binoculars-under-100-buying-guide

Best Binoculars Under $100 – Top Cheap Binoculars Picks

Looking to purchase new binoculars on a budget, but not sure who to turn to for the best advice?

This article breaks down everything you need to know for finding the best binoculars under $100.

If you want to jump ahead, you can find our ranking of the top models with a quick and direct descriptions of various brands and models at a price you can afford—under $100.

best binoculars under 100 reviewed

Our binocular buying guide will help you discover which binoculars are best for you and shop with confidence.

The bottom line is with all these great options to select from, you know you’ll be making a wise choice no matter what. Compare below to see which pair has the perfect combination of features for you.

Quick Answer: Best Binoculars Under $100

Product
Description 
Wingspan Optics Lightweight Folding Binoculars
Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 25 mm
Weight: 1.05 lbs
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Celestron Nature DX Compact Binoculars
Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42 mm
Weight: 1.75 lbs
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Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism
Magnification: 10x
Lens diameter: 42 mm
Weight: 1.56 lbs
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Nikon Aculon A211
Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42 mm
Weight: 2.38 lbs
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Leupold Rogue Compact Porro
Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 25 mm
Weight: 1.15 lbs
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Bushnell Legacy WP Porro Prism
Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42 mm
Weight: 1.65 lbs
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Celestron Outland X
Magnification: 10x
Lens diameter: 42 mm
Weight: 2 lbs
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Vortex Optics Raptor
Magnification: 8.5x
Lens diameter: 32 mm
Weight: 1.08 lbs
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Wingspan Optics EagleScout
Magnification: 10x
Lens diameter: 42 mm
Weight: 1.3 lbs
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Reviews of the Top Binoculars Under $100

Wingspan Optics 8×25 Lightweight Folding Binoculars

These lightweight binoculars are perfect for adults who like to go on hikes and birdwatch.

Featuring extra-low dispersion glass, these waterproof binoculars are able to deliver a stunning wide-angle view.

The step-adjusted eye cups provide proper eye relief and allow you to experience a crystal-clear picture, even while wearing glasses.

The ED glass is capable of grabbing more light with less distortion, so you can focus quickly before the bird is able to fly away. You would never guess such a great pair of binoculars could be this affordable.

Shop The Wingspan Optics

Tech Specs

Dimensions: 5.8 x 5.8 x 3 Inches

Weight: 1.05 lbs

Lens Coating: FMC (fully multi-coated)

Waterproof: Yes

Magnification: 8x

Objective Lens Diameter: 25mm

Field of view: 356 feet at 1,000 yards

Prism: BAK-4

Celestron Nature DX Compact Binoculars

One of my favorite features on these quality binoculars is the fully multi-coated (FMC) optics that provide brighter images by increasing light transmission through the entire optical path, as well as the BAK-4 prisms that deliver improved contrast and resolution.

These two features combined make for one nice view, perfect for bird watching and enjoying the serene scenery around you.

Being waterproof and armored with rubber, you can take these binoculars anywhere and not have to worry about them getting damaged, perfect for children and clumsy adults.

These affordable binoculars are comparable to many of the pricier brands.

Shop The Celestron Nature DX

Tech Specs

Dimensions: 5.3 x 2 x 4.9 Inches

Weight: 1.75 lbs

Lens Coating: FMC (fully multi-coated)

Waterproof: Yes

Magnification: 8x

Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm

Field of view: 388 feet at 1,000 yards

Prism: BAK-4

Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism 10X42

Waterproof and fog-proof binoculars are an ideal choice for people who love the sea. Take them with you the next time you go sailing and you will not be disappointed.

Because they are O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, you don’t have to worry about dropping them into the water, or the optical surfaces getting fogged up.

If you are someone who is more adventurous, you can take them along for some whiter water rafting.

The non-slip rubber armor absorbs shock while providing a firm grip. The outstanding durability makes these worth every penny.

Shop The Bushnell H2O

Tech Specs

Dimensions: 5.9 x 7.1 x 3.2 Inches

Weight: 1.56 lbs

Lens Coating: FMC (fully multi-coated)

Waterproof: Yes

Magnification: 10x

Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm

Field of view: 305 feet at 1,000 yards

Prism: BAK-4/Roof

Nikon Aculon A211 8X42

These durable binoculars are made with Aspherical Multicoated Eco-Glass Lenses, providing bright and clear images in most lighting conditions.

The wide field of view make these an excellent choice for anyone interested in sight seeing, bird watching, and more.

From dawn till dusk, you will not be disappointed with this cost effective option. Nikon also provides an amazing No-Fault Repair/Replacement Policy.

If your binoculars require repairs not covered by the limited lifetime warranty, just send it to Nikon and they will repair or replace the product at no charge.

Shop The Nikon Aculon

Tech Specs

Dimensions: 8.1 x 4.1 x 4.1 Inches

Weight: 2.38 lbs

Lens Coating: FMC (fully multi-coated)

Waterproof: Yes

Magnification: 8x

Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm

Field of view: 420 feet at 1,000 yards

Prism: BAK-4

Leupold Rogue 8x25mm Compact Porro

The lightweight and solid construction of this product makes it perfect for people of all ages to use for outdoor activities, including climbing, hiking, watching wildlife and adoring scenery.

The image quality is comparable to much more expensive brands, delivering views that are bright, clear and crisp.

Ergonomically designed, they are comfortable to hold for long periods of time. These durable binoculars are both waterproof and fog-proof, as well as impact resistant, so no matter where you take them, you know they will be out of harm’s way.

Shop The Leupold Rogue

Tech Specs

Dimensions: 4.3 x 5.5 x 3 Inches

Weight: 1.15 lbs

Lens Coating: FMC (fully multi-coated)

Waterproof: Yes

Magnification: 8x

Objective Lens Diameter: 25mm

Field of view: 337 feet at 1,000 yards

Prism: Porro

Bushnell Legacy WP 8X42 Porro Prism

Perfect for people of all ages to use for bird watching, star gazing, hiking and more.

Although a little heavier than others, the extra weight of these binoculars makes them feel more durable (not as flimsy as some other brands that are out there). The rubber armor absorbs shock and offers an excellent grip.

You can tell these Bushnell binoculars are no joke. It doesn’t hurt that they are also 100% waterproof.

The wide field of view allows you to observe a large area with the ability to quickly zoom in on a subject. And the high quality optics that are available on this model will astound you.

Shop The Bushnell Legacy

Tech Specs

Dimensions: 4.88 x 2.48 x 6.22 Inches

Weight: 1.65 lbs

Lens Coating: FMC (fully multi-coated)

Waterproof: Yes

Magnification: 8x

Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm

Field of view: 430 feet at 1,000 yards

Prism: Porro

Celestron Outland X 10X42

Affordable is the best word to describe these binoculars. Don’t get me wrong, these Celestron binoculars are a wonderful option.

In a lot of ways, they are just as good as many of the other choices except for the field of view. However, before immediately dismissing them, the price makes up for it.

Coming in at around half the price as the others, you can feel comfortable allowing your kids to play with them unsupervised.

They are waterproof and fog-proof, with a protective rubber armoring, ensuring the children won’t damage them.

With a 10x magnification, you get a wonderful view, perfect for sports events, hunting, hiking and more.

Shop The Celestron Outland X

Tech Specs

Dimensions: 7 x 3 x 8 Inches

Weight: 2 lbs

Lens Coating: FMC (fully multi-coated)

Waterproof: Yes

Magnification: 10x

Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm

Field of view: 293 feet at 1,000 yards

Prism: BAK-4

Vortex Optics Raptor Porro Prism Binoculars 8.5X32

If you want a bright, crisp image, with excellent color, then these might be the right binoculars for you.

Using power prism performance, these binoculars deliver one amazing picture. But what good is a picture if you can’t see it easily?

These Raptor binoculars have a porro prism design that flexes to help create comfortable viewing for an assortment of facial structures – wide, narrow, and all in between. The binoculars can also be adjusted to fit anyone in the family, from children to adults.

These are also great for taking on vacation, as they are waterproof and fog-proof, as well.

Shop The Vortex Optics Raptor

Tech Specs

Dimensions: 12 x 6 x 6 Inches

Weight: 1.08 lbs

Lens Coating: FMC (fully multi-coated)

Waterproof: Yes

Magnification: 8.5x

Objective Lens Diameter: 32mm

Field of view: 390 feet at 1,000 yards

Prism: Porro

Wingspan Optics EagleScout 10X42

The Wingspan Optics EagleScout 10X42 binoculars are the complete package and won’t break your budget.

You get high quality lenses, giving you some of the brightest and crispest images you have ever seen, combined with a durable body that is waterproof, fog-proof, and drop proof.

These rugged binoculars are great for all occasions because they were built to last. The entire family can enjoy them without the wear and tear.

And with great views at a wonderful price, this is the perfect pair of binoculars to purchase while you’re still testing out that new hobby or activity.

Shop The Wingspan Optics EagleScout

Tech Specs

Dimensions: 9.2 x 9 x 3.7 Inches

Weight: 1.3 lbs

Lens Coating: FMC (fully multi-coated)

Waterproof: Yes

Magnification: 10x

Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm

Field of view: 283 feet at 1,000 yards

Prism: BAK-4

Buyers Guide: Finding the Best Binoculars Under $100

In the binocular reviews above you were presented with a variety of binoculars that are all excellent choices and well worth their price tag.

Each pair have different combinations of comfort, view, and durability, among other features. Ultimately your preferences will point you in the right direction to the one pair that suits you best.

But how do you choose what model you need?

This buying breaks down everything you need to know before buying—from magnification power, size, and other features you’ll need to consider.

binoculars-under-100-buying-guide

What Activities Will You Use Them For?

These binoculars have all been selected to ensure that whether you are an avid bird watcher, or like to relax and enjoy all the breathtaking sites that nature has to offer, you will not be disappointed.

Be careful though, because with the ability to magnify all of the wonders that surround you, time can slip away as you watch the deer grazing through the fields, or the birds flying from one destination to another.

Or even gasping in amazement as you see the flowers dancing in the wind.

best-binoculars-under-100-for-outdoors

Portability vs Power

When it comes to the binoculars that have been selected, the power between each pair are comparable.

Size and weight can be a factor when it comes to power, but you will see the trade-off is minimal, if any. This is where your preferences come into play.

All of the binoculars are within a few inches of each other, and the weight only varies by a half pound, give or take.

If you are someone who holds binoculars for a long period of time, those few ounces will make a huge difference.

But if you just like to glance at the birds here and there, going with the more powerful binoculars is the better decision.

Here’s a helpful video explaining magnification power:

How Much Do You Want to Spend?

Having a budget of $100 is a very reasonable price point for a good pair of binoculars.

As you can see from the binoculars shown here, all of these are wonderful selections that have been chosen because they are comparable to binoculars that can cost ten times as much, if not more.

Though most of the binoculars mentioned here are around $100, the Celestron Outland X 10×42 binoculars are approximately half that price.

A slight trade-off is the field of view and weight, but worth it for the price, proving you can get a great pair of binoculars on a budget.

Do You Need Waterproof Binoculars?

For the most part, everyone should have waterproof binoculars. Unless you are someone who stays indoors and watches birds from your window, there is no reason why you wouldn’t want your binoculars to be waterproof.

Even if you feel that you are a very careful person and you won’t get them wet, accidents happen and it is not worth taking a chance.

You could be out in the middle of nowhere when a heavy downpour starts – at least your binoculars are waterproof!

Having binoculars that are waterproof won’t harm you in anyway, so why even worry about it?

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Binoculars Under $100

Binocular Sizing

When it comes to the size of your binoculars, you want to be mindful to pick a pair that you feel comfortable holding for long periods of time.

Compact is a great choice for someone who likes to bring their binoculars everywhere but don’t want them getting in the way.

They are lighter, but can have less power. Obviously, full size would basically be the opposite – slightly bigger and slightly heavier, but some feel it is worth it for the image.

For those with no preference, settle with a mid size and enjoy compromise. Nature knows no limits – so when concerning yourself with which pair is best for enjoying the outdoors, I don’t think any pair will ever be enough.

Weight

Weight is usually relative to size. Some binoculars might be bigger but lighter, depending upon what they are made out of.

For those who expect to be holding binoculars over a long period of time, you will definitely want to go with lighter ones.

On the other hand, if you are someone who uses them sparingly, heavier weight binoculars usually return a higher quality image.

Don’t forget that even having your binoculars hanging from a strap around your neck can eventually become uncomfortable, so longer hikes might require lighter pairs.

Magnification Power Rating

With all of these binoculars rating between eight and 10 times magnification, the difference is probably barely noticeable to a novice.

But to a pro – that is a whole different story. People who have been sightseeing and bird watching for a long time can easily tell the difference between the different magnifications.

Higher magnification is always better, but if you are a beginner, magnification might not yet be that important to you. You will always want to have the ability to see farther away, so if you must, compromise in size and weight for the better magnification.

Object Lens Size

Lens size can make a big difference depending on the lighting of the environment you are in. During the day, you probably won’t be too concerned about your lens size.

In dimly lit areas, or when it is dusk or dawn out, a smaller lens could be a problem. The larger the lens, the more light the binoculars can let in, and that results in a better lit image.

However, the prisms used in your binoculars can also play a role in lightness, so if this is a major concern of yours, you will really need to test them out to see how the different combinations work together.

Field of View

The field of view falls into the same ideals as the magnification power. We are in a world where bigger is always better.

You will want your field of view to be as big as possible, without losing any quality in the image. If you are on a budget and have to cut corners somewhere, this would be the area I recommend to downgrade. You really won’t notice a smaller field of view and it is so easy to readjust what you are looking at.

Lens Coatings

Lens coatings are important because they help to reduce the loss of light when traveling through the lens.

They can also reduce blurriness by preventing light from bouncing around the interior of the binoculars.

There are several different kinds of coatings, including coated (a thin anti-reflective coating), fully coated (at least one thin anti-reflective coating), multi-coated (multiple layers of coating) and fully multi-coated (multiple coatings on all lens surfaces).

Obviously, the better the coatings, the better the quality of the image will be.

best binculars under 100 buyers guide

Build Quality

The build quality is obviously important to families who have children. No matter how careful you are, items can get tossed around on family vacations and you don’t want to have to worry about your binoculars getting damaged.

A lot of the binoculars mentioned here have solid, rubber features that help prevent breaks when dropped. Just by looking at each pair, you can get a good sense of which ones are more rugged.

Keep in mind, even if you only use your binoculars on rare occasions, it can never hurt to be too careful.

There are plenty of models that still have a sleek look but can handle a fall, if that is your concern.

Binocular Harness & Accessories

For the most part, it is standard for binoculars to come with a carrying case, strap, cleaning cloth and eye covers. Out of these, people’s biggest concern is the strap.

After all, you don’t want to be walking around for hours with an uncomfortable piece of cloth digging into your neck.

When purchasing binoculars for around $100, I wouldn’t allow any of these accessories make or break the deal. You can always buy a new strap, as long as the binoculars meet your needs everywhere else.

best binoculars under 100 guide
Choosing the best binocular under $100

Which Binoculars Under $100 Should You Get?

For those concerned with field of view, your best bet is to go with the Bushnell Legacy WP 8X42 Porro Prism. This provides you with a whopping 430 feet at 1,000 yards! You get eight times magnification with an amazing image thanks to the porro prism.

The Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism 10X42 is perfect for those who love 10 times magnification, but still want a decent field of view, coming in at 305 feet at 1,000 yards.

And if budget is a concern, you have to go with the Celestron Outland X 10×42. This model is approximately half the price as the others, with a slight trade-off when it comes to field of view and weight – but the cost makes it definitely worth it!

You can also read our guides to the best packable day packs, the best compact binoculars and top binocular harnesses.

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