We Review The Best Birdwatching Binoculars 2020

 

Beach Baby has been reviewing the competition in the quest for the best bird watching binoculars to take to the beach – or anywhere else for that matter – this year.

These binoculars are the people’s choice, and each one has its own special abilities and features which we’ll be going over soon enough.

Before we move to our reviews, we will discuss what you need to look for when buying binoculars for bird watching. Here is what we are going to talk about today:

Let’s start…


What to Look for When Buying Binoculars for Bird Watching?

The right pair of binoculars is probably your most important piece of equipment for bird watching. The right binoculars can enhance your enjoyment of the natural world exponentially.

However choosing the right pair of binoculars for bird watching can be a tricky position. That’s why we decided to help you out with this matter by explaining what you need to look for when buying binoculars for bird watching.


Magnification

Every binocular has two numbers in its description. For example, it will show numbers such as 8×50, 8×30, or 10×25.

The first number in the description is the magnification. Magnification is the number of times an object is magnified through the binocular.

So a 8×30 binocular would have a magnification of 8.


Lens Diameter

The second number in a binocular description is the diameter of the objective lens. The diameter of the lens is usually measured in millimeters (mm).

The diameter of the lens is very important because it is responsible for the amount of light that flows through the binocular.

More light is good because it allows you to see better colors and brighter images in dark conditions.


Field of View

Field of view (FOV) is the visible area seen through the binoculars as you look through them.

FOV can be described as the amount of details you can see looking through your binoculars.

Having a small field of view while watching birds can be tricky annoying and frustrating because it is easy to lose track of them when they move around.

That’s it! Those are the key factors you need to consider when buying binoculars. You are now all set to spend some money on good pair of binos.

Of course, you can spend a fortune on these if you want to, but you don’t have to, so we have compiled a short list of seven pairs that we feel are a good buy, across the board, and suitable for all pockets, literally. 

Let’s check ’em out! (These are in no particular order btw)


Playsmarte Compact Mini Traveling Binoculars

Feature Pick

Playsmarte Binoculars Top Compact Mini With Clear Magnification For Birdwatching Sightseeing Boating Traveling Camping And Ebook By Playsmarte

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QUICK STATS

  • DIMENSIONS: 2 X 1.5 X 4.5 INCHES
  • WEIGHT: 5.4 OUNCES
  • SHIPPING WEIGHT: 6.4 OUNCES
  • MANUFACTURER: PLAYSMARTE
  • FIELD OF VIEW: 1000 FT
  • EXIT PUPIL DIAMETER: 2.6
  • EYE RELIEF: 11MM
  • MAGNIFICATION: 8X
  • SUITABLE FOR: BIRD WATCHING, HUNTING, BOATING
  • OUR RATING: 3.8 STARS OUT OF FIVE
  • PRICE GUIDE: $30+

On the lighter end of the spectrum we have these dinky little things by Playsmarte.  At only 5.4 ounces, they are our lightest weight binoculars and will not weigh your pockets down unduly.  They are also small and compact.

The manufacturer boasts they can be used at night, and judging by the reviews, this is a fairly decent product that is good value for the money. At about the thirty dollar mark, it is possible to get cheaper, but they won’t necessarily be as good.

On to the next one…


VicTsing Zoom Mini Binoculars

Feature Pick

Omorc 8 X 21 Mini Folding Binoculars Telescope With Wide Angle For Outdoor Travel, Sightseeing, Camping, Birdwatching, Hunting, Golf

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QUICK STATS

  • DIMENSIONS: 4.5 X 3.2 X 1.9 INCHES
  • WEIGHT: 6.4 OUNCES
  • MANUFACTURER: VICTSING
  • OBJECTIVE LENS DIAMETER: 22MM
  • MAGNIFICATION: 8X
  • SUITABLE FOR: BIRD WATCHING, WALKING, CLIMBING
  • OUR RATING: 4 STARS OUT OF FIVE
  • PRICE GUIDE: $10+

Next up is the Victsing mini which also boasts a capacity for night time usage, although the listing warns that they can’t be used in total darkness.  

These are the cheapest on our list at around $11-ish at the time of writing and are the second lightest in terms of weight.  Given that these are really, very cheap, we are fairly satisfied that these are a pretty decent buy, with a solid user rating across the web of four out of five.

There have been one or two mentions of a ‘funny smell,’ but we think this is not the majority experience.  If you want something cheap and lightweight, just to grab when you go to the beach, you could do a lot worse.

Moving on…


Bushnell Falcon Binoculars With Case

Feature Pick

Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars With Case (Black, 7X35 Mm)

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QUICK STATS

  • DIMENSIONS: 8 X 6.2 X 3 INCHES 
  • WEIGHT: 21 OUNCES
  • SHIPPING WEIGHT: 1.8 POUNDS
  • MANUFACTURER: BUSHNELL
  • MODEL: FALCON
  • FIELD OF VIEW: 420M
  • EXIT PUPIL DIAMETER: 5MM
  • OBJECTIVE LENS DIAMETER: 35MM
  • EYE RELIEF: 12MM
  • MAGNIFICATION: 7X
  • CLOSE FOCUSING DISTANCE: 20 FT
  • SUITABLE FOR: BIRD WATCHING
  • OUR RATING: 4.5 OUT OF FIVE STARS
  • PRICE GUIDE: $20+

At twenty one ounces, is the Bushnell Falcon.  These are still pretty light and at around $20+, fairly easy on the pocket in more ways than one.

Also included are fold down eyecups for glasses wearers, and a complimentary carrying case, we feel this is good value for the money.

With an impressive four and half stars out of five on websites around the web, these can claim to be one of the best binoculars for bird watching available within this price range.

On to the next pair from our list…


Polaris Optics Spectator Binoculars

Feature Pick

Wingspan Optics Spectator 8X32 Compact Binoculars For Bird Watching Lightweight And

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QUICK STATS

  • DIMENSIONS: 5.9 X 5.7 X 2.6 INCHES
  • WEIGHT: 1.4 POUNDS
  • SHIPPING WEIGHT: 1.4 POUNDS
  • MANUFACTURER: POLARIS
  • FIELD OF VIEW: 362FT/1000 YDS
  • FIELD ANGLE: 6.9 DEGREES
  • EXIT PUPIL DIAMETER: 4
  • OBJECTIVE LENS DIAMETER: 32 MM
  • EYE CUPS TYPE: TWIST UP
  • EYE RELIEF: 14.8MM
  • MAGNIFICATION: 8X
  • PRISM TYPE: BAK-4, ROOF
  • LENS COATING: FULLY MULTI-COATED
  • CLOSE FOCUSING DISTANCE: 3 M
  • SUITABLE FOR: BIRD WATCHING
  • ADDITIONALLY: NYLON MESH CARRYING CASE, LENS COVER, NON-ABRASIVE MICROFIBER LENS CLEANING CLOTH
  • WARRANTY: LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY ALSO 30 DAYS MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
  • OUR RATING: 4.7 OUT OF FIVE STARS
  • PRICE GUIDE: $70+

Not the biggest and not the heaviest, but definitely making the customers reviewing them happy, are the Polaris Optics Spectators.

Already reviewed separately on this site, these are medium priced, and can offer great compatibility for eyeglass wearers.  

They are of medium weight, which means they won’t give you whiplash when worn around your neck, and can still fit into an average sized handbag if necessary.

Moving on…


Olympus 118760 Trooper

Feature Pick

Olympus Trooper 10X50 Dps I Binocular (Black)

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QUICK STATS

  • DIMENSIONS: 2.5 X 7.5 X 7 INCHES
  • WEIGHT: 1.88 POUNDS
  • SHIPPING WEIGHT: 2.7 POUNDS
  • MANUFACTURER: OLYMPUS
  • MODEL: TROOPER
  • EXIT PUPIL DIAMETER: 5MM
  • OBJECTIVE LENS DIAMETER: 50MM
  • MAGNIFICATION: 10
  • SUITABLE FOR: BIRD WATCHING
  • OUR RATING: 4.6 STARS OUT OF FIVE
  • PRICE GUIDE: $50+

Slightly heavier, but nothing too weighty, are our next choice of binoculars, the Olympus Trooper. These are a bit cheaper than the Polaris Optics Spectators, if price is a consideration, but provide a crisp, clear view with a minimum of fuss.  

Of our selection, these are the only ones which offer ten times magnification, so if you want to go large, these are the ones to choose! They must be doing something right because three quarters of owners give it a five stars thumbs up, which is a truly solid rating!

On to the next one…


Polaris Optics WideViews

Feature Pick

Wingspan Optics Wideviews Hd 8X42 Professional Binoculars For Bird Watching Extra-Wide Field Of View

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QUICK STATS

  • DIMENSIONS: 8.2 X 7.4 X 3.8 INCHES
  • WEIGHT: 2.2 POUNDS
  • SHIPPING WEIGHT: 2.25 POUNDS
  • MANUFACTURER: POLARIS
  • MODEL: PWV-84201
  • FIELD OF VIEW: 430 FEET
  • EXIT PUPIL DIAMETER: 5.2
  • OBJECTIVE LENS DIAMETER: 42 MM
  • EXIT RELIEF: 15MM
  • LENS COATING: FULLY MULTI-COATED
  • CLOSE FOCUSING DISTANCE: 2.5M
  • EYE CUP: TWIST-UP 
  • MAGNIFICATION: 8X
  • PRISM TYPE: BAK-4, ROOF
  • LENS COATING: FULLY MULTI-COATED
  • FIELD OF VIEW: 430FT/1000 YDS
  • CLOSE FOCUSING DISTANCE: 2M
  • SUITABLE FOR: BIRD WATCHING, HUNTING, FISHING
  • WARRANTY: LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY ALSO 30 DAYS MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
  • ADDITIONAL FEATURES: WATERPROOF AND FOGPROOF
  • ADJUSTABLE FOR: EYEGLASS WEARERS
  • EXTRAS: NECK STRAP, CARRYING CASE, LENS COVERS, EYEPIECE COVERS, CLEANING CLOTH
  • OUR RATING: 4.9 STARS OUT OF FIVE
  • PRICE GUIDE: $140+

At 2.2 pounds, these are on the heavier side, but the Polaris Optics Wideviews are quality made, and an investment in these will not disappoint. 

At over a hundred dollars these are not cheap, but come with a limited lifetime guarantee (like the other pair by the same maker).

Coming with the boast they are fog proof makes us stand to attention and make no mistake, these can weather a storm, so if you like your bird watching in wet conditions (i.e. boating), these are the ones to buy!

Last but not least, Nikon 8245 Aculon A211


Nikon 8245 ACULON A211

Feature Pick

Nikon 8245 Aculon A211 8X42 Binocular (Black)

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QUICK STATS

  • DIMENSIONS: 8.1 X 4.1 X 4.1 INCHES
  • WEIGHT: 2.4 POUNDS
  • SHIPPING WEIGHT: 2.5 POUNDS
  • MANUFACTURER: NIKON
  • MODEL: ACULON A211
  • FIELD OF VIEW: 420 FT
  • EXIT PUPIL DIAMETER: 5.3MM
  • MAGNIFICATION: 8X
  • SUITABLE FOR: BIRD WATCHING
  • OUR RATING: 4.6 STARS OUT OF FIVE
  • PRICE GUIDE: $80+

Lastly, we have our heavyweight contenders, the Aculon A211, weighing in at 2.4 pounds, these are still not impossibly heavy to carry, and being Nikon, are a well respected make.

The vast majority of customers have left five star ratings for these, and we feel that they are not wrong.  

These are easy on the eye, and easy to use and provide up, close and personal in an instant.  Treat them well and they should serve you loyally for years to come, AND come in well under the $100 price mark.