The Ultimate List of Compact Binoculars

July 11, 2019 5 Comments

compact binoculars

 

Though choosing a binocular may seem easy, in fact, when you start to research the market you realize that there are hundreds of binoculars to choose and this bring some confusion.

Choosing binoculars becomes easy when you know why you buy it. You have to determine your purpose. There are different types of binoculars:

 

  • Full sized binoculars
  • Compact binoculars
  • Wide field of view binoculars
  • Marine binoculars
  • Power (astronomical) binoculars
  • Open bridge binoculars
  • Closed bridge binoculars
  • Roof prism binoculars
  • Porro prism binoculars
  • Glass binoculars

 

In this post I’m going to talk only about compact binoculars. By compact binoculars I mean they must meet certain criteria, such as:

 

  • Powerful
  • Image quality
  • Lightweight

 

These features are important because having a compact binocular is not enough.

We need a powerful optical instrument to be able to see distant objects at a closer range. We need a binocular that delivers high quality image.

And finally we need lightweight binocular that we can easily carry and take anywhere we go.

 

Image stability

Especially if we can keep in our pocket that would be fantastic. Compact binoculars don’t cause hand shaking and we get stable image as a result.

Full size binoculars are heavy and very often we mount them on a tripod which is not so great in terms of a user experience.

That’s why sometimes compact binocular is the only solution.

 

Durability

Since most people take binoculars when hunting, traveling or hiking we need not only compact but durable binoculars.

By durability I mean binoculars must be fog proof, waterproof and shockproof.

Especially when you travel and change places, weather conditions having waterproof, fog proof binoculars becomes important.

Though it’s not always achievable when it comes to super compact binoculars.

Not all of the compact binoculars can meet this criteria due to their small size.

But I did my in-depth research and found best compact binoculars available on the market.

You can take these great compact binoculars for bird watching, hiking, cruise, nature or animal observation, stadiums.

 

Multi-purpose binoculars

The advantage of compact binoculars is clear. Most people prefer to choose compact binoculars because you can use it everywhere.

In fact, compact binoculars are multi purpose binoculars.

For the same amount of money you get a multi-purpose optical instrument that will serve you for years. Make sure to choose branded binoculars.

Because branded optics come with a guarantee while non branded binoculars though offer the guarantee but I’m not sure you will get it as promised.

 

Field of view

Many people think compact binoculars have a narrow field of view or they are not powerful.

If you worry about field of view of the binoculars you should not. Because lens size (aperture) has nothing to do with binoculars field of view.

Lenses are responsible for transmitting more light and showing you a little brighter image.

Just make sure to choose binoculars with magnification up to 10x. In that case you will get a binocular with a wide field of view.

If you choose binoculars with magnification higher than 10x then field of view will be narrow. And binocular will not be compact.

Powerful binoculars with magnification higher than 10x have lens of at least 42mm or 50mm which means they can’t be compact. They will be full sized binoculars.

Since our main focus is around binoculars with magnification 4x, 7x, 8x and 10x we should not have issues with the field of view.

Most of these optical instruments have field of view between 5 -6.5 degrees which is more than acceptable.

 

Optics quality

When your main focus becomes size of binoculars you must understand that super compact binoculars that have aperture 21mm, 22mm or 25mm can’t always meet high quality criteria.

In such super compact binoculars manufacturers, even brand companies use BK-7 prism which is a little inferior to BAK-4 quality.

They still provide quality image but it can’t be compared to BAK-4 quality.

If you want super high quality image then you need to with to full-sized binoculars.

Anyway, I will try to show only good binoculars that meet quality standards.

 

Two types of compact binoculars

Today I will show two types of compact binoculars, super compact and medium compact binoculars.

Super compact binoculars are those that have lens size 21mm, 22mm, and medium compact that have lens size 25mm, 32mm.

These are compact binoculars. All other are not compact.

When you choose binoculars you need to look first at the numbers. For example, binocular 8×21 model means the following.

First number 8 is the magnification and second number 21 is aperture ( objective lens size in mm).

I decided to choose for my review binoculars with the following configurations:

  • 4×21
  • 8×21
  • 8×22
  • 8×25
  • 8×32
  • 10×21
  • 10×22
  • 10×25
  • 10×32

These two types of compact binoculars are the best ones. Magnification 4, 7, 8 and 10 give you a wide field of view.

Lens size 21mm – 32mm allows to keep binoculars compact. Any binocular with aperture higher than 32 is already not compact.

All compact binoculars that I’m going to list here are of good quality. Most of them are branded but some are not.

Even those that are not branded are still good (acceptable quality) though I always recommend to choose branded optical instruments.

Their quality is always supreme.

Some binoculars are very expensive like Zeiss, Minox, Steiner, Swarovski which is very normal for those brands.

But I will list binoculars of different price tags so you can choose one that is affordable for you.

 

Super Compact Binoculars

 

  OperaView OV-4×10 – BK-7 prism

– Wide field of view
Magnification power 4x
Customer satisfaction: Yes
Price: $75

OperaView OV-4x10 - BK-7 prism

4,4 score

 

 

 

 

  Levenhuk Broadway 325F Opera Glasses 3×25
Wide field of view
Magnification power 3×25
BaK-4 prism
70% customer satisfaction
Price: $29.35

Levenhuk Broadway 325F Opera Glasses

 

 

 

 

 

 

  ESSLNB Opera Glasses Binoculars 4X30mm Theater Compact Binoculars 
Wide field of view binocular
Magnification power 4x
BaK-4 prism
75% customer satisfaction
Price: $29.99

ESSLNB Opera Glasses Binoculars 4X30mm (black)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  TrailMaxx TM-8×21 – (BK-7 prism)

– Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
Customer satisfaction: Yes
Price: $40

TrailMaxx TM-8x21 - BK-7 prism

4,4 score

 

 

 

 

 

 Mini Compact Lightweight 8×21 Small Binoculars
Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
BK-7 prism
Customer satisfaction: 85%
Price: $9.79

Mini Compact Lightweight 8x21

 

4,2 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism Binocular 8×21
Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
BK-7 prism
Customer satisfaction: 75%
Price: $11.99

Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism Binocular 8x21

4,2 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Small Binoculars for Adults Compact – 8×21 Mini Lightweight Binoculars
Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
Prism type: BAK-4 roof prism
Customer satisfaction: 96%
Price: $15.99

Small Binoculars for Adults Compact - 8x21 Mini Lightweight Binoculars

4,5 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Pentax UP 8 x 21 Binoculars (Navy) – Porro prism

Bak-4 Prism
Magnification power 8
Customer satisfaction: Yes
Price: $99

Pentax UP 8 x 21 Binoculars (Navy)

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  POLDR 8×21 Small Compact Lightweight Binoculars
Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
BaK-4 prism
82% of customers are happy with the quality of the product
Price: $14.99

poldr 8x21

4,7 rating

 

 

 

 

 

  Stinger HW-8×22 – BK-7 prism

– Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
Customer satisfaction: Yes
Price: $50

Stinger HW-8x22 - BK-7 prism

4,4 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Steiner BluHorizons Binoculars 8×22

– Wide angle of view
Steiner Autobright optics
Magnification power 8
Customer satisfaction: 100%
Price: $192.53

Steiner BluHorizons Binoculars 8x22

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Leica Silverline BR 8×20

Wide field of view (waterproof/fog proof)
Magnification power 8x
BAK-4 prism
Customer satisfaction: 100%
Price: $829

Leica Silverline 8x20

 

4,6 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Tracker TZ-8×21 – BK-7 prism

– Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
Customer satisfaction: Yes
Price: $30

Tracker TZ-8x21 - BK-7 prism

4,4 score

 

 

 

 

 

 Scout JD-8×22 – BK-7 prism

– Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
Customer satisfaction: Yes
Price: $49

Scout JD-8x22 - BK-7 prism

4,4 score

 

 

 

 

 

Medium Compact Binoculars

 

  Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Binocular 10×25

Wide field of view (waterproof/fog proof)
Magnification power 10x
BAK-4 prism
Customer satisfaction: 90%
Price: $149

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x25

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Leica Ultravid BR 10×25

Wide field of view (waterproof)
Magnification power 10x
BAK-4 prism
Customer satisfaction: 90%
Price: $779

Leica Ultravid BR 10x25 Compact

 

 

4,6 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Steiner Optics Safari Series Binoculars 10×26

– Wide angle of view, waterproof
Steiner high-contrast optics
Magnification power 10
Customer satisfaction: Yes
Price: $154

Steiner Optics Safari Series Binoculars 10x26

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Nikon Trailblazer 10×25 Binoculars

Wide field of view (waterproof/fog proof)
Magnification power 10x
BAK-4 prism
Customer satisfaction: 90%
Price: $79

Nikon Trailblazer 10x25 ATB

 

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

      Bresser Montana 8×25

  •  Wide field of view
  •  Waterproof, fog proof
  •  Magnification power 8x
  •  High quality optics BAK-4
  •  Fully multi-coated
  •  Customer satisfaction: Yes
  •  Price: $299.99

Montana 8x25 Binocular

 

4,6 scored

 

 

 

 

 

       Minox BF 8×25 lightweight binoculars

  • Wide field of view
  • Waterproof, fog proof
  • Magnification power 8x
  • High quality optics BAK-4
  • Fully multi-coated
  • Customer satisfaction: 90%
  • Price: $99.99

MINOX BF 8x25

 

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Zeiss 8×25 Terra ED Compact Pocket Grey-Black Binocular

– Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
High quality ED glass optics, waterproof
92% customer satisfaction
Price: $289.99

Zeiss 8x25 Terra ED Compact Pocket Grey-Black Binocular

 

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Zeiss Victory Pocket 8×25 Binoculars

– Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
High quality ED glass optics, waterproof
100% customer satisfaction
Price: $749

zeiss victory pocket 8x25

4,6 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Zeiss Victory Pocket 10×25 Binoculars

– Wide field of view
Magnification power 10x
High quality ED glass optics, waterproof
100% customer satisfaction
Price: $879

zeiss victory pocket 8x25

4,6 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Bushnell H2O Waterproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular 10×25
Wide field of view
Magnification power 10x
Prism type: BAK4
Waterproof and Fogproof
Customer satisfaction: 76%
Price: $56.89

Bushnell H2O Waterproof-Fogproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular 10x25

 

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Pentax UP 10 x 25 Binoculars – Porro prism

Bak-4 Prism
Magnification power 10
Customer satisfaction: Yes
Price: $129

Pentax UP 10 x 25 Binoculars

 

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Binoculars for Adults Compact and High Powered – 10×25
Wide field of view
Magnification power 10x
BaK-4 prism
97% Customer satisfaction
Price: $30.97

Binoculars for Adults Compact and High Powered – 10x25

 

4,9 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Swarovski 46211 CL Pocket 10×25 Binoculars (Green)

– Wide angle of view
– HD Glass Prism
– Magnification power 10
– Customer satisfaction: 94%
– Price: $879
– 10-year warranty

Swarovski 46211 CL Pocket 10x25 Binoculars (Green)

4,6 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Leupold BX-1 Rogue 10x25mm Compact Binoculars
Wide field of view
Magnification power 10x
BaK-4 prism
91% Customer satisfaction
Price: $94.79

Leupold BX-1 Rogue 10x25mm Compact Binoculars

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

       Bresser C-Series 8×25

  • Waterproof
  • Magnification power 8x
  • High quality optics BAK-4
  • Customer satisfaction: Yes
  • Price: $67.49

C-Series 8x25 Binocular

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Olympus 10×25 WP II Binoculars
Wide field of view
Waterproof/Fogproof
Magnification power 10x
High quality optics BAK-4
90% customer satisfaction
Price: $99,99

Olympus 10x25 WP II Binocular

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Carson VP Series Compact High Definition Binoculars 10×25
Wide field of view
Waterproof/Fogproof
Magnification power 10x
High quality optics BAK-4
82% customer satisfaction
Price: $165

Carson VP Series Compact High Definition Binoculars 10x25

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Carson RD Series – 8x26mm

Wide field of view
Waterproof
Magnification power 8x
High quality optics BAK-4
100% customer satisfaction
Price: $105

Carson RD Series – 8x26mm

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

        Bresser Pirsch 8×26

  •  Wide field of view
  •  Waterproof, fog proof
  •  Magnification power 8x
  •  High quality optics BAK-4
  •  Fully multi-coated
  •  Customer satisfaction: Yes
  •  Price: $142

Bresser Pirsch 8x26

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Vortex Optics Vanquish Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars 10×26
Wide field of view
Magnification power 10x
High quality optics, porro prism
95% customer satisfaction
Price: $99

Vortex Optics Vanquish Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars 10x26

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Vortex Optics Vanquish Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars 8×26
Wide field of view
Magnification power 10x
High quality optics, porro prism
95% customer satisfaction
Price: $129

Vortex Optics Vanquish Reverse Porro Prism Binoculars 10x26

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Pentax AD 9 x 28 WP Binoculars – Roof prism

Bak-4 Prism, Waterproof, Fogproof
Magnification power 9
Customer satisfaction: YES
Price: $259

Pentax AD 9 x 28 WP

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars 10×28
Wide field of view
Magnification power 10x
High quality optics
93% customer satisfaction
Price: $149

Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars 10x28

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Steiner Tactical Binoculars 10×28
Wide field of view
Magnification power 10x
High quality optics
100% customer satisfaction
Price: $304

steiner tactical 10x28

 

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Nikon Prostaff 7 S 10×30 Compact Binocular, Waterproof, Fog proof
Wide field of view
Magnification power 10x
High quality optics
90% customer satisfaction
Price: $186

Nikon 16001 PROSTAFF 7S 10x30

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Pentax AD 8 x 30 WP Binoculars – Porro prism

Bak-4 Prism, Waterproof, Fogproof
Magnification power 8
Customer satisfaction: Yes
Price: $249

Pentax AP 8 x 30 WP

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

 Celestron Nature DX 8×32

Bak-4 Prism, Waterproof
Magnification power 8x
Customer satisfaction: 90%
Price: $87,44

Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8x32

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

       Bresser Condor 8×32

  •  Wide field of view (7.3 degrees)
  •  Waterproof
  •  Magnification power 8x
  •  High quality optics BAK-4
  •  Customer satisfaction: Yes
  •  Price: $99.99

Condor 8x32 Binocular

 

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Pentax AD 9 x 32 WP Binoculars – Roof prism

Bak-4 Prism, Waterproof, Fogproof
Magnification power 9
Customer satisfaction: 80%
Price: $276

 

Pentax AD 9 x 32 WP

4,6 score

 

 

 

 

  Bresser Condor Binocular, 8x32mm

– Wide field of view ( Field of view 6.97 degrees)
Magnification power 8x
BaK-4 prism
90% Customer satisfaction
Price: $67.79

Bresser Condor Binocular, 8x 32mm

4,7

 

 

 

 

 

  Wingspan Optics Willow UltraHD 8X32
Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
Extra-Low Dispersion ED Glass
Waterproof, Fogproof
94% customer satisfaction
Price: $97.92

Wingspan Optics Willow UltraHD 8X32

 

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Wingspan Optics Pro Birder 8X32
Extra wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
Extra-Low Dispersion ED Glass
Waterproof, Fogproof
93% customer satisfaction
Price: $109.92

Wingspan Optics ProBirder Ultra HD 8X32

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars 8×32
Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
High quality optics
93% of customers are happy with the quality of the product
Price: $188.99

vortex 8x32

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Vortex Optics Raptor Porro Prism Binoculars 10×32

Wide field of view ( 6.3 degrees field of view)
Magnification power 10x,
Fully multi-coated high quality optics
86% Customer satisfaction
Price: $129

 

Vortex Optics Raptor Porro Prism Binoculars

 

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Vortex Optics Raptor Porro Prism Binoculars 8×32

Wide field of view ( 6.3 degrees field of view)
Magnification power 10x,
Fully multi-coated high quality optics
86% Customer satisfaction
Price: $129

 

Vortex Optics Raptor Porro Prism Binoculars

 

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Wingspan Optics Spectator 8X32 Compact Binoculars
Wide field of view
Magnification power 8x
BaK-4 prism
94% of customers are happy with the quality of the product
Price: $64.92

Wingspan Optics Spectator 8X32 Compact Binoculars 8x42

 

5 score

 

 

 

 

 

        Bresser Hunters specialties 8×32

  •  Wide field of view
  •  Waterproof, fog proof
  •  Magnification power 8x
  •  High quality optics BAK-4
  •  Fully multi-coated
  •  Customer satisfaction: Yes
  •  Price: $129.99

Hunters specialties 8x32

 

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

        Bresser Hunters specialties 10×32

  •  Wide field of view
  •  Waterproof, fog proof
  •  Magnification power 10x
  •  High quality optics BAK-4
  •  Fully multi-coated
  •  Customer satisfaction: Yes
  •  Price: $139.99

Hunters specialties 10x32

 

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

  Carson 3D Series High Definition Waterproof Binoculars, 8×32, ED glass

– Wide field of view
Waterproof/Fogproof
Magnification power 10x
High quality optics BAK-4 with ED Glass
100% customer satisfaction
Price: $258

carson 3d 8x32 ed glass

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

We review and recommend quality binoculars so you don't waste your money on useless ones.

Comments (5)

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  1. Harry says:

    I have been looking for some high-quality binoculars for animal and bird watching… Your list is so extensive but I was overwhelmed by its size and I got confused.

    I need a pair with a wide field of view, I need them to be waterproof and fog proof with 10x magnification power. Price is not really an issue I just want them to last for a few years and not be unusable after a few months of use.

    Which ones would you recommend?

    • Adam says:

      Many binoculars fit into that class. If money is not an issue I would recommend binoculars such as:

      1. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Binocular 10×25

      2. Leica Ultravid BR 10×25

      3. Nikon Trailblazer 10×25 Binoculars

      4. Zeiss Victory Pocket 10×25 Binoculars

      5. Bushnell H2O Waterproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular 10×25

      6. Swarovski 46211 CL Pocket 10×25 Binoculars (Green)

      7. Olympus 10×25 WP II Binoculars

      8. Carson VP Series Compact High Definition Binoculars 10×25

      9. Nikon Prostaff 7 S 10×30 Compact Binocular, Waterproof, Fog proof

      10. Bresser Hunters specialties 10×32

      Last two models are the most recommended ones.

  2. Matthew says:

    Oh I love the look of the Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism Binoculars, they look so stylish and they would be perfect for when I go on hikes with my family

    We often go places where we haven’t been before so having a pair of binoculars is hand for looking to see if there are any hazards or dangers in the path that we are taking before we get there

    I normally take an old pair that I have but they are way to bulky to carry would these binoculars have the same, or similar range as a bigger pair?

    • Adam says:

      The one you chose is not the best binocular. It has BK-7 prism which means the image quality is not perfect. But the binocular is super compact and lightweight. It’s a good optical instrument. If you have some money to spend I would highly recommend some other binoculars that have much better optics, such as:

      Nikon Prostaff 7 S 10×30 Compact Binocular, Waterproof, Fog proof
      Bresser Hunters specialties 10×32
      Nikon Trailblazer 10×25 Binoculars

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