6 Best Backpacking Binoculars of 2020

Last update: Nov 27, 2020

No matter what gear you’re looking for, you must consider the type of activity you’re doing with it. In this case, when you’re looking for backpacking binoculars, you need to take important factors into account that serve your purpose.

And now, we will show you what to consider when buying the best backpacking binoculars.

Here are the best backpacking binoculars you can buy in 2020:

  • Best Overall (Full-Size Binoculars): Adorrgon 12x42 Powerful Binoculars BAK4 FMC Lens
  • Best For Low Light Condition (Full-Size Binoculars): SkyGenius 10 x 50 Powerful Binoculars
  • Best For Good Light Conditions (Full-Size Binoculars): POLDR 10x42 Powerful Full-Size Binoculars
  • Best Overall (Pocket-Size Binoculars): Aurosports 10x25 Folding High Powered Compact Binoculars
  • Ultra-Lightweight (Pocket-Size Binoculars): Skygenius 8x21 Mini Pocket Folding Binoculars
  • Best For Sightseeing (Pocket-Size Binoculars): Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism Binocular
6 Best Backpacking Binoculars
Best Overall
Adorrgon 12x42 Powerful Binoculars BAK4 FMC Lens
  • Full-Size Binoculars
Best For Low Light Condition
SkyGenius 10 x 50 Powerful Binoculars
  • Full-Size Binoculars
Best For Good Light Conditions
POLDR 10x42 Powerful Full-Size Binoculars
  • Full-Size Binoculars
Best Overall
Aurosports 10x25 Folding High Powered Compact Binoculars
  • Pocket-Size Binoculars
Ultra-Lightweight
Skygenius 8x21 Mini Pocket Folding Binoculars
  • Pocket-Size Binoculars
Best For Sightseeing
Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism Binocular
  • Pocket-Size Binoculars

Best Overall (Full-Size Binoculars): Adorrgon 12x42 Powerful Binoculars BAK4 FMC Lens

Adorrgon 12x42 Powerful Binoculars BAK4 FMC Lens
Adorrgon 12x42 Powerful Binoculars BAK4 FMC Lens
10Perfect
Pros
  • Compact & durable – solid core, odorless, shock-resistant rubber armor, & measured by 5.75 x 4.95 x 2.1 inches
  • Lightweight – the weight of only 1.1 pounds
  • Able to work in both daylight and low light – fully multi-coated 43mm objective lens, 12 magnifications, BAK-4 prism, and HD vision
Cons
  • Not made in the USA

Adorrgon 12x42 is our favorite choice when watching scenery or wildlife, hiking, climbing, or traveling because, despite the full-size construction, it is compact and lightweight.

Wrapping around the solid core is an odorless, shock-resistant rubber armor with great grips.

Meanwhile, it gives you all the functions that any full-size binocular would do. Such as HD vision, fully-coated objective lens and eyepiece, and BAK-4 prism. The real star is it works well in both daylight and low light conditions.

A special thing is it can offer crisp images from over 650’ away.

Adorrgon 12x42 Powerful Binoculars BAK4 FMC Lens Specifications

Magnification

12x

Objective Lens Diameter (mm)

42

Field of View

367ft/1000yds

Eye Relief Distance (mm)

10 mm

Highlight Features

solid core, odorless, shock-resistant rubber armor, & measured by 5.75 x 4.95 x 2.1 inches

weight of only 1.1 pounds

fully multi-coated 43mm objective lens, 12 magnifications, BAK-4 prism, and HD vision

Durable, versatile, and lightweight, the Adorrgon 12x42 is top of the line for its best overall performance.

Best For Low Light Condition (Full-Size Binoculars): SkyGenius 10 x 50 Powerful Binoculars

SkyGenius 10 x 50 Powerful Binoculars
SkyGenius 10 x 50 Powerful Binoculars
9.6Outstanding
Pros
  • Able to modify to balance the vision of both eyes - diopter system
  • Good vision at night - quality optics and multi-layered Aspherical lenses
  • Easy to watch fast-moving subjects - The 50mm ultra-large objective lens
  • Suitable for glasses wearers - flexible foldable eyecups
Cons
  • The neck strap is hard to assemble
  • The carry pouch strap is way too short

Aside from durable construction and anti-slip grip, the SkyGenius 10x50 stands out from other counterparts for its diopter system. This additional component helps modify to balance the vision of your eyes, therefore, giving a better viewing experience.

But the biggest selling point is its quality optics and multi-layered Aspherical lenses for improved image quality, contrast, and brightness in low light conditions.

The 50mm ultra-large objective lens is another highlight as it allows you to follow fast-moving subjects.

A big and smooth center knob comes in handy whenever you want to make an adjustment to focus/operate. Besides, it’s built with flexible foldable eyecups to suit glasses wearers.

SkyGenius 10 x 50 Powerful Binoculars Specifications

Magnification

10x

Objective Lens Diameter (mm)

50mm

Field of View

367ft/1000yds

Eye Relief Distance (mm)

13.75mm

Highlight Features

diopter system

quality optics and multi-layered Aspherical lenses

The 50mm ultra-large objective lens

flexible foldable eyecups

Offering exceptional vision at low light conditions, the SkyGenius 10x50 is our top choice for concerts, operas, and astronomical viewing.

Best For Good Light Conditions (Full-Size Binoculars): POLDR 10x42 Powerful Full-Size Binoculars

POLDR 10x42 Powerful Full-Size Binoculars
POLDR 10x42 Powerful Full-Size Binoculars
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Offer more real images during daylight use - FMC lenses, BAK-4 prisms, 10x magnification, and 42mm objective lens
  • Able to work well with plenty of smartphone brands – universal phone adapter
  • Easy to carry around – a neck strap & a carrying case
Cons
  • Wish the carrying bag and neck strap were higher quality

The core strength of POLDR 10x42 is completely contrasting to the SkyGenius above – this option is for good light conditions, like whale-watching and bird-watching.

It is constructed with waterproof, anti-slip rubber armor, FMC lenses, BAK-4 prisms, 10x magnification, and 42mm objective lens, which offers a large field of view of 305ft / 1000yds.

While giving you more real images with nice contrast, colors, and brightness, it offers crystal-clear images, even at a long distance.

The best part about this backpacking binocular is its phone adapter which suits lots of smartphone brands, like Sony LG, Huawei, Samsung, and iPhone.

Plus, it comes with a neck strap and a carrying pouch for ease of transporting.

POLDR 10x42 Powerful Full-Size Binoculars Specifications

Magnification

10x

Objective Lens Diameter (mm)

42

Field of View

305ft / 1000yds

Highlight Features

FMC lenses, BAK-4 prisms, 10x magnification, and 42mm objective lens

universal phone adapter

a neck strap & a carrying case

If you’re looking for the best full-size backpacking binocular for good light conditions, don’t hesitate to choose the POLDR 10x42

Best Overall (Pocket-Size Binoculars): Aurosports 10x25 Folding High Powered Compact Binoculars

Aurosports 10x25 Folding High Powered Compact Binoculars
Aurosports 10x25 Folding High Powered Compact Binoculars
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Work flawlessly during daylight - 25mm fully multi-coated objective lens, 10x magnification, and BAK-4 prism
  • Bright and clear in low light - full HD green film
  • Easy to store – foldable and lightweight design
Cons
  • Not ideal for people with big head & widely-spaced eyes

Featuring a 25mm fully multi-coated objective lens and 10x magnification, along with a BAK-4 prism, this model can give you clear images of objects. However, it’s not just a good binocular working well during daylight, but also an excellent night-vision tool.

The added full HD green film is key for the product’s extraordinary brightness and light transmittance up to 99.5%.

A good bonus is you can fold it down when not in use for easy storage.

The binocular itself is also lightweight and durable with good grips to easily carry around your neck or stored inside your backpack.

Aurosports 10x25 Folding High Powered Compact Binoculars Specifications

Magnification

10x

Objective Lens Diameter (mm)

25

Field of View

362 ft/1000 yds

Eye Relief Distance (mm)

14.8mm

Highlight Features

25mm fully multi-coated objective lens, 10x magnification, and BAK-4 prism

full HD green film

foldable and lightweight design

Some people think that there must be a compromise between lightness and functionality when it comes to backpacking binoculars. But the Aurosports 10x25, with emphasis on its best overall performance, is here to prove them wrong.

Ultra-Lightweight (Pocket-Size Binoculars): Skygenius 8x21 Mini Pocket Folding Binoculars

Skygenius 8x21 Mini Pocket Folding Binoculars
Skygenius 8x21 Mini Pocket Folding Binoculars
9.2Outstanding
Pros
  • Ultra-lightweight – only 175 grams
  • Function well - FMC multi-coated broadband green film, BK7 roof prism, 21mm objective lens, and 8x magnification
  • Reliable - under a 12-month warranty
Cons
  • No rubber caps
  • The strap is prone to break

This pocket-sized backpacking binocular is perfect for people who want something ultra-lightweight to carry around with convenience. It weighs only 175 grams, nearly as a smartphone nowadays.

Combined with its pocket-size silhouette, the product is very easy to store anywhere.

However, it functions quite well. The construction features FMC multi-coated broadband green film, BK7 roof prism, 21mm objective lens, and 8x magnification.

It allows you to see everything clearly, sharply, and brightly in a 369ft/1000yds large field of view. Besides, it’s under a 12-month warranty.

Skygenius 8x21 Mini Pocket Folding Binoculars Specifications

Magnification

8x

Objective Lens Diameter (mm)

21

Field of View

369 ft/1000 yds

Eye Relief Distance (mm)

16mm

Highlight Features

only 175 grams

FMC multi-coated broadband green film, BK7 roof prism, 21mm objective lens, and 8x magnification

under a 12-month warranty

While some outdoor enthusiasts focus 100% on their binocular’s quality, others overweight lightness by anything else. For them, the Skygenius 8x21 is their best bet.

Best For Sightseeing (Pocket-Size Binoculars): Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism Binocular

Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism Binocular
Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism Binocular
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Ideal for hiking or sightseeing – the weight of 7 ounces, compact design, & a field of view of 378 feet/1000 yards
  • Feel sturdy & solid – shock-absorption nonslip rubber armor
  • Easy to use - Center focus system
Cons
  • Eye position and eye relief aren't the best

These binoculars are a more compact and lightweight version for sightseeing and hiking. It gives you a field of view of 378 feet/1000 yards while weighing only 7 ounces. There’s also a limited lifetime warranty provided.

We love it because it is easy to use, can instantly focus, and give clear and bright images.

Although the material is synthetic, it doesn’t bring a cheap plastic feel like kid’s binoculars. Instead, it still gives a nice heft when holding.

Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism Binocular Specifications

Magnification

8X

Objective Lens Diameter (mm)

21

Field of View

378-Feet field of view at 1000-Yards

Highlight Features

the weight of 7 ounces, compact design, & a field of view of 378 feet/1000 yards

shock-absorption non slip rubber armor

Center focus system

Designed to give a good field of view, brightness, and sharp images, the Bushnell Powerview is our top pick for sightseeing.

How To Choose The Best Backpacking Binocular?

Sizes

When shopping for backpacking binoculars, you need to first choose a size.

Generally, there are three sizes: full size (8x42), mid-size (7x35), and compact (8x25).

For the sake of backpacking, you can immediately pass the full and middle size, and opt for the compact size. The reason is that you will have to carry the binoculars for long hours and the first two options are too bulky.

Compact binoculars provide moderate viewing power for you while stacked in a tiny package. However, they lack some features and may be less comfortable to use in extended periods.

Magnification Power

If you’re wondering what the 8x25 indicator of compact binoculars means, it’s the magnification power rating. The rating consists of two numbers that are separated by the “x.”

The first number indicates how many times the binoculars can make images bigger, 8 times for example.

It’s worth noting that for backpacking binoculars, you shouldn’t go above 10x magnification. The other number indicates the objective lens’ diameter, measured in millimeters. In the case of compact binoculars, the objective lens measures 25 millimeters in diameter.

The lens diameter is very important as it determines how much light can get into the binoculars. The lighter, the brighter, more true, crisper view you will get of the target.

Durability

Fogproof inert gas: some high-end binoculars are filled with inert gas to make them fogproof.

Waterproofing: it’s impossible to keep binoculars 100% dry when backpacking, so this feature will ensure your binoculars are resistant to water. This feature is indicated in an IPX rating, the higher the better.

For instance, IPX0 means no waterproofing and IPX8 means the binoculars can survive being submerged in 3-feet deep water.

Lens coating: lens coating is aimed to prevent the reflection of light on the surface of the lens, which reduces the amount of light lost and results in better image clarity.

You can choose from 4 types of lens coatings, including fully multi-coated, multi-coated, fully-coated, and coated optics.

Types of Glass Used in Lenses

When it comes to the type of glass used in the lens, you should choose among the following options:

  • Schott ED Glass: features very low chromatic aberration.
  • ED Glass: used in high-end binoculars for a crisp view and clarity by reducing chromatic aberration.
  • BAK-4 Glass: commonly used in quality optics, featuring a low refractive index, delivering resistance to environmental and chemical damage.

Which Brands Make The Best Backpacking Binocular?

SkyGenius

Since its foundation in 2013, this international company has focused on design and production to make binoculars with excellent quality and reasonable prices for you.

Bushnell

With 65 years of experience in the industry, Bushnell is a leading brand when it comes to sports optics. Its products deliver the most reliability, highest quality, and affordability for users. If you’re looking for a long-standing brand, this is the go-to one for you.

FAQs

Which is better for backpacking: roof prism vs. Porro binoculars?

The choice comes down to your preference and budget. There are many things to compare between these two types, but here are some key points:

  • Roof prism is more lightweight, compact, and more comfortable to hold.
  • Roof prism is very expensive while Porro prism is cheap.
  • Roof prism is more durable and waterproof.
  • Roof prism has a more powerful lens.
  • Roof prism in general provides better images but is less stereoscopic than Porro prism.

Are 12x binoculars any good?

Yes, they are. 12x binoculars are good for dim light conditions and let you see objects from farther distances. But they are heavy and bulky.

What's better for backpacking: 8x or 10x binoculars?

10x binoculars are probably better because they let you clearly see objects from a longer distance than 8x binoculars.

How far can 12x42 binoculars see?

There’s not a definite answer to this question because regardless of the distance, 12x binoculars always make the images 12 times larger.

What strength binoculars do I need?

The answer to this question depends on what you use the binoculars for. For example, if you’re backpacking, you will need 10x binoculars, but if you’re stargazing, you will need 20x or 25x binoculars.

Conclusion

As of now, we hope that you have figured out what to look for in the best backpacking binoculars. With every factor under consideration, remember that you will use the binoculars for backpacking so that you can make the best decision. Good luck!


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