Best Travel Binoculars header

Whether you go sightseeing, hiking or on vacation, you are bound to encounter beautiful scenery. Our eyes can only see so much and you might not be able to take in the beautiful sights as much as you’d like to. And this is where travel binoculars come in. If you plan to go for some wildlife watching, they become compulsory!

Travel binoculars magnify your view and let us see details from distance. Is there a landscape you would love to have a good look at? Or is it the sunset? Birds? You can easily have a good look at whatever piques your interest with binoculars.

Binoculars for your travel have to meet some requirements. For one, they must be lightweight. You’ll understand this more if you’ve had to leave your binoculars at home when travelling because it is too heavy. Everyone wants to travel as light as possible.

Travel binoculars are therefore always compact and lightweight. There are dozens of them available in the market and choosing one can be a bit overwhelming. But worry not, we’ll be talking about some of the best travel binoculars in the market. Then the buying guide for travel binoculars will come after that. So stay tuned.

The 7 Best Travel Binoculars for 2020

Bushnell H2O Waterproof Binoculars

Bushnell 138005 H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular, 8 x 25-mm, Black

$52.98  in stock
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Lightweight, compact, high optical performance, waterproof and fog proof. Bushnell binoculars are the dream binoculars of every traveller. The compact design means these binoculars take very little space and are easy to transport.

The waterproof and fog proof feature means you can use these binoculars in extreme weather conditions. Water cannot penetrate the inside of these binoculars even when submerged as it has a hermetically sealed covering. This means you can take these binoculars with you when boating, skiing or engaging in other sports that involve water.

Thanks to the rubber coating of the exterior, you can maintain a firm grip on the Bushnell binoculars even when your hands are wet or without gloves. You don’t have to worry about these binoculars slipping from your hands.

These binoculars have good magnifications and you can focus on far objects easily. The 25mm objective lens and the BAK 4 prism make these binoculars function in low light conditions due to their excellent light transmission. So no matter the circumstance, you can be assured that you’ll get crystal clear images.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 25 mm / 0.98 in
  • Dimensions: 12.7 x 10.2 x 7 cm / 5 x 4 x 2.75 in
  • Weight: 340 g / 12 oz
  • Field of view : 360 ft @ 1000 yards
  • Waterproof: Yes

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • High optical performance
  • Wide field of view
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Durable

Cons

  • Doesn’t include accessories

Eyeskey 8×32 Waterproof BinocularsOur Top Pick

Eyeskey 8x32 Professional Waterproof Binoculars for Travelling, hunting and outdoor Activities, Compact and Lightweight, Exceptional contrast and brightness, Extra Wide Field of View

$99.99  in stock
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Eyesky has a reputation for producing high quality binoculars. And their 8×32 waterproof binoculars are no exception. As you’d expect, these binoculars are lightweight and compact making them perfect travel binoculars.

These binoculars function well in extreme weather conditions. Being nitrogen filled and O-ring filled, they are waterproof and fog proof.

Thanks to the durable ABS thermoplastic polymer, these binoculars are long lasting. The material is also temperature resistant which keeps the expansion and contraction of the metal components in check.

Without this feature, the resulting metal expansion or contraction can move the optical components. The slip-resistant design allows you to hold these binoculars firmly regardless of the state of the weather (cold or wet).

Multi-colored lenses and the superior BAK 4 prisms provide high-quality and vibrant images for you. There is also eye relief to make these binoculars convenient for users wearing glasses.

You can also mount these binoculars on a tripod. There’s also an optional adapter for hands-free experience.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 32 mm / 1.26 in
  • Dimensions: 12.8 x 12.1 x 4.7 cm / 5.03 × 4.76 × 1.85 in
  • Weight: 516 g / 18.2 oz
  • Field of view : 388 ft @ 1000 yards
  • Waterproof: Yes

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Slip resistant and durable
  • Excellent image quality

Cons

  • N/A

Celestron Outland X 8×25 Binoculars

Celestron – Outland X 8x25 Binoculars – Waterproof & Fogproof – Binoculars for Adults – Multi-Coated Optics and BaK-4 Prisms – Protective Rubber Armoring

$49.95  in stock
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Celestron has been in the optics field since 1960 and have been producing high-quality products. And the Celestron Outland X is designed to be an ideal travel binocular. Every outdoor enthusiast will find this binocular extremely useful.

Rubber coated exterior provides protection against the elements and rough and tough handling. The coating is strong enough to withstand light impacts. Also, the Celestron Outland X is waterproof and fog proof. The anti-slip design prevents this binocular from falling off your hands.

Being lightweight, you can comfortably hold and use this binocular for as long as you want. You can also mount it on a tripod for an extended viewing experience. The eye relief feature allows people using eyeglasses to comfortably use this binocular.

With 8x magnification power, the Celestron X is pretty powerful. The 25mm objective size allows you to easily view distant objects. The multi-coated lens and BAK 4 prism produces high-quality images.

This binocular comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Also, there’s a responsive technical support team to help you with any issues.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 25 mm / 0.98 in
  • Dimensions: 15.2 x 7.6 x 15.2 cm / 6 x 3 x 6 in
  • Weight: 312 g / 11 oz
  • Field of view : 429 ft @ 1000 yards
  • Waterproof: Yes

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact binocular
  • Waterproof/Fog proof
  • Can be mounted on a tripod
  • Durable
  • Excellent image quality

Cons

  • This binocular may not be suitable for all people wearing glasses
  • The prism isn’t coated

Other Buying Options:

Wingspan Optics Fieldview 8×32 Binoculars

Wingspan Optics FieldView 8X32 Compact Binoculars for Bird Watching. Lightweight and Compact for Hours of Bright, Clear Bird Watching. Also for Outdoor Sports Games and Concerts

$69.92  in stock
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The sleek design of this binocular is the first thing that will captivate you as soon as you set your eyes on it. It’s as lightweight and compact as any travel binocular can be. It’ll fit easily in your coat pocket. And you might easily forget you have something in your pocket because you’ll barely notice the weight. It also comes with a nylon mesh carrying case for easy transport.

But the diminutive size doesn’t take anything away from the functionality of this binocular. It’s waterproof and fogproof meaning you can use it in extreme weather conditions. And the anti-slip handles allow you to hold on to them firmly. You can even let children have a look without worrying that they’ll drop it.

This WingSpan binoculars isn’t great for viewing close objects. But then, you need a binocular to view distant objects so that isn’t a problem at all. And you can easily mount this binocular on a tripod.

The image quality is good and you can switch from wide view to the sharpest focus easily and quickly. The impressive magnification makes you feel like you are just inches away from the bird, landscape or whatever it is you are viewing.

Wingspan provides lifetime warranty for these binoculars. And there is also a 30 day money back guarantee when you purchase this binocular.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 32 mm / 1.26 in
  • Dimensions: 11.4 x 11.4 x 4.6 cm / 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.8 in
  • Weight: 431 g / 15.2 oz
  • Field of view : 362 ft @ 1000 yards
  • Waterproof: Yes

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight and portable.
  • Easy to align
  • Waterproof and fogproof
  • Good image quality

Cons

  • The hard eyecup may not be comfortable for some users.
  • The lens cap can sometimes get in the way.

Carson VP Series Compact 8×32 Binoculars

Carson VP Series 8x32-mm Full Sized Waterproof and Fog-proof Binoculars in Black (VP-832)

$137.88  in stock
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The Carson VP series binoculars are renowned for their top-notch image quality. Featuring phase-correction coatings on the prism, you are guaranteed images of high quality, contrast and resolution. There is also the multi-coated optics for improved optic performance. Even in low light conditions, you still see crisp clear images.

The hermetically sealed exterior is waterproof and fog proof. And your binoculars are effectively protected from the elements. The tough rubber covering makes these binoculars very durable. While you should always try not to drop your binoculars, this Carson binocular can easily withstand a mishap or two.

Like all other binoculars in the VP series, you can easily attach this binocular to a tripod. Carson also includes a number of accessories such as pouch, neck strap, lens cover and lens cloth. And these accessories will help keep you protect this binocular and keep it in good condition.

These binoculars are also spectacle-friendly and people wearing glasses can conveniently use it.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 32 mm / 1.26 in
  • Dimensions: 13.2 x 10.7 x 3.8 cm / 5.2 x 4.2 x 1.5 in
  • Weight: 516 g / 18.2 oz
  • Field of view : 426 ft @ 1000 yards
  • Waterproof: Yes

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Excellent image quality.
  • Comfortable grip means arthritis sufferers can easily use this binocular.
  • Waterproof and fog proof.
  • Comes with a number of accessories.

Cons

  • Some users have reported issues with the focus mechanism but this rarely happens.

Other Buying Options:

Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8×32 Binoculars

Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8x32 Binocular (Green)

$115.00  in stock
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We noticed, this is another Celestron’s product on our list. And that should tell you about the high-quality of the company’s binoculars.

The Nature DX is portable and lightweight, a feature all travel binoculars must have. But its superb functionality set it aside from most of the other travel binoculars in the market.

This binocular is intended for beginners to intermediate users. The multi-coated optics and BAK 4 prisms provide images of good quality. You can even get clear images in low light conditions.

Completely air-purged and filled with dry nitrogen gas, this binocular is waterproof and can be used in extreme weather conditions. Should it get submerged in water, the internal components are protected. And you can also use this binocular to focus on things as close as 6ft.

The position of the eyecup can be easily adjusted to make it comfortable for people wearing eyeglasses. A number of accessories such as a compact carrying case, objective lens cap, eyepiece rain guard, a neck strap, a lens cloth and an instruction manual is included.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 32 mm / 1.26 in
  • Dimensions: 12.7 x 12.4 x 4.6 cm / 5 x 4.9 x 1.8 in
  • Weight: 510 g / 18 oz
  • Field of view : 426 ft @ 1000 yards
  • Waterproof: Yes

Pros

  • Very portable and easy to transport.
  • Waterproof/fog proof and can be used in wet conditions.
  • Good image quality.
  • A number of accessories included.

Cons

  • Images may become blurry when viewing at the maximum magnification.
  • The carrying case could be of better quality.

Vanguard Endeavor ED 8×32 Binoculars

Vanguard Endeavor ED 8x32 Binocular, ED Glass, Waterproof/Fogproof

$249.99  in stock
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You’ll experience top notch optical performance with these binoculars. The extra-low dispersion (ED) glass has multiGuard coatings that provide crisp and clear images even in low light conditions.

The ED glass also removes abberrations in the images and provides high contrast and resolution. The Bak 4 prism also contributes to the high-quality image.

Thanks to the O-ring seal and nitrogen purging, this binocular can take on challenging weather conditions. It’s completely waterproof and fog proof.

The open bridge design makes this binocular lightweight. And it also makes this binocular easy to handle and use. For people wearing eyeglasses, you’ll be happy to hear about the three stage twist eye cup which provides eye relief as well as a full field of view.

There is a diopter corrector dial that locks in place. By having a locking diopter corrector, you can be sure that your custom settings will remain in place even after you accidentally touch the diopter wheel.

 Quick Specifications

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 25 mm / 0.98 in
  • Dimensions: 13.2 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm / 5.5 x 5 x 5 in
  • Weight: 479 g / 16.9 oz
  • Field of view : 377 ft @ 1000 yards
  • Waterproof: Yes

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Has an open bridge design for comfort.
  • Waterproof and fog proof.
  • Easy for glass wearers to use.
  • Good image quality.

Cons

  • Eyecups may let some light in.

Other Buying Options:

How To Choose The Best Travel Binoculars?

Now that we’ve recommended the top seven binoculars for you, let’s take 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.

Binoculars Size and Weight

When it comes to size, binoculars are divided into three categories – compact, midsize and full size. The purpose of buying a binocular will determine the size you should go for.

If you’ll be taking a binocular with you on your travels, you’ll definitely want the compact type. They are lightweight and will take very little space. There are even compact binoculars that you can just put into your coat pocket without even noticing the weight.

You’ll also need a compact binocular if you are hiking and birdwatching. The midsize and full size models produce better images but are not comfortable for travelling. And their bulky weight means you may not be able to comfortably hold them for long.

Magnification and Objective Lens Diameter

All binoculars come with a defined magnification power and objective lens diameter. Surely, you must have seen something like 8×32 after the names of the binoculars we recommended above. And you might be wondering what it means.

A 8×32 binocular means the binocular has a magnification power of 8 and an objective lens diameter of 32mm. The magnification power always comes first. Also, the magnification power can be written alone as 8x, 6x and so on.

So what’s the magnification power? The magnification power is the extent your binocular enlarges the image you are seeing. So a 10x binocular means whatever you are viewing is magnified ten times. An object 100m away would appear as if it was only 10m from you.

For regular use, a binocular between 7x and 12x is excellent. Anything after that and you’ll have to use a tripod with your binoculars.

The objectives are the biggest part of the optic and they determine the size of the binocular and the amount of light that enters it. So if your objective lens is large, more light will enter your binocular and the image you get will be clearer and sharper even in low light situations.

Note that bigger objectives means bigger size and weight of the binoculars. And compromise will have to be made when choosing lightweight binoculars. And it’s important to find products that have a balance between the size and objective lens diameter.

Field of View

The field of view of a binocular is simply the width of the area in your view without moving the microscope. It is usually expressed in ft per 1000yard or metres at 1000m. And your magnification power plays a crucial role in your field of view value.

A binocular with low magnification power will have a wide field of view while a higher magnification power narrows it. Now, a narrow field of view will make locating small subjects difficult from a long distance. Since smaller views also let in less light so your image might appear a bit darker.

Even the eyepiece design affects the field of view. So you should always check for a binocular’s field of view before buying and go for the one with a high value.

Waterproofing & Fog Proofing

Some binoculars are weatherproof while others are not. And the category any binocular falls under will determine under which conditions it can be used.

Non-weather resistant binoculars should not be used in rain or wet conditions. This is to prevent water getting into the interior of the binocular. Water can damage the optical components, cause rusting and corrosion.

The weather resistant models which have sealed O rings are waterproof and are hermetically sealed. This means moisture cannot penetrate into the binoculars. You can use them in the rain. Some can even withstand being submerged for some time. We are not saying you should submerge your waterproof binocular. But it’ll not be damaged in case it falls into a body of water and you remove it as fast as you can.

Binoculars can also be fog proof. Fogging happens when water gets on the inside of the binoculars and condenses on the lens. And this affects image quality and durability of the binoculars.

To avoid this, binoculars are filled with unreactive/inert gases such as nitrogen or argon. Sometimes, a combination of the two is used. These gases are pumped into the optical components under pressure.

So you may be wondering which one is better, nitrogen or argon? There isn’t really any significant difference in the performance of the two. So we’ll end the weatherproof section by giving you this small tip.

All fog proof binoculars are automatically waterproof. However, a waterproof binocular may not be fog proof.

Types of Glass

It’s only logical that the type and quality of glass used to manufacture a binocular would affect its functionality. Generic glasses may produce images with slight aberrations.

To improve image quality, special glasses such as low dispersion or extra low dispersion glasses are used. These glasses transmit light better and produce images of high contrast and resolution.

Lens Coatings

Coatings are usually applied to lenses to reduce glare and improve transmission of light. This leads to production of images with vibrant colours.

Lenses can also be multi-coated and fully multi-coated. Multi-coated lens have different layers of coatings and produce images of better contrast and resolution due to improved light transmission.

Prisms and Prism Coatings

Different types of prisms are used in binoculars with the most common being BAK4, BK7 and Sk15. BAK4 is generally regarded as the best prism material due to its high refractive index and lower critical angle. All these fancy terms just means BAK4 has superb light transmission properties, superior to the others.

You’ll find BK7 prisms in a lot of binoculars. And while it isn’t as good as BAK4, it also has good light transmission properties.

Just like lenses, prisms can also be coated. And this improves their performance and results in clearer and  brighter images.

Chassis Materials

The chassis of a binocular is the frame that the whole optic is built on. And many materials can be used to manufacture the chassis with the most common being aluminum, magnesium and polycarbonate.

Aluminum is the most commonly used due to the fact that it’s light, inexpensive and also corrosion resistant. Magnesium is another excellent option and is even lighter than aluminum.

Polycarbonate has the advantage of being temperature resistant. It won’t expand or contract like the magnesium or aluminum. When these metals expand or contract, they can affect the functionality of the optics. And polycarbonates doesn’t have this problem.

Final Thoughts

That’s all fellas. Our top travel binoculars pick and buying guide will help you make an informed choice when buying binoculars.

You already have all the information you need, so get a binocular now and start staring into the wonders of nature!

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