Best Backpacking Binoculars

Investing in a premium pair of binoculars is essential if you love backpacking. You will be able to take in the view when you reach the top of the mountain like you never did before! Not just that, but you can also use the binoculars to scout the land for potential dangers or to admire the fantastic wildlife.

While it might seem like the best choice is to go for a big pair of binoculars that feature massive magnification power, this is not actually a good idea when backpacking. You need to travel light, and big binoculars will weigh you down!

When searching for a pair of binoculars that work great in the outdoors, you have to find a balance between features like light transmittance, compact design, and eye relief. If you don’t know that much about binoculars and their functions, then you don’t need to worry because we have your back.

We will help you find the best backpacking binoculars. We are also going to present you a buying guide that will help you make the right choice.

Best Backpacking Binoculars of 2020


Nikon Trailblazer

Nikon 10x25 Trailblazer

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We are going to kick off our list with the amazing Nikon Trailblazer binoculars. Nikon is the biggest name in the optics industry, and therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these backpacking binoculars do a fantastic job of providing clear images in all environments, even in low light conditions.

Quality is what you will get if you choose to purchase the Nikon Trailblazer and the BAK-4 Roof Prisms are proof of that. If you are not familiar with BAK-4 Roof Prisms, then you should know that these prisms deliver extra high-resolution images and that they excel when it comes to light transmittance.

Also, worth noting is that the prisms and lenses are multi-layer coated to enhance the clarity of the images.

While the Nikon Trailblazer binoculars might be a bit on the expensive side, they make up for that with leading-edge prism technology and sturdy build. Since the binoculars are designed to be used in harsh environments, Nikon made sure to equip them with a durable rubberized armor coating that is shockproof.

Eventually, you are going to drop the backpacking binoculars from your hand accidentally, and thanks to the special armor, the lenses will not crack. In addition, the Nikon Trailblazer binoculars are fully waterproof.

Pros:

  • BAK-4 Roof Prisms;
  • Extra high-resolution images;
  • Great light transmittance;
  • Rubberized armor;
  • 8x magnification;
  • The product ships with a free Nikon travel case.

Cons:

  • The price is high.


Bushnell H2O

Bushnell 138005 H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Compact Roof Prism...

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Bushnell is another company that is renowned in the optics industry, but what makes this company’s products stand out is their durability and versatility. You can use the Bushnell H2O anywhere you want without ever having to worry that the environment might damage it.

Is it snowing outside? The Bushnell H2O will work without a single problem! In fact, this pair of backpacking binoculars are fully waterproof and fog-proof so that you always have a clear view. The Bushnell H2O binoculars provide a magnification power of 8x so that you never miss out on any crucial details on your camping trips.

This is a premium quality product, and therefore, it utilizes BAK-4 prisms to provide crisp and clear images.

The Bushnell H2O binoculars are not only waterproof, but they are also sealed with special O-rings that are nitrogen purged to improve reliability. Another cool feature that we want to highlight is the non-slip rubber armor that provides a firm grip.

Even if you drop the binoculars, the rubberized armor will absorb the shock. The secret to spotting objects at far distances is to adjust the viewing angle and magnification power.

This is why the Bushnell H2O binoculars are equipped with a large, center focus knob that will help you make adjustments to the image.

Pros:

  • BAK-4 prisms;
  • Rubberized armor;
  • Firm grip;
  • Water and fog-proof;
  • 8x magnification;
  • Multi-coated optics;
  • It features a focus knob for easy adjustments.

Cons:

  • The binoculars don’t do very well in low light conditions.


Kylietech Binoculars with Phone Adapter

Kylietech 12X42 Binoculars for Adults with Universal Phone...

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On the third spot, we have a special pair of binoculars from Kylietech. Right from the start, we want to highlight that these binoculars ship with a free smartphone adapter. You might be wondering, why would you need a feature like this on your backpacking trips?

The smartphone adapter can be used as a tripod that you can use during lengthy viewing sessions such as bird watching or stargazing, for example. The mount is compatible with all the latest smartphones. Leaving this cool feature aside, this pair of backpacking binoculars are equipped with BAK-4 prisms that are multi-layer coated to provide a maximum brightness output.

To make things even better, the Kylietech binoculars feature 12x magnification power.

If the 12x magnification power of the Kylietech binoculars is not enough to impress you, then you should know that the binoculars feature a focus knob with diopter rings to help you be more precise. If you are new to binoculars, you will soon find out that using them for extended sessions is going to start hurting your eyes.

Fortunately, this is not going to be a problem if you choose to go for the Kylietech binoculars. The reason why we are saying that is because this product is equipped with adjustable eyecups.

Pros:

  • BAK-4 prisms;
  • Multi-coated optics;
  • It features a focus knob for easy adjustments.
  • You will get a free smartphone mount;
  • 12x magnification power;
  • Water and fog-proof;
  • Adjustable eyecups.

Cons:

  • They don’t fit well in large hands.


 Bushnell Falcon

Bushnell Falcon 10x50 Wide Angle Binoculars (Black)

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This is the second time that a pair of binoculars from Bushnell makes an appearance on our list. The reason behind this is that Bushnell manufactures some of the best outdoor binoculars. The Falcon-series binoculars are the perfect example of that.

Usually, binoculars that feature a high magnification power are pretty expensive and fragile. This is not the case for the Bushnell Falcon that sells for a reasonable price and delivers a magnification power of 10x. The focusing distance is 25-feet so that you will always be one step ahead of anything that you are viewing, even if it’s a bald eagle soaring through the skies.

The image quality is also outstanding since these binoculars use Porro prisms and thoroughly coating to provide crisp images.

Many people tend to overlook eye relief when searching for binoculars, but this feature is actually essential to have when backpacking.

You don’t want your eyes to start hurting after ten minutes of stargazing. Here is where the 9mm eye relief of the Bushnell Falcon comes in and saves the day. You can use these binoculars for extended sessions without having to worry about anything.

Since we are talking about how comfortable these binoculars are to use, we also want to mention that the eyecups are fully adjustable. The eyecups can also be folded to protect the lens from scratching when the binoculars are not being used.

Pros:

  • Porro prisms;
  • 10x magnification;
  • 25-feet focusing distance;
  • It features a focus knob for easy adjustments;
  • Adjustable eye cups;
  • 9mm eye relief;
  • Comfortable to use;
  • Great price.

Cons:

  • Not slip-resistant.


 SGODDE Compact Binoculars

SGODDE Compact Binoculars for Adult Kids 10x25 Waterproof...

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On the last spot, we have the backpacking binoculars from SGODDE. This product fits in the affordable price range, and despite that, it still ships with some fantastic features that make it the perfect gadget to have when outdoors.

The first thing that stands out when looking at these binoculars is their compact design and rubberized armor that will keep the lenses safe at all times. The binoculars weigh in at only 0.55 lbs. and thanks to this, you can use them for extended sessions without having to deal with shaky hands. Another cool feature that is worth mentioning is that the rubber cover of the binoculars can be rolled down if you feel that the grip is a bit too firm.

As it is the case with all high-quality binoculars, the one from SGODDE also use BAK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics that provide a light transmittance of up to 99.5%. This is quite impressive! The lenses are equipped with FMC multi-layer broad-green film that makes the images crisp and bright.

The best feature that these binoculars offer is the 10x magnification power and 25mm objective lens that provides a 362-feet wide view at up to 1,000 yards. The broad view makes the SGODDE Compact Binoculars perfect for hunting trips.

Pros:

  • Rubberized armor;
  • Firm grip;
  • BAK-4 prisms;
  • Wide view at up to 1,000 yards;
  • It only weighs in at 0.55 lbs.;
  • 5% light transmittance;
  • Waterproof (grade IP4);
  • 10x magnification power;
  • 1-year warranty.

Cons:

  • There aren’t any.


Best Backpacking Binoculars Buying Guide

Here are the top three essential factors that you need to look for when trying to determine what are the best camping binoculars:

  • Field of View

One of the most important features that a great pair of binoculars need to offer for backpacking is a wide field of view. Generally, this feature is represented by two numbers, such as 200/1000, for example, and they measure precisely how much space you can see when using the binoculars. The first number represents the widths, and the second shows the length in yards. Taking the example featured above, 200/1000 sows that you can view a field 200-feet wide and 1,000 yards in the distance.

  • Waterproof

Half of the fun when on going on backpacking adventures is that you don’t know what to expect. The environment can be unpredictable, and this is why all binoculars for outdoor activities should be waterproof. We highly recommend the Bushnell H2O binoculars that are are not only waterproof but also fog proof because they use nitrogen purging, and the lenses are sealed with O-rings.

  • Magnification

Do you want to be able to see the stars? If that is the case, then you will need a pair of binoculars that have a high magnification power. When it comes to backpacking adventures, the best choice that you can make is to go for a product that has mid-range magnification power. The reason behind this is that you need the binoculars to spot everything in front of you, and not only objects that are 1,000 feet away. The Kylietech Binoculars with Phone Adapter are an excellent choice here.


Frequently Asked Questions


What are the best backpacking binoculars to buy?

There are lots of good options that you can pick from. Our favorite is the Nikon Trailblazer. This pair of binoculars is more than ideal for outdoor activities since it is packed with useful features such as crisp images in high-resolution and a sturdy build that will keep the lenses safe even in harsh environments.

If you are looking for something a bit more affordable, then you should try the SGODDE Compact Binoculars.


How do I maintain backpacking binoculars? 

The main difference between backpacking binoculars and regular ones is the sturdy build that they offer and the lower magnification range. Just like with any other pair of binoculars, the only thing that you need to do in terms of maintenance is to store them in a safe space where they will not gather dust.

You can also use special lens cloth to clean them without having to worry about accidental scratches.


Does wearing glasses change how you use binoculars?

Unfortunately, wearing glasses affects the images on binoculars. Professionals advise that it’s better to take off the glasses when using binoculars. However, there is a avoid to avoid that. You can use the eye relief setting to make the binoculars work with glasses.

Although, you need to make sure that the binoculars feature eye relief. We recommend the Bushnell Falcon.


What does 10×50 mean in binoculars?

The first number represents the magnification or power of zoom that the binoculars feature. The number also you an idea just how close the object that you are looking through the binoculars will seem to be. In this case, the object will be 10x closer to the eye. The second number represents the diameter of the lens.


Do I need to mount my binoculars to a tripod?

The short answer is no. However, there are many benefits if you decide to purchase a tripod adapter. The first one is that you will be able to use the binoculars for hours on end without having to worry about shaky hands. Another great benefit is that the tripod will give you more accuracy when searching for objects.

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