Are you in the market for a pair of affordable binoculars? Here are five models that are a cut above the lowest price range of binoculars, but even at under $200, these binoculars offer a lot of value and performance that even serious hunters, birders and sports enthusiasts will be pleased with. You’ll find many of the top optics brand names in this list as well like Nikon, Vortex, Leupold and more. Let’s break down five models that are worth every penny. Note that specs listed below are based upon the lowest magnification and many times lowest priced models. Specs may change if higher magnification models or larger objective lenses are chosen.
Leupold makes some of the best American-made optics on the market, and their BX-2 Acadia binocular line is no exception. Named after the majestic National Park in Maine, the Acadia line was initially designed to combine the superior performance and handling of a roof prism binocular with the affordability of a porro prism, and that same exceptional value is still present today in the latest models in the series. The Acadia series offers a slim design, lightweight and waterproof / fogproof body, fully multi-coated lenses and BAK-4 prisms. The Acadia series only comes in a flat black finish.
Available In: 8x32mm, 8x42mm, 10x32mm, 10x42mm, 10x50mm and 12x50mm
Priced At: $154.20 – $199.00 depending on model (note: 50mm models are priced slightly over $200).
Additional Specs: field of view 394 ft., weight 18oz, length 4.5 in., eye relief 15.5mm, close focus distance 5 ft. (based upon lowest-priced model).
Wins In Categories: weight 18oz, length 4.5 in., eye relief 15.5mm, close focus 5 ft.
Nikon makes a rich offering of sport optics, and the ProStaff 5 is one of the more affordable options that is still a step above their entry-level and spectator models. The ProStaff 5 is built around a tough armored roof prism body, and it features waterproof and fogproof resistances, fully multi-coated lenses and BAK-4 prisms. Like the Acadia series, the ProStaff is only available in a flat black finish. See also, the new offfering of ProStaff 7S binoculars announced at SHOT 2016 and available at a similar price point.
Available In: 8x42mm, 10x42mm, 10x50mm and 12x50mm.
Priced At: $157.95 – $196.95 (12x50mm model slightly more expensive than $200)
Additional Specs: field of view 360ft., weight 22.2oz, length 6.5 in., eye relief 17.5mm, close focus 16.4 ft. (based upon lowest-priced model).
Wins In Categories: N/A
Vortex is another brand that offers superior performance at a reasonable price, and their update to the popular Crossfire II binocular series, now just titled the Crossfire binocular, leads the charge. The Crossfire is Vortex’s entry-level roof prism binocular, but it certainly doesn’t perform at an “entry-level” with fully multi-coated lenses, waterproof and fogproof resistances, fully multi-coated lenses and a slim, lightweight design. In a departure from the previous flat black models, the new Crossfire sports a stylish dark gray and dark green color pattern.
Available In: 8x42mm, 10x42mm, 10x50mm and 12x50mm
Priced At: $169 – $199
Additional Specs: field of view 393 ft., weight 23.5oz, length 6.2in., eye relief 17mm, close focus 7.5 ft. (based upon lowest-priced model).
Wins In Categories: N/A
The Hawke Nature Trek is UK-based optics manufacturer Hawke’s baseline binocular series, and it is available in an exceptional amount of sizes and magnifications, a diversity that the other brands cannot match. There are even two monocular models based upon the Nature Trek platform. These binoculars sport BAK-4 prisms, fully multi-coated lenses, and waterproof and fogproof resistances. The Nature Trek series is styled in a teal green body with flat black accents.
Available In: 8x32mm, 10x32mm, 8x42mm, 10x42mm, 10x50mm and 12x50mm.
Priced At: $119 – $179
Additional Specs: field of view 388ft., weight 18.4oz, length 5 in., eye relief 18mm, close focus 6.6 ft. (based upon lowest-priced model).
Wins In Categories: N/A
Bushnell’s Excursion HD binocular series takes a run at the four models listed above by offering the widest field of vision of all five binoculars under $200. Based around a rugged, reinforced body, the Excursion HD has BAK-4 prisms, fully multi-coated lenses, and waterproof / fogproof resistances. The Excursion HD sports a dark green styling with distinct ridges along the body to increase grip in wet conditions.
Available In: 8x42mm and 10x42mm.
Priced At: $179 – $199
Additional Specs: field of view 426 ft., weight 24.3oz, length 5.71 in., eye relief 17.2mm, close focus 6.5 ft. (based upon lowest-priced model).
Wins In Categories: field of view 426 ft.
Note: all prices are subject to change and based upon 1800Gear.com current offers.