8 Best Binoculars For Hiking & Backpacking In 2023

Reviewed by Dayna Hatmaker
Dayna Hatmaker

Dayna is a professional optician and has been working in this profession for 7 years. She truly understands her customer's optical needs and recommends the best product. She got her optometry degree from the University of Waterloo. Other than this, she loves golfing, fishing, boating, and hitting the gym.

TOP 3 Recommendations
61Hme8RyvCL. AC SL1000

Best Overall

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61E6atJzsbL. AC SL1000

Best Budget

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ZEISS Terra ED Compact Binocular

Best in Class

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Are you an avid explorer looking for reliable binoculars to help navigate your next outdoor adventure? Whether it’s exploring mountain peaks, bird watching, or just getting a closer look at nature around you, having a great pair of binoculars can make all the difference.

With so many options available in the market today, how do you choose the best binoculars for hiking and backpacking excursions?

Well, don’t worry – We’re here to help! In this blog post, we will review 8 of the top-rated binoculars on the market that offer excellent optical performance alongside low weight and ease of use – perfect for keeping lightweight without sacrificing quality.

So if you’re ready to take your exploration experience up a notch, let us explore these exciting choices together!

Quick Summary: Top 8 Binoculars For Hiking & Backpacking

1. Wingspan Optics EagleScout 10X42 High Powered Binoculars

61Hme8RyvCL. AC SL1000

Wingspan EagleScout 10×42 binoculars give you an expansive, colorful, and clear view of the birds and their traverse land.

The large magnification (10x) provides a detailed view tailored to bird watching. In addition, your Eagle Scout will enjoy a wide field of view through both lenses that provide crisp image clarity across the entire field of view.

The grip on the binoculars’ exterior is ideally placed for comfortable, natural finger placement. In addition, the binoculars feature a protective rubber over-mold to ensure that your view is not obstructed by any sweat or other liquids that may come into contact with the exterior body of the binocular.

The Eagle Scout also features an external balance weight system so that both eyes can be aligned and stabilized independently, making it easier to focus on objects in different parts of the field of view.


  • Cost-effective, quality binoculars for bird watching.
  • The very generous field of view.
  •  It’s great for taking on outdoor adventures since they are waterproof and fog proof!
  • Even more affordable if you opt to purchase a used pair from an Amazon seller.


  • They don’t have a strap system that may be necessary if they’re going to be used often while bird watching or hiking.

2. Nikon 16001 PROSTAFF 7S 10×30 Compact Binocular

61E6atJzsbL. AC SL1000

Nikon’s Prostaff 7S 10×30 binoculars are perfect for birding or nature walks. The optics are sure to please as they provide a sharp, colorful and clear image of the birds in the air or on the ground.

The fully multilayer-coated lenses enhance color, clarity, and phase correction coated roof prisms.

Those with glasses can also enjoy a whole field of view with the eyecups. Thanks to the turn and slide rubber eyecups, eyepiece positioning is quick and smooth with this binocular, thanks to the turn and slide rubber eyecups.

The binoculars’ body is rubber armored for a firm, comfortable grip in any conditions. This makes it easy to hold onto, even when your hands are wet or sweaty.

And since these are built to last, you can use them in the field and on your adventures without worrying about dropping or damaging them.


  • Solid construction and design
  • Very easy to use and clean.
  •  Waterproof (but not weatherproof)
  • Wide field of view
  • Great optics, value for the money.


  • They may have a bit too much weight

3. ZEISS Terra ED Compact Binoculars

ZEISS Terra ED Compact Binocular

Zeiss Terra ED Binoculars offer a magical experience. They are big and beautiful, so they are an enticing draw for birders and nature lovers who want to uncover the wonders of the natural world.

Built around a lightweight and rugged material, these binoculars won’t disappoint.

The rubber-armored exterior and weather-sealed chambers make one feel as if one’s not even holding a pair of binoculars but just being in the presence of something larger than life.

The focusing wheel is easy to grasp and operate but provides a smooth yet substantial feel.

The images’ color, clarity, and sharpness rival high-end binoculars, and cost twice as much.

Crosshairs are satin silver, an attractive touch that also proves to be very useful at night when focusing on objects.

Very comfortable on the head, with full rubber armor for grip and protection against drops.


  • High magnification and high optical performance
  • Compact waterproof binoculars for hiking
  •  Full rubber armor is both comfortable and suitable for protecting them during outdoor adventures
  •  The decent price point in the middle of the market.
  • Excellent eye relief.
  • Great for eyeglass wearers.


  • Takes some getting used to, mainly when focusing on objects near you.

4. Nikon 7579 MONARCH 7 8×30 Binocular

Nikon’s iconic MONARCH 7 Series is the only true compact and easy-to-carry 30mm binoculars globally.

This pair of binoculars is small compared to many other models on the market, but it can still clear a good field of vision when you’re on the animal trail or birding.

The rubber armor on these binoculars is also very sturdy, and they should certainly be able to withstand some rough handling.

The field of view is reasonably comprehensive, and they are light, making them one of the most portable binoculars on the market.

They also have a good level of magnification, making them great for birding, especially in places with lots of trees.

Dielectric multilayer coatings are applied to all lenses, and prism coatings provide a high-contrast image.


  • Easy to use and focus on.
  • Not too heavy or bulky.
  • Good eye relief and comfortable eyecups
  • Light and compact binoculars
  • Very bright image, especially in low light conditions


  • Not weatherproof.

5. Aurosports 10×25 Binoculars

71LxntLtYML. AC SL1500

Autosports binoculars are compact and lightweight with a nice, compact shape. They will fit nicely into your pack or handbag.

The magnifying power of this pair of binoculars is not the highest, but it will help you see more apparent when you’re birding at a distance.

The rubber armor on these binoculars is also very sturdy, and they should certainly be able to withstand some rough handling.

The field of view is reasonably broad, and they are light, making them one of the most portable binoculars on the market.

The product includes a carrying pouch as well as a neck strap. Its smooth focus wheel and large objective lens make it very easy to get an excellent view in any situation.


  • Compact and light, making them one of the most portable binoculars.
  • Easy to operate and adjust focus.
  • Great eye relief.
  • The diamond texture on the rubber armor is designed to prevent slipping.
  • The great price point in the middle of the market.
  • The focusing wheel is easy to grasp and operate smoothly.


  • The magnifying power is insignificant in this model, so don’t expect too much for that distance.

6. Celestron-Nature DX 32 Binoculars

Celestron Nature Binoculars

The Celestron Nature DX 32 binoculars is a mid-sized binocular that offers 8x magnification power and 6.5-foot close focus distance.

It’s hard to beat the Nature DX 32 binoculars regarding optics, quality, value, and warranty.

They offer exceptional clarity with a friendly and wide field of view. Moreover, the fully multi-coated lenses provide sharp images and high resolution.

The prisms are Phase-Coated BaK-4 prisms. This means that the light will never come through the prism in a darkened way, and it will be bright, vibrant, and colorful with no rainbow effects.

The construction quality of these binoculars is simply outstanding. In addition, the fully waterproof housing makes them resistant to water splashing or even rain to a certain extent while they’re outside.

The long eye relief means you don’t have to constantly keep your glasses on to use them, an issue that some people find frustrating with other models.


  • Phase-coated prisms prevent the rainbows effect.
  • Fully waterproof housing
  • Long eye relief.
  • Multi-Lens coating
  • Comfortable, light binoculars.


  • The focus dials are a little bit stiff.

7. Bushnell H2O Binocular

81hwpdyA7dL. AC SL1500 2

Bushnell is another leading manufacturer in the world of optics and binoculars. These Bushnell H20 binoculars are designed to offer both clear images and reliability.

The Bushnell H20 roof prism model is 100% waterproof and O-ring sealed, making them fog proof, so you don’t have to worry about the condensation or moisture seeping into the binoculars.

The BaK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics offer a clear view with improved light transmission.

The soft texture grip absorbs shock and provides a firm grip on the binoculars, even in cold or wet conditions.

The Bushnell binoculars have 10x magnification and a 25mm objective diameter. They have a 15-foot close focus distance suitable for this price point.

The non-slip rubber armor is also very lovely, and you can use them in different weather conditions thanks to it being waterproof and fog proof.


  • Easy to hold and operate.
  • Very comfortable to use.
  • They are very lightweight, so they are easy to use for extended periods.
  • They offer a wide range of magnification.
  • The image is nice and clear.


  • They do not have a tripod socket on them.

8. Swarovski EL 8×32 Binoculars

61GJ5bnQpKL. AC SL1280

Swarovski Corporation, headquartered in Austria, is the primary producer of binoculars and eyepieces.

These Swarovski binoculars are designed for birdwatchers and other wildlife enthusiasts, featuring an 8x magnification power with a wide 22-degree field of view.

They offer superb usability and compact design, making them one of the best binoculars for you around the house.

This hiking package includes the EL 8×32 binoculars, a soft carrying bag, a neck strap, two objective lens covers, and an eyepiece cover.

A wide field of view is an outstanding feature of bird-watching binoculars. For example, Swarovski EL 8×32 has a 22-degrees field of view at 1000 yards. It means that you will see a lot more around you without moving the binoculars from your line of sight.


  • The lenses can be used in low-light conditions.
  • They are well built and sturdy.
  • The image is nice and clear.
  • The rubber covering on the eyepieces feels friendly and secure.
  • The focus dials are easy to use.


  • It’s a little heavy.

Buyer’s Guide:

Before buying binoculars for hiking and backpacking, it is vital to consider the factors. But, of course, these factors apply to any other purchases.

1. Magnification

The magnification power is one of the most critical factors you need to consider before buying binoculars. The higher the magnification, the more you will see around the area you are trying to view. Therefore, to have a clear view of the birds, insects, etc., in the different regions of your trips, choose at least 8x magnification power for your binoculars.

2. Size

The size is another essential factor to consider. A binocular that is too small can be uncomfortable and challenging to hold, while a binocular that is too big will be pretty tricky to pack. Generally, the ideal size of a quality binocular should be something between 8-13 inches in diameter, not including the objective lens.

3. Weight

The weight of a binocular is an essential factor since it affects your comfort while hiking or backpacking.

4. Field Of View

The field of view is a vital factor you should consider. The field of view measures the apparent width of your view through the binoculars at 1000 yards. Therefore, the higher the field of view, the more you will see around you without moving.

5. Price

The price is another significant factor that should be considered carefully, especially if you have a tight budget. However, you can find some decent-quality binoculars at a reasonable price range if you intend to buy something that doesn’t cost over $200 or even $100.


The point of this article was to provide you with some of the best eight binoculars for hiking and backpacking. You will want to decide which one suits your needs and wants initially.

So you must choose the ones that are not just satisfying but are also comfortable and practical to use.

Some things you should consider, such as magnification power, a field of view, weight, optics, etc., is one thing, but you also need to be very clear about the fit (and comfort) in your hands for a multi-day hike.

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