Top 10 Best Hiking Binoculars in 2018

Binoculars are the best options if you really want to explore your surroundings while hiking. There are lots of models from which you can choose from.

Even though this is happy news for you, figuring out which one fits for your needs is quite a hard task. In this article, we will help you sort this issue and will help you to pick the best deal. 

More...

Quick Comparison: Top Hiking Binoculars

**Below, you'll find our expert's reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Factors to Consider While Buying Binoculars for Hiking

You might be a good hiker and have got the best quality in all the gears including clothing, backpack, boots, hiking gear, backcountry tent, GPS equipment and many more.

However, the technology which links with the binoculars is something different. There are many cheap binoculars and buying those ones will end up in throwing away after a few hikes.

Always try to pick the one which is reasonable and of course with the highest quality which suits for your hiking needs as well as for the hiking conditions.

Which Size Binocular Should I Buy?

The size of the binocular greatly depends on the preference as well as on the capacity. If you can manage weight, then buying a full sized binocular is a great pick. On the other hand, if you don’t prefer to add additional weights to your backpack, then try getting those compact models for your needs. There is even middle ground - the mid-size binocular.

Full-size Binocular

It gives you a fuller view of your hiking surroundings. In addition, it provides a steady sight along with a wider field of view.

Mid-size Binocular

It serves as a middle one – the one between the compact size and the full-sized versions. Even though it is not that good as the full size one, it is far better than the compact models.

Compact Binocular

These models are really light and small and so is the best choice for your hiking needs as it does not take much space in your backpack. They catch very little light and don’t have those bigger views.

Magnification of Binoculars

senior hiker man enjoying the beautiful-landscape-view with binoculars during the hike

Magnification is the number which is used to define a binocular. For instance, an 8x42 pair binocular offers 8 x magnification, which means it makes objects or things looks 8 times larger.

Larger magnification refers to closeness. Keep in mind that, while increasing the magnification power, the steadiness will get disturbed. This is well noted in lower lens diameter.

While talking about the lens diameter, the higher the number, the more amount of light will be passed through and hence will be able to capture brighter and vivid images.

Lens Coating and Quality of Binoculars

The coating of the lens is important since it lowers the amount of light which is being reflected, thus allowing the light to pass through it. On the other hand, the quality of the lens makes sure that the image captured has better contrast and is aberration free as well.

Choosing the best lenses will help you work even in low light conditions. Those users who are wearing specs should go for high eye point.

Eye Strain and Weight

Consider the weight if using it for a long time tires you. Also, check whether it is taxing on your eyes. Using the regular ones will strain your eyes and hence always pick high ends models if you are planning to use it for a prolonged stretch.

Waterproofing Binoculars

The waterproof binoculars are denoted as ‘WP’. Since you will be using it under different climactic conditions, it is always better to choose the one with some degree of waterproofing.

The high end ones won’t get damaged easily even if you submerge a couple of hours in water.

Fog proof Binoculars

While moving the binoculars between various temperatures, they can be more prone to fogging up. Apart from annoying you, this can damage the binocular if trapped inside.

In order to counter this, the manufactures of the binoculars have come up with techniques for replacing the air which is present inside the optic barrels with certain amount of inert gas that contains no moisture content. Hence it won’t get condensed. This in turn will protect against the fog creation in the internal lens surfaces.

Field of View and Exit Pupil

The FoW or the Field of View points to the diameter of the portion which is seen via glasses and is measured in degrees. Better the FoW, better will be the areas which you can see through glasses.

The Exit Pupil is the image which is created on the eyepiece of the pupil which can be seen. The exit pupil is obtained by dividing the lens diameter by the magnification.

How to Take Care of your Hiking Binoculars?

man hiking binoculars

If you are a new buyer, then make sure that you buy a binocular which can withstand all your hiking requirements. For example, try to buy waterproof binoculars if you are in water situations.

In such situations, don’t opt for the water-resistant ones. Make sure that you are really choosy according to your specific needs.

The next factor to consider is with the abuse of the binoculars. Check how much it can withstand. Verify with the maker before buying as it may help you to choose the right one. Once you understand the theory of breaking, make sure that you avoid using it under those situations.

Using a binocular strap round the neck is the next element. Most of the falls occur when you take it all of a sudden with one hand and without the straps. Also check for the wear and tear of the strap and change it occasionally. In addition to this, check for the locking device as well as the clips which hold the device in position.

Carrying your binocular in a protective case while not in use is the next factor which you should consider while hiking. Spend a few minutes and pack it back carefully. When it comes to the eyecup of the binocular, using rubber or vinyl preservatives on the rubber eyecups will help to extend its life. Make sure that you roll the eyecups up while not in use.

Keep in mind not to keep your binoculars in direct sunlight for long time as the heat will cause damage to it. Finally, the most important factor is, don’t try to repair it all by yourself.

Cleaning Binocular Lens

No matter how careful you are, there will be times which you will need a clean-up for your gear. Cleaning the binoculars will certainly improve its performance and hence cleaning it right away is always the best way to handle them. Below listed are the steps which you should follow for cleaning and removing the dirt on your binocular lens:

Step 1: Carefully blow the lens surface with high air pressure. At the same time, with a fine brush, clean the lens surface.

Step 2: Use the right cleaning cloth which is designed for lens cleaning. Make sure that you don’t use any other fabrics as there are chances for the fabrics to get scratch.

Step 3: With slow motions, rub the surface of the lens and take out the dirt, if any.

Review of some of the Best Hiking Binoculars

Our Recommendation

Nikon Monarch 7 8 x 42 Waterproof Binoculars

The Nikon Monarch 7 8 x 42 Waterproof Binoculars forms the ultimate binocular owing to its amazing features. The roof prisms with the binoculars will provide better image clarity as well as detail even the long objects clearly.

Mixing this with the nitrogen filled housing, they turn out to be the perfect models for wading. They offer waterproof housing.

These models are a bit heavier than the other Monarch models. The high reflective dielectric prism coatings which are present in binoculars will make sure that the light which is falling on it is maintained while it is passing through the chassis. It points to the fact that they works well even in low light conditions.

Nikon 7548 MONARCH 7 8x42 hiking Binocular (Black)
Major Features:
  • Dielectric and high-reflective
  • Multilayer prism coating as well as fully multicoated lenses clubbed with extra-low dispersion
  • Phase-correction coated lenses
  • Ergonomic styling with rubber-armored exterior
  • Large, central focus wheel with adjustable diopter
  • Click-stop rubber eyecups
  • O-ring sealed and nitrogen-purged for waterproof and fogproof performance
  Pros
  • plus
    They have better clarity, especially under low light conditions.
  • plus
    There are minimal color aberrations at dim lights which is really tougher to see with any mid range priced binoculars.
  • plus
    Even with highest distance range, the colors of the images will be maintained along with better viewing quality.
  • plus
    This super pair of binoculars combines all the wellness of ergonomic design and easy focusing.
  Cons
  • Firstly, the model is a bit heavier than any other Monarch models, meaning that they are not fit for longer periods of usage at once.
  • In addition to this, the neck strap is somewhat hard to install since there are lots of wrong methods to install it.

KRUGER Backcountry 8x32 Roof Binoculars

The Kruger Optical 8x32mm Binoculars are premium optics which are packed in an elegant style.

The model is 100 percent waterproof and is compact enough for taking with you throughout your trails. Without compromising on the style factor, the model has strong inner workings which make it the best among other models.

The fully broadband coated lenses together with the phase coated prisms will help you in the creation of bright and clear images.

 The binoculars are fog proof and are O-ring sealed. They are nitrogen-filled and are ready to use in varying climactic conditions.

KRUGER Backcountry 8x32 Roof Binoculars
Major Features:
  • Compact in size
  • Broadband anti-reflection with high-fidelity coated premium optics
  • Bak-4 phase-coated prisms for better image clarity
  • Improved internal center focus system
  • Waterproof, fogproof and nitrogen-processed
  • Excellent long eye relief
  • Twist-up eyecups
  • Rugged metal body construction
  • Textgured armor for excellent grip
  • CoolNeck quick-release neck Strap

Foot Note!!!

The range of stylish binoculars is huge and hence it will definitely take much time for the beginners to pick a specific model for their use. But with time, you will be able to even note down the minor differences between the models and come up with your own taste of choice.

image credit: amazon.com, amazon.in, rei.com, decathlon.in

How helpful was this article? Click a star to rate.
[Total: 34    Average: 4.2/5]