The Bushnell H2O Roof Prism Binoculars scored high marks in every area and are our top pick. These waterproof binoculars can be used in the rain without losing visibility thanks to the glass that is used in construction. The glass repels water so the rain doesn’t hamper your views. They are also resistant to fogging up as well. The rubber like outer coating provides a lot of grip and traction so you don’t run the risk of dropping them during use. The have 10x magnification which is great for a basic pair of binoculars.
Getting a new set of binoculars is easy. Getting the right set of binoculars; however, is a bit different. There are many factors to consider when picking up a new pair, being that each pair may be more or less suitable for one person than they are for another. However, there are a few metrics of quality by which you can measure binoculars. We spent over 44 hours researching and testing 18 different types of binoculars and found that ease of use, performance, and cost were most important. This review will lay forth the three best binoculars on the market, netting you with a pair that exhibits a great level of durability, comfort and a quality view. To help you pick from the three, check out the buyer’s guide below to ensure you get just what you’re looking for.
1. Bushnell H2O
Best Overall Binocular
The Bushnell H2O Roof Prism Binoculars, perhaps more so than any other pair of binoculars, are made with outdoor use in mind. This is instantly apparent among reading the product’s specs. The first thing you’ll notice is that these binoculars are waterproof. You might be wondering what on Earth this has to do with anything. After all, when’s the last time you’ve ever heard of anyone’s binoculars breaking from coming in contact with water? However, while we don’t have to worry about water actually hurting our binoculars, we do have to worry about it hurting our view. When’s the last time you’ve had your view hurt by some rain
? For a lot of people, this happens quite a bit. As such, it’s nice to see a pair of binoculars which helps attack this issue head on.
This is due to the glass in the Bushnell H2O Roof Prism Binoculars’ make being made with hydrophobia in mind. Without getting into the science of it, I’ll say that hydrophobia is exactly what it sounds like – an aversion to water. Think about when water hits an umbrella; instead of drenching the umbrella throughout, water will pool and fall off of the umbrella, leaving the material rather dry. The same thing happens with the glass used in the make of these binoculars. So, while they won’t exactly remain completely dry after coming in contact with water, the water in question will fall off very quickly, leaving no trail behind. You can also simply wipe the water off without the glass feeling damp in the slightest, meaning no tiny water droplets will be left behind to cloud your view.
This has another advantage as well. Because fog is basically just a culmination of tiny water droplets, you can imagine how it will stand up to the glass in these binoculars – not very well. This is definitely a huge plus, as fog is one of the biggest limiting factors regarding your ability to hold a consistently clear view in a pair of binoculars. Of course, water isn’t the only thing to consider when picking out a pair of binoculars. You must also consider durability, magnification and the outer material.
The Bushnell H2O Roof Prism Binoculars preform well in all of these aspects (except for magnification, as this will depend on preference) further solidifying their number-one spot on this list. They come with a rubbery outer coating with a whole lot of traction, not only making it easier to hold them steady, but indirectly increasing their overall level of durability through reducing your odds of dropping them. All things considered, the Bushnell H2O Roof Prism Binoculars are definitely the best on the market. Unless you’re shooting for something with more or less magnification (these onse come with 10X, for reference), there’s not a whole lot of reason not to go with these binoculars. Of course, if you are shooting for something with a different level of magnification, you may want to check out the product below.
– Jonathan Maxwell
Best Overall Binocular – Runner Up
The first thing you’ll likely notice about these binoculars is that they’re rather large in size. This is easily their most distinguishable and most heavily-advertised feature. This large size makes them rather comfortable and, according to the manufacturer, suitable for those already wearing glasses while using the binoculars in question. Outside of their giant stature (which could be seen as being either good or bad, depending on just what it is you want out of a pair of binoculars in the first place) they preform well in every regard.
They have a great level of durability due to their ergonomic grip and sturdy lenses. They also have a moderate level of magnification at a solid 15X making them rather suitable for a wider variety of situations for which many other binoculars might prove to be too high or low in the zoom department. This makes them a safer purchase as well, assuming you’re unsure of just how much magnification you need in the first place. Perhaps their most notable feature; however, is their overall level of comfort. If you simply want something that’s easy on the face, look no further than the Bushnell PowerView.
– Jonathan Maxwell
3. Bushnell PowerView
Best Budget Binocular
The Bushnell PowerView’s name is suiting, that’s for sure. With a 20X magnification level, you’ll find these suitable for hunting
as well as other situations where you really need to catch movement from a long distance. On the other hand, these may not be overly suitable for more close-range situations. As such, you should think carefully as to whether or not these binoculars will work for you. If they do work for you; however, you’ll find them to do so extremely well. Compared binoculars as a whole, no matter their magnification level, the Bushnell PowerView preforms extremely well.
Now, by looking at their specs, these binoculars may not seem overly exciting. Because they aren’t. There are no fancy features meant to reel in novelty shoppers, nor are there features which get people talking about their level of advancement. This is because this is not what these binoculars are for. Rather, they aim to preform exceptionally well by every metric. Simply put, they do an excellent job of covering all of the basics. This is great, as it gives you a great pair of binoculars for a very reasonable price.
One of the metrics I speak of is in regards to the great amount of grip found on these binoculars. Once again, this goes on to indirectly increase the clarity of your view and the level of the binoculars’ overall level of durability. It also comes with rather durable glass. Although I wouldn’t recommend striking rocks against the lenses, I’ll say that they’ll be less likely to get scratched than many other products in this sector of the market. Simply put, if it’s a great view you’re after, you’ll love the Bushnell PowerView binoculars.
– Jonathan Maxwell
Summary of Our Top Picks
Before selecting from one of the above products, it helps to know whether or not they’re specifically catered to you. While they’ll all do an excellent job and preform well by every metric of quality, there are some features which have less to do with quality and more to do with personal preference. If you wear glasses, the latter of the three above binoculars should be an obvious choice. Unless you have a strong reason as to why you should choose from one of the other two, this particular pair will offer a great level of comfort that you just won’t be able to get elsewhere. Of course, as great as these binoculars are, you may be able to get something more catered toward your specific needs by going with one of the other two if you don’t wear glasses.
For example, if you know you’ll be spending a whole lot of time in the rain or in humid climates, it never hurts to get your hands on the first of the three above models. Due to the hydrophobic glass used to make its lenses, you’ll have a hard time finding another pair which preforms equally well under similar circumstances. On the other hand, the Bushnell PowerView is easily your best choice if you need a high level of magnification. The choice is all yours and completely comes down to your own specific wants and needs.
4. Bushnell 133410C
5. Bushnell Falcon
6. Bushnell BN150142
7. Nikon 8252
9. Vortex Optics
Binocular Buying Guide
What is a Binocular
If none of the above pairs of binoculars seem to appeal to you, or if you’d simply like to get out there and see what else is available at your disposal, it can be a good idea to do some shopping on your own. While I can’t very well come along shopping with you, I can certainly give you a few tips to keep in mind while shopping to ensure you get the best possible binoculars to suit your own needs, no matter what they may be. Try keeping the below factors in mind while shopping.
Do you wear glasses?
If so, you’ve probably garnered some experience with a large number of binoculars which have you removing your glasses for said binoculars to be of any use in the first place. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case. Although plus-sized binoculars are rarely seen, this doesn’t mean they don’t work just as well. If you have glasses, you’ll thank yourself later if you decide to pick up such a pair of binoculars.
How much magnification do you need?
If this is your first pair of binoculars, it can be easy to assume that every pair comes with more or less the same amount of zoom. This; however, couldn’t be further from the truth. Take a look at what others have to say about a pair of binoculars before buying them, especially those using them for the same purposes as you, being that they’ll know whether or not the unit you have your eyes set on will be at all useful in the situations you plan on using them in.
Types of Binoculars
We could sit here and categorize binoculars all day. However, for the sake of simplicity and practicality, it seems more suitable to focus on two main types of binoculars. Keep in mind that there are more binoculars (such as astronomy binoculars) than those listed below, but these are more specialized and are not relevant to this buyer’s guide. Take a look at the two main types of binoculars below and see which one is most suited toward you.
Roof Binoculars – Made with practicality in mind, roof binoculars tend to be the more durable of the bunch. They also tend to be smaller and lighter as well. A large portion of binoculars used today fit in this category. This is likely due solely to their ease of use.
Porro Binoculars – Porro binoculars have the potential to offer a larger zoom. They also tend to be lower in price relative to their overall quality. However, porros are often bigger and are less likely to survive a hard drop.
Common Binoculars Features
There are a few features you should always look for in binoculars, as they may do some good without presenting any real downsides. If you plan on doing some shopping on your own, try keeping on eye out for binoculars exhibiting the below characteristics.
A Good Grip – You never think you’re going to drop something until after you’ve dropped it. Not only is a good grip comfortable, it reduces your odds of breaking your binoculars.
A Wide Magnification Range – Getting a pair of binoculars with too much or too little magnification can make them downright unusable. However, a pair with a wider range of potential magnification levels can begin to mitigate this effect.
Outside of these two features, it’s entirely up to you to decide which pair of binoculars is best for you. After reading the above buyer’s guide, you should know exactly what to look for in a pair, making shopping a quick and easy ordeal.