You can buy a pair of binoculars for almost any price these days. If you are a casual tourist, you might be happy with really cheap binos that cost less than $20.
But if you are a serious tourist, a birdwatcher, or someone who needs a pair of binoculars for work, then you might want to spend a bit more.
There are expensive binoculars that can cost as much as $300. But these are intended for highly professional use. For personal or home use, you can get a good pair costing close to $100.
Here goes our list of best binoculars under $100 that you can use on your next hiking or bird watching trip:
|1||Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 42-mm, Black||864 Reviews||Check Price|
|2||Eyeskey Optics 8X42 Professional Waterproof Binoculars with HD Green Films Fully Multi-Coated||163 Reviews||Check Price|
|3||Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8x42 Binocular (Black)||751 Reviews||Check Price|
|4||Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter||2260 Reviews||Check Price|
|5||Olympus 118760 Trooper 10x50 DPS I Binocular (Black)||294 Reviews||Check Price|
5 Best Binoculars Under $100 – 2017
We can confidently say this this pair is one of the best binoculars under $100. This pair is nitrogen sealed so it’s resistant to fog. Also, it’s completely waterproof. The insides have multicoated optics and BaK-4 prisms that offer magnification up to 10 times. Objective diameter is 42mm. Eye relief is 17mm, which is good considering the price range. Close focus distance is 12 feet.
Controls are ergonomically designed. The binoculars have a large center-focus knob that makes adjustments very easy. This pair can be focused really sharply. The product is well collimated (you can check for yourself by shining the sun through them).
We were surprised by how little color aberration this pair had. Zooming had little distortions and objects in the distance look crisp and clear. Also, you can use these binos with or without glasses because the eye relief is so good. The eyepieces had rubber collars, which we found to be a bit hard, especially for prolonged use. But these can be replaced if needed. This bino was also a bit on the heavy side. Other than these minor inconveniences, this product was really impressive for the budget price.
- Good eye relief
- Little color aberration
- No distortions
- Large adjustment knob
- Uncomfortable eyepiece collars
This is a pair of binoculars with roof prisms that can magnify up to 8 times. The objective diameter is 42mm, which is good considering the budget price. The binos are filled and sealed with nitrogen to be waterproof and fog proof. You can use it in the rain too. Controls are really convenient.
The central knob moved smoothly without hitching. The lenses are multicoated with green films, which is great when watching sports, sightseeing, and on safari tours. And the pair is quite lightweight too, so it’s super easy to travel around with.
What we really liked about this pair of binoculars are the user friendly additions. It has twist-up rubber eye cups, and convenient flip down lens caps. On the binocular attachment there is a large “O” ring that allows attachments to be added without scratching the surface.
The knob has a knurled screw that makes manual tightening really easy. There’s a tripod attachment side too with a recessed rubber pad to secure the grip. These are really high-quality perks despite the binos costing little. Our only disappointment was the harness, which was really flimsy and felt very cheap.
- Lots of user-friendly additions
- Green multicoated lens
- Water and fog proof
- Bad harness
This is a really well-built pair of binoculars from a trusted brand. It offers magnification up to 8 times with a 42mm objective diameter. The lenses are Eco-Glass, and are multicoated and aspherical. The advantage here is that you can you can get bright and clear images in almost any lighting conditions except very low light. The central focus knob is really smooth and very easy to focus.
The eye cups are rubber and they can turn. We found the rubber eye cups to be more comfortable than what you typically find in similar products. The binos are wholly covered in a rubber armored coating, which offers a reliable, non-slip grip, even when the exterior or the user’s hands are wet.
This definitely offers a lot for the money. However, the biggest issue with binoculars like this that have porro prisms is the weight. Nikon has made these binos to be as light as possible, but it’s still heavy when using. We also found the color to be a bit disappointed. It could have been better. You may not get sharp resolution, but the images are very clear still.
- Ergonomically designed
- Tough rubber exterior
- Non-slip grip
- Clear images in most lighting conditions
- Some color distortion
This is an amazing budget pair of binoculars that gives magnification up to 15 times (that 50 percent greater than what you would get with a 10×50 pair). It has 70mm objective size, which gives twice as much as light gathering power compared to a 50mm binocular pair.
The neat focus is 43 feet, which surprised us considering the magnification power. It gives 18mm eye relief, so you can use these binos even while wearing eyeglasses. The rubber eyecups can be folded down to accommodate glasses. This is a center focused bino with Porro design BAK-4 prisms. Lenses are only partially multicoated, however. And of course, the binos come with a tripod.
First of all, it’s important to understand that these binos are designed for astronomy (hence the tripod). They are heavy. The larger magnification power also means that the binos have to be mounted for using. The focus is sharp and excellent, but also slow and stiff as well. You can use these binos to view wildlife during
You can use these binos to view wildlife during daytime, but don’t expect quick focus. During daytime, it’s best used to view unmoving objects in the distance. At night, these binos are perfect for star gazing. With the field of view this provides, we could see the entire belt of Orion.
- Superior magnification power
- Good eye relief
- Excellent field of view and objective distance
- Comes with a tripod
- Very heavy
- Intended mainly for astronomy
This is an excellent pair of beginner binoculars for casual users. It offers 10 times magnification. Specs include aspherical optics that provides a largely distortion free view. The lenses are coated to protect viewer’s eyes from UV easy and sun glare. The lenses are also anti-reflective so images appear bright. The focus knob is centered and is very large so it’s easy to turn while using the binos. It gives a wide-angle field of view too. We found these binos to be really easy to use and focus.
We highly recommend this pair to those who use eyeglasses. The eye cups are accommodating of eyeglasses. Typically, when looking through binos while wearing glasses, everything looks a bit fuzzy. We didn’t experience that issue with this pair.
There was excellent clarity even with eyeglasses. It was simply amazing. This binos are highly versatile too. You can use it to look at flying birds far away, or at the starts at night. Images are clear in all ligt conditions and there is not tinting at the edges. There was no color aberration too. It’s really great for casual use. But if you want something for specialized or professional use, this will not suffice.
- Works great with eyeglasses
- Bright images without tinting
- Lenses protect against UV rays
- Very easy to use
- Only for beginner or casual use only
Tips for Buying a Pair of Binoculars for $100
If your budget is only $100, that doesn’t mean you cannot buy a good pair of binoculars that will last. Here are several tips to mind when shopping:
Most budget binoculars have 42mm objective lenses. This is considered full size and you can expect bright images even on gloomy days. These binos are also rather compact and easy to carry. So, look for this specification if you want a casual use pair of binos.
The worth of a binocular pair is not seen only in terms of magnification. More magnification doesn’t mean a better product. You should choose the right magnification power for your needs. The most common magnification for budget binos is 8 (object appear 8 times bigger). These binos also have a good field of view. The more magnification power you get, the narrower the field of view will be.
A pair of binoculars with 8x power is suitable for wildlife watching. For bird watchers who want to look at flying birds, 10x to 12x is recommended.
Binoculars, like Celestron SkyMaster, are suitable for stargazing as well. However, these won’t bring celestial objects closer to you as a telescope will. Rather, these stargazing binos will make the stars appear brighter. You can opt for a higher magnification to see clusters of stars you may not see with the naked eye.
Mind the eye relief specs. It refers to the distance the eyepiece of a binocular would be from your eye. Longer eye relief is recommended as it reduces eye strain. Also, if you wear glasses, you would need a longer eye relief of at least 15mm.