Our Top Picks
Best Binoculars Under $300
Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars
Best Binoculars Under $200
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Folding Roof Prism Binoculars
Best Binoculars Under $100
Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8x42 Binoculars
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
Last update on 2021-09-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
How We Choose + Our Must-Have Features
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
What Customers Say
Best Binoculars Under $200: Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Folding Roof Prism Binoculars
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.
What Customers Say
Best Binoculars Under $100: Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8x42 Binoculars
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.
What Customers Say
Best Hunting Binoculars Under $300: VANGUARD Endeavor ED 10x42 Binocular
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.
What Customers Say
Nikon 7576 Monarch 5 8x42 Binoculars
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.
What Customers Say
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.
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!