While we’re discussing protection, Sightmark added a nifty feature to the Ghost Hunter 2×24. A major problem for the tubes inside a night vision device is when they get exposed to bright light. Some brands solve this issue by placing a small hole in the lens cap, and you’re meant to use them with the cap on during the day. Sightmark opted for a different approach – the binoculars will switch off in case they’re exposed to light, thus protecting the tubes.  
One of the newest premium binoculars on the market comes from Nikon in either 8x30 or – as we’ve selected for our top pick – 10x30 options. The Nikon Monarch HG 10x30 binoculars are not only compact and relatively portable at 450g, the magnesium alloy build has the benefit of being water and fog proofed too. The idea is that these ape the performance of Nikon’s Monarch HG 42mm diameter version, but in a smaller body. Use of extra low dispersion (ED) glass corrects chromatic aberration that can cause colour fringing, while comfort is provided via a soft-to-the-touch neck strap. Both Nikon’s 10x and 8x options are supplied with a semi hard-type case for protection when transporting. A tripod adaptor for each is an optional extra. If you’re looking for the best compact binoculars, this pair from the camera stalwart takes the crown.
It utilizes a CMOS sensor and has an onboard infrared illuminator that enables you to see when it is completely dark. Fully multi-coated lens maximizes light transmission for image quality. Its picture clarity at night is very good. During the day, you just have to turn off the IR to be able to observe well in daylight. It has a high magnification power of 7X, which is great during the day but is at the expense of image clarity for nighttime viewing. It also has a 2x digital zoom. You get a good view of your target on the large viewing screen.
Whether you’re camping, hoping to check out local wildlife, or want to make sure your home is secure as possible, there are plenty of times when it would help to see a little better in the dark. Night vision goggles allow you to see even in near total darkness, so they’re ideal for camping, birdwatching, hunting, home security, or any activities that require improved visibility at night.

Evaluating brightness was a somewhat subjective process and we individually polled each tester. So for our scoring, we relied primarily on human judgment and opinion. Many factors help to determine how bright a pair of binoculars will be: the size of the objective lens, the glass material, the coatings used and on what surfaces these coatings are used, and the magnification.


On the other hand, if you want the finest mono that money can buy, the Best Top of the Line model would have to be the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD. The Legend Ultra HD provides a fantastic image, is tripod-compatible, and has a Picatinny rail for attaching accessories. Magnification is a crisp and clear 10X, perfect for any long-range use like hunting, wildlife viewing, or casual stargazing.

In contrast, both the Swarovski and Leica models require you to pull back on the focus knob until it actually moves and you hear a click. Then you can use the focus knob to adjust the diopter. Once you're done, you can push the focus knob back into its original position, and you're good to go. While this mechanism works great on both models, there is the slight chance that you could pull the focus knob back in a fit of excitement and completely miss that Swainson's hawk flying by. This is by no means a common occurrence, but it is possible.


A tale of two optics, the aggressive tactical styling of the Zulu5’s exterior gave us hope for high-performance glass inside its angular exterior. Alas, the optics disappointed the team. The Zulu5 turned in the field’s lowest low-light score and below-average resolution scores. We recorded some edge distortion and poorly coated internal lens surfaces.
I know it sounds strange, but certain states have laws on the use of night vision instruments, binoculars included. Thus, before settling on a night vision binocular, find out whether your state has any laws on night vision use. For instance in California, there are certain military grade night vision binoculars and monoculars that you cannot buy as a civilian.
Just remember the best pair of binoculars are the ones you use. If they are comfortable and work for what you want them too, then they are the right pair of binoculars. If you are thinking about upgrading your current pair, please consider donating your old pair. The Birders' Exchange supports bird watching programs and research in South America. You can always give your old pair to them. If you are still on the lookout for the best contender, consider reading over our Buying Advice.
There is nothing more fun and exciting than exploring the outdoors with your little one. These field glasses from Cobiz are a great choice for first-time users and feature a sleek design that is not only comfortable to grip but can be adjusted to fit your face. It provides ten times magnification and specially coated lenses that allow your child to see details they’ve never seen before!

Are you in search of a kid-friendly binocular that will encourage your young explorer into nature and bird watching? The Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars is a nice piece that is specifically made for toddlers and kids. The binocular encourages fun, exploration and it is built to last. No need to worry when your kid drops it down because it is kid-tough. This kid-friendly binocular is designed with large and comfy eye-pieces to suit little users.
These are a solid purchase for any beginning outdoorsman or scout. They’re certainly not toys but still easy to use for a younger kid, which makes them a solid investment. With that, parents will appreciate that their child has quality binoculars that are also really safe and excellent to use. It is important to keep in mind that the price is on the low to average end for quality binoculars.

Porro prism binoculars are named after Italian optician Ignazio Porro who patented this image erecting system in 1854, which was later refined by makers like the Carl Zeiss company in the 1890s.[1] Binoculars of this type use a pair of Porro prisms in a Z-shaped configuration to erect the image. This results in binoculars that are wide, with objective lenses that are well separated and offset from the eyepieces, giving a better sensation of depth. Porro prism designs have the added benefit of folding the optical path so that the physical length of the binoculars is less than the focal length of the objective.
The device is made to be comfortable for your hands and your eyes with a lightweight but sturdy design. The anti-slip covering makes it easy for you to grip the device and hold on for longer periods of time. The ability to mount the device on a tripod or with a head strap also reduces the effort of carrying the device. The water-resistant device also holds well in harsh climatic conditions. It comes with an anti-reflection coated lens which makes it easy to drive away all the unwanted reflections and get a clear view of the target. It delivers a good range of up to 750 feet depending on the conditions in which it is used. It is powered by two AAA batteries which gives it great battery backup. With the infrared feature turned off, it gives a backup of around 70 hours. And with all the features fully turned on, the battery of the device lasts for at least 20 hours.
The easiest way to tell if your binocular employs BAK4 or BK7 is to turn it around, hold it 6 to 8" away from you and look down the objective and observe the exit pupil. If you can see a squared-off side to the general roundness of the image, the binoculars have BK7 prisms. BAK4 prisms show a truer round exit pupil, which translates to better light transmission and edge-to-edge sharpness.
Zeiss is one of the oldest, most reputable optics and imaging companies in the world, and it makes very high quality binoculars. Not only does it deal in sporting optics like Bushnell, but it also makes optic devices for medical use and even space telescopes. It was founded in Germany in 1846, and it has become a leader in the industry since then. One of the most popular binoculars it has on the market right now are the Zeiss 10X42 Victory HT binoculars.
Pro Tip: Hunters, birders, and astronomers should keep the magnifications at 8x and below and boost the objectives up over 50mm to produce wide exit pupils, such as this pair of 8x56 from Steiner. I used this specific pair in the middle of the night and they could completely cover my pupils, which boosted my ability to see, despite the dark surroundings (You can read my review of them here if you want to know more). Boaters should also consider this type of configuration because the wide exit pupil will help to minimize the disorientation that is common when viewing through binoculars on pitching or rolling water.

Their light gain is less than a thousand and they usually feature a built-in infrared illuminator for night observations when there is little ambient light and in total darkness. Their maximum range is around 75 yards. If you just want a simple pair for casual and general use or are just curious about how night vision technology works and want to experience it for yourself, this is the generation for you.


Binoculars’ exit pupil diameter is determined by dividing the objective by the magnification: so a 10x42 binocular has a 4.2mm exit pupil diameter. That’s a generous size, and larger than the pupil of the eye most of the time. But a 10x25 pair of binoculars has an exit pupil of just 2.5mm, which is smaller than the average pupil dilation and will be harder to see through clearly.

I too am shopping for a pair of binoculars for my husband for Christmas. We live in a condominium building overlooking Lake Superior and he likes to look at the cargo ships coming in and out and the different boats on the water. I am thinking something 10x or 10-30x. We would probably just keep it mounted on a tripod if I bought a heavier set, but would prefer something lighter. 


Binoculars.com is a division of Orion Telescopes & Binoculars. We offer binoculars for every viewing interest, including astronomical binoculars, compact binoculars, waterproof binoculars, birding binoculars, and sport and hunting binoculars. We offer several leading brands of binoculars, including Barska, Bushnell, Celestron, Leica, Meade, Nikon, Orion, Pentax, Steiner, and Zeiss. Not sure how to choose a binocular? Orion's Binoculars Buying Guide is a great place to start.
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