If you want a good quality pair of binoculars then you’re going to be spoiled for choice. Take a look at the market and you’ll find everything from basic pairs to super advanced military style binoculars that have some crazy features.
But for the hobbyist, spending a small fortune on a pair of binoculars seems almost insane so many people are looking for something a little more affordable. Of course, the last thing you want is to compromise on quality so you’ll need to find the right balance between quality and price.
There’s no need for you to spend hours, even days, scouring the internet for the best deal. We’ve got everything you need right here including some of the best binoculars under £100 and some helpful tips on what to look for when buying.
Why Do I Need Binoculars?
If you enjoy the great outdoors then a good pair of binoculars are an excellent addition to your kit. They can be used for a multitude of purposes not to mention that, in a survival situation, they will allow you to check out the wider area.
Of course, most people won’t find themselves in such a stressful situation so would normally use binoculars for things like bird watching, scouting locations for photography and looking further along a hiking trail to see where they need to go.
Best Binoculars Under £100
The great thing about being a modern consumer is that you have access to a whole world of binoculars with a range of different features. But short of checking out every website on the internet, you’ll need to narrow down your choices. Here are our top picks and there really is something for everyone!
OUR TOP PICK
We’re loving these binoculars from Olympus and while they’re at the more extreme end of our budget, they are excellent value for money. They have 10x magnification so are perfect for a range of activities and with a porro prism, you get a real clear view.
What’s great about the Olympus binoculars is that they have a much wider field of view than other products so you get to see more. If you’re in a blink and you’ll miss it kind of situation, this is a feature you’ll thank yourself for getting.
These binoculars are ideal for more rugged outdoor use as they’re designed to be robust and resistant. Not only do they come with a rubber coating to prevent damage from knocks and bumps but they also feature a lens cover.
Rubber grip for comfort
Wide field of view
Comes with carry case
One of the things that really sets the Adasion binoculars apart from the rest is how bright and clear the image is. Plus, with more intense magnification, you can get a real close look at your subject without having to compromise on image quality.
These binoculars are also packed with other features that make them versatile and user friendly. For example, they have a large eyepiece that’s comfortable to look through and they come with a phone adapter and tripod so you can use them in a variety of different ways.
The Adasion binoculars are waterproof and ready to take on anything outdoor life throws their way. With excellent build quality and a textured grip, they’re durable and won’t give up easily.
BAK 4 prism for exceptional images
Eyepieces not adjustable
Comes with phone adapter and tripod
We realise that we are looking at binoculars under £100 but what if we told you that you could get your hands on a high quality pair for a third of that? That’s exactly the case with the Beenate binoculars that have a wealth of features including night vision so if you’re hunting, fishing or out at night for anything else, these should be your go to.
They’ll fit into the palm of your hand so are great for longer adventures when you don’t want to have to carry bulky items. Moreover, they’re designed for rough and tumble use thanks to a non-slip gip and rubber coating as well as being waterproof!
With 10x magnification and an adjustable viewing width, these are by far some of the most versatile binoculars on the market and all for that extremely low price!
Compact and easy to carry
No neck strap included
Waterproof and durable
Have you seen our Our Guide To The Top 10 British Garden Birds?
BEST FOR RUGGED ADVENTURES
When you’re heading out into the wilderness, you can never be sure of the conditions so you need equipment that is designed to stand up to the challenge. That is exactly what you’ll get from the Usogood binoculars which are waterproof and incredibly durable.
The lens benefits from a fog proof feature thanks to nitrogen gas so your images will never be blurred or interrupted. What’s more, with 12x magnification, you can get a much closer look and the image quality is second to none thanks to the BAK prisms.
These binoculars are super comfortable to use since the eyepieces are fully adjustable and with anti reflective coatings, you’ll always get a clear view. The only real down side is that lack of any sort of grip.
Phone adapter and tripod included
Superb, crisp images
BEST COMPACT BINOCULARS
When you’re heading out on an adventure, it can be a pain to have to carry around large or bulky equipment. But you have to be careful choosing compact binoculars and make sure that they still perform as well and have the same number of features.
If you want the best of everything then these binoculars from Sunagor are perfect. They’re marketed as the ‘world’s smallest compact binoculars’ and while I have no way of proving that’s the case, they look to be pretty small!
But as well as being practical and convenient to carry, they are super durable with a rubber coating. Although they are lacking any sort of waterproofing which is disappointing.
In terms of the image quality, it’s amazing to see how clear it is for such a small set of binoculars. Multi coated lenses and BAK 4 prisms combine for an exceptional viewing experience and with the easy to use focus wheel at the centre, you’re in complete control.
Easy to use
Great for travelling
Very clear image
Comfortable and adjustable rubber eyecups
What To Think About When Choosing Binoculars - Our Buyer’s Guide
Buying binoculars requires some careful consideration. While they’re by no means the most complicated bit of kit you’ll own, there are some things that may confuse new buyers so it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for and what all of that binocular jargon means. Here’s our guide on choosing the right pair of binoculars for you.
How Will You Use The Binoculars?
One of the first, and most important things you will need to ask yourself when buying a new set of binoculars is what you intend to use them for. Some people may be looking to upgrade their binoculars, in which case, you’ll already have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking for.
However, if this is the first time you are buying binoculars, then it can feel a little overwhelming. Will you be bird watching or are you planning to use your binoculars on your boat, at a concert or maybe something else? Weighing up the features of any given pair becomes much easier when you know what they’ll be used for.
Primarily, you will need to consider how far away you will be from what you are looking at. This will allow you to better choose the right level of magnification. But more on that later.
Yes, when it comes to buying binoculars, you are going to be confronted with a whole host of terms that you may have never heard before. But don’t worry, once you wrap your head around what they mean, it becomes a lot easier to understand.
One such example of this is deciding between the different types of prism in binoculars. There are two types; these are the roof prism and the porro prism. Generally speaking, roof prisms are much more common owing to the fact that they’re much more lightweight and compact compared to the porro type.
The roof prism consists of two tubes that go straight to the eyes through a set of prisms. On the other hand, the porro prism is much wider and angled which causes light to bounce as it makes its way to the eyes. The benefit of this is that porro prisms normally have much better magnification and not as much light is lost compared to roof prisms. However, some of the more modern and advanced roof prisms are just as good so it’s worth checking out your options before making a final decision.
One thing that you absolutely must keep in mind when choosing binoculars based on magnification is that bigger doesn’t always mean better. Many people fall into the trap of believing that the higher the magnification, the better the binoculars. However, if you don’t have a steady hand then any slight movement will be just as magnified so this is something to think about.
To avoid your image shaking, it’s a good idea to stick with binoculars whose magnification is 8x or 10x. Doing this will ensure that the image remains crisp and clear as well as being more stable. A stable image allows you to see much more detail than a shaky one no matter how far away you are standing.
Do also consider that a larger lens will naturally let in more light which means the image you see will be brighter which is excellent if you’re going to be using the binoculars in low light conditions. However, the size of the lens will impact the overall weight of the binoculars so if you’re looking for something lightweight, it’s a factor to keep in mind.
What Features Do The Binoculars Have?
While looking at how well the binoculars perform is of the utmost importance, it’s also a very good idea to make sure that any additional features will meet your needs.
For example, if you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors in bad weather then it’s a wise idea to choose a waterproof pair. The good news is that there are many of these available and some can even withstand being submerged in water. Although, we wouldn’t recommend doing this and this feature should be reserved for accidents only!
You’ll also find some binoculars with a protective rubber layer which serves as an armour. If you drop or knock the binoculars in any way, this handy feature will ensure that they don’t break or get whacked out of focus. If you’re going to be exploring more rugged environments, this is something well worth considering.
One of the most annoying things about using binoculars is when the lenses mist up. You’ve just spotted that rare bird you’ve been aching to see but you’re having to view it through a fog. But not to worry! There are some binoculars that have features such as nitrogen gas and seals which prevent them from becoming fogged up.
Do The Binoculars Have A Coating?
As well as some of the features we have already discussed, you may come across binoculars that have a coating which gives additional protection against the elements. This means that there will be some kind of coating over the glass but what you get will depend on the binoculars you buy.
For example, there are some that come with an anti-reflective coating which is excellent in bright or sunny conditions. Others may even have multiple layers of this coating which improve the image quality even further. Again, it’s worth thinking about how and where you will use your binoculars to help you make the right choice.
Price And Quality
One of the reasons that you are reading this buyer’s guide is to find a pair of affordable binoculars under £100. But it is super important to make sure that the quality of the binoculars isn’t sacrificed in order to sell them at a lower price.
The good news is that there are a lot of manufacturers and retailers that are working hard to produce binoculars with amazing image quality for a fraction of what you would normally expect to pay. It’s worth setting a budget and sticking to this but also thinking about what features you’d like and whether they will realistically fit in with this budget.
Binoculars are the perfect small investment for people who want to get outdoors and explore. They’re great for so many things and can even come in handy if you find yourself in a sticky situation. However, one problem that a lot of people face is that many of the best binoculars out there come with an eye watering price tag.
But that isn’t always the case. There are plenty of pairs of binoculars out there that are under £100 and the quality isn’t something you will need to sacrifice. You’ve seen our top picks and our buying tips so now all that remains is for you to choose the pair that best suits your needs.