Last Updated on May 20, 2021
Binoculars are used to see something far away up close. Two numbers describe binoculars. Let’s say that the ones you’re looking at are marked 10×42. The figure before the x shows the amount of magnification that is possible. In this case, objects will appear up to ten times closer or larger. The number after the x is the diameter of the front lenses of the binoculars in millimeters. The larger that number is, the better you can see your object.
There are a million different binoculars on the market today, and figuring out where to start looking can be difficult. For that reason, we have reviewed several and come up with a list of binoculars for you that we believe to be the top five.
|Best Overall||Vortex Diamondback||
|Best for Hunting||Upland Perception||
|Best Value||Celestron Outland||
The Vortex Optics Diamondback Classic Binoculars 10×42 are our favorite binoculars because they offer a lot and have very few issues.
The lenses have multiple coatings to give them the best protection. This coating helps to keep the glasses from fogging up, among other things.
They also have phase-corrected prisms. When light enters the binoculars and reflects off the prism, the light can be divided into two beams and make your image unclear. The phase-corrected prism forces one of those beams of light back into the phase, so that both beams have the same phase shift. The only real drawback is that these tend to have a glare during dusk, as the sun goes down.
These binoculars have a rubber-armored coating that gives you a good grip when holding them. It also helps make them waterproof, just in case you accidentally drop them into the water.
Another great thing about these binoculars is the extras that come along with them: a rainguard, tethered lens covers, a comfortable neck strap and a deluxe carrying case.
All in all, we think that these are the best 10X42 binoculars out there.
We have chosen the Upland Optics Perception HD 10×42 Binoculars as the ones that are best to use when you are hunting. These particular binoculars can be tricky to focus, but they do have extra-low-density dispersion glass to give you the clearest vision possible when you do.
Since they magnify by ten times and have a 42mm aperture, you can see when animals are coming, and have plenty of time to get ready for them. We all know that glasses and goggles tend to fog incredibly easily when it’s cold outside, and you are blowing warm air out of your nose. For this reason, these binoculars have a fog proof coating on them to help ensure that your image remains clear.
The Upland Perception 10×42 binoculars have a rubber body to give you a good grip and help make them waterproof. They also come with a carrying case, flip-down lens protectors, a lens cleaning cloth, and a neck strap.
The Celestron 71347 Outland S 10×42 Binocular is our choice for the best binoculars for your money. Although they aren’t the top of the line, they do a pretty decent job, and they come with a carrying case to keep them in.
They also have multi-coated optics to help keep them protected and waterproof and make them so they won’t fog up on you. However, they do not have the phase-shift coating, so the quality of your image is slightly hazy, and the colors look duller than they really are.
These Celestron 10×42 binoculars have twist-up eyecups that allow you to adjust the eyepiece so that it fits comfortably against your eye. We found that they really don’t have much movement and are extremely difficult for a person who wears glasses to use.
We also found that the right eyepiece, the adjustable one, tends to go out of focus easily, so you are continually trying to find or regain that perfect spot.
The Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular is a decent pair of binoculars for the person who doesn’t use binoculars often and doesn’t require the clearest image.
They have rubber-coated armor, giving you a good grip and making them more durable for outdoor use. These binoculars are also advertised as being waterproof and fogproof, but we did have an issue with them fogging up slightly. According to other reviews, this seems to be a recurring thing. We also found it challenging to get the two eyepieces to focus together as one, so you never have a really clear, crisp image to view.
The Bushnell binoculars are wide and cannot be adjusted narrower, so they don’t work well for people with narrow faces. They also don’t have any eyecups to help improve their fit to your eyes.
These binoculars are on the heavy side for their size and may be uncomfortable for some to hang around their neck for any significant period of time. You’ll want to check out the weight soon after purchasing them, so that if they are too heavy for you, they can still be returned.
The cap covers don’t attach to the binoculars anywhere. You always have to remember whether you put them in the case or your pocket. They are easy to lose.
The Barska Waterproof Roof Prism Blackhawk Binoculars are a good pair of binoculars if you don’t have any extra money to get better quality ones. They have multi-coated prisms, and rubberized armor that is good in all weather conditions and gives you a non-slip grip. They also come with a carrying case, a neck strap, lens covers, and a lens cleaning cloth.
If you do purchase these binoculars, remember that you get what you pay for. They are very poorly made and break easily, plus they are heavy to wear around your neck for an extended time.
The worst part about these binoculars is that it’s tough to get the two eyepieces to merge into one single focused image. It seems that there is always some slight double vision making it blurry. It also has colorful hues around the images because the colors don’t line up. You can get these to work, but they take a lot more effort than the better quality ones do.
Consider the degree of magnification you will need your binoculars to have.
2. Objective lens diameter:
The objective lens is on the opposite end of the eyepiece. This lens determines how much light is allowed into your binoculars. Larger objective lenses are better if you will be looking at faint or tiny objects because they give you better light to see clearly.
Since you will most likely be using your binoculars outside, make sure to get a pair that are waterproof. You never know what the weather is going to do, or if a strap will break and they’ll fall off your neck into a creek.
4. Weight and eyestrain:
Depending on what you’re using your binoculars for, you may need to use them for an extended period. Be sure that they are light enough that the weight won’t begin to bother your neck or arms after a short period. You’ll also want to make sure that you can see well through them and get things into focus, so there is little to no strain on your eyes.
5. Field of view:
The field of view is the diameter of the area that is seen through the eyepieces. A larger field of view allows you to see a larger area. It is measured in degrees.
6. Lens coating:
The lens coating is necessary because it reduces the amount of light that’s reflected out and allows maximum light in.
7. Lens quality:
Lens quality is essential because it keeps colors from getting washed out or distorted. The best quality lenses will give you better contrast. They also provide more light, so they’ll work better in low light conditions.
Our other articles on binoculars:
Now that we have given you some things to look for when shopping for your binoculars, let’s remind you of our list of the five best binoculars out there:
1. Vortex Optics Diamondback Classic Binoculars 10×42 – Best Overall
2. Upland Optics Perception HD 10×42 Binoculars – Best for Hunting
3. Celestron 71347 Outland X 10×42 Binocular – Best Value
4. Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular
5. BARSKA Waterproof Roof Prism Blackhawk Binoculars
Hopefully, you now have enough information to get you pointed in the right direction toward your perfect pair of binoculars.
Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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