If you’re on a tight budget, you might think that purchasing a great pair of binoculars is out of your price range. It’s true that a good pair of binoculars can often be pricey, but there are plenty of great options available for the money-conscious shopper. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, dedicated hunter, stargazer, or just trying to get a good view from the nosebleed seats, these binoculars won’t cost you a penny over $100. Consider this your one-stop shopping guide to the best binoculars under $100 below.
Things to Consider
You’ll need to take into consideration your plans for your binoculars before jumping into buying a pair. Different binoculars work better for different uses. Here are the basic uses for binoculars and some basic information about which features to look for as you shop.
- Bird Watching Binoculars. An 8×42 binocular is the standard for bird watching, although some seasoned birders choose a 10×42 or 10×50. These will help you see greater detail at longer distances, making them great optics for bird watchers.
- Hunting Binoculars. Most hunters choose an optic with 7x or 10x magnification. For longer-range shooting, a larger magnification might be desired, but remember that the natural shakiness of your hands is magnified with higher magnification. Some find a tripod a handy tool when using binoculars with stronger magnification.
- Boating and Marine Binoculars. When on the water, higher magnification binoculars are not recommended. Instead, consider something with 8x or lower. Also, something that is waterproof or features rubber armoring makes a great choice for boating considering the imminent risk of getting them wet.
- General Outdoor Use Binoculars. Look for something compact and easy to carry in your pack or in your pocket. A wide-angle feature is also a bonus for outdoor sports of all kinds, including hiking, camping, sight-seeing, and watching sporting events. Something with an 8x or 10x magnification work well for most outdoor sports.
- Sky Gazing. It might surprise you just how much of our night sky you can enjoy with affordable binoculars. Optics with a stronger magnification, such as 10x or 25x, make great tools for enjoying the Moon, the Milky Way, and beyond.
Top 10 Binoculars Under $100 Comparison Table
|1. Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular||10x42||4.6|
|2. Nikon 8248 ACULON A211 10x50 Binocular (Black)||10x50||4.6|
|3. Polaris Optics Spectator 8X32 Compact Bird Watching Binoculars Lightweight and Compact||8X32||4.6|
|4. Bushnell Trophy XLT Roof Prism Binoculars, 10x42mm||10x42||4.6|
|5. Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8x32 Binocular (Green)||8x32||4.6|
|6. Olympus 118760 Trooper 10x50 DPS I Binocular (Black)||10x50||4.6|
|7. Eyeskey Optics 10x42 Professional Binoculars for Bird Watching||10x42||4.6|
|8. Bushnell Spectator Sport 4x 30mm Extra Wide Field of View Binoculars||4x30||4.1|
|9. Celestron 71008 SkyMaster 25x70 Binoculars (Black)||25x70||3.9|
|10. Pentax Whitetails Unlimited 10x50 Binoculars||10x50||3.8|
Don’t rush out and buy the first product on the list without first reading this section!
Here are some important things to assess when trying to decide which binoculars will work best for you.
- Magnification. The magnification of the binocular refers to how many times the image you are viewing is enlarged compared to viewing with the naked eye. In a 10×42 binocular, the first number (10) refers to the binoculars’ magnification. It is tempting to think that the higher the magnification, the better the optic, but this isn’t always the case. Consider that you lose width in your field of vision with higher magnification. Also, a higher magnification tends to mean a weightier product.
- Objective Lens Size. The second number in a 10×42 binocular, refers to the diameter of the objective lens (the lens that is on the opposite end of the binoculars from your eye). Generally, the wider the objective lens, the more light it gathers, creating a sharper and clearer image.
Top 3 Best Binoculars Under $100 Reviews
Bushnell’s H2O Roof Prism Binocular offers some major bang for your buck. The nitrogen-purged chambers are designed to prevent fogging. The body and lenses are both waterproof, and the non-slip rubber armor helps protect them while providing easy handling in all kinds of wet weather.
They come with a lifetime warranty, a durable build, and sharp, clear images. These affordable binoculars do a fantastic job of pretending to be expensive binoculars, proving that “you get what you pay for” isn’t always a true adage.
Great for boating, hiking, birding, or hunting in even the wettest conditions, the Bushnell H2O Roof Prism Binoculars are hands down the best binoculars under $100.
Nikon’s economic ACULON A211 Binoculars are lightweight, comfortable, and steady even through extended use. The central focus knob provides a fast and smooth range of focus, and the turn-and-slide eyecups make for easy eye positioning and comfortable viewing even for long periods of time. You can carry these all day and not get tired.
Nikon, a recognized leader in optics, brings technology to the table in their ACULON A211 binoculars. The environmentally-conscious Eco-glass lenses deliver clarity and precision without toxic substances like lead or arsenic. You get a flat, focused field of view with aspherical eyepiece lenses, while the lens multicoating enhances brightness.
With technology like this, your friends will think you’re sporting an extravagant, upscale binocular worth far more than you spent.
With the compact pocket-size Polaris Optics Spectator, you can go just about anywhere. These binoculars offer amazingly wide views for such conveniently lightweight and compact binoculars. You’ll be able to view such amazing detail that you’ll feel like your watching from just a few inches even when viewing from 1000 yards away.
These binoculars are incredibly comfortable. A non-slip finish and thumb indentations make it easy to hold them, even for long-term viewing, and the fold-down eyecups make these binoculars a great choice for anyone, even people who wear glasses.
Easy to adjust and clear as can be, the Polaris Optics Spectator is a fabulous optic for bird watching, sporting events, sight-seeing, hiking, and even outdoor concerts.