Best Binocular Reviews 2017

Binoculars come in many different styles and capabilities. There is an entire spectrum of binoculars in which each is designed for a specific purpose that varies in terms of size, strength, durability, clarity, vision and ease of use. We have selected a range of full sized binoculars worth considering for your next adventure.
Watch Our Binocular Review
Overview
PROS
CONS
Our Top Choice
Vortex Viper HD Binoculars – Full Size
A premium quality binocular with great reviews from buyers. Worth the relatively higher price tag.
Compact, lightweight. High density extra low dispersion glass. High resolution and visual color precision. Scratch resistant coating with a non-slip grip.
On the more expensive side. Has a short field of view. No scale in the diopter adjustment.
Best Value
Celestron Nature DX Binoculars - Full Size
The perfect companion for your next adventure trip with its simplistic design and easy to use features. Great binocular for general use.
Tripod Adaptable. Travel friendly and compact. Relatively low priced. Provides bright images in low light environment. Bright, crisp and fully detailed images.
A little on the heavier side. Image blurs when magnified extensively.
Swarovski Optik El 42 Swarovision Binoculars
Ultimate pair of 42mm binoculars with premium optical components and expert technical coatings.
Premium clarity, construction, larger magnification, easy to use and high performance.
Very expensive – but for serious users, well worth it. Comparatively heavier.
Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10x42 Binocular
The binoculars is the best buy in its price range and suitable for a first time purchase.
High quality construction. Very comfortable use. Great quality.
Very heavy. Unsuitable for carrying around the neck.
Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 10x42mm Binoculars
The binoculars have great optics and a sturdy yet light exterior with an excellent price.
Comparatively low priced. Light and Compact. Very steady. Good field of view. Clear and sharp images.
Some reports of loose lens caps and retaining ring.

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Binocular?

A good binocular is a must have for every adventurer. You must to able to find a binocular that suits your activity and preferences that lies within our price range. A good set of binoculars is an investment and usually a one time buy that should be selected for a range of purposes and long lasting durability.

Before choosing a pair of binoculars, the first thing you need to do is make a decision regarding what kind you want, and this decision will be affected by how you will use it. For example, you may want a pair of compact binoculars, maybe even ones that will fit in your pocket, if you are traveling, hiking, hunting or going to sporting events and don’t have a lot of space to carry them. Or, if you will be using your binoculars after dark, you may want a pair of night vision binoculars. If either of these are what you need, we have a great review of 5 of the best for each category.

For the purpose of this review, we are going to be looking at five of great full sized binoculars available on the market, ranging in price from about $175 to $2000. Full size binoculars are designed for people who are serious about being able to see things at a distance. They capture more light, making them perform well in low light locations (but of course not in the dark unless they are also equipped for night vision). They have a wide field of view, which is perfect for bird watching and wildlife viewing. They are also good for using on boats because they can handle the reflection of the water.

Each of the full sized binoculars was selected because of the features that they offer in relation to the price. We also had a “runner up” that we would like to mention. The Vanguard Endeavor ED 1042 is a great lightweight, pair of full sized binoculars that offers good value for your money. When choosing this piece of sports equipment to enhance any adventurous journey you must consider the following factors to ensure you buy a binocular that fulfills your needs.
Price
When buying binoculars, cost can be of great concern because there is quite a difference between the very best high end binoculars, and a those that fall in to the “more affordable” price range. Although cheaper binoculars can get the job done, what is the use of buying a product that only gets the work half done? Not only should the price of the binoculars be considered, its value should be measured as well.

The amount you spend on a great pair of binoculars will depend on your regularity of usage as well as what you will be using them for. Needless to say, the more features offered, as well as the broader range of vision and clarity, will bring up the price. Before buying a binocular you must remember that it is an investment that should last for years so it may be worth spending a little bit more, rather than getting a pair that you will have to replace.
Features
Most customers believe that buying a binocular with the basic function of seeing a long distance seems to suffice. But that is not the case as the durability, strength, design and the extent of the capabilities of the product also matter. Before buying a binocular you have to check if it fulfills your needs.
  • Do you need a waterproof/ fog proof binocular for your marine adventures?
  • Do you need a long range high definition binocular to spot birds from miles away?
  • Is the binocular easy to use and travel with?
  • Does the binocular come with a strap to keep around your body for easy access?
  • Is the visual scope of the night vision binoculars clear enough?
  • Is the full size or compact binocular better suited for you?
You will also want to take a look at the clarity of the glasses, the outer protection of the binoculars and its ability to withstand the entire journey. A binocular can come with many features; it just has to be the perfect combination of all the factors that fulfills your needs.
Construction and Design
One of the first things that you need to consider before buying binoculars is the quality of the lens. Depending on the price, a good binocular comes with anti-chromatic aberration lens which allows the binoculars to focus on all the colors, enhanced aluminum mirror coating or dielectric coating (which increases light reflectivity), anti-reflection and scratch proof water repellent lens.

When you are looking at binoculars, especially if you are a first time buyer, you will see that they are identified with a pair of numbers that let you know the magnification power and lens diameter, for example 10 x 50 (or sometimes 10x 50mm). This is an essential piece of information that will impact whether the binoculars will serve your purpose.
  • Magnification Power: This number tells you how much closer an object will appear as compared to your unassisted eye. In our example, the 10x tells you that a bird that is 200 yards away, will appear as if it were 20 yards away (200 divided by 10). The standard magnification power options are 7, 8 and 10, but you can get ones that are even higher, as well as lower. It is important to note that a higher magnification doesn’t always mean better, depending upon your needs. In general, the larger the magnification, the smaller the field of view. Plus, when you get into magnifications of 12 and up, there is a tendency for hand movements to result in shaky images. For something this high, you may want to use a tripod for steady viewing.
  • Lens Diameter: This number tells you the diameter of the objective lens (the ones at the end opposite side from where you put your eyes) and is important because it affects the amount of light that your binoculars can take in. The bigger the diameter, the more light -- which means you get a brighter viewing image, especially under low light conditions. If you have a pair of binoculars with the same magnification power, the one with the larger diameter will result in more clear images; but again, bigger diameter is not always better, depending upon your needs. The larger the lens, the heavier your binoculars will be.
Another viewing factor to consider is called the field of view– how wide of an area you can see when looking through your binoculars. If your goal is to focus on a small area, it’s okay to go with a pair of binoculars with a lower field of view, but if you want to be able to scan an area, for example looking around for birds, you will need a pair with a wider field of view.

In addition to the features that impact what you see, you will also want to consider the actual make up of your binoculars. To get your money’s worth, the best binoculars should be relatively waterproof, fog proof, able to withstand high pressure, anti-dent sensitive and comparatively light weight. Some binoculars are either metal coated or rubberized to enhance durability. Portable and lightweight binoculars also come with a neck strap.
Performance and Ease of Use
A binocular is not a product that one might need every day if you are not an astronomy enthusiast, marine biologist, safari adventurer or a bird watcher- which is why there is a versatile selection of binoculars manufactured to suit your needs. Therefore, the performance and ease of use depends on the user’s capability to easily understand the functions of the binoculars and ensure its easy maintenance. So, it is important for buyers to understand how easy it is to utilize it.

The bottom line when it comes to how well a pair of binoculars performs will depend upon whether or not you get a pair that is designed for what you want to do with it. For example, someone who is hunting and wants to see just the deer in the distance, might be quite satisfied with a pair of binoculars with low field of vision, but a bird watcher would not be as pleased. That same person might be willing to deal with the additional weight required, but the hunter on the go would most likely prefer a more lightweight pair, maybe even ones that fold when not in use. Ultimately you need to make sure the get the right ones for your preferences.

What is the Best Binocular?

In order to help you choose the best binoculars for your needs, we have narrowed the vast range down to the five that we believe are well worth the money. Let’s see how they stack up in terms of features, construction and performance.
Our Top Choice
We chose the Viper HD Binoculars by Vortex as our top choice because they are lightweight with high definition, color clarifying lens and a strong coating. The Viper HD is one of the more pricier binoculars by Viper but their Diamondback line is a great lower cost alternative.
Viper HD Roof Prism Binocular by Vortex Optics – Lightweight Full Sized Binocular

Vortex Viper HD SWVPR4208HD - 8x42


Features
The Vortex Viper HD binocular is a high end adventure binocular that is durable, multi-featured and easy to use. At the price of $649, the Vortex Viper HD is one of the most coveted and top picked binoculars today.

The following are some of the features you will find in the Vortex Viper HD:
  • XR Fully multi-coated lens to increase light transmission.
  • Dielectric Prism coatings for brighter, clearer and color accurate images.
  • High Density extra low dispersion glass for better resolution.
  • Roof prisms with O-rings to protect against external particles.
  • Rubberized, hard and scratch resistant coating for durability and grip.
Construction and Design
The Vortex Viper HD is a multi- Editors’ Choice award contender and a top pick for many binocular buyers. It has a compact and solid bridge design that enhances its durability and strength. It is relatively lighter in weight as compared to many other full sized binoculars and has a longer eye relief with 20mm. It has a minimum 5.1 foot focusing distance.

The focusing knob feature of the Vortex Viper HD is smooth turning with easy resistance and without any slack. It includes a rain guard, a tethered lens cover, a comfortable neck strap and a padded carry case. The binoculars have adjustable eye cups to accommodate eyeglass wearers and the O-rings prevent dust, debris and moisture from entering the lens. It uses fully multi-coated high density lenses with dielectric prism coatings.

The outside dimensions of these binocularsare5.8 inches in height, 5.3 inches in width and 24.2 ounces in width. It has a magnification of 8x, an eye relief of 20mm, exit pupil of 5.3 mm and the linear filed view of a 1000 feet. The angular field view is 6.6 degrees.
Performance and Ease of Use
The Vortex Viper HD binoculars have excellent performance according to buyers. The clarity of the lens, the high resolution and color accuracy of the images and the durability of the binoculars have enhanced every adventurous journey. The knobs and eye cups are easily adjustable and the comfortable neck support has made any activity easier.

The Viper Vortex does what it’s supposed to do and exceeds all expectations. It is a popular tool to accompany you in wild animal hunting, trekking through the hills, hiking through forests, bird watching and even star gazing. The finesse of the pictures that you can see through the lens is truly excellent.
Best Value
The Celestron Nature DX Binoculars, with a magnification of up to 12 times and a fully waterproof rubber armor, is made for the adventure enthusiast. If you need something in a lower price range, the Celestron LandScout has been voted as best value for the money in many reviews.
Celestron Nature DX Full Size Waterproof Binoculars – Great for Beginners and Experienced

Celestron Nature DX 12x56 - 71336


Features
The Celestron Nature DX can be fully equipped with a Trail Seeker Tripod, Regal Premium Tripod and Binocular Tripod Adapter for sturdy imagery and the perfect animal watching setup. The feature that makes the Celestron Nature DX stand out from many others in the full size binocular category is its strength and durability making is suitable for outdoor activities. The product has great optical features for seeing clear images and its features help enhance the simplicity of the product.

Some of the binoculars’ main features include:
  • Has a close focus of 9.8 feet.
  • Durable rubber armor and polycarbonate housing.
  • Compact, lightweight and very travel friendly.
  • Waterproof, fog proof and nitrogen purged.
  • Bak Porro Prisms with Fully Multi- Coated Optics
Construction and Design
The Celestron Nature DX boast a durable housing that is made by purging it of nitrogen. The rubberized and armored exterior is designed to withstand heavy pressures and the elements in your adventures. The hard and fine texture allows the user to have a good grip on the binocular to make sure that it is not lost during the thrill of the journey. With its durable casing it is also waterproof and fog proof.

This binocular, unlike the LandScout one manufactured by Celestron, uses a polycarbonate housing which is relatively lighter than the aluminum ones. Although the binocular is heavier due to the eye cups and lens. It also has a built-in tripod adapter that can be unscrewed at the dust cap and fastened onto a tripod. The central hinge of the binocular is made to open and close with ease to suit the distance between your eyes.

The Celestron Nature DX also has a smooth rubberized focusing track and a simultaneous diopter adjuster on both sides of the binoculars. These full-sized binoculars use Porro prisms with anti-reflective coatings.Other design features include:
  • Has 12x magnification and 56mm objective lens.
  • Has a close focus of 9.8 feet
  • Built with twist up eye cups with multiple stops to adjust to eye glass wearers.
  • Weighs 36.6 ounces.
  • Has an eye relief of 16mm.
Performance and Ease of Use
The Celestron Nature DX is the binocular that we chose for the best value for your money. It has the features that most users need, at an affordable price. The pair of binoculars get the job done easily and simply. There are no complicated and unnecessary functions to confuse new users. The binoculars give you a clear picture, are easy to adjust and function without complicated controls on the body and is used for one basic purpose – to see beyond our own visual capabilities. This is the most general pair of optical instrument that works to its intent and gets the job done easily.

When we looked at user feedback, overall users were very pleased and got what they expected for the price that they paid. We did find some isolated complaints about the binoculars stating that it was unsuitable for narrow faces, as well as a few people who reported some product malfunctions.
A review of the best binoculars would not be complete without Swarovski Optik, a brand known for premium quality, high end binoculars built for professional use. Available in two different magnifications (8.5 or 10), the El 42 Swarovision line of binoculars is one of the very best that they make.
El 42 Swarovision Binoculars by Swarovski Optik – Long Range Full Size Binoculars

Swarovski El 34108 - 8.5x42


Features
The El 42 Swarovision line of binoculars by Swarovksi Optik is built to impress the most serious kind of users. It is one of the most impressive and multipurpose optical instrument out there. The different variety of features allows this binocular to be the godly one of them all. It has a polished aspect in every factor of this binocular and the buyers splurge on this particular optical instrument because it has what it takes to last for a long time and get the job done with so much clarity and preciseness.

Some of the acclaimed features of the binocular include:
  • Has 4.9 mm exit pupils to produce bright images in low light conditions.
  • Imagery has high clarity and contrast.
  • Has greater eye relief to accommodate people wearing glasses.
  • Has fluoride containing HD lens to minimize color fringing.
  • It has a close focusing distance of 4.9 feet..
Construction and Design
Every feature of the El 42 was created to help you see the world with sheer clarity and precision. These immaculately designed binoculars are perfect for all kinds of uses including hunting, bird watching and even star gazing. With a lens diameter of 42mm, you can choose from either 8 or 10 times magnification (8 x 42 or 10 x 42).

The binocular is designed to endure heavy pressures and even if dropped, it wouldn’t shatter. It comes in a dark green coating that has a good grip. The binoculars have also made it easier for eye glass wearers to use the optical instrument.The binoculars come with corrective lenses that help you see objects with immense clarity and can help you enjoy the entire panoramic view. Its other designs include
  • Has Swaroclean on its outer surface which makes it easy to clean and non-sticky.
  • It weighs 29.5 ounces with the length of 6.3 inches and width of 4.8 inches.
  • It has enhanced coatings to ensure life like color reproduction.
  • It has the field view of 399 feet/1000 yard.
Performance and Ease of Use
The Swarovski Optik El 42 renders excellent performance. It produces razor sharp images with precise range and angle measurement- which is perfect while hunting. The binoculars also helps with ones accuracy and exactitude while bird watching. The Swarovski Optik El 42 performs with ease and zero malfunctions and dissatisfaction. It is truly worth the four digit price tag and for serious binocular users, it lives up to its value. It is an extraordinary binocular that can be functioned very easily. For those that can afford it, there is nothing but rave reviews from users.
With its 10 times magnification, the Nikon MONARCH 5 is the go-to binocular for any outdoor enthusiast. It’s predecessor, the Nikon Action EX Extreme All- Terrain Binocular has similar features at a cheaper price.
Nikon MONARCH 5 Lightweight, Full Sized Binocular - Waterproof and Fogproof

Nikon Model 7577 - 10x42 Magnification


Features
Built for a basic adventure, the Monarch 5 is a great partner for every trip. At the suggested retail price of $329.95 the Binoculars come at a great deal. The variety of excellent features the Monarch 5 offers is the epitome of what a good beginner’s pair of binoculars should come with. Some of its excellent features include.
  • Has smooth and precise focus knobs.
  • Has easy turn and slide rubber eye cups.
  • It is waterproof and fog proof.
  • It utilizes Nikon's high-eye point design to provide a clear field-of-view and long eye-relief.
  • Has a non-slip grip even in the wettest conditions.
  • It is well adjustable for eyeglass wearers.
Construction and Design
The Nikon Monarch 5 is built to withstand heavy weight and has great strength. It is well constructed with meticulous design -- almost a full ounce lighter than its predecessors – great to suit any extreme adventures in both hot and cold regions. With 7.6 x 3.1 x 5.9 inches in physical dimension, and weighing only 21.5 ounces, its compactness is a nice touch for travel.

Some of the most notable design features include:
  • Can focus as close as 8.2 feet.
  • Built with rubber armored coating.
  • Has Dielectric High-Reflective Multilayer Prism coatings.
  • Is Nitrogen filled and has sealed O-rings.
  • Contains Nikon’s premium ED glasses.
  • Has Fully Multi-Coated Eco-Glass Lens.
  • Built with Nikon’s High – eye point design.
  • Has a maximum of x10 magnification and a 42mm objective lens diameter.
Performance and Ease of Use
Known as the “light weight champion of dawn and dusk” the Nikon Monarch 5 has great performance and is very simple to use. It comes with basic functions that any beginner can use with ease during their trip. The smooth and precise turning of the central focusing knobs provides easy eye accommodations for magnification as close as 8.2 feet.

With sharp, high contrast imagery, the binoculars are perfect for night time use and clear cut color differentiation, the new and improved more athletic binocular manufactured by Nikon has high performance. The turn and slide eye cups also function easily which allows the user to easily adjust it to fit to their field of view. Although the Nikon Monarch 5 comes with limited functions it carries out its job with zero difficulties and complex manuals.

Out of 116 customer reviews on Amazon the Nikon MONARCH 5 received 4.8 out of 5 stars with 81% of the reviewers giving the product 5 full stars. With reviews raging about the perfect price value of the binoculars and the excellent accommodation to eyeglass wearers only had isolated reviews regarding the flimsiness of the lens caps, its inability of fit onto the lens and the comparative heaviness.
Lightweight, incredibly clear and comfortable to use, the Leupold BC-1 McKenzie Binoculars come at the great price. Leupold also makes the Yosemite Line, designed for physically smaller users (like your kids) – and they come in lots of cool designs.
BX-1 McKenzie Full Size Binoculars by Leupold - Waterproof, Available in 10x42mm & 8x42mm

Leupold BX-1 McKenzie - #119198


Features
The Leupold Bx- 1 Mckenzieline of binoculars are designed to give clear, sharp and bright images both at dusk and dawn. With a price tag of just under $150, the Leupold Bx -1 Mckenzie offers every feature a basic pair of binoculars should have. With multiple physical features that enhance the use and the high contrasting and clarity of the images, the binoculars are perfectly designed with features such as:
  • Waterproof and fog proof.
  • Smooth focusing.
  • Easily twistable eyecups.
  • Rugged armored coating.
  • Tripod adaptable.
  • Long eye relief.
Construction and Design
With an objective lens diameter of 42mm, this binocular is available in either 8 times or 10 times magnification (8x 42 or 10x 42). Both models are built with a strong outer coating and functions to ensure complete comfort while using the binoculars. One of the things many people love about the McKenzie binoculars is that for a full sized binocular, they are relatively light weight and compact – coming in at just around 22 ounces and 5.8 inches in length.

Some other notable design features include:
  • Has the phase-coated BaK-4 prism
  • Has Fully Multi-Coated Lens.
  • Built with a large, tactile focus dial.
  • Built with great eye relief and twist- up eye cups.
  • Has BaK 4 prisms.
  • Has a diopter focus.
  • It has a close focus distance of 10 feet.
Performance and Ease of Use
The Leupold Bx-1 Mckenzie has excellent performance according to users. The binocular is fairly easy to use and it is very simple to adjust the focus and eye relief of the binoculars to ensure our own comfort. For people using binoculars all day this is one of the best pair to buy. It is light, compact and travel friendly which further enhances the capabilities of the binocular.

The binoculars have the best optics for shooting sports, wildlife observations, military and law enforcement. Its excellent quality supplements its easy to use functions and augments the user’s viewing experience.

When we looked, the overall rating on Amazon for these binoculars was 4.8, with 90% of customers giving it a full five stars. Customers love how well priced the binoculars were and how good the value was compared to its price. The light weight design and good optics with bright and clear images are also a crowd favorite.Among the few critical reviews, the main problem reported was how the lens cap didn’t fit properly and isolated complaints about a loose retaining ring.

Get the Best Binocular of 2017!

Now that you’ve seen a variety of binoculars, all with wonderful user reviews, we hope that this information will help you choose the pair that best suits your needs and budget. We know that any of these would be a great choice.

Our Top Choice
Vortex Viper HD Binoculars – Full Size
Best Value
Celestron Nature DX Binoculars - Full Size
Swarovski Optik El 42 Swarovision Binoculars
Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10x42 Binocular
Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 10x42mm Binoculars