September 2022

Binoculars: Meta Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Binoculars rankings posted by key online experts, as of September 2022.

Summary

As of 7 Sep 2022, Vortex Optics Viper HD takes the cake as the most critically-acclaimed binoculars with 3 expert endorsements. 2 experts out of 3 recommended it as the '#1 binoculars' this month. It is followed by Celestron TrailSeeker and Canon 10x42 L , with 4 and 3 expert endorsements respectively.

At a glance - September 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Binoculars
Wirecutter
Digital Camera World
Space Exploration and Astronomy
Task and Purpose
Forbes
OpticsMag
T3
BestReviews
money.com
GearJunkie
1
+2 $484
Vortex Optics Viper HD
-
-
-
-
3
1
-
-
1
-
2
-1 $169
Celestron TrailSeeker
-
4
2
-
-
-
11
-
-
1
3
-1 $1499
Canon 10x42 L
-
1
1
-
-
-
9
-
-
-
4
- $111
Nikon Aculon A211
-
-
7
1
-
-
10
-
-
-
5
- $35
Celestron SkyMaster Giant
-
5
15
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
6
- $129
Celestron Nature DX
-
17
14
-
-
-
6
3
-
-
7
- $220
Celestron Nature DX ED
-
2
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
8
- $85
Celestron Outland X
-
8
-
-
-
-
-
-
3
3
9
- $169
Vortex Optics Crossfire HD
-
3
4
-
-
-
5
-
-
-
10
- $149
Celestron SkyMaster Astro
-
-
6
3
-
-
-
-
4
-
11
+1 $175
Nikon Action EX Extreme
-
6
13
-
-
-
7
-
-
-
12
+2 Check price
Vixen Binoculars SG 2.1×42
-
14
11
-
-
-
12
-
-
-
13
New * $329
Celestron Trailseeker ED
2
-
-
-
5
-
-
-
-
-
14
New * $95
Nocs Provisions Standard Issue
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
-
-
6
17
-6 $127
Nikon Prostaff 3S
-
7
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
-
18
- $245
Celestron SkyMaster Pro
-
9
-
-
-
-
4
-
-
-
19
- $134
Opticron Savanna WP Porro
-
10
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
20
- $38
Celestron UpClose G2 20x50
-
15
-
-
-
-
13
-
-
-

We ranked Vortex Optics Viper HD #1 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Vortex Optics Viper HD as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Forbes

Best Binoculars For Birdwatching

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OpticsMag

Best Overall

Pros
Quality construction with O-ring seal
Works well in low-light conditions
Includes accessories
Unconditional lifetime warranty

Cons
On the expensive side
Eye relief isn’t great

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money.com

Best overall

Pros
Lifetime warranty for damages and defects.

Cons
On the pricey side, at around $500.

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We ranked Celestron TrailSeeker #2 in September 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Celestron TrailSeeker as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

Compact and waterproof and amongst the finest mid-range binoculars you can buy

Pros
Excellent image quality
Compact and lightweight
Waterproof
Stuff sack and harness included

Cons
Expensive
Loose lens caps

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Space Exploration and Astronomy

For under $300 these are the best binoculars you can buy today

Pros
No fogging
Bright images
Wide field of view

Cons
Carry case not supplied

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T3

Another outstanding all-rounder

Pros
Sharp, bright images
Lightweight and durable build
Water- and fogproof

Cons
Lens caps fall off

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GearJunkie

Best Overall

Pros
State-of-the-art optics for optimal viewing
excellent balance of price and quality
ergonomically designed for comfortable use

Cons
focus dial can become weak or rust if not cared for properly

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Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Binoculars.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Binoculars, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for September 2022 ranking

We ranked Canon 10x42 L #3 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Canon 10x42 L as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

A pricey set of premium binoculars, but the spectacular stabilization makes them worth it

Pros
Steady image stabilized performance
Weather proofed with it
10x magnification and good size optics

Cons
Bulkier than non-stabilized binos
Weightier than most at 1,110g

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Space Exploration and Astronomy

Hands down the finest stargazing binoculars money can buy

Pros
Optical Image Stabilizer
Rugged build quality
Lots of eye relief

Cons
Bulky size
Lens caps are loose
AAA batteries required

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T3

The best binoculars for handheld stargazing

Pros
Shake-free stargazing
Mind-blowing moon-gazing
Can be mounted on a tripod

Cons
Lens caps not up to the quality of the rest of the unit
Heavy to hold for prolonged periods
IS runs batteries down quickly

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We ranked Nikon Aculon A211 #4 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Nikon Aculon A211 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Space Exploration and Astronomy

A sleek and well made binocular model

Pros
Great optics
Wide field of view
Sleek design

Cons
Eye relief isn't brilliant
-Not water resistant

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Task and Purpose

BEST OVERALL

Pros
Feature adjustable 10-22-power multi-coated lenses and 50mm objectives made with patented lead and arsenic-free Eco-Glass.
Can be used in a variety of situations, proven to deliver a high-quality image under a multitude of lighting conditions.
Extremely effective for viewing objects at a distance from dawn until dusk.
Easy to use and operate, featuring eyepiece mounted zoom lever, which allows for quick magnification changes from 10x through 22x.

Cons
Customers have had issues with weight.
Rather heavy compared to some other options.

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T3

Hefty but impressive all-rounders at a great price

Pros
Excellent build quality
Easy to use
Bright and colourful images

Cons
Heavy and bulky
Fiddly objective lens caps

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We ranked Celestron SkyMaster Giant #5 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Celestron SkyMaster Giant as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

Best budget binoculars for astronomy

Pros
Huge 15x magnification
Great for stargazing
Comes with shoulder bag & tripod adaptor

Cons
Best used with tripod

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Space Exploration and Astronomy

This has superb magnification and detail, but it's a heavy unit

Pros
Great price for giant binoculars
Excellent eye relief
Optics offer good detail

Cons
Heavy, requires tripod

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BestReviews

Best of the best

Pros
Multi-coated optics.
Suitable for viewing in daylight and low-light situations.
Includes tripod mount.
Rubberized and ergonomically designed.

Cons
Quite large and heavy.
A small percentage have a problem with focus.

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We ranked Celestron Nature DX #6 in September 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

Mid-priced binoculars well suited to low light conditions and astronomy

Pros
Nitrogen filled to prevent fogging
Suitable for low light with large 56mm lens

Cons
Heavier than many alternatives

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Space Exploration and Astronomy

Fantastic magnification makes these ideal for galaxies

Pros
Great for galaxies
Manageable weight
Waterproof, fog-proof and durable

Cons
Slight distortion at field's edge
-Surface isn't as grippy as other rubber coated bins

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T3

The best value binoculars for beginners

Pros
Detailed images in bright light
Excellent focus knob
Relatively light and compact
Lens caps are attached

Cons
Edge of image is blurry
Neck strap is poor
Not good for stargazing

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BestReviews

Durable and Rugged

Pros
Crisp images.
Easy to focus.
Lightweight and fairly compact, so they are easy to carry.
Nice for birdwatching.
Includes carrying case, lens, cap, eyepiece, rain guard, neck strap, cleaning cloth, and manual.

Cons
Manufacturer claims of these binoculars being waterproof are questionable.
Some durability concerns.

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We ranked Celestron Nature DX ED #7 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Celestron Nature DX ED as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

These top quality compact binoculars are bursting with brightness

Pros
High-end optics
Sharp, bright and contrasty images
Travel-friendly size
Unbeatable build quality

Cons
High price
Relatively narrow field of view
Lens caps can get in the way
Not much eye relief

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T3

The best binoculars for most people

Pros
Next-level optics
Compact size
Excellent build quality

Cons
Not much eye relief
Eyecups are average quality

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We ranked Celestron Outland X #8 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

The best budget binoculars, offering great value for money and a range of sizes

Pros
Versatile and well suited to wildlife
Sturdy polycarbonate housing
Waterproof
Available in green or black

Cons
Neither small nor light

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money.com

Best for low prices

Pros
Includes carrying case, neck strap, lens caps and cleaning cloth.

Cons
Some customers claim images are dark in low light settings.

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GearJunkie

Best Budget

Pros
Most affordable adult binoculars on our list
durable design
good option for bulk purchase or outfitting an outdoor program

Cons
Touchy adjustment knob sometimes gets itself out of focus
binos don’t hold up well in wet and rainy conditions

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We ranked Vortex Optics Crossfire HD #9 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

These mid-range binoculars come with a handy harness and boast excellent optics for all-round use.

Pros
Harness prevents neck-ache
Good quality shoulder bag
Impressive in lowlight

Cons
Harness can get confusing
Tethered lens caps are fiddly
Close focus is 6ft

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Space Exploration and Astronomy

If you need sturdy binoculars, this is the pair to buy

Pros
Sturdy, well-constructed build
Multipurpose optics
Manageable weight

Cons
-A little false color in views
-Slight blurring at the edge of FOV

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T3

Great quality binoculars with a handy chest harness

Pros
Quality optics
'Glasspak' harness
Waterproof and nitrogen-purged

Cons
Annoying tethers on lens caps

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We ranked Celestron SkyMaster Astro #10 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Space Exploration and Astronomy

See the Universe close up and in stereo, but don’t plan to take them anywhere

Pros
High magnification
Tripod adapter included
Great clarity and contrast

Cons
Very heavy, tripod needed
-Quite expensive

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Task and Purpose

Editor's Choice

Pros
Extremely rugged product, able to withstand large drops.
Ideal for use in a variety of weather conditions, featuring water-resistant technology.
Soft, rubber eyecups are extremely comfortable, and can even be folded down for convenience and easy viewing for those who wear prescription eyeglasses.
Built-in tripod adapter rod for use with a variety of tripods.
Can easily be mounted to the tripod for use when stargazing or for wildlife viewing over extended periods of time.

Cons
Not the best option for use in broad daylight.
Due to the amount of light they let in, these binoculars are ideal for use in dim light settings.

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money.com

Best for stargazing

Pros
Strong 20x magnification ocular lenses for long-distance viewing.

Cons
At around 5 lbs, they may feel in your hands heavy after a while.

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We ranked Nikon Action EX Extreme #11 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

large and heavy binoculars are a good value way of getting closer to your subject

Pros
12x magnification
Waterproof and fog-proof design
Good value price

Cons
Heavy to hold for long periods
Some edge distortion
Lens caps are easy to lose

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Space Exploration and Astronomy

A reliable binocular model, but one you need a tripod for

Pros
Wide field of view
Clear, crisp observations

Cons
Heavy, tripod required
Slight field curvature

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T3

Heavyweight binoculars that deliver spectacular views

Pros
Clear and sharp
Shock-resistant and waterproof

Cons
Bulky and heavy
Lacks close focusing

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We ranked Vixen Binoculars SG 2.1×42 #12 in September 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

These wide-angle Vixen SG 2.1x42 binoculars are a niche purchase but give you a unique perspective on the night sky

Pros
Unique field of view
Incredible depth of field
Portable size

Cons
Lack magnification
Edges are very blurry
Lose-able lens caps

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Space Exploration and Astronomy

Let these Galilean-design binoculars give you a new way of looking at the night sky

Pros
Very easy to keep steady
Widefield 3D stargazing
Small, light and easy to carry

Cons
Very low magnification
Blurry at edges
Lens caps are easy to lose

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T3

The best binoculars for immersive stargazing

Pros
Retain a ‘big sky’ view
Lightweight and portable

Cons
Not ideal for general purpose viewing
Lens caps easily mislaid
Weedy magnification factor
Softening of detail in edges of frame

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We ranked Celestron Trailseeker ED #13 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Wirecutter

For a smaller grip

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Forbes

Best Binoculars For Stargazing

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We ranked Nocs Provisions Standard Issue #14 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Forbes

Best Value Binoculars

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GearJunkie

Best Compact Binoculars

Pros
Compact without compromising optic power
durable/waterproof construction
lifetime warranty

Cons
Expensive for optical power — paying for size

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We ranked Nikon Prostaff 3S #15 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

The best binoculars overall, with rugged construction and fog-proofing

Pros
Big-name brand at a modest price
Rugged rubber armor construction
O-ring sealed

Cons
Not premium optical quality

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T3

Another excellent pair of all-rounders

Pros
O-ring sealed to keep moisture out
Reasonable price
Rubber construction for comfortable grip

Cons
Requires a steady pair of hands, or rest, for optimum viewing
Provided lens caps a bit flimsy and easy to lose

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We ranked Celestron SkyMaster Pro #16 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

Great binoculars for astronomy and star-gazing, best used on a tripod

Pros
High magnification and large lenses
Rugged rubber armour

Cons
Big and bulky
-Better on a tripod

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T3

The biggest and best binoculars for stargazing

Pros
Brilliant design
Amazing deep-sky images
Easier to use than a telescope

Cons
Narrow field of view
Too heavy to hold

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We ranked Opticron Savanna WP Porro #17 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

The best binoculars for kids, both light and waterproof

Pros
Compact and light – fit in a sling bag
No eyestrain for kids as young as seven

Cons
Not the most powerful binos
Lacks features like anti fogging

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money.com

Best binoculars for kids

Pros
Minimum 50 mm interpupillary distance (IPD) is ideal to reduce eye strain.

Cons
Lacks anti-fogging.

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We ranked Celestron UpClose G2 20x50 #18 in September 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Camera World

These Celestron UpClose G2 10x50 binoculars are a good value for beginners keen on wildlife, the night sky and more

Pros
Bright and colorful images
Lightweight design
Easy to use
Affordable price

Cons
Lens caps are easy to lose
Slight edge distortion
Not much eye relief

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T3

A good budget bino for beginners

Pros
Wide field of view
Easy to use and adjust
Very low price

Cons
Average build quality
Distortion at the edges
No eye relief

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