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How to Choose the Best Binoculars | Features & Tips

Choosing a pair of binoculars comes down to two major factors: usage and personal preference. As outdoor activities keep increasing in number and variety, a pair of well-functioning binoculars is a great addition to make your time outside more pleasurable. Here’s how to choose the best binoculars based on their features and the activities you’ll be doing outside.

  1. Magnification Power

Magnification power (i.e. the first number in the model name) establishes how far you’ll be able to see. A magnification of 8 or 10 allows you to view objects eight or ten times closer than the naked eye. You may think that the best binoculars have the greatest magnification power, but that’s not always the case. A 10-power magnification model will enable you to see objects clearer, but it also magnifies your movements and it doesn’t give a wide field of view.


An 8-power magnification works best for hiking or when on a moving platform or a vehicle while a 10 is better with sky-gazing or reading words and numbers.

  1. Objective Lens Size

The objective lens size (i.e. the second number in the model name) tells you the size of the binoculars. Larger objective lenses allow for a brighter image as it takes in more light. But on the downside, much larger lenses are slightly heavier to carry around which brings the question of how to choose the best binoculars to the forefront. The answer is in the tip below.


For hiking, backpacking, or traveling go for a binocular with a smaller objective lens size (preferably less than 300 mm).

  1. Field and Angle of View

The field of view (FOV) is the width of the area you can see from where you stand while the angle of view (AOV) is the angle between the two sides of your vision. The best binoculars have wider field and angle views.


Wondering how to choose the best binoculars in terms of FOV and AOV? If you’re going bird watching, the wider the binoculars the better, but keep in mind that prolonged use of the wider ones may cause eye strain!

  1. Eye Relief

It’s the distance between the eyepiece and your eyes. The best binoculars have adjustable eyepieces.


If you wear glasses, get a pair of binoculars with an eye relief of 11 mm or more.

  1. Protective Features

To know how to choose the best binoculars for rainy weather, look for waterproofing, fog-proofing, and rubber coating features. Waterproof binoculars keep out the water, fog proof ones prevent water condensation on the lenses, and a rubber coating always comes in useful to protect the liquid from infiltrating the binoculars.


Weather-resistant binoculars do not allow full protection as water-proof ones.

Recommendations for the best binoculars

  • National Geographic binoculars 

As the name suggests, National Geographic binoculars will help you take a closer look at the wonders of the world. It’s a top-quality and robust brand that comes at various models and prices to fit every use and budget. Night vision binoculars with infra-red illuminators are available for perfect nocturnal wildlife watching, cave exploration, camping, and more.

Check them out, here 

  • Nikon binoculars

Nikon binoculars are known for their crystal clear optics. Whatever outdoor activity you’re into, Nikon binoculars are indispensable. From hiking to bird watching, stargazing, and astronomy, Nikon binoculars offer suitable sizes and features for every adventure. Nikon binoculars also offer night vision binoculars for accessible wild-life spotting and outdoor activities in the dark.

  • Zeiss binoculars

Zeiss binoculars are smaller, sleeker, and lighter in weight than most brands out there. Perfect for nature observation, Zeiss binoculars offer great optical quality and plenty of unique features. Night vision binoculars offered by Zeiss binoculars allows you to observe game even in the light of a new moon!

Now, that you know how to choose the best binoculars, which brand will you go for?

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