Binoculars are a wonderful tool to have. If you are a hunter, you already are quite familiar with how useful a quality pair of binoculars can be. However, even as a more casual user or a hobbyist, binoculars are a fantastic addition to any toolbox. They are great for bird watching, animal watching, and more!
However, you may have noticed that binoculars can get expensive. It is not uncommon to find a pair that are several hundred, if not several thousand, dollars. If you are looking for the best budget binoculars, you may have already been swindled by low-quality products.
Luckily for you, we have reviewed the best binoculars under 200. Not only are these binoculars fantastic tools, but they will not break your budget, either! So whether you are looking for the best hunting binoculars under $200, or simply looking for a new hobby, we have got you covered!!
Best Binoculars under $200: Editor’s Top Picks
Top 10 Best Binoculars under $200 Reviews:
1. Nikon 8252 ACULON A211 10-22×50 Zoom Binocular
Nikon is a well-established brand in the world of quality lenses. They excel in high-quality cameras, and you will also find they are great at making binoculars, too! The ACULON A211 is no exception. They are specially designed to be light and easy to carry, and all of the adjustable features are easily reached by your fingers. Their magnification range is from 10x-22x power, which is easily adjusted with the fingertip control knob.
The ACULON A211 is focused on comfort, too. The rubber cups are great for keeping you comfortable for long periods of use, and the entire body of the binoculars is covered in the rubber-armored coating. This makes them easy to handle in wet conditions and protects the fragile glass lenses if dropped.
Of course, what are binoculars without quality glasswork? The Multicoated Eco-Glass lenses are designed to keep magnified images clear and bright as well as add to the overall lightweight design of the binoculars. Plus, these binoculars are covered by a limited lifetime warranty from Nikon. As long as you don’t lose them or purposefully damage them, Nikon will repair them as long as you own them! Not only are these budget-friendly upfronts, but they will continue being budget-friendly as long as you own them!
- Built to be lightweight
- Rubber coating prevents damage and slippage
- Adjustable features easy to reach with fingertips
- Lenses crafted to add clarity and brightness
- Excellent warranty
- Many users state manufacturer quality is not up to par with Nikon’s reputation
2. Celestron – Outland X 10×50 Binoculars
Celestron is a U.S.-based brand that is best known for its telescopes. However, they have brought their lense expertise to make one of the best binoculars under $200! The lenses are specially crafted using BaK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics to bring you some of the best image clarity you will find on the market. The images will be clear, bright, with even the smallest details easily seen. These are great lenses on a budget pair of binoculars.
The eyecups are easily adjustable, being able to cater to normal use or for those wearing glasses. The body of these binoculars is built to last. Designed with a rubber coating, these can be treated quite roughly without having to worry about the integrity of the performance. They have a non-slip grip, which pairs well with their waterproof and fog-proof design. If you like to hunt in poor weather conditions, these binoculars are perfect!
These binoculars also come with a great warranty. You will get a limited lifetime warranty that will cover defects, and you also get access to the tech team of Celestron. Their customer service is U.S.-based and as long as you own a product, they offer unlimited tech support. Celestron is a great option for a long-term investment with lifelong support!
- BaK-4 prism lenses
- Rubber coating for a non-slip grip and damage protection
- Adjustable eyecups
- Lifetime warranty with unlimited customer support
- Getting images in focus can be a challenge
- May produce darker than desired images.
3. Vortex Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars
These Vortex binoculars are perfect for those that not only want performance but also are interested in a sleek, portable design. The Vortex offers 12x magnification while several features to make what you’re peeking at clear as possible. The glass in the lenses is specifically designed to give you true color and sharp, bright images. These are great binoculars for hobbyists!
These binoculars are also adjustable to fit almost any user. The eyecups are twistable to fit normal use or for those that are using them with glasses. It also includes a built-in diopter to help further help make a custom fit. You will find that these binoculars are quite comfortable for extended use!
The Crossfire binoculars are by no means fragile. They are made with a rubber coating to help absorb the shock from drops as well as to help make a non-slip grip. The body is also made to support tripod use, too! Rugged and versatile make the Optics Crossfire a great choice for a wide range of users.
Feel free to use these binoculars in rough weather conditions, as they have been designed to be fog proof and waterproof. Vortex also offers a limited lifetime warranty on these binoculars, so once you buy them, you will have them for good!
- Up to 12x magnification
- Fog proof
- Rubber coating for a non-slip grip and shock absorption
- Compatible with tripod use
- Lower magnification offered when contrasted with other comparable models
- Warranty information somewhat difficult to find
- Eye-cups not quite as comfortable as comparable models
4. Gosky Roof Prism 10×42 Binoculars
These little binoculars are some of the more budget-friendly options you will find on this list. But just because they are easy on the wallet does not mean they are quality products. They offer 8x magnification with lenses that are specifically crafted for image fidelity. These binoculars will consistently provide clear, bright images for their lifespan!
They are built to be quite durable. Made with a magnalium body with a rubber coating, they will consistently resist damage from dropping. It also makes them quite resistant to harsh weather conditions like snow, rain, or extreme cold. This makes them great products for winter hunting or watching live sports in poor weather conditions.
As with many of the binoculars on this list, they come with a great lifetime warranty that covers defects. If you want to troubleshoot your device (or just figure out how to use certain features better), you will also get access to their 24/7 customer support. They will also be the ones to handle exchanges or refund requests, too!
- Carrying case included
- Durable frame with rubber coating
- The great image quality produced
- Great for rough weather conditions
- Lifetime warranty
- Magnification is quite low compared to other models in similar price ranges
- Adjusting focus and fit can be challenging
5. Bushnell Legend L-Series 10x42mm Binoculars
Another great budget pair of binoculars from a familiar outdoor brand, Bushnell offers a great choice in the Legend L-series. They offer a fantastically comfortable design that is made for easy handling all day. The rubber armor that coats this product also delivers a no-slip design as well as helping protect it. These Bushnell binoculars absorb shock well, helping them resist breaking over time.
The lenses are coated in a hydrophobic and oleophobic (oil resistant) coating that makes these binoculars perfect for rainy, snowy, and sleety weather. Even during active precipitation, these can still deliver a crystal clear shot. They are made from ED Prime glass, so you can be sure they are of top-notch quality. Focus can also be adjusted with an easy-to-turn knob feature.
When you buy these Bushnell binoculars, they will come with a cleaning cloth, rubber lens covers, and a carrying case to hold it all in. You will have everything you need to keep these binoculars in top working condition for years to come.
If you need a compact pair of high-quality binoculars that can be used in any weather condition, then you might have found what you are looking for in these Bushnell binoculars.
- Portable and lightweight
- Hydrophobic and oleophobic lenses
- Protective rubber body
- Ideal for those who want to hunt in all weather conditions.
- Comes with a cleaning cloth, lens covers, and case
- Some rubber parts fall off in a short amount of time
- No adjustable eye covers (they can not be used while wearing glasses)
6. Hooway 7×50 Waterproof Fogproof Military Marine Binoculars
If you have been waiting to see a pair of binoculars loaded with features, you have found it in this Hooway product. Not only are they binoculars, but they have a compass and a rangefinder built right in! They also follow a standard military design, including their ergonomic shape.
They are also built to provide a fantastic optical experience. These binoculars offer 7x magnification and a Porro and Bak4 prism system, which means your colors will pop and you will have plenty of brightness! And for extended viewing, they are designed to be compatible with a tripod.
Of course, being military-grade means being super rugged. They are completely waterproof and fog-proof, which makes them ideal for use in all different kinds of weather. They will float in water, so you never have to worry about dropping them in a pond or lake. The body can be folded down to accommodate those who are wearing glasses.
If you need your binoculars to be military-grade rugged, stuffed full of extra features, and all the while still producing crisp and clear images? Then you have a fantastic choice with these Hooway binoculars.
- Waterproof, fog-proof, sink proof, shockproof
- Quality prism system for great viewing
- Built-in range viewer and compass
- Tripod compatible
- Ergonomic and non-slip design
- Limited magnifying power when compared with other options on this list
- They look clunky when compared to others on this list
- No adjustable zoom
7. Pentax 8.5×21 U-Series Papilio II Binocular
One of the most compact binoculars that are on our list, these binoculars bring a refreshingly different design to the table. Its “unibody” allows only the eye attachments to move, which helps keep important lenses from being damaged and reduces overall movable pieces. These binoculars are also good at reducing flare, as every component, inside and out, is coated with anti-glare material.
The lenses are also going to keep you happy. They employ a BAK-4 prism system for superior clarity, and the lenses are asymmetrical which helps keep the edge of the image clear, too. That lets you take advantage of the entire viewing area of your lens and not just a small portion that happens to be clear. These binoculars have enough eye relief that they can easily be used with or without glasses.
They also offer something a little interesting that other binoculars do not. Not only can you use them to see far away, but you can use them to magnify little things that are up close. They are specifically good for looking at the details of flowers, paintings, or insects. You will be hard-pressed to find many budget binoculars that do that well.
- Uni-body design great for increased longevity of the product
- The entire body is coated in anti-glare
- BAK-4 prism system with asymmetrical lenses for increased clarity.
- Can be tripod compatible with attachment
- Designed to see certain details up close
- 5x magnification (lower than other comparable models)
- No adjustable zoom
8. Carson VP Series Full Sized or Compact Waterproof Binoculars
These Carson binoculars are a simple, straightforward product that is high-quality and well-designed. They are less than 2 pounds in weight, making them some of the lightest binoculars on this list. The lenses are built with BAK-4 prisms, which is the standard for the best binoculars under $200. These binoculars are also completed coated, meaning they will resist glare well.
These binoculars are also fog proof and waterproof, which make them ideal for use in adverse weather conditions. However, they do not have the same kind of rugged rubber exterior that most of the binoculars on this list have. You will want to be sure to handle these with care, especially if you plan on getting them wet.
The eye relief is adjustable, making these binoculars ideal for those who wear glasses, and the body is designed to be compatible with a tripod. They also sport an impressive lifetime warranty. Carson will repair or replace your product for no more than $15 (which will be waived if the problem is a product defect). It is one of the best warranties you will find with binoculars at this price range.
If you are looking for a simple, basic pair of binoculars that can custom fit your face and that are backed by a lifetime warranty, then these Carson binoculars might just be your best choice!
- Impressive lifetime warranty
- Fog proof and waterproof
- Adjustable eye-relief
- Tripod compatible
- Case and cleaning clothes included
- No rubber exterior, making them vulnerable to dropping
- No non-slip grip
9. Leupold BX-1 Rogue 10x25mm Compact Binoculars
These budget-friendly binoculars are some of the smallest and most compact you will find on this list. They employ a BAK-4 prism system, which is going to deliver great colors, a sharp image, and plenty of brightness. They also prevent edge distortion, so even details towards the edges of your viewing space will be clear and easy to see.
The body of the BX-1 Rogue uses an inverted Porro prism, which is why it looks so compact and small. There is no protective rubber, but the body is made out of high-grade aluminum that will resist cracking and breaking. They still can break easier than other models, so you will likely be making use of the lifetime warranty over the course of owning this product.
The BX-1 Rogue also features twist-up eyecups, allowing for the perfect amount of eye relief you need. Do you wear glasses? These binoculars can accommodate that quite well. Leupold also offers a lifetime warranty on these binoculars, which means that they can be with you for a lifetime!
If your required characteristics for binoculars are that they are lightweight and compact, then The BX-1 Rogue is going to be a great choice for you. Even though they are small, they do not skimp on adjustable features of lens quality, making them an ideal choice for hobbyists and hunters alike.
- BAK-4 Prism System
- Adjustable eyecups for preferred eye-relief
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Super compact and lightweight
- Extremely budget-friendly
- Lack of protective rubber coating makes these particularly prone to damage by dropping
10. USCAMEL 10X50 Marine Military Binoculars
For the last product on our list, we have another full-featured pair of binoculars. They include a built-in rangefinder and compass to help you navigate while you are scouting the wilderness. The compass has a light source, which means it can be used during the night. It also uses a BAK-4 prism system for exceptional color, sharpness, and brightness while providing 10x magnification. They also excel in low-light conditions, like dusk and dawn.
The USCAMEL is quite durable. They are IPX7 water-resistant, meaning that they can be completely submerged. They have a rugged rubber coating which not only helps absorb the shock from being dropped but also acts as a non-slip grip. These binoculars are great for use in less than ideal weather, like rain or snow. Take them hunting, bird watching, shooting, or any other outdoor hobby you may have! The USCAMEL is built for any kind of outside environment and still provides quality viewing results.
A carrying case is included, as well as several cleaning cloths and lens covers. The eyecups are adjustable and will fold down for use with glasses. They are also tripod-compatible, and all of these features add up to one of the most versatile products on this binocular list!
- BAK-4 Prism System
- Fog proof and waterproof
- Eyecups fold down
- Compatible with a tripod
- Built-in rangefinder and compass
- Carrying case, strap, cleaning cloths, and lens covers come included
- No lifetime warranty (comparable models usually have one)
- No zoom available
Things to Consider When Buying Binoculars under $200
As you can see, different binoculars offer a wide variety of different options. Many models specialize in their own specific niche of use, offering unique pros and cons. The best way to get into an ideal pair of binoculars is to ask yourself what you want out of them, and then find the product that best fits. However, what if you do not even know what to ask? Consider the following questions when deciding what kind of binoculars you want to get:
Not all binoculars have the option to change the range of their magnification, and this is especially true of budget binoculars. Are you ok with a set distance for where you can see, or is it important to you to be able to adjust it? This question will weed out a lot of different product options.
Even if they include a lifetime warranty, you do not want a pair of binoculars that are prone to breaking and cracking if you are going to regularly use them. Over the course of several years and frequent use, it is very possible you will face many situations that could damage your binoculars. A rubber coating is key to preventing a lot of damage, but not all binoculars include it.
Waterproof and Fog-Proof Features
This goes along a bit with the first question. If you are going to be infrequent aquatic environments (like fishing, marine watching, or hunting in various weather conditions) being waterproof is an absolute necessity. Once moisture gets inside the lens body, it is all over for your binoculars.
How far you can clearly see will vary depending on what model of binocular you get. It can range from 5x – 10x or more at this price range, which is a significant difference in what you can and cannot see. Be sure you consider how far away you need to clearly see before buying a pair that is too weak.
Not all binocular brands offer this, and this is a huge benefit to have. You are almost certainly going to damage your binoculars at some point in their lifespan, especially if you end up regularly using them for several years. If you want to make a purchase and stick with it, then the availability of a lifetime warranty is going to be an important factor in your purchasing decision.
Many buyers don’t consider this question at all when they are making a decision of what binoculars to buy. Most binoculars have eye relief adjustment available and the ability to adjust viewing arms so you can use them while wearing glasses. However, this is not the case (including for a few products on this list). If you wear glasses and plan on using them with binoculars, you will want to be sure that your binoculars allow for it!
This is an especially important feature for viewing for several hours at a time or if you enjoy taking pictures through your binoculars. Most will be compatible with tripod use, but not all of them will be. Always double-check and make sure this is an available option if it is a feature you want to take advantage of.
Several of the binoculars on this list have other tools built-in, like rangefinders and compasses. This is certainly not a standard feature in binoculars, so if you plan on ruggedly navigating through your local nature, be sure to check to make sure it is included!
Carrying Case and Accessories
Many binoculars offer to carry cases, pouches, or other protective features, but not all will have it included. Make sure to get binoculars that are fully loaded with all the little extras like a case if it is something you are counting on. It may be hard to find a 3rd party case that fits your binoculars just right. That is also true of lens covers that are often included (but again, not always).
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
We have scoured the net looking for some of the most frequently asked questions about binoculars. If you find yourself having a bunch of questions after reading the product descriptions above, look below! You may find that your question has already been answered!
Q1: Why are so many binoculars fog proof?
Moisture can build in any place that is not absolutely airtight. If moisture gets into your binoculars, it can cause permanent, chronic problems with viewing. While it may make sense for them to be waterproof, fog proof is equally important. What that means is fog will not build up in your lenses and you will never have to wipe it away.
Q2: Why are my binoculars tripod compatible?
While we may associate tripod use more with a product like a telescope, there are several uses for tripod use with binoculars as well. For example, if you are viewing a fixed object for long periods of time, a tripod frees up your hands. Activities may include looking at mountains, taking pictures of nature, and more.
Q3: Will all binoculars offer zoom capability?
NO! There are many binoculars that offer a fixed magnification range. While this is fine for some activities, a fixed range may make it more difficult for activities like bird watching or hunting. Make sure you get a pair that can zoom if you are going to be viewing objects that frequently move.
Q4: How do I make a claim on my lifetime warranty?
You will contact the manufacturer directly to make warranty claims. Regardless of the 3rd party retailer, you bought them through, the direct manufacturer will handle all customer questions and warranty concerns.
Q5: Do I need to register my product to claim a lifetime warranty?
Usually, no! All you need to have in the possession of the broken product. None of these lifetime warranties include coverage for products that are stolen or lost, but most warranties, if present, will cover any other kind of damage or defect. Again, contact the maker of the binoculars and follow their instructions for making a warranty claim.
Q6: Can I wear my glasses and use binoculars at the same time?
For many models, yes! The feature that you are looking for is whether or not the eyecups can be folded down. This allows the binoculars to be used further away from your face, which means you can wear them with glasses! If a particular model does not note that the eyecups can be moved, they are not compatible with the use of eyeglasses.
Q7: How do I know if a pair of binoculars will fit me well?
Well, unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure that a product will fit you well until you actually get it. However, there are some features you can check that can help minimize the risk of your purchasing choice not fitting well:
- How large is the optical lens? The larger this lens, the larger the total viewing area will be, and the easier it will be for your eyes to feel comfortable.
- Is there adjustable eye relief? This is a feature many binoculars have that helps with comfort for use. If there is no relief present, you should note that there will be no way to make them feel more comfortable if they do not fit right.
Q8: Why don’t any of the binoculars on this list fit my wants or needs?
If this is the case for you, you may need to consider increasing your budget. These are binoculars that fit into a certain budget price category, and while they are solid products, they are not going to be able to compete with binoculars that are hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars more. You may need to look at more expensive options and decide which features are must-haves and which ones you could do without.
Q9: Which brand of binoculars is the best?
Unfortunately, that question is not as easy to answer as you may think. Each brand brings something different and unique to the table that may fit another customer more ideally than another. For example, one brand may offer binoculars with no zoom, while another does not make any with zoom capability at all. That does not make them a worse brand, it just makes them different. Take note of what you want out of binoculars and then find the brand that fits you best!
These budget binoculars are a fantastic choice for many customers. You may be someone who is buying their first pair and do not want to break your budget, or you may simply be someone who does not need or want some of the features more expensive models offer. However, you can be sure that these products are fantastic choices and are certain to please those who take the plunge to purchase! Be sure to take your time, review the products listed, and get the binoculars that best fit exactly what you are looking for!