What Are the Best Compact Binoculars for Birding, Hunting, Hiking, Sporting Events, and Travel? Read Our Compact Binoculars Review!
We covered what you need to look for in a pair of compact binoculars in our buying guide below, so let’s see how our recommendations stack up. The ones we have chosen have different price points, to meet different budgets, but they all have one thing in common - their size and weight make them a great choice for birdwatchers, hunters, avid campers, hikers and people on the go.
And we didn’t forget those of you shopping for small binoculars for kids. In addition to ones we mention with our featured reviews, we wanted to highlight some more of our favorites.
Related: 7 Other Less Known Uses Of Binoculars You Need to Know About
Our Top Choice
The Gosky 10x42 Compact HD Binoculars feature an impressive 10x magnification and a 307-feet field of vision. Need a pair of folding compact binoculars? Check out the Gosky Roof Prism System 8 X 32 Waterproof Binocular
. Designed especially for outdoor activities, they feature a FMC Green Film Objective Lens
Gosky BAK4 Prism FMC Lens 10x42 Compact Binocular - HD Professional Binoculars for Bird Watching, Travel, Stargazing, Hunting, Concerts & Sports
Gosky is a growing optics brand in the USA. They manufacture quality binoculars, monoculars, microscope accessories, telescope accessories, spotting scope accessories and spotting scopes. No matter which product it is, they’re committed to providing a high level of customer service whilst providing you with functional, high-quality and affordable products.
The Gosky 10x42 Compact HD Binoculars have an impressive 307-feet (1000 yards) field of view, perfect for outdoor activities like wildlife watching, driving, climbing, hiking and looking at the beautiful scenery around you. It’s also ideal for watching football games, concerts or stage plays where the focus of attention is too far for the naked eye.
Here’s some more awesome features:
- 10x power magnification
- 42mm multi-layer coatings
- Green film objective lens
- 18mm blue film eyepiece
- Constructed with durable, shock-absorbing rubber
- Comes as a bundle with carry bag, strap and cleaning cloth
- Gosky 2017 smartphone adapter for iPhone, Samsung, LG, HTV, Sony etc.
- Compact and lightweight, measures 5.51 x 6.3 x 2.17-inches and weighs 23.88-ounces
The COSBITY 10x32 Folding HD Binoculars have a 10x magnification and impressive 430-feet field of view. Need something even more affordable, that’s the perfect size for both kids and adults? Hontry Waterproof 10x25 Compact Binoculars
provide a viewing field of 362ft at 1000 yds, in high definition without a color-changed or blurred image. And they cost less than 50 bucks!
Ultra HD Compact Folding Roof Prism Binoculars - Lightweight Waterproof Binoculars, BaK-4 prisms
COSBITY is a manufacturer of binoculars, monoculars and, randomly, marshmallow roasting sticks! Then again, if you’re out camping or birdwatching, some roasted smores wouldn’t be the worst thing, right? Their optic products come very highly rated and having all their attention focused on making just a few products functional and durable isn’t a bad thing.
The COSBITY 10x32 Folding HD Binoculars are powerful with an impressive 430-feet field of view. They’re great for sightseeing, hunting, bird watching, watching sports, stargazing and other outdoor activities.
Some more features to enjoy:
- 10x powerful magnification
- 32mm object lens diameter for clear images
- Large BAK-4 prism for minimal distortion
- Fully multi-coated lens elements
- Shock-absorbing rubber casing for protection
- Easy to use and set up
- Fog-proof and water-resistant
- Comes with a carrying case, cleaning cloth and user manual
These aren’t the only binoculars offered by COSBITY. You can also opt for the new release 12x42 HD binoculars or their monoculars too.
The Celestron Nature DX Binoculars are available in a range of magnifications and lens types. They’re all lightweight, compact and feature a BAK-4 prism. You may also like the Outland X Waterproof and Fogproof Compact Binoculars
. Available in black or green, they boast Celestron’s great performance, but at a lower price point.
Celestron Nature DX Compact, Lightweight Binoculars – Waterproof and Fogproof, Twist-up Eyecups, Available in Multiple Sizes
Ever since Tom Johnson launched the game-changing C8, Celestron has been an optics industry leader. With decades of experience, they are continually striving for better, for innovation and for revolutionary technologies. They have three main categories of products; astronomy, sport optics and microscopes.
The Celestron Nature DX Binoculars have been designed for those outdoorsy types. They’ve not only got a durable, shockproof rubber casing, but they’re also waterproof which is great for those who like hunting, wildlife watching or sport watching, no matter the weather.
Here’s some more features you might find interesting:
- BAK-4 prism for better clarity and increased contrast
- Fully multi-coated lens for brighter images
- Focus on objects as close as 6.5-feet away
- Twist-up eyecups with multiple stops
- 17.5mm eye relief
- 8x magnification
- 388-feet field of vision
- Compact and lightweight, 5.3 x 4.9 x 2-inches and 22.2-ounces
Now these are just the features of the 8x42 Nature DX binoculars, but you can also purchase these in a range of specifications from 8x25 all the way up to 12x56.
The AUCEE 10x42 HD Compact Binoculars feature impressive BAK-4 phase coated prisms and ED glass to minimize chromatic aberrations. Need a pair of compact binoculars for kids? Available in 6 vibrant colors, ThinkPeak Kids Compact Binoculars
feature anti-friction, shock-proof rubber coating technology. Unlike other cheap kid’s binoculars, they offer excellent images and are easy to use.
AUCEE 10x42 Professional HD Waterproof Compact Binoculars for Adults - Roof BAK4 Prism Lens Binoculars, Center Focus, Wide Field of View, Adjustable Eyecups
AUCEE is a brand under the Shenzhen City Yi Hong Technology Co. Ltd. Company, founded in 2009. They’re a growing electronic commerce company with ambitions to develop, grow stronger and provide more revolutionary products. AUCEE’s current product range includes trail cameras, binoculars and telescopes.
The AUCEE 10x42 HD Compact Binoculars feature a decent 367-feet viewing range, long enough to spot a bird in flight high above, a deer playing in amongst the trees or an artist singing in a huge stadium. With a powerful 10x magnification, you won’t miss a thing.
Let’s see what other features you can expect:
- BAK-4 phase coated prisms
- 42mm objective lens diameter
- Fully multi-coated lens
- ED glass to minimize chromatic aberrations
- Adjustable eyecups that twist up or down
- Right eye diopter allows you to adjust for differences in each eye
- Waterproof up to 1m for 10 minutes and fog-proof so perfect for outdoor use
- Fibreglass-reinforced polycarbonate body with rubber exterior
- Non-slip grip and flip-down lens caps
If you like the look of these binoculars, you’ll also get a carrying bag, strap and cleaning cloth too.
The SkyGenius 8x Small Compact Binoculars are compact, just 4.14 x 3.62 x 2.35” and they weigh just 22.2-ounces, so they’re perfect for popping in your pocket on the way to the theater or opera. Need a bit more magnification but still have a low budget? The SkyGenius 10x25 Compact Binoculars
might be exactly what you are looking for. At under $25 you get a pair of manual focus binoculars with BK4 Roof Prism FMC Lens.
Skygenius 8x21 Folding Compact Binoculars – Lightweight Small Binoculars, Roof Prism Fully Multi-Coated Lens, Center-Focus Knob
SkyGenius, founded in 2013, is a US-based e-business company. They’ve expanded globally and are now in many countries including Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Russia. Their range of high-quality products includes home supplies, outdoor and sports products, digital electronics and car accessories.
The SkyGenius 8x Small Compact Binoculars are manufactured specifically to be super portable, so they measure just 4.14 x 3.62 x 2.35-inches and weigh just 6.35-ounces. They’ll fit right in your pocket for any trip to the theater, opera, concert, birdwatching, walking or climbing.
There’s more to these binoculars:
- 8x magnification
- BK-7 prism
- Multi FCM green optical coated
- View field of 369-feet
- 16mm eye relief
- Suitable for kids too
- Includes a strap and cleaning cloth
These compact binoculars are available in 8x21, 8x25 or 8x42 specifications, depending on your need.
Best Compact Binocular Buying Guide – What to Look for in Compact Binoculars and Pocket Binoculars for Bird Watching, Hunting, and More!
With binoculars, appreciating that bird from afar without missing any details won’t be a problem anymore. You’ll also be able to see the people and wildlife below when you’re on the peak of a mountain or hill. Hunters can make great use of binoculars to help them determine the best shot to take. If you want, you can even use it to mess around with things right in front of you. Either way, a quality pair of binoculars will make the difference.
The question you will have to ask yourself though is whether you need a pair of full sized binoculars, or whether you would be better off with a compact pair that is easy to carry – and whether you need binoculars that can be used after dark.
- Full Size Binoculars: These binoculars are larger than their compact counterparts but they also more powerful. Full size binoculars are often used by scientists studying wild life and as well as various people who work at sea. They are better at capturing low light and are also great for serious bird watchers.
- Night Vision Binoculars: As the name suggests, these binoculars are best suited for night time activity. They allow you to see clearly in the night time and are quite useful if you’ll be doing most of your watching after the sun has set.
But back to the type at hand: compact binoculars.
Smaller sized binoculars are suited for any outdoor activity like hiking, hunting or back packing, as well as traveling since they are easy to pack and carry – some are even small enough to fit in your pocket. The beauty of compact binoculars is that they’re COMPACT. They are really light compared to full size binoculars. This makes them great for hiking or camping where you have to make smart use of space and weight.
But even just looking within the category of compact binoculars, with so many different options out there, can make it hard to decide which pair of binoculars to get. Although all the binoculars on our list are for adults, there are a lot of brands out there who make binoculars specifically for kids so they can enjoy your favorite past time too. Obuby, ThinkPeak, and LET'S GO! all manufacture great kids binoculars with specific designs to suit them.
Let’s take a look at the factors you need to consider in determining which is the best pair of compact binoculars for your needs.
Video: Everything You Need To Know About Binoculars
All You Need to Know About Binoculars. | Courtesy of goHUNT
People often say you get what you pay for. And this is no exception when it comes to compact binoculars. The price range is very wide – with cheap binoculars available for as low as $10 and high end ones costing thousands of dollars. What you pay will depend upon your personal needs but one thing we know from our research is that if you are serious about actually being able to SEE with you binoculars, you will want to invest in a good quality pair. The ones that we have chosen to feature range from $200 to little over $1000 for the very best.
The feature that’s most notable about compact binoculars is their size and quality. With the advancements in technology, compact binoculars continue to get better and lighter. This is why you need to choose the one that not only fits your budget but that’s also easy to carry without compromising quality.
Construction and Design
A pair of compact binoculars are made more so for traveling and being on the move than anything else. Therefore, when it comes to the actual construction, there are a few key things to consider when buying a pair of compact binoculars as opposed to buying any other type.
- The weight is a main point, just how large and how heavy are the binoculars. Can you manage and handle them well and with ease?
- You also want to consider the accessories which come with it or are available as additional options. Binoculars often come with neck straps and the quality of the neck strap is important. These are on the higher end and will more likely be more comfortable than a poorly made one.
- Image quality is a big factor to consider also. What is size of the lens? What’s the clarity and image quality like? You also need to consider magnification and field of view as well.
- Another thing to look at is a durability and functionality. When you’re outdoors, you’re bound to come into contact with Mother Nature and her never-ending surprises. Therefore when you’re buying a pair of binoculars; you need to consider its resistance to and ability to function in rain or when you’re in a fog. You don’t want anything to mess up the view, do you?
Video: How to Get Crystal Clear Focus with Your Binoculars
How to Focus Your Binoculars. | Courtesy of Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Performance and Ease of Use
When thinking about the performance and the ease of use of your binoculars, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Are they easy to carry and handle?
- Do they truly enhance the view or simply make things bigger but not much clearer?
- Do they work well even in less than ideal conditions?
- Are they more of a nuisance than an asset on a trip?
These things are important to note because when you’re outdoors, you need to ensure your equipment is working with you. Not against you. That way you enjoy your trip and make cherished memories rather than be annoyed because your binoculars won’t work the way you want them to.
Get the Best Compact Binocular of 2023!
If you enjoy backpacking, hiking or going camping then compact binoculars are exactly what you need. Not only are they light and easy to carry but they’ll give you vision you wouldn’t believe and will make your trip all the more memorable. With any of the ones on our short list, you will definitely get your money’s worth
Our Top Choice
Gosky 10x42 HD Roof Prism Compact Binocular
Ultra HD Folding Roof Prism Compact Binoculars
Celestron Nature DX Waterproof Compact Binoculars
AUCEE 10x42 HD Roof Prism Compact Binoculars
SkyGenius 8x21 Small Roof Prism Binoculars
Compact Binocular FAQs
What are the most powerful compact binoculars?
The most powerful compact binoculars have 8x magnification, 42mm objective lens, BAK-4 prism, 17.5mm eye relief, and a wide field of view. If you look on the market, you will likely find compact binoculars that meet most, if not all, of the features above. You only need to check the specifications for each item before purchasing it.
What are the best compact binoculars to buy?
The best compact binoculars to buy are those that you can easily carry on a camping or backpacking trip without worrying about getting weighed down with the weight. It should have a broader objective lens and a wide field of view, enabling you to see detailed images while out there in the field. Check out our review to find a nice selection for your needs.
How to fix the focus knob on compact binoculars?
To fix the focus knob on compact binoculars, you need grease, cotton buds, and a magnifying glass. Open up the focus knob by removing the large-sized screw at the top. Use the earbud to wipe inside the knob, removing dust and other forms of dirt. Use the earbud to apply grease to the focus knob and fasten back the screw once you have applied enough grease.