Last Updated on August 15, 2020
Our 8×42 binocular reviews have been crafted with a singular purpose: to connect buyers of every variety with the right pair for their needs.
To do this we spent time studying the market, performing tests that evaluate key factors such as comfort, durability, and clarity. Everything we found has been compiled in the guide before you now. There are six binoculars, each with their own set of strong suits. Read on for our binocular reviews!
|Best Overall||Nikon MONARCH||
|Athlon Optics Midas||
|Best Value||Bushnell H2O||
|Celestron Nature DX||
The Nikon 7576 MONARCH uses ED (extra-low dispersion) glass to maximize the viewer experience. This crafting material maximizes the input of light to make the viewing quality as crisp and clear as possible. The glass features an additional multi-coated eco glass solution that further improves the clarity of your viewing.
An extra light-build makes this pair optimized for the on-the-go lifestyle of most binocular users. It’s easy to bring along for whatever adventure you have in store.
It’s also made to be very user-friendly. The knobs are easy to manipulate for focus and magnification adjustments, and the eyepieces are rubberized for comfort even during long viewing sessions.
With all these features in mind, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that the MONARCH is also pretty pricey. In fact, the one reason you might hesitate to purchase this product is the price tag. But if you don’t mind spending the extra money, it’s a great buy.
Like our top choice, the Athlon Optics Midas 8×42 Binoculars also use ED glass for high viewing quality. In fact, the two binoculars have much in common: a specialty coating, a lightweight build, and simple adjustability.
The eyepiece even has special dimensions for viewers who wear eyeglasses. This consideration is nice, but the eyepiece is also where the Midas struggles the most. We’ve found these binoculars to be uncomfortable to use for extended periods of time.
We’ve also heard reports from users who say their eyepieces came off or were in some way compromised a short time after making their purchases.
For most buyers, these probably won’t be deal-breaking issues, but they are disappointing flaws in an otherwise very high-quality pair of binoculars.
The Bushnell H2O is a great middle-of-the-road pair of binoculars that loads lots of value into a fairly affordable package. If you’re looking to save money on this purchase, you can do so while still getting a rugged, waterproof, dustproof, and drop-proof pair of binoculars.
In addition to being durable, the H2O is also good at its primary job of scouting out nice views. Though it doesn’t feature the ED glass found on our first two picks, the viewing quality is clear to a point, and you get 10X magnification capabilities for distant scouting. The clarity does diminish the farther out you are trying to view, but it is, for the most part, a reliable pair of binoculars.
However, it does struggle in the department of comfort, with eyepieces likely to irritate your skin over the course of a hike or boating trip.
Small problems aside, it’s a great budget pair of binoculars for those looking to make a value-driven purchase.
As another value-driven pair of binoculars, the Celestron 71332 Nature DX is also quite rugged, fortified by a tough rubber exterior. The glass has a specialty coating that maximizes the use of light for better image quality.
One of the nicest aspects of these binoculars is the close-up view feature. Many binoculars struggle with subjects a short distance away, but the Celestron specializes in this range. It has a “close up view” setting for the study of subjects six feet away, making it great for activities like bird watching.
Viewing quality does decrease the further out you go, however, and as is the case with many binoculars, they’re also fairly uncomfortable to use over time.
If you’re looking for an all-purpose pair of binoculars for seeing things both near and far, this won’t be the one for you. However, if your subjects tend to be relatively nearby, these binoculars will work nicely.
The biggest selling point of the SkyGenius is, unquestionably, the price. This is the lowest-priced pair we’ve seen by far, making it good for people who really need to stick to a budget.
Relative to the other products on our list, however, the features don’t stack up so well. You do get 8X magnification capabilities, but clarity is a continuous issue that only worsens the farther out you look.
The plastic exterior is also virtually unfortified, which means drops or bumps may be the end of the SkyGenius.
If you’re looking for binoculars you don’t necessarily need to keep for a long time, these might cut the mustard. Otherwise, you’ll likely want to look to one of the other options on our list.
The Hooway 8×42 Roof Prism Binocular is an ultra-affordable pair of binoculars with entry-level features for first-time users. Like the last pair, the main selling point is the price tag. The plastic exterior is delicate, while the lenses only deliver so-so viewing quality.
Buyers will also want to keep in mind that these binoculars are not weatherproof, so you’ll need to be very mindful of where you take them.
For light use, these will work fine. However, more serious buyers are not likely to pay them much mind.
More binoculars posts:
Our 8×42 binocular reviews are now complete and the decision is upon us. Deciding is always the hardest part, but our list features at least two standout choices that clearly satisfy the needs of different types of buyers.
Those looking for the best of the best are likely to opt for our top choice, the Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 8×42 Binocular. Budget shoppers, on the other hand, will find a good mix of value and quality in the Bushnell H2O 8×42-mm Roof Prism Binoculars.
Ultimately, though, all of them will be right for someone, so study up and decide on the perfect choice for your needs!
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.
Best Nikon Binoculars 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
Best Point and Shoot Camera for Birding 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
Best Schmidt Cassegrain Telescopes 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
Best Cameras for Bird Photography 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
Best Superzoom Camera for Birding 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
Best Telescope for Astrophotography 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
International Dawn Chorus Day: A Summer Morning Song (8 Birds to Listen For!)
How Do Binoculars Work? Explained