Best Compact Binoculars Review for the money 2017(May)

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Before we begin, let’s understand what the best compact binoculars are? Unlike the normal binoculars, these types are smaller. They are usually small enough to fit in your pocket or purse. In order to maintain this size, they use smaller front lenses.


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The rule of thumb is normally that any binocular that has a second binocular number of 26 or less than that is considered a compact binocular. These binoculars are useful to have in some certain situations such as:

Why you should get a compact binocular?

There are many reasons as to why you should favor the best compact binocular over the normal size. To begin with, they are easy to pack as they can fit in your bag, purse or pocket.
This makes it easier to take them during hikes and safaris without issue at all. These binoculars are also pretty useful for sport events and concerts where you can’t see the action.

Our recommend top 5 Best Compact Binoculars list:

Compact BinocularsOur RatingPrice AlertMagnification
& Lenses(mm)
Field of ViewDimensions
(inches)
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular PRICE DETAILS100
(BEST)
Medium10x42340ft4.02 x 5.28 x 6.89
Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binocular PRICE DETAILS95Medium10x25345ft1.75 x 5.6 x 5.9
Polaris Optics Spectator Compact Bird Watching Binoculars PRICE DETAILS90low8x32356ft1.75 x 4.5 x 4.5
Nikon 8218 Trailblazer Hunting Binoculars PRICE DETAILS85Low10x25342ft4.1 x 1.8 x 4.5
OutNowTech Ultra Compact Folding Binoculars PRICE DETAILS80Low10x25331ft3.6 x 4.9 x 2.5

Our Top Pick Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular Video Review

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular PRICE DETAILS on Amazon

The beauty of these is that they are tiny enough that you can sneak one in, if you want to. These binoculars are also not obtrusive for those that love photography. They won’t be in the way, nor will they feel like a burden/luggage placed on your neck for the entirety of the trip. There are some things that you should look out for to ensure that you get the best compact binoculars on the market and they are as follows.


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How to select the quality compact binocular?

  • Best quality binoculars ever made!

You need to also take note of the build quality. This is more so the case for those that go on adventures and hikes. Along the way you might get some bruises and some hits here and there, so you need binocular that stay intact as you experience all this. If you’re one that doesn’t go on many adventures, then this might not be much of a problem.

  • The Quality of the binocular glasses

We’re not going to say that the higher priced ones are always the best, but they do determine the quality of the glass. In order to provide you with the lowest priced products the manufacturer always has to sacrifice something. In this case, they tend to sacrifice the quality of the glass. This, in turn, reduces the quality of the image that you’ll get as you look through the binoculars. Always keep an eye out for this.

  • Weight of the binoculars? Should select best lightweight binoculars!

Based on the name, these binoculars should be easy to carry around. They shouldn’t feel like a burden to be with. Be sure to have a feel of the binoculars before you buy them as it’ll help you know how they’ll fare as you move around with them.

  • Best brand of binoculars!

We don’t always put the brand as something to look out for, but in this case we shall. In order to ensure that you get the best quality, you need to keep an eye out on the brand. Don’t just go for the name, also check their history and ensure that they are known for making quality products.

The meaning of the best value binoculars Numbers; Magnification and Lens size

When buying a compact binocular, you might notice that there are numbers on them. These numbers do have meaning as they stand for the magnification and the lens size. For instance, if you see 6×10 binoculars. This means that the binoculars have 6x magnification and 10mm lenses. There are different levels of magnification and lens sizes for these binoculars. When it comes to magnification, it depends with what you want, a higher level doesn’t necessarily mean a better view. The higher magnification levels will mean that you get to see far distances and with more detail.

Higher magnification binoculars or Lower magnification binoculars?

The issue with the higher levels are in the form of image stabilization that is you might find it harder to stabilize the image. This is because any small hand shake magnifies the image, thus creating a blurry image. As a rule of thumb always have a tripod for magnification levels higher than 10x. It’s always best to use the compact binoculars with lower magnification levels as they provide a wider field of view and more stable images. This means you can see more and better as well. For normal use a binocular with a magnification power of 6x-10x is best.

What is the best size of binocular lenses?

We need not forget the lens size either as they also play a role. There are large lenses and small to medium size lenses. These top rated binoculars are compact because they have a trade off on the lens size. Before we delve into the size of the lenses for these products, let’s talk more about the different sizes. The larger lenses are better in that they allow more light through them, thus you can get brighter images even in poor lit areas or places with poor lighting.

The trade-off is that the binoculars will be big and heavy. The small to medium size can do the same, but on a relatively smaller scale. The trade-off here is that you won’t get good images as at night comes in or as day breaks. This is in the evening or dusk.

The best Compact binoculars tend to have lenses that are sized between 20mm-36mm. After considering all this, let’s look at the top compact binocular in the market at present.

Top 5 best compact Binoculars review:

You want to buy the best binoculars; right? Check our top 5 compact binoculars list:

  1. Best Cheap Binoculars – OutNowTech compact folding binocular review (Our top pick)

Here is the first pair of binoculars on our list. These binoculars are compact and can fit your pocket when folded. The binoculars are best used by those going hunting or bird watching due to their size. They come with some accessories to aid you such as a case and a cleaning cloth. This makes it easier to carry them and maintain them as well.

Best Cheap Binocular review Check Amazon for Price Details

The binoculars are at 10×25 when it comes to the magnifying power and lens size (more on this later). The binoculars are durable and made to last as the housing is rubberized. The aim of this is to ensure that any impact on the product is absorbed and doesn’t cause too much damage on the binoculars. The downside is that this also makes the rubber coating adds to the weight making them relatively heavy.  Finally, the product is weatherproof, so no worries when it rains or get splashed one as it won’t fog up or leak.

OutNowTech Ultra Compact Binocular Main Features:

  • They are weather proof

The binocular’s body is rubberized thus it makes it water resistant. You don’t need to worry about them getting ruined when rained on or get fogged up as they were made for such conditions. The rubber coating is also what adds to the durability of the product as it absorbs impacts such as bumps.

  • Best Adjustable binocular

The width of the binocular is adjustable thanks to its design. This allows you to adjust it to your eye spacing or your kids eye spacing. Best compact folding binocular review View Current Price on Amazon

In addition to this the eye cups are also comfortable, so you can use them for quite some time without feeling any form of irritation around the eye area.

  • They employ BAK4 roof prisms and a specification of 10×25

As said earlier, the numbers have meaning. In the case of this product it means that they have 10x magnifying power and 25mm size lenses. The lens size means that you won’t be able to see as well during low light conditions, but the magnifying power is great for wide angle viewing. These pairs of binoculars also use BAK-4 glasses which are high density glasses and are one of the best.

Pros

  • They are weatherproof.
  • They are durable.
  • They come with accessories.
  • They are comfortable to use.

Cons

  • They are relatively heavy due to the rubber coating.

Verdict

The OutNow tech ultra-compact binoculars are great for casual use. The magnification power is right on the edge of the scale. The 10x magnifying power is more on the high level, so steadying images might be difficult for some. The rubber coating adds to the weight, but it’s a good thing that accessories like neck strap and a case are included to ease the carrying of this product for the users.

  1. Best roof prism binoculars- Bushnell binocular review

With specifications of 10×42, this pair of binoculars is great for those that want ultra-wide viewing. The specifications give you the capability to view fast moving animals or birds depending on what you’re doing. The Bushnell binoculars use a coating on the lens to make them water repellent. This allows you to use them when it rains without issue of them fogging up. Best roof prism binocular reviews Check Amazon To View Current Pricing & Availability

The magnesium chassis makes them lightweight as well as reliable for use in extreme conditions. The product uses ED prime glass to ensure that you get the best color resolution and contrast without the effects of color fringing. This in addition to the ultra-wide band coating provides you with exceptional optics during use. You can also expect some accessories such as a soft case and a neck strap with the purchase of a pair of these binoculars.

Good binoculars Bushnell Legend Main Features:

  • The lens has a water repellent coating

This feature on this particular product is amazing as the coating is permanent. You don’t need to worry about replacing it or having to walk with a cleaning cloth. Dry nitrogen purging helps protect the lens from fog by removing internal moisture. In addition, the binoculars are O-ring sealed for moisture protection purposes. Thus, it is called the best waterproof binoculars.

  • It has a magnesium chassis

The magnesium chassis used on this pair as a plus they make them durable as well as light. It’s because of the magnesium that they are easy to carry and reliable to use during hiking trips and bird watching.

  • It comes with some accessories

There are some accessories that come with the Bushnell compact binocular. You can expect to get a soft case for carrying the binoculars in and neck strap as well to help make things easier for you when not in use.

  • It has specifications of 10×42

The pair of compact binoculars has a magnifying power of 10x for some awesome viewing and a lens size of 42 mm that ensures you can see better during low light periods such as the evening.

  • It has a locking diopter feature

There is a knob on your binoculars that is known as the diopter adjustments. This knob is adjustable and allows you to compensate for the differences between your eyes. Best Compact Bushnell binocular review Check Amazon for Price Details  
The problem arises when someone accidentally turns it. It can make the binoculars unusable. This feature allows for you to lock this knob as soon as you’re done with the adjustments, which is great.

  • It uses ED prime glass and Wide Band Coatings

These two features work together to give you some amazing viewing. The ED prime glass enables for some awesome color resolution and contrast. On the other hand, the ultra-wide band coating offers you better lighting and true color.

Pros

  • They are light and easy to carry.
  • It offers exceptional viewing .
  • They are easy and comfortable to use.
  • It has excellent build quality.

Cons

  • There are known issues with the eye relief.

Verdict

The Bushnell best compact binoculars are awesome, but people expected a bit more at the price they offer. Some have had issues complaining that the accessories are a bit flimsy and low quality while others have had issues with the build quality. The majority of the users were satisfied with what they got. In our opinion, the pair of binoculars is great and offer quite some good viewing for those into bird watching. They are great, but have some few issues to overcome for those who will use it.

  1. Best binoculars for bird watching – polaris optics binocular reviews

Here’s another pair of compact binoculars that can provide you with an awesome experience. They have specifications of 8×32 that means 8x magnifying power and 32mm lens size. Best binoculars for bird watching Check Price Details on Amazon  
This specification means that you can view at wide angles and that it’s easier to keep the image you’re looking at stable. It also has a non-slip grip and an ergo comfort design that allows you to hold and use the binoculars for extended periods of time.

Main Features of polaris optics:

  • It has specifications of 8×32

This means that it has 8x magnifying power and 32mm lens size. This means you can view images of objects that are further away from you. You also get the advantage of wide angle viewing and more stable images. On top of that, the size of the lens means that more light goes through them and so you can still look at animals/birds, even in poor light conditions/periods such as during the evening.

  • It has a non-slip, ergo comfort grip

The non-slip, ergo comfort grip means that you can hold this pair of binoculars comfortably for extended periods of time without experiencing too much exhaustion.

  • It comes with accessories

These best compact binoculars from Polaris come with a number of accessories compared to the other binoculars. You get a lens cover, nylon mesh carrying case and a cleaning cloth with the binoculars you purchase. Best Lightweight Binocular review Check Amazon for Price Details

Pros

  • They are comfortable to hold.
  • They come with useful accessories.
  • They are lightweight and easy to use.

Cons

  • The pair of binoculars aren’t as well built and can’t endure much abuse.

Verdict

This pair of binoculars from Polaris are great. They can be used in times with low lighting and comes with a number of useful accessories. The only issue is that they can’t take that much abuse. Drop it a few times and you’re bound to ruin some components. But, no doubt that it can be called the best all purpose binoculars.

  1. Nikon binoculars review – Best hunting binocular for the money

One thing we mentioned earlier to look out for when buying a pair of the best compact binoculars is the brand and this product is a solid example of that statement. Nikon has been known for making quality cameras and now binoculars. This company is simply up there and is one of the best and this is reflected with this product as well. The Nikon Trailblazer is made with a sleek design and a light weight body. So that it can be used in almost any terrain. The product also contains some rubber coating to make for an easy and comfortable grip. Nikon binocular review View Current Price on Amazon  
The pair of binoculars come with Nikon’s very own Eco-glass lenses. These glass lenses are free from arsenic and also have a multi-coating and phase correction prisms that ensure better visuals for you.

Nikon trailblazer 10×25 review (main features):

  • It has specifications of 10×25

This pair of binoculars offers a magnifying power of 10x and lens size of 25mm. This makes it great for daylight viewing, but not good during the night time.

  • It comes with an accessory

The user of this product gets a lens cover with the purchase. The cover helps protect the lens when not in use.

  • It has rubber coating and Eco glass optics

The rubber coating ensures comfort when in use and the eco glass lens makes the product better for the environment and adds to the viewing experience.

Pros

  • It offers some quality images.
  • The build of the binocular is solid.
  • The product is light and easy to carry around.

Cons

  • The only issue is with the lens size as it gets harder to see when night time comes.

Verdict

The Nikon Trailblazer Hunting Binoculars are surely among the best in the market. The lens size might become an issue once night time comes but that’s to be expected. The product is truly lightweight and durable. If you’re an environment friendly person, then the eco glass might get your attention as well.

  1. Best budget binoculars – Vortex binocular review

This by far won the top spot for us. They are a pair of binoculars that are made for the customer. This is emphasized with the VIP unconditional lifetime warranty. Optics diamond offers to fix the product at no cost and no questions asked. The specifications of 10×42 mean that you get more magnifying power and a good enough lens size that can be used in poor lighting conditions. In addition, the multi-coated optics and phase corrected prisms also add to the great viewing experience the binoculars provide. Best budget binocular review Check Price Details on Amazon  
These compact binoculars are water and fog proof and also comes with accessories like a lens cover, a rain guard and a neck strap to name a few.

Vortex Optics Diamondback main Features:

  • It has a specification of 10×42

This means that it has a magnifying power of 10x and a lens size of 42mm. The lens size will provide the user with the ability to use the product even in low light conditions. The magnifying power will provide a good balance between image stabilization and wide angle viewing capability.

  • It has multi coated optics and phase corrected prisms

These two features combined help to the viewing experience by bringing out “true” colors and better image quality in terms of resolution and contrast.

  • It’s water and fog proof

The Vortex Optics Diamondback binoculars are meant to be used in almost any environment and so they are made to be water and fog proof. This allows you to use them even when it rains without worries of fogging the lenses or damaging the binoculars.

  • It comes with accessories

There are a number of accessories that come with the pair of binoculars. You get a rain guard, comfortable neck strap and a custom made deluxe carrying case with the purchase. Vortex binocular review Check Latest Price on Amazon  
Pros

  • It comes with useful accessories.
  • It has a solid build to it.
  • It’s durable.

Cons

  • The lens covers are not properly attached and can easily fall off.

Verdict

The Vortex Optics Diamondback compact binoculars is by far one of the best in the market. There are only minor issues with the accessories, but it compensates with what it offers. Clarity in images and a solid build that’s durable. This ensures that you get to enjoy this most powerful compact binoculars for a long time.

Final word

The compact binoculars are awesome to have if you’re a person always on the move and would like to still see objects that are far. Of course, the trade-off as said earlier is in the form of the lens size. If you’re a person that does your viewing at fixed spots, then its best to just use a normal pair of binoculars rather than the compact ones. There are lots of options available like best compact binoculars under 200 or best compact binoculars under 100 or even less like best cheap binoculars under 50. But, buy that binocular which matches with your need.

2 COMMENTS

    • I have tested all 5 binoculars personally. And, I have checked all features and functionality too and thus i listed here. So, all are good and you can buy one of them.
      If you are looking for very high quality binocular then go with Bushnell Legend Ultra HD but if you are looking for cheap but standard quality binocular then go with Nikon trailblazer 10×25.

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