism Binocular is a finely designed piece of optical art. It’s one of those binoculars with O-ring seals that stops moisture, dust and debris from getting into the inner parts of the gear.

It is reliable and suitable for all environments because its argon gas purging also enhances the fog-proof and waterproof features. Its high density (HD) extra low dispersion glass gives the binoculars great resolution and fidelity of colour.

It is rugged, compact, and lightweight. It has a XR fully multi-coated surfaces and some dielectric prism coatings that enhances the view, giving a bright, clear, and precise colour images and motion animals. It sells for about $555.00 online.

Vortex Optics D2808 Diamondback Binocular

Features:

Vortex Optics D2808 Diamondback Binocular

  • Maximum Magnification: About 8x
  • Objective lens diameter: About 28mm
  • Item weight: 9 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Field of View: 100s of yards

Description: The Vortex Optics D2808 Diamondback Binocular is a product with very special features, and at affordable cost, it can fit into your budget nicely. It has a right eye dioptre that allows for the adjustment of the differences in the user’s eye and a center focus wheel that also adjusts the focus, but this time for both binocular barrels at the same time like any other gear.

It is great for hiking, relaxation and exploration of our surroundings. This is a master piece as far as weight of gear is concerned.

It’s small in size, but not in performance. It has an increased transmission enhanced with the multiple anti-reflective coatings on all its air-to-glass surfaces. It has a cushioned relaxed viewing eyepiece. The eyecups have a tapered style of soft, natural fitting materials that suits the eye for long and intense viewing. It only sells for about $139.78 online.

Vanguard Endeavor ED II Binocular

Features:

Vanguard Endeavor ED II Binocular

  • Maximum Magnification: 10x
  • Objective lens diameter: 42mm
  • Item weight: 7 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Field of View: 340feet/1000yards

Description: Vanguard Endeavor ED II Binocular with Premium HOYA ED Glass comes worry free, with its premium lifetime warranty. Very strong but lightweight, as it is produced with a magnesium alloy chassis that reduces weight but keeps the strength of material intact. It also comes with an anti-reflection optics that is fully multi-coated to boost low-light performance.

It also has the esteemed Vanguard ED Glass which completely dispels chromatic aberration for colour transmission all over any area that is being viewed.

Also, it has the much emphasized prism the Vanguard calls the phase-corrected Bak4 prism that provides an enhanced contrast, light reflection, and true colour fidelity. This Endeavor ED II Binoculars also comes with a manufacturers memorable right eye locking dioptre ring, a near focus of 6.5 feet and a 3-stage twist out eyecups.

It also has a nitrogen-filling and an o-ring seal that prevents water and fog from penetrating and reducing performance. It great for concert viewing and for outdoor harsh weather adventures. It has a powerful relief of 18mm and an amazing view angle of 6.5 degrees, yet is sells for just about $399.99 online.

Leica BCR Binocular

Features:

Leica BCR Binocular

  • Maximum Magnification: 10x
  • Objective lens diameter: 25mm
  • Item weight: 56 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Field of View: 273feet

Description: The Leica BCR Binocular is a sport type gear that is absolutely great for hunting. It is great feature for also birding and viewing of other wildlife and its size in dimension is about 1.4×4.5×2.4 inches, just suitable for light hiking. It is especially great for archery hunting, according to customer-reviews.

The diopter adjustment on this special product is same dial for the focus. However, the difference in adjustments in other to activate the diopter requires a bit of simple but prominent technique.

There is underneath the focus wheel, a small metallic button that engages the dipoter when it is being depressed. The Leica BCR Binocular is waterproof, and remains intact for as low as 16.5 feet underwater. Also, since it is of high magnification for its class, with a bright focus and its small compact size, it is just great for the prize of $749.00 which is what is it sold online.

Choosing The Best Binoculars for Your Next Voyage

In choosing the best binoculars for your next adventure, you must have noticed that the reviewed binoculars are all powerful in various ways. They have their strengths, and they feature various capabilities that distinguish them from the rest, making them better suited for certain activities and environments over others.

Get your binoculars

In conclusion, an ideal way to choose your best binoculars is to know what you’re going to be using them for. That way, you can be sure that you would always get the best value for your money over a long period of time.

So try a few out at the store beforehand, and be sure to do some research into the ones that feel great for you. Getting stuck out in the wilderness with a pair of binoculars that are useless isn’t a great situation to find yourself in.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • Chynna Lambert

    Binoculars are priced weird in that there’s a huge jump between ‘pretty good’ and ‘really good.’ My partner and I recently got a pair of Braun 10x25s each which are really great for the price, and we only use them for general messing about. My father on the other side only trusts Carl Zeiss lenses. I have to admit the quality is not distorted in any matter.

  • Mark Foster

    It really depends on the kind of lenses and other features that binoculars are made of. That and the brand name, if I may say so myself.

  • Paul Hester

    The anti-reflection optics feature of the Endeavor ED II really worked fantastically when I tested it at dusk. I had no problem with the view. At other times, it seemed brighter. Weight is fine. I consider it as a very high-quality binocular. Do not hesitate because the price is relatively lower for the excellent relief and view angle.

    • Mark Foster

      Thanks for your valuable input regarding the Endeavor ED II. The quality is really excellent and the price more than makes up for its stellar features. I love how lightweight it is and after hours of using it, won’t strain your wrist, right?
      I’ve used this baby in harsh weather conditions and it never let up. Water and fog won’t penetrate and reduce its performance, which is a great plus for me.

0
0
Total
0
Shares