After a great deal of research and testing, I have concluded that the Vortex Optics Diamondback HD is the best binoculars for hiking.
As an avid hiker, I appreciate the importance of owning a good, sturdy pair of binoculars. This is why I spent hundreds of hours testing out some of the top options on the market to help narrow down the list. From distance viewing and lowlight to bad weather and long hikes, I put these binoculars through their paces.
So, why did I pick the Diamondback HD as the all-time favorite? Well, this would be because it ticked all the right boxes, and more. It produced an excellent image, offered a wide field of view, and was easy to use. To wrap it all up, the pair of binoculars functioned well in a wide variety of environments and was even quite durable.
Of course, throughout my testing process, I found different binoculars that were the perfect fit for a wide variety of situations. From those for low-light conditions to rough terrain, I found a model that will be suitable for your expeditions, wherever you plan on hiking and in various types of terrain.
If you want to know how to find the very best binoculars for your needs, keep reading.
10 Best Binoculars for Hiking
Here is a closer look at some of the best options available on the market:
Vortex Optics Diamondback HD – Best Overall
- 10x magnification & 42mm objective lenses, these Diamondback HD binos are optimized with select...
- Fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission with anti-reflective coatings on all...
- Adjustable eyecups twist up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses. Center...
- Rubber armor provides a secure, non-slip grip, and durable external protection. Binoculars are...
- Argon purging and O-ring seals provide water and fog proof performance in all environments. Rugged...
If you want a great viewing experience for a budget-friendly price, then look no further than the Diamondback HD!
With this pair of binoculars, you get 10x magnification with 43mm objective lenses. Thus, you are able to get better resolution, while simultaneously enjoying a reduction in chromatic aberration. You will also get to enjoy greater clarity and far better color reproduction too.
Ultra-Wide Field of View
With a lateral field of view of 393 feet at 1000 yards, you will be hard-pressed to find a pair of binoculars that can do better, particularly at this price point. As a result, you can view a larger portion of the scenery from farther away.
The Diamondback is equipped with adjustable eyecups and interpupillary distance. Due to this, you will have no trouble sharing the binoculars with your travelling companions as it requires minimal adjustments. This is great for when you are hiking with a group.
The binoculars are coated in what is essentially rubber armor. As such, it has been designed to withstand a few bangs every now and then without incurring any damage. However, the rubber also helps to improve the overall grip so it is unlikely that you will be dropping this pair.
Good for All Environments
Do you like hiking in all environments? Then you will be pleased to know that the Diamondback has Argon purging and O-ring seals that provide protection from water, fog, and more.
Occer 12 X 25 – Best for Low Light Conditions
- 【HIGH-POWERED LARGE EYEPIECE BINOCULARS】 This binoculars has 12x magnification, 25mm objective...
- 【ADJUSTABLE EYE CUPS FIT EYEGLASS WEARERS OR NOT】The binocs can be pull down the rubber...
- 【FMC BROADBAND COATING TECHNOLOGY】The lightweight cruise binoculars is cover with BAK4 prism...
- 【PORTABLE, COMPACT AND SMALL BINOCULARS DESIGN】 One hand can be mastered when you use the...
- 【DURABLE AND LIFE WATERPROOF, COMFORTABLE TOUCH】 The binoculars are made of ABS plastic and it...
Do you enjoy hiking quite early or late, at dusk or dawn? If so, it goes without saying that you will have to contend with low-light conditions. Fortunately, these Occer binoculars are just the thing to help you out.
There are quite a few elements at work here that help produce a more accurate image. This includes 12x magnification, 25mm objective lens, and a field of view of 273 feet at 1000 yards. The field of view may not be the greatest but it is more than enough to pick up on small and interesting details.
What’s most impressive about these features is that they work well in low-light conditions. While it won’t do much for you in complete darkness, it will still be great at dusk or dawn.
These binoculars boast prism texture, FMC multi-layer broadband green film, and blue FMC coating. Combined, these features help to reflect light off the binoculars more effectively. In turn, this produces a much clearer image.
Comfortable Viewing Experience
The longer eye relief and the larger eyepieces make this one of the most comfortable binoculars to use. It is especially great for people who wear glasses. Now, you won’t have to take them off when checking out the view. The binoculars work well with sunglasses too.
The binoculars are surprisingly durable as well. Made from rubber and plastic, they have been designed to be anti-slip. However, if you do drop them, not much damage will be done. They have water resistant properties as well, which is great to hear.
Aurosports 10 X 25 – Best for Long Hikes
- Perfect compact lightweight binoculars for bird watching. Can be Used for both day and night...
- Large Field of View.Focusing in on your target for brilliant detail at 1000 yards out.
- Fully multi-coated lenses, waterproof, compact gives you everything you want. Lightweight and can be...
- 10x magnification with 25 mm objective lens allows you to see objects 10x’s closer clear view,...
- Suitable for both adults and kids, fit for hunting, hiking, exploring, viewing, sailing, bird...
When you’re out on a long hike, every little ounce you’re carrying counts. This is why it’s refreshing to learn just how lightweight and comfortablethe Aurosports binoculars can be to lug around.
Wide Field of View
With a field view of 362 feet at 1000 yards, you will be able to view a larger landscape with greater ease. As such, it works well for anyone who is interested in scenic views, wildlife viewing, or bird watching.
Another feature to like about these binoculars is the 10x magnification along with the 25mm objective lens. This allows you to zoom in without compromising either clarity or detail along the way. What’s more, the FMC multi-layer broadband green film improves light transmission, reproducing a more accurate, sharper image.
Easy to Focus
If you tend to have trouble focusing with binoculars, then your days of struggling with the settings are over with the Aurosports binoculars. Once you have both eyes in focus, it is just a matter of using the center wheel to direct the focus from that point.
These binoculars are only just over 8 ounces in weight! This means that you will be able to carry them in your pocket without even feeling them. Even better, the binoculars can be folded to make them more compact.
Don’t let the size of these binoculars fool you. They are actually pretty tough and durable. In addition to being shockproof, this model is also water-resistant. Thus, dropping the binoculars or even exposing them to a little rain won’t damage them.
Celestron Nature DX – Best for Rugged Terrain
- Perfect binoculars for every adventure: A great match for everyone from beginners to mid-range...
- Top-rated glass optics with impressive specs: Fully multi-coated lenses for brighter images, more...
- Robust, waterproof mid-sized body: Incredibly precise build and design that offers protection from...
- All you need is included: Take this Binocular with you anywhere. We’ve included a compact carrying...
Hiking is rarely a delicate business. While you are out and about, there is a good chance that you may drop your binoculars. Or, you may encounter unfavorable weather conditions. The Celestron Nature DX ensures that you are ready for anything.
More Vivid Images
One of the more interesting features of the Nature DX is the fully multi-coated lenses. These help to increase the light transmission through the optical path. In turn, you can enjoy brighter and more vivid images.
There is also the phase coated prisms to think about. These offer greater contrast as well as resolution. Due to this, you will be able to distinguish between details more easily, even when you are a greater distance away from the object.
Great for Distance Viewing
The Nature DX has the benefit of a wide field of view and great magnification. For instance, it boasts a field of view of 388 feet at 1000 yards and a 8x magnification. The result is that you can spot smaller objects at a greater distance with ease.
Of course, one of the standout features of these binoculars is their durability. The rubber armored polycarbonate housing means that these binoculars are able to withstand a great deal, including heavy rain. At the same time, the Nature DX is fog-proof as well.
They have comfortable twist-up eyecups with multi-stop function ensure proper positioning. This means that it doesn’t matter if you wear glasses or not, these binoculars will fit you perfectly.
Wingspan Optics Spectator – Best for Bird Watching
- PERFECT COMPACT BINOCULARS FOR BIRD WATCHING AND ANY OTHER OUTDOOR ACTIVITY. Small pocket sized...
- WIDE VIEWS - IMAGINE VIEWING an ENTIRE FIELD of ACTION then FOCUSING IN on YOUR TARGET for BRILLIANT...
- BRIGHT AND CLEAR - FEEL LIKE YOU'RE INCHES AWAY with POWERFUL 8X32 MAGNIFICATION: Want to see dew...
- ERGOCOMFORT NON-SLIP GRIP MEANS YOU CAN GO BIRDWATCHING, OR WATCH OUTDOOR GAMES OR CONCERTS FOR...
- 12 MONTH WARRANTY Plus 30 Day Money Back Guarantee Make These the Last Pair of Binoculars You'll...
If the main aim of your hiking trips is bird watching, then you will love what the Spectator has to offer.
Wide Field of View
Birds don’t stay in one place for too long. So, if you want to monitor these winged creatures and keep track of their movements, you will enjoy the wide field of view that the Spectator provides. At 362 feet at 1000 yards, this is pretty impressive.
In case you are all about the detail, then the 8x magnification of the Spectator will suit you well. You can view fascinating details without needing to get closer and startle the birds.
At just over 15 ounces, these binoculars are pretty easy to carry around. Even holding them for an extended time during bird watching episodes will not tire you out.
Despite being on the lighter side, the Spectator is still pretty tough. The rubber portions held to ward off dings. Best of all, the binoculars come with a lifetime guarantee!
Bushnell H20 – Best for Rainy Conditions
- Quality optics with stunning HD clarity; Exit Pupil: 4.2 millimeter / 0.165 inch
- 100 percentage quality materials used and tested extensively; Field of view 305/102 feet at 1000...
- Beautiful 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
Do you live somewhere with uncertain weather conditions? If so, the Bushnell H20 will make sure that your viewing capabilities aren’t compromised, regardless of the elements.
One thing to note with the H20 is the BaK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics. Combined, they ensure that there is improved light transmission. In turn, you get to enjoy clearer images with more accurate color reproductions.
It doesn’t matter if you typically struggle with the focus, the H20 makes it easy for beginners to make adjustments with this model. The large center focus knob makes it difficult to go wrong, allowing you to make the adjustments quickly and efficiently.
What really stands out about the H20 is just how waterproof it is. It is completely waterproof, meaning that you don’t have to be concerned about getting stuck in a downpour. In fact, even if you were to wade through a body of water, your binoculars would repel moisture.
The rubber grip on these binoculars have two purposes. The first is to ensure that you can properly grasp them even when it is pouring rain. The second is to keep your binoculars well-protected even if it makes impact with the ground.
POLDR 8 X 21 – Good for Beginners
- Lightweight Small Binoculars: You can throw them into your backpack each day without hesitation. The...
- Compact Binoculars Clear vision: 8x21 optics binoculars with a 8X magnification and objective lens...
- Easy on Focus: Just adjust by Smooth "center-focus knob" and right eye lens. The folding binoculars...
- Compact Binoculars with BAK4 prism which can 100% reflect the light to keep a good image (while...
- Application: Perfect for adults, kids, concerts, theater, opera, plays, shows, travel, hiking,...
New to the world of hiking binoculars? Then these are the pair for you. They are compact and easy to use while offering up an impressive performance.
Great Resolution and Clarity
Primed with BaK-4 prisms, you can enjoy far better light transmission with these binoculars. In turn, this means that there is greater contrast between the details of objects, even when they are close together. So, not only do you get a clearer picture, but also an impressive resolution.
Large Field of View
At this price point, the binoculars do afford a rather impressive field of view at 369 feet at 1000 yards. This means that you will be able to enjoy more of the landscape. At the same time, the resolution ensures that each detail will remain clear.
Easy Focusing Features
If you are only just getting the hang of focusing your binoculars, you will appreciate the simplicity that the POLDR has to offer. With only one knob to focus on, you can focus your binoculars the way you need to in no time at all.
Lightweight and Compact
Not used to carrying around binoculars yet? That’s fine, as the POLDR weighs just 0.38lbs. You will really have no idea that you have them. On top of this, you can also fold the binoculars to make them even more compact.
Zeiss Terra ED – Best for Extreme Temperatures
- 88% LIGHT TRANSMISSION — Schmidt-Pechan ED glass with a hydrophobic multi-coating provides optical...
- COMFORTABLE & FAST FOCUSING — The large and easy-to-grip focus wheel is quick to use on the ZEISS...
- COMPACT, LIGHT & ROBUST — With its waterproof, fiberglass reinforced casing, the ZEISS Terra ED...
- A CLEAR VIEW IN ANY WEATHER — There are always exciting things to be seen in the world of nature,...
Do you live in a region that is either really warm in the summer or really cold in the winter? If so, you will need these binoculars on your hike. They have been designed to withstand the most extreme of temperatures.
Good Distance Images
With a magnification of 8x and a field of view of 357 feet at 1000 yards, these are great for focusing on a wider landscape. So, if you are all about natural views, this will definitely be a good pick. At the same time, the good magnification allows you to see every little detail.
This is a pair of binoculars that has been designed to be easy to use. This means that it is comfortable to hold and intuitive to adjust as well. For instance, when holding the binoculars, your index finger automatically rests on the focus wheel. This makes it a breeze to adjust and use.
The Terra ED is capable of withstanding some pretty impressive temperatures. It will continue to work in conditions ranging from -4 to 145°F. This allows you to go hiking in the summer and winter in virtually any region you want. They are waterproof as well.
These binoculars are incredibly lightweight and compact. This means that you can slip them into your pocket on your hikes and they will not add any additional weight.
This binocular comes with the following accessories, rainguard tethered objective lens covers, neck strap and case.
Nikon Trailblazer 8 X 25 ATB – Best for Reliability
- Lead- and Arsenic-Free Eco-Glass
- High-Index BAK4 Roof Prisms for extra-high resolution images
- Fully multi-coated optics maximize light transmission for brighter views and improved color fidelity...
- Nitrogen Filled, Water and Fogproof
- Rubber Armored Body
If you want a good, solid brand at an affordable price, these binoculars will fit the bill on all accounts. You can ensure a good performance as well as a long-lasting pair of binoculars.
High Resolution Image
The BaK-4 high index prisms produces even better resolution. This means that you can see even the minutest details at a distance. Such a feature comes in especially handy when you are trying to watch wildlife.
Good Clarity and Brightness
The bright multi-coated optics means that the binoculars boast multiple layers of anti-reflective compounds. This means that the light doesn’t interfere with the image at all, ensuring maximum brightness of images. This feature helps to boost the resolution as well.
If want to go hiking even when the weather is cold and damp, you will find that this Nikon pair is a useful companion. To begin with, it is nitrogen-filled and the O-ring is sealed. This means that you don’t have to worry about water getting in or the binoculars fogging up.
Leica Ultravid BR 8×20 – Best for Expert Nature Lovers
- 8X MAGNIFICATION provides sharp and detailed images and offers a good overview, especially in wooded...
- HIGH LEVEL OF OPTICAL PERFORMANCE provides the same resolution and sharpness as larger Ultravids,...
- CENTRAL FOCUSING KNOB ensures fast and precise internal focusing
- HDC MULTICOSTING and AQUADURA COATING on outer lenses protect the optical systems against water,...
- RUBBER-ARMORED and WATER-RESISTANT HOUSING provides maximum robustness and protection to a depth of...
The Leica Ultravid BR models are meant for professionals, but tend to come in larger and bulkier sizes. This more compact version is perfect for hikers. Best of all, there is no compromise on the excellent features at all.
Wide Field of View
These have a pretty good field of view at 341 feet at 1000 yards – in any case, the binoculars fall into a wider field of view. The greater area means that you can take in more of the landscape with a single sweep.
Great Sharpness and Resolution
With a roof prism with phase-correcting coating P40 and HighLux-System HLS, you get to enjoy greater resolution. Thus, spotting the distinction in minute details will be a breeze. These features also work to offer greater detail without the risk of color fringing.
Suppression of Light
These binoculars work to reduce how much stray light enters the lenses. This improves the overall clarity of the images. At the same time, you can also see between two or more objects readily.
Made from aluminum, these binoculars are deceptively durable. The rubber-armored and water-resistant housing protects the binoculars even further. Even the lenses are well-protected with HDC Multicosting and Aquadura Coating.
As mentioned, this particular model is designed to be more compact and lightweight than the full-sized models. This means that you get the same level of quality while ensuring the binoculars are portable. This product comes with a neck strap for easy carrying.
Here are the elements you should be aware of when searching for the top binoculars:
The Magnification Power
When selecting binoculars, your most common options will be 8x and 10x. Binoculars with 8x magnification can often offer you a wider field of view. 10x, on the other hand, is the better option if you want to see certain details more clearly.
Now, many people make the mistake of assuming that a higher magnification is always the way to go. However, this isn’t necessarily true. Bear in mind that magnification has a direct impact on movement. In particular, a higher magnification will make your hand movements more apparent, which can be a disadvantage.
This means that getting a steady image will be much more difficult for you. Thus, this is something you need to think about, particularly if you are going to be using your binoculars while on the move or if you have unsteady hands.
Field of View
When considering the field of view, wider tends to be better. In this case, you can see a larger area through your binoculars. Such a feature also lets more light in through the lens, keeping the image lighter and clearer. Most importantly, it allows you to see individual objects better.
Most good quality binoculars will have a field of view between 300 feet and 375 feet at 1000 yards. So, this is something that you should aim for as well.
It should be noted that the magnification of the binoculars can have an effect on the field of view. For instance, a higher magnification power will actually narrow the field of view. A lower one will expand it.
If you have been hearing the term “prism” and have been wondering what it’s all about, here’s what you need to know:
The prism is a feature on binoculars that direct light from an image, through the binoculars and to your eyes.
Another thing to be aware of is that there are two types of prisms. The older option is the Porro prism. Here, the binoculars have wider barrels in front. These aren’t aligned with the eyepieces. Then, there is the newer roof prism. This is where the eyepieces and objective lenses are aligned. Typically, binoculars with roof prisms are smaller and lighter.
Lens Materials and Coating
Trying to figure out the lens materials and their coatings can be pretty confusing. This is because there are now more options than ever before. And, each company will use their own trademarked names and terms to label these materials.
This is why it is important to understand the basics behind these features. In short, the construction of the glass and the coatings on the glass are what are responsible for the reduction of light reflecting off the lenses.
If a pair of binoculars can reflect light better, the image will in turn be much clearer. On this note, here is a breakdown of the various coatings that can be found on binoculars:
- Coated: this is usually used to refer to the fact that at least one optical element has a coating on at least one of its surfaces. This coating tends to be made up of magnesium fluoride.
- Fully Coated: this means that there is an anti-reflective coating on both sides of the objective lens, both sides of the ocular lens, and the long side of the prism.
- Multi-Coated: this shows that multiple layers have been applied to one or more of the lens surfaces.
- Fully Broadband Multi-Coated (FMC): this kind of coating decreases surface reflectivity. This helps to counteract the full visible light spectrum. It should be noted that this level of coating doesn’t always translate to the best image quality.
- Phase Correction Coating: this kind of coating is applied specifically to roof prism binoculars. This is to correct the light that goes out of phases as it enters the binoculars. Such a coating consists of dielectric material applied to one face of the prism.
Eye Relief Features
Eye relief refers to the distance between your eye and an eyepiece while the whole field of vision is visible. Needless to say, this measurement can differ from one person to another. And, this is particularly important if you wear glasses.
The good news is that most eyepieces are adjustable. The adjustment can be made by rolling down the eyecups or changing the distance via a collar. Either way, if you do wear glasses, look for an eye relief of around 11mm or more.
It is quite likely that you will drop your binoculars at some point or another. This means that your pair needs to be able to withstand such an impact. Therefore, you should look for one that has plenty of rubber housing around the binoculars. This material is less likely to ding or scratch.
To reduce the risk of you dropping your binoculars, consider those that have textured or anti-slip grip. These can go a long way in ensuring that you keep a tight hold on your binoculars on all kinds of terrain and weather. This is especially the case if you go hiking in snowy or mountainous regions.
Now, you will find many types of binoculars that claim to be waterproof. However, this isn’t always the case. More often than not, these binoculars are merely water-resistant. This means that they can withstand some light rain but will not hold up well in a torrential downpour.
So, how do you tell the difference? Binoculars that are truly waterproof will have O-rings as features. These work to provide a seal against moisture. Thus, these binoculars can even be dunked in a body of water for a short while without incurring any damage.
Of course, weatherproof doesn’t just refer to rain or water. If you live in an area that gets extremely cold or very hot, then it is a good idea to determine what kind of temperatures the binocular can withstand. This ensures that they will not get warmed up when the seasons change or suffer from exposure to rough elements.
Fog is another issue you will have to contend with. This is because fogged up binoculars aren’t just annoying, they can damage them. It means that moisture has gotten inside the binoculars and can potentially damage the internal features.
Now, fogging tends to happen when you move from a colder environment to a warmer one. To make certain that temperature changes won’t have an impact on your binoculars, look for those that have been filled with nitrogen.
Unlike regular air, nitrogen doesn’t have a moisture content. As a result, no condensation will form and in turn, no fogging will occur, which will take care of the issue.
When it comes to hiking, you probably don’t want to tack on more weight than necessary. This is why looking for a lightweight pair of binoculars are key. Lighter binoculars also make it easier to hold the object up to your face for extended periods of time without tiring out.
If you want a truly lightweight pair, look for one that is around 8 or so ounces. If you don’t mind a bit of additional heft, binoculars that are around 14 or 15 ounces will work quite well too.
It is easy to imagine that smaller binoculars are better. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. If you have smaller hands, then a small pair of binoculars will provide you with a better grip. On the other hand, people with larger hands may find this tricky.
It is a good idea to measure your ideal circumference before determining what kind of sized binoculars will be a good fit for you. This can prevent any discomfort you may experience while using them.
As you can see, the Vortex Optical Diamondback HD takes the crown. If you want to capture crisp and clear images, along with excellent resolution and well-transcribed colors, this is definitely the pair of binoculars you should go for.
It also doesn’t hurt that they have been designed to withstand most kinds of terrains and weather conditions as well! All in all, you will be hard-pressed to find a better pair of binoculars, especially at this price point. So, you do get a value-added bonus here.
If you want to make sure you have the right gear, follow the links in this post here. They will lead you to the exact pair of binoculars that you’re looking for. It doesn’t matter what you need, you are sure to find it in this list. Your next favorite piece of hiking equipment is only a click away!
This page was last updated on 2021-09-21. Affiliate links and Product Images are from Amazon PAAPI