7 Best Binoculars Under $300 (2021 Reviews)

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Updated on by Lyric Fergusson

Binoculars are a great addition to your outdoor gear, whether you boat, birdwatch, wildlife view, hike, or hunt. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there are many to choose from to meet a wide range of preferences. Wondering where to begin looking for your first or next pair of binos that won’t break the bank?

Look no further: we’ve done the research for you, and produced this list of the 7 best binoculars under $300.

 

Best Binoculars Under $300


1. Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 10×42 Binoculars

(Best bang for your buck)

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 10x42 BinocularsWhy it’s great: This new and improved version of the high-quality Diamondback binoculars have been redesigned and are more compact and lightweight than their previous incarnation. They are optimized to deliver exceptional resolution and color fidelity. They are rugged and durable, withstanding impact. They offer rubber armor for a non-slip grip and are tripod adaptable. These binos offer a wide field of view without compromising details. They are also waterproof, which prevents internal fogging of the lenses in all environments, which is a definite plus. The eyecups can accommodate users with or without eyeglasses. They come with straps, a harness, and a case, and the case even has pockets that can hold things like a key or cellphone. Another nice feature is that the pouch opens with an elastic loop rather than velcro, which eliminates unnecessary noise, an appreciable feature for those who prefer not to startle what they are watching.

Specs are as follows:

  • 10x magnification & 42mm objective lenses
  • Interpupillary distance: 55-73 mm
  • Eye Relief: 15 mm
  • Close Focus: 5.0’
  • Field of View: 330’
  • Weight: 21.3 oz

Keep in mind: These binoculars do have noticeable distortion around the edges of the field of view.

Good for: Great for hunting, best bang for your buck

View on Amazon.com ➜
 


2. Steiner 7×50 Marine Binoculars for Adults and Kids

(Best boating binoculars)

Steiner 7x50 Marine Binoculars for Adults and KidsWhy it’s great: Steiner is world-renowned for their legendary durability and quality in binoculars. This pair delivers unmatched clarity and sports-auto-focus, which keeps everything in focus from close range to the depths of its range. Its all-weather reliability makes it waterproof and fog-resistant. Its unrivaled toughness can withstand drops, impact, and shock without damage. They have superb optics and are fantastic to use from dawn till dusk. It comes with a carrying case, neck strap, lens protection cap, and objective lens covers, and of course, Steiner’s generous lifetime warranty: no warranty card or receipt needed, and fully transferable to future owners of the product!

Specs are as follows:

  • 7x magnification & 50mm objective lenses
  • Eye Relief: 20mm
  • Close Focus: 20 yards
  • Field of View: 354’
  • Weight: 36.3 oz

Keep in mind: There is some image distortion near the edge of the field of view. These are also a little bulky and heavy, weighing in at a little over 2 pounds. Also worth noting, these are not recommended for close-range viewing, with a close focus of 20 yards.

Good for: The perfect pair of quality, water-going binoculars for recreational boaters, sailors and anglers.

View on Amazon.com ➜
 


3. Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10×42 Binocular

(Best go to pair — $$$)

Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10x42 BinocularWhy it’s great: These binoculars are the go-to for any outdoor enthusiast. The Monarch 5 delivers sharp, clear images thanks to Nikon’s premium ED glass lenses and weighs in at almost an ounce lighter than its predecessor, making it ideal for all your outdoor wildlife excursions. This user-friendly model has a smooth central focus knob, flip-down lens caps, fast focus, and great eye relief even for those who wear glasses. The Monarch 5 is durable and sturdy, as well as waterproof and fog proof.

Specs are as follows:

  • 10x magnification & 42mm objective lenses
  • Eye Relief: 18.4mm
  • Close Focus: 7.8’
  • Field of View: 288’
  • Weight: 21.6 oz

Keep in mind: Many buyers have reported problems with the lens caps not fitting properly, many buyers report problems with the lens caps, not fitting properly and falling off or breaking.

Good for: Great for bird and wildlife viewing, and really any outdoor adventure, especially if keeping weight to a minimum is high on your list.

View on Amazon.com ➜
 


4. Athlon Optics Midas Roof Prism UHD 8×42 Binoculars

(Best quality birding binos)

Athlon Optics Midas Roof Prism UHD 8x42 BinocularsWhy it’s great: The Athlon Optics Midas binoculars provide clear, sharp images in accurate color display, making these an excellent companion for birding. They provide excellent ergonomics, close focus and low light performance. An exceptional field of view range of 426’ and generous long eye relief give this pair an advantage over its competitors. They have a protective coating to keep it free from dirt, debris, and scratches, and are argon purged to provide better waterproofing and thermal stability.

Specs are as follows:

  • 8x magnification & 42mm objective lenses
  • Interpupillary distance: 57-74mm
  • Eye Relief: 17.2mm
  • Close Focus: 6.5’
  • Field of View: 426’
  • Weight: 23.3 oz

Keep in mind: Many users report that the close focus range is off, coming in at just under 3 meters rather than the 2 meters stated in the specs. Buyer beware: check your close focus range upon receiving these. They should replace if the pair you receive is for some reason off.

Good for: Birdwatching

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5. Nikon 8252 ACULON A211 10-22×50 Zoom Binocular

(Best beginner binos — $)

Nikon 8252 ACULON A211 10-22x50 Zoom BinocularWhy it’s great: This is a great pair of beginner binoculars that feature an adjustable 10-22 power focus. They deliver bright, clear images in nearly all lighting conditions, working well from dawn till dusk, providing quality at an affordable price. This pair is built to provide a comfortable, ergonomic, and lightweight body design, making them easy to carry and use all day long. Coated with durable rubber to provide a no-slip grip, they can stand up to nearly any environment you explore. An easy to reach zoom control knob makes it easy for anyone to adjust the magnification, while easily adjustable rubber eyecups provide comfortable viewing all day long, even if you wear glasses.

Specs are as follows:

  • 10-22x magnification & 50mm objective lenses
  • Interpulpillary distance: 56-72mm
  • Eye Relief: 8.6mm
  • Close Focus: 49’
  • Field of View: 199’
  • Weight: 33.9 oz

Keep in mind: Close range is 49 feet – these are not the best for backyard birding or home use.

Good for: Beginners and those who prefer to watch from a greater distance

View on Amazon.com ➜
 


6. Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8×42 Binocular

(Best low light binos — $$)

Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8x42 BinocularWhy it’s great: This Monarch 5 model 7576 elevates its superior performance with improved agility, even lighter weight, and advanced low light brilliance. Waterproof and fog proof, and coated with rubber armor, these will withstand nearly any environment you choose to explore. This pair is equipped with user friendly feathers such as turn and slide rubber eyecups, smooth central focus knob, and flip down lens cap.

Specs are as follows:

  • 8x magnification & 42mm objective lenses
  • Eye Relief: 19.5mm
  • Close Focus: 7.8’
  • Field of View: 330’
  • Weight: 20.8 oz

Keep in mind: Many buyers feel that the close focus is rather poor, although most agree that these are overall spectacular, especially for birding and wildlife viewing.

Good for: Low-light viewing, specifically dawn and dusk.

View on Amazon.com ➜
 


7. BOOVV Night Vision Binoculars with 32 GB Memory Card

(Best night vision binos — $)

BOOVV Night Vision Binoculars with 32 GB Memory CardWhy it’s great: These night vision binoculars provide high performance night vision with a 4x digital zoom and 3x optical zoom. It offers a long distance range of up to 984’ in complete darkness with its 7 gears of infrared adjustment options. It can also be used in the daytime. Equipped with a 32GB memory card, this device also records and stores photos and videos. It has a 2.31” wide viewing screen for ease of use and a battery life long enough to last several days of hunting or exploring. It also comes with a backpack, neck strap, 32GB storage card, data cable, and cleaning cloth.

Keep in mind: Requires 6 x 1.5V AA batteries which are not included, and is on the heavy/bulky side.

Good for: Night viewing and recording

View on Amazon.com ➜
 


FAQs about binoculars


1. What do the numbers (specs) on binoculars mean?

Model numbers on binoculars tell you their strength, or magnification power, and size of the objective lens diameter, in millimeters. In 8×42 binoculars, “8” is the magnification power and “42” is the diameter in millimeter) of the objective lenses.


2. What is the difference between 8-power and 10-power binoculars?

8-power binoculars offer a wider field of view, an important feature you will want if your main objective is birdwatching or stargazing, or scanning the horizon. 10-power offers a closer, more detailed view, ideal for when you want to observe wildlife up close.


3. What features are important to consider when shopping for binoculars?

Size and weight are important, as are optics and protective features like rubber coating, as well as waterproof and fog-proof construction. Other factors include whether or not the binoculars are tripod adaptable, what kinds of light conditions they work best in, and their intended use.


4. How do I choose binoculars for birding?

If you want binoculars for birding, a pair of binoculars with a wider field of view will be more useful to you in locating birds.


5. How do I choose binoculars for backpacking and hiking?

You will want to especially consider weight and size when choosing binoculars for backpacking and hiking, as well as ease of use and comfort of wear. Other factors to consider would be durability (are they coated with rubber for protection?) and water/weatherproofing (will they hold up to any elements to which they might be exposed?). Always read the specs when shopping for binoculars.


Conclusion


When it comes to finding the right pair of binoculars for your needs, you shouldn’t have to hunt high and low for them, nor should you have to spend all the money. Whether you’re an avid birder, boater, skilled hunter, or just a casual observer of nature and wildlife, there is a quality, affordable pair of binoculars for you.

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