Birdwatching, or birding, is a hobby that is enjoyed by many around the world. It is a way to relieve stress while watching fantastic birds at the same time. However, these birds are often hard to find, especially if you want to get up close, as they will simply fly away. However, with the help of binoculars, you will be able to see these birds up close without being too close, so that you can watch them for as long as you want without chasing them away.
What to Look For
When it comes to choosing a binocular, knowing the features you want beforehand will give you a huge advantage when choosing. This is because some features will make you pay a lot, even if you aren’t going to use it, while if you know the features that you will need, you can pay just the right price. Some features that you should look for when choosing binoculars for birdwatching are coated optics and having a waterproof design. These features are great, but might not fit everyones pocket or needs. We’d therefore recommend you to neglect to look for these features if your budget is small, you should rather focus on features such as higher magnification or a more durable product.
The quality of your binoculars matter a lot because if you want your binoculars to last for a long time, then having your product have high durability and protective armoring is a plus. However, having strong durability may not prove to be the best every time, as the stronger your binoculars are, the thicker the outer layer will be and the heavier it will become. The heavier your binoculars become, the sorer your neck will be after a long day of birdwatching, so we recommend that you get one of the products below, as they have a good ratio of protective rubber armor and weight.
Depending on the amount you pay, the quality and the number of features that you will get with your binoculars will change. We recommend that you max out your budget, as the more you spend earlier on, the better your experience would be and the longer it will last. If your budget is too low and you purchase a low-end model, you will end up spending a lot more to replace the one that break after one trip compared to purchasing a model that is a bit more expensive up front that will last a longer time and save you money in the long run. Spending a bit more also results in lighter binoculars and will also result in better features and better durability, so we recommend that you set aside the most you for your binoculars.
The magnification on your binoculars will make the difference between seeing that rare bird from the other side of the valley or not seeing it, so going cheap and going with lower magnification may not be worth it in the end. As we said before, we highly recommend that you spend a bit more, as the higher end models tend to have magnification that goes upwards of x7 to even x10 magnification, with the cheaper ones only going to x4 or x5. However, this is also something you need to reflect on yourself, how much magnification do you actually need? What will you use your binos for?
Top 3 Best Binoculars for Birding, Hiking & Wildlife Viewing 2018
Known as one of the best binoculars for birding, this product allows you to view birds with magnificent quality while the binoculars remains compact and lightweight. Combined with an affordable price and great durability, you’ll be enjoying these binoculars for a long time and they will be there whenever you are up for another day of birdwatching.
This product has several features that make this product so much easier to use compared to other binoculars. One feature that we love is the ability to have a wide view (32mm) with these binoculars, which makes it a lot easier for you to find the bird you were watching and observing if it happens to fly away to a different branch. With a smaller view, it will be a lot harder to track the bird, which is why this feature is so important to have in a product while birdwatching. Another feature that we liked was the Ergocomfort, as it gives your arms and hands a rest during your long watching sessions. We recommend that you avoid any product that doesn’t have a form of ergonomic design, as you will feel the soreness on your arms and fingers after a shorter amount of time and you won’t be able to watch for hours like you would normally do with an ergonomic binocular.
The quality of this product is also unmatched with any other in this price range, which is why we recommend it. It has an outer shell that requires a lot of force to make dents and scratches in which is extremely important in binoculars that are meant for birdwatching, since you may accidentally trek into branches that might scratch your binoculars if the protection isn’t on point like the Polaris Optics Spectator are. Also, this product comes with a lifetime warranty, as the brand trusts their binoculars’ durability so much, they know that their product won’t fail on you. If the binoculars ever happen to break or get a lot of scratches, you can easily request an exchange and you can get a replacement within several days for free.
The one thing about this product that isn’t too great is the price of the product. It is the most expensive out of all the products in this list. However, it isn’t expensive by a huge amount, but you’ll have to set aside a bit more than you would with the others in terms of budget, but we highly recommend that you do so, as you will get better features and better quality that will save you more money on the long run. The cheaper products will make you lose money eventually, as the price to replace the binoculars will eventually add up to be a lot more expensive than high quality binoculars from the beginning.
This product has 8×32 magnification and size which is perfect for birding, as you have the perfect magnification to see the birds in depth and clarity. Although there are binoculars with higher magnification, x8 is good enough, and higher magnification such as x10 will only cause you to have a harder time finding the birds when they fly away. Overall, these binoculars are excellent due to its magnification, size, affordability, quality, and durability.
If you are new and if it will be your first time going out to birding, then the Bushnell NatureView Birder Combo would be the best binoculars for hiking for you. This is because these binoculars not only come with a lot of features and high durability, but with instructional CDs that will guide you in your first trip. Along with the CDs, you will also get a log which you can use to jot down all the features that you see in the birds that you see, so that you won’t have to keep everything in your memory, but have everything in your log to look at later.
A highlight feature of the Bushnell NatureView Birder were the multi-coated optics and the roof prisms. If you are interested in birdwatching, then having multi-coated optics are a must, as it helps greatly with providing you a crisp view of the bird you are watching. The roof prisms also help greatly in giving you a better view, as any light that comes through your optics will be used to give you an enhanced viewing experience. Another feature that is a highlight of these binoculars is the center-focus wheel, as with any other binocular, focusing is an important aspect to birdwatching and being able to focus easier is always a bonus.
Do you want your binoculars starting to break down after your first trip? No one does. Therefore, these binoculars come with rubber armor coating, as this coating greatly increases the durability of the binoculars, as you won’t get any scratches that may damage any internal parts and the rubber coating will also improve your grip which will prevent the binoculars from falling or receiving scratches in the first place. Along with the rubber armor coating, the binoculars themselves come with a shell that is close to resistant to all scratches, meaning that you’ll be able to take these binoculars along with you for trips (and years) to come.
The price of this product is similar to the product above this one, but comes as a combo pack. This means that the quality and the features of these binoculars are bit lower than the product above, but the bonuses and the extras that come with this combo that doesn’t come with the product above is worth the quality drop-off. The price of this product is on the affordable side and isn’t one of the high-end models. However, the quality and the features that comes with this product is up to par with the high-end models because of some of the features, such as the multi-coated optics and roof prisms. Although this product won’t last as long as the high-end models because of the difference of the materials used, this product will still be able to last as long if you can take good care of it and prevent drops and scratches, as there is no reason these binoculars will stop working, as long as you don’t break the optics or mess up the clarity knob.
The magnification of this product is 8×42, meaning that you can see everything in clear detail, even if they are far away. Usually, birds will stay away from humans, which makes it hard to see them in detail, especially tiny details such as their wings, beaks, and eyes, but with this magnification, you will be able to see all of it clearly. The 42mm roof prism will also let you use it for birding purposes, as you won’t have to deal with larger lenses. The 8×42 size is perfect for birding, so even if you don’t like this product and want to choose another one, we recommend that you get one with this size, as it is the general rule of thumb for birding binoculars.
Simply put, these binoculars are the best binoculars for wildlife viewing fit for anyone who is planning to do a wide variety of activities and not just birding, such as wildlife viewing. These activities may include hunting to even sport watching. If you were ever in a situation where you were hunting and couldn’t see the target clearly or couldn’t measure the distance between you and your target, or if you were ever in a situation where you got bad tickets to a sports game such as baseball, then these binoculars can fill in the gap and make you feel like you are right next to your target. These binoculars are also great in any weather condition, as they are built to handle any type of weather, whether it be foggy, rainy, or snowy.
The features of these binoculars are mainly targeted towards countering bad weather conditions. Other binoculars tend to avoid countering weather conditions such as fog or snow and simply have the binoculars be waterproof and focus on the clarity and magnification. However, with these binoculars, the brand has made the lenses so that they are both fog proof and waterproof, so that even if you are outside in the morning and there is dense fog, you won’t get any fog inside of your optics. Just like the other products in this review, this binocular has multi-coated optics, as well as a 42mm roof prism, to allow for clarity and for a high contrasting view.
Due to the features that allow this product to be used in any weather condition, it will also have a longer lifespan, as there will be less cases of you having to replace the binoculars due to weather. Along with this, the product has rubber armoring around the entire binoculars, which will protect your binoculars from any drops or scratches that might break this product. As a bonus, the Celestron Outland X comes with a neck strap as well as a waterproof carrying case, so if you are travelling or moving, you can carry it around your neck or inside your backpack inside its carrying case, so that you can have the maximum lifespan of the binoculars.
This product is a bit more affordable than the products above, but it is in the same price range. Although this product has similar features and similar durability, the price is a bit more affordable. Because of the weatherproof design, this product may also prove to be more worth than other products in the long run. If you are looking for better quality and more features, then you should increase your budget, but if you are fine with the features listed above and if you are okay with the durability and quality of this product, then we highly recommend that you get this product as it is one of the best ones that you can get for this price.
The magnification of this price is also 8×42, meaning that the magnification is x8 and the diameter of the lens is 42mm wide. This is enough for birding and going higher or lower may affect your overall experience, so we recommend that you get a 8×42 binocular if your main purpose will be to go birdwatching. Overall, this product is amazing if you are going to go touring and watching birds in locations where the weather isn’t the best.
The products that were reviewed above will make your birding experience so much better due to a few reasons. One, you will be able to see the birds as if you were standing right in front of them without scaring them off. Second, you can not only go out birding with your pair of binoculars, but also carry it with you to a baseball game or even on a hunting trip. Lastly, you won’t have to deal with replacing cheap binoculars all the time, as the products that we reviewed above are all high quality and are affordable at the same time. Whatever binocular you chose, we know that you will have a better experience birdwatching compared to birdwatching without a binocular or with a cheap binocular, so go ahead and choose the one that interests you and take it on your next trip and feel the difference yourself!