Buying Guide

Binoculars

Binoculars com in a variety of sizes and options and can feel daunting if you are just starting to shop.

Full Size

  • Typical specs are 8x42 or 10x50
  • Best for bird watching, on boats, and wildlife viewing
  • Capture more light and perform better in low-light situations
  • Steadier images
  • Heavy for backpacking

Mid Size

  • Typical specs are 7x35 or 10x32
  • Best all around choice for sport and wildlife use
  • Bit heavy for backpacking
  • Above average light transmission
  • Moderate size

Compact

  • Typical specs are 8x25 or 10x25
  • Good for outdoor daytime activities
  • Great for backpacking
  • Can be uncomfortable over extended periods of use

Well that's great but what do the numbers (specs) mean?

The specs are Magnification Power x Lens Diameter.

So, for example, 10x32 means that the object will appear 10 times closer to you than the naked eye. A moose at 200 yards will appear like it's at 20 yards (200 divide by 10). Anything with a magnification power higher than 10 will amplify your hand movements and may make steady viewing a difficulty. 

Lens diameter of our example is 32 millimeters. This determines how much light is let in. More light = brighter view, especially in low-light situations.

Coatings help reduce reflection and help ensure a clear and sharp image.