Best binoculars under 200 - header

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Binoculars come in handy when you are hiking, hunting, traveling, kayaking, or bird watching. With a binocular in hand, you’ll be able to see distant sceneries or objects up close. The human eyes can only see so much and a binocular will provide you a clear and vivid image of your surroundings.

A quick search about binoculars online will tell you they come in different price ranges with the most expensive easily crossing the $1000 mark. However, these high-end binoculars may be too pricey for beginners and people who are on a budget. It’s in light of this that I carried out extensive research and testing to find out quality, dependable, and affordable binoculars on the market. And I was successful on my quest and I present to you the best binoculars under $200 available on the market today.

I must confess that I was impressed with the performance of the best binoculars under $200 that are on this list. While it is true that these binos are not on the same level as high-end binoculars, they provide a more than satisfactory viewing experience for beginners.

I’ve even seen a number of experienced bird watchers and hunters impressed with the performance of these binos especially when you put their price tags into consideration.

Without wasting time, let me start by giving you a brief overview, pros, and cons of the best binoculars under $200 available on the market today.

The 7 Best Binoculars Under 200 Dollars for 2021

Athlon Optics Argos G2 HD 8×42 Binoculars

Athlon Optics Argos G2 HD Binocular - 8x42, Gray

$159.33  in stock
6 new from $157.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of March 3, 2021 6:22 pm

The Athlon Optics Argos G2 binoculars have a very cool and eye-catching design making it an aesthetically pleasing bino. But I can assure you that you’ll be getting a lot more than aesthetics from the Argos G2.

This binocular has a very high optical performance thanks to the ESP dielectric coating on the BAK-4 prism which reflects up to 99% of the light to your eyes. The result of this is the production of a clear and bright image that displays accurate color reproduction.

Lenses are arguably the most important part of a binocular and Athlon Optics knows this. As a result,  this binocular is made of high-quality lens which is actually an advanced fully multi-coated lens that gives provides better light transmission to bring optimum brightness and true color across the entire light spectrum. There is also a coating on the lens that helps protect it from scratches, dirt, oil, and so on.

Thanks to the Argon purging, this binocular is water and fogproof. The very durable magnesium chassis takes the weight off your neck but at the same time stands up to the demands of hunting in any conditions. And the rubber covering ensures you are able to hold this binocular comfortably without it slipping from your hands.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification : 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm / 1.65 in
  • Dimensions : 14.5 x 13.5 x 5.1 cm / 5.7 x 5.3 x 2.0 in
  • Weight : 739 g / 26 oz
  • Field of view: 371 ft @ 1000 yards

Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing.
  • High optical performance.
  • High-quality coatings.
  • Waterproof and fogproof.
  • Very durable.

Cons

  • I think the included neck strap and carry bag are a bit basic although they are perfectly functional.

Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×32 HD BinocularsOur Top Pick

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 10x32 Binoculars

$188.56  in stock
20 new from $188.01
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of March 3, 2021 6:22 pm

The Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars is a quality budget bino that’s going to impress you with its performance and durability. By using high-quality glass materials, Vortex was able to produce a binocular with exceptional resolution, outstanding color fidelity that’s free from chromatic aberration, impressive sharpness, and light transmission. Performance is one thing you don’t have to worry about when it comes to this binocular.

There are several coatings in this bino that helps improve optical performance. There is the fully multi-coated lenses that bring about an increased light transmission. There’s also the dielectric coating that provides bright, clear, and color-accurate images. And the Armortek coating protects the exterior lenses from oil, dirt, and scratches.

The rubber armor on the exterior of this binocular provides an anti-slip grip which ensures the binocular doesn’t fall during viewing. The adjustable eye cups allow viewers using eyeglasses to comfortably use this binocular and the argon purging as well as the O-ring seals provide water and Fog proof performance in all environments. High-quality materials confer durability.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification : 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 32 mm / 1.26 in
  • Dimensions : 11 x 13 cm / 4.4 x 5 in
  • Weight : 453 g / 16 oz
  • Field of view : 340 ft @ 1000 yards

Pros

  • Exception resolution and color fidelity.
  • Several quality coatings improve optical performance.
  • Anti-slip armor body allows you to handle this binocular easily.
  • Adjustable eyecups allow people wearing glasses to comfortably use this bino.
  • Waterproof and fogproof.
  • Long-lasting.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 10×42 Binoculars

Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 10x42 Binoculars, Shadow Gray

$209.99
$158.10
 in stock
6 new from $157.99
1 used from $139.15
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of March 3, 2021 6:22 pm

The Leupold BX-1 binocular is a high-performing optic that comes with a specialized prism coating. It’s this specialized prism coating that is the key to the high optical performance the BX-1 is known to deliver. The phase-coated prisms enhance light transmission which makes up for light loss and provides the viewer with sharp resolution images with edge-to-edge clarity.

With a weight of 22 oz and a length of 5.8″, this binocular is very lightweight and compact. This makes it extremely easy to transport. The rubber covering on the body brings about better handgrip and a compact build. The ergonomic and lightweight design means you can comfortably use this binocular for prolonged viewing sessions.

The fog and waterproof construction makes this binocular resistant to the elements and can be used when the weather is unforgiving. I also like the smooth focusing of this binocular as it brings about easy and fine adjustments. And the heavily knurled center focus wheel can be used even with gloves on.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification : 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm / 1.65 in
  • Dimensions :  18 x 16.7 x 6.9 cm / 6.9 x 6.6 x 2.7 in
  • Weight : 793 g / 28.5 oz
  • Field of view: 305 ft @ 1000 yards

Pros

  • Specialized phase coatings.
  • Lightweight.
  • Fog/waterproof
  • Easy to focus and fine adjust.
  • Very durable.

Cons

  • The right eye focus wheel may be a bit tough to adjust especially while in use. However, this is not a deal breaker.

Carson VP Series Waterproof HD Binoculars

Carson VP Series Full Sized 8x42-mm Waterproof and Fog proof Binoculars in Black (VP-842)

$139.99  in stock
6 new from $139.99
1 used from $131.73
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of March 3, 2021 6:22 pm

Binoculars belonging to the Carson VP series, which are a multi-functional line of binos, are popularly known for their high-quality imagery. And this Carson VP binocular is no exception. The 8 x 42 model is especially powerful albeit a bit heavy at 24.6 oz (1.54 lbs).

The weight is not in any way cumbersome but is even comparable to that of a pair of full-size 10x42s. Thanks to the larger 42 mm objectives, more light can pass through this binocular. This combined with the 8x magnification results in a powerful binocular that produces clear images.

The FMC optics and the phase-coated prisms also improve the quality of image produced by this Carson VP binoculars as they bring about a high rate of light transmission which s needed for the production of bright and clear images.

Thanks to the hermetically sealed exterior, this binocular is fog and waterproof and is able to withstand the elements. The package contains accessories like a neoprene neck strap, rainguard, carry/storage case, and tethered objective lens caps.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification : 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm / 1.65 in
  • Dimensions : 12.7 x 14.6 x 5 cm / 5 x 5.75 x 2.0 in
  • Weight : 697 g / 24.6 oz
  • Field of view: 393 ft @ 1000 yards

Pros

  • Wide point of view.
  • FMC optics.
  • Quality phase coatings.
  • Fog/waterproof.
  • Long-lasting.

Cons

  • No major shortcoming.

Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars

Celestron – Nature DX 8x42 Binoculars – Outdoor and Birding Binocular – Fully Multi-coated with BaK-4 Prisms – Rubber Armored – Fog & Waterproof Binoculars – Top Pick Optics

$146.95
$88.96
 in stock
10 new from $88.96
5 used from $81.84
Amazon.com
as of March 3, 2021 6:22 pm

Celestron is a well-known brand in the optics industry. The Celestron Nature DX excellently combines premium build, portability, and affordability. And the Nature DX is designed to be used by different types of people from beginners to mid-range outdoors and birding enthusiasts.

I really like that this binocular can be easily transported without it constituting a burden. The fully multi-coated lens brings about brighter and higher resolution images than you’d normally get from a binocular belonging to this price range.

Completely air-purged and filled with dry nitrogen gas, this binocular is waterproof and fogproof and thus is effectively protected from the elements. Should the Nature DX get submerged in water, the internal components are protected.

The comfortable twist-up eye cups make this binocular easy to use for people wearing spectacles. And the package comes with all you need – compact carrying case, objective lens caps, an eyepiece rainguard, a neck strap, a lens cloth, and an instruction manual for easy use on the go.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification : 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm / 1.65 in
  • Dimensions : 12.7 x 12.4 x 4.6 cm / 5 x 4.9 x 1.8 in
  • Weight : 793 g / 28 oz
  • Field of view: 388 ft @ 1000 yards

Pros

  • Excellent combination of premium build, portability, and affordability.
  • Can be used for a wide range of activities.
  • Produces bright and high-resolution images.
  • Waterproof and fogproof.
  • Comfortable twist up cups.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • The carrying case could be of better quality.

Nikon Prostaff 3S 10×42 Binoculars

Nikon Prostaff 3S 10x42 Binoculars, Black (16031) Bundle with a Nikon Lens Pen and Lumintrail Cleaning Cloth

$156.95  in stock
2 new from $156.95
Amazon.com
as of March 3, 2021 6:22 pm

The Nikon Prostaff 16031 is a great all-around pair of binoculars that have very few faults. I like that this bino can be used for a wide range of activities ranging from hiking, hunting, and bird watching to name a few.

However, it is the excellent color and clarity that this binocular provides that makes it very popular. And this is due to the fully multi-layer coated lenses. Perhaps the only con that the Profstaff 16031 has is the cheap and flimsy lens cover which still works just fine.

The construction of this binocular is of high-quality and the rubber armored body has several advantages which include comfort and durability. Thanks to the rubberized grip. It’s very easy to hold this binocular even when the weather takes a turn for the worse. The turn-and-slide eyecups also provide eye relief for users that wear glasses.

This binocular is also waterproof and fogproof binoculars thanks to the O-ring seals and nitrogen gas. And you’ll find a lens cap, neck strap, carrying case, Nikon lens pens, and a lumintrail cleaning cloth.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification : 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm / 1.65 in
  • Dimensions : 15 x 13 x 5 cm / 5.9 x 5.1 x 2 in
  • Weight : 575 g / 20.3 oz
  • Field of view: 367 ft @ 1000 yards

Pros

  • Adjustable eyecups come in handy for glasses wearers
  • Durable due to the solid build.
  • High-quality optics.
  • Weatherproof.
  • Includes several accessories.
  • Versatile.

Cons

  • Flimsy lens cover could be better designed.

Steiner Safari UltraSharp 10×26 Binoculars

Steiner Safari UltraSharp 10x26 Binoculars

$229.99
$122.34
 in stock
Amazon.com
as of March 3, 2021 6:22 pm

The Steiner Safari 10×26 binoculars is a very rugged and tough binocular that comes in an eye-catching casing that feels balanced and very comfortable to hold. While the Safari 10×26 bino is not completely waterproof, it has a good water-resistant rating and will be fine as long as you don’t leave it out in the rain. It can easily withstand accidental splashes and drops in water.

I really like the soft “winged” rubber eyecups of this bino. The wings on the sides of the cup help improve your view by getting rid of most of the light coming from the sides of your face. The Safari 10×26 binocular will still provide you with a decent eye relief when though the bino doesn’t come with a twist-up mechanism.

I must also mention that this binocular is super lightweight and thus an ideal travel binocular. The optics of this binocular are also of high-quality and the UV coated lens protects your eyes.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification : 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 26 mm / 1.02 in
  • Dimensions : 15 x 13 x 5 cm / 4.7 x 4.8 x 1.6 in
  • Weight : 297 g / 10.5 oz
  • Field of view: 302 ft @ 1000 yards

Pros

  • Comfortable to hold.
  • Rugged and tough.
  • Super lightweight.
  • UV coated lens.
  • Water-resistant.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Best Binoculars Under 200 Dollars – The Guide

Now that I’ve recommended the best binoculars under $200 for you, I’ll be taking you through all you need to know about binoculars so you can make an informed decision when buying one. Buying the wrong binoculars can be an expensive mistake. So here are the things you should look out for before buying.

What To Take Into Consideration When Choosing Your Binoculars

Size and Weight

Binoculars are divided into three categories when it comes to size – compact, midsize, and full size. And the size of the binocular you should go for will be influenced by what you intend to do with the binocular.

Compact: This type of binoculars are the smallest and lightest of the bunch taking very little space and super convenient for people who want to travel light. You can learn more about them by reading my article on best travel binoculars.

Mid-size: The Mid-size binos are a bit bulkier than the compact models and are commonly used when there is no pressing need to travel very light. Most of the binos on this list are either travel or compact binoculars.

Full-size: They are extremely powerful but are also very big. They are the biggest of all types of binoculars and are very expensive. It’s more common to see serious wildlife enthusiasts using full-sized binoculars.

Magnification and Objective Lens Diameter

One of the ways by which binoculars are is by their magnification and objective lens diameter. You must have seen something like 8×42 after the names of the binoculars above. And you might be wondering what it means. The first figure usually denotes the magnification power while the second figure refers to the objective lens diameter.

The magnification power refers to the number of times the image you are viewing has been enlarged/magnified. Therefore, an 8x binocular means whatever you are viewing is magnified 8 times. An object 80m away would appear as if it was only 8m from you. For regular use, a binocular between 7x and 12x is excellent. Anything after that will become too bulky and you’ll have to use a tripod with such binoculars.

Every binocular has an objective which s the biggest part of the optic. The bigger the optics, the more light that is able to enter the binocular. The more light that is able to enter the binocular, the better the image quality. Also, the binocular will be able to function well in the dark as it’ll take in all available light.

However, the size of the binocular also increases as the objectives get bigger so there s a need to find a balance between the size of the lens and that of the bino. Usually, the size of the lenses could be anything from 20mm to 50mm.

Best binoculars under 200 - Guide

Field Of View

The field of view of a pair of binoculars simply refers to how much you can see i.e width of the area in your view without moving the binocular. Field of view of binoculars is usually expressed in meters or in yards over a distance of 1000m / 1000 yards (it’s almost equal).

A wider field of view means you’ll be able to locate different objects a lot easier. Magnification power and eyepiece design affect the field of view. Be sure to check for a binocular’s field of view before buying and go for the one with a high value.

Waterproofing & Anti-Fog Treatment

Whether your binocular is weatherproof or not will determine whether you can use it in rain or wet conditions. However, you should always go for weatherproof binos as water could damage the internal optics system.

Weather-resistant binoculars come with sealed O-rings which makes them hermetically sealed. As a result, moisture cannot get inside the binoculars and this means you can use these binos in rain or wet conditions. Some models are even designed to withstand submersion in water for some time. But hey, don’t go about submerging your binocular in water.

Fogging is said to happen in a binocular when water penetrates the binoculars and condenses on the lens. The effect of this is reduced image quality and durability of the binocular. As a result, binoculars have to be fog-proofed which is achieved by filling the bino with unreactive/inert gases such as nitrogen or argon under pressure. Some manufacturers even use a combination of the two gases. And for the curious minds, both gases work fine and there isn’t a significant difference in their performance.

Quick Tip – All fog-proof binoculars are automatically waterproof. However, a waterproof binocular may not be fog proof.

Prisms

There are a few types of prisms commonly used in binoculars. Long story short, the BAK4 prism is most of the time considered the best one for a binocular. It is the one that transmits the most light, and this is exactly what we want from a binocular. SK15 is very good as well, producing images that tend to show a higher contrast.

 Glass & Lens Coatings

To produce high-quality images with vibrant colors, coatings are usually applied to the lenses used in binoculars. Lenses can either be coated, multi-coated, or fully multi-coated. Multi-coated lenses have different layers of coatings and produce images of better contrast and resolution due to improved light transmission.

Fully multi-coated lenses are the best as multiple layers of coating materials are applied to the whole lens while coated lens which just has only a layer of coating material.

Final Thoughts

I really like the multiple options available when getting a binocular. There are binoculars that cost less than $50, there are models below $100, under $300, and also under $500. But if $200 is your budget, there’s still a lot of room to work with. This article will help you find the very best binoculars that fall under the $200 price range. Choose one today and start enjoying the beautiful sceneries nature has to offer!

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