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The 7 Best Binoculars of 2022

🕚 Updated November 2022

Binoculars are handy not just because they're handheld but because they're multipurpose. Apart from general-purpose binoculars, there are also specialty binoculars. Hence, the best binoculars for boating may not necessarily be the best for hunting and vice versa.

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  Best Overall Best for Beginners Best Budget Best Premium Best Military-Grade Best for Astronomy Best for Hunting
 
  Nikon
Nikon Monarch M5 8×42 Binocular
Celestron
Celestron Nature DX 8x42 Binocular
Bushnell
Bushnell Falcon 10x50 Binocular
Canon
Canon 10x42L IS WP Binocular
Steiner
Steiner Military-Marine 8x30 Tactical Binocular
Celestron
Celestron SkyMaster 20x80 Binocular
Steiner
Steiner 10x42 Predator AF Binocular
 
Our SummaryThe Nikon Monarch M5 8×42 Binocular features a 42-millimeter aperture with 8x magnification for stunning detail.Get a head start on field glasses with the Celestron Nature DX 8x42 Binocular; it's beginner-friendly.With 10x magnification and a 50-millimeter aperture, the Bushnell Falcon 10x50 Binocular is still so affordable.The Canon 10x42L IS WP is a premium binocular, the first to feature Canon's Image Stabilizer technology.For surveillance, reconnaissance, combat, training, and hunting, get the Steiner Military-Marine 8x30 Tactical Binocular.With an 80-millimeter aperture, the Celestron SkyMaster 20x80 Binocular is your passport to a whole new celestial world.Hunting for a good hunting binocular? Get the Steiner 10x42 Predator AF Binocular today.
Pros✓ Quality Nikon product with solid build and wide functionality
✓ 42 millimeter objective lens and 19.5 millimeter eye relief
✓ 8x magnification across 335 meter field of view
✓ Solid Celestron product for nature lovers ands first-time buyers
✓ 42 millimeter aperture and 17.5 millimeter eye relief
✓Recommended by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
✓ Surprisingly feature-rich for the price
✓ Large 50 millimeter aperture
✓ Lightweight with fold-down eyecups, rangefinder, and InstaFocus lever
✓ Premium Canon binoculars with solid specs and performance
✓ 42 millimeter aperture and 16 millimeter eye relief
✓ Wide use case with Image Stabilizer for steady shake-free viewing
✓ Battle-tested military-spec binoculars from Steiner with Floating Prism System and Sports AutoFocus
✓ 8x magnification across 362 feet field of view
✓ Camouflage design, Makrolon housing, waterproof and weatherproof
✓ Powerful Celestron binocs for mid-level space exploration
✓ Large 80 millimeter objective lens and 20x magnification
✓ Multi-coated lenses, Bak-4 prisms, and an integrated tripod adapter rod for mounting
✓ Rugged hunting binocs with autofocus from the stables of Steiner
✓ 42-millimeter aperture with 20-yard close focus and 10x magnification
✓ Color Adjusted Transmission (CAT) technology lets you see game hiding in foliage and shade
Cons✗ Eyecups are pretty loose
✗ Not quite suited for nocturnal use
✗ Case and strap can be improved upon
✗ Not ideal for low-light use
✗ Focus can be sharper
✗ Eye relief rather small
✗ Cheap materials and finishing
✗ Quite pricey
✗ Neck strap can be better with added padding
✗ Smaller aperture
✗ Not ideal for night use
✗ Substantial glare when boating in high sunshine
✗ Pretty bulky and weighty due to its large aperture
✗ Large 50 millimeter eyecups may be hard to source and replace
✗ Tripod not included
✗ No ocular markers, thus not ideal for multiple users to avoid constant resetting
✗ Not the best for nocturnal use
✗ Neck strap can be wider with more padding
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The 7 Best Binoculars of 2022

A woman looking through a set of binoculars

Bearing such unique use cases in mind, we’ve assembled some of the best binoculars available to help you amplify your vision. Our best binoculars selection covers everything from general-purpose to hunting, military, stargazing, and more.

What to Look for in Binoculars

Not all binoculars are created equal. To get the best binoculars for your budget and interests, there are key things to look out for. We’ve done the homework, and here are five of the most important features to keep an eye on when shopping for binoculars.

  • Aperture: Also known as the objective lens, the aperture of a binoculars or a telescope is its most important feature. Measured in millimeters, it refers to the diameter or the size of the lens. Generally, the bigger it is, the better.
  • Magnification: The main purpose of binoculars is to magnify objects and keep them in focus even at great distances. A good pair of binoculars should be able to magnify objects to a reasonable size. Smaller magnification gives a wider field of view and vice versa.
  • Field of View: A binoculars’ field of view is how widely you can see with it. A wider field of view is required if you intend to use your binoculars for sports events, for instance. And as explained above, magnification and field of view are inversely proportional.
  • Eye Relief: Eye relief is the distance between the tip of the eyepiece and the exit pupil. If you wear eyeglasses, you should look out for binoculars with generous eye relief that allows you to see the whole field of view without vignetting while wearing your glasses.
  • Dimension and Weight: Since binoculars are handheld, it is important to buy ones that are both compact and lightweight. Weight is also important if you’ll be hanging your binoculars around your neck with a neck strap.

Best Overall: Nikon Monarch M5 8×42 Binocular

Nikon Monarch M5 binocular
Nikon

Nikon is a name brand for quality cameras. It also makes some of the best binoculars like the Nikon Monarch M5 8×42. These fully multi-coated binoculars feature a 42-millimeter aperture, a 5.3-millimeter exit pupil, adjustable turn-and-slide eyecups with 19.5-millimeters eye relief, 8x magnification, and 335-meter field of view. This makes it ideal for bird-watching, game hunting, hiking, etc.

The Nikon Monarch M5 8×42’s ED glass, dielectric high-reflective multilayer prism coatings, and phase-corrected coatings create brighter and crispier images at maximum resolution. Its locking diopter control allows you to lockdown your preferred settings.  It has an anti-slip enhanced rubber-armored body and is both fog proof and waterproof. It measures 5.7 x 5.1 x 2.1 inches and weighs 1.39 pounds.

Best Overall

Nikon Monarch M5 8x42 Binocular

The Nikon Monarch M5 8×42 Binoculars features a 42-millimeter aperture with 8x magnification for stunning detail.

Best for Beginners: Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars

Celestron Binocular Nature DX 8x42
Celestron

If you’re a nature lover and this is your first time buying binos, you should consider the popular Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars; it’s one of the best binoculars for beginners. Like the Nikon Monarch M5 8×42, it also features twist-up eyecups with a 5.25-millimeter exit pupil, 17.5-millimeter eye relief, a 42-millimeter aperture, 8x magnification, 6.5 feet close focus, and a 388-feet field of view.

The Celestron Nature DX 8×42 is fully multi-coated with phase-coated Bak-4 prisms, rubber-armored, and also fog proof and waterproof. Named a “Top Pick Under $200” by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Celestron Nature DX 8×42 is ideal for bird-watching, hunting, hiking, camping, and general outdoor adventure. It measures 5.3 x 2 x 4.9 inches and weighs 1.75 pounds.

Best for Beginners

Celestron Nature DX 8x42 Binocular

Get a head start on field glasses with the Celestron Nature DX 8x42 Binocular; it's beginner-friendly.

Best Budget: Bushnell Falcon 10×50 Binoculars

Bushnell Falcon 10x50 binocular
Bushnell

If you’re looking for the best budget binoculars, then check out the Bushnell Falcon 10×50 Binoculars. Suited for stadium sports, bird-watching, and the outdoors, it covers a 300-feet field of view and features a 50-millimeter aperture,10x magnification, 5-millimeter exit pupil, 9-millimeter eye relief, and 25-feet close focus. Its Porro prism and fully-coated lenses provide detailed images at full resolution.

Measuring 9.3 x 8.2 x 4.2 inches and weighing 1.8 pounds, it has a rangefinder and InstaFocus lever. It also features clever fold-down eyecups to protect your lenses and a rubberized abrasion-resistant finish for smooth and easy handling. Although you get what you pay for, the Bushnell Falcon 10×50 gives even premium binocs a run for their money. It is especially great for dabblers and as a gift item.

Best Budget

Bushnell Falcon 10x50 Binoculars

With 10x magnification and a 50-millimeter aperture, the Bushnell Falcon 10x50 Binoculars is still so affordable.

Best Premium: Canon 10x42L IS WP Binocular

Canon 10x42 IS WP
Canon

If you have more spending power, the premium Canon 10x42L IS WP Binoculars is a great choice. It’s our top pick for the best premium binoculars. Made by Canon, the 10x42L IS WP binoculars are the first to feature its Image Stabilizer technology for steady, shake-free viewing. It also features two UD lenses on both sides, a 4.2-millimeter exit pupil, a 16-millimeter eye relief, and a 42-millimeter aperture for exceptionally detailed images at full resolution.

The manual focus Canon 10x42L IS WP Binoculars hve an 80-millimeter diopter range, 6.5 degrees field of view, 65 degrees apparent angle of view, and 10x magnification. It is fitted with Eyepiece Rainguard and is equally waterproof and weatherproof. It measures 8.4 x 7 x 5.2 inches and weighs 2.45 pounds, making it ideal for boating/marine, stargazing, and wildlife activities, among others. It also shines in low-light conditions.

Best Premium

Canon 10x42L IS WP Binocular

The Canon 10x42L IS WP is a premium binocular, the first to feature Canon's Image Stabilizer technology.

Best Military-Grade: Steiner Military-Marine 8×30 Tactical Binocular

Steiner Military Marine 8x30 Binocular
Steiner

Military-grade binoculars are used for surveillance, reconnaissance, combat, training, and hunting. They often incorporate a camouflage design and can be used alongside fixed, variable, hunting, competition, and sniper scopes. The tactical precision Steiner Military-Marine 8×30 Tactical Binoculars tick all these boxes and then some.

The Steiner Military-Marine 8×30 Tactical Binoculars are the civilian version of its battle-tested warrior models. They come in army green and features a 30-millimeter objective lens, 8x magnification, 20-millimeter eye relief, and a 390-feet field of view. These binoculars also use Steiner’s Floating Prism System and Sports Auto Focus for clear images from 20 yards to infinity. You can also get a pair with rugged shockproof Makrolon housing able to withstand all weather conditions and 11Gs of impact. It measures 4.2 x 6.7 x 2.2 inches and weighs 1.07 pounds.

Best Military-Grade

Steiner Military-Marine 8x30 Tactical Binocular

For surveillance, reconnaissance, combat, training, and hunting, get the Steiner Military-Marine 8x30 Tactical Binocular.

Best for Stargazing: Celestron SkyMaster 20×80 Binocular

Celestron Binocular SkyMaster 20X80
Celestron

If you want binoculars that let you peek into space, we recommend the Celestron SkyMaster 20×80 Binocular. It’s one of the best binoculars for astronomy. With an 80-millimeter aperture and up to 20x magnification, it boasts sufficient lens power to unlock a whole new world. Although not a dedicated telescope, it comes close to what you can expect to get from the best telescopes for stargazing, and for a fraction of the price.

The Celestron SkyMaster 20×80 uses multi-coated lenses and Bak-4 prisms to deliver crisp clear images and ultra-sharp focus even in dim conditions. It comes with adjustable fold-down eyecups, an Eyepiece Rainguard, and an integrated tripod adapter rod that you can mount on a sturdy photography tripod for extended hands-free operation. Housed in a rugged, water-resistant armored body, the Celestron SkyMaster 20×80 is all-weather compliant. It measures 9 x 4.7 x 12.8 inches and weighs 4.69 pounds.

Best for Stargazing

Celestron SkyMaster 20x80 Binoculars

With an 80-millimeter aperture, the Celestron SkyMaster 20x80 Binoculars are your passport to a whole new celestial world.

Best for Hunting: Steiner 10×42 Predator AF Binocular

Steiner Predator Binocular
Steiner

For the best hunting binoculars, try the Steiner 10×42 Predator AF Binocular. These superb autofocus hunting binoculars is another winner from the world-renowned Steiner brand. It features a 42-millimeter aperture with 20-yard close focus and up to 10x magnification, allowing you to keep the game in focus (at any speed or distance) and to get the best shot possible from up to 381 feet at 1,000 yards. Its CAT technology can reveal game hiding in foliage or shade.

IPX4-rated, the Steiner 10×42 Predator AF binoculars are waterproof, fog proof, anti-slip, and sport a wheel-free open bridge design in a rugged armored Makrolon housing. It also features ergonomic silicone eyecups and uses military-grade Porro prisms. Named the “2019 Best Lightweight Binoculars for Hunting” by Best Binoculars Review, the Steiner 10×42 Predator AF binoculars measure 5.9 x 7.5 x 2.6 inches and weigh 1.87 pounds.

Steiner 10x42 Predator AF Binocular

Hunting for a good hunting binocular? Get the Steiner 10x42 Predator AF Binocular.

Joy Okumoko Joy Okumoko
Joy Okumoko has been writing about Android, phones, browsers, the internet, and technology in general for over two years. She writes for Review Geek and has written for MakeUseOf, KnowTechie, and MakeTechEasier. Read Full Bio »