10 binoculars for hiking

If you love hiking, maybe you considering the acquisition of binoculars to explore the nature around you. This article offers a selection of ten binoculars I judge appropriate for this activity. If you want to know everything about choosing a pair of binoculars, I refer you to this article: choose binocular .

The hike is a very specific activity, there are several important factors to consider before purchasing binoculars: weight, compact size, image quality, price … An overview of the elements to consider, and compromise are required!

The weight

Unlike other activities, the weight of twins is very important here. The hiker care to choose the lightweight binoculars in order not to increase excessively backpack.

To choose a suitable weight, take into account the diameter of the eye: this is the second number displayed on most binoculars. For example, on 8×32 binoculars, the figure 8 corresponds to the magnification factor, and the numeral 32 refers to the lens diameter.

The hiker will have to ensure that this diameter is not too high, because the more, the more the binoculars are large, heavy. If your business requires any gram counts, I advise you to avoid exceeding 36 mm in diameter, 42 mm being the maximum.

The compactness and tightness

It is very important for the hiker to dispose of compact binoculars. More they are, the easier they are to store in a pocket or backpack. If you want to see the animals, the best is yet to bring your binoculars at the waist, to seize them quickly, before the object of your observation only saved! There are many twins that fold, thus taking the least possible space.

If you practice riding in the rain or snow, it becomes very important to choose waterproof binoculars. Know that the roof prism binoculars are usually tight time.

The optical performance

The powerful binoculars are quite costly. But it is better to have a large budget and to pay for good quality binoculars, than to buy cheap binoculars that will ultimately useless. The reference marks, guaranteeing an almost impeccable optical quality are Leica, Zeiss and Swarovski for the high end. By mid-range one can opt for Bushnell, Omegon or Nikon.

Your hiker’s profile

Choose binoculars hiking also depends on how to exercise this activity. If you practice walking in a rather soft, that is to say, long walks in nature, you can aquire in 10×42 binoculars, a little heavy (600 to 800 grams): they will offer you an undeniable observation comfort .

If your thing to you is the sports hiking (trekking, mountaineering …), then you will have to compromise between grip for comfort and weight of the instrument. So you opt for 8×32 binoculars or lower.

The price

There are as many different prices as binocular models. But the price of your binoculars will depend very much the quality of the optics; Indeed, the high technology used to develop high-quality glass is very expensive!

The cheap binoculars will have little interest for hikers, as they will be almost useless for the naturalistic observation, due to poor quality glasses.
Binoculars average range offered by Nikon or Canon ( less than 500 €) start to be interesting and have a quality / price quite good.

Beyond $500, quality binoculars is there. When you try Zeiss or Leica, you will soon understand the difference!

Do not lose sight of the binoculars you buy should accompany you throughout your life … A price you will find high initially will prove ultimately rather low if you calculate the price relative to the number of years of use. Most hikers retain the same binoculars decades is why we must make the right choice from the start.


ZEISS Binoculars Conquest 8×42 HD

This jewel embeds technology LotuTec , special treatment of glasses to prevent water from accumulating and anti scratch. The optical design is a marvel, Zeiss quality obliges.

However, attention to the weight of the binoculars about 800 grams, they are more suitable for people whose observation is the first activity, and the weight of the instrument is not part of the most important criteria.

More compact and a little lighter than the series of Zeiss Victory FL , this model is ideal for eyeglass wearers.

Note that these binoculars have a very wide field of view, and that color transmission is excellent. These binoculars are perfect for hiking, bird watching, hunting and traveling.

The price is about$ 1,000. More details here.


Leica Ultravid 8×32 HD Binoculars

With excellent optical quality, these ultra compact binoculars and flawless ergonomics will accompany you everywhere and will be forgotten when you are not using them: their weight 530 g is indeed a real asset to your walks. The perfect color reproduction at Leica is one of the points that make his notoriety.

Leica is a brand that has always managed to combine high technology and quality optics but with the series of “HD”, the bar has been raised even higher with more than 200 improvements over previous versions.

A major innovation is that the lenses of the binoculars are now equipped with a hydrophobic coating to easily get rid of water and dirt. This coating “AquaDura” is reminiscent technology “LotuTec” developed by Zeiss, which allows to use these binoculars comfortably in wet and dusty environments.

These special coatings are a real plus for easy cleaning glasses and remove fingerprints and other dirt.

The Leica Ultravid binoculars are equipped with a focusing system using Teflon discs, which makes the design very soft focus, even in extreme conditions, with temperatures down to -25 ° C! And this system is also very reliable at very hot temperatures.

These binoculars are perfect for hiking, travel and sport, and will suit wearing glasses.

Their price is about $ 1,300. More details here .


EL binoculars 8x 32 Swarovision

If you have a large budget and are looking for small binoculars offering incredible optical quality, look no further because these binoculars are probably for you .

Unlike many other manufacturers, Swarovski uses a magnesium-based alloy to design his binoculars. This results in light and strong binoculars, stronger and are generally better than most other binocular designed based on aluminum or polycarbonate.

Focus adjustment, located on a central scroll wheel is very gentle way: the control wheel allows for two complete turns. This provides a very specific focus, but it may take longer than other binocular models.

Located in the same place as the focus, the diopter adjustment is extremely well thought out. It will lock the setting so well stay up. In addition, an encrypted rule indicates the selected setting, so that in case of loan or otherwise, if your setting is changed, you can just easily restore previous settings.

The optics of these binoculars is using technology ” Swarovision ” which is a mixture of components and technologies that bring together what is best in this area.

The roof prism binoculars these give them a more refined, compact design. When light reflects on the glass roof prisms it diverges into two phase-shifted rays. From this follows a loss of contrast and a weakening of the resolution. But this defect is corrected through a phase correction method judiciously implemented by Swarovski.

The image reproduced by these binoculars is of unparalleled depth, and it seems that the high-contrast objects such as birds in the trees arise before you. And these beautiful pictures seem perfectly natural, without the shadow of an artificial shade.

Their fault: the price, but here we know why we pay!

Their price is about $1299. More details here .


Leica binoculars 8×20 BCA Trinovid

Featuring a featherweight 235 grams on the scale, these binoculars with excellent optical are ultracompact . If you are looking for binoculars with great finesse, very small and lightweight, this instrument should be OK.

To give you an idea of size, when folded, they could almost hide behind a credit card! They are ideal to be slipped into any pocket.

Like other manufacturers such as Swarovski, these binoculars contain no plastic part: their coating is designed based on magnesium, which gives them exceptional strength and lightness.

No matter the weather conditions of your comments: fully waterproof (waterproof up to 5 meters deep), they are also perfectly antifog (air inside the binoculars was replaced by nitrogen) .

A new system of mirrors on the roof prism of these binoculars allows, according Leica, to increase the light transmission of very significantly (99.5%), which increases the clarity of images.

In short, we have here the Leica quality has a price after all rather affordable. Whether hiking or traveling, this little wonder will accompany you everywhere.

Their price is about $450. More details here .


ZEISS Binoculars Victory Compact 8×20

Small, compact, robust, lightweight, these binoculars also impress with their optical performance. Folding, they will accompany you everywhere, with their weight of just 225 grams.

Like other brands, these binoculars are filled with nitrogen to prevent fogging seeps inside.

The optics of these binoculars give an image sharpness of the highest quality, especially in daylight. When darkness comes, they transmit less light than lenses with a diameter of 42 mm, but it is still very good.

The design of these binoculars is asymmetric: the system for the back is positioned toward the right, as the focus adjustment knob. This might seem odd, but in reality this asymmetrical system facilitates the focus adjustment with the right index finger.

Note that some people wearing glasses might experience some difficulty using the binoculars. I rather recommend to people not wearing glasses.

These binoculars are very popular with hikers and travel as Zeiss is a safe bet, they can not leave anyone indifferent. To try them is to adopt them.

Their price is about $ 635. More details here .


Swarovski CL 8×30 binoculars Traveler

With a design more attractive, these small binoculars signed Swarovski allow hikers demanding to benefit from optical blameless, combined with a very pleasant grip.

Their small size allow you to take them anywhere and make the most of your observations with a clear, high contrast and sharpness.

These binoculars for a very comfortable grip, even for small hands, who will find very easy to use. The chassis of these binoculars is made of a mixture of aluminum and polycarbonate, which allows to maintain a relatively low price. Many other models are made based on magnesium, a more robust and lightweight, but the manufacturing cost is higher.

These binoculars are fully waterproof up to 4 meters deep. They are also impervious to all dust, which can be very important if you observe in dusty environments.

Inside these binoculars is filled with nitrogen, which makes them completely impervious to any form of mist that could be deposited in a sudden temperature change. This also helps prevent corrosion or mold growth, which guarantees them a very long life.

These binoculars have a focus adjustment dial that rotates very smooth and precise. His judicious positioning allows to reach very easily.

The diopter adjustment is in the middle of this adjustment knob, as many other models.

Featuring 500 grams on the scale, these binoculars are rather small for 8×30. Their dimensions are perfect to fit in a pocket and will please those who dislike having a strap around the neck.

Note that these binoculars roof prism, a technology that surpasses the prisms Porro, with a high-performance optics.

The brightness of these binoculars is exceptional in environments where light is rather low, which is a very good point.

Chromatic aberration is minimized. It is possible to note a slight purplish fringe when observing the edge of objects and we tip his binoculars in the direction of the sun, but it’s not really problematic.

These binoculars are ideal for travel, safari or mountain climbing, because they are slightly smaller than their competitors, making it truly a model of choice.

Their price is about $ 1,000. More details here .


Celestron Binoculars 8×42 TRAILSEEKER

Newcomer in the world of binoculars, Celestron brand is highly recognized in the field of astronomy, with several ranges of telescopes whose optical quality is very efficient. We chose to talk about these twins because they are offered at a great price for high-quality optics.

Producing a quality instrument at low cost is a very difficult business, and it forces the manufacturer to compromise, which sometimes can be harmful to the overall quality of the product. We will see here, it is far from being the case.

It is quite surprising that these binoculars are made from magnesium, a material used in the rather high end. At this price, we expected rather a plastic chassis, but it is not so!

These binoculars are supposed to be perfectly tight, but there was no indication of the depth of water in which they are immersed. They will be quite useful in the rain, but do not try to plunge into a pool, you never know …

Another big advantage of these binoculars is that all the air inside was removed and replaced with nitrogen, which guarantees them a very long life. Indeed, the nitrogen gas prevents the formation of mold inside the binoculars.

Regarding weight, these binoculars are rather small compared to their competitors: only 655 grams. This makes it a very nice tool to use.

The optics of these binoculars obviously did not use the technology ED (Extra Low Dispersion), otherwise Celestron does not mind to talk about its technical specifications! This technology is very expensive, and it seems that it is on this that Celestron has decided to save money in order to offer a low-price product.

To summarize, we can say that Celestron has very strong designing twins having much in common with the high end while ensuring a relatively low price for binoculars of this quality.

These binoculars will prove ideal for safari and bird watching.

Their price is about $200. More details here .


Polaris Optics Spectator 8X32

Little known because relatively young, Polaris offers a wide range of optical products, ranging from the telescope to binoculars, through rangefinders and other telescopes. The strength of Polaris is that it is a brand that designs quality at the lowest possible prices.

The Polaris Optics Spectator is a serious competitor Bushnell binoculars employ the same technology, for a lower price. At the time of this writing, these binoculars are $70 instead of $470, which is a real deal.

Featuring technology ED , these binoculars offer an impeccable optical quality with a sharpness and striking contrast. Their weak point from the high end, the chassis is made of plastic, which gives them a slightly less robust appearance.

Weight of 690 grams is above average for this type of binoculars, which is a factor to consider before buying.

Versatile, these binoculars are perfectly usable in hiking, hunting and bird watching.

The price of these binoculars is $70. More details here .


Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10×42 Binoculars

These binoculars have known for some time a huge success. Lots of online articles in praise, and word of mouth force they have become a bestseller for observers of all stripes.

We have spoken at length on this article dedicated to the Bushnell brand , which I invite you to discover.

These binoculars feature technology ED , and their glasses feature the latest innovations in optical quality.

Without competing with the high end as Leica and Zeiss , these binoculars are a perfect compromise, however if you have a tight budget.

Their price is about $450, but often receive a substantial discount. More details here .


Binoculars Minox BL 10×44 HD

When we discover these binoculars for the first time, one is immediately surprised by the beauty of their design. And when taken in hand, we already feel that this is a high quality instrument.

It seems that these binoculars are made of polycarbonate (it is not mentioned in their specifications), which is a lightweight, but less robust than the high end, which employs aluminum or magnesium, very expensive materials.

Minox has opted for a less luxurious chassis , but this does not detract from the quality of optical performance. In addition, these binoculars are so well designed that it would be difficult to tell the difference between polycarbonate or aluminum.

Completely sealed, these binoculars are up to 5 meters deep. This sealing is not beneficial only for water but also for all other types of particles such as dust, which can not enter, so these binoculars are sealed.

Like many other competitors, these binoculars are filled with nitrogen to protect 100% of mold or condensation could be housed inside. Everything inside the binoculars is perfectly protected, giving them an exceptional life.

The picture provided by these binoculars is very bright, excellent color rendering and contrast very good. This quality is due to the objectives of 44 mm that are above average.

The downside is that these binoculars can be a bit heavy with 740 grams them. These binoculars are particularly efficient for birdwatching.

Their price is about $450.