Best Binoculars for Backpackers

When globetrotting as a backpacker, you’re likely to come across beautiful lakes, mountains, glaciers, animals, and many other amazing features that Mother Nature offers. It might even include some amazing cityscapes as well.  While you’d love the view regardless of how far you are from a mountain’s peak, exotic animal or architectural wonder, the experience can be even more enjoyable with a befitting binocular.

If you’re traveling soon and you haven’t purchased binoculars yet, or if you’re planning to replace an old, worn out pair, you’ve come to the right place. While attempting to balance the need for superior quality optics during a backpacking journey can be highly stressful, we’ve made the binocular-hunting process a lot easier for you by conducting all the necessary research to present you with the best binoculars for backpackers. In fact, we found out that you can buy high-quality binoculars under 300 online.

What Backpackers Should Look for in A Binocular?

Before we share the list, let’s take a look at what a backpacker should keep an eye out for when shopping for binoculars.

Magnification Strength

People identify this item by two numbers – the binoculars number depict lens diameter and magnification strength (the first digit is magnification strength). For instance, 8*40 binoculars have a magnification strength of 8. That means an animal/person/object/natural scenery would show 8 times closer than it really is to your naked eye.


Binoculars are available in all shapes and sizes. If you’re carrying less weight in your backpack, you can go for a full-size one, that is around 8*42, 10*50 in size. They showcase steadier pictures and perform great under low light. Mid-sized ones have 7*35, 10*32 as specs while compact ones come in 8*25, 10*25. The lightest ones are ideal for those with heavy backpacks but are not recommended for prolonged use.

Waterproof and Fogproof

For rainy days and boating, consider waterproof binoculars. Waterproof models usually feature O-rings that develop a seal to keep moisture at bay. In fact, they also prevent small debris and dust from occupying the lens. In addition, backpackers who’ll be moving between temperatures should look for fog proof models. Vendors have made features for replacing the presence of air in the optical barriers with “inert gas” that doesn’t condense and offers no moisture content.

Where to Buy
Best Backpacking Binoculars
Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars
Zeiss Terra ED
Wingspan Optics SkyView Ultra HD
Nikon Aculon A211 10x42 

1. Best Backpacking Binoculars

Models of the Celestron Trailseeker have been built with materials of the highest quality. Buyers can expect to gush over the colors’ brightness and the picture quality that match a more expensive alternative. The Celestron 71404 features Bak-4 Prisms with Dielectric and Phase Coatings, which allow for more transmission of light via the prism system for increased contrast, resolution and brightness. Also, it offers a wide field of view, allowing users to follow the subject with ease (without needing to move the binoculars too much). Also, its 6.5-inch Close Focus will allow you to closely observe the subject.

What makes it stand out?

Its body is magnesium allow, so it’s a lightweight, durable frame that can last forever if handled with care.

2. Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars

These are one of the best binoculars for backpacking and hunting journeys. Its magnesium chassis keeps the body lightweight, and the rubber armor provides additional protection while providing buyers with a sleek, non-slip grip. With 28mm objective lenses and 8x magnification strength, the Diamondback is a solid binocular in the lineup of Vortex; praised for its industry-leading durability and optical quality. Also, the Diamondback features a combination of dielectric and multi-coating that improves the transmission of light for brighter imagery with breathtaking. Additionally, the right eyepiece contains a center focus wheel, a diopter, and adjustable eyecups, all of which give users incredible adjustment abilities, so you’ll be able to achieve perfect clarity in most instances. If you wear glasses or have different strengths in both eyes, this binocular will ensure everything stays in your focus.

What makes it stand out?

Rubber armor combined with argon purging offer fog proof and waterproof capabilities in harsh weather conditions. Field of video is 6.2 degrees/1000 yards/332 feet.

3. Zeiss Terra ED 10*42

If you’re in the search for a more professional-grade model, consider one from Zeiss Terra. The company’s lenses have had a positive reputation among enthusiasts of optics since long. The Terra line of binoculars has been exclusively designed for trailblazers and adventurers. This model is the first to come with ED type lenses, which do a great job of preventing colors from bleeding together. It has 10x magnification power for showcasing enlarged pictures, and a 1000m to 110m field of view for both steady images and big fields of view. Also, there’s a 4.2mm Exit pupil diameter and a 42mm effective lens diameter on the camera. Furthermore, the Zeiss Terra ED is waterproof, with the body’s temperature ranging from 24 to 40 degree Fahrenheit.

What makes it stand out?

This particular model offers high optical precision and its multicoating (hydrophobic) guarantees world-class imagery down to every tiny detail. It’s ideal for hunting, nature observation, bird watching, and other traveling-related activities.

4. Wingspan Optics SkyView Ultra HD

While the Wingspan Optics SkyView Ultra HD may not be the most compact option for a backpacker, it is great for the bird lover out for a stroll or a day hiker. It comes with a big factor objective lens of 42 mm, which means dusk and low light problems are a thing of the past. Also, it offers an ‘extra-wide’ field of view – 430 ft – which makes bird watching a breeze (even if you’re 1000 yards out). Also, the phase-corrected coated prisms result in HD imagery while the 8X magnification power results in one of the brightest bird watching sessions you’d ever experience. Also, 2M close focus helps ensure you’re able to see the action from close.

What makes it stand out?

The manufacturer has designed these binoculars with a glass of extra-low dispersion which is naturally crystal clear and fog proof. Also, the sealed body and nitrogen filling mean these binoculars are also waterproof.

5. Nikon Aculon A211 10×42 

This model offers the Nikon optic quality. It can produce clean and clear images via their lenses when used correctly. The Aculon A211 comes with a 42 mm objective lens, which helps it offer a wide field-of-view. Its magnification value is 10x, and the smart design ensures that the user is able to magnify at his/her own will. Also, the binocular features a big focus wheel that makes it easy to operate even if the user is wearing gloves. Nikon has designed the Aculon A211 with a rubber armored housing that’s molded to provide greater grip and good durability against rough handling and falls.

What makes it stand out?

Glass elements are the eye-catching part of these binoculars. Little are people aware that the Aculon series from Nikon contain environmentally friendly elements in the shape of Eco-Glass.

Final Verdict

Overall, these are the best models of binoculars available on the market for backpackers, so if you’re going to see landscapes, natural beauty, and wildlife, get one of these. Now your biggest responsibility on your backpacking journey is reminding yourself to watch where you’re walking as you gaze and make memories through your sturdy binoculars!