Finding the best compact binoculars can be a challenge when it comes to balancing the quality of the lenses, and the convenience of the size.
Good quality lenses that allow you to bird watch or hunt from a great distance, yet with great accuracy, are often large, heavy and delicate, and are therefore not suitable for the outdoors.
However, compact binoculars manage to capture the same or similar quality, without compromising on mobility, durability or size.
Consider purchasing one of these top of the line, lightweight compact binoculars, and add yet another worthwhile hiking gadget to your collection.
Best Compact Binoculars
1. Beileshi Binocular Telescope 10x25
We’ve all been to events where we just can’t see the action because of our seating so far back in the stands.
The Beileshi 10x25 compact binoculars are a really budget-friendly option for those occasions. So small yet so powerful that you can see the players’ faces!
They’re very light and so easy to use and can be used for both day and evening vision, but not in darkness.
With a high magnification level of 10x (ie you’ll see an object 100 metres away as though it was 10 meters away) and an objective diameter of 25mm (that is the light-collecting power of the lenses) you’ll get the brightest and clearest image that a binocular in the ‘compact’ class can give.
These binoculars have a centred focus with a close focus of 2.5 metres, ie you can magnify something that’s at least two and a half meters away.
The lenses are fully multi-coated for protection and the binoculars are waterproof so all good for taking out on the water or in adverse weather conditions.
In the package you’ll receive the binoculars, a protective carrying bag, as lanyard and a cleaning cloth. A User’s Manual is also included with detailed instructions on, for example, how to focus the binoculars, as well as their care.
2. Emmabin 12x42 Binoculars
When our eyesight is not enough to see what we really want to, whatever that might be, a pair of light compact binoculars is a such an asset. And they really quite affordable if you’re looking for something that will do the job at say your kid’s graduation or a hiking holiday.
The Emmabin 12x42 Binoculars are in the ‘Standard’ category of binoculars and are designed for terrestrial use (ie not for astronomical purposes).
They have a 12x magnification factor, so you’ll see an object which is say 1200 meters away as if It is 100 meters away. Because the magnification factor is on the lower end of the scale for binoculars these are recommended for general use, issues such as image instability due to hand-shake are not significant at this level.
The other number, the 42, refers to the effective diameter of the objective lens. The higher that number is the brighter and clearer the image will be.
42 is around the mid-range for a pair of standard category binoculars. They have a minimum focal length of 2 meters.
The lenses are Fully Multi Coated for extra low light dispersion to guarantee sharp, clear,H D images in excellent colour fidelity.
These binoculars are water-resistant, fog-resistant, abrasion-resistant and have a durable rubber armour with a non-slip design. They are also shockproof.
They arrive at your door with a carrying bag, cleaning cloth and User’s Manual.
3. OMZER 12x25 Compact
Ideal for outdoor activities where you want more than just what your bare eyes can pick up, these compact folding binoculars from OMZER are lightweight (only 236gms) and easily carried around your neck.
Because they are so extremely compact – folding up as well as being pretty small to begin with – you can take them anywhere very easily without even thinking about it.
They have a good magnification at 12x – you’ll see something that’s 1200 meters away as if it’s 10 meters away, and the quality of the image is also very good with the 25mm objective lens diameter. Their field of view is a wide 84m/1000m due to their 3 internal lens technology.
The binoculars will operate well even in weak light conditions (not darkness).
The lenses have full FMC Broadband coating and the binoculars are made from durable yet light ABS plastics with a rubber non-slip armour and soft textured grip.
The eyepieces and lenses have covers for protection from dust, dirt and rain. The binoculars are waterproof, skidproof, shockproof and will withstand adverse conditions. Focussing is easy with an adjustable central focussing knob and right eyepiece movement.
The binoculars come with a protective carrying case which you can attach to your belt and neck strap as well.
The OZMER folding compact binoculars really are a steal at the price – you’re getting a premium pair of binoculars at a bargain basement price.
4. Carson Scout Series
The Carson Scout Series of mini and compact binoculars comes in 3 models: MiniScout 7x18mm, Scout 8x22mm and ScoutPlus 10x25mm.
They are designed and intended for use by kids (13yo+) on camping trips or others who want something really compact to throw in a backpack on hiking or other adventures where size and weight are serious considerations.
They weigh around 170gms and measure approximately 10x8.5x3cm fully open. Given that they are collapsible, these are seriously very small binoculars.
All three models have a centre focus knob for detailed clarity adjustment, and the ability to adjust the right dioptre as well to fine tune for greater HD image.
They all have fully coated BK-7 prisms for sharp, crisp and bright viewing. Each model has a different field of view.
These binoculars are really great for fast moving targets like wildlife (especially birds) or sporting events because you can move them a lot without feeling the toll of their weight over long periods of time.
They have a good wide peripheral view given their size, which is a big plus. They are not strong magnification binoculars, although the ScoutPlus is a good ‘compact binocular’ strength.
These are low-cost binoculars which give exactly what one would expect from their size and specifications.
5. Gosky 8x32 Binoculars
One point of difference to mention straight out of the gates with the Gosky 8x32mm Binoculars is their ability to securely mount your smartphone for taking great photos through the binoculars! What an excellent idea. They also have a tripod mounting thread on the front.
Weighing only 20.8oz and measuring 5”x6.3”x2.2” they are very portable and easily held for extended periods of time.
Moving on though, these binoculars are a good compact set of binoculars for casual use on hikes, cruises, sports watching or stargazing.
The magnification of 8x is not as strong as most compact binoculars (which are 10) but it’s certainly strong enough for most purposes.
They have a nice wide field of view of 368ft/1000yds which is ideal for the outdoors. And the 32mm objective lenses are fully green multi-layer coated.
They have blue 20mm eyepieces. So all combined these elements produce a bright, clear and crisp image with a good peripheral view.
The product itself is made from a durable magnalium frame and rubber armour for withstanding tough conditions. Adjustable eyecups move up and down for comfortable use with or without spectacles.
With the binoculars you will also receive a smartphone adapter, carrying case, neck strap, cleaning cloth, lens covers and User Manual.
How To Choose the Best Compact Binoculars
- Binocular Size
- Magnification Rating
- Field of View
- Lens Coatings
- Types of Lenses
- Fogproof or Not.
Today we've looked at the best compact binoculars but there are three main sizes, full size, mid-size and compact.
Compact binoculars are better at providing moderate viewing in a small form factor. Of course you'll lose out on features such as distance.
You will find all binoculars are rated by two numbers either side of an X. You might see 8x25. Don't worry you don't need to be an expert to understand these numbers.
The first number is the magnification type or power. If you see an 8 here, it means there is an 8 times magnification scope.
The second number is the diameter of the lens in millimetres. In our example, 25 means 25mm. The higher the number, the larger the objective lens will be and this means you'll have brighter and more true view through your binoculars.
Field of View
Most professional binoculars come with a specified field of view which is nearly always rated in yards. Some manufacturers may have different ways of doing things but from the five we've looked at today, they all follow the same standard.
A wider field of view is better when trying to cover a wider area but you'll have to forego a crisper view of the target. Basically wider is less focused.
These days a lot of lens makers offer fully multi coating lenses. These lens help to reduce the amount of light that passes through each, which can help to reduce reflection.
With a reduction in the reflection you'll enjoy a brighter and more clear view of the target.
Most compact binoculars offer some form of waterproofing, whether that's a water resistance or the ability to be fully submerged in water.
Nearly all manufacturers offer some level of water protection. When choosing which one to purchase you need to look for the IPX standard.
IPX0 means there's no waterproofing while IPX8 means you can fully submerge.
Once you've decided on your use case, you can choose a set of binoculars with a suitable IPX score to match your requirements.
Types of Lenses
There's two different types of glass used in binocular lens. These include standard and ED glass. Then there is different types of standard and ED glass, just to be more confusing.
If you're on a budget and don't need anything too fancy it's likely your binoculars will come with BK7 glass which is cheap and suffers from chromatic aberration which means your target will often come out blurry at all times.
BAK-4 Glass is pretty common in more expensive models but is still not as impressive as ED glass.
ED-Glass is used in high end binoculars to provide clarity and help keep the target fully focused at all times. If you're bird watching or wildlife spotting, this is the type of glass you want.
Fogproof or Not
Some models are fogproof which means they won't fog up during your use. These models are more expensive but can be beneficial if you're going to be using them regularly.
Choosing the best compact binoculars Australia has to offer can be difficult, especially if you don't know about the different features available.
If you're on a budget then any of the five we've mentioned above today are good purchases. If you're looking for a top of the range model, then be sure to go to a camera or photography specialist.
James is a thrill seeker who loves to take part in adventure sports. Currently he’s studying his PHD while working as a software engineer. In his spare time he loves to write.