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

August 8, 2020 // 9 minutes read // 1 Shares

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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
Occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars for Adults and Kids - Large Eyepiece Waterproof Binoculars for Bird Watching - High Powered Easy Focus Binoculars with Low Light Vision for Outdoor Hunting Travel
  • 【HIGH-POWERED LARGE EYEPIECE BINOCULARS】 This binoculars for adults 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 travel 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 watching 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.
  • 【LIFE WATERPROOF, COMFORTABLE TOUCH】 The kids 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 # 2
Hontry 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 # 3
15x52 HD Binoculars for Adults High Powered with Upgraded Phone Adapter - Large View Binoculars with Clear Low Light Vision - Lightweight Waterproof Binoculars for Bird Watching Hunting Stargazing
  • 🐧【𝟏𝟓𝐱 𝐇𝐢𝐠𝐡-𝐏𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐁𝐢𝐧𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐬: 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞'𝐬 𝐒𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐃𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐬】Elevate your viewing experience with these 15x high-powered binoculars designed for adults. Crafted for observing extremely long distances, these professional high-powered binoculars provide a razor-sharp view of the smallest details even at longer ranges. Unlock the smallest secrets of nature and immerse yourself in crisp, razor-sharp visuals that traditional 12x magnification binoculars cannot match.
  • 🐧【𝟐𝟐𝐦𝐦 𝐋𝐚𝐫𝐠𝐞 𝐄𝐲𝐞𝐩𝐢𝐞𝐜𝐞 𝐁𝐢𝐧𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐬: 𝐋𝐚𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐈𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐞, 𝐂𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐫 𝐃𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐬】Thanks to the expanded 22mm large eyepiece performance, you can enjoy exceptionally detailed insights into the natural world. These binoculars provide a wider field of view, 1.5 times larger than the image size of 16mm eyepieces (e.g., ordinary 10x42, 12x42 binoculars) and 1.2 times that of 20mm eyepieces (e.g., 12x50 binoculars). Large eyepiece binoculars fully utilize the 15x magnification, delivering a larger image and ensuring clearer details.
  • 🐧【𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑 𝐔𝐩𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐏𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐀𝐝𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐁𝐢𝐧𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫 𝐏𝐡𝐨𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡𝐲】The universal upgraded smartphone adapter enables you to capture outstanding photos. It's easy to set up and align quickly. The soft anti-slip rubber on the surface, along with a sturdier structural design and screw locks, firmly secure your phone, ensuring stable and clear images when taking photos or videos. This adapter is suitable for all kinds of smartphones, with or without phone cases.
  • 🐧【𝐂𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐋𝐨𝐰-𝐋𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐕𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐁𝐢𝐧𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐇𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠】The 15x52 model allows you to experience an entirely new dimension of hunting in low-light conditions. Equipped with a 52mm objective lens, 18mm BAK4 dielectric-coated prisms, and high-transmission specialized glass, these binoculars deliver the best possible performance in low-light scenarios for observation. Overcast days, dense tree canopies, daybreak, and the last light of the day are the specific situations in which these binoculars were designed to excel.
  • 🐧【𝐇𝐢𝐠𝐡-𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐓𝐫𝐮𝐞-𝐭𝐨-𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐁𝐢𝐧𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐁𝐢𝐫𝐝 𝐖𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠】Experience high color fidelity binoculars for bird watching that ensure no details are lost, even in the deepest twilight. These advanced birding binoculars are equipped with fully multi-coated lenses and high-resolution phase-corrected BAK4 roof prisms, guaranteeing high-contrast images with incredible color fidelity. You can discern every detail for quick and easy identification in any bird-watching scenario you encounter.
SaleBirdInformer BESTSELLER # 4
Aurosports 10x25 Binoculars for Adults and Kids, Large View Compact Binoculars with Low Light Vision, Easy Focus Small Binoculars for Bird Watching Outdoor Travel Sightseeing Concert Hunting Hiking
  • 【Upgraded 15mm Large Eyepiece Binoculars】 With 15mm large eyepiece, Aurosports 10x25 binoculars provide a more comfortable and large vision. You can easily get full image with sharp edges. On both sides of the binoculars, diamond and non skid texture designed to prevent slipping.
  • 【High-Definition 10x25 Binoculars】 10x power magnification, helps quickly catch long range target 10x closer. 25mm objective lens and advanced Fully Multi-Coated binoculars with BaK4 prism , Aurosports provides brighter, clearer images and more comfortable observation for you. Because of 99.99% Light transmission, You can easily get bright, contrast images, and non-chromatic aberration.
  • 【Compact Lightweight Binoculars, Only 0.5lb】 Compared with other large and heavy binoculars, 10x25 foldable binoculars weights 0.5lbs, easy to focus, moderate size for both kids 8-12 yrs old and adults to use. Made of shockproof and soft silicone, it can protect your and your kids' eyes.
  • 【Binoculars with Neck Strap & Portable Bag】 Comes with a dust cover for the lens in case it is accidentally dropped on the rock or dirt. The neck strap is adjustable to meet adult and kids. A carry bag to keep the binoculars clean, protective and portable.
  • 【Birding Binoculars for Adults & Kids】 Simple to use, 3 steps to quick focus. It meets all needs of bird watching, hunting, hiking, travel, sports events, theater and concert. Also great gifts for men, Christmas, Father's Day and boys girls gifts.
SaleBirdInformer BESTSELLER # 5
Adorrgon 12x42 HD Binoculars for Adults High Powered with Phone Adapter, Tripod and Tripod Adapter - Large View Binoculars with Clear Low Light Vision - Binoculars for Bird Watching Cruise 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 image from more than 650 feet away. Perfect for bird watching, hunting and sports events. 0.6 Pounds lighter than 10x50 full size binoculars.
  • 【Clear Low Light Vision】Advanced Fully Multi-coated Binoculars with large 16.5mm BAK4 prism lens could deliver brighter vision in weak light conditions . Perfect for Hunting or Concerts at night.
  • 【18.5mm Large Eyepieces & 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. Ordinary 12x25,10x42, binoculars). Large eyepiece binoculars make full use of 12x magnification, deliver larger and brighter image to ensure clearer details.
  • 【2024 Upgraded Phone Adapter, Quick set-up, Fit for All Kinds of Smartphones】 Easy set-up, quick alignment. Soft anti-slip rubber on the surface, more sturdy structure design and screw locks phone firmly and stably from three directions. Suitable for all kinds of smartphones with or without phone cases.
  • 【360 Degrees Rotatable and Stable Tripod, Perfect for Photographing】The unique designed ball head of tripod can rotate 360 degrees to meet all your photographic needs. Thicker and stronger leg tube and Non-slip rubber feet design enable you to find the perfect shot, thus take clearer and brighter pictures. Easily capture wonderful moments in the distance and share them with your friends.
SaleBirdInformer BESTSELLER # 6
20x50 Binoculars for Adults, Binoculars HD High Powered Professional Binoculars for Bird Watching Travel Stargazing Concerts Outdoor Sports-BAK4 Prism FMC Lens,Waterproof, Fogproof with Phone Adapter
  • Professional 20x50 Binoculars: A 20x magnification and 50mm objective lens ensure wide-angle viewing from distances of over 1000 yards. These lightweight binoculars are perfect for bird watching, hunting, travel, stargazing, concerts, football games, climbing, hiking, driving, observing wildlife, and taking in scenery
  • HD Vision with Quality Optics: This high power compact binoculars for adults is specially designed with BAK-4 Prisms and FMC film lenses, the harmful blue light blocking rate is as high as 96.83%, and the beneficial blue light transmittance is as high as 96.97%; which minimize the loss of light due to reflection and ensure brighter and clearer high-contrast images
  • Anti-slip and scratch: These bird watching binoculars for adults are made of a rubber-armored coating and leather, which ensures that they remain firmly in your hands without the risk of slipping or accidentally falling, and are comfortable to hold and use
  • Clear Low Light Night Vision: 50mm lenses are larger than usual, which provides them with more light-gathering power. Therefore, they are more effective in low-light conditions, delivering clear vision. However, they cannot provide clear vision in complete darkness
  • Easy to Focus: Our binoculars for bird watching are perfectly designed to fit both adults and children. They come with adjustable twist-up eyecups, which ensure comfortable viewing whether with or without eyeglasses. The center-focus knob of these compact binoculars guarantees fast and highly precise focusing. Additionally, they can be used with a phone bracket, which ensures a stable camera image when photographing
SaleBirdInformer BESTSELLER # 7
20x50 HD Binoculars for Adults High Powered Professional Waterproof/Compact Binoculars Durable & Clear BAK4 Prism FMC Lens,Bird Watching Binoculars for Adults Outdoor Sports Travel Hunting
  • 【Binoculars for Adults High Powered】Binoculars, with 20X magnification and 50mm objective lens, provides wider field of view at 1000 yards. and provides high definition without a color-changed or blurred image.so you'll be able to observe a great deal without actually adjusting their position.
  • 【Bird Watching Gifts】Simple to use, 3 steps to quick focus. It meets all needs of bird watching, hunting, hiking, travel, sports events, theater and concert. Also great gifts for men, Christmas, Father's Day and boys girls gifts.
  • 【Binoculares de largo alcance】Binoculars for adults, binoculars with BAK-4 Prism and FMC film lens, which minimizes the loss of light due to reflection.Based on this these binoculars also provide low light night vision.
  • 【Professional binoculars】O-ring sealed optics with fog-proof coating prevents moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the binoculars.
  • 【Waterproof Binoculars】IP67 Waterproof, Fog-proof and Anti-slip Grip,Prevents moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the binoculars.

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!

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