We Review The Best Birdwatching Binoculars 2017

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.

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

Astronomy Binoculars Top Compact Mini With Clear Magnification For Birdwatching Sightseeing Boating Traveling Camping and eBook By Playsmarte review

Check price on Amazon

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.


VicTsing Zoom Mini Binoculars

VicTsing Outdoor Travel 8 x 21 Zoom Mini Binoculars Review

Check price on Amazon

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.


Bushnell Falcon Binoculars With Case

Bushnell Falcon 7x35 Binoculars with Case review

Check price on Amazon

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.


Polaris Optics Spectator Binoculars

Polaris Optics Spectator 8X32 Compact Bird Watching Binoculars review

Check price on Amazon

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.


Olympus 118760 Trooper

Olympus 118760 Trooper 10x50 DPS binocular reviews

Check price on Amazon

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!


 

Polaris Optics WideViews

polaris optics wideviews review

Check price on Amazon

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!


Nikon 8245 ACULON A211

Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 review

Check price on Amazon

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.

 

Beach Baby Bob

About the Author

Beach Baby Bob