8 Best Lightweight Binoculars for Travel in 2021
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Everyone loves traveling, and chances are you do too. You might be looking for the best lightweight binoculars for travelto look at birds or anything eye-catching that is far away.
To help you find the best ones, we have compiled a list of binoculars that come with BAK-4 prism lenses, multi-coated optics and are waterproof, fog-proof, shock resistant, and durable. So if you want to find the best binoculars that you can carry with you during trips, be sure to stick with us till the end of the article!
8 Best Lightweight Binoculars for Travel
We have scoured through different websites and market places to find only the best of the best travel binoculars. Here is an in-depth review of our top 8 picks.
1. Waterproof Binoculars by BARSKA
• Waterproof and fog proof
• Uses BAK-4 prism lens
• Non-slip rubber design
Starting off our list with this marvelous waterproof binocular by BARSKA. This is easily one of the best binoculars for travel, because of its build quality, its looks, and obviously- its amazing lenses.
Before we start praising this baby, let’s talk about its features first. The size of these binoculars is 8 x 42 mm, which is neither too bulky, not excessively compact; just the perfect size for carrying on trips. And the lens makes this bad boy a low light binocular, which is a plus point
It’s got a very rugged design, sealed with rubber armor and dry nitrogen-pruged. This rubber armor is pretty grippy and is completely non-slip. Holding onto this bad boy feels pretty comfortable, and it doesn’t feel too heavy either.
Ironically it has a pretty sturdy built and does not feel flimsy either. You can rely on these binoculars to provide you stable and comfortable viewing experience.
Don’t think that these binoculars are all show and no go. It’s power-packed in terms of the main part of binoculars as well. Coming with a BAK-4 prism lens that is multi-coated, this offers you crystal clear views, along with a large view distance without breaking a sweat.
The eyecups are pretty comfortable, too, and don’t feel pain while around your eyes. It also comes with a bunch of accessories that you might find useful as well. The package comes with a neck strap, a carrying case, and a lens cloth.
Due to featuring the amazing BAK-4 lenses, rugged design, non-slip grip and comfortable eye-piece, we think this binocular would be a pretty wise purchase. So if you like to look at outdoor wildlife, you will love using this binocular for that purpose.
• Binocular has a moderate size
• Friendly to bad weather conditions
• Comfortable to grip the binoculars
• Gives you high clarity and brightness
• Comes with necessary accessories for convenience during trips
• Doesn’t feature night vision
Although having night vision would be pretty dope, the high clarity lens, and lightweight body convince us to buy this binocular.
2. Night Vision Binoculars by OVIFM
• Allows viewing up to 1094 yards
• Features night vision
• Uses 16.5 mm BAK-4 prism lenses
If you are the kind of person who likes to travel at night or go camping, you would definitely want the perfect night vision binoculars. Luckily, this one by OVIFM is just that, and it is by far one of the best. This is one of the best compact travel binoculars on our list.
What are its strongest feats, you ask? Well, this is one of the only binoculars that will provide you an insane amount of zoom along with night vision. This bad boy uses very high-quality BAK-4 prism lenses that measure 16.5 mm, which provide crystal clear views and an incredible amount of zooming.
The viewing range of this binocular is up to 374 feet wide and 1094 yards distance. This is more than most of the binoculars you will come across on this list.
On top of the impressive lenses and their unique features, the binoculars also have a pretty solid body. Even though it is lightweight, the body feels unusually durable, with the rubber grips.
The eye caps are also made of rubber making them comfortable to look through. If you’re looking for waterproof binoculars, this may not be it, but it is still pretty rugged.
These binoculars can be used to view while wearing sunglasses as well, making them extra convenient to use. Overall it is a pretty good lightweight binocular for travel.
Although you must note that the night vision doesn’t work in pitch-black darkness, but rather in low light situations, the lenses will brighten up what you see to some extent but won’t necessarily work in complete darkness.
The high zooming, and the fact that you can use it with glasses on, is what makes us consider this product one of the best. And that is why we would recommend it to you.
• High image quality on viewing
• Comes with comfortable rubber eyecups
• You can even see things clearly at night
• Can be used wearing sunglasses as well
• Night vision doesn’t work in absolute darkness
Being lightweight, offering a high amount of zoom, and providing low-light vision, makes this a pretty solid pair of binoculars. We definitely recommend getting this bad boy.
3. Trailblazer Binoculars by Nikon
• Increases brightness and contrast for a better view
• Has a rubber armor body
• Uses high index BAK-4 lenses
Bet you didn’t expect the world-class camera brand to produce binoculars, did you? Well, it is not surprising that the brand that is notorious for producing the best quality lenses would take a hand at binoculars.
Nikon certainly surpasses our expectations with these amazing travel binoculars, as they are one of the best in the game! Why do we think so? The main reason is that it offers pretty much everything you’d need without breaking the bank.
You want a lightweight binocular that you can conveniently carry to your trips for bird watching and other stuff? Nikon’s trailblazer would be perfect. With a highly portable body, this bad boy can even be kept in your pocket.
Although it may seem tiny, the features are definitely not something to underestimate. It features the amazing BAK-4 prism lenses that we love so much in binoculars and has multi-coated optics for better color and viewing experience.
It is also filled with nitrogen and is completely waterproof as well as fogproof, making this bad boy pretty tough and durable. The binoculars also come with your favorite rubber armor to provide the perfect non-slip grip.
The only downside that we think these binoculars have is that they’re not very cool-looking. Although it’s got a techy design, that’s not very travel-friendly and doesn’t go with the aesthetic. If that doesn’t matter to you and you only want functionality, this is one of the best choices.
Being a very compact binocular that has lenses with waterproof and fog-proof features, this one by Nikon is one of our favorites. Our opinion is, you should get your hands on it immediately.
• Binocular is small, compact, and lightweight
• Waterproof and fogproof
• Offers you sharp imagery
• Allows you to grab it firmly
• Provides improved color for views
• Doesn’t look very rugged and travel friendly
The lens offers sharp imagery, and it is fog-proof as well. This means it would be perfect to use when traveling to humid places. We give it a thumbs up for sure!
4. Military Binoculars by RONHAN
• Has a field view of 1000 m
• Shock-resistant due to rubber coating
• Weighs 800 grams
If you didn’t prefer the way the previous one by Nikon looked, this military binocular would definitely appeal to you. In fact, this one is better in every way than the previous one.
Before we talk about the amazing lenses these binoculars use, let’s admire the body and the build quality. Being a military-grade binocular, it is kind of obvious that it would be highly durable and rugged.
These binoculars are waterproof. But assuming you are not impressed by that, since it’s a feature you’ve seen in other binoculars already, what willimpress you is that it is shock resistant as well.
Featuring a rubber-coated body, these binoculars will not electrocute you. Why would it electrocute you in the first place? Well, because it uses incredibly high-quality lenses that are qualified for use in electronic telescopes.
Speaking of the lenses, this bad boy comes with the usual BAK-4 prism lenses but measuring 26 mm, which is more than anything we’ve seen on this list (at least yet). It features 20x zoom that offers a range of up to 1000m.
The BAK-4 lenses ensure that you get a razor-sharp view that is bright and vibrant enough. It doesn’t take forever to focus either and is pretty precise with the focusing as well.
This one also has low-key night vision like the OVIFM one and similarly only offers low light viewing.
Minus the semi-functioning night vision, every feature such as the zooming, the field of you, and the rugged body with shock resistance impresses us. On top of all that, it is a budget friendly binocular.
• Binocular has a rugged and durable body
• There’s no chance for you getting electrocuted
• Provides highly precise focusing and crystal clear viewing
• Offers 20x zoom
• Features low light vision for darker situations
• Night vision doesn’t work in absolute dark
Also offering a high range of zoom and low light vision, this pair of binoculars is easily one of the best on this list. You won’t be disappointed if you get this one.
5. Hunting Binoculars by JZBRAIN
• High-quality Porro prism lenses
• Has a viewing range of 1000 yards
• Feature manual focus
If you love bird watching or hunting, you want a binocular that is powerful as well as reliable. It is surely one of the best lightweight binoculars for travel and offers impressive features just like its predecessors.
JZBRAIN is one of the brands that are known for producing extremely high-quality military-level binoculars, and this one is one of them. This binocular is especially good if you want amazing zooming with a crystal clear view.
The lenses used in these binoculars are the Porro prism and feature manual focus. Its focus is rather precise and doesn’t take too long to adjust. The multi-layer coating ensures impressive light transmission, along with enhanced brightness and contrast.
Moreover, the eye-piece is pretty comfortable, being made out of rubber, and you can magnify your view up to 10X. You can also use these binoculars while wearing glasses if you’re someone who wears specs.
Apart from its lenses, the body of the binoculars is also very impressive and rugged. Being made for hunters, it has a pretty durable body covered in rubber coating just like the previous ones.
The rubber armor offers excellent gripping, ensuring that you don’t drop the binoculars while struggling to find those birds. It’s also waterproof and shock-resistant, just like some of its competitors.
Would we recommend this for traveling? Absolutely! It is lightweight enough and offers an amazing viewing experience, a perfect choice for traveling as well as deer hunting.
• Ensuresa clear and sharp view
• Has a rugged and durable body
• Binocular is waterproof and shock-resistant
• Being lightweight it is a very portable and compact binocular
• This binocular is perfect for bird watching and hunting
• Doesn’t have night vision
While being rugged and durable, this binocular is very portable and lightweight. That is definitely something you would want to carry on trips. So, we think getting this would be a wise purchase.
6. Children’s Binoculars by Living Squad
• High-quality lenses
• Offers 8X zoom
Yeah, all those adult binoculars were great and all, but what if you want to get a travel binocular for your children? Well, the kids binoculars by the brand Living Squad are here to provide you just that.
Before we get into the technical specifications of this product, we must tell you how cute and child-friendly the design is. It comes in an array of vibrant colors — from orange and blue to pink, green, etc.
These binoculars may appear similar to toys, but they are far from being a plaything. With the standard 8 x 21 magnification features that regular binoculars have, this one provides crispy clear images to the viewer.
It offers 8x zoom and lets your children look at those birds far away from you guys without any difficulty.
The body of these binoculars isn’t as tough as the military-grade ones, for obvious reasons, but it is quite durable from a children’s standpoint. It might not outlast an apocalypse, but it will hold its own against a few drops to the ground.
You do get the rubber armor on these for a comfortable grip. The non-slip rubber provides grip security like all the other binoculars we have reviewed. It is also shockproof; not so sure about waterproof.
The package comes with neck-straps, a carrying case, and plastic carabiners.
With a cute design and the high-quality features this binocular possesses, this is the perfect choice for your children. We would definitely recommend this product for your kids, and we are sure they would love it too.
• Comes with high-quality lenses with a crystal clear view
• Zooming lens cover a great distance
• Rubber grip is surprisingly reliable
• Prevents electrocution
• It’s a lightweight andcompact binocular
• Overall build quality is not durable enough
Although it is not as durable as professional/military-grade binoculars, it is great for your kids. It provides sharp images, great zoom, and looks absolutely adorable! What else do you need in a kid’s binocular? 10/10 would recommend.
7. Birding Binoculars by Celestron
• Waterproof and fogproof
• Offers 6.5 feet close focus
• Provides 8x zoom
Here, we have another favorite military-grade binocular of ours that is perfect for traveling and/or bird watching. There are actually a number of reasons we think these are so high quality, and portability is one of them.
The whole point of this article is to provide you with lightweight binocular options, and we believe that this one is one of the best lightweight binoculars you will find out there.
Apart from being lightweight and portable, these bad boys are also one of the best for the lenses. It isn’t anything too fancy, just the same old BAK-4 lenses, which are perfect for professional-level bird watching. And if it’s good for bird watching, it’s good for traveling.
The lens offers 8x zoom along with a close focus up to 6.5 feet. This is more than enough for regular travelers who don’t really need all the fancy specs.
This binocular by Celestron is highly durable and will last you almost forever. With an overall durable body and rubber armor, these binoculars are almost indestructible.
Thanks to the rubber armor, you can say goodbye to the slipping of binoculars. On top of providing amazing grip, the rubber coating also makes it shockproof and also waterproof. They’re also fog proof, so you don’t need to worry about the lenses fogging up due to a little humidity.
The bottom line for this product is that it is highly portable on top of being durable, and it also provides an excellent viewing experience. So we would definitely recommend it for travelers.
• Very lightweight hence portable
• This binocular is pretty durable with a rugged body
• Can be used in bad weather condition
• You can see distant things very clearly
• Not the best for professional bird watchers or hunters
This pair of binoculars does not offer an impressive range of magnification. However, it is lightweight, waterproof and fog proof, so it isn’t that bad either. We won’t call it the best, but it’s not terrible either.
8. Travel Binoculars by Binoteck
• Comes with FMC lenses
• High-quality BAK-4 lenses
And to conclude our list of reviews, we have this bird watching binocular by Binoteck. The brand may not know how to spell tech properly, but they surely know how to build amazing binoculars.
While this one is not something you would choose at first glance, considering we have reviewed many very high-quality binoculars already, it is pretty impressive on its own.
The lenses used in this bad boy are the regular BAK-4 prism lenses with the multi-coated roof. This allows for extremely sharp imagery and enhancements in the brightness and contrast as well.
Offering 10 x zooming on an already wide range of view, the lenses allow the viewer to see up to 1000 yards. This makes this bad boy great sports binocular as well. These binoculars are easily one of the best in terms of providing high-resolution views from the eye-pieces.
Speaking of which, the eye-pieces are comfortable and can be looked through even wearing glasses. The rubber on the eye-pieces makes it comfier and allows you to conveniently look through the lenses.
The build quality of this bad boy is pretty impressive too. It’s got that oh-so-desirable rubber armor that prevents any kind of slipping and also provides shock resistance.
These binoculars are also water-resistant, so a splash of water will not damage them by any means.
While it may be an amazing option for a travel-binocular, we would say this wouldn’t really be our first pick. However, we would certainly not consider this one the worst per se. If you didn’t like the previous ones, you should like this one for its simplicity.
• Offersa crystal clear view
• Outer features non-slip rubber ensuring better grip
• Prevents you from getting shock
• Binocular is very lightweight, thus portable
• This one is easily the best backpacking binocular for its portability
• Not the overall best out there
This is the perfect example of an average binocular that is nothing extravagant or impressive, but simply gets the job done. It’s an alright pair of binoculars, and it won’t necessarily disappoint you.
Features to Look for Before Buying
Although it may seem like you know enough to make the purchase already, we find it necessary to go over some general guidelines for purchasing a good pair of binoculars. So here are some pointers on that.
Binoculars come with two different types of prisms, and each serves a slightly different purpose. To know which kind of prism would be the best choice, we must learn what these two are and what they are like.
• Roof Prism
Easily the best kind of prism for most people out there, the roof prism is the kind you saw in most of the binoculars above. Usually being available in the high-end binoculars. This kind of prism is more popular because of the slim design that it provides to the binoculars.
The eye-pieces are aligned with the front lenses, allowing you to look through completely straight. We would recommend going with the binoculars with a roof prism.
• Porro Prism
You know those binoculars where the eye-pieces appear to be larger than the lenses? Yeah, those use Porro prisms. Back in the days, this used to be the primary design of binoculars, but things have changed quite a lot since then.
The whole thing about this kind of prism is that they provide a very bulky look for the binoculars. That’s not very travel-friendly. You want something lightweight and not take up too much space.
So our recommendation would be to stick to the ones with roof prisms and try to not opt for one with a Porroprism.
Rate of Magnification and Field of View
A typical rate of magnification that can be considered standard would be anything between 7 and 10 times. This amount of zooming is pretty normal, and you see this in regular binoculars and even phone cameras these days.
But more often than not, you will see the descriptions of a binocular say something like a magnification of 8 x 22. What this exactly means for you is that the first number is the magnification rate, and the other one is the diameter of its outer lenses.
These measurements are usually in millimeters. However, for the field of view, the measurements are done in either meters or yards. Most often it is shown in yards.
A good field of view would be roughly around 1000 yards or meters, in our opinion. Anything above that is overkill for travelers, and anything less wouldn’t be enough.
You will come across binoculars with 3 three different types of coating on them. They will either be coated or fully coated or even multi-coated. Most of the binoculars on our list are multi-coated.
What are the benefits of a multi-coated lens, you ask? Well, it means that your binocular’s lenses have several layers of coating that enhance the light transmission, resulting in far better image quality of what you see.
Not a lot of words for this one, just one – BAK-4. The BAK-4 glasses are the best option for high-quality binoculars. Most of the binoculars we reviewed above use this lens, and we highly recommend this kind of glass for your binoculars.
These are the most reflective, and most people who buy binoculars would totally recommend these kinds of glasses for your binoculars. So instead of getting any other lens glass, just go for the ones with a BAK-4 glass.
Some special features that your binoculars may need to come with are weatherproofing and shock resistance. Why exactly does it need to have these features? These are why:
If you go for hikes or bird watching, it isn’t unnatural that it might rain, right? Well, you don’t want your binoculars to be ruined because of the water. So you need to make sure that the ones you buy are completely waterproof,or at least water-resistant.
When the humidity is high, or when you are in a cold region where it is extremely foggy, you want your binoculars to be anti-fog. This will ensure that your binoculars don’t go blurry while using them. You don’t want your view to be covered in dew, now dew you? (Pardon the pun)
• Shock Resistance
Some binoculars use high-tech lenses that may shock you, literally. While most of the ones available in the market always feature this rubber armor, you want to be absolutely sure that it offers shock resistance.
Rubber Coating and Gripping
For your convenience of use, we recommend getting a pair of binoculars with a durable rubber coating that is non-slip. This will ensure that you don’t drop the binoculars every now and then.
Usually, the rubber-coated ones are also more durable than the completely plastic binoculars. So even if you drop these ones, there is a far lower chance that you would end up breaking them at all.
So which is the winner? It’s a rather hard choice, considering that all of the products are very impressive in their own ways. However, we can pick 3 winners.
If you want the best fancy specs and the price is no issue, go for the Night Vision Binoculars by OVIFM. But if you want something simple with decent specs and high portability, we suggest the Trailblazer Binoculars by Nikon.
And if you want one for your kids, there’s only one choice – the Children’s Binoculars by Living Squad. So we’re hoping that provides you with enough information to make the choice for buying the best lightweight binoculars for travel