Look outside — it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…actually you can’t tell whatsoever, because you don’t have a reliable set of binoculars. That’s understandable though, considering it’s not an item that is necessarily considered “household.” But if you do want to start watching the birds, stargaze at night, or even spy on the neighbors (no judgment here), you should pick up a pair. There are plenty of different types of binoculars, depending on your own set of preferences, that you can opt for. We’ll go through some of the best pairs based on price, quality, and durability, and you can ultimately make the decision. Regardless of your choice, you can’t go wrong with any of these pairs.
Best Overall Binoculars
Overall, the Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 is the ideal set of binoculars for somebody who prefers a crystal clear field of view. Built with Nikon’s premium ED (Extra-low dispersion), these binoculars deliver sharper, clearer imagery and a more detailed field of view. They’re light — an ounce lighter than the Monarch 4 — and feature fully multicoated Eco-Glass lenses than provide users with a high light transmittance across the entire visible light spectrum for an enhanced picture. Of course, they also come with a variety of intuitive features such as turn-and-slide rubber eyecups, a flip-down lens cap, and a smooth central focus knob.
Most Durable Binoculars
If you’re someone who is planning on exposing their binoculars to the elements — whether it’s rain, sleet, fog, or snow — the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular is a great option. These binoculars are waterproof, fog-proof, and contain a rain guard HD water repellent lens coating, so you can take these binoculars out in any sort of weather. Featuring an impressive 10x magnification and a 42mm objective lens, this pair also comes equipped with a plethora of user-friendly optics like ED prime glass and ultra-wideband coatings. They’re also lightweight and include a soft carrying case along with a microfiber carry bag and neck strap for easy travel.
Best Binoculars on a Budget
For those on a budget, you can’t beat the Aurosports 10×25 Folding High Powered Binoculars — a high-quality pair of binoculars that offer great value. These compact and light binoculars contain 10x magnification with a 25 mm objective lens for a generous range and field of view of up to 1,000 yards away. They can be used either during the day or at night (other than in the pitch black) and feature fully multi-coated lenses. They are waterproof, have hyper-durable anti-slip grip, and can be folded for easy transport.