The 10 Best Compact Binoculars Reviewed In 2021

best compact binoculars

Whether you’re looking to get the best compact binoculars for stargazing, hunting, bird-watching, viewing nature, or any other outdoor activity – it’s important to get the best quality for the money being spent. Investing in a good pair of binoculars can be a tough task to go through with the sheer number of aspects that you have to keep in mind. The technical vocabulary can make any novice feel intimidated. The first question that you need to ask yourself is whether you wish to get full sized binoculars or get a more compact pair.

More and more individuals are choosing to purchase binoculars, simply because of the ease of travel they provide. These compact ones are just as great as their full-sized counterparts with the added bonus of their size. There are times when you want your equipment to be as durable as possible yet still being lightweight. Many compact binoculars can provide you with the durability and weight that you want.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best compact binoculars in the market. The buying guide at the end will help you decide which one suits your needs best along with some tips and tricks for you purchasing binoculars.

Why not check out our other Outdoor product reviews that might be helpful to you like the best compass apps

The 10 Best Compact Binoculars In 2021 are:

  1. Tasco Essentials 10×25 Binoculars
  2. Wingspan Optics Spectator 8×32 Binoculars
  3. Bushnell H20 8×25 Waterproof Binoculars
  4. Merytes 10X25 Binoculars
  5. Nikon Trailblazer 8×25 ATB
  6. Minox BV II 8×25
  7. Steiner Safari UltraSharp 8×22
  8. BNISE 10×42 Compact Binocular
  9. Swarovski Optik El Swarovision 8.5×42
  10. Bushnell Powerview 8×21 Folding  Compact Binocular

Small Binoculars Comparison Table

EDITORS CHOICE
Bushnell Powerview 8x21 Folding Compact Binocular
  • Bushnell Powerview Folding Compact Binocular
  • Humber Sport Rating

  • Spec: 8x21
  • Weight: 195g 7oz
Bushnell H20 8x25 Waterproof Compact Binoculars
  • Bushnell H20 8x25 Waterproof Compact Binoculars
  • Humber Sport Rating

  • Spec: 8x25
  • Weight: 340g
BEST VALUE
Merytes-10x25-Compact-Binoculars
  • Merytes 10x25 Compact Binoculars
  • Humber Sport Rating

  • Spec: 10x25
  • Weight: 200g

Best Compact Binocular Reviews

1. Tasco Essentials 10×25 Compact Binoculars

tasco Essentials 10x25Tasco’s binoculars come with fully coated lenses encompassed in rugged rubber that is perfect for bicycle touring, backpacking, or even hiking. They do have water resistance housing as well as a compact ‘twin bridge’ design. The rubber fold-down eyecups offer protection for the lenses. These binoculars also come complete with a neck strap and carrying pouch.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Lens Diameter: 25mm
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Eye Relief Size: 15mm
  • Exit Pupil: 2.5mm
  • Field of View: 288 ft.
Pros
  • Very compact
  • Foldable
  • Protective covers
  • Great for long distances
Cons
  • Slightly larger in dimension with a small eye relief
  • Not ideal for low-light

 

2. Wingspan Optics Spectator 8×32 Compact Binoculars

Wingspan Optics Spectator 8X32These binoculars from Wingspan offer a lightweight option for bird-watchers. Through the nitrogen filled lenses and sealed body, it is completely fog proof and waterproof. The extra-wide field of view allows users to have a wide vision but also be able to focus in on the target from 1000 yards away. The binoculars also feature a non-slip, Ergo Comfort grip which allows users to be able to use them for hours without any discomfort. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1.4 lbs.
  • Lens Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Eye Relief Size: 15mm
  • Exit Pupil: 4mm
  • Field of View: 360.9 ft.
Pros
  • Great Image quality
  • Great clarity for longer distances
  • A larger field of view than other options
Cons
  • Difficult for first-timers to use
  • Not as compact as other options

 

3. Bushnell H20 8×25 Waterproof Compact Binoculars

Bushnell H20 8x25 WaterproofThis binocular is made to be 100 percent waterproof and fog proof through the nitrogen purged lenses and O-ring sealed body. The non-slip rubber armor provides shock absorption while also providing a firm grip. It also features multi-coated optics and BaK4 prisms, which offer users a crisp image. They also offer a large center focus knob, twist-up eyecups, and longer eye relief. These are the best compact binoculars that are waterproof.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 0.75 lbs.
  • Lens Diameter: 25mm
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Eye Relief Size: 17mm
  • Exit Pupil: 3.13mm
  • Field of View: 374.02 ft.
Pros
  • Adjust focus to be able to use without glasses
  • Lightweight
  • Dual hinges
  • Foldable
Cons
  • Small body means noticeable hand movements
  • Not ideal for short distance viewing

 

4. Merytes 10×25 Compact Binoculars – Best Value

Merytes 10x25Merytes, unlike other popular brands, adds a blue film to the eyepieces, which give the user a sharp and bright image, non-aberration, and better transmittance. Their lenses are multi-coated with blue film (FMC Broadband) and offer strong light transmittance. They magnification is offered through a fixed-ratio 10x for 101m and 1000m. The price point of this binocular makes this a part of the less costly options.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 0.54 lbs.
  • Lens Diameter: 25mm
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Eye Relief Size: 10mm
  • Exit Pupil: 10mm
  • Field of View: N/K
Pros
  • Clear quality
  • Solid build
  • Portable and compact
  • Includes a strap and carrying case
Cons
  • Partial non-English instructions
  • Does not include a lens cap

 

5. Nikon Trailblazer 8×25 ATB Compact Binoculars

Nikon Trailblazer 8x25 ATBThis Binocular from Nikon features anti-reflective compounds in multiple layers to offer excellent resolution and brightness. It also offers a central and smooth focus knob, which allows the user to have quick viewing through the fast focus. The BaK4 high index prisms allow them to have very high-resolution images. They are also O-ring sealed and nitrogen filled which allow them to be fully fog proof and waterproof.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 0.62 lbs.
  • Lens Diameter: 25mm
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Eye Relief Size: 10mm
  • Exit Pupil: 3.1mm
  • Field of View: 429.13 ft.
Pros
  • Durable
  • Solid build
  • Compact
  • Offer exceptional image clarity
Cons
  • Will not suit those that have shaky hands

 

#6 Minox BV II 8×25 Compact Binoculars

Minox BV II 8x25This Minox binocular is nitrogen filled to offer users with a waterproof and fog proof product. They also offer adjustable eye relief by simply twisting up the eyecups. The binoculars are also multi-coated for excellent contrast on sharp images. The lightweight body also features shock absorption through the rubber armor. It also comes with a 30-year warranty.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 0.67 lbs.
  • Lens Diameter: 25mm
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Eye Relief Size: 15.5mm
  • Exit Pupil: 3.13mm
  • Field of View: 390.42 ft.
Pros
  • Sharp image quality
  • Excellent for night viewing
  • Great price to value
  • Less shake when handheld
Cons
  • It does not come with a lens cap

 

#7 Steiner Safari Ultra Sharp 8×22 Compact Binoculars

Steiner Safari Ultra Sharp 8x22Steiner’s compact binoculars feature optics that are coated with anti-glare as well as a roof prism. The polycarbonate and rubber armoring offer a durable and sturdy body for the binoculars. It is waterproof and fog proof through the high contrast and UV coated lenses. Steiner also offers a ten-year warranty.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 0.50 lbs.
  • Lens Diameter: 22m
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Eye Relief Size: 11mm
  • Exit Pupil: 2.75mm
  • Field of View: 136.7 ft.
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Durable
  • Great for daytime use
Cons
  • Not ideal for objects that are anywhere from 6 ft. to 66 ft. away

 

#8 BNISE 10×42 Compact Binoculars

BNISE 10x42BNISE binoculars feature BaK4 roof prisms and multi-coated lenses encompassed in a rubber armored housing. The body and lens are sealed through nitrogen purge and O-ring to make them fully fog proof and waterproof. The binoculars also have soft touch thumb grips and flip covers and twist-up eyecups to protect the lenses.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1.4 lbs.
  • Lens Diameter: 42mm
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Eye Relief Size: 15mm
  • Exit Pupil: 4.1mm
  • Field of View: 331.4 ft.
Pros
  • Solid build
  • Lightweight
  • High optics
  • Great price to value
Cons
  • Larger than others (due to the higher magnification)

 

#9 Swarovski Optik El Swarovision 8.5×42 Compact Binoculars

warovski Optik El Swarovision 8.5x42The Swarovski binoculars feature high definition optics with high definition lenses. They offer great contrast as well as have enhanced multi-coating on all the prisms and lenses. The lenses are protected through the twist-up eyecups. Read Full reviews here.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1.8 lbs.
  • Lens Diameter: 42mm
  • Magnification: 8.5x
  • Eye Relief Size: 20mm
  • Exit Pupil: 4.9mm
  • Field of View: 436.4 ft.
Pros
  • Large eye relief makes this great for those with glasses
  • Great for situations with dim lights
  • Clear images
  • Exceptionally precise
Cons
  • Considered to be quite fancy
  • Price is quite high in comparison to the others

 

#10 Bushnell Powerview 8×21 Folding Compact Binocular

Bushnell Powerview 8x21 FoldingThe fold-down eyecups give a protective covering to the lenses along with the roof prism design. Bushnell’s are coated with anti-reflective coating on all air to glass surfaces to aid in the light transmission. On top of that, the body is made of rubber armor to further add protection.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 0.43 lbs.
  • Lens Diameter: 21mm
  • Magnification: 8x
  • Eye Relief Size: 10mm
  • Exit Pupil: 2.6mm
  • Field of View: 377.3 ft.
Pros
  • Great magnification
  • Unnoticeable handshaking
  • Compact
  • Great size
Cons
  • Not fog proof
  • Not waterproof
  • Is not suitable with a tripod

 

How To Choose The Best Compact Binoculars

Small and compact binoculars are becoming increasingly popular, mainly due to their size and ease of transport. However, those are not the only reasons as to why they are so popular. Other reasons include:

  • The ability to zoom in on anything at any given time due to the ease of bringing it along with you everywhere.
  • It eliminates extra weight that you would otherwise have to bring full-sized binoculars.
  • You don’t have to carry around a huge bag of equipment when going to explore, instead, you can easily whip out yours without a noise.
  • They can also be easily packed away when you don’t need them any longer or they are not allowed.

These are not the only reasons why one might want compact binoculars, but regardless of the reason, there are many uses for them. This means that these, similar to any other product, have some advantages and disadvantages.

Things To Keep In Mind:

  • Some, but not all, compact binoculars are built to have the same capabilities as the full sized models. If the quality of the glass is great, then you’re sure to get high-quality images through the lens. If they are priced extremely low, that generally means that the glass that was used was not of great quality.
  • They are easy to store away, but it also means that they should have a durable frame that is able to have the spills, bruises, and bumps that come with being adventurous.
  • Well-known and reputable brands are sure to produce the best compact binoculars, but it’s always recommended for you to do your research fully before committing to a single brand or product.

The Basics

Before you can even start researching the products available on the market, it’s important to know what exactly you’re looking for. Though we won’t be able to give you a complete detailed explanation, we hope that this section will help you understand the lingo a bit better.

Magnification

The magnification of binoculars shows the how large an object can appear. The higher the magnification capacity, the better the image will be for objects that are further away.

Lens Diameter

The lens diameter, which refers to the size of the lens opening, influences the viewing quality of the image. The larger the diameter and magnification is, the better the light sensitivity.

Eye Relief Size

The eye relief size refers to how far away the eyepiece is from your eye. If you are not a glasses wearer, then all sizes will work for you. However, for those that wear glasses, it’s important to look for those that have a higher size.

Weight

The weight of the binoculars can determine the comfort ability while carrying and viewing. Most modern binoculars are lightweight.

Exit Pupil Diameter

The exit pupil diameter is the size of the hole in which the light passes through from. It is determined by diving the objective lens size by the magnification. The larger the number, the higher the amount of light it allows to enter the binoculars and allows for a brighter image.

Field of View

Depending on the purpose and method of using your binoculars, the field of view can affect how large of a view you have. The field of view is how wide of a scene appears through your binoculars. The field of view decreases as the magnification increases.

Lens Coatings

When researching the various options of lens coatings, you might notice that different brands sometimes use different coatings. The coating generally affects how much light is reflected away from the lens. They can also improve the clarity and brightness of images to make them more clear to you.

Water and Fog Proofing

waterproof binocularsIf you are going to be using outdoors, it’s important to have ones that are waterproof. Nature is pretty unpredictable; hence you don’t want to be caught outside in the rain with a highly expensive camera that is not waterproof.

Conclusion

There are a lot of things that need to be considered when making a decision regarding which to purchase. There are a lot of variables and specifications that need to be looked at, while also keeping the aesthetics and functionality in mind. Though larger, full-sized binoculars offer users with the highest quality images and/or the highest possible zoom power – they can also become quite bulky and heavy.

Compact binoculars offer users with the same if not better price to value, through their weight and image quality. They are also easy to carry around with you everywhere, which means that you can be ready at any given point in time. We hope this article has helped you find the best compact binoculars.

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