May 2022

Binoculars: Aggregated Ranking Report

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

At a glance - May 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
+1 $97
Nikon Prostaff 3S
-
2
9
-
-
-
1
-
-
3
2
-1 $168
Celestron TrailSeeker
-
-
2
-
5
-
11
-
-
1
3
+12 $1439
Canon 10x42 L
-
1
1
-
-
-
13
-
-
-
4
-1 $140
Celestron Nature DX
-
7
14
-
-
-
17
3
-
-
5
-1 $158
Celestron SkyMaster Astro
-
-
6
3
-
-
10
-
4
-
6
-1 $100
Celestron SkyMaster Giant
-
-
15
-
-
-
-
1
-
5
7
-1 $470
Vortex Optics Viper HD
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
1
-
8
-1 $90
Celestron Outland X
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
3
4
9
-1 $277
Nikon Monarch 5
-
-
-
-
4
-
8
-
2
-
10
-1 $115
Nikon Aculon A211
-
-
7
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
11
-1 $169
Vortex Optics Diamondback HD
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
-
-
2
12
-1 $128
Opticron Savanna WP Porro
-
6
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
13
-1 $519
Olympus 10X42 PRO
-
8
-
-
-
-
7
-
-
-
14
-1 $919
Leica Trinovid-HD
-
10
-
-
-
-
4
-
-
-
15
-1 $967
Nikon Monarch HG
-
9
-
-
-
-
9
-
-
-
16
New * $280
Vixen Binoculars SG 2.1×42
-
-
11
-
-
-
15
-
-
-

We ranked Nikon Prostaff 3S #1 in May 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Nikon Prostaff 3S as #1.
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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Space Exploration and Astronomy

These lightweight binoculars are easy to hold for long periods

Pros
Rubber coating for grip
Waterproof and shock-resistant
Long eye relief design

Cons
Lacks a tripod adaptor
Average lens caps
Low magnification

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T3

The best binoculars for all-round use

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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GearJunkie

Best Budget

Pros
Highly affordable
lightweight and durable design
good eye relief
surprisingly nice clarity

Cons
Some vision distortion along edges of the field of view
ill-fitting lens caps

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We ranked Celestron TrailSeeker #2 in May 2022 because:

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

Best Binoculars for Stargazing

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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
Need to cover some cost of repair, even under warranty
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 May 2022 ranking

We ranked Canon 10x42 L #3 in May 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 Celestron Nature DX #4 in May 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

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T3

The best mid-range multipurpose binoculars

Pros
Large objective lens for better clarity in low light
Robust polycarbonate construction with multi coated optics

Cons
Heavy in the palm when viewing for longer periods
Tripod adaptor not included

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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 SkyMaster Astro #5 in May 2022 because:

  • 4 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
Heavy, tripod needed

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Task and Purpose

HONORABLE MENTION

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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T3

The best binoculars for stereoscopic stargazing

Pros
Great clarity
Powerful

Cons
Heavy duty tripod required
Big and bulky
Not ideal if you want to switch focus to closer subjects

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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 Celestron SkyMaster Giant #6 in May 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:
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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GearJunkie

Best for Stargazing

Pros
Affordable night sky alternative to a telescope
large magnification
objective lens low-light viewing
reliable brand

Cons
Specialty binoculars that don’t offer great crossover potential
finicky adjustments

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We ranked Vortex Optics Viper HD #7 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Binoculars” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Vortex Optics Viper HD as #1.
Critic endorsements:
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 Outland X #8 in May 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

Runner-Up 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 Nikon Monarch 5 #9 in May 2022 because:

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

Best Binoculars for the Money

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T3

Excellent, compact, all-weather binoculars

Pros
All-weather performance
20x magnifications
Tripod adapter included

Cons
Bulky and weighty
Too big to claim to be conveniently pocket sized

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money.com

Editor’s pick

Pros
Lenses are waterproof and fog-proof.

Cons
Narrower field of view than many competitors.

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We ranked Nikon Aculon A211 #10 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 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

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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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We ranked Vortex Optics Diamondback HD #11 in May 2022 because:

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

Best Binoculars for Birdwatching

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GearJunkie

Runner-Up

Pros
Incredible value for the quality of optics
great viewing, excels in low light
excellent warranty and customer service

Cons
Focus wheel and right eye diopter a bit clunky
included harness is not the easiest to use

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We ranked Opticron Savanna WP Porro #12 in May 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 Olympus 10X42 PRO #13 in May 2022 because:

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

A more expensive price bracket, but great premium binoculars for nature and wildlife

Pros
Compact relatively light and versatile
Waterproofed and nitrogen filled

Cons
10x may not be enough for wildlife
Pretty pricey

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T3

Nitrogen purged, waterproofed and ready for anything

Pros
Compact and relatively lightweight
Quick to focus and adjust
Anti-fogging build

Cons
Paying a slight premium for high-end features
Even greater magnification for intensive wildlife observation

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We ranked Leica Trinovid-HD #14 in May 2022 because:

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

Leica makes binoculars as well as cameras, and to the same exceptional standard

Pros
Full body rubber armour
Outstanding image sharpness
Excellent colour fidelity

Cons
Expensive

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T3

The best binoculars for bird watchers prepared to splash some cash

Pros
Crystal clear, detailed observation
Solid build with non-slip exterior
Decent viewing, even in dim light

Cons
Premium price tag

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We ranked Nikon Monarch HG #15 in May 2022 because:

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

High-quality, highly compact binoculars ideal for birdwatching, though not cheap

Pros
Wide angle of view
Waterproofed
Anti-fog magnesium alloy build

Cons
You pay a premium for being compact

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T3

The best compact binos with a big performance

Pros
Similar performance to a 42mm pair of binos but in a smaller format
Good magnification power and impressive lens clarity
Waterproof and fog proof

Cons
Large(ish) price tag

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We ranked Vixen Binoculars SG 2.1×42 #16 in May 2022 because:

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