A Complete Buying Guide To Finding The Best Bird Watching Binoculars Under $100

Home » Accessories » Birdwatching Binoculars Under $100
best bird watching binoculars under $100

When I first got into birding, I wanted to find the best bird watching binoculars under $100. I did a lot of research and checked out a bunch of birding binoculars in the under $100 price point.

There were a few things I took into consideration such as…

  • Did I want them easily accessible, for instance, was I going to keep them in the car for any time I spotted an interesting bird?
  • Or, were these going to be in a single location, like my favorite birding room at home?
  • How heavy are they going to be?
  • How easy to focus are they?
  • How strong of a magnification power would they have?

I found that identifying the best bird watching binoculars under $100 for my birding goals proved to be a bit tricky.

In this article, I lay out the top 7 binoculars that I found, taking into consideration:

  • Durability
  • Magnification
  • Weight
  • Field of view
  • Amount of light allowed to pass

Let’s get on with it, shall we?…

Top 7 Best Sellers: Best Bird Watching Binoculars Under $100

SaleBirdInformer BESTSELLER # 1
12x42 HD Binoculars for Adults with Universal Phone Adapter - High Power Binoculars with Super Bright and Large View- Lightweight Waterproof Binoculars for Bird Watching Hunting Outdoor Sports Travel
  • 【18mm Large Eyepiece Binoculars, Larger Image, Clearer Details】2.25 times the image size of 12mm eyepiece (e.g. 10x25, 12x25, 10x21 binoculars), 1.28 times of 16mm eyepiece (e.g. Ordinary 10x42, 12x42 binoculars). Large eyepiece binoculars make full use of 12x magnification, deliver larger image, ensure clearer details
  • 【16.5mm Big BAK4 Prism Lens Binoculars, Super Bright, Crisp View】Collect 32% more light than 12.5mm prism lens (e.g. 10x25, 12x25, 10x21 binoculars), 13.7% of 14.5mm prism lens (e.g. Ordinary 10x42, 12x42 binoculars). 16.5mm Prism lens take 100% advantage of 42mm objective lens, collect more lights, deliver brighter view
  • 【Powerful 12x42 Binoculars for Adults with only 1.25lbs.】With only 560g weight, Adasion 12x42mm binoculars deliver 367ft/1000yds large field of view. Perfect binoculars for bird watching, hunting, sports events. Binoculars with adjustable eye cups, suitable for glasses wearers.
  • 【Binoculars with New Phone Adapter, Enjoy Photographing】Quick alignment, compatible with phone case, portable and stable. Suitable for iPhone X, 8P, 8, 7P, 7, 6, 6s, 6P, 5, 5s, Samsung GALAXY S8, S7, S6, S6 Edge, S5, Note, Huawei, LG, HTC, Sony, Etc.
  • 【Quality Binoculars, Order without Risk】With 100% thorough Quality Control, Adasion provides High Quality Binoculars. Contact us if you encounter any issues, we will solve it in 24 hours.
SaleBirdInformer BESTSELLER # 2
12x42 HD Binoculars for Adults with Upgraded Phone Adapter, Tripod and Tripod Adapter - Large View Binoculars with Clear Low Light Vision - Waterproof Binoculars for Bird Watching Hunting Travel
  • 【Powerful 12x42 Binoculars, but Lightweight Enough, only 1.1 pounds】 Adorrgon 12x42mm binoculars deliver 367ft/1000yds large field of view. Capable of delivering a clear face from more than 650 feet away. Perfect for bird watching, hunting, sports events.
  • 【Clear Low Light Vision】Advanced Fully Multi-coated Binoculars with large 16.5mm BAK4 prism lens binoculars deliver brighter vision in weak light condition (e.g. Twilight). Perfect for Hunting or Concerts at night.
  • 【18.5mm Large Eyepiece & HD Vision , Larger Image, Brighter View】 2.25 times the image size of 14mm eyepiece (e.g. 10x25/10x21 binoculars), 1.28 times of 16mm eyepiece (e.g. 12x25 binoculars). Large eyepiece binoculars make full use of 12x magnification, deliver larger and brighter image, ensure clearer details.
  • 【2021 Upgraded Universal Phone Adapter, Sturdy and Easy to set up】 Soft anti-slip rubber and sturdy structure design ensure stable camera image when photographing. Suitable for all kinds of smartphone with or without phone case, including but not limited to iPhone, Samsung, Sony, Google, LG, Motorola, HTC, etc.
  • 【360° Rotatable and Sturdy Tabletop Tripod, Photographing without Shaking】 Rotatable designed tripod ensures 360° photographing. Thicker and sturdy tripod leg, Non-slip rubber feet, enable you to shoot clearer and brighter pictures without shaking. Capture the wonderful moments and share with your friends.
BirdInformer BESTSELLER # 3
Binoculars for Adults and Kids, 10x25 Compact Binoculars for Bird Watching, Theater and Concerts, Hunting and Sport Games
  • 10 magnification with 25mm objective lens provides high definition without a color-changed or blurred image. The 10 magnification boasts a viewing field of 362ft at 1000 yds, so you'll be able to observe a great deal without actually adjusting their position.
  • Fully multi-coated optics provide for a brighter view and sharp images. All glass surfaces have multiple coatings, resulting in light transmission of 96.48% for bright, sharp and contrast images, and non-chromatic aberration. Based on this these binoculars also provide low light night vision.
  • Lightweight, small, compact binoculars. The foldable design and only 0.6lb lightweight make them can be folded into palm-size, so it's ideal for an even broader range of long-distance pursuits. You wish there were binoculars set in your backpack. No need to keep regretting about your trips when get these affordable and compact binoculars.
  • The rubber armor ergonomic design and steady grip allows for accurate focusing, and have shock-resistance, anti-skid features while the design is slim and simple. Rugged construction rubber eye relief provides comfort for spectacle wearers, as do a dioptric adjustment ring and the strap mount.
  • Binoculars for adults and kids. These binoculars are fully competent and able to work for bird watching, hunting, hiking, travel, sports events, theater and concert. Also ideal great gifts for Chrismas, Father's Day and boys girls gifts.
SaleBirdInformer BESTSELLER # 4
occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars with Clear Low Light Vision, Large Eyepiece Waterproof Binocular for Adults Kids,High Power Easy Focus Binoculars for Bird Watching,Outdoor Hunting,Travel,Sightseeing
  • 【HIGH-POWERED LARGE EYEPIECE BINOCULARS】 This binoculars has 12x magnification, 25mm objective lens and wide field of view, 273ft/1000yds, letting you look farther and see wider. Coating with FMC Broadband coating and premium BAK4 prism, it ensure imaging verisimilar.
  • 【ADJUSTABLE EYE CUPS FIT EYEGLASS WEARERS OR NOT】The binocs can be pull down the rubber eyepieces and more fit the glasses wearer, getting close to lens and see easily. The long eye relief combined with large eyepiece give you a comfortable viewing while wearing sunglasses or eye glasses. For those who do not wear glasses, will gain more focused slight and feel more easeful through rising eye cups. The compact binoculars has 15mm large eyepieces, can see more clear image than other binoculars.
  • 【FMC BROADBAND COATING TECHNOLOGY】The lightweight cruise binoculars is cover with BAK4 prism texture. The objective lens use optical FMC multilayer broadband green film, and the eyepiece-optical is made of blue FMC coating. All design ensure to provide a good image and make you have a amazing experience.
  • 【PORTABLE, COMPACT AND SMALL BINOCULARS DESIGN】 One hand can be mastered when you use the birding binoculars for opera,bird watching camping, traveling,wildlife watching,football games,cruise or other outside activity, the low light night vision goggles(Not for completely dark night) is more convenient for using and carrying.
  • 【DURABLE AND LIFE WATERPROOF, COMFORTABLE TOUCH】 The binoculars are made of ABS plastic and it also come with a cruise binocular strap, you can use this item in different situations. And rubber armor is made for secure grip.The pocket size binoculars is not only suitable for men and women,but also suitable for kids.It is wonderful to be a gift on Father's Day and Children's Day.
SaleBirdInformer BESTSELLER # 5
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 8 x 42-mm, Black, Model Number: 158042
  • Quality optics with stunning HD clarity
  • 100 percentage quality materials used and tested extensively
  • Beautiful blue color design and durability built to last
  • 100 percent waterproof, O ring sealed and nitrogen purged for reliable, fog free performance
  • BaK 4 prisms and multi coated optics offer crisp, clear images with improved light transmission
BirdInformer BESTSELLER # 6
BESPIN Binoculars for Kids (Adopted by Nature School) 8x21 Bird Watching, High-Resolution Real Optics for Wildlife Watching with Reversible Bird Map - GR -
  • CONCEPT : We believe that children need to use real binoculars to continue to foster their interest in nature
  • SUPERIOR SAFETY & BUILD QUALITY:If accidentally dropped on the ground, the binoculars are protected from damage with shock proof rubber armor. The eye pieces are also fitted with rubber in order to prevent injury to the eyes
  • ADVANCED ERGONOMIC DESIGN:The grip has been ergonomically patented designed to fit the hands of child. The sturdy aluminum body gives off a sense of high quality design. The black and sky blue color combination makes it friendly and approachable for both girls and boys
  • SHARP IMAGES: The Bk-4 prism fully-coated optics system can control optical reflection to create CRISP and COLORFUL images. What's more is with the 7.2° viewing angle, the product ensures the user can see the entire visual field for capturing objects easily
  • BIRD MAP:This BESPIN Bird Map is an item that will help you enjoy birding 120%! There are 583 kinds of North American birds all contained on one large two-sided map. You might just fall in love with these birds once you see them!

How Binoculars Work

The prism inside your binoculars is what magnifies the image and turns it right side up. There are two basic formats of prism, or the coming together of magnifying glass: Porro and Roof Prism.

Porro Vs. Roof Prism

The Porro prism is configured by two offset pieces of glass. These binoculars are wider and tend to be water-resistant, not waterproof. For birding, you really want to invest in the roof prism design. These Bird Watching Binoculars will be narrower, easier to adjust, and better protected against the elements.

Field of Vision

Now that the magnification method has been decided, it’s time to talk about field of view. A larger lens will allow you to take in a bigger field of view. However, these binoculars will be heavier. While this weight may not seem like a big deal in the store or just out the box, at the end of a three-mile hike, it will matter.

If you choose the best bird watching binoculars under $100 with a larger lens, consider getting a pair that has a tripod attachment as well. You can load up your gear in a backpack, head out to the birding site, and line your binoculars up on a tripod for steady viewing that doesn’t put pressure on your hands and wrists.

This is particularly important if you’re watching birds in the wild. If you want binoculars to watch the finches at your feeder, a narrow field of vision may be a better option.

Magnification

When shopping for the best bird watching binoculars under $100, keep an eye on the dimensional numbers listed in the description. For example, an 8×32 pair of Wingspan binoculars offers a magnification of 8 with a lens of 32 millimeters at the viewing end of the binoculars. They offer decent magnification with a good field of view and are quite lightweight at 15.2 ounces.

The Pentax SP 12×50 Binoculars offer a magnification of 12 and a 50 ml lens. This pair of binoculars also weighs in at 1.9 pounds, so make sure you get the heft of any 50 ml or larger lenses before you buy.

Electronics

You can purchase binoculars that come with a camera to record everything you’re viewing while on the birding trail. While these binoculars are quite small and lightweight at less than 9 ounces, it’s important to note that they are inherently fragile if you’re planning to be out in all weathers.

For example, they probably won’t handle rain well and may be susceptible to damage from humidity. If video is critical, or if you really want great night vision take the steps necessary to protect them. If it isn’t, invest in binoculars that aren’t quite so delicate.

Cases and Straps

You may want a case for your binoculars, particularly if they’re going to live in your vehicle so you can grab them at a moment’s notice while traveling. However, if you want to hike to a particular birding spot or enjoy birding on the trail, consider the expertise of hunters.

Even if the only thing you ever want to point at a bird is a camera, hunting gear is a great choice for protecting your binoculars. Hunters need their binoculars to

  • fit close to the body, to avoid distracting prey
  • survive percussive shock, such as from a rifle
  • keep the binoculars free of rain and condensation

Again, when trying on carrying cases and straps, consider how you’ll feel at the end of the hike. A shoulder harness may feel like overkill to carry your binoculars until you’ve been on the trail a couple of hours and the strap around your neck is digging a trench into your skin.

Most of these harnesses are quite lightweight, adjustable to your height and girth, and will keep the best bird watching binoculars under $100 protected.

Start Simple

If you’re looking for the best bird watching binoculars under $100 to make your morning walks or weekend hikes more enjoyable, don’t overbuy. Treat yourself to a lightweight pair of binoculars with at least 7 degrees of magnification and at least a 42-millimeter lens diameter. Take care to get a pair that is waterproof, and if you tend to walk in the morning, consider investing in a pair with a glare coating.

Play with your new toy. Get it outside and practice focusing, changing your position, and altering your view as you sweep from side to side. You may want to start playing while seated on a park bench until you’re familiar with the sense of movement as you turn your head. Practice focusing quickly so you don’t miss anything.

Bird Watching Binocular FAQs

Do I need InstaFocus?

Honestly, no. You can learn to focus your binoculars, and intensely studying and figuring out all the features of this remarkable tool are worth your time. That being said, InstaFocus is pretty nice, particularly if you’re using a high magnification product. To make sure you get what’s promised, check out the Bushnell line.

Does Waterproof Matter?

The first time you drop them in a puddle, yes. Waterproof will also matter if you leave them in your vehicle after a hike because the cooling process can lead to condensation and you want to avoid fog.

Carefully review the manufacturer’s recommendations for conditions when storing and using your binoculars. Fogged lenses may clear up with desiccants, or the view may always be less impactful after the binoculars get cold in your car. For long-term storage, try to keep them temperate.

Is a Tripod Worth It?

Yes, especially if you’re observing a particular nest. Especially if the magnification on your binoculars is very high, having a tripod to set up and hold the lenses stable while you study the nest of an eagle or any endangered creature. Set up the tripod, settle down, and get still. Your target will hopefully ignore you and return to normal behavior.

Also, once you have good binoculars you may start wanting to look at other things.

  • Are you viewing the night sky on the Darkness Trail in New Mexico? Binoculars and a tripod will definitely enhance your experience.
  • Do you have an interest in wolf conservation or grizzly bears? With a tripod, you can set up and get still so predators will ignore you as they live out their lives.

For consistent observation, having your binoculars lined up on a den or a nest can make your viewing much more enjoyable.

What About My Eye Glasses?

If you can see well up-close without your glasses on because you’re near-sighted, you can purchase binoculars that can be adjusted to serve your vision limitations. However, if you are far-sighted, you’ll want binoculars that will work over your glasses.

You will need to choose binoculars with adjustable eyecups to avoid scratching the lenses of your glasses. You’ll also need to get into the habit of holding your binoculars away from your face, at least far enough to keep them away from the lens of your glasses. This may lead to shakiness, so make sure to find a pair of binoculars that’s large enough to fit your hand well. Oddly enough, if they’re too small or too light, they’ll be harder to manage.

Does Night Vision Matter?

It depends on what you’re looking at. There are many creatures that spend the day in bed, or at least indoors and get active when the sun goes down. While night vision goggles aren’t a great option for birding, low light binoculars are a great choice for bird watching and can work from the grey light of early dawn to moonrise.

Be aware that most low light binoculars offer at least 12 degrees of magnification. You will want to learn to focus quickly to use anything with this magnification or higher, so again, be prepared to practice. However, low light binoculars are a great investment if you’re at all interested in predatory birds or nocturnal animal observation.

Start with a basic pair of binoculars that offer a magnification of at least 8. Consider a 50-millimeter lens for a broad field of vision. Get a pair that fits well in your hands, and take the time to turn focusing into a habit before you get on the trail. You’ll enjoy your birding expeditions a lot more if the action of the binoculars is automatic for you.

Best Bird Watching Binoculars Under $100 Wrapup

I enjoyed writing this article on the best bird watching binoculars under $100. I use these 12×42 Binoculars for Adults for my bird and nature watching. I especially like the smartphone adapter to allow me to take some great pics!

Related Articles:

Amazon Best Rated Products - Last Updated on 2021-10-21.

DISCLAIMER: Some or all of the product links on this page are affiliate links. The operator of this website received a small commission if you purchase products through these links, HOWEVER, there is no added cost to you. These commissions help to fund the operation of this BirdInformer.com