A great set of binoculars can bring the great outdoors to life. Whether it be the magnificent plumage of a rare bird, the glistening crests of a mountain range or the high-octane of your favorite sporting event, magnifying that golden image can make or break the moment.
Fuzzy optics, strange colors, and frames so heavy that your arms hurt, can kill the excitement of your great adventure. Thankfully, those less than memorable features can be a thing of the past, and we’ve tested three of the best binoculars under $200. All of them deliver eye-popping images while keeping your budget firmly in focus.
We’ll give you the full feature-packed picture and uncover what makes these affordable sets so popular among today’s outdoor warriors.
The Nikon PROSTAFF 7S is a popular choice for the outdoor adventurer looking for high-end optics at a reasonable price. Lightweight and durable like many of its competitors in this category, the Nikon PROSTAFF 7S contains plenty of features that will hold equal appeal amongst avid outdoorsmen or weekend warriors.
The PROSTAFF 7S used phase-corrected roof prisms to deliver sharp and accurate color representation. Higher, full-spectrum, light transmittance and minimization of light lost to reflection, are clear advantages of the Nikon’s multilayer coated eco-glass lenses. The use of eco-glass, which is free from lead and arsenic, and therefore non-polluting, will please many green outdoor enthusiasts.
Wearers of glasses will find increased comfort and usability from the Nikon’s turn and slide, adjustable eyecups along with the elongated eye relief. The turn-and-slide feature also helps to widen the field of view and allows for comfortable viewing over a long period of time.
The PROSTAFF 7S is purposefully designed as a solid and durable set for a variety of different activities and weather conditions. Firstly, the use of a rubber-armored coating allows the Nikon to withstand plenty of vigorous activity, while the binoculars are also nitrogen-filled and O-Ring-sealed for complete protection against water and fog.
The Nikon PROSTAFF 7S are certainly user-friendly, all-terrain binoculars combining sharp image reproduction with a tough and durable body. The quality of the image will please viewers of scenery, wildlife, and sports alike while appealing to the budget conscious among us.
For a solid all-round set of binoculars for those who move easily between camping, hiking or an outdoor sporting event, look no further than the Celestron Nature DX 8×42. The Celestron Nature DX delivers all the features essential to a high-quality image, without the enlarged price tag.
With fully multi-coated optics to protect and enhance light wavelengths, in addition to contrast and resolution boosting BaK-4 Prisms with Phase Coating, this high specification set delivers quality optics in both good and bad light conditions. Although the Celestron Nature doesn’t have a dielectric coating, a feature of other comparable sets at this price point, the Celestron Nature DX does boast a wide field of view – 388tf at 1000yds. Whether you are watching scenery or wildlife, such a wide field ensures that you miss none of the action.
One of the main features of these binoculars is the tough and durable lightweight polycarbonate frame with added rubber armor, perfect for the challenges of the great outdoors. The Celestron Nature DX is also nitrogen purged, giving added protection against water and fog.
The compact dimensions together with the lightweight frame, make these binoculars a perfect entry level set for those with smaller hands such as teenagers. However, the ergonomic design works equally well for people of all sizes. The compact frame also means they’re easy to pack, and they fit anywhere from the glovebox to a large coat pocket.
Overall, we found the Celestron Nature DX to be a quality, feature-packed set of versatile binoculars that bird watchers, concert goers, and sports fans alike will find great value for money.
Celestron, a well-respected name in the field of astronomy, continues its successful foray into the sphere of high-quality binoculars with the award-winning TrailSeeker 8×42. This feature-packed binocular uses high-spec materials in both body and optical components, to offer the user a level of performance normally found in sets occupying higher price brackets.
The TrailSeeker brings high-level image reproduction to the fore with BaK-4 roof prisms containing phase and dielectric coatings. Dielectric coatings are known for their superior reflectivity over metallic coatings such as silver or aluminum, and create the same image brightness and contrast as those viewed by the naked eye.
Wildlife observers will be delighted with the Celestron TrailSeeker’s extremely wide field of view. Field of View is an impressive 426tf at 1000yds, making object tracking far simpler without the need for the user to adjust their position. The TrailSeeker’s 6.5-inch close focus is also exceptional for a set at this price point.
Celestron’s TrailSeeker pairs image quality with multi-terrain durability, employing a tough yet lightweight magnesium frame that will last a lifetime. The magnesium frame gives the quality feel of a high-end product in addition to waterproofing the unit. Nitrogen purging has left the lens surfaces fog, corrosion, and mould proof.
All things considered, the feature-rich Celestron TrailSeeker appeals to many different users thanks to its high-spec composition and enviable performance.
Each of these binoculars appeals to many users thanks to strong image reproduction and solid, durable design. However, when comparing the three using various metrics, we quickly settled on the Celestron 8×42 TrailSeeker as the best overall binocular and the obvious standout. The magnesium frame adds a level of durability that exceeds that of its polycarbonate peers, while the extremely wide 426ft at 1000yds field of view, gives these binocular tracking capabilities that the others don’t possess.
The other binoculars are without doubt strong products. Wearers of glasses will appreciate the adjustable turn and slide eyecups and long eye relief of the Nikon, while the compact nature of the Celestron Nature DX makes it easy to carry and hold.