There are millions of options when it comes to purchasing binoculars. If you are looking for something to take on trips with you, the process can be daunting. Finding the best travel binoculars, though, does not have to be difficult. With a little research things will go smoother.
Travel binoculars can be a great advantage and a useful tool while on sightseeing trips. Tourist locations are often crowded, so having a good set of binoculars with you ensures you see all the detail without needing to be super close. They can also be very helpful on hikes and camping.
|First Choice||Tasco Essentials 12x 25mm Roof Prism Compact Binocular (Black)||$||4.2/5|
|Second Choice||Bushnell 138005 H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular||$||4.2/5|
|Third Choice||Hammers Mini Compact Small Auto Perma Focus Binocular||$||4/5|
|Fourth Choice||Outnowtech Ultra Compact Folding Binoculars||$||4.2/5|
Though the options are vast, the best travel binoculars are totally attainable. Simply following a few simple steps will ensure you end up with the perfect pair for you needs. Whether you are a world-traveler, a hiker, or a camper, the perfect pair of travel binoculars is out there for you.
How to choose the best travel binoculars:
One of the first steps in choosing the best travel binoculars is reading travel binocular reviews. The below list offers a near-comprehensive list of the best options. There is really an option for everyone, regardless of your own personal need and preferences.
Another step in choosing the best travel binocular is defining your own needs. For instance, if you are planning on using the binoculars primarily for outdoor adventures, you will need a slightly different pair than the European traveler. Your own needs play a key role in the decision.
Finally, make sure you have set your price restrictions prior to researching the best travel binoculars. Optics can get expensive very quickly with binoculars. Defining your budget and expectations is a key step. At the end of the day, you will come away with your perfect pair.
What to look for in good travel binoculars:
The first thing you should look for in good travel binoculars is a compact and lightweight build. When you are traveling, you do not want to add unnecessary weight to your bag. There are a number of lightweight options available so you do not need to skimp on your other necessities.
The second thing to look for in good travel binoculars is image quality. Though this may seem like a no-brainer when it comes to binoculars, travel binoculars in particular need this feature. If you are hiking or being a tourist, you want to make sure the sights you see are clear and accurate.
Finally, look for a pair of travel binoculars that are durably made. Travel takes a toll on your items, so you want a pair of binoculars that can stand up to the abuse of travel. It would be a shame if you opened your bag at your destination to find broken or damaged travel binoculars.
The USCAMEL Folding Pocket Binoculars Compact Travel Mini Telescope HD are a solid compact and lightweight option for travel binoculars. They can be compressed done to nearly the size of a deck of playing cards and they weigh under ten ounces. They barely take any space.
The focusing function on these binoculars is a nice feature as well. While they are not the strongest magnification at only 8x, the focus is extremely easy to use and precise. The focus knob is sensitive, but not overly so, which allows for small adjustments to focus on the go.
The image quality is also nice and crisp. If you are not looking for huge levels of magnification, these will provide a very clear image at their level. When combined with the easy focusing knob, the image quality is quite nice, despite the lower price tag on these travel binoculars.
Though they have some strong attributes, the USCAMEL Folding Pocket Binoculars do have some disadvantages too. For instance, the design of the neck strap attachments places them directly in the users face. While you can adjust them, it is an annoyance.
Because these binoculars are so small, the image is not very stable either. If you move or twitch your hand slightly, the image will reflect that. For some people, this shaking movement could lead to headaches with extended use.
Ultimately, despite some drawbacks, the USCAMEL Folding Pocket Binoculars Compact Travel Mini Telescope HD offer a good option for compact travel binoculars. Their light weight, compact size, and clear image quality make them a valuable buy.
If you would like to take one step up in the price scale, the Nikon 7278 Travelite VI Binoculars are an excellent choice for travel binoculars. They have multi-coated prism optics which offers the best light transmission possible. This means these work well in lower light environments.
Though they are a bit larger than the previous pair, they actually weigh a bit less at only eight ounces. This makes them extremely portable for all your travels. These binoculars also come with a small carrying case which can be attached to the outside of a backpack.
The image quality and field of view are both very good for travel binoculars. As mentioned above, the type of optics used in these binoculars allows for good image quality even in low light conditions. The image quality is also very clear up close, which is helpful for wildlife.
One downside to the Nikon 7278 Travelite VI Binoculars is that they are not even water resistant. If you plan on using them outside and get caught in the rain, these will likely get ruined. The moisture will distort the optical quality.
These binoculars also do not include very much eye relief for people who wear glasses. Eye relief is a helpful feature which allows users to adjust the rubber eye pieces to change how close your eyes are to the lenses. For people who wear glasses, these may not be comfortable.
Despite the couple downsides, the Nikon 7278 Travelite VI Binoculars are still an excellent choice for compact travel binoculars. The image quality in all light settings combined with the light weight make for a great purchase decision. These will suit you well in your travels.
If you are looking for something on the very inexpensive end of the spectrum, the Hammers Mini Compact Small Auto Perma Focus Binoculars are another good option. The auto focus feature on these binoculars also takes some of the finicky adjustments out of the equation.
Despite their low price tag, these binoculars are pretty durably made. Even during the bumps and shakes of traveling, these binoculars will hold up well to the abuse. They have a rubber coated body which gives them an added layer of shock absorption incorporated into the design.
The auto focusing function actually works very well as well. Some models struggle to stay in focus with auto focus, but these work very well. Impressively, they even work well transitioning from far objects to close ones. For hikers, this can be helpful for watching wildlife too.
Even though the auto focus works pretty well, the image quality produced does leave a bit to be desired. Though the light transmission and colors are both fairly good on these binoculars, the edges of the image appear blurry. This does certainly impact the image quality.
The eye relief on these binoculars is also severely lacking. These binoculars do not have rubber eye cups at all, so there is no adjusting them. Without this feature, these binoculars will not be comfortable for people with glasses. It might not even be comfortable for anyone long term.
Despite the couple setbacks, the Hammers Mini Compact Small Auto Perma Focus Binoculars are a good buy. At the low price point, these binoculars pose little fuss to use with a durable build. They will survive all your travel excursions well over time.
If you are an outdoor adventurer, the OutNowTech Ultra Compact Folding Binoculars are the way to go. They are still compact and lightweight, but they are made to be a more durable. These are also the smallest pair amongst the other options already listed above.
One especially nice feature of these binoculars is the fact that they are waterproof. This means you can take them anywhere with you without worrying about damaging them in wet weather. If you are planning a trip to a tropical location, these binoculars can handle the humidity.
These binoculars also have rubber grips that help ensure you do not drop these binoculars due to accidental slip. Additionally, the rubberized body can take a good amount of abuse from bumps and drops. This protects them no matter what you encounter.
One significant design flaw of these binoculars is the incorporated neck strap. The strap itself is thin, so it bites into your neck over time. While this could ordinarily be remedied, the strap on these binoculars is integral to the design so there is no way to remove it.
Another downside to these binoculars is that the adjustable distance between the two eye pieces does not stay in position easily. The hinge in the middle is a bit loose, so they tend to fall out of adjustment easily. This can be an annoyance if you want to pick them up and go.
At the end of the day, however, the OutNowTech Ultra Compact Folding Binoculars are still an excellent option for travel binoculars. Even though they have a couple design flaws, they are durable and overall user-friendly. They are a good addition to your packing list.
If you have the allotted budget for a bit more money, the BNISE Asika 10×42 HD Binoculars are a fantastic choice. They have a more powerful magnification and field of view power than any other option thus far. However, they retain their lightweight status along with it.
The image quality of these binoculars is really quite superb as well. These binoculars use Bak-4 prisms and multi-coated optics for crisp images with good light transmission. Not only does this make them work well in low light conditions, but the colors are also true to life.
The eye relief on these binoculars is also very strong. They have adjustable rubber eye cups so you can change the level of relief based on your needs. Additionally, the eye cups stay adjusted to the level you choose rather than unrolling over time.
One of the main issues with these binoculars is their size. With the most powerful optics, comes extra weight and size. Weighing in at 1.87 pounds, you will certainly noticethese hanging around your neck or in your bag. This can be a major deterrent for some users.
Another potential downside is that the included strap for these binoculars does not actually attach to the binoculars themselves. Instead, the strap attaches to the case. This means that you cannot carry them around your neck sans case, making it difficult to access them quickly.
All things considered, the drawbacks of the BNISE Asika 10×42 HD Binoculars are nothing that decreases their appeal too much. Overall, these binoculars offer excellent image quality for all users, glasses or not. They will not disappoint as travel binoculars.
The Bushnell 138005 H20 Waterproof/Fogproof Compact Roof Prism Binoculars are another great option for your next traveling adventure. The fogproofing is an especially nice feature as it protects the optics from humidity as well as rain directly. These can go to any environment.
Despite the fact that roof prisms are considered on the poorer end of optical quality, the image produced by these binoculars is very crisp and color-accurate. For travelers, the color accuracy can be a great asset, especially if you are in nature and looking out for birds and animals.
These binoculars are also nice and durable. Partly owing to the water and fogproofing and partly due to the rubber armored body, these binoculars can take the abuse of travel in any setting. At a lower price point, these binoculars will last through many trips over time.
The eye relief does leave a bit to be desired on these binoculars, however. While they technically have adjustable rubber eye cups, they do not adjust very far. This gives a limited amount of customizability for people who wear glasses and even those who do not.
Another potential downside is that these binoculars do not hold up to being submerged in water. While they can deal with rain, fog, and humidity well, submersion poses a problem. It is likely a good idea to avoid situations where they may get dropped in water.
Despite a couple issues, the Bushnell 13005 H20 Waterproof/Fogproof Compact Roof Prism Binoculars are still an excellent choice for travel binoculars. The waterproofing against rain and the clear image quality are both excellent features to have for your next adventure.
The MAOZUA 10×25 Adjustable Telescope Mini Folding Lightweight Binoculars are another good option for lower priced options. Similar to the previous option, these binoculars are also water resistant so they can withstand humid climates and rainy conditions.
One especially nice feature of these binocular is the focusing ability. They use a large central focusing knob which allows for easy adjustments while not being overly sensitive. They also incorporate a dioptric correction which automatically adjusts to each individual’s eyesight.
Another nice feature of these binoculars is the anti-glare coating on the lenses. If you are out in the sun, the coating helps to keep the image quality crisp, bright, and clear. Unlike some other options, however, the coating does not add any noticeable color overview.
Though they have good features, these binoculars do have some noticeable setbacks. One such downside is the weight. At over a pound in weight, these binoculars will definitely be noticeable hanging around your neck. Plus, they add some weight to your pack.
The lens caps also pose a bit of a quality issue. While the rest of the binocular build is pretty durable, the lens caps are constructed from cheaper plastic which can lead to them breaking. Additionally, the screws holding the lens caps in place wear down over time.
Even though they are not perfect, the MAOZUA 10×25 Adjustable Telescope Mini Folding Lightweight Binoculars are still a solid choice for travel binoculars. With the easy focusing ability and anti-glare coating, these will work well for many users.
If you are looking to go with something especially low budget, the Tasco Essentials Binoculars are a good standard option for travel binoculars. They also have a durable rubber armored body build to keep them safe during your travels. You will not need to worry about damaging these.
The image quality of these binoculars is very good for the low price tag as well. They produce clear and bright images that are true to color at most distances. Additionally, these binoculars fare well in lower light conditions. If you are camping and want to stargaze, these will work.
These binoculars are also very compact in size. Out of all the options discussed, these binoculars are also the lightest weight at only 6.5 ounces. This means you will hardly notice them hanging around your neck or tucked away into a pack.
The focus knob does take quite a bit of fiddling to adjust, however. While the image quality is good, you will likely spend some annoying time messing with the focus while you use them. This can be especially difficult if you are trying to focus on a moving target.
Another downside is that the binoculars cannot be adjusted very widely. While some people may not find this a difficult aspect, others will have trouble viewing comfortably. They do adjust slightly, but not nearly as far as other options available. Keep this in mind when purchasing.
Although they have some issues, the Tasco Essentials Binoculars offer a great low-cost option for travel binoculars. The compact size and solid image quality make these worth the price. If you are looking for something lightweight and good quality, these will serve nicely.
The BARSKA Lucid View Compact Binoculars offer a great super low-cost option for travel binoculars. Also, the binoculars have fully coated optics for a bright image quality. They are very compact, easily folded down to be carried in your jacket pocket even.
In addition to being very compact when folded down, these binoculars are also quite lightweight. These two features combined make the binoculars appealing to travelers especially. You can easily slip them in your pocket for just in case you need them and not worry about the weight.
The low light image quality is also a nice feature. Though they use very low-cost optical materials, the images produced in low light environments is actually quite good. If you plan on doing any sightseeing in the evening or in ill-lit areas, these will work well for you.
Unfortunately, it is not all good news for these binoculars. The image has a fair amount of optical aberration around the edges. If you focus on the center of the image, the quality is decent, but the edges have some significantly noticeable distortion.
It can also be rather difficult to focus both sides simultaneously. In addition, when one side goes out of focus, it is near impossible to bring them back into line with each other. For the price, you may be less frustrated by simply purchasing a new pair instead.
Ultimately, though they are not perfect, the BARSKA Lucid View Compact Binoculars are still a good value for your money. They are especially nice and compact with a good low light image quality. Despite the issues, these are a good choice for cheap travel binoculars.
The Merytes 10×25 Portable High Definition and Blue Film Binoculars are another good option for travel binoculars. They are very lightweight at only 4.8 ounces – the lightest on the list – and they are very compact. They are close to the size of a deck of playing cards like other options.
One especially nice feature that sets these binoculars apart from the competition is that they are made from an aluminum alloy rather than plastic. This makes them a bit more durable and rugged than previous options. Additionally, this material is lightweight by nature.
Another nice feature is the focusing wheel on these binoculars. It is coated in rubber, preventing slips and focus overshooting. It allows users to make precise focusing adjustments and limit the fiddly nature of many focusing knobs. You will be able to focus quickly and accurately.
The field of view on these binoculars does leave something to be desired, however, in that it is very narrow. This is an unfortunate effect of the small, compact body style of the binoculars. For what they are, they do work well, but the field of view is a bit limiting.
Another downside is that, when used with the provided strap, these binoculars do not lay flat against your chest. Instead, they rest perpendicularly, which creates an awkward bounce. For trips with lots of walking, this can get uncomfortable rather quickly.
Ultimately, despite the setbacks, the Merytes 10×25 Portable High Definition and Blue Film Binoculars are still a good, solid choice for travel binoculars. The durable, lightweight body style makes them especially appealing for travelers intending to walk around a lot.
Conclusion and verdict:
Given the number of options on the market, finding a pair of good travel binoculars can be a bit of a chore. Reading the best travel binocular reviews above, however, provides you with a jump start on the process. With a little time, you will find your perfect pair.
Binoculars for travel need to be durable and preferably lightweight. While these two needs are universal, there are also other features which may appeal more to some users than to others. Assessing your own individual needs helps to ensure you end up with the best possible option.
At the end of the day, there is no reason searching for the best travel binoculars needs to be a headache. With a little research and some self-assessment, the decision becomes much simpler. There are many great options out there; it is just a matter of finding your perfect ones.