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2020 Guide To The Best Compact Binoculars For Travel
When traveling, you might want to head out into nature and check out the wonder of local landscapes and wildlife. You might also want to check out the historical sights in a particular town or city. However, if you’re going to really get up close and personal, you need a particular piece of kit in your bag – a pair of compact binoculars.
Regular binoculars can be quite cumbersome and aren’t the best for travel. They’re heavy, they’re large, and they take up a considerable amount of space. However, opting for a compact pair means you’re getting the same service, but you don’t have to deal with the size or weight. These types of binoculars are not only lightweight, but they’re also small enough to fit into your carry on bag without any significant problems.
However, knowing which pair to purchase can be difficult, and you need to consider a few different aspects before you make a final decision. In many ways, this is quite a bespoke piece of equipment, so doing your research ahead of time is vital.
To help you out, we’ve reviewed some of the best compact binoculars for travel, to help you make your final decision.
The Best Compact Binoculars For TravelComparison Chart
Click on any heading to sort the table accordingly.
|Apeman 12×25 Binoculars||12x||0.5lb||341 feet|
|Aurosports 10×25 Binoculars||10x||0.75lb||362 feet|
|Bushnell H20 Waterproof/Fog proof||8x||25oz||325 feet|
|Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism Binocular||10x||8.5oz||300 feet|
|Carson 3D 8×32 High Definition Binoculars||8x||1.2lb||392 feet|
|Celestron 71330 Nature DX Compact Binoculars||8x||1.25lb||388 feet|
|Leica BR Ultravid Compact Binocular||8x||8.5oz||-|
|Nikon 7577 Monarch 5||10x||1.35lb||-|
|Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof Binoculars||8x||9.9oz||429 feet|
|Olympus Tracker 12×25 Compact Binoculars||12x||0.62lb||259 feet|
|Skygenius 8×21 Small Binoculars||8x||175g||369 feet|
|Steiner Safari UltraSharp||10x||10.5oz||302 feet|
|Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars||8x||1.57lb||393 feet|
|Wingspan Optics 12×50 Monocular||12x||14oz||246 feet|
|Wingspan Optics Hummingbird Travel Binoculars||8x||15.2oz||362 feet|
|Zeiss Terra ED Compact Pocket Binoculars||8x||310g||390 feet|
Best Compact Binoculars For Travel Reviews
Now let’s get into much more detail about the types of travel binoculars – and help you find the best pair for you!
This particular pair of travel binoculars is an excellent option for anyone on a budget, as they’re relatively low cost but give you a considerable amount of magnification, at 12x. The field of view distance is also quite far, at 341 feet. For anyone who wants to see nature or for concerts, that’s usually more than enough!
The binoculars are lightweight and very compact, so they’ll easily fit into your bag. There is a strap and an included bag to store them in, and the outer is made of non-slip material, so you’re not going to have to deal with slippages if the weather is hot or particularly wet. The lenses are multi-coated and protected against dust and moisture.
Aurosports 10×25 Binoculars
These binoculars are folding, so they’re extremely compact and fit into your bag with ease. They’re also very lightweight, so you won’t even know you’re carrying them. With a high amount of magnification, at 10x, and a large field of view at 362 feet, you’ll be able to see everything you need with ease.
The binoculars have multi-coated lenses, they’re waterproof, and there is an anti-slip grip on the outside. This product is also suitable for children, thanks to the relatively small size and ease of holding, with no slippage. They’re straightforward to use and give great results for bird watching, outdoor events, and even concerts.
Bushnell H20 Waterproof/Fogproof
This particular pair of binoculars might not be as strong as some of the others on the list, but they’re undoubtedly high quality and have several features that make them stand out. The magnification amount is 8x with a 325-foot view. There is a roof prism on these binoculars, so you’re getting a clear vision, and they’re also completely waterproof and fog-free. These binoculars are ideal for heading out in wet or humid weather.
The outer is non-slip and has shock absorbent technology included. The eye cups twist upwards, to help with eye relief and they’re also lightweight and very compact for travel.
Bushnell Powerview 10×25 Compact Folding Roof Prism Binocular
This is another ideal option for occasional users who want to be able to see everything clearly, without having to pay a fortune for it. The magnification amount is 10x, and the binoculars fold down, so they’re not only lightweight but very easy to carry around with you. The outer is also non-slip and easy to grip, so you will be able to use them without any issues.
The eyecups fold downwards, so this helps with avoiding eye strain, and the lenses are fully coated for protection. However, these binoculars are not water or fog proof, so that’s something to consider if you’re heading out into adverse or humid weather.
Carson 3D 8×32 High Definition Binoculars
This set of compact binoculars is effortless to use, with a classic design that is easy to hold and compact to pack away. The only downside is that this is one of the most expensive products we’ve reviewed so far, and therefore probably best for anyone who is serious about their nature spotting!
This particular set of binoculars has an 8x magnification with a 392 field vision distance. The glass is ED, which is designed to give a very sharp and clear view, with a 32mm lens diameter. The product comes with a carry case, neck strap, shoulder strap and lens cloth included, and the outer is non-slip, waterproof and fog-proof.
Celestron 71330 Nature DX Compact Binoculars
This is a high-quality set of binoculars that is very compact and easy to use. The magnification is 8x, and there is a large field of view distance. The outer is waterproof and non-slip, so you can easily hold the binoculars when the weather might be a little damp.
The lenses are malt-coated for better vision, and the eyecups twist upwards for eye relief at 17.5mm. These are a great set of binoculars for bird watchers in particular, but they’re also beneficial for anyone attending concerts, with a sturdy visibility window. They might not have the largest magnification, but they hold steady, so you can see everything in perfect detail.
Kenko 8×32 Ultra View EX OP 8×32 DH II Binoculars
This is a high-quality set of binoculars to consider purchasing for your outdoor endeavors. With an 8x magnifications, these binoculars are very lightweight and easy to pack away, with a professional-grade appearance and construction. The outer is made of durable polycarbonate, and the lenses are multi-coated for high-quality vision.
These binoculars are completely waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about adverse weather, and the outer is made of easy-grip rubber, with twist-up eye caps to avoid problems with vision.
The price may be a little too high for some travellers who aren’t likely to use them too often, however they’re a very high quality purchase regardless.
A pricey option, but a high-quality one; nonetheless, Leica is a big brand name that you can trust. This particular product has an 8x magnification, and it is water-resistant to a high amount. It has eye relief at 15mm, and although it is slightly heavier than some of the other products we’ve reviewed, it is very compact and easy to pack away into your bag.
The lens is designed to cut out any potential stray light that might be around, giving you the best visibility possible. These binoculars are so sharp, they can pick up the tiniest object within the field of vision, even during nighttime hours.
MINOX BV II 62030 BR
This pair of binoculars is ideal for anyone who is looking for a high-quality set, at a low price. The magnification is a standard 8x, with lenses that are designed to cut out glare and give added stability. They’re also very lightweight and compact, easily fitting into one hand and packing away into your bag with ease.
The multi-coated lenses give you the best visibility around, and you can pack your product away when not in use in the included case. There is also a strong strap included with the binoculars, so you can wear them around your neck also. The lenses are fog-proof, and the overall set is waterproof.
Nikon 7577 Monarch 5
Not only for cameras, but Nikon is also a big brand name for binoculars, and that should give you confidence in your purchase. This particular set of binoculars has a magnification to 10x, and it’ a sleek and modern-looking design that is easy to hold, with a rubber grip outer.
The glass is extra-low dispersion, which gives you extra clarity and a sharper view, and it’s also a very lightweight choice, so you can easily hold them in one hand, without any issues. These binoculars are also water and fog proof, with a durable outer, which can withstand moderate impact whilst you’re out and about.
These Nikon binoculars are a seriously impressive product, and they also have a very long field vision distance, at 429 feet and 8x magnification. These binoculars are very lightweight and compact, with a futuristic design and easy-grip outer. Of course, when you purchase a Nikon product, you expect high-quality visibility, and that’s what you’re getting.
The lenses are multi-coated for superior vision, and they’re also waterproof and fog-proof to boot. The outer is rubber armored, so they’re durable and easy to handle in the outdoors, whilst the glass is made of eco-friendly materials, helping you to feel in control of your environmental contributions!
Olympus Tracker 12×25 Compact Binoculars
If you’re looking for a stylish pair of lightweight binoculars, this Olympus product should undoubtedly be on your short-list. From a big named brand, you know you’re getting quality, and you’re also getting a high 12x magnification to be able to spot anything in the distance. The field vision distance is 259 feet, and the outer is made of grip-easy rubbers you’re not likely to drop them if the weather is slightly wet or humid.
The product includes a case and neck strap, and they’re also very easy to pack away into your bag, with a very lightweight design. The eye caps twist upwards for comfort and to give the binoculars a sleek design, with multi-coated lenses for extra quality.
Skygenius 8×21 Small Binoculars
This is a great set of binoculars for many different purposes, but if you’re heading to a show or an outdoor concert and you can’t quite see, these will fit the bill perfectly! Low in price, they’re also ideal for anyone on a budget and have an average magnification of 8x.
These binoculars have a long field vision distance, at 369 feet, allowing you to see even more from your position. They’re also very lightweight and easy to hold in one hand, whilst packing away very easily into your bag. The outer is slip-resistant, and they’re waterproof too. The lenses are multi-coated, and the center focus knob makes it easy for even children to use these binoculars and see far away.
Steiner Safari UltraSharp
You don’t have to be heading off on safari to use these binoculars, but they’re a good choice if you are, with a 10x magnification and a high field vision amount at 302 feet.
The lenses are multi-coated and give fantastic visibility, and there is also fast close to focus technology to ensure that anything close up is also within focus, at 11 feet minimum. The outer is waterproof and also designed to withstand a certain amount of impact. They’re also very lightweight and easy to carry, with a case and neck strap included in your purchase. You can also use these binoculars with glasses, as the eyecups fold downwards.
Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars
If you’re looking for a high-quality set of binoculars at a relatively reasonable price, this is an excellent option to go for. The 8x magnification and 393 feet field view distance are above averaged. They’re also waterproof and fog proof. If you want to see anything close up, you’ll see a close focus amount of just 5 feet, keeping everything in perfect focus.
The overall design is sleek and lightweight, with a non-slip grip, which is easy to hold with just one hand. The eyecups are multi-position and twist upwards if you want to wear them with glasses. There is a dipper on the right eye, which allows you to easily use them if you have focal differences between eyes. Overall this is a high-quality set of binoculars, which are also very durable.
Wingspan Optics 12×50 Monocular
If you prefer a monocular set, then this particular product is one of the most powerful around, with a 12x magnification. You can hold this product in just one hand relatively stable and see whatever you want to with greater clarity. It is also ergonomically designed and has a non-slip outer with a high amount of durability.
This monocular is waterproof and fogproof which makes it the ideal option for heading outdoors during particular wet or even humid weather conditions. For bird watching or nature watering in general, this is a great option to consider.
Wingspan Optics Hummingbird Travel Binoculars
If you’re looking for high quality, well-priced set of binoculars that give you a good amount of visual clarity, this particular set should be on your short-list. They’re fog proof and waterproof and have a 362 field view distance, which is above average for most other binoculars within the same price range. The magnification is also a standard 8x, so you get to see everything you want very quickly!
The binoculars come with neck strap and carrying case, and the lenses are multi-coasted for extra clarity and quality. The outer is also non-slip and the overall casing is lightweight and easy to pack away into your bag.
Zeiss Terra ED Compact Pocket Binoculars
With a field view distance of 390 feet and 8x magnification, these binoculars are a high-quality set that will allow you to view whatever you want quite easily. They’re also quite futuristic in appearance, whilst being compact and very lightweight too.
These binoculars are weatherproof, including water-resistant and fog proof, and they have an easy-grip outer, so you’re not likely to drop them or have them slip in your hand when in use. Ideal for bird watching, concerts, and general nature viewing, these binoculars are a mid-priced range onion for anyone who heads outdoors on a regular basis.
How To Choose The Best Compact Binoculars
In general, you need to consider the following elements before making a purchase.
- Size – The whole point of buying a pair of compact binoculars over a full-sized pair is that you want them to be lightweight and easy to pack.
- Magnification Power – If you want to see everything clearly, you need a pair of binoculars with a good amount of magnification. A general magnification is 8x, which means you can see things eight times closer than you would do otherwise, however, compact binoculars are also available in 10x and 12x also.
- Waterproofing – If you’re heading out into any type of natural habitat, it’s a good idea to look for binoculars that are waterproof treated to reduce the chances of damage or blurring of your image.
- Lens Type And Coating – You’ll notice there are several different lenses and coasting available on binoculars, however multi-coated lenses and low dispersion are good options to go for. This means you’re going to have less sun distraction when looking through the binoculars, giving everything a more natural view.
- Field of View – This is the area through which you can see, so obviously, you want a large field of view with a good amount of magnification. However, the higher the magnification, the more reduced your field of view. This is something to bear in mind.
- Prism Types – There are two main prism types, Porro prism, and roof prism. A pro prism helps to cut out UV rays and gives you a clearer image with more detail. However, a roof prism is another good option, as it doesn’t grab hold of as much natural light, yet may give a slightly less bright image through your binoculars.
- Stability – The more you zoom into something, the more likely it is that you’re going to shake or reduce your vision as a result. Some compact binoculars have stability features built in to help reduce shaking.
- Eye Relief – Some binoculars have built-in eyecups that rotate. These are ideal if you wear glasses because it helps you to focus better and cuts out the chances of eye strain.
- Heat, Dust & Moisture – High-quality binoculars contain protection against heat, dust, and moisture, problems which can occur when out and about in natural habitats. Look for binoculars that can stand a good amount of heat and which are coated to prevent moisture and dust, becoming an issue and causing damage.
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