Best Binoculars Under $200 (Year 2018)

If you’re planning to go for some outdoor fun, you need a range of instruments and devices in your arsenal. A must have are binoculars. Using the binoculars you’ll be able to view still and moving objects no matter how far they are. They can range from birds, wildlife or your favorite sports person or rock star to give you a more ‘on the ground’ experience.

If you have children you can introduce them to wildlife or nature viewing. Binoculars can be used when camping, hunting, aboard a boat or even indoors. Just ensure you choose binoculars appropriate for the function.

The best quality binoculars should be able to capture objects in different lighting conditions whether you use glasses or not. Binoculars are known to be expensive and most times may break your bank. However, there are those available that are under $200.

This review includes a buyer’s guide and an exclusive look at a list of our choices of the best binoculars under $200.

Is the brightness of the binoculars important?

This is one of the basic facts you need to consider about binoculars especially when you’re in the market for one. The brightness of your binoculars is determined by the diameter of the lens.

To be able to know how to know how much brightness you’ll need, there is some calculation involved. For instance, 10 x 50 binoculars have 5mm brightness. You divide 50 by 10.

Bushnell PowerView Binoculars

Bushnell PowerView Binoculars

The amount of brightness is very important as it will allow you to see the objects you’ll be viewing and differentiate them. So if your binoculars can capture a significant amount of light, it means your viewing will be clearer.

It’s important to note that some binoculars can work in poor light conditions while others in a lot of light

What are the appropriate binocular measurements?

Polaris Optics Binoculars

Polaris Optics Binoculars

Binoculars come in different sizes each of them with their own unique features. All you need to do is choose one that will conveniently meet your needs. Binoculars can either be small, medium or large.

An example of a small binocular is 8 x 25. It is light and the easiest to carry around when you’ll move a lot. They can however only be used when there is good lighting. 

Large binoculars, on the other hand, are the opposite of the small ones. An example is 10 x 50. They’re exclusively used for bird watching and wildlife viewing as they produce steady images. They are however big, heavy and are mostly used with tripod stands.

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Does the field of view determine the type of binoculars I should buy?

It’s necessary to know the importance of the field of view and focus in binoculars. The field of view is the width you see when looking at the binoculars. Binoculars with a wider field of view make it easier to follow objects making them the perfect ones for bird watching.

However, if you want binoculars with a wide field of view you’ll have to sacrifice the magnification power as it will produce blurry images especially when you zoom.

Leupold BX-1 Yosemite Binoculars

Leupold BX-1 Yosemite Binoculars

Every binocular comes with a focus ring. Using a diopter, you can decide to zero in on a specific subject. It’s an adjustment ring that helps in compensating your eyes. Binoculars with smaller magnification like 8x provide for a sharper focus compared to one that is 10x.

Are the exit-pupil and eye-relief the same thing?

ALPEN Shasta Ridge Binoculars

ALPEN Shasta Ridge Binoculars

They are different concepts but somewhat related. The exit-pupil of binoculars determines how bright an image will appear when viewed in low-light. Different binoculars come with different exit-pupils.

Those with a higher exit-pupil are recommended for viewing in low-light as they make images appear brighter and more distinct. However, when viewing in bright light like during a very sunny day, binoculars with a low exit-pupil is recommended

Eye-relief, on the other hand, applies only to glass wearers. It’s the distance between each eyepiece. Binoculars come in either long eye-relief or short eye-relief.

It is however recommended that if you wear glasses, you need binoculars with a long eye-relief. They’re more comfortable and easy to use.

Are the external coatings of binoculars necessary?

The external coatings of binoculars not only protect the binocular itself but also your eyes and the lenses. Light gets reflected a lot when you’re outdoors. It’s necessary to have the external covering for your binocular. The best binoculars come fully packed with exterior coatings that provide for a comfortable grip, are UV-resistant and waterproof.

Another aspect is fog and mist. They may seem harmless but once they get into your binoculars, they condense and turn into water that will spoil the delicate interior of the binocular. When buying one ensure its external covering is weather proof.

Best Binoculars Under $200 Reviews

1. Bushnell PowerView Binoculars

If you’re a traveler, nature observer or concert goer, this is binocular that’s your number one instrument to positively begin your adventure. This is a high quality binocular that will give you a fantastic view. With its unique features, it’s guaranteed that you will enjoy your time outdoors.

Pros

  • 20x magnification Porro prism binocular with 50mm objective lens diameter for a closer and very bright view. 170ft field of view at 1000yards allowing you to view a large area.
  • You will be able to tell objects apart because of the multicoated optics that guarantee you superior transmission of light as well as brightness.
  • A 1-touch Insta focus system that’s patented holds your subject in sharp focus allowing for an even closer observation
  • Non-slip rubber armor absorbs shock at the same time providing a firm grip and making it durable
  • The fold-down eyecups ensure that the lenses are safe; a feature that is not common for binoculars in this price range.
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Cons

  • This binocular is not water or fog proof. You’ll need to be careful when you’re using it
  • If you like focusing when viewing, this binocular isn’t recommended for you

If you like outdoor activities, these are binoculars for you. It’s able to bring objects closer to you from a very far distance. You will like the Patented 1-touch Insta Focus System. And, if you’re looking to upgrade from the binoculars you have to a better one, you won’t go wrong with this binocular.

2. Polaris Optics Binoculars

If you’re in need of viewing birds closely and clearly or looking to experience an amazing wild-watching, this is the best binocular for you. This binocular boasts of its extra-wide field of view. This is perfect especially if you like viewing objects on a large area.

Pros

  • With an extra-wide field of view ranging at 430ft at 1000yards and up to 8 times close focus, You will feel like you’re at arm’s reach of your subject
  • Water and fog proof make it perfect for using during whatever weather.
  • The rubber and aluminum armored exterior offers an impeccable design while also giving a comfortable, durable and non-slip grip.
  • It comes with a neck strap to offer quick access, a carrying case made of a nylon mesh for safety, eyepiece and lens protection covers for protection, and a non-abrasive, microfiber lens cleaning cloth.

Cons

  • The binocular doesn’t have instructions on the attachment of the neck strap. So be careful and research on how to carefully do it.
  • It’s very heavy if you plan to walk around this is not the binocular for you.

If you’re looking for a binocular with an extra-wide field of view, this binocular will fulfill this need. With its 8x magnification power, your subjects will appear eight times closer to you. The fact it’s perfect for eyeglass-wearers makes it stand out even more. This is just the binocular you need.

3. Leupold BX-1 Yosemite Binoculars

If you want to spend some family time to either catch up or initiate outdoor activities, this will be the perfect binocular for you. It’s suitable for both children and adults with its interpupillary distance adjustments. The twist eyecups of these binoculars will also protect the lenses from damage especially when your kids use the binocular.

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Pros

  • With smaller interpupillary distance you are able to enjoy some quality optical performance.
  • The focus on a subject is smooth providing an improved experience. The 10ft distance of close focus makes viewing of wildlife and scenery very efficient.
  • It has eyecups that twist up which is important for the protection and durability of the lenses.
  • The armored coated exterior makes the binocular rugged. This allows for a comfortable non-slip grip
  • This waterproof binocular makes it efficient for viewing on rainy afternoons or aboard a boat

Cons

  • If you’re going viewing in an area that requires zooming, this binocular won’t serve that purpose.
  • These binoculars can’t be mounted on a tripod be prepared to carry it around

This binocular comes in two colors; natural and black. You can choose the color that you prefer. If you’re looking for something simple but still efficient, this is the best binocular for you. It may not be mountable on a tripod, but it’s not heavy to carry around.

4. ALPEN Shasta Ridge Binoculars

If you reside in humid areas or in the tropical rain forest surroundings, you can still maximize your viewing with this binocular. It’s the best binocular for humid outdoors as it boasts of Nitrogen filled interiors that prevent water build up. It also comes in a fun camouflage color that will make you feel in touch with nature.

Pros

  • This binocular is filled with Nitrogen so as to prevent moisture and water build-up making it waterproof and fog proof
  • Long eye relief for those who wear glasses as it allows you to see the full field of view
  • With its fully multi-coated and phase coated lenses, they are high-quality and built to last
  • Close focus to 7ft allows for objects to appear seven times closer

Cons

  • If you like viewing in low light conditions, this isn’t the binocular for you
  • You may not want to focus with this binocular

This binocular is perfect for humid conditions whether on a rainy day or out in the waters. With the Nitrogen filled interior, it will never get damaged from moisture. In addition to all that is that it’s lightweight. You can go hunting or mountain climbing with it.

Conclusion

You’re now aware that there are different types of binoculars for different functions from the above article. It’s important to note that binoculars should be able to function outdoors, indoors or both. I hope this article has opened your eyes to the vast world of binoculars and the important guidelines. All the best as you buy your binoculars.