What are the best binoculars under $100?
Many times, binoculars are one of those items where you get what you pay for. If you purchase $20 binoculars from a big retail store, there is a good chance they’ll come up short in the quality department or simply not have all of the features you want – like clear glass or nice eye relief.
However, it’s obviously impractical to spend thousands on a pair of binoculars. Thankfully, there are thousands of different binoculars on the market today – many of which are both affordable and offer great image quality as well as other desirable features.
Granted, these binoculars may not be military-grade, but they certainly do the trick for hunting, bird watching, sporting events and other low-impact uses.
In an effort to help separate the wheat from the chaff – here’s our list of the best binoculars under $100.
- 【18mm Large Eyepiece Binoculars, Larger Image, Clearer Details】2.25 times the image size of 12mm...
- 【16.5mm Big BAK4 Prism Lens Binoculars, Super Bright, Crisp View】Collect 32% more light than...
- 【Powerful 12x42 Binoculars for Adults with only 1.25lbs.】With only 560g weight, Adasion 12x42mm...
If you are purchasing some basic binoculars for bird watching, this is an excellent choice.
The Adasion 12×24 binoculars are designed specifically for bird watching and offer 12x magnification as well as an 18mm eyepiece for a nice field of view.
They come with a smartphone adapter so you can easily take sharp images of birds just using your iPhone. This is a fantastic feature, as you’re able to document your bird watching experience and bring home snaps to share.
These binoculars also have a multi-coated lens to ensure you get the best picture possible and are both water and fog proof.
- Excellent light transmission with the BAK-4 lens
- 18mm eyepiece provides a great view from the exit pupil
- Works well in low light conditions
- It is best if you purchase a camera mount with these binoculars to eliminate juggling multiple devices at one time
- The lens strap isn’t the most comfortable option out there.
Vortex Optics Raptor 10x32 Binoculars
- 10x magnification and 32mm objective lenses, this Raptor binocular has a wide-angle, porro prism...
- Fully multi-coated lenses transmit bright, crisp images with excellent color fidelity and clarity.
- Eyecups twist up for customizable eye relief while a right eye diopter accomodates for focal...
Vortex Optics produces several high-end binoculars that cost upwards of $300 and their rifle scopes can cost thousands.
However, they now offer the Raptor Porro Prism 10×32 Binoculars as a more affordable option. Despite the budget-friendly price point, these binoculars benefit from Vortex technology and are a great pair of you are looking for an option that packs high-end features into the sub-$100 price point.
These binoculars are waterproof – which makes them great for hunting in humid environments.
Not to mention, they look great with their forest green rubber armor and tactical appearance.
- Bright and clear image when focused properly.
- The green color of the binoculars is great for hunting.
- Has rubber armor to protect the exterior from scratches or dings.
- The eye relief on these binoculars isn’t the best on this list, as you must hold them close to your eye.
- These are best for large targets, as it can be difficult to see objects clearly from over 1,000 yards away according to our testers.
Gosky 10x42 Roof Prism Binoculars
- 【Compact Roof Prism 10x42 Binocular】 10X power magnification and large field of view, specially...
- 【HD Superior Optics】 Best 42mm fully multi-layer coatings green film objective lens and 18mm...
- 【Durable Framework and Rubber Armor】 Its tight fitting protection makes it usable to withstand...
Gosky makes some amazing binoculars, as well as spotting scopes. Their specialization in magnification & optical products means these binoculars pair a very attractive price point with enviable quality.
These binoculars are incredibly clear at 1,000 yards thanks to multi-coated objective lenses.
They also come with a smartphone mount, and they are tripod compatible, which is a great feature.
The Gosky Roof Prism Binoculars are a great pair for their mix of affordability, durability and quality.
- 10x magnification enables you to see small objects like birds from 1,000 yards.
- Ergonomic grip with anti-slip texture ensures solid grip and steady images.
- Shockproof and waterproof for hunting or other fast-paced adventures.
- These binoculars are on the heavier side, which can be a problem for some people who prefer compact binoculars.
- The phone attachment isn’t the best on the market, so that should not be the reason you purchase this pair.
Nikon 8245 Aculon A211 8x42
- ACULON A211 8x42 binoculars are designed to be as light as possible along with excellent ergonomics
- Turn-and-Slide Rubber Eyecups allow for comfortable viewing during extended periods of use
- Made with Aspherical Multicoated Eco-Glass Lenses bright and clear images in most lighting...
The Nikon brand needs no introduction, as it’s one of the largest camera and lens companies around. While it’s easy to get caught up in the features of higher-end Nikon products, they also offer a range of budget-friendly binoculars as well.
The Nikon 8245 Aculon are a fantastic pair of binoculars with multi-coated lenses, a rubber-armoured coating, a Nikon-brand strap and impressively rugged appearance. This choice is perfect for hunting or just trying to spot something at a distance.
Considering Nikon is a high-end brand, these are definitely an amazing deal.
- Nikon is a trusted brand and manufactures fantastic lenses.
- Has an ergonomic grip that is comfortable to hold for long durations, and also comes with a great neck strap.
- The field of view is very wide, which is excellent for viewing scenery.
- Only goes up to 8x magnification, which can be a problem for bird watchers.
- These don’t have any fancy features or accessories like a smartphone mount or auto-focus, but those aren’t truly necessary.
Cayzor 12x42 Binoculars with BAK-4 Prism
- 【Professional Binoculars with Wide Field of View】Cayzor Roof Prism Binoculars designed with 12X...
- 【HD Vision with Quality Optics】 Premium BAK4 Prism and FMC Broadband coating lenses deliver...
- 【Lightweight, portable & Durable】 Lightweight Binoculars is only 1 pounds, easy to carry....
Cayzor is a less-known brand compared to the others on this list, but this company makes some great binoculars.
The Cayzor 12×42 binoculars are incredibly easy to use and focus. This pair offers a rotatable eyepiece that enables you to adjust the eye relief for maximum comfort.
- Suitable for people with glasses thanks to the rotatable rubber eyepieces that add eye relief.
- These are incredibly lightweight and easy to carry around.
- Shock-resistant thanks to the rubber coating around the binoculars.
- You can tell these are cheap binoculars just by the way they feel and move, so you do get what you pay for. But, the quality is high for the price.
- No nitrogen fill, which is fairly standard for high-end binoculars.
What to Know Before Buying Binoculars
Before you purchase your binoculars, you will need to determine the features that are most important to you.
There are hundreds of cheap binoculars on the market – each engineered for different purposes.
If you don’t stop to determine what would make your perfect pair, you may never find the right binoculars, so it pays to think ahead a little.
While budget binoculars often do have fewer features than high-end ones, there are still some important qualities you can use to refine your search.
How will you use them?
There are an infinite number of uses for binoculars. For one, you may use them to go bird watching to spot some beautiful cardinals or blue jays.
For bird watching, you’ll want binoculars with at least 10x magnification. Without 10x magnification, it’s incredibly difficult to spot the little details, so this is an important feature.
On the other hand, if you are using the binoculars to spot bucks in the woods, you will need binoculars that work in different light conditions – be it the shade of a tree or bright sunlight of open field.
You may also want to get binoculars with a neck strap, so you can quickly put the binoculars down and grab your rifle.
Before you purchase your binoculars, be sure you know how you will use them.
Then, think through what you will need from them, whether it be great magnification, image quality, firm grip, or any other feature. Once you have done this, you will be ready to make your decision.
What prism do you prefer?
Another consideration before buying your binoculars is the prism you prefer.
The prism in a binocular is an object made of a transparent material, such as plastic, fluorite, or glass and is typically triangular with no curved sides. In simple terms, prisms make the object you’re looking at appear upright, rather than upside down.
Binoculars either have roof prisms or Porro prisms. A Porro prism binocular uses a series of mirrors to pass the image in a zig-zag across the binocular which can make Porro prism binoculars a little heavier and larger than roof prim options.
There are also different variations of the Porro prism, such as BAK-4 prisms and BK-7 prisms.
Each has a different image quality than the other due to their structure and materials. On the other hand, roof prism binoculars are usually more expensive as they are more compact and lighter.
How durable should they be?
Binoculars come in all different coatings depending on the durability requirements of the customer.
For bird watching or star gazing, you won’t need a highly durable pair of binoculars. However, if you are hunting, you will likely need a rubber armor coating on your binoculars.
A rubberized coating will protect them from scrapes or dents when using the binoculars for more tactical purposes. To ensure the longevity of your binoculars, be sure the material is suitable for your needs.
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