Best Binoculars Under $300

Our Top Picks

Best Binoculars Under $300

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars

These binoculars are manufactured by a world-famous optics brand.

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Best Binoculars Under $200

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Folding Roof Prism Binoculars

These binoculars are best for people who are always on the go.

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Best Binoculars Under $100

Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8x42 Binoculars

These binoculars are super light and easy to use.

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Best Hunting Binoculars Under $300

VANGUARD Endeavor ED 10x42 Binoculars

These binoculars guarantee a smooth hunting experience.

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When you’re hunting on the move, a good pair of binoculars with quality glass and lightweight are a great tool to have. Sometimes it’s better to just sit in your hunting tree stand and watch them from afar. If this is your first time buying a set, let us help you make the right decision! In this article, we’ve picked the best binoculars under $300 plus other affordable options!

A Quick Comparison of the Best Binoculars Under $300

Vortex DB-215 Optics Diamondback HD 10x42 Binoculars, Black
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Folding Roof Prism Binoculars, 10 x...
Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8x42 Binocular (Black)
VANGUARD Endeavor ED 10x42 Binocular, ED Glass, Waterproof/Fogproof,...
Nikon 7576 Monarch 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
Model
Vortex DB-215 Optics Diamondback HD 10x42 Binoculars, Black
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Folding Roof Prism Binoculars, 10 x...
Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8x42 Binocular (Black)
VANGUARD Endeavor ED 10x42 Binocular, ED Glass, Waterproof/Fogproof,...
Nikon 7576 Monarch 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
MSRP
$229.00
$149.00
$86.82
$232.62
$276.95
Material
Aluminum with rubber armor
Magnesium
Rubber-armored coating
Aluminum
Rubber
Optics
Fully multi-coated lenses
Optics with BaK-4 prisms, ED Prime Glass, Ultra Wide Band Coatings, and RainGuard HD water-repellent lens coating
Eco-Glass lenses
Extra low dispersion (ED) glass
Fully multicoated eco glass lenses
Weight
21.3 Ounces
12.17 Ounces
26.8 Ounces
25.8 Ounces
1.30 Pounds
Size
5.7 x 5.1 inches
4.61 x 2.28 x 3.39 inches
5.7 x 7.3 inches
6 1/8 x 5 1/8 inches
5.7 x 5.1 x 2.4 inches
Vortex DB-215 Optics Diamondback HD 10x42 Binoculars, Black
Model
Vortex DB-215 Optics Diamondback HD 10x42 Binoculars, Black
MSRP
$229.00
Material
Aluminum with rubber armor
Optics
Fully multi-coated lenses
Weight
21.3 Ounces
Size
5.7 x 5.1 inches
More Information
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Folding Roof Prism Binoculars, 10 x...
Model
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Folding Roof Prism Binoculars, 10 x...
MSRP
$149.00
Material
Magnesium
Optics
Optics with BaK-4 prisms, ED Prime Glass, Ultra Wide Band Coatings, and RainGuard HD water-repellent lens coating
Weight
12.17 Ounces
Size
4.61 x 2.28 x 3.39 inches
More Information
Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8x42 Binocular (Black)
Model
Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8x42 Binocular (Black)
MSRP
$86.82
Material
Rubber-armored coating
Optics
Eco-Glass lenses
Weight
26.8 Ounces
Size
5.7 x 7.3 inches
More Information
VANGUARD Endeavor ED 10x42 Binocular, ED Glass, Waterproof/Fogproof,...
Model
VANGUARD Endeavor ED 10x42 Binocular, ED Glass, Waterproof/Fogproof,...
MSRP
$232.62
Material
Aluminum
Optics
Extra low dispersion (ED) glass
Weight
25.8 Ounces
Size
6 1/8 x 5 1/8 inches
More Information
Nikon 7576 Monarch 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
Model
Nikon 7576 Monarch 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
MSRP
$276.95
Material
Rubber
Optics
Fully multicoated eco glass lenses
Weight
1.30 Pounds
Size
5.7 x 5.1 x 2.4 inches
More Information

Last update on 2021-09-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How We Choose + Our Must-Have Features

Optics

Collimation

Collimation is the alignment of the images produced by the binoculars’ left and right tubes. To simply put it, a pair of binoculars that are not well-collimated displays a double image, and we don’t want that. It’s important to check if the binoculars you want to buy are out of collimation, so you can have them replaced or repaired.

Here’s a detailed video on how to perform a collimation test on a pair of binoculars.

Twilight Factor

If you’ll be scouting or watching birds at dawn or dusk, make sure to consider the binoculars’ ability to gather light and perform well in these low light conditions. This way your time in the field won’t be limited.

Field of View

Field of view is the width of the area that you can see at a particular magnification. It’s usually measured in feet at 1000 yards. Binoculars with a wide field of view allow you to track a moving target more quickly and easily and make it easy to pick up things surrounding your primary target of interest.

Eye Relief/Lens Coating

A great pair of binoculars have fully multi-coated lenses, and therefore, provide bright and clear images in all lighting conditions. Also, if you’re a glass wearer, we suggest getting binoculars with 14 to 15 mm eye relief so you can hunt for hours without feeling discomfort.

Magnification

It’s also critical to consider magnification as it allows you to track your game discreetly at a sufficient distance. If you’re planning to hunt in an open area, we suggest getting binoculars with 10x magnification. But if you only plan to hunt at closer distances, then an 8x magnification is more than enough.

Housing Material

Lastly, it’s important to consider the binoculars’ build and housing material. Accidental drops can’t be avoided, especially if you use them regularly. We suggest getting binoculars with durable material and outer coatings for added protection against scratches and dents.

5 Best Binoculars Under $300

Best Overall Binoculars Under $300: Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars

Last update on 2021-09-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We chose the Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars as the Best Overall Binoculars Under $300 because it’s the most cost-effective among our picks. These binoculars offer incredible image quality despite being budget-friendly.

The Diamondback HD binoculars are constructed from high-quality materials, from their tubes to their lenses, making them resistant to mild scratches. These binoculars also feature three adjustable eye relief positions, so they’re perfect for those with eyeglasses.

They also come in a GlassPak Binocular Harness for whenever they’re not in use. The harness has small pockets where you can store your cash, lens cloth, or your phone.

Pros

Cons

What Customers Say

“I sent these to my father for Christmas. I overheard My cousins and uncles teasing him about his 1912 binoculars when I went for a visit. Turns out his binoculars really are from 1912! When he opened the package and went out to his porch and looked across the valley he told me he could actually see things on the far ridge! Vortex provides the absolute best bang for your optics buck in my opinion!”

Mike Limb

“I was impressed right out of the box with the well-made padded case with neck strap and harness strap, a nice bonus. I've only used them for an hour or so as I just got them this morning. Even though it is raining and very cloudy I found these bins to be very bright and sharp. They outperform my Nikon's big time. I've looked through high price lenses and to be honest, my eyes can't tell the difference between the high-priced bins and these. These may be the best value to quality bins on the market. I highly recommend it!”

Bill

Best Binoculars Under $200: Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Folding Roof Prism Binoculars

Last update on 2021-09-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Don’t be blinded by our next pick’s small size, because they produce crisp images and perform extremely well in low light situations.

The Bushnell Legend Binoculars are so comfortable to use with glasses don’t even need to remove them to get a full field of view. Their leather carrying case also comes with a belt loop and easily attaches to a belt, making it great for backpackers and runners.

The Bushnell Legend Binoculars are also waterproof and fog proof, so they’re handy even in wet climates. One downside, however, is that they’re not great in low light conditions.

Pros

Cons

What Customers Say

“I got them for the small size to take in a shirt pocket on safari to Africa or on hikes around home. I have larger, much more expensive binoculars so I do know something about them and I was impressed at how bright and clear these are. I have been using these around home for birding just because they are so easy to use. Another advantage is that they are very adjustable for distance between the eyes and I have found some other binoculars that were too wide for me. I consider them to be a great bargain for lightweight binocs. I did not like the stiff neckpiece of the tether system so I replaced it with a black shoelace so the binocs and neckpiece fit into the nice leather case.”

Ronwa

“These are great little products. They are small and will fit in a pocket or purse easily. The view is amazing!.. we attend quite a few concerts and at times I've wanted to see the band, these will allow us to see the band members now along with the wildlife at our house. I love that I don't have to remove my glasses to use them. The only downfall is the cheesy neckstrap. I will be looking for a replacement strap. The one that is included is made of some kind of vinyl and is next to impossible to attach. That's the only thing we've found so far tho.”

Michigan Mom

Best Binoculars Under $100: Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8x42 Binoculars

Last update on 2021-09-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you don’t want to spend more than a hundred bucks on a pair of binos, the Nikon 8245 Aculon A211 Binoculars offer great quality images and details for less than that! That’s because of its aspherical multicoated eco-glass lenses. These proprietary lenses guarantee a flat field of view and image brightness enhancement like no other.

The Nikon Aculon Binoculars also feature rubber-armored coatings so they won’t slip even while using them in the rain or snow. These binoculars also come with a heavy-duty neck strap and a soft carrying case. Their lens caps need a little improvement design-wise, but they serve their purpose.

Pros

Cons

What Customers Say

“The lenses are superior. However, the right eye adjustment knob is very stiff and I wonder if this is a design defect. Overall they are the best binoculars I've had for birdwatching. In fact, the lighting and clarity is so good that I can practically count the "eyelashes" on the squirrels that visit the feeder.”

Gypsycat

“Excellent binoculars for the price. They're easy to focus and quite sharp. People with a specialized need might not care for them but if you use binoculars occasionally and want something that's optically true with a diopter adjustment for less than perfect vision these are a good choice.”

Joel Fritz

Best Hunting Binoculars Under $300: VANGUARD Endeavor ED 10x42 Binocular

Last update on 2021-09-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our best hunting binoculars pick is favorable for those with glasses or without, thanks to their twistable eyecups and long eye relief.

The Vanguard Endeavor Binoculars are compact and portable so they’re great if you’ll be on the move a lot. They also offer crystal clear images and exceptional details in almost all lighting conditions.

The Endeavor also comes in an open-bridge design so they’re extremely comfortable to use. Plus, they feature a lockable diopter ring for easy adjustments.

Pros

Cons

What Customers Say

“The mechanics are great, as is the build quality....little heavy, I wouldn't recommend them for a weaker person, I'm 68 yrs old and they're fine for me....I use them for all kinds of hunting, and birding. there is absolutely NOTHING any better for the Bucks, period.” 

Skip

“Love these binoculars. Opted for 10 x 42 instead of 8 x 42. After a bit of research, reviews, etc. I opted for the Vanguard Endeavor based on the value for the features. With the available rebate these were priced below competitors with better reviews. There is a bit more shake at this magnification but the images are crystal clear; I plan to get a tripod. The binoculars are easy to adjust and worked well in some rain; no fogging. I did require a replacement (very prompt; no questions) as the eyepiece adjustment on the diopter ring side stopped working after a few uses. Overall I am very happy with this set.”

Scott Austin

Nikon 7576 Monarch 5 8x42 Binoculars

Last update on 2021-09-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Nikon Monarch 5 is one of the most affordable binoculars around with better-than-average material construction and image quality.

We also love how the objective lens is designed with an inner and outer lip so you can grip the barrels better. The soft canvas case that comes with these binoculars is also well-padded to protect the binos well. Its latest version is also an ounce lighter than the previous one.

One downside, however, is how the lens caps fit loosely, failing to protect the lens from dirt, dust, and external impact. 

Pros

Cons

What Customers Say

“These are good quality glasses. They focus up close and the eye cup adjustments work well. I would have given them 5 stars except that they have an annoying squeak in the focus knob. It's very distracting to other birders in my group, because it sounds like a "chirp." Others have complained in online forums, and the conventional wisdom is that you need to work the focus knob back and forth until the squeak disappears. Lubricating it isn't recommended. I've done a lot of back and forth, but the squeak is still there. I'll keep trying.”

AC

“Great low priced binoculars. Good starter pair for beginner bird watchers. Very clear, can adjust to a close up view. Also light weight to carry. P. S. Buy a neck strap that goes over your shoulder, don’t use the neck strap that comes with your binoculars. You’ll be much happier .”

Marilyn

FAQs

What are the best binoculars for the money?

We picked only the best binoculars for the money in this article. But the top spot goes to the Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars because they offer the most value for money. And they’re manufactured by Vortex, so you know they’re of superior quality. However, if you want a wider field of view, then choose an 8×42 pair of binos from our picks above.

Which is better: 12x50 or 10x42 binoculars?

12×50 binoculars work best for long-distance viewing or scouting at low lighting conditions. While 10×42 binoculars are perfect for runners, hikers, or backpackers because of their portability.

Are 10x42 binoculars better than 8X42?

This depends on your preference. If magnification or power is your priority, then go with 10×42 binoculars. However, high magnification also involves difficulty in staying focused on your target because even the tiniest movement made by your hand also gets magnified, so consider that too. If you prefer a wide field of view over high magnification, then go with 8×42 binoculars.

What are the best binoculars for long-distance viewing?

We recommend the Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42 HD Binoculars as the best binoculars for long-distance viewing. Its magnification is not too high so you can focus constantly, and it’s also not too low so you can clearly see your target. 

Bottomline

Not everyone can afford to spend thousands on a pair of binoculars. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have better hunting or bird-watching experience! We put together this article to help cost-conscious buyers like you get high-quality but affordable binoculars, and we hope it helped you out.

If you want to take a look at the best hunting binoculars (they’re more pricey but they’re worth it), this article should help too!