Top 10 Best Compact Binoculars 2019

If you’re a photographer, a wildlife spotter, a traveler or simply someone who loves gazing at night sky, life can be much more fun with a pair of compact binoculars. And yes, they can be also handy for watching sports, concerts and other events. The great thing about compact binoculars is that they are easy to carry wherever you go. Just slip them into your pocket or bag and take them out quickly when the opportunity arises. And because they are lightweight, you can easily hold them to your eyes for extended periods of time without arm aches.

Top 10 Best Compact Binoculars Comparison Table

PictureNameFeaturesRating (1-5)Price
Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism BinocularOption to choose technical features
Fully multi-coated lens
Foldable eyecups
Low price
2.5$$
Skygenius 8x21 Small Compact Lightweight Binoculars (0.38lb)Fully multi-coated lens
General-purpose BK-7 prism glass
Foldable eyecups
Low price
3$
G4Free 12x25 Compact High-Powered Field Surveillance BinocularsVey high magnification
XMC technology
Fully multi-coated lens
Water and fog proof
Low price
3$
Aurosports 10x25 Folding Binoculars With Weak Light Night VisionFully multi-coated lens
Low light night function
Water and fog proof
Low price
3$
Binoculars Compact Lightweight Mini 10x26 Waterproof FogproofFully multi-coated lens
Low light night function
Water and fog proof
Foldable eyecups
Lifetime warranty
30 days money back guarantee
Low price
3$
Occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars Waterproof with Low Light Night VisionFully multi-coated lens
Vey high magnification
Water and fog proof
Low light night function
3.5$
Nikon 7548 MONARCH 7 8x42 BinocularGreater lens size
Fully multi-coated lens
Phase-correcting roof prisms
Water and fog proof
Lifetime warranty
4$$$$$
Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8x32 BinocularGreater lens size
Tripod adaptable
Water and fog proof
Fully multi-coated lenses
Foldable eyecups
4.5$$
Wingspan Optics Spectator 8X32 Compact BinocularsWater and fog proof
Fully multi-coated lenses
Foldable eyecups
Lifetime warranty
30 days money back guarantee
4.5$
Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism BinocularsGreater lens size & magnification
Water and fog proof
Fully multi-coated lenses
Greater eye relief
Multi-position eyecups
Eye diopter
Lifetime warranty
5$$$$$

If you are already planning to buy one, this handy guide is all you need to get started. With myriad of options in market, choosing one is tough. And on top of that, the technical vocabulary can also be intimidating, especially for novices.

To help you with this, we share here all the must-know facts and reviews of 10 best compact binoculars to consider. Keep reading to know more about them.

What Types Of Compact Binoculars Are There?

There are two main types of compact binoculars: porro prism and roof prism. Porro prism binoculars use offset internal prism to magnify images. It is the size of lens that determines image quality and the overall size of binoculars.

Here, the objective lenses are placed far apart, making the binoculars larger and wider in shape. Roof prism binoculars, on the other hand, are much smaller and lighter in weight.

In earlier times, their image quality wasn’t on par with the optics of porro prism binoculars but with rapid advances in technology, the status has changed. Roof prism binoculars are now more popular and practical option, even for professional use.

Benefits of Best Compact Binoculars

Typically, compact binoculars come in the size of about 8X25. The first number here indicates magnification (the number of times objects will appear larger than if seen with naked eye) while the second indicates lens size in millimeters. High magnification binoculars allow you to see finer details.

Similarly, large sized lenses allow more light to pass through them, making the images look clearer and brighter. While high magnification is clearly advantageous, it is advisable to use a tripod if you want to use magnification higher than 10 times.

Else, every small shake of your hand, when holding such binoculars, will also be magnified, creating blurred images. Lower magnification binoculars give more stable images and they also allow you to see a wider area. Therefore, best compact binoculars offer a compromising balance between magnification and field of view (FOV).

Magnification of 6 to 10 times is generally considered as standard. Similarly, the standard lens size is between 20mm to 36mm, provided you don’t intend to use them in poor light conditions. To be able to see in dark, the binoculars must have at least 7mm large exit pupil. The image that’s formed on your eyepiece for your pupil to see it is called exit pupil.

It is measured by dividing the lens diameter by magnification and any size above 6mm usually allows enough light to see in dark. The lenses should also have a coating to reduce reflection and maximize image brightness. If you are someone who wears glasses, you also need to consider their eye relief rating.

Eye relief is the distance that your eyes need to be from the binocular lenses that you see through. If your eyes are too close to them, you’ll see a black crescent moon shape and if they are too far, you’ll see a dark ring shape around the field of view.

People who wear eyeglasses already have a bit extra distance between eyes and lenses, so eye relief of 15mm (or above) is good for them. The lenses of best models are also waterproof and fog-resistant, so keep that in mind when making your final choice.

Downsides Of Compact Binoculars

The drawback here is that because of the compact size of such binoculars, they cannot accommodate very large objective lens. This results in lower image quality if we compare them with full-size binoculars.

10. Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism Binocular

The Bushnell Powerview binoculars come in an array of choices to meet everyone’s needs and budget. Here, you can choose the magnification from 8, 10, 12 and 16. The objective lenses available range from 21mm to 32mm and the field of view ranges from 180 feet/1000 yards to 378 feet/1000 yards.

Because the focus wheel is set in the center of the binoculars, they are very easy to adjust while looking through them. Even the exit pupil is variable from 2 to 3.2mm. The exit pupil is small, so these binoculars are not fit to see in dark. These models come in two color choices (black and brown) and their weight varies between 7 ounces and 12.4 ounces.

Eye relief is about 10mm. Now the good thing is that all these pairs have BK-7 prism glass, which is one of the best currently available. The lenses are fully coated to provide bright and clear images. They are not water or fog proof though. The binoculars are compact enough to fit in pocket and the foldable eyecups on them further minimize the size.

They come with a soft carry case and have a neck strap for convenience and comfort on the go. To absorb shocks and prevent any damage on accidental dropping, they are rubber-coated. These are high quality, durable binoculars built to sustain active use.

Here, you get plenty of choices in terms of technical features and its starting range is also pretty affordable for all. If you have a very limited budget, go for the 8X21 model as that’s the lowest priced one on our list. The 8X21are probably the best compact binoculars for anyone who doesn’t want to spend much.

Pros:

  • Option to choose technical features
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Foldable eyecups
  • Low price

Cons:

  • They aren’t fog or water proof.

9. Skygenius 8×21 Small Compact Lightweight Binoculars (0.38lb)

The Skygenius binoculars have 21mm multi-layer coated objective lens which gives 8X magnification and 367ft /1000yards of FOV. The optical prism used is BK7 glass, which is top of the range. The eye relief is set at 16mm, so these are perfect for glass wearers.

These are easy to focus as well, even for kids. There is no low light night function though. The exit pupil diameter of 5.2mm is also below par, making it difficult to see in low light. The binoculars measure 2.4 x 4.1 x 3.6 inches and weigh about 6 ounces only. While they’re 2.4 inches wide when closed, they’re still only 4.14 inches when fully opened, making them potentially the smallest binoculars in compact category.

Their eyecups are also foldable, which makes them even more compact and easy to carry. The body is coated with rubber for protection and has a matte finish along with gentle shine. Each of the eyepieces is hinged to the center panel which is broken into two sections.

The larger section holds the focus wheel while the smaller one bridges the gap between the two and adds a bit of curve for styling. The product has really impressive specs considering its low price. It even includes a free neck strap and cleaning cloth for easy maintenance.

Pros:

  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • General-purpose BK-7 prism glass
  • Foldable eyecups
  • Low price

Cons:

  • They aren’t fog or water proof.

8. G4Free 12×25 Compact Binoculars (BAK4, Green Lens), Large Eyepiece Super High-Powered Field Surveillance Binoculars

The G4Free 12×25 Compact Binoculars offer a magnification of x12, which is one of the best in the category. The BAK4 lenses used are 25mm large, allowing you to see clearly in daylight. Thanks to XMC technology, they can reflect 100% of light for image clarity. They even have a green tint on them to help see in low light. The exit pupil distance is 9.6mm for the same purpose.

The field of view you get is 273 feet/1000 yards. Because the lenses are water and fog proof, you can easily use them in most weathers but it’s advisable not to immerse them in water. The binoculars measure 4.4 x 4.4 x 1.8 inches, so they are small enough to be held comfortably in hand.

Weighing about 15.5 ounces, they are lightweight as well. The body is made of magnesium and it has hand figured polishing along with the large anti-slip rubber grips on each side.

Eyepieces are incorporated into the binoculars and there is a large focus wheel set between them for easy adjustment. The G4Free are excellent, easy-to-use compact binoculars for all kinds of outdoor activities. Included with this purchase are neck straps, a carry bag and a lens cleaning cloth to help maintain the device in tip-top condition.

Pros:

  • Vey high magnification
  • XMC technology
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Water and fog proof
  • Low price

Cons:

  • Some users complained that the binoculars are difficult to focus.

7. Aurosports 10×25 Folding High Powered Binoculars With Weak Light Night Vision

The Aurosports binoculars have an objective lens of 25mm and 10X magnification, which together deliver some of the best viewing experiences. Here, you get an impressive FOV of 362 feet/1000 yards. However, because the device is not adapted to fit onto tripod, it’s not fit for novices or those with shaky hands.

The eye relief is 14.8mm, making it perfectly fit for those who wear glasses. The size is 3.7 x 2.1 x 3.6 inches when folded and the weight is about 8.8 ounces. The open size, of course, depends on how far you open the binoculars from your eyes.

The eyepieces are foldable and they are capable of twisting to improve focus. The body has a textured rubber section on each side to maximize grip and a central focusing knob for easy adjustment. With BAK4 prism being used, the image quality is excellent for the size. The lenses are fully coated with FMC multi-layer broadband green film which reflects up to 99.5% of light.

This gives you brighter and higher-contrast images with no color aberration. One of the unique features of this optics system is its low light night function, which means that these binoculars can be used for night vision with some light.

They do not show anything though if used in completely dark night. The lenses are fog and water proof, so they work well in damp and humid conditions. They shouldn’t be immersed in water though.

These are high powered, durable binoculars which should last you for years if maintained well. The price is also reasonable. Included with your purchase is a carry bag, a lens cleaning cloth and, of course, the neck strap.

Pros:

  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Low light night function
  • Water and fog proof
  • Low price

Cons:

  • Cannot be fit onto tripod.

6. Binoculars Compact Lightweight Mini for Adults Kids 10×26 Folding Binoculars Telescope Waterproof Fogproof

These binoculars have 26mm lenses and 10x magnification with FOV of 316 feet/1000 yard, giving crystal-clear, detailed images. The magnification is handled by BAK4 optics having dual focus system. The left and right eyepiece focus and the middle lens focus- all together give a highly stable HD view.

The lenses are fully multi-coated, which further improves image quality. The eye relief is about 8mm. These binoculars weigh about 10.6 ounces and measure 3.5 x 4.3 x 1.5 inches, so they fit snugly in hand. Also, because they are foldable, they are easy to slip in pocket and to set according to your own eye width.

The body is made of sturdy magnesium and has textured full rubber armor on exterior to give a secure, non-slip grip. The lenses are water resistant, fog proof and have low-light-level night vision to see in dark. The package includes a soft carry bag and a neck strap, which can be together used to keep the binoculars safe and with you at all times.

You also get a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and a 30 days hassle-free money back guarantee in case you aren’t happy with the purchase. Even price-wise, it’s not expensive. Overall, it’s a great buy!

Pros:

  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Low light night function
  • Water and fog proof
  • Foldable eyecups
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 30 days money back guarantee
  • Low price

Cons:

  • Some users complained that the neck strap is of poor quality.

5. Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars waterproof with Low Light Night Vision

The Occer Compact Binoculars have 25mm lenses which give 12X magnification and FOV of 273 feet/1000 yards. The BAK 4 prisms used ensure that the image is always crystal clear. The size of binoculars is 4 x 4.4 x 1.9 inches and they weigh about 14 ounces. They are not as compact as many other models are but the good thing is that they are more comfortable, even if you wear glasses.

Also, because they have an eye relief of 15mm, they are perfect for glass wearers. The body of binoculars is made of ABS plastic and there is a nonslip rubber coating on it for protection. They are waterproof but do not immerse them in water to avoid internal damage.

They have large hinges on them, so the sides can be joined seamlessly to adjust width if needed. The focus wheel is also pretty large, so they can be moved smoothly even with gloves on. The lenses are coated with FMC multilayer broadband green film which gives real color reproduction and zero color distortion.

They have low light night vision and impressive exit pupil diameter of 20mm so that you can see clearly in dark. With this purchase, you also get a free neck strap, a carry bag and a lens cleaning cloth. These binoculars are durable and the viewing quality is also great, so you can surely consider them for most outdoor activities.

Pros:

  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Vey high magnification
  • Water and fog proof
  • Low light night function

Cons:

  • Some users complained that the binoculars are difficult to focus.

4. Nikon 7548 MONARCH 7 8×42 Binocular (Black)

The Nikon 7548 MONARCH are high-end binoculars with beefy 42mm objective lens. With this large size of lens, you get very bright images and an exceptionally wide field of view which makes it super easy to locate your subject. They are also super easy to focus.

Measuring 5.7 x 5.1 x 1.6 inches, these binoculars aren’t exactly the smallest option on the market but they are comfortable and powerful. Despite the size, they weigh only about 20 ounces, thanks to the extra low dispersion glass Nikon uses for the lens. The binoculars have a durable rubber armored coating on them to enhance durability and grip.

This, along with their nitrogen-filled housing, ensures that they give excellent fog and waterproof performance in all weathers. Because they have dielectric high-reflective multi-layer prism coatings applied to all lenses, images are always high in contrast and the color reproduction is accurate.

Also, the roof prisms have phase-correction property to preserve detail. The Nikon 7548 MONARCH binoculars stand high on all parameters but in case an issue arises, you can avail the lifetime warranty that it comes with.

Pros:

  • Greater lens size
  • Fully multi-coated lens
  • Phase-correcting roof prisms
  • Water and fog proof
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • High price

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3. Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8×32 Binocular (Green)

This particular model from Celestron has a 32mm lens and 8X magnification. It is tripod adaptable, so you can mount it on a tripod or even on a monopod for long periods of steady viewing. Novices, who find it tough to stabilize power-packed binoculars, will find this feature very useful.

The images observed are sharp and true in color, thanks to the premium phase-coated BaK4 prism glass being used. Because the lenses are fully multi-coated, the images look bright and glare-free. The eye relief is of 17.5mm and the eyecups are twist-up, making these binoculars very comfortable and eyeglass friendly.

Measuring 5 x 1.8 x 4.9 inches and weighing about 20 ounces, they are compact and easy to carry. The body is rubber coated and purged with nitrogen, making it fog and water proof. Unlike most other models which are black-colored, this one comes in a nice green color and has a sleek, stylish shape.

Designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind, it also includes accessories like eyepiece rain-guard, objective lens caps, neck strap, carrying case and lens cleaning cloth. The price is reasonable but if you’re considering buying it, check it online to grab some great discount.

Pros:

  • Greater lens size
  • Tripod adaptable
  • Water and fog proof
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Foldable eyecups

Cons:

  • Some users complained that the binoculars are difficult to focus.

2. Wingspan Optics Spectator 8X32 Compact Binoculars

The Wingspan Optics Spectator has a 32mm objective lens which gives 8X magnification and 362 feet/1000 yards FOV. You get a wide scope of vision here but this can be quickly narrowed if necessary. The roof prism used is BaK4 which is one of the best on market.

The exit pupil diameter is 4mm, so the binoculars are fit for only daylight use. They are 4.5 inches long, 4.5 inches wide and 1.5 inches high. The weight is about 15 ounces. They aren’t as compact and lightweight as many other models but still easily manageable. The design is tripod adaptable, so these can be easily fit in tripod or even a monopod if needed.

They have a nice matte finish, anti-slip rubber grips on each side and a large focusing knob in the centre to create perfect symmetry between eyepieces. They are fog and water proof as well. The lenses are fully multi-coated and deliver crystal-clear images with HD detail.

The eyecups are twist-up and the eye relief is of 14.8mm, making the binoculars suitable for glasses wearers. The overall package is great and accessories like lens covers, neck strap, cleaning cloth and nylon mesh carry case are included with your purchase. And for extra peace of mind, you also get lifetime warranty and 30 days money back guarantee on it.

Pros:

  • Water and fog proof
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Foldable eyecups
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 30 days money back guarantee

Cons:

  • Some users complained that the eyecups are hard.

1. Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars

The Vortex binoculars are equipped with 42mm large objective lens for excellent FOV (319 ft/ 1000 yards) and low light viewing. With superb image quality, these are also capable of rendering 10X magnification. Be cautious when choosing such a high zoom binocular because the magnification exacerbates any small movements in an unsteady hand.

It’s a great product though and if you’re an experienced user with a stable hand, you’ll love it. Measuring 8.7 x 7 x 3.8 inches and weighing 25 ounces, it is much larger than the most other models in compact range but it’s also more powerful. If you add in HD (High Density) extra-low dispersion glass to it, you can achieve even better resolution and color fidelity.

The binoculars have eye relief of 16.5mm and multi-position eyecups which can be adjusted to optimize fit for comfortable viewing with or without glasses. They also have a locking right eye diopter which adjusts for any focal differences between your eyes. All this makes them the most comfortable pair on our list.

If you are someone who wears eyeglasses, we’d say these are best compact eyeglasses for you. This is truly an advanced, high density optical system with dielectric, multi-layer prism coatings for top tier color reproduction and light transmission.

The body is also waterproof and rubber-armored for durability. Additionally, you get padded neck strap, rain guard and lens covers in the package. You are not likely to face any issues with this one but if there is any, you can avail the lifetime warranty that it comes with.

Pros:

  • Greater lens size & magnification
  • Water and fog proof
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Greater eye relief
  • Multi-position eyecups
  • Eye diopter
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • High price

Editors Choice of Best Compact Binoculars

If we have to choose one, we would recommend Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars. These are the best compact binoculars on almost all parameters. They give greater than the norm magnification, field of view and color fidelity.

They are also much more comfortable, especially for those who wear eyeglasses. These are very efficient, durable and backed by lifetime warranty, which is why we rate them as the number one in the list.

Which ones do you think are the best compact binoculars? Do share your views and experiences with us by leaving your comments in the box below.

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