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Best binoculars for birdwatching

Last Updated: 19.05.24


Birdwatching binoculars – Buying guide & Comparison


If you are searching for the best binoculars for birdwatching but you don’t have the needed time to read a lot of birding binoculars reviews in order to get a good grip on the subject, we’ve got you covered! After doing the legwork on your behalf we have reached the conclusion that the Carson VP Series Waterproof High Definition is the product for you. This item stands out thanks to its wide field of view of 393 ft. at 1,000 yards and because it has an 8x magnification ratio and 42mm in objective lens diameter. Moreover, the unit is 100% waterproof and fogproof. If the Carson VP Series Waterproof High Definition is unavailable, you might want to check out the Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8×42 as it is a reliable alternative that might suit your needs just as well as the former model.



Comparison table


The Good
The Bad



Because we know that finding the best birdwatching binoculars is not as easy of a task as it might seem, we have prepared a list of important features that you should not settle without. So, read ahead and select a product that can cater to your needs completely.

Decide what type of magnification you need

When looking for a reliable model to use during bird watching sessions, specialists suggest that one opts between a product that can magnify the image up to eight or ten times. While choosing between the two alternatives is 100% a personal decision, it might help to know that models that can magnify the image up to 8 times have a wider field of view, while the others models are suitable for distance bird watching.

Nevertheless, you might be inclined to select a product with a higher magnification ratio, but this is not necessarily a good decision. According to experienced birdwatchers, the models with high magnification produce shaky images and have a small field of view, the reason why they are difficult to use.


Image quality

As you probably already know, birding is an activity that implies a keen eye for detail. Therefore, the pair of binoculars that you settle for should be able to provide you with a clear, bright and crisp image of the object that you are observing. Even more so, it is crucial that the device can deliver an image where the colors are true to nature and not, in any way, distorted.

in order to make sure that the product you select can produce high-quality images, it is advisable that you go online and check out the clarity score that that particular item has received from both specialists and previous buyers.

What is more, we recommend that you actually take the time to verify the feedback left by previous buyers of the product. By doing so, you can get a better understanding of the model’s capabilities and well as of its weak points. Therefore, don’t just select the first product that you like from the myriad of models up for sale. Instead, do your homework and pay attention to the unit’s characteristics.


Additional features

Last but not least, while in the market for the best birding binoculars it is important that one bears in mind a couple of extra aspects.

First things first, it is best that one takes the time to verify whether or not the chosen model comes provided with eye relief. This feature is a must for all glass wearers as it can make the difference between reliable, easy to use models and uncomfortable ones. From this point of view, it is best that you select a model that has adjustable eyecups.

What is more, it is prudent that you settle for a product that has an easy to maneuver focus wheel. By purchasing such a device you can rest assured knowing that you won’t experience any difficulty when it comes to focusing the image so that it becomes clear.

Even more to this point, specialists claim that the most practical models are those that have a knob that can be turned effortlessly. Also, the knob should be covered with a non-slip material that can be effortlessly moved even during the winter when one wears thick gloves.

Lastly, before buying any model, make sure that you select a product that is covered by a warranty agreement. Many optical instruments manufacturers currently offer great deals that you might find useful in time, especially when the unit starts showing signs of malfunctioning.



5 Best Binoculars for Birdwatching (Reviews) in 2024


Deciding what are the best binoculars and purchasing them is not a task without its difficulties. To help you make the right choice we have composed a list of products that you might want to check out before ordering an item from this line of products.



1. Carson 8×42 VP Series Full Sized Waterproof and Fog-proof Binoculars


Especially design to suit the needs of birdwatchers and sight-seeing enthusiasts, the Carson VP Series Waterproof High Definition is definitely a model that you might find appealing. Apart from having a hard to beat the price, the unit comes provided with a handful of useful features that you will definitely find interesting.

For instance, this product has a magnification ratio of 8x and a lens diameter of no less than 42mm. Consequently, the device’s field of view is wide enough for birdwatchers (393 ft. at 1,000 yards). What is more, these binoculars have a minimum focus distance of 6.6feet and 17 mm of eye relief.

According to its manufacturer, this model is fully multi-coated and phase coated so that the users can utilize the product for a long period of time. Besides, the device is quite small in size, 5.0” Lx 5.75”W x 2.0”H, and lightweight (it only weighs 1.55 lbs.), reason why it can be called portable.



With an objective lens diameter of 42mm, this Carson model offers a wide field of view, namely 393 ft. at 1,000 yards. 

Thanks to the 17mm eye relief design, users who wear glasses shouldn’t have any trouble enjoying the benefits offered by this particular device. 

You might also enjoy the 8x magnification power since you can see clear details of your subjects, but there’s a lower risk of dealing with a shaky image than with more powerful alternatives

Thanks to the multi-coated optics, using the binoculars in lower lighting conditions should not be a problem.


The case and the strap delivered with the product could be of higher quality, according to what some of the previous buyers stated

The device might be a little shorter than expected when it’s fully extended, but this is not a matter that you should really be concerned about. 

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2. Celestron 71332 8 x 42 DX Nature Binocular


If you are on a budget but you still want to purchase a reliable unit, check out the Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8×42 Binocular. These binoculars are highly appreciated by current users particularly because they have been constructed using BaK-4 Prisms that have been phase coated.

Because of this feature, the model is said to be able to actually increase the contrast and the resolution of the images that it provides to the user. Additionally, all the glass components of the unit have been coated so that they allow for maximum light transmission.

With a 6.5’ close focus; this product is ideal for birdwatchers due to the fact that it allows for the close observation of objects that are in the observer’s close proximity. Additionally, these binoculars are quite lightweight and can be carried around effortlessly whenever needed. Also, the twist-up eyecups are great for glass wearers that need eye relief.



One of the features that you will surely appreciate when it comes to this Celestron model is the BAK-4 Prisms construction that makes them both compact and reliable. 

The phase coating process included in this model is said to increase the image’s resolution and contrast, which means that you are going to enjoy using them.

With a 6.5’ close focus, you are right in thinking that this unit works great for birdwatching, given that it allows observing subjects even when they are close to the user. 

You will surely enjoy the lightweight construction as well, given that this Celestron model is specially made to reduce any fatigue


In one case, the right focus ring was difficult to turn and use, but if you are dealing with such a situation, the manufacturer can help with a solution. 

The eyecups might not be as stable as one would hope, according to one review. 

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3. Celestron 71346 8 x 42 Outland X Binocular


Another budget-friendly model that you might be interested in is the Celestron 71346 Outland X 8×42 Binoculars (Black). Technically speaking, this product can supply its users with a 42mm roof prism that has a magnification ratio of 8 x.

Furthermore, the optics that the model contains have been fully multi-coated in order to cater to a birdwatcher’s need of clear, crisp images. Because it is intended for outdoor use, this product is said to be waterproof and fogproof. Moreover, on the outside, this device has a protective rubber armoring that comes in handy when out exploring nature.

Lastly, this product is suitable for glasses wearers thanks to the fact that it comes fitted with twist-up eyecups that can be quickly adjusted. As a plus, the unit is shipped with what the manufacturer describes as a moisture resistant neoprene carrying case and a neck strap.



If you need to get bright and clear images, then the high-quality multi-coated optics this Celestron model features are surely a reason you should give this unit a try. 

The manufacturer also thought about the weather conditions that need to be faced when using the unit outdoors, so it’s both waterproof and fog proof. 

The protective exterior rubber armoring also comes in handy for those who fear that they might drop the binoculars, given that it ensures a firm grip during handling.

The twist-up eyecups are another very nice feature, while the unit itself is delivered with a neck strap and a protective carrying case.


The eye relief might be a little short for those who are wearing glasses, so it’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer for details. 

In one case, the unit got dusty after a couple of years, but this also depends on how it’s being used. 

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4. Bushnell NatureView 8×40 Backyard Birder Binocular Kit with Field Log


Another portable device that bird watchers might find appealing is the Bushnell NatureView Birder Combo 8 x 40mm. This unit has a magnification ratio of 8 X and an objective with the diameter of 40 mm.

Among the features that recommend it are its fully multi-coated optics and the BaK-4 roof prisms that supply the buyer with bright, clear, crisp viewings. Because it was particularly designed to be used by birders, the device comes shipped with a birding CD-ROM, a birding field log, a carrying case, and a practical deluxe strap.

In order to make the device easy to use by nature lovers, the manufacturer designed it so that it includes a textured center-focus wheel that enables easy adjustments and a rubber armor coating that is said to provide an improved grip and superior protection in case of accidents. Fold-down eyecups are also supplied.



One of the first things you should keep in mind about this model is that it was specially made for birders, so every element was designed keeping their needs in mind. 

The binoculars are delivered with a birding field log, a CD-ROM, as well as with a practical strap, and a carrying case that helps users make the most out of using the unit. 

Thanks to the 8x magnification ratio, you have every chance to see all of the desired details of your subjects, but without dealing with shaky images as it’s sometimes the case with larger magnifications. 

The exterior rubber coating works great in protecting the device in case of any shock, while also ensuring a firm grip for safer handling. 


The lens caps could be easily lost or misplaced, so you need to handle them with care to prevent this from happening. 

The strap could also come undone easily, according to one previous customer, so you might opt for buying a new one.

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5. Vanguard Spirit XF 8×42 Binocular Waterproof/Fogproof


If you want quality optics and you are not afraid of spending some extra dollars in order to get them, we suggest that you have in mind the Vanguard Spirit XF Binoculars. This device was constructed using Bak4 phase-coated prisms and fully multi-coated lenses so that the user is presented with a clear, high-quality image of the object being observed.

Furthermore, the device includes two-stage twist out eyecups with long eye relief and a lightweight, open bridge body design that many current users find quite handy. Also, in order to make the model even more appealing, this unit has been equipped with a what the manufacturers describes as a textured rubber armor that supplies the birder with a secure grip and reliable impact resistance.

We also have to point out that this model has an 8x magnification ratio and a 42 mm lens diameter as well as a wide FOV of 409 ft/1000 yards.



The BAK-4 phase-coated prisms construction is one of the main features that make this model one you should consider. 

Thanks to the multi-coated optics, high-quality images are rendered and, together with all of the other functionalities, make this a cost-effective and reliable alternative. 

The two-stage twist-up eyecups ensure a higher level of comfort on the user’s part, making this unit excellent, especially if more than one user is going to benefit from it. 

Besides the textured rubber exterior that protects the unit, you will also probably enjoy the 8x magnification power, as well as the generous 42mm objective lens diameter. 


In one case, the binoculars were delivered with a broken cap, so make sure to contact customer support in case this happens. 

The lens covers can also come off quite easily, so make sure that you handle these with care to prevent any potential damage. 

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Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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