Top-rated lightweight travel binoculars.
When it comes to buying a pair of optimal binoculars for hiking or backpacking, the choice may be difficult. The thing is that high-quality travel binoculars feature very delicate premium lenses.
However, at the same time, they should be durable and lightweight to cope with all outdoor difficulties. In short, these are the main challenges that a wildlife explorer or hiker may face looking for the best travel binoculars.
Today, there are numerous options to choose from. To find the best pair suitable for your needs, you have to consider such parameters as size, magnification, etc. It may be tiresome to scan through all the info.
That is why we have explored the market of lightweight travel binoculars and compiled the list of the top options available today. Continue reading and you will get acquainted with the best offers and compare their pros and cons. Moreover, you will also find some useful tips that will help you find an ideal pair for traveling.
Magnification: 8x | Objective diameter: 42mm | Field of view at 1000m: 140 metres| Closest focusing distance: 1.90 metres | Eye relief: 17.1mm | Weight: 650g
⊕ Short close focus
⊕ The ED glass
⊕ Lightweight and portable
⊖ Doesn’t work at twilight
⊖ Isn’t compatible with a tripod
The Nikon Monarch 7 Series was first released in 2012. The manufacturer offered only two models, the 8x42 and 10x42. These optical devices featured Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms made of BaK-4 glass covered by both dielectric and phase-correction coatings.
The Monarch 7 travel binoculars have low dispersion ED glass and wide-angle eyepieces with large fields of view. All air-to-glass surfaces are covered with anti-reflective multi-coatings while scratch-resistant layers additionally protect the outer elements.
Magnification: 8x | Objective diameter: 42mm | Field of view at 1000m: 365ft | Closest focusing distance: 8ft | Eye relief: 19mm | Weight: 730g
⊕ Extra-low dispersion glass lenses
⊕ Roof prism
⊕ Completely multi-coated
⊕ Open-bridge design
⊖ Carrying case is not the best one
Thanks to the ability to focus on objects 6.5 feet away, the Vanguard Endeavor ED II is considered to be the best travel binoculars for close focus range among instruments with 10x magnification. It also shows great performance with a 340-feet field of view at 1000 yards.
Further, we are going to talk about the parameters that distinguish this particular pair of travel binoculars. Speaking about the field of view, the 8x42 Endeavor ED has a 367-foot field of view at 1000 yards, while a 10x42 model has a 340-foot one. However, you should still compare it to similar binoculars to feel the difference.
I have compared many tools and compiled statistics. Thus, an average field of view for an 8x42 roof prism binocular is around 370 feet, so the Endeavor is pretty average for an 8x binocular. Also, 10x roof prisms average about 325 feet at 1000 yards, so here, the Endeavor is significantly above average.
Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 42mm | Field of view at 1000m: 112 metres| Closest focusing distance: 2.2 metres | Eye relief: 13.3mm | Weight: 750g
⊕ P40 phase-corrected roof prisms
⊕ HighLux fully multi-coated optics
⊕ HDC and AquaDura optical coatings
⊖ A limited field of view
Thanks to HDs, Ultravid shows great performance in both areas. In comparison with other premium travel size binoculars I reviewed, it offers a better depth of field while the image at infinity is still sharp. By the way, it takes about 1.3 turns of the focus knob to get from minimum close focus to infinity.
The 10x42 and 8x42 models also come in elegant-looking leather (BL) and look appealing. What is more, a leather version is a little slimmer and lighter than a rubber one.
The Ultravid 10x42 BL weighs only 24.5 oz, which is fairly impressive for a tool with high-end optical quality. Thanks to the wide field of view (330 ft. at 1000 yd.), the 10x42 Leicas Ultravids belongs to the category of top travel binoculars, like Zeiss and Swarovski.
Magnification: 8x | Objective diameter: 33mm | Field of view at 1000m: 108 metres | Closest focusing distance: 1.5 metres| Eye relief: 15mm | Weight: 590g
⊕ Clear and bright
⊕ Ideal size
⊕ Ergonomic and user-friendly
⊖ Not for people wearing eye-glasses
Equipped with coatings, the 10x33mm Kowa Genesis binoculars with Prominar XD Lens offer precise color definition providing enhanced viewing experience. Thanks to the wide-angle eyepiece design, this pair of binoculars has increased the field of view of the 8x by 28% (140m/yds at 1,000m/yds) and 10x by 14% (119m/yds) in comparison to the BD32 Series binoculars.
Being compact, lightweight and comfortable to carry, the Kowa Genesis 33 may be fairly called one of the best travel binoculars for today. What is more, it is a premium-quality tool at a smaller size and affordable price.
Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 42mm | Field of view at 1000m: 341 ft | Closest focusing distance: 6.6 ft | Eye relief: 16mm | Weight: 845 g
⊕ Wide-angle roof prism
⊕ ED glass technology
⊕ 30mm lenses for additional light
⊕ Portable body
⊖ Comes without a bag
Although Maven is not very popular in the world of optics, it doesn’t mean that this brand is not as good as other popular ones. It’s quite the opposite, this brand is famous for binoculars and other optical equipment of high quality.
At the same time, you don’t pay for the brand name so their tools are much cheaper. Besides, the Maven Company avoids middlemen and delivers its products directly to the consumers.
For instance, Maven B-series (premium optics) includes compact travel binoculars that cost half or even a third of the money you would pay for premium optics from a famous brand.
If you choose this tool, you will get the best quality at an affordable price. Despite its compact size, the B3 features 30-mm objective lenses and offers three magnification options, namely, 6x, 8x and 10x.
Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 42mm | Field of view at 1000m: 342 ft | Closest focusing distance: 1.9 metres | Eye relief: 18mm | Weight: 666g
⊕ ED & lead-free glass
⊕ Ultra-wide field of view
⊕ Resistant to any weather conditions
⊖ Loose lens caps
Undoubtedly, if you are looking for the best travel binoculars to watch birds, a Bushnell Legend L Series 8x42 model is the most suitable option. In addition to high-end optics and coatings providing a qualitative and bright image even in poor lighting conditions, this tool offers a super-wide field of view.
Speaking about a 10x42mm model, it is also a good option for traveling. According to numerous reviewers, these are the best binoculars for travel when compared to the instruments in this price category.
However, the final decision is always up to the user. I would have put this pair to the top of the list if I hadn’t reviewed more expensive options. Like with any optical equipment, the higher the price, the better performance you get.
Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 50mm | Field of view at 1000m: 326metres | Closest focusing distance: 7.5ft | Eye relief: 16mm | Weight: 482g
⊕ Bright optics
⊕ Appealing case
⊖ Hard eyecups
⊖ Useless lens caps
Having tested these travel binoculars, we can safely claim that Leupold BX-4 provides awesome optics. Moreover, this tool far surpassed its price tag.
It offers a convenient ergonomic design and low light management system; moreover, it is equipped with HDs that greatly improve the viewing experience. The Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide HD 10×42 binoculars are suitable for various weather conditions, from hot and humid seasons to frigid weather in the Rocky Mountains.
With this reliable optics, you get the best viewing experience. As a pleasant bonus, these compact travel binoculars come with a full lifetime guarantee.
Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 25 mm | Field of view at 1000m: 97 metres | Closest focusing distance: 1.9 metres| Eye relief: 16mm | Weight: 310g
⊕ Closed-bridge configuration
⊕ Twist-up rubber eyecups
⊕ 16 mm long eye relief
⊕ 2.5mm exit pupil
Weighing 310 grams, the ZEISS TERRA ED Pocket 10x25 may be easily called the best lightweight binoculars for travel. They offer qualitative images at 10x magnification and smooth focus in any conditions. Its folding design makes it an ideal piece of equipment to carry and transport.
It is a perfect combination of amazing performance and compact size. Also, the Zeiss Terra ED 10x25 Binoculars are a great option for traveling since the tool is resistant to water and fog.
Thanks to 10x magnification through ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass lenses and fully multi-coated Schmidt-Pechan prisms, you get the best clarity even with its 6.2' close focus. They will fit any pocket. Moreover, textured grips guarantee steady handling.
Nikon Monarch 7Our Choice
Vanguard Endeavor EDBudget
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Frankly speaking, when I decided to buy compact travel binoculars for safari, I didn’t know that it would take so much time. I knew nothing about optical equipment and thought that I would find the necessary pair in 5 minutes. However, that’s not how it turned out. I have spent a week learning the info and studying the features of different pairs of binoculars. I found out what a prism is and what all those numbers mean. Therefore, if you are currently looking for the best compact travel binoculars and don’t know what to start with, this article is for you.
Of course, yes. You SHOULD do it. You know many animals will come close to your car but there are also many of those that will be far away. For example, big cats are unlikely to approach the road when there are vehicles. Moreover, animals are very difficult to notice in the wild since they easily camouflage. What is more, safari binoculars may save your life since you will see the danger when it is far away. Also, if you have compact travel binoculars, you may observe the animals that came close. In such a way, you will be able to see the smallest details on their bodies.
Check out the most important parameters that you should consider choosing the right equipment for safari:
Low light binoculars usually feature higher lens sizes. The best time for safari is sunrise and sunset, so the binoculars should let a lot of light in. If your compact binoculars feature less than 32 mm, it will be difficult to spot animals at dusk. Of course, you may get the tool with a 42 mm lens and more, but it will be bigger and heavier. I believe that the best lightweight binoculars for travel should have a 32mm or 42 mm lens since it is optimal for low light conditions.