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The 10 Best Travel Binoculars [2023]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
Amar Hussain's image

Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

776 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

32 Published Articles 3123 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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From bird-watching to sporting events, there are dozens of activities people love doing that can often be ruined if you’re too far away from the action.

That’s why having a pair of travel binoculars can be such an important asset. They help you get a better look at far-off things without having to strain your eyes. However, you might be wondering what model is the best for you.

Things To Consider With Travel Binoculars

Travel binoculars
Binoculars are great to take on your travels for wildlife viewing or sporting events. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

While it’s easy to say that all travel binoculars are essentially the same, that’s actually far from the truth.

In order to purchase the right pair for your travels, there are multiple things you should think about to make sure you’re making the right choice. Let’s review a few things you should consider.

Size and Weight

The first thing you should consider when you’re looking at travel binoculars is their size and weight. Binoculars that are too large or too heavy will likely take up a lot of room and become tiresome to carry.

Binoculars that are too small or light may be flimsy and break easily. Also, they might not have the right lenses to suit your needs.

You’ll likely want to find a pair with a balance between having the functions you want while still being a size you can easily carry and pack.

Material

Travel binoculars material
It’s important to consider the material for a pair of binoculars. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The material a pair of travel binoculars is made of can also be a factor worth considering before making a purchase.

Some inexpensive materials, for example, will lower the overall cost of a pair of binoculars. However, these materials might also be more prone to damage, so you’d have to be careful or replace them more often.

The material won’t just impact binoculars’ durability, but it will also impact their weight. You may also have a material preference that you should keep in mind as well before buying.

Durability

How durable a pair of binoculars is can also impact your decision-making. For example, if you plan to use your travel binoculars for indoor sporting events, you might want to get a pair that can withstand being knocked around.

In that case, drop-resistant binoculars with scratch-resistant lenses might be preferable. However, they won’t need to be able to withstand different weather conditions.

Hot Tip: You should determine when and where you might use your binoculars so you know if you should look for waterproof, dustproof, or drop-resistant pairs.

Strength

Travel binoculars magnification
You’ll want at least 8x to 10x magnification on your binoculars. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

You’ll also want to determine the magnifying strength you’ll need before you purchase a pair of binoculars.

While purchasing a pair that has more strength than you need is fine, the same can’t be said about buying binoculars that don’t magnify as much as you need them to.

In general, you’ll likely want at least 8x to 10x magnification on your binoculars. Less than that will be pretty useless in most situations. However, you might need more than that. It depends on the distance and size of what you’re observing.

Tech and Features

Travel Binoculars Tech Features
Some binoculars have autofocus as a point-and-shoot camera would. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The last thing you should look at before you purchase a pair of binoculars is all the other tech and function features it might have.

Some binoculars have a night vision mode, so they can be used in dim lighting. For example, that might be a good option if you want to take them on camping trips. Other binoculars might have autofocus as a point-and-shoot camera would.

On the other hand, some binoculars are just the tried and true traditional kind with manual magnification to give you control.

Hot Tip: Make sure your purchase is well-protected — consider buying your binoculars with a credit card that offers extended warranty coverage.

The 10 Best Travel Binoculars

There are dozens of binoculars out there, and any one of them can be the ideal pair for someone. However, they’re not interchangeable.

We decided to make the process of figuring out which binoculars are right for your needs easier. We’ve weighed the pros and cons to compile this list of the 10 best travel binoculars on the market.

1. Glare-free Binocular Option

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Nikon Travelite 8x25mm Black Binoculars

Nikon is a trusted brand when it comes to binoculars, and the Travelite is a good example of why.

These binoculars have an 8x magnification to help bring you closer to the action whether you use them in the great outdoors, to see the stage at a concert, or something else.

They’re also ergonomically designed with a comfortable rubber grip, so you don’t have to worry about getting tired of holding them or dropping them.

This pair also weighs less than a pound, making it a great lightweight option for hiking or nature walks that won’t become cumbersome. The pair also comes with a neck strap so that you can easily access it at the drop of a hat.

What We Like:

  • Light and comfortable

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not weatherproof or waterproof

2. The Perfect Binoculars for On-the-Go

ZEISS Terra ED Compact Binoculars

If you want binoculars you can freely take with you no matter what adventure you go on, this model by ZEISS might be perfect for you.

The binoculars are made of lightweight but sturdy aluminum, so they won’t shatter easily and can stand up to general use (within reason, of course – don’t go throwing them off a cliff). They’re also waterproof, making them appropriate to use in all weather conditions, rain or shine.

Not only that, but the scopes have a protective coating that keeps them from fogging up or getting blurry in humid conditions. So, no matter what time of year or setting, you’ll be able to get a clear view. They even work for stargazing.

What We Like:

  • Fog-resistant

What We Don’t Like:

  • Expensive for the average user

3. All-weather Binoculars for Any Occasion

Nikon 16000 PROSTAFF 7S

If you don’t want to be limited in when you can use your binoculars, then the Prostaff from Nikon is an option worth considering.

These binoculars are a waterproof option that is great for the outdoors, whether you need them for hunting or stargazing.

Thanks to their rubberized grip, they’re comfortable to hold, so you don’t have to worry about dropping them, even in the rain. However, it’s also a great option for other uses, as well, such as parades or sporting events.

The binoculars weigh less than a pound, so they won’t feel heavy if you have them around your neck, in your bag, or holding them up to your eyes. They’re also fairly compact, allowing for easy storage.

What We Like:

  • All-weather appropriate

What We Don’t Like:

  • No tripod mount

4. Small but Mighty Binoculars

Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars

If you’re looking for a pair of compact binoculars to fit in the palm of your hand without giving up magnification strength, occer has a perfect model.

These binoculars are nearly pocket-sized, but they still magnify by 12x. They also have a wide lens, so you can see far and wide easily.

The binoculars are also adjustable, so you can fit them to perfectly suit your face. You can also change the adjustments quickly, so you can easily share this pair with any kids in your life.

It’s also a waterproof option, meaning you can take them with you anywhere. The best part is that they’re also a budget-friendly option!

What We Like:

  • Strong but cost-effective

What We Don’t Like:

  • Lacks night vision capabilities

5. Binocular Option for the Whole Family

Aurosports 10×25 Binoculars

Families looking for a pair of binoculars to take on their next adventure should consider the 10×25 model by Aurosports.

These binoculars might be small, but they still offer 10x magnification, so they’re perfect for most situations. They’re also highly adjustable, so people with different-sized faces can use them. This means that you don’t need a pair of binoculars for the kids and another pair for mom and dad … you can share!

The lenses are fully coated to allow you a crystal-clear viewing experience, so you don’t have to deal with blurriness or missing out on little details. It also comes as a complete kit with a neck strap, lens covers, and a carrying pouch.

What We Like:

  • One-size-fits-all option

What We Don’t Like:

  • Blurry images in poorly lit environments

6. Binoculars You Can Take Anywhere

POLDR 12X25 Small Pocket Binoculars

If you want a pair of binoculars you can easily take with you in a backpack, purse, or even a coat pocket, POLDR has an option worth considering.

These binoculars are tiny — they easily fit in your hand when closed and don’t take up much room. If you add in the fact that they’re also lightweight, they’re perfect for most situations.

In fact, they were primarily designed to be used for indoor events like concerts or theater productions where having large binoculars would be impractical or prohibited.

These binoculars offer you 12x magnification, so you won’t have any trouble feeling like you’re up close to what you’re looking at. They’re also inexpensive, meaning you don’t have to pay more for convenience.

What We Like:

  • Easily portable

What We Don’t Like:

  • Small writing makes adjustments difficult

7. Binoculars That Bring You Into the Action

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SkyGenius 8×21

People who want a pair of binoculars that will make them feel like they’re in the thick of the action at a concert or sporting event should look into the SkyGenius 8×21 option.

These binoculars are designed to give you a clear view of what’s going on, even if you’re in the nosebleed section of a venue. Weighing less than half a pound, these binoculars are also great for hikes and nature walks alone or with the family.

You can easily see birds or other small animals thanks to their 8x magnification and 21mm lens. They also come with their own protective carrying case, so you can pack them stress-free.

What We Like:

  • Compact size

What We Don’t Like:

  • Poor low-light or night vision viewing

8. Travel Binoculars That Will Last a Lifetime

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Vortex Optics Diamondback

If you’re looking for the last pair of travel binoculars you’ll ever need, the Vortex Optics Diamondback model is the best option for you.

These binoculars might be one of the more costly options on this list, but they’re well worth it. They offer 10x magnification which is more than enough for even the most dedicated bird-watchers or concert-goers. You can also use them to close focus on objects.

They’re also fully waterproof and fog-proof, so you don’t have to pack them away and give up viewing if it starts to rain or snow. They’re covered by an unlimited lifetime warranty. No matter what happens to your binoculars, they’ll be repaired or replaced for you.

What We Like:

  • All-encompassing warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • Heavier and less compact

9. An Affordable Yet High-quality Option

LUXUN 12×25 Waterproof Compact Binoculars

If you’re worried that having a tight budget for your travel binoculars means you’ll have to sacrifice quality, consider the compact pair from LUXUN.

These binoculars are cost-effective while still providing 12x magnification. They’re also ergonomically designed with a comfortable grip and rubber accents, so you can use them for hours without any issues.

You also don’t have to worry about missing out on dusk birdwatching or stargazing. These small binoculars are equipped for low-lighting and night vision viewing, as well.

They’re fully protected from water damage, making them a great choice any time of the year. They’re also compact, so you can take them to concerts or plays, or you can just throw them in your pocket.

What We Like:

  • Strong magnification

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not drop-proof or drop-resistant

10. A Full Binocular Set With Everything You Need

C-eagleeye Compact Binoculars

The C-eagleeye compact binoculars are a great option if you want to make sure you purchase everything you need at once.

This kit not only comes with a pair of high-quality binoculars, but it also has a neck strap, protective carrying bag, and lens covers. You can also place your smartphone camera up to the eyepiece for crystal-clear photos and videos.

The binoculars are easy to focus, even if you wear glasses. They’re also incredibly durable. They’re water-resistant, making them appropriate for all weather and environmental conditions.

If something happens to your binoculars, you don’t have to worry — a lifetime warranty covers them, and you get access to the company’s technical support line.

What We Like:

  • Phone adapter option

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not fully waterproof

Final Thoughts

Choosing the perfect pair of travel binoculars to suit your needs can be a big decision. Most travel binoculars will let you get a closer look at things that are at a distance, however, there are a lot of other characteristics a pair can have.

Some binoculars are all-weather protected, others allow greater focus and zoom adjustment. We hope our list has helped you in deciding which pair of travel binoculars is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are travel binoculars worth it?

Travel binoculars are worth it if you enjoy bird-watching or being able to see things at a distance while on the go. They’re particularly useful for camping and road trips. However, if you don’t spend much time in nature or enjoying scenic views, you likely don’t need travel binoculars.

What should I look for in travel binoculars?

Travel binoculars should be sized to fit your face comfortably. They should also be adjustable to some extent so you can focus them how you want. If you wear glasses or contacts, you may also need to consider purchasing binoculars with specific lenses so you can see through them adequately.

What are travel binoculars used for?

Travel binoculars are used for a wide range of activities, from bird-watching to admiring distant views close-up. Some people also enjoy using travel binoculars for sporting matches or concerts if their seats are far away from the action.

What size should travel binoculars be?

Travel binoculars should generally be compact and lightweight, so they’re easy to travel with. However, there are no specific size or weight requirements for binoculars to be considered travel appropriate. If they’re strong enough for your needs and they aren’t uncomfortable to carry, any binoculars could be considered travel binoculars.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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