Best Budget Binoculars for Hunting and Birding – Reviews and Guide

By: Nootan Kumar

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Hunting and birding both are the most interesting hobbies. Nowadays, many people want to do that but they can’t, due to the expensive prices of tools. And, binoculars are one of the expensive tools for hunting or birding. Peoples they just started out or planning to do, they need some affordable solution, that’s why we are here with this guide.

But honestly, I also want to tell you the cheaper thing are not always good, especially in the case of binoculars. However, if you are not a professional, or just started out to do hunting or birding then this is really a good idea to go with budget binoculars.

In this, we will cover all the important factors that are most important before choosing the budget binoculars, and we will review some top-rated binoculars for hunting and birding. I hope if you read this whole article, you will be able to choose the best budget binoculars for hunting and birding, or at least will we aware of the important factors that are most important.

So, let’s get started.

Before moving on, it’s very important to know the downside of the cheap binoculars, because you will not want to be regretted.

Important: In order to learn the basic of binoculars you should check out the binoculars buyer’s guides.

Poor Optical Performance

Lens is the most expensive part of any binocular, so lens quality can dramatically decrease the price of any binocular. In cheap binoculars, the glass quality you may not find as good, manufacturers don’t use the special lens as ED lens and BAK-4 prism in the cheap binocular to reduce the cost. Moreover, their glass surfaces are not coated as well. Overall, the image quality becomes tarnish.

Average Durability

In terms of durability, the cheap binoculars are not much terrible. You might miss some features like fog-proofing and waterproofing, resulting you can’t use them if water vapor condenses on the lens. However, physically they are sufficient stronger, you don’t have to worry about too much. This is not a deal breaker factor.

Check out the best binoculars of 2018.

Other Features

In budget binoculars, you may not find rangefinder feature, which is used to calculate the distance of the object and enhance the hunting experience. Some high-quality binoculars also come with the compass, night vision, and other features, and usually cheap binoculars don’t have these. Check out some high-quality binoculars for hunting.

Ok, there are too many downsides of the cheap binoculars, should I don’t buy them? And which circumstances we should consider the budget binoculars?

I will never recommend these binoculars for a professional hunter or serious wildlife watcher. Purchasing the budget binoculars can be a great choice for you if you are:

New to Hunting or Birding: If you aren’t sure that you will be taking up hunting seriously as a passion, then it might not be necessary to invest in high-quality binoculars, It’s better to go with a budget binocular. If you find yourself serious with hunting then you might need to invest in something better. Moreover, if you don’t know how to use to effectively use a pair of binoculars for hunting. Therefore, even if you are using high-quality binoculars, I can say with confidence, it’s not going to be better than these cheap ones.

Buying for your kids: It’s a very good idea to gift a binocular for children, and for hunters, it’s been a culture to pass down the passion for outdoor sports to their children. A cheap pair of binoculars will be good enough for them to do the experiment and help them to start out.

Best Budget Binoculars for Hunting and Birding – Reviews

 1. Bushnell PowerView (Recommended Budget Binoculars)

Bushnell PowerView is one of the best budget binoculars for hunting and birding because it offers many features that check the most of the requirement boxes.

Why we love it the most? let’s find out.

First of all, this binocular comes with 10 x 50 power, means, it can zoom your object up to 10 times, and 50mm big lens is very good for image quality as well as for low light performance. Basically, the large objective lens allows more light to enter, resulting it produce the brighter and sharp image.

That’s being said as a cheap binocular, this has a fairly average optical performance, because of the average quality material used in manufacturing them. Moreover, there are BK-7 prisms used instead of the BAK-4, and they are not phase corrected. However, some glass surfaces are multi-coated, which is a good thing for budget binoculars.

When we talk about the FOV of these binoculars that is very high when considering as the budget binocular – the FOV is 341 feet at 1000 yards. Moreover, it comes with 10mm of sort eye relief, if you wear the spectacles then it might be uncomfortable to use (however it depends on individual preference). Weight is very low, only at 25 ounces.

If you are looking for the high magnification binocular with large FOV and lightweight then Bushnell PowerView is one of the best cheap binoculars for hunting and bird watching.

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 2. Carson Mossy Oak Caribou (Waterproof and Fog Proof)

In my opinion, Carson offers a wide range of beautiful binoculars, and their unique Mossy Oak design looks is my favorite, that impresses me. Along with well-designed, Carson Mossy Oak Caribou offers great features as well.

As a budget binocular, it comes under 100$ range. Moreover, you are getting ED lens and BAK-4 prism, and this high-quality material you’ll rarely find in any cheap binoculars. Some glasses surfaces are multicoated (fully multicoated is much better, however, in budget binocular, it is best). But the prism is not phase corrected, this might slightly pull down the image quality.

This Carson binocular is fully waterproof and fog proof, apart from that the inner part is filled with nitrogen-purged which prevent water vapor from condensing on the lens’s wall. For better gripping, the outer body is covered with the rubberized material, that also absorbs shocks.

There is the only downside that I found is, the FOV is considerably is low, it only allows 315 feet at 1000 yards. However, it is still one of the best cheap binoculars for hunting, that offer 10x magnification, ED lens, BAK-4 prism, waterproof and fog proof body.

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 3. Nikon ACULON A211 (Recommended for Bird Watching)

What are the features that make these binoculars different from other? There is eco-glass coated lenses are used in this binocular, which enhance the beauty of nature. It produces the high-quality images with some greenery enhancement. If you are a nature lover, then this binocular is just for you in the budget price range.

Like our previous binocular Carson Mossy Oak, it also has almost the same quality optical performance. It also equipped with a BAK-4 prism as well as the ED lens, so that ensure the great optical performance. Moreover, the outer glass surfaces are multicoated, resulting it produces high contrast in color, (especially the nature view is fantastic).

Additionally, the body is coated with rubber armor, so it is very convenient to hold even in wet condition. But as compare to the Carson Mossy Oak, there is a weak point – It is not fully waterproof and fog proof, so it might not suitable in a tropical climate (where there is high fluctuation in the temperature, that result in the water to evaporate and that vapor become condense on the lens).

In term of the field of view, this is far better than other – it allows to see 470 feet at 1000 yards, pretty impressive. I can say that you may rarely find a binocular in this price range that offers such a great field of view.

Overall, the Nikon 8256 ACULON A211 is the best budget binoculars for bird watching, that produce the high-quality image with great contrast, but it is slightly heavier. However, it is still an average weight, when we compare with the porro prism binoculars.

If you are looking for bird watching binocular in the cheap price range, I personally recommend this binocular.

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 4. Bushnell Falcon (Binoculars for Very Tight Budget)

If you are looking for the cheapest binoculars, then our next pick is just for you. I am talking about the Bushnell Falcon, that cost around 35$. However, the binoculars that we have discussed in this post are below 100$, but it is the cheapest of them. I also want to tell you, the 7x zoom might not suitable for those are looking for higher magnification power.

As the price is very low, then you can’t expect the high-quality lenses and prism as well. There is an average quality glasses are used in this binocular production, however, if you just need something minimal, then this binocular is not terrible.

Additionally, there is no fog proof and waterproof support is given. Honestly, in this price range, you might not even expect that.

One of its advantages is the wide field of view, that allows 420 feet at 1000 yards, moreover, it is the lightest binos in our list.

Overall, I would not recommend these binoculars until your budget is not very tight or you just need a minimal device that works.

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 5. Celestron SkyMaster (Most Powerful Budget Binoculars)

Celestron SkyMaster, according to its name, this binocular is specially designed for sky and stars viewing. Therefore, it has a great magnification power of 25x and comes with large 70mm of the object lens. It might be a considerable option for bird watcher and hunter in the most affordable price range.

There is an only obnoxious thing about these binoculars that I found, it is the heaviest binoculars in our list having weight with 4.39lbs, and if you choose the 15 x 70 version then it slightly decreases to 3.28lbs.

There is the only reason to list these binoculars in our list, some heavy peoples don’t think about this weight difference too much, they just want the high power as possible. And as you can see these binoculars offers the highest magnification power with the largest object lens in our list.

Behind the heavy body, there is another reason, the prism type – porro prism binoculars come with some high weight. Moreover, these binoculars provide the great low light performance and waterproof construction.

If you are comfortable with high weight binoculars, then the Celestron SkyMaster is the only one binocular that offer the 25x magnification and great low light performance. There is two version are available, another version comes with slightly low weight and 15 x magnification power, but surprisingly it is costly compared to the large version.

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Wrapping it up

If you have a low budget, I am sure one of the above will fit your needs. For example, Nikon Aculon is the great choice if you looking for around 100$, on the other hand, Bushnell Falcon is the cheapest bino that has the only price around 35$. If you have some high budget or you looking for something better? Then you should check out our best binoculars page. Where you can find all types of top rated binoculars for all purposes.

What do you think about these binoculars? Do they worth the price? Or if you have any question about these binoculars, let me know in the comment below, I will back to you shortly.

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