Which binoculars are the best for bird watching, nature and the outdoors? Browse reviews by our testers below
Product reviews of the best binoculars for bird watching
We interviewed more than 30 birdwatchers and outdoor enthusiasts on the best features of quality binoculars.
With the information we then took 50 of the bestselling models and spent more than 100 hours testing them.
The Celestron 71018 SkyMaster 20X80 Binoculars is our top choice. It comes with a high-quality construction, multi-coated lens and a large aperture.
At the other end of the spectrum is the SGODDE Compact Folding High Powered Binoculars that is extremely lightweight.
It is also eye width adjustable and can be used by both kids and adults. Below you’ll find a list of our other top picks.
Celestron 71018 SkyMaster 20X80 Binoculars Review – 100%
The Celestron is a powerful pair of binoculars that features a 20x magnification.
The large objective lens makes it ideal in low light conditions all while providing clear and crisp images. This makes it ideal for birdwatching in forested areas where there is thick tree cover.
The center knob is comfortable to use and allows the user to easily adjust the focus. We found the Celestron 71018 to be easy to use as well.
However, at 2.7 kilograms this is quite a heavy pair of binoculars.
Bushnell Powerview 20×50 Binocular Review – 100%
This binocular has a rubber exterior. It is non-slip for a better grip which also makes the equipment durable.
At less than a kilogram it is not very heavy and feels comfortable on the hands. Using the Bushnell Powerview is simple as well and the InstaFocus system allows for a sharp focus on the object.
The 50mm aperture absorbs plenty of light which gives the user the ability to see images in low light. The multi coated lens produces clear and crisp images.
The downside is that the images become sensitive to shaking the higher you set the magnification. This binocular is also not designed to be used with a tripod as well.
Celestron 71008 SkyMaster 25X70 Binoculars Review – 98%
These binoculars come with an ultra sharp focus. They have a 25X magnification and a 70mm multi coated objective lens which provides bright, clear and crisp images.
The exterior has a protective rubber cover. This also makes it waterproof.
However, the Celestron 71008 doesn’t provide a large field of view, especially with a high magnification and we noticed that the image becomes very sensitive to shaking.
Olympus DPS-1 8X40 Binocular Review – 88%
Unlike the Olympus 10×50 DPS1 Binoculars, this one is smaller and features an 8X magnification and a smaller 40mm objective lens.
- Durable, high-quality finish with sure-grip rubber coating
- UV protection to protect eyes against the suns harmful rays
- Wide-angle field of view for fast-moving subjects. Weight : 710 g. Length is 139 mm and Width (at maximum eye interval) is 182 mm
However, it offers a wider field of view than its larger counterpart and is ideal for nature lovers and birdwatchers.
The exterior has a tough rubber covering and can sustain a drop. With a weight of 710 grams, it is simple to carry.
The Olympus 8X40 has UV protection which protects the users eyes from harmful UV rays.
The downside is that the binocular has its eyes widely set which means it is not ideal for children.
Olympus 10×50 DPS1 Binoculars Review – 88%
The Olympus DPS 1 comes with a wide view design making it a good choice for bird watchers. This feature helps keep track of the bird’s movement.
A large 50mm aperture absorbs more light allowing the user to observe birds in a forest setting where there is low light.
This pair of binoculars has a strong and sturdy exterior and can be expected to last a long time. It also comes with a 25-year European warranty for peace of mind.
The centre knob makes it simple to adjust for focus and weighing less than a kilo it is easy to move with.
However, we also noticed that the lenses are not made with a high-quality coating and that they easily come off the product during use.
E-SHINE 10X50 High Powered Surveillance Binoculars – 86%
The binoculars come with a large objective lens with multi-layer coatings producing clear and bright images.
The exterior is constructed from both metal and ABS, making it durable and able to withstand the outdoors. It is also waterproof, allowing the user to view even in rainy weather.
However, the downside is that that the dust caps don’t seem to fit very well and the frame has a creaking sound when in use, which could potentially frighten off birds.
SGODDE Compact Folding High Powered Binoculars – 70%
The SGODDE offers a wide field of view at 362 feet for 1000 yards with a 10X magnification.
For birdwatchers this makes it possible observe birds during flight. Multi-coated lenses result in clear images.
The binocular can be adjusted for eye width allowing it to be used effectively by different people.
The exterior is coated with a durable rubber which also improves the grip making it less likely to drop the equipment. Weighing only 100 grams, it is simple to carry as well.
However, it comes with a small objective lens which doesn’t absorb a lot of light.