Some binocular models can end up costing you an arm and leg — but not all. We’re here to help you find the best binoculars under 100 dollars without compromising on quality.

In this article, I’ll ease you into the world of binoculars and explain in layman’s terms exactly what is meant by all that technical jargon, so you can find the best binoculars under $100 for your household.

There are tons of options for binoculars, and sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming. The point of this article is to go through all the pros and cons of the best binoculars for under 100 dollars, so you can find the ideal pair.

The best binoculars for you will depend on what you want to do with them – no matter if you’re looking for the best compact binoculars under 100 dollars or the best birding binoculars under 100 dollars, read on to find the best option for you.

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Best Binoculars under 100_ FAQs Reviews and Recommendations
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Our Pick for the Best Binoculars Under 100 Dollars

Our pick for the best rated binoculars under $100 has to be the Nikon Trailblazer ATB!

These slimline and super lightweight roof prism binoculars have 10x magnification and a field of view of 342 feet, making them a great all round pair of binoculars.

See the Nikon Trailblazer ATB binoculars on Amazon

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Comparison Chart

Here’s a quick comparison of all the best binoculars for under $100 or cheaper reviewed in this article.  It highlights key features of each pair of binoculars and key benefits of each product listed.

If you are reading this on a mobile device, you might need to swipe to scroll across.

NameImageStrengthRatingPrice
Nikon Trailblazer ATBq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B000K608IS&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=travelcollect 20&language=en USir?t=travelcollect 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B000K608IS10 x 254.7CHECK NOW
Celestron Outland X q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B004KLAW30&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=travelcollect 20&language=en USir?t=travelcollect 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B004KLAW3010 x 254.5CHECK NOW
Vortex Vanquishq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00SNFCW3M&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=travelcollect 20&language=en USir?t=travelcollect 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B00SNFCW3M10 x 264.8CHECK NOW
Noptixq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07HJFSRZB&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=travelcollect 20&language=en USir?t=travelcollect 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B07HJFSRZB10 x 424.4CHECK NOW
Gosky Roof Prism q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B072QWD8GB&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=travelcollect 20&language=en USir?t=travelcollect 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B072QWD8GB10 x 424.5CHECK NOW
POLDRq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07Q4NMDH1&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=travelcollect 20&language=en USir?t=travelcollect 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B07Q4NMDH1 10 x 424.4CHECK NOW
Levenhuk Karma PROq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B0107SMYEE&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=travelcollect 20&language=en USir?t=travelcollect 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B0107SMYEE8 x 324.3CHECK NOW
Occer Compact q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B0756BXDTX&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=travelcollect 20&language=en USir?t=travelcollect 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B0756BXDTX12 x 254.4CHECK NOW
Celestron UpClose G2q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B006ZN4SDG&Format= SL110 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=travelcollect 20&language=en USir?t=travelcollect 20&language=en US&l=li1&o=1&a=B006ZN4SDG10 x 254CHECK NOW

Budget Binoculars Buying Guide

Use my binoculars buying guide to help you understand the technical jargon and find the best binoculars for $100 or less.

Porro & Roof Prisms

There are two main types of binoculars — porro prism and roof prism. No matter which you decide on, we’ll find you the top binoculars under 100 dollars.

Porro Prisms

Porro prism binoculars were invented in the 19th century but they are still mass-produced to this day. They have a zigzag shaped design which is down to how the light travels inside the chassis and reaches your eye. The shape typically makes porros bulkier and heavier than the alternative roof prism design.

However, porro prisms usually give you a clearer image and wider field of vision than roof prisms. Porro prisms are also the simplest binoculars to make, and therefore, they are generally the cheapest.

Roof Prisms

Roof prisms are usually the more expensive binoculars variety because of their more modern design — the light doesn’t have to travel in a zigzag shape like porros and this makes them more streamlined and lighter. But, the technology is also more complicated, making them pricier — but don’t worry, we’ve found you some absolutely cracking deals on roof prism binoculars that don’t sacrifice on quality. 

Magnification and lens size

Binocular magnification is listed using a set of numbers. For example, 7×35. The first number refers to the strength or magnification — how much closer the object will appear than when you look at it without binoculars. 

The second number refers to the size of the objective lens (lens closest to the object) in millimeters. This will affect how much light can enter then lens — binoculars with a bigger objective lens will let more light in, and therefore give you a brighter image. A bigger lens does mean the binoculars will need to be a bit bulkier though, so if you need compact binoculars, look for those with smaller objective lenses.

Exit pupil

When binoculars mention exit pupil, they’re talking about the size of the ring of light that can be seen when looking at the binoculars from a short distance away. If you want to get precise, you can calculate the exit pupil size by dividing the objective lens size by the magnification of the binoculars. For example, a pair of 7×35 binoculars would have an exit pupil size of 5mm. 

You should aim for the exit pupil size to be around the same size as your pupil when looking through the lens. Remember that when we are in dim light our pupils expand and vice versa. Therefore, you should first determine what the light conditions are likely to be when you’re using your binoculars. If you want to use binoculars in low light, look for a pair with a 5-7mm exit pupil size. 

Field of view

Field of view is usually listed in feet. It’s referring to how wide the visible space is when looking through the binoculars. For example, if two people are exactly lined up with the outer edge of your binoculars’ lens, and they are stood 300 feet apart — the field of view would be 300 feet. Typically, binoculars with a greater degree of magnification will give you a smaller field of view and vice versa. A good field of view for bird watching around 350 feet and up.

Material & build quality

You’ll find that most binoculars use aluminum for their chassis, but a few use other materials such as a magnesium alloy or even carbon fiber. The chassis is then coated with silicon or gutta percha. The lenses and prisms are made from glass and this should be coated with an anti reflective material — the best binoculars will use multiple layers of coating.

Types of Binoculars

Usually, binoculars are designed with a particular activity in mind — read on to learn which type you need.

Night vision binoculars

You’ll need night vision binoculars if you often get up to activities after the sun has set — for example, when night fishing, night hunting, security purposes, nighttime wildlife watching, night hiking, and more. Night vision binoculars work because objects, including the ground, buildings, trees, animals, and humans, give off heat in the form of infrared light. Night vision binoculars convert this infrared light into a viewable image on their screen, allowing you to see what would usually be invisible to us.

Compact binoculars

If you don’t want to lug around heavy, bulky binoculars, look for a compact pair. Smaller binoculars are also great for children, since kids may struggle to comfortably hold larger, heavier pairs. Roof prism binoculars are generally smaller and lighter than porro prisms.

Hiking binoculars

When you go hiking, conserving space and limiting weight are big concerns. You’ll definitely want to pick up a more compact pair of binoculars. Look for a pair with a magnification of 8 or 10 and an objective lens of 28 mm or less (8×25, 10×25, 8×28, and 10×28 are some good choices). Make sure the binoculars are waterproof. It’s also a good idea to get a pair with a rubber coating, since this will make them more durable.

Birding binoculars

Most birders prefer binoculars with a 7 to 10 power magnification. These will have a wide enough field of view to locate and track birds in flight as well as give a bright image, which makes locating the birds easier. 

Best Binoculars Under $100 Reviews

Read my in depth reviews and find the best binoculars for 100 dollars or less that fit your particular needs.

What are the best compact binoculars under 100 dollars?

Nikon Trailblazer ATB

These Nikon roof prisms are super slimline and lightweight.

The magnification is 10x and the field of view 342 feet, making them suitable for a range of activities. They use a rubber armor exterior so you can always grip them whether they are wet or dry – they are of course waterproof and this also makes them super durable too. 

The lenses and prisms are made with eco friendly glass and are free of environmentally damaging lead and arsenic. The lenses are multi coated to ensure no glare and to allow for the maximum possible transmission of light, aka you get a bright and clear image.

If you wear glasses, no problem – these binoculars have long eye relief, and you can turn and slide the eyecups to allow for comfortable use. They are perfect for bird watching, hiking, sports spectating, and tons more – definitely a contender for the best compact binoculars under $100.

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Pros

  • Small and lightweight
  • Multifunctional
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with extras like a neck strap

Read additional reviews for the Nikon Trailblazer ATB binoculars HERE


Celestron Outland X

We just had to consider these Celestron roof prisms as a contender for the best small binoculars under 100 dollars.

They have a 10x magnification strength and 330 foot field of view — this is a tad short for avid birders, but they can still be used for this purpose. They’re super compact, lightweight, waterproof, fog proof, and have a rubber armor to protect against drops and harsh conditions — perfect for hiking.

These binoculars give a fantastic image – high color fidelity, bright, clear, and well contrasted. If you wear glasses, you can twist up the eyecups to still get comfortable use out of them. Along with the binoculars, you’ll get a carrying case, cleaning cloth, and neck strap.

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Pros

  • Small and lightweight
  • Waterproof and rugged – great for hiking
  • Amazing image

Cons

  • Field of view a bit short of ideal for birdwatching – 330 feet

Read additional reviews for the Celestron Outland X binoculars HERE


What are the best birding binoculars for under 100 dollars?

So, you’re interested in becoming a bird watcher? Read our reviews of some of the best bird watching binoculars under $100 to find your ideal pair. 

Vortex Vanquish 10×26

OK, this was hard to call, but the best bird watching binoculars under $100? We think these are it. These porro prism Vortex Vanquishes weigh in at less than a pound (12.07 oz), meaning it’s no bother carrying them around in your pack or handing off to small children to use. The field of view is 294 feet – great for spotting birds and tracking them during flight. 

The multi-coated optics provide a really fantastic image that is plenty bright enough. The coating also prevents glare and protects from dirt, oil, and scratches. Glasses wearers should have no problems with these since you can twist the eyecups up or down to allow for comfortable use. 

They are 100% water and fog proof, so use in all weathers. They also use a rubber covering, which works to prevent damage from bumps and knocks, as well as giving a grippy surface to hold whether it’s wet or dry. Rubber covering provides a secure and comfortable grip. Along with the binoculars, you’ll get rainguard eyepiece covers, a neck strap, and a carrying case. Plus, your purchase is covered by a Vortex lifetime warranty. These could be the best birding binoculars under $100 for you and your family.

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Pros

  • Super small and lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Clear and bright image
  • Wide field of view

Cons

  • None to think of!

Read additional reviews for the Vortex Vanquish 10×26 binoculars HERE


Noptix 10×42

These lightweight Noptix roof prisms are designed especially for birding. They have a 10x zoom which lets you get up close and personal with the birds and wildlife. The field of view is 293 feet — some might consider this to be a bit short of ideal, but as long as you are not wanting to constantly track birds in flight, these will work fine and allow you to see greater detail in stationary birds.

A big plus of these binoculars is that they come with a smartphone adaptor. It’s compatible with pretty much all smartphones that are a typical size. Take pictures of whatever it is that piques your interest and get super zoomed in photos without needing to purchase an expensive camera and lens. They also give you a mini tripod too so you can ensure perfectly stable viewing and photo taking. They’re also completely waterproof, so take them along in all weathers. If you’re a strong birder, consider these — definitely one of the best binoculars for birding under 100 dollars.

These binoculars come packed with high definition lenses that are multi coated to ensure maximum light transmission. The image really is fab looking through these. They’re also easy to hold steady, despite their fairly strong magnification. The eyecups can be twisted up or down, depending on if you wear glasses.

They are designed with birding in mind but can also be used for other purposes too — sporting, hunting, hiking, and tons more. Along with the binoculars, you’ll get lens caps, a carrying case, cleaning cloth, and a manual. If you’re looking for the best binoculars for bird watching under 100 dollars, you’d be silly not to consider these.

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Pros

  • Small and lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Comes with smartphone adaptor and mini tripod
  • Amazing image

Cons

  • Field of view a bit short, but the superior image and magnification may suit you better

Read additional reviews for the Noptix 10×42 binoculars HERE


What are the best 10×42 binoculars under $100?

Summary of 10×42:

  • Magnification is 10 times closer
  • Lens size is 42 mm >> lets in light, but bulkier (less bulky than 50)
  • Exit pupil is 4.2

Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism Binoculars

This pair of Gosky roof prisms have satisfied thousands of purchasers – just check out the reviews on Amazon.  They have a 10x zoom, making them a great choice for close up observation of wildlife or whatever it is that you need to see in detail.  They have a 307 foot field of view which is plenty enough for pretty much all purposes, and the image is superb — really crisp, bright, and well contrasted.

They use a durable rubber armor to protect against any accidental damage from drops and knocks.  This also provides a super grippy surface when dry or even during wet conditions — they’re also water and fog proof.

A big plus of these binoculars is that they come with a smartphone mount — hook up your iPhone 11, 11 Pro, Xs, X, 8p, 8, 7p, 7, 6, 6p, Samsung S10/S10p, S9/S9p, S8/S8 Edge, S6/S6 Edge, Note, LG, HTC, Sony, and others.

Along with these amazing binoculars, you’ll get a carrying case, lens covers, cleaning cloth, and neck strap. On top of all that, you get a lifetime warranty and technical support thrown in.

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Pros

  • Small and lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Comes with smartphone adaptor 
  • Superb image

Cons

  • None!

Read additional reviews for the Gosky 10×42 Roof Prism binoculars HERE


POLDR 10×42

POLDR’s binoculars are roof prisms with a 10x zoom. The field of view is 305 feet – making them wide enough for most purposes. The view through these is really fab – bright, high contrast, and defined. 

Along with the binoculars, you’ll get a carrying case and neck strap. Plus, you’ll get that all important smartphone adaptor – it’s compatible with the iPhone x, 8/8plus, 7/7plus 6 6S, Huawei, Samsung Galaxy S6, S6, S7, S8, S8 Plus, S9, Note, LG, htc, Sony, and more. 

The binoculars are completely waterproof and the lenses are designed to minimize interference from water droplets. 

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Pros

  • Small and lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Comes with smartphone adaptor 
  • Really nice image

Cons

  • None to think of!

Read additional reviews for the POLDR 10×42 binoculars HERE


What are the best waterproof binoculars under 100 dollars?

Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof

These are some super slender roof prisms with a 10x magnification. Nikon’s binoculars are completely waterproof — they are filled with nitrogen and use O-ring technology to ensure no water can enter the chassis. The exterior uses a rubber armor, which provides great grip whether you are using wet or dry. 

Both the lenses and prisms of these binoculars use eco friendly materials that don’t include arsenic or lead. T he lenses are multi coated to ensure maximum light transmission so you get a lovely, bright image. The field of view on these is 342 feet which is plenty enough for most activities.

Wear glasses? No problem — just turn and slide the rubber eyecups, and enjoy the long eye relief, so you can view in complete comfort.

These binoculars will serve you well for bird watching, travel, sports spectating, or pretty much any other outdoor activity.

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Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Small and lightweight
  • Wear glasses, no problem!

Cons

  • None

Read additional reviews for the Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof binoculars HERE


Levenhuk Karma PRO 8×32

Levenhuk has come through with some amazing binoculars.

The 8x magnification and 388 foot field of view means you can see both far and wide. They are designed to be all weather, compact binoculars to be used by both professional users and novices.  

The optics use multiple layers of a high quality coating which reduces glare and ensures a bright image. If you’re prone to accidents, or will be handing these binoculars off to children, no problem, since they have a reliable rubber armor to prevent damage being caused. They’re waterproof and use a rubber exterior armor to protect against accidental damage.

Along with the pair of binoculars, you’ll get a neck strap, cleaning wipe, and storage pouch. Plus, your purchase comes with a lifetime warranty, so you should have no reservations with this product.

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Pros

  • Small and lightweight
  • 100% water and fog proof
  • Comes with neck strap, pouch, and lifetime warranty

Cons

  • None

Read additional reviews for the Levenhuk Karma PRO 8×32 binoculars HERE


What are the best hiking binoculars under 100 dollars?

Nikon Trailblazer ATB

These binoculars aren’t labeled “Trailblazer” for no reason – they are designed especially for hiking.

They have a super lightweight design — perfect for those who wish to preserve space and weight in their pack.  They also prioritize durability and ruggedness.  They have a protective rubber exterior armor, which shields against damage caused by accidental drops or knocks whilst hiking.

Eco warriors can rest easy since these binoculars do not use eco damaging arsenic or lead. In addition, the lenses are multi coated with an anti reflective coating which prevents glare and maximizes light transmission – you get a super bright image.  Caught in a rainstorm?  No problem.  Nikon’s binoculars are 100% water and fog proof.

Whether you wear glasses or not, these binoculars are for you.   You can twist the eyecups up or down depending on if you are an eyeglass wearer.  

These binoculars are absolutely perfect for hiking but can also be used for other activities, such as bird watching, sports spectating, or a multitude of other activities.

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Pros

  • Small and lightweight
  • 100% water and fog proof
  • Durable – great for hiking

Cons

  • None to think of!

Read additional reviews for the Nikon Trailblazer ATB binoculars HERE


Celestron Up Close G2

OK, if you’re looking for the best 8×42 binoculars under 200 dollars, which are also waterproof, then you’d be silly not to consider these. These binoculars have a rubber-coated exterior which protects against the elements whilst also providing a shock resistant armor.

The optics are multicoated, ensuring optimal brightness, clarity, and high contrast, even in low light conditions.

Pros

  • 100% water and fog proof — take them hiking with no reservations
  • Rugged – these binoculars will withstand any adventurous lifestyle

Cons

  • We’re not sure of the exact field of view, but some claim it’s a bit narrow
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Read additional reviews for the Celestron Up Close G2 binoculars HERE


What are the best travel binoculars under 100 dollars? 

Occer 12×25 Compact

These binoculars have been making users happy all across the board – hikers, bird watchers, and pretty much all observation enthusiasts have been enjoying these binoculars.

They have a 12x magnification which means you can get super up close and personal with the action. These binoculars don’t make a big compromise on field of view either — you can see a span of 273 feet.

If you’re a glasses wearer, no problem, you can just twist the eyecups and enjoy comfortable viewing. They also enjoy a higher than average degree of light transmission, which translates to a bright image.

These binoculars are designed with hiking in mind, but they are also suitable for so many other activities – bird watching, sports spectating, and other activities. Along with the binoculars, you’re going to get a neck strap, and carrying case.  

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Pros

  • 12x magnification — get up close and personal to the action
  • 100% water and fog proof — take them hiking with no reservations
  • Comes with neck strap

Cons

  • Field of view 273 feet — bit short of ideal for birdwatching, but this is made up for with the magnification

Read additional reviews for the Occer 12×25 Compact binoculars HERE


Celestron Up Close G2

These binoculars by Celestron are fully water resistant.  They use a rubber coating on top of their aluminum body – they are best protected from the elements and accidental drops and knocks.  Plus, even if it’s rainy you can comfortably grip them due to their rubber coating.

The optics on these binoculars are multi coated – you get the brightest possible image with maximum contrast and clarity.  The physical design strives to be ergonomic – there are thumb and finger indents which ensure the most comfortable, and slipless grip.

Pros

  • 10x magnification — get up close and personal to the action
  • 100% water and fog proof — take them hiking with no reservations
  • Comes with neck strap

Cons

  • None
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Read additional reviews for the Celestron Up Close G2 binoculars HERE


Which are the Best Binoculars Under $100 for You?

As always, we have only included the most highly rated products here.  If you’re searching for the best binoculars for less than $100, then you’re in the right place as we only list those awarded scores of between 4 and 5 stars (at the time of writing).  You can click on each link to read the latest reviews for each option.

The top binoculars for you will clearly vary according to what you need them for, but I aim for this guide to give you a helping hand, saving you time and money in making the right choice of binoculars at a budget price. 

Whatever you are looking at, have an amazing time!


Do you have any other binoculars under $100 that you highly recommend?  Join my private Facebook group National Parks Collectors and comment and let me know.

If you found this review helpful but are not quite ready to buy yet, Pin It so you can find it easily!

Best Binoculars under 100_ FAQs Reviews and Recommendations
Find the Best Cheap Binoculars_ With Detailed Reviews

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About the Reviewer

James Ian Yosemite

James Ian has traveled to 82 countries and all 7 continents.  He has visited all of the main national parks in the United States, as well as many national monuments and state parks.

He has rafted through the Grand Canyon; rappelled down slot canyons near Zion and Arches; hiked among the hoodoos in Bryce and the enormous trees in Sequoia; admired the waterfalls in Yosemite and the colored hot springs in Yellowstone; seen moose in Grand Tetons and seals in the Channel Islands, and much more.

Read more…


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