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Best Binoculars for Wildlife Viewing 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated on August 18, 2020

Woman with BinocularsA good pair of wildlife binoculars is a clear window to the world. A bad pair will provide you with nothing more than a fuzzy headache.

The list we have here has been specially crafted to help you avoid the latter. The binoculars that have been assembled here are highlighted based on durability, performance, and the overall ability to help you enjoy a high-quality viewing experience.

We’ve also made a special point of picking options that are good for people with a wide range of budgets.

Let’s go for it, shall we? Read on for some wildlife viewing binoculars!


A Summary of our Top Picks in 2020:

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Nikon 8252 ACULON Nikon 8252 ACULON
  • Easy to use
  • Comfort build
  • Outstanding image quality
  • Second place
    Celestron 71332 Celestron 71332
  • Easy to adjust
  • Durable exterior
  • Water-resistant build
  • Best Value
    Third place
    Gosky Roof Prism Gosky Roof Prism
  • Affordable
  • Easy to work with
  • Compatible with phone
  • Best Budget Buy
    Bushnell Falcon Bushnell Falcon
  • Lightweight
  • Good for wide-angle viewing
  • Abrasion resistant finish
  • Cayzor 12×42 Cayzor 12×42
  • Portable
  • Can be used with phones
  • Well suited for hunting or bird watching
  • The 5 Best Binoculars for Wildlife Viewing:

    1. Nikon 8252 ACULON Binocular – Best Overall

    Nikon 8252 ACULON A211

    The Nikon 8252 is a standout option that features an extremely high level of image quality. If you are looking for something that gives you an amazing look at nature, this is probably a choice that you will gravitate towards.

    The eyepiece is specifically made with comfort in mind. The highly adjustable tool is also optimized for ease of use. This being the case, you should have no trouble at all really zeroing in on a special bird or a beautiful horizon.

    The glass of the lenses also features a specialty coating that makes images pop regardless of the level of light.

    In terms of problems, there really aren’t many to speak of. This unit does come with a sizable price tag, but then again, quality usually doesn’t come cheap.

    Pros
    • Outstanding image quality
    • Comfort build
    • Easy to use
    Cons
    • Not very budget-friendly

    2. Celestron 71332 Nature Binocular

    Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8x42

    Next up, the Celestron. Like our top choice, this unit is specifically optimized to create the best user experience possible. The glasses are coated with a solution that makes the best use of light possible when viewing through the lenses. It also features a durable exterior and can be adjusted with ease for a pleasant user experience.

    This pair of binoculars even has the added bonus of being water-resistant. If you like to take your binoculars out on rougher trails, this will be an important feature that prolongs the overall life expectancy of the tool.

    Unfortunately, there are a couple of issues that put this selection in second place. For one thing, it is pricey like our first option. It’s also not extremely comfortable. The eyepieces are fairly rough to use, especially over long periods of time.

    Pros
    • Durable exterior
    • Water-resistant build
    • Great lenses make good use out of light
    • Easy to adjust
    Cons
    • Fairly pricey
    • Eyepieces are not very comfortable

    3. Gosky Roof Prism Binoculars – Best Value

    Gosky 10x42 Roof Prism Binoculars

    If you didn’t love the price of our last two options, you’ll probably be more comfortable with the Gosky Roof Prism Binoculars. Our Best for the Money pick is both durable and affordable making it an awesome option for buyers on a tight budget.

    There is plenty to appreciate in this pair of binoculars. The HD lenses produce an extremely high image quality while the entire system also benefits from an intuitive setup that is easy to manipulate and adjust.

    It also comes with a carrying case and strap, giving you everything you need to get started. As a bonus it also benefits from phone compatibility. If you’re interested in taking high-quality long-distance photographs this will be an excellent way to do it.

    Some durability shortcomings undermine the overall user experience. These binoculars aren’t quite as sturdy as the other picks on our list.

    The image quality also isn’t quite as refined as that of our top two choices.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Compatible with phone
    • Easy to work with
    Cons
    • Image quality not as refined as we care to see
    • Durability concerns
    •  

    4. Bushnell Falcon Wildlife Binoculars – Best Budget Buy

    Bushnell Falcon

    Second to last on our list we have a product from Bushnell Falcon. This wide-angle piece of equipment is going to be great for taking in big sweeping views of a nature scene. While it’s not as refined when it comes to closeups, you will be able to acquaint yourself with the wider viewing area in style.

    It’s also lightweight and easy enough to adjust that even beginners should have a pretty straightforward experience.

    Unfortunately, it is a little basic compared to some of the other units we’ve highlighted to this point. One shortcoming pertains to the eyepiece. This aspect of the equipment is fairly stiff and uncomfortable which will prove problematic over time.

    The image quality is also a little bit lacking, and the durability could be better.

    Pros
    Cons
    • Uncomfortable lenses
    • Not very durable
    • Viewing quality is a little so-so

    5. Cayzor 12×42 Binoculars

    Cayzor 12x42 Binoculars

    We end the list with a pair of binoculars that are specifically made for hunting or taking in nature scenes. The lenses even feature a special coating that will make them compatible with phones, making them a great option for people that want to improve their photography game.

    Unfortunately, though, the quality just isn’t exactly where we want it to be. The phone mount is cheaply made, the image quality is so-so, and the eyepiece is very uncomfortable.
    The concept is solid but if a few key features could be tidied up a little bit the entire unit would be much better off.

    Pros
    • Well suited for hunting or bird watching
    • Can be used with phones
    Cons
    • Phone mount very low quality
    • Eyepiece uncomfortable
    • Image quality is so-so

    Buyer’s Guide

    You’ve seen the products, but did you completely understand everything we went over? If not we get it. Binoculars can be a little tricky. Below you will find a special guide designed to make your decision a little bit easier.

    Water-Resistant

    Trail binoculars tend to really get put through the wringer. In addition to encountering the occasional drop or spill, they are also constantly being exposed to the elements. Moisture resistance can mean the difference between keeping a pair intact or sending them to an early grave.

    Some Even Float!

    Yep, that’s right. In addition to being water-resistant, some binoculars will actually float to make them easy to find if they get dropped in the water.

    Of course, if you drop them in the ocean or a really big lake, recovery may still be a challenge. However, with a floating feature, you will at least have a decent chance of getting your equipment back.

    Fog Immunity

    Fog poses several unique risks to binoculars. For one thing, it simply makes it very difficult to see. In the worst-case scenario though, it can actually get into the sealing of the binoculars, effectively rendering them useless.

    Naturally, you don’t want that. A fog immunity feature will keep your binoculars in working order even in very hot and humid environments.

    Comfort

    And of course, you also can’t overestimate the value of comfort. Depending on the pair of binoculars, the eyepiece can really make or break your experience. A well-built eyepiece will allow you to comfortably use the binoculars for hours at a time.

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    Conclusion:

    Hopefully, by now our wildlife viewing binocular reviews have made your final choice easy and straightforward. However, if you are still struggling somewhat with your decision there are a couple of options we thought were worth taking a second look at.

    If you just want an outstanding pair of binoculars with which to view the world, you aren’t going to find a better choice than the Nikon 8252 ACULON A211 10-22×50 Zoom Binocular.

    However, there are also quality picks available to buyers on a budget. Our best for the money pick, the Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars is a good example of how great optical equipment does not have to cost an arm and a leg.

    There really is something here for everyone so study our list and pick the perfect binoculars for your needs!

    About the Author Robert Sparks

    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.