Best Light Weight Binoculars For Long Ranges

You need a pair of binoculars, so you have been looking around a bit. But it is hard to pin down which brand offers the best compact long-range binoculars because there are so many options to choose from.

We have you covered – we have gone through the myriad of options and come up with the best lightweight binoculars currently available. We scored in terms of value for money as well as quality, so these options will not break the bank.

compact binoculars for long range

​Zeiss

​SkyGenius

​Celestron

​Wingspan

Zeiss 10x25 Terra ED
SkyGenius 8x21 Small Binoculars
Celestron 71402
Wingspan Optics

​Best For

​Power

​Concerts or Sight Seeing

​Wildlife Viewing or Safari

​Whale Watching

​Waterproof

Yes

​No

Yes

Yes

​Field of View

​Excellent

​Adequate

Excellent

Excellent

Magnification

10X

8X

8X

8X

Fog-proof

Yes

​No

Yes

Yes

Dirtproof

Yes

​No

Yes

​No

Shockproof

Yes

​No

Yes

Yes

​Warranty

Unclear

Unclear

Limited lifetime

Limited lifetime

Best Compact Powerful Binoculars

Zeiss 10x25 Terra ED

Zeiss offers exceptional quality. These are the most expensive option reviewed, but they still fall in the mid-range when it comes to pricing in general.

They offer 10x magnification and a 54-degree apparent field of view. They stand up well to extremes of temperature ranging from -4 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros

  • Excellent results. The picture is clear, and the contrast is excellent. Color fidelity is high.
  • Convenient focus wheel location makes it easy to change the focus when necessary. Great if the scene you want to see changes quickly.
  • Excellent to use out of doors.
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    Lightweight and compact. Can be folded and weighs next to nothing.
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    Rugged and durable.
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    Works in a range of climates – so stand up well to humidity and also the cold.

Cons

  • Not great if you are on a tight budget.

​Best Small Binoculars for Concerts or Sight Seeing

SkyGenius 8x21 Small Binoculars

These are positively tiny, but they pack quite a wallop. When folded they will easily fit in your pocket or a lady's purse. Don't let the size fool you, though. The field of view is slightly restricted but is not bad at 369 feet, and the objective diameter of the lenses is 21 mm.

The price is also extremely attractive making these ideal as a starter set or to take out and about to concerts. The multicoated optics offer and BK7 roof prism allow for highly clear images.

Adjustment is easily accomplished and simple enough for a child to manage. These are an excellent set to kit the family out with before the annual vacation – you can buy each person a pair of their own.

Pros

  • Price is low.
  • Nice and compact – when folded will fit in the palm of your hand.
  • Easy to adjust.

Cons

  • Not as durable as the more expensive sets so better suited to older children.

​Best Compact Binoculars for Wildlife Viewing or Safari

Celestron 71402

​If you are out on safari or viewing wildlife, you need to take road conditions into account. If the road conditions are especially bad, you will want something that will hold up to the bumps. These offer a rugged construction and excellent optics.

Pros

  • ​8x magnification.
  • ​The frame is lightweight and durable.
  • ​Coatings allow for better views and higher resolution even in poor lighting conditions.
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    ​Close focus feature allows you to zoom in on something up close as well.
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    ​Comes with a great range of accessories, including an innovative rain guard. Which, as the binoculars are weatherproof may seem a little redundant, until you realize that it helps keep the lens clear of raindrops. Got to say, it is a small, seemingly insignificant feature but it does create quite an impact.
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    ​Fully weatherproof and shock resistant.
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    ​High-quality lenses and top range coatings.
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    ​Not badly priced

Cons

​Best Compact Binoculars for Whale Watching

Wingspan Optics

Watching whales is an extremely relaxing experience, but you do need a set of binoculars that offer a good range and ones that allow you to quickly change your field of focus.

These glasses from Wingspan give an ultra-high definition pic, specially designed for outdoor pursuits like whale and bird watching. What I like about these is that they are fairly versatile – they will work equally well when camping or for a day at the beach.

Pros

  • ​Excellent field of view means that you catch all the action and can quickly and easily change your focus.
  • ​High-quality optics provide excellent image and reduce glare.
  • ​Excellent in all weather conditions – even when lighting is less than optimal.
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    ​8x magnification.
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    ​Close focus feature makes it possible to zone right in on the finest details. A great feature especially if you are whale watching from the shore. (They can be very difficult to spot otherwise.)
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    ​Completely weather-proof, dustproof and shockproof.
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    Limited lifetime warranty.
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    30-day money back guarantee. If for any reason you aren’t happy, return them for a full refund, no questions asked.

Cons

  • ​A little on the heavier side.
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    ​Getting the focus right takes some practice.

Of all the sets, the Zeiss came out tops in terms of all-round versatility. They are an excellent brand and, though priced a bit more than the others, are worth the extra cost.

Coming a very close second was the Celestron. It rates the best for outdoor use and comes with some really innovative features. The close focus feature is just one example of how innovative the company is.

Oh, and did I mention the rain guard accessory? (Okay, yes, that really made my day.) The only caveat I would give when it comes to the Celestron is to check your measurements to ensure that it will be a comfortable fit.

Is it worth shelling out the extra for either the Zeiss or the Celestron when you have the relatively inexpensive SkyGenius to consider? That depends on what you plan to use the glasses for. The SkyGenius is most definitely an indoor set and so not really as suited to outdoor use.

However, if you want something to get your kids into the spirit of things, it is a perfectly acceptable, affordable alternative.

Features To Look For When Selecting Best Compact Binoculars !

features for top compact binoculars

When it comes to choosing binoculars, it makes sense to give the choice some serious thought. If you choose correctly, the binoculars will give you many hours of viewing pleasure. Here are our top things to look in compact binoculars.

Set Your Budget

Ah, the dreaded “B” word. It is, however, extremely important to decide first of all how much you can afford to pay and then how much you are willing to pay. Prices for binoculars range from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars.

Set yourself a price limit upfront so that you don't get carried away when choosing your set in the end. It is always advisable to get the best pair that you can afford, but it is common sense to also factor in the cost-per-use.

Is it worth paying $800 or $900 for something that you will only use once a year? On the other hand, how long is a $20 pair likely to last if you are using it every day? Generally speaking, the more you are going to use the set, the more it makes sense to pay more.

That said, you do not have to start with a top of the range model either. You can get some pretty good options at lower prices. They may not have as many features, but they will work well.

What Magnification?

Again, this is going to depend on what you plan to use the glasses for. At first glance, you would think that the highest magnification is best, but you need to remember that the higher the magnification is, the narrower the field of view would be.

So, at 10x magnification, you will be able to see further, but you will not be able to fit in as much of the scene as you would at 8x.

If you are planning to use the binoculars for over short distances, it makes more sense to choose a lower magnification. Say, for example, you want to use them at the opera. A lower, 4x or 6x magnification would make better sense because you would see more of the stage.

How Weatherproof is It?

This again depends on where you are planning to use the set. If it is as opera glasses, weatherproofing doesn’t matter. If, however, you are on a hike in the middle of a downpour, it does.

Nikon or Canon?

By this, I mean that age-old debate amongst photographers. Those that love Canon will swear up and down it is best. Those that love Nikon feel the same way about Nikon. Be prepared to try a few models of binoculars to see what fits you best.

What Eye Relief Do They Have?

This is important if you wear prescription eyeglasses or if you might be using sunglasses with the set. The eye relief make is possible to still see the full picture without having to worry about seeing the rings of the binoculars getting in the way.

Check out this useful article on Wikipedia for more information in this regard.

What are the Features?

As mentioned above, the more expensive models tend to have a range of different features. Don’t be bowled over by the number of features but focus on how useful they will be to you instead.

When it comes to choosing the right set of binoculars, your best approach is to consider your options carefully. Do some research into who manufactures the glasses, what their reputation is and think about how useful they will be. Don’t rush this important decision.

Related Articles

Best Compact Binoculars for Sports and Events

So many binoculars to choose from, and so little time. How does one decide which are the best compact binoculars to buy? Do you look for magnification power, or do you focus more on durability?

Is the brand important or do you focus more on price? In this review, we help you narrow down the best compact binoculars for sports and events.

Whether it is the best lightweight 8x42 binoculars or the best compact 10x25 binoculars you are looking for,

We have narrowed it down to the best of the best for every event. Read on to find the best glasses for the opera or what you should use when watching a game of football.

Sporting binoculars

​Bushnell

​Zeiss

​Nikon

​Swarovski

Bushnell Xtra-Wide
Zeiss 10x42 Conquest HD Binocular
Nikon 16031 Prostaff 3S
Swarovski CL Pocket

​Best For

​The Theater

​Backpacking

​Alaska

​Football

​Waterproof

​No

Yes

Yes

Yes

​Field of View

Limited

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

Magnification

​4X

10X

10X

10X

Fog-proof

​No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Dirtproof

​No

Yes

Yes

​No

Shockproof

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

​Warranty

​Unclear

Unclear

Limited lifetime

Unclear

​Best Compact Binoculars for Theater

These do not look like your standard set of binoculars. They do, in fact, look like the ugly stepsister – short and squat. But don’t let that put you off. If you are going to the theater or the opera, you want the maximum field of view possible.

And that is what you will get with this set. The increased field of view more than makes up for the lower magnification – after all, when you are watching a Broadway production, you want to see all the details, rather than feeling as though the actors are sitting on your lap.

The glasses come in at a very favorable price and have a special coating to maximum brightness, ideal for the lighting in a theatre.

Bushnell has a very well-established name in the industry and so have added some convenient features for this set. It is focused more on indoor, or light use, though. It is not mountable and not waterproof, so it is not a very versatile choice.

That said, with the price being relatively low, this specificity is not that much of an issue.

Pros

  • Superior field of vision – you see the whole stage.
  • The price is good.
  • Excellent quality visuals and excellent brightness.
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    Eyecups fold-down.
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    Focus-free allowing you to keep track of the action.

Cons

  • You are not able to set the focus.
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    ​The magnification is not as high as on standard binoculars. It is perfect for the theater and for when you want to watch things that are closer, but not for items at a long distance.
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    ​Not mountable.

​Best Compact Binoculars for Backpacking

Zeiss 10x42 Conquest HD Binocular

Zeiss is another great name in the industry and features top-class German design and manufacturing.

The design is lightweight and rugged, making it an ideal companion for backpacking. The glasses have been ergonomically designed so that you get the best out of them on the field.

Pros

  • 10x magnification.
  • They will withstand extreme temperatures with a temperature range of between -68 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Feature LotuTec coating to make them waterproof up to 400 mbar.
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    HD clarity and superior twilight light transmission mean that you always get the optimal view, no matter the conditions.
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    Eyecups rotate and lock making it possible to accommodate prescription glasses or sunglasses.
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    An impressive field of view. Read more about field of view here.​​Read more about field of view here.

Cons

  • The high price.

​Best Compact Binoculars for Alaska Cruise

A trip to Alaska can be a once in a lifetime experience. It is one of the few remaining unspoiled wildernesses available to us. That means that you need a good quality set of binoculars so that you can have the best experience.

This set is exceptional because it has an apparent angle of view of 63 degrees. It is quite in a class of its own in this respect. This is especially useful on a cruise to offset the disorientation that might accompany viewing and motion-sickness.

Pros

  • The lenses allow in the maximum amount of light so you can see in even in adverse weather.
  • The lenses allow in the maximum amount of light so you can see in even in adverse weather.
  • The design is rugged, waterproof and dust-proof.
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    This set will stand up to extremes of temperature – perfect for your trip to Alaska or a sunny day in Miami.
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    The price is good – it is on the very low side of mid-range pricing. Considering the features, you are getting; this is exceptional value.

Cons

  • The lens caps are not great and are prone to falling off.

​Best Compact Binoculars for Football Games

Swarovski is better associated with jewels, but the name is appropriate in this case for this gem of a set. They are in the upper price range, but they are of top-quality design and so convenient.

Enjoy the football game in true to life colors and high contrast. The HD lenses make it possible to really feel as though you are out on the field with the players.

When the game is over, just fold them up and put them in your pocket – it doesn’t get more convenient.

Pros

  • 10x magnification.
  • Fantastic quality lenses that make a visible difference to your viewing experience.
  • Ergonomic design.
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    Durable – will take a bit of a tussle if the football fans get out of hand and will last a lifetime.
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    Twist-in eyecups make it possible to be comfortable even if you wear sunglasses or prescription glasses.
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    ​The eyecups are made using a material that is hypoallergenic.

Cons

  • This is in the higher price range.

When it comes to the best of the binoculars that we have reviewed here, it is hard to choose a favorite. The Nikon is great value for money and perfect as a starter set.

The Zeiss and the Swarovski are about the same price and offer fairly similar features and the same high-precision European manufacture. They are perfect for the enthusiast who wants more out of their binoculars.

If you are looking for a general, affordable pair of glasses, the Nikon wins on sheer versatility. But don’t count out the Bushnell’s if you are an avid theater-lover. They offer a lot of punch for the price.

Outdoor Enthusiast And Compact Binoculars ! A Long Lasting Relationship

When it comes to enjoying the outdoors, the right pair of binoculars makes a huge difference. Whether it is looking for wildlife, or getting a closer look at the upcoming terrain, a great set of binoculars can make the experience a lot more enjoyable.

But there are a lot of choices on the market. How do you get the best deals on compact binoculars when there are so many options out there?

To help you narrow down your options, and find the best possible fit for you, we have compiled this list of the best compact binoculars for the outdoor enthusiast.

Whether you are looking for the best lightweight hiking binoculars or the best small hunting binoculars, we have you covered.

We’ve started off with a basic summary of the main points for you if you are in a rush. If you have a little more time on your hands, the full reviews are below the table.

Leica

Zeiss

Carson

​Nikon

Leica Ultravid
Zeiss 8x25 Terra ED Compact
Carson 3D Series
Nikon Prostaff 7s

​Best For

Birding

Hunting

Hiking

​Safari

​Waterproof

Up to 16.5 ft

Yes

Yes

Yes

​Field of View

Limited

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

Magnification

8X

8X

​Yes

Yes

Fog-proof

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Dirtproof

Yes

Yes

Yes

​No

Shockproof

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

​Warranty

Limited lifetime

Unclear

​Full Guarantee

Limited lifetime

Best Compact Binoculars For Birding

Leica Ultravid

If you are a true birder at heart, the chase is part of the excitement. You don’t want to miss crossing a single bird off the list if you can help it. And this means having the best compact binoculars on the market.

Leica has established a reputation for excellence. They are on the higher side when it comes to price, but you know that these binoculars will last a lifetime.

Also, when it comes to compact binoculars, these take some beating. Many brands claim to offer a compact option; this brand delivers exceptionally well.

Pros

  • ​Magnification of 8x
  • ​Front lens diameter is 20mm
  • ​Easy to focus
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    ​Waterproof in 16.5 feet of water
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    ​Design keeps out dust and fog
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    Excellent clarity and contrast
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    ​Lightweight and truly compact
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    ​Multi-coated

Cons

  • ​Field of view is more limited
  • ​The price is quite high

​Best Compact Binoculars For Hunting

Zeiss 8x25 Terra ED Compact

These come in as both the best compact binoculars for deer hunting and the best compact binoculars for bowhunting. When you are out hunting, you want binoculars that are not going to weigh you down. You want a set that you can carry easily and that helps you spot elusive quarry.

The set is really compact and lightweight. They offer reliable performance under extreme conditions. They will resist up to 100 mbar of pressure and a temperature range of -4 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros

  • Rugged and durable
  • Well-suited to outdoor use even in extreme conditions.
  • The focus wheel is conveniently located.
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    Folds easily when not in use for ease of transportation and storage.
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    SCHOTT ED lenses that have a coating to repel water make them ideal for use in humid conditions.

Cons

  • ​You have to buy the case separately, but this might not be such a bad thing anyway. I would rather have to pay for a decent case than get some cheap rubbish that needs to be replaced anyway.

​Best Compact Binoculars For Hiking

Carson 3D Series

​This is a well-known brand that scores high marks for having one of the best warranties in the United States. These qualify as the best compact tactical binoculars overall and so will be an excellent choice for hikers.

Pros

  • Highly durable, rubberized outside to protect lenses and provide a firm grip.
  • Longer Eye Relief: This helps makes these a lot more comfortable if you need to wear prescription glasses or sunglasses.
  • HD optics with ED glass lenses give these a crystal clear picture and high color fidelity.
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    Comes with a good case that ensures that the lenses are protected from the worst knocks during hiking. The glasses come with both a shoulder harness and comfortable neck strap.
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    A nice wide field of vision with.
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    ​Easily mounted on a tripod.
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    ​The guarantee is outstanding. If the binoculars break for any reason, you can send them in to be repaired or replaced. Even if it was your fault, the company would assist.

Cons

  • ​Not as adjustable when it comes to inter-pupillary distance. Read more about this concept here.

​Best Compact Binoculars For Safari

Nikon Prostaff 7s

When you are on safari, you want a set of binoculars that is lightweight enough that you can hold them up all day. You want comfort and a set that allows you the best field of view and clarity.

With the Prostaff, you get all those things and also the knowledge that you are dealing with one of the finest companies when it comes to optics.

Pros

  • The eyecups are adjustable so that you can use the set when wearing glasses or sunglasses.
  • Good, non-slip surface and easy to grip.
  • Durable, shock-proof and weatherproof.
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    Limited lifetime warranty.
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    Brilliant color fidelity and clarity.

Cons

  • ​The lens covers seem cheap.

​Best Compact Binoculars For Bird Watching

So, if you have not quite graduated to the classification of Birder, yet but do like to watch birds from time to time, which of these are the best option for you? The Leica are an excellent choice, but what if you do not have the budget for them?

The title of best overall compact binoculars would go to the Carson set. These offer great value for money, and the guarantee takes a lot of beating. Add in the crystal clear optics and the housing, and you have a winner. 

And, as if that wasn’t enough, you get a shoulder holster with it. What better way to go bird watching and ensure that you are fully packed at the same time. It’s the ideal solution for the quick draw watcher.

That said, you can buy any of the sets that we have reviewed here today with confidence. All the companies have long experience in the industry and have established a reputation for excellence.

Here Are Some Relevent Articles To Compact Binoculars

Looking for Best Price on your Compact Binoculars?

compact binoculars for the money

When buying a set of binoculars, you want to get a set that is nice and compact, and that will not break the bank. In this review, we will look at the top four best compact binoculars for the money. To make our list, the choices had to offer a combination of quality and value.

So, without further ado, let’s see the best lightweight waterproof binoculars 2018.

Best Compact Binoculars Under 100

Leupold Rogue Compact Porro

Leupold Rogue 8x25mm Compact Porro

The top the list of the best value compact binoculars in the under $100 category. This is proof that dynamite can come in small packages. It features the same features of the full-size Rogue presented into a package the size of your palm.

The lenses are strong and multi-coated to ensure that you get a good picture and excellent contrast. Features the Porro prism inverted design for to reduce the size and weight.

Pros

Cons

Rugged

The adjustment knob is quite stiff initially.

Good Quality

Water Proof With Lifetime Warranty

Best Compact Binoculars Under 200

Eyeskey Waterproof Binoculars

eyeskey waterproof binoculars

No list of the best compact binoculars 2018 would be complete without a mention of the Eyeskey. One of the best small, inexpensive binoculars on the market, it comes in at a very reasonable price within its price range.

The lenses are multi-coated to allow the best color profile. The BaK-4 prism ensures that picture clarity and fidelity are maintained.

These glasses magnify 10x and have a diameter of 42mm. The bigger diameter makes it possible for more light to get in and so give a better picture.

Pros

Cons

Rubber eyecups are easily adjustable

May be difficult to mount

The lens caps flip down easily

Suction does not always work as well as it should

5.8-degree angle of view makes it simple to find what you are looking for

The range of 1000 yards means you won’t miss much

Will not fog up with rugged design and shock resistant

Best Compact Binoculars Under 50

Out Now Tech  

out now tech

These are the best low-cost compact binoculars on the list and are a great starter pair for adults or for kids.

The optics are surprisingly good considering the price, and you get a magnification of 10 x. The design makes it easy to find items in the frame and follow them when they are moving fast. There is very little shake.

Pros

Cons

Rugged and shock proof

May be difficult to mount

Easy-grip surface with finger grips

The neck strap is narrow and so uncomfortable.

The case comes with a belt loop

Neck strap cant be replaced

They are compact and can be adjusted to fit children or adults

Splash and rain proof with life time warranty

Best Compact Binoculars with Night Vision

Holisouse 10x50 Binoculars

holisouse 10x50 binoculars

These Holisouse binoculars are the best compact binoculars for the price. With a 50cm diameter, these offer the best field of view. They give a 10x magnification and allow you to see up to 1000m away. The prism within is a BAK4, and this ensures a clear picture and good color fidelity.

Pros

Cons

Fog-proof and waterproof

They feel very lightweight

Non-slip surface

Warranty conditions not clear

Shockproof

High-def scope

Night-vision included

There you have it, the four best affordable compact binoculars. No matter which alternative you choose, you cannot go wrong with these. Let’s compare them side by side, shall we?

Top 4 Binoculars For The Money - Comparison Table

Leupold

Eyeskey

OutnowTech

Holisouse

Price

**

***

*

**

Fog Proof

No

Yes

No

Yes

Water Proof

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Warranty

Limited Lifetime

Not Clear

Limited Lifetime

Not Clear

Non Slip & Multi Coated

Yes,Yes

Yes,Yes

Yes,Yes

Yes,No

* Please scroll towards the right side in order to see the full column

What to Look for in Compact Binoculars?

When it comes to choosing the best possible option for yourself, you need to decide first of all what the most important features are for you.

What will you be using them for? What features are you willing to compromise on to get a more compact set?

Say, for example, you want these simply as a backup to keep in the car, you don’t need to worry as much about multi-coated lenses. You also don’t want to spend an awful lot of money on a pair that you won’t use often.

binocular features

Versatility

Versatility is something else to consider. Are you going to be the only one to use them, or do you want your kids to be able to as well? Perhaps you want a set that your kids can use while growing up.

If different people will be using the set, you want something that makes it easy to adjust the arms. A five-year-old has a different face size to a forty-five-year-old, after all.

Features

Compact glasses will necessarily have fewer features than their full-sized counterparts. You don’t have as much space to include different little gadgets. The advantage is that the glasses will be less bulky and also more lightweight.

Fewer features don't always mean that you are missing out, though. Compact sets still have the primary features like an excellent field of vision and magnification.

Your Budget

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could buy everything that you wanted? If, however, your budget is more on the limited side, compact glasses offer an excellent solution. You get the same basic features as you do with the full-size models at a much more affordable price.

You do not have to pay many hundreds of dollars to get a good pair of binoculars. That said, you should buy the best quality that you can afford. The cheapest sets on the market are usually no better than useless.

You can get, for example, get sets that come in at under $20. It may be tempting to get these, especially if you are buying them for your children. But this is a false economy. They will not last long, and they are not likely to produce very good results.

Have a look at the four models that we reviewed here for the best mix of value and quality.

Digital Technology Vs Bird Watching | How Birding Has Changed

Digital technology has had a significant impact on the bird-watching community over the last few years. From cameras with much more advanced telephoto lenses to apps that allow bird-watchers to track sightings, digital technology has had a huge impact.

In this article, we will look at what that impact is and how birding and digital technology can work hand in hand.

Introduction 

At one stage in time, all you had to do was to go out with your trusty set of binoculars and notebook and see what you could find. And a lot of birders do still work in this way.

The more traditional bird-watching enthusiasts love nothing more than to be able to get out there and see what they can spot on their own. For them, it is the hunt that is more appealing than anything else. 

How Technology has Evolved         

However, you have a lot more options now. You can stick to your trusty old binoculars and a simple notebook, but there are a lot more ways now to get more out of your overall birding experience.

With the advent of much more powerful lenses, you have even more opportunities to spot birds. And, you can get a much better view, with a far smaller chance of disturbing them.

A 500mm telephoto lens, for example, allows you to see a level of detail that makes it seem as though you are right next to the bird. It’s a great way to get a closeup of birds that are notoriously shy and skittish.

And, if the big lens is not something that you can afford to invest in, you can try digibinning – a technique where you take the photo through the scope of your binoculars using your phone. You will not quite have the same amount of range, but you can get interesting results.

If you want to get the best of both worlds, you can find spotting scopes that can be attached to your phone or your camera through the use of a specialized adaptor and so take the photos that way.

Major Differences     

But where digital technology has had the most impact perhaps is when it comes to the various birding apps and other online services that are available to use today.

One such example, the eBird service is available in several countries around the world. It is the largest online birding community worldwide.

The service can be used to find out more about the birds in a particular area, particularly when the best time to visit is, organize your own sightings and allow you to access sightings worldwide.

Managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, this service aims to collaborate with several players globally and also hundreds of thousands of users as well. Everyone can contribute checklists, sightings lists, etc.

So, whether you have just started birding and are exploring your local area, or you are visiting a new, exotic location, you can check and see what birds you might expect there.

Other apps, like the Merlin Photo ID app, make it easy to identify birds, all you need to do is get a reasonable photo of the bird, feed it into the app and it will help identify it for you.

What should bird watchers expect in future?

Expect more apps to help you track and identify birds and look forward to stronger lenses and more affordable equipment that is a lot more effective.

Conclusion - Digital Technology Vs Bird Watching

Birding has come a long way since it first started out and that is great for birders. Keep it simple with a notebook and some binoculars, or go high-tech with bird tracking apps and a high-tech camera. Birding has something for everyone.

Other Related Post About Best Birding Watching Experience

Top 4 Image Stabilizing Binoculars For You | Top Picks and Reviews

For those who have hobbies that involve a faraway view, investing in best image stabilizing binoculars can upgrade your experience from average to amazing.

If you are unfamiliar with image stabilizing binoculars, they are specially built binoculars made to minimize the hand shaking of regular binoculars.

This makes it easier to see moving objects, like boats or planes, or objects that are far away, like birds or deer.


best image stabilizing binoculars

Best Image Stabilizing Binoculars Comparison Table 

​Best Binoculars Comparison Table
Canon 10x42 L
Canon 10x42 L
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    ​Padded Case w/ Strap
    Padded Case w/ Strap
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    ​Neoprene Strap
    Neoprene Strap

Rating

4.4

Field of View

​341ft

Weight

2.45lbs

Canon 18x50
Canon 18x50
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    ​18x magnification
    18x magnification
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    ​Wide, extra-bright field of view
    Wide, extra-bright field of view

Rating

4.1

Field of View

​194ft

Weight

2.6lbs

Fujinon Techno Stabi TS1440
Fujinon Techno Stabi TS1440
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    ​Phase Coated
    Phase Coated
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    ​5 Degree of stabilization
    5 Degree of stabilization

Rating

4.6

Field of View

210ft

Weight

4.0lbs

​​Canon 10x30
​Canon 10x30
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    ​10x high magnification ratio
    10x high magnification ratio
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    30mm/1.18 in. objective lens effective diameter
    30mm/1.18 in. objective lens effective diameter

Rating

4.6

Field of View

315ft

Weight

1.33lbs

If you are unfamiliar with image stabilizing binoculars, they are specially built binoculars made to minimize the hand shaking of regular binoculars. This makes it easier to see moving objects, like boats or planes, or objects that are far away, like birds or deer.

Why You Need Them

If you don’t think image stabilizing binoculars are necessary, think of it this way.

High power binoculars may make distant images visible, but with such high power, even the smallest of movements shake and shift the image.

Everyone’s hands shake to some degree. Even if you are the steadiest person in the world, small movements from your body, like breathing or muscle twitches, can affect the image you’re seeing.

why you need image stabilizing binoculars

How They Work??

Everyone’s hands shake to some degree. Even if you are the steadiest person in the world, small movements from your body, like breathing or muscle twitches, can affect the image you’re seeing.

​With image stabilizing binoculars, there are a few different mechanics that adjust the image when it shakes.

There is either an electronic or traditional component that senses the need for stabilization.

A fluid filled prism, group of lenses, or a gyroscope will then shift to compensate for the tilting and panning of the binoculars, and the image is stabilized.

image stabilizing binoculars functioning properly

How to Find the Best Pair ?

A fluid filled prism, group of lenses, or a gyroscope will then shift to compensate for the tilting and panning of the binoculars, and the image is stabilized.

​There are many reputable brands that manufacture these binoculars, like Nikon, Canon, Fujinon, Bushnell, and Carl Zeiss.

All these brands make good products, but it can be difficult to know if one is superior to another, especially when there are so many products to choose between.

Most well-made image stabilizing binoculars will work in most scenarios, but there are some that work better for certain activities.

Here is a breakdown of our favorite image stabilizing binoculars for boating, bird watching, hunting, and stargazing.

how to find the best pair

The Best Boating Binoculars

Having a pair of binoculars is essential when going boating.

Not only are they good for taking in the beauty of marine life, seaside landscapes, and gorgeous sunsets, but they can also help you detect dangerous obstacles in your path.

Binoculars can help you dodge objects like other ships or debris, or even keep you from unexpectedly running aground.

Having a good pair of image stabilizing binoculars can be the difference between a great day at sea and a total shipwreck.

We recommend the Canon 10x42 L Image Stabilization Waterproof Binoculars for any boater looking to enhance their binocular game. First and foremost, their most important feature is that they are waterproof.

When you’re dealing with marine environments, this is essential. Other binoculars may not be able to take a splash like these can. They are also great at diffusing the shake from motor vibrations and wind, so even if your boat is on the go, the image will be crystal clear.

Another great feature on these Canon binoculars is that they have a large lens diameter at 42 millimeters. This makes for a clear, bright view, even in low-light conditions.

This feature can come in handy if you boat at night or in overcast weather. These binoculars are also very light at 2.45 pounds, so they won’t weigh you down if you’re taking a long look through them.

Canon 10x42 L Image Stabilization Waterproof Binoculars
Here is a breakdown of our favorite image stabilizing binoculars for boating, bird watching, hunting, and stargazing.

The Best Bird Watching Binoculars

Any bird watcher who hasn’t had the experience of using image stabilizing binoculars on a bird watching trip is definitely missing out.

If you fall into this category, just try these binoculars once, and you’ll immediately see the difference. Bird watching at its very core requires you to be still; why would you depend on shaky binoculars to see some of the world’s sneakiest creatures?

For bird watchers who are ready to change their world, we recommend the Canon 18x50 Image Stabilization All-Weather Binoculars.

Whether these are your first pair of image stabilizing binoculars or you’re a seasoned pro, they’re very simple to use and pack a powerful punch.

This particular model is one of Canon’s most powerful pairs of binoculars and has even been described as “twin telescopes.”

That makes them perfect for bird watching, when the viewer is stationed on the ground and the subject is high in the trees.

This model also comes equipped with Super Spectra coated lenses. This keeps the image bright and clear by reducing the amount of light that is reflected away from the lenses, so you see the full action every time.

These binoculars are also equipped with a water-resistant rubber coating. Even if you get caught in the rain or are prone to slippery hands, your equipment will stay safe.

The Best Bird Watching Binoculars
Another great feature on these Canon binoculars is that they have a large lens diameter at 42 millimeters. This makes for a clear, bright view, even in low-light conditions. This feature can come in handy if you boat at night or in overcast weather. These binoculars are also very light at 2.45 pounds, so they won’t weigh you down if you’re taking a long look through them.

The Best Hunting Binoculars

If you fall into this category, just try these binoculars once, and you’ll immediately see the difference. Bird watching at its very core requires you to be still; why would you depend on shaky binoculars to see some of the world’s sneakiest creatures?

Binoculars are a very useful accessory when it comes to hunting.

They not only assist you in tracking animals from a safe distance, but they can also help you spot hazards and other hunters in the environment.

In order to be valuable, a good pair of hunting binoculars should have strong magnification, great image stabilization, and weatherproofing. These features on a reliable model will keep you safe and help you score the catch of the day.

The model we recommend has all those features and more. Try the Fujinon Techno Stabi TS1440 14x40 Image Stabilization Binocular on your next hunting trip; you won’t regret it.

This model is compact, and while it weighs a little more than other models, the extra weight is worth it. What’s truly impressive about these binoculars is the five degrees of high image stabilization.

What this means is that basically any shaking or blurring will be eliminated, leaving you with the perfect pair of binoculars to track an animal or other moving object.

These binoculars are also fog-proof and waterproof, making them good to use in any type of weather. They also have a rubberized coating around the outside, so you never lose your grip.

The Best Stargazing Binoculars

Canon 10x30 Image Stabilization II Binoculars

​Whether you’re a professional astronomer or a hopeless romantic looking for a good date idea, many people love to stargaze.

While it can be fun to lie on a blanket and look at the stars with a naked eye, image stabilizing binoculars are essential for anyone who wants an up-close look at the planets and stars.

Ideally, these binoculars will be lightweight with a long-lasting battery life, so you can stargaze for a long period of time.

For that, we recommend the Canon 10x30 Image Stabilization II Binoculars. These binoculars are perfect for stargazing because of how compact they are.

Weighing in at only 1.32 pounds, even young children would be able to hold these for long periods of time with ease.

This Canon model also boasts a 9-hour battery life when in optimal conditions, which is perfect for long nights under the sky.

Additional features include long eye relief, which means users can stay comfortable while using the binoculars, even with glasses.

Doublet field-flatteners give a sharp, virtually distortion-free picture throughout the entire viewfinder as well.

Additional features include long eye relief, which means users can stay comfortable while using the binoculars, even with glasses. Doublet field-flatteners give a sharp, virtually distortion-free picture throughout the entire viewfinder as well.

​In Conclusion

In Conclusion

​At the end of the day, there are many great choices when it comes to buying image stabilizing binoculars. When you stick to a reputable brand, there is always going to be a model that will fit your specific needs.

The most important thing to remember, overall, is that deciding to purchase image stabilizing binoculars over regular, high-powered binoculars is the best choice.

You can read more about top binoculars reviews by visiting our homepage. 

The most important thing to remember, overall, is that deciding to purchase image stabilizing binoculars over regular, high-powered binoculars is the best choice.

Best Inexpensive Binoculars 2018 – Revealing my top 3 affordable picks

Best Inexpensive Binoculars 2017 - Revealing my top 3 affordable picksA good pair of budget binoculars should be comfortable, clear and lightweight enough to be able to carry with you in the woods or wherever you’ll need them. They should also work in low light situations and provide good magnification for your needs.

When shopping for binoculars, prices can vary widely. Listed below are what I consider some of the best inexpensive binoculars. They may not have all of the high-end attributes of some of the more expensive sets, but they will get the job done at a price point that won’t break the bank.

In a hurry?
==>> Click for pricing and any available discounts on my nr 1 inexpensive binoculars


Affordable Binocular Reviews

Best Budget Binoculars For Hunting

Redfield Rebel 10x42mm top cheap BinocularsThe Redfield Rebel 10x41mm weighs in at just over a pound and a half, and packs a lot of usefulness in a small aluminum frame. The multicoated lenses feature BAK4 prisms providing great brightness and clarity. The eyepieces twist up and down to accommodate viewers with or without glasses.

These binoculars worked great both morning and dusk as I was able to see objects rather clearly regardless of the light levels. My only complaint was that the lens covers aren’t attached to the body of the binoculars, causing me more than once to drop them. Not a huge deal once I was used to it, but something I like in other sets.

In a hurry?
==>> Click for pricing and any available discounts on the Redfield Rebel


Best Binoculars Under 150

Polaris Optics WideViews 8X42 HD Professional Bird Watching bestselling affordable Binoculars.The Polaris Optics WideViews 8X42 HD gave me some of the most spectacular viewing I’ve ever seen through a binocular. The zooming on these is amazing and being able to see a 430-foot arc blew my mind!

These binoculars come with a nylon mesh carrying case and the body is nitrogen filled, which makes it so the lenses won’t fog up in any weather. The top has a rubberized covering aiding in grip.

The only negative thing I can say about these binoculars is that zooming and focusing is a bit tricky at first with two knobs handling the job. If you are hunting or bird watching, these won’t be the quickest binoculars to get you both focused and zoomed until you get accustomed to the system.

In a hurry?
==>> Click for pricing and any available discounts on the Polaris Optics WideViews


Best Cheap Binoculars For Bird Watching

The Nikon 8252 ACULON A211 10-22×50 Nikon 8252 ACULON A211 10-22x50 Zoom budget friendly Binoculars (Black)are the workhorse of the bunch. They weigh a bit more than the others but aren’t uncomfortable to use at all. While the color in these isn’t quite as sharp as some of the others the clarity in this pair is easily the best of the bunch.

The body is rubberized and feels very durable, the set also comes with a carrying strap.

What I liked the most about this Nikon set was it worked right out of the bag. I didn’t need to adjust them, I didn’t need to read a manual on how to get the most out of them. They just worked exactly the way I needed them to as soon as I got them.

In a hurry?
==>> Click for pricing and any available discounts on the Nikon 8252


Wrapping up our search for the best inexpensive binoculars

In conclusion, you can spend a lot of money on a good pair of binoculars and I’m sure some professionals will say you are spending your money wisely. But, if you just need a good set of binoculars for hunting, watching birds, gazing at the planets or just seeing distant things up close for whatever reason any of the binoculars listed will do the job very well.

If I were to purchase only one of these sets, I’d go with the Nikon 8252 as they just seem to have everything I want in a good, inexpensive set of binoculars. But, you can’t go wrong with any of them.

What do you think of our list? Is there a set you would have added instead? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Sub $150 Binocular Deals and Discounts

Looking for the best prices on top rated hunting rangefinders? ==>> Check this Amazon page for binoculars for sale


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Which night vision generation is right for you?

Generations of Night Vision Equipment:

As generations have passed by the technology used in night vision equipment has evolved significantly, with the price decreasing and the performance increasing over a period of time. Since then several different generations of night vision equipment has been developed.

Most commercially available night vision equipment is rated by ‘Generation.’ It is crucial to note which Generation (Gen) you are looking at when comparing various device since they indicate what level of technology the unit uses.

Were you aware of the fact that the first time that Night Vision was used was during World War II and during the Vietnam War was used extensively?

Gen 3 Night Vision

These night vision glasses use gallium-arsenide, for the photocathode, and a microchannel plate for gain. Their sale in Europe is restricted to the military and government departments.

Generation-II+

Note: All of the Gen-2+ tubes are made in Russia, since US technology switched to Gen-3 from Gen-2, and bypassed Gen-2+. Because of Russian legislature, these days the maximum sensitivity that is allowed from Russia for export is 350 microamperes per lumen.

Generations Of Night Vision EquipmentsThe Gen 2+ tube improves upon the Gen 2 tube. It has a 300-600 microamperes per lumen sensitivity and 22,000-25,000 times light amplification. In the center resolution is 39-50 line-pairs per millimeter and there are 5,000 lifetime hours.

The Generation 2+ devices come with automatic gain control. This regulates the image’s brightness depending on what the outside light conditions are. Also, these units have images that are virtually distortion free even at the edges and come with flash protection.

The Military used these units until recently. However, they have become more widely available and are now used by others as well. Note: The U.S. Department of Commerce controls the export of any Generation-II or II+ model outside of the US. An End-User Certificate must be submitted in order to get approved.

Gen 2 Night Vision

These devices use a special electron amplifier called Micro Channel Plate (MCP), which is one of the ways these devices are different from the 1 and 1+ generations. There are two kinds of intensifier tubes with MCP that are available: the 18mm and 25mm. Generally speaking, the larger that the diameter is, the more efficient the tube will be. However, a larger night vision unit is also required when it is assembled.

Light is amplified by Generation 2 night vision equipment at around 20,000-30,000 times. This higher amplification makes them excellent to use in low light condition. Here is an example to give you a sense of what is possible. It is a dark overcast night, and you see a man 90m away, with 600 meters from a full moon and 300 meters from starlight.

There is very little distortion, making them well suited to use for still or video cameras. Gen 2’s work very well for observing wildlife for prolonged periods of time from a distance in addition to closely observing small animals.

Also, the tube has an increased lifetime (4,000-5,000 hours, compared to Generation-I and I+with only 2,000-2,500 hours) and an increased sensitivity as well at 300-320 microamperes per lumen.

Due to how costly Generation 2 night vision is, it is mainly used for professional applications and by law enforcement.

Generation-I+

Gen 1+ tubes further improve on the Generation-I tube by having a fiber optic plate that is installed on the back or front of the tube. That results in image resolution being dramatically improved and also helps to prevent distortion, particularly at the edges. The light amplification that is provided is 900 to 1,000 times, and sensitivity is increased to almost 300 microamperes per lumen. Resolution is 50 line-pairs per millimeter in the center.

It is very important to note that the designation I+is used incorrectly by some night vision goggle manufacturers to describe their Generation-I devices. A good Generation-I+ device will cost the same as a low-grade Generation-II device.

Gen 1 Night Vision

Generation 1’s were initially introduced during the Vietnam war. They are the least expensive generation of night glasses. It is possible these days to find fairly inexpensive night vision monoculars, binoculars, and googles that come with this technology.

Each Generation-I device uses a vacuum tube that has a 120-280 per lumen photo cathode sensitivity. These tubes have a light amplification that is 120 to 900 times what ambient light is. Resolution is 20 to 38 line-pairs per millimeter in the image’s center.

Usually, they have roughly 80m maximum range and frequently have a built-in basic infrared illuminator. Usually, Generation 1 night vision devices have higher power requirements and may emit a low-level, high-pitch noise. The products are not well suited for photography since although they are clear in the middle of the view, frequently the quality drops off at the edges of an image. They are quite useful for watching wildlife at relatively close ranges and have many different practical applications.

One thing that is quite confusing is that even with Generation-I tubes, often there can be a wide disparity in performance. All of the tubes are graded and evaluated according to their performance and quality as part of the manufacturing process. They are then sold at prices that are significantly different depending on their image clarity and light amplification. This is reflected of course in the Night Vision device’s final price. Luna Optics and other quality manufacturers use only the highest intensifier tube grades, meaning that although their devices have a tendency to cost more than others, you can be sure you are getting a quality product when you buy one.

Gen 4 Night Vision?

The military does not officially accept night vision Generation 4 technology, although night vision product manufacturers use this term more frequently. It is also called Gated and Filmless image intensifiers.

Filmless refers to removing the ion barrier film that Generation 3 image intensifier had added to them which results in the image having less “snow.”

Gated relates to a “gated” power supply. This makes it possible also to use night vision devices in the daytime. Also, it minimizes halo in bright light sources and improves image resolution. Generation 4 overall is said to have a view that is even sharper than Generation 3 night vision as well as an even greater ability to be able to see during very dark conditions. However, it also results in higher prices. Generation 4 Monocular cost around $5,000 to $6,000.

Be sure to also check out my night vision binocular reviews here.

More Night Vision Articles

Vortex Fury HD Laser Rangefinder Binoculars Preview

Vortex surprised me with the announcement of the new Fury HD Laser Rangefinding Binocular recently. Claiming to be two devices in one (high definition binocular + angle compensated rangefinder) it certainly got me excited. With optics that compare with the Viper HD range, you just know this will be a high performance bin.

According to Vortex, this compacyt reflective targets will give accurate readings up to 1600 feet, while distance readings on large animals will be accurate up to 1200 feet in good conditions.

The rangefinder controls are situated on the right hand side, making it easy to carry your rifle or bow in the other hand.

C:\Users\dss\SkyDrive\0000. Niche Sites\0. TheBinocularsGuy.com\0. Content\Vortex Fury HD Laser Rangefinding

Vortex Fury HD 10×42 Specifications

The 10×42 comes with a field of view of 314.4ft @ 1000 yards with a close focus of 20 feet. Weighing in at 31.8 ounces, it measures 5.75 in x 5.9 in.

 

Vortex Fury HD Laser Rangefinder Binoculars Specs

How good is the rangefinding capability?

We will have to wait and see how good the built-in rangefinding really is, but from the distance ranges mentioned, it sounds like the Fury is going to be a beast.

It also comes with a intuitive display with a simple-to-use menu (unlike so many other rangefinders), and the display is clean and easy to read. It features HCD (horizontal component distance) and LOS (line of sight) modes.

HCD is for angle compensated ranging, while LOS will display the actual line of sight range to your target.

A very handy scan mode will show continous ranges as you scan across an area or when you are tracking a moving animal. Ranges can be set to display in yards or meters.

Warranty

The Fury HD comes with standard Vortex VIP warranty, which is, in my opinion, one of the best warranties by any optic company. You can rest assured that if something goes wrong with your Fury HD, Vortex will repair or replace it at no cost to you. What makes this warranty ever better in this case, is that the Fury’s electronics are also fully covered.

Launch Date

The Fury HD is not available in stores or online yet. The expected launch date is in the summer of 2017.

Where to buy at the best price?

As mentioned above the Fury HD Rangefinding Binocular is not available yet, but it will be on sale at the usual outlets, from Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops to any reputable outdoor store in your area.

As in most cases, I would recommend checking out the Amazon pricing. I typically find Amazon offer good prices on optics and with the service levels and free delivery, they are my recommendation when buying the Fury HD.

Pricing

While pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet, I believe this rangefinder binocular will be in the $1599 price range.

Conclusion

Let me know if you are as excited as I am about the upcoming launch of these bins.