Best Binoculars for Hiking

When you go out hiking in nature, many fascinating things may catch your eye. However, you cannot get close and take a better look at all of them. Therefore, having a pair of small hiking binoculars is a must.

Binoculars allow you to get a closer look at various animals, plants, or far away scenery with ease. Furthermore, hiking binoculars are generally smaller and lighter than normal binoculars. With this size reduction comes some features that you have to give up, such as a high-quality image, but it is still worth the investment as it lets you enjoy nature in its full glory.

There are many different binoculars on the market, but the best ones are those that are small enough to carry around and deliver a relatively high-quality image. Read ahead to find out the features you should conder before buying a binocular and the best hiking binoculars available on the market.

Buying guide 

Different kinds of binoculars

Different kinds of binoculars

When you set out to buy a binocular to take on your hike, you will find that most places offer two different kinds of binoculars. No one binocular is better than the other. Instead, it depends on which type of binoculars you prefer. There are a total of two different kinds of binoculars.

Porro prism

Porro prism binoculars are the classic kind of binoculars. Their body is angled, and the lenses are placed so that they ‘step out from the eyepiece. Usually, these kinds of lenses are heavier than other lenses with the same form factor and quality. They are also less expensive, which makes them good value for money. However, they may not be ideal when it comes to hiking as they are usually larger, and you may get tired from taking them along with you, especially if you are going to use them sparingly.

Roof prism

The second kind of binoculars is roof prism binoculars. These binoculars are often styled to have straight tubes. These tubes extend from the eyepiece to the lens. Due to their unique construction, roof prism binoculars are lighter in weight, which makes them perfect if you want a pair of hiking binoculars. However, it is important to note that these kinds of binoculars are more expensive when compared to other kinds. However, they are smaller and lighter, which fulfills their purpose of being hiking binoculars perfectly.

Things you should consider before buying hiking binoculars

Field of View

The field of view of binoculars usually refers to the area that you can see through your binoculars. On most binoculars, the manufacturer usually mentions the field of view. Therefore, when you purchase your hiking binoculars, be sure to check that the field of view is sufficient. 

It depends on your usage and the amount of field of view you will need. If you mostly look at things far away and require you to zoom in the binoculars a lot, you will need a narrower field of view. The narrower it is, the sharper the focus will be. However, a narrower field of view makes it difficult to locate moving targets. 

If you focus more on moving targets, then you would benefit from binoculars that have a wider field of view. However, a downside to having a wide field of view is that it has lesser focus.

Eyecups

When you purchase a hiking binocular, you should ensure that they fit well on your eyes. The eyecups on most binoculars are adjustable, and they either twist, pop up, or fold down to help fit your eyes and help you see the entire field of view. 

If you wear glasses, you will benefit from getting binoculars that allow you to leave the eyecup down. Thus, you will not need to take off your glasses just to use your binoculars.

Weight and size of the binoculars

The weight and size of binoculars are important considerations depending on your use. If you intend to take them on a hiking trip, you would ideally want binoculars that are lightweight and small. However, in such cases, there is a tradeoff. Smaller and lighter binoculars do not have as high-quality images as you would get from larger and heavier binoculars.

Furthermore, it also depends on your usage. If you are planning to use these binoculars occasionally, then a more compact pair makes more sense than a heavy-duty pair of binoculars. Additionally, carrying around a smaller binocular is much easier and more efficient if you are not a serious nature watcher. 

Durability 

When you venture out into the wilderness, many accidents can happen. Therefore, it is smart to get a pair of durable binoculars that will not crack the first time they bump against something or fall when you are running or jogging.

If you want more durable binoculars, then it is best to look for ones that use lightweight alloys, such as magnesium. Binoculars made from these kinds of materials are more durable and are also not heavy and portable. 

Additionally, some binoculars also feature rubber coatings that allow them to have a non-slip grip and offer further protection against wear and tear that may result from rough usage. 

Magnification

MagnificationBrightnessDepth of FieldSizeFocusEase of Use
Lower MagnificationBrighter imageGreater depth of fieldRelatively smaller binocularsFocuses better on closer objectsEasy to use and hold steady
Higher MagnificationDarker imageLesser depth of fieldRelatively larger binocularsFocuses better on farther objectsAre harder to hold steady and even the smallest of movements are noticed.

Best Hiking Binoculars

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Nocs Provisions Standard Issue 8x25 Waterproof Binoculars (Marigold)
Nikon 7238 Action Ex Extreme 8 X 40 mm All Terrain Binoculars
Athlon Optics Midas Binoculars for Adults and Kids
Zeiss Conquest HD Binocular
Swarovski CL Companion Traveler Binocular
Celestron – TrailSeeker 8x42 Binoculars
Leica 10 x 32 Ultravid HD
Bushnell Legacy WP
Nikon Trailblazer 8x25 ATB Waterproof Black Binoculars
Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars


1. Nocs Provisions Standard Issue 8x25 Waterproof Binoculars (Marigold)


Nocs Provisions Standard Issue 8x25 Waterproof Binoculars (Marigold)

The Nocs Provisions Standard Issue binoculars use authentic Bak4 prisms and fully multi-color lenses to form a pair of binoculars that is unlike any other on the market. These binoculars are built for adults and provide a bright field of view that allows you to see things in much more detail.

Furthermore, these binoculars are waterproof and can be submerged underwater for up to 30 minutes. Therefore, they have a waterproof rating of IPX7. This pair of binoculars is also lightweight and pocketable. Thus, it is perfect to take along with you when you go hiking.

Features:


  • Uses Bak4 prisms and full multicolor lenses

  • Bright field of view

  • Waterproof

  • Light and portable

  • A camera can capture a photo through the lens

  • Compact and fits all faces.



2. Nikon 7238 Action Ex Extreme 8 X 40 mm All Terrain Binoculars


Nikon 7238 Action Ex Extreme 8 X 40 mm All Terrain Binoculars

The Nikon 7238 Action Ex Extreme binoculars are small and made using durable material. Therefore, this pair of binoculars are waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. Thus, you can go on the most adventurous trails and not damage your binoculars. The binoculars have a metal chassis that is covered by a lightweight polycarbonate shell that allows these binoculars to be so durable.

Additionally, the body of the binoculars is also rubber coated and has a non-slip grip. The objective lens is also 40mm and can magnify around 8 times.

Features:


  • It has a metal chassis with a polycarbonate shell

  • It has a non-slip grip

  • The objective lens is 40mm



3. Athlon Optics Midas Binoculars for Adults and Kids


Athlon Optics Midas Binoculars for Adults and Kids

The Athlon Optics Midas binoculars are designed using ED glass, which is designed to have little to no chromatic fringe. Therefore, the image you see is sharp and clear. Furthermore, it also has an ESP Dielectric Coating, which is a multi-prism layer coating. This coating helps reflect over 99% of the light into your eyes. Therefore, the image that you see is bright and has accurate colors.

Features:


  • The image it produces is bright and clear

  • It uses ED glass with little chromatic fringe

  • It has a large field of view



4. Zeiss Conquest HD Binocular


Zeiss Conquest HD Binocular

The Zeiss Conquest HD binoculars are the perfect binoculars that you can take out on your hiking excursions. These binoculars have an HD lens system that has great color rendition, so the image is clear and bright. The brightness of the image is also due to the T premium lens coating. Furthermore, the Zeiss Conquest HD binoculars also have an external lens coating that prevents moisture build-up as well.

Features:


  • Compact

  • Lightweight

  • The image is clear and bright

  • Magnification is 8x



5. Swarovski CL Companion Traveler Binocular


Swarovski CL Companion Traveler Binocular

The Swarovski CL Companion Traveler Binoculars are excellent hiking binoculars as they are lightweight and compact. Therefore, they are easy to carry around with you. Furthermore, they make use of roof prisms and BaK4 prisms. The roof prisms streamline the shape of the binoculars and increase the overall durability of the binoculars. The BaK4 prisms optimize the light transmission and, thus, increase the brightness of the image.

The lenses are also fully multi-coated and have an anti-reflective coating, which further increases the light transmission.

Features:


  • Uses roof and BaK4 prisms

  • Waterproof

  • Fully Multi-coated lenses

  • Easy to focus



6. Celestron – TrailSeeker 8x42 Binoculars


Celestron – TrailSeeker 8x42 Binoculars

The Celestron TrailSeeker binoculars use BaK 4 prisms and dielectric coating to give you binoculars that feel extra luxurious and of premium quality. They have increased light transmission. Therefore, the resulting image is sharp and bright. The full multi-coatings alongside other anti-reflective coatings, allow the image to be even more clear.

This pair of binoculars is also durable and extremely lightweight. It is so because of the magnesium alloy frame that is light and waterproof. The field of view is also wide and allows for 8 times magnification.

Features:


  • The image is bright and clear

  • Lightweight

  • Waterproof

  • Wide field of view



7. Leica 10 x 32 Ultravid HD


Leica 10 x 32 Ultravid HD

The Leica Ultravid HD binoculars are extremely comfortable binoculars that also offer a clear and bright image of whatever you are viewing. The eyecups on this pair of binoculars are twisted up, and you can easily set them to whichever of the two positions seems more natural.

It also uses fluoride glass, which reduces color fringing and increases the contrast and natural color of the image.

Features:


  • Comfortable

  • Uses an Aqua-Dura coating that repels water and dirt.

  • Uses Fluorite glass



8. Bushnell Legacy WP


Bushnell Legacy WP

The Bushnell Legacy WP is a rugged pair of binoculars that offer great durability. Therefore, you can take these with you on hikes and other places. They have a secure grip and shock absorbents that make them perfect hiking binoculars.

Furthermore, the zoom is adjustable on these lenses, and it can go up to 22x. The Bushnell Legacy WP uses a Porro prism system that has multi-coated optics as well as BaK 4 prisms. It is also waterproof and fog proof which adds to its durability.

Features:


  • Durable

  • It has magnification up to 22x.

  • Uses a Porro prism system

  • Waterproof

  • Fogproof



9. Nikon Trailblazer 8x25 ATB Waterproof Black Binoculars


Nikon Trailblazer 8x25 ATB Waterproof Black Binoculars

The Nikon Trailblazer Waterproof binoculars are high-quality binoculars that make use of roof prisms and high index BaK4 prisms to offer high-resolution images The lenses on these binoculars are fully multi-coated optics that help maximize the light and make the image much brighter and with improved color contrast. The glass is also nitrogen-filled and overall fog proof.

Features:


  • Uses roof and BaK4 prisms

  • Armored body and nitrogen filled

  • The image is bright and has improved color.



10. Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars


Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars

The Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars are durable binoculars that are equipped with rubber armor. They help provide a secure and non-slip grip. Therefore, you can easily take these out on your hiking trips and not worry about them breaking. Additionally, the lenses have a 15x magnification and a 56mm objective lens. Therefore, the image is stable. The lens also has multiple coatings that betters the light transmission and overall image.

Features:


  • Durable

  • Comfortable

  • Has 15x magnification.

  • Water and fog-proof



At a Glance

  Nocs Provisions Standard Issue 8x25 Waterproof Binoculars (Marigold)Nikon 7238 Action Ex Extreme 8 X 40 mm All Terrain BinocularsAthlon Optics Midas Binoculars for Adults and KidsZeiss Conquest HD BinocularSwarovski CL Companion Traveler Binocular
Type of BinocularsRoof prism binocularsRoof prism binocularsRoof prism binocularsRoof prism binocularsRoof prism binoculars
Lens coatingsFully Multi Coated Lenses that have anti-reflective coating.Has a dielectric high-reflective Multilayer Prism coating.ESP Dielectric CoatingT premium lens coatingsFully-multi coated lenses
DurabilityRugged and DurableHas rubber coating on the body and a nonslip grip. Hence, durableHas a rubber armor making it durableHas a rubber non-slip coating.Durable
WaterproofYesYesYes Yes Yes
FogproofYesYesYes NoYes
 
  Celestron – TrailSeeker 8x42 BinocularsLeica 10 x 32 Ultravid HDBushnell Legacy WPNikon Trailblazer 8x25 ATB Waterproof Black BinocularsVortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars
Type of BinocularsRoof prism binocularsRoof prism binocularsPorro prism binocularsRoof prism binocularsRoof Prism binoculars
Lens coatingsDielectric coatingsAqua-Dura coatingMulti-coated lensesFully multi-coated lensesFully multi-coated lenses
DurabilityHas a rubber armor making it durableHas a rubber armor making it durableHas a rubber armor making it durableDurableRugged construction
WaterproofYesYesYesYes Yes
FogproofYesNoYesYes Yes
 

Conclusion

Having a high-quality pair of binoculars on your hiking trip can make it all the more fun and informative. If you have good flashlights and a pair of binoculars, you can see far away animals, land, and plants with ease. However, the binoculars you take with you should be optimized for hiking and be lightweight and compact. The article above lists all the different kinds of features you should look out for and the best hiking binoculars out there.