Looking for the best compact binoculars can be a difficult task. There are a number of uses for compact binoculars, ranging from sightseeing to bushwalks to watching your favourite sport live in the stadium.
This range of applications means that there are many different models in the market, all with different specifications and strengths. Read our best compact binoculars review to make sure you find the right pair for your specific needs!
Our Quick Picks
Best Compact Binoculars – What to look for
The first thing to look for in compact binoculars is making sure they are just that – compact. They need to fit into your purse or bag and be lightweight enough to carry for extended periods of time.
Standard compact binoculars have a magnification of around 8x or 10x depending on the model. The higher the magnification, the further you will be able to see, but the less stable the image comes – binoculars of 10x and above sometimes require a tripod to obtain a clear image.
The lens size is also important as it controls how much light is allowed into the binocular chamber, directly impacting the brightness and clarity of the resulting image. Lenses that are too small will have poor image quality, those that are too big will mean the binocular is too heavy and bulky.
Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8×42 Binocular Review
Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars are designed as simple, effective binoculars at a reasonable price. These binoculars have a coated BaK-4 prism that enhances contrast and resolution of the magnified image. The exterior is waterproof and fixed with rubber handles that make it great for one handed grip and use outdoors.
It has twist up eye cups with a long view relief of 17.55 mm, allowing you to adjust the binoculars to your eyes and minimizing eye fatigue. The binoculars can be fixed on a tripod stand to improve image stability. These binoculars also come with a diopter adjustment wheel – helping those who need prescription glasses or who have uneven vision focus better.
- THE PERFECT BINOCULARS FOR EVERY ADVENTURE: The views through Nature DX rival those of more expensive binoculars, at a price to fit your budget. Nature DX 8x42 reveals image detail you won’t find with other entry-level binoculars.
- TOP-RATED GLASS OPTICS WITH IMPRESSIVE SPECS: Fully multi-coated lenses boost contrast and resolution while phase-coated BaK-4 glass prisms maximize light transmission. These binoculars feature a comfortable 8x magnification and a 6.5-ft close focus.
- DURABLE, WATERPROOF BODY: A rubber-armored, polycarbonate housing protects your binoculars from damage and stands up to the toughest weather conditions. They're also fully waterproof and nitrogen purged to prevent internal fogging of the lenses.
- UNBEATABLE WARRANTY & CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Buy with confidence from Celestron, a leading optics brand in California since 1960. Purchasing from an Authorized Dealer on Amazon gives you a Celestron Limited Lifetime US Warranty & US-based expert tech support.
- BONUS ACCESSORIES: Take this binocular with you anywhere. We’ve included a compact carrying case, objective lens caps, an eyepiece rainguard, a neck strap, a lens cloth, and an instruction manual.
Wingspan optics spectator 8×32 Review
Wingspan optics spectator 8×32 binoculars are specifically designed for bird watching, but their compact size, lightweight feel and crystal clear images make them one of our top picks for the best compact binoculars too.
One of the best features of these binoculars is the phase-correction coating inside the prism. This allows the peaks and troughs of the lightwaves entering the prism to come into phase, ensuring that the colours of the image are as bright and clear as possible.
They are fog proof and water proof which also make them great for outdoor activities. These binoculars are also priced very reasonably for their quality HD images and ease of use.
- PERFECT COMPACT BINOCULARS FOR BIRD WATCHING AND ANY OTHER OUTDOOR ACTIVITY. Small pocket sized binoculars for the GO ANYWHERE EXPERIENCE. You can't get a higher quality binocular for bird watching, nature watching, star gazing or other outdoor activities enjoyed by adults or children, than the Wingspan Optics Spectator. Formerly Polaris Optics
- WIDE VIEWS - IMAGINE VIEWING an ENTIRE FIELD of ACTION then FOCUSING IN on YOUR TARGET for BRILLIANT Detail at 1000 YARDS OUT. Wide Field of View makes these the best small, but high-powered binoculars you can buy today.
- BRIGHT AND CLEAR - FEEL LIKE YOU'RE INCHES AWAY with POWERFUL 8X32 MAGNIFICATION: Want to see dew drops glistening on the field? Feather tips fluttering in the wind? Find your target with wide view then zone in. For Adults or kids: Men, women, boys and girls will marvel at the clear and bright views you get with the Wingspan Optics Spectator.
- ERGOCOMFORT NON-SLIP GRIP MEANS YOU CAN GO BIRDWATCHING, OR WATCH OUTDOOR GAMES OR CONCERTS FOR HOURS without missing a single moment! Use them for any outdoor activities such as birdwatching, watching games or concerts, even stargazing too. They work marvelously for indoor events like an indoor concert or the opera as well.
- 12 MONTH WARRANTY Plus 30 Day Money Back Guarantee Make These the Last Pair of Binoculars You'll Ever Need to Buy, Because We Will Replace Them if Damaged. And the only pair of lightweight high powered binoculars you'll want to take everywhere.
Zeiss Terra ED 8X25 Compact Binoculars Review
The Zeiss Terra ED 8×25 binoculars really are compact – they have a double hinge design that allows both eye chambers to fold in on themselves, making them super streamline and portable.
These binoculars are nitrogen purged, making them fog proof and water proof. They have a right eye diopter and are suitable for those who wear glasses.
The Zeiss Terra ED 8×25 has a field of view of 1000m, allowing you to see crystal clear images from a far distance, and a close focus of 1.9m. Coming in at just 310 grams, these binoculars really are one of the best compact binoculars on the market!
- 88% LIGHT TRANSMISSION - SCHOTT ED - glass with a hydrophobic multi-coating provides optical clarity and precision in all situations.
- COMFORTABLE, FAST FOCUSING - The large, smooth and easy-to-grip focus wheel makes focusing particularly easy and, most of all, quick on a ZEISS Terra ED. You'll notice the advantages of Terra ED binoculars as soon as you pick them up: your index finger automatically lands on the focusing wheel. You'll never again need to think about how you hold the binoculars when something exciting suddenly happens in front of you. In next to no time, you'll have it sharply in focus.
- COMPACT, LIGHT & ROBUST - With its its waterproof casing reinforced with glass fibers, the ZEISS Terra ED satisfies the high standards of nature lovers. The construction is compact, light and robust. Easy to fit into any bag and nearly indestructible, the ZEISS Terra ED is the perfect companion.
- ZEISS T* COATING - Guaranteed brilliant, high-contrast images, particularly in adverse light conditions and twilight. The coating is tuned to each lens individually for maximum clarity.
- A CLEAR VIEW IN ANY WEATHER - There are always exciting things to be seen in the world of nature, even in wet weather. ZEISS developed LotuTec as a coating for binoculars and scopes that enables a clear and unhindered view in all weather conditions.
Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 8×32 Binoculars
At just 4.3 inches long, the Vortex Diamondback HD 8×32 is one of the most compact binoculars in our study. It has quite good optical clarity and brightness, and its also in the inexpensive category.
It’s most definitely hand friendly. The focus knob and hinge adjust smoothly, with a moderate amount of resistance. The diopter adjustment mechanism is above average.
The eye relief of 15.6mm may be hard to use for some glasses wearers. Wearing my glasses, I found that I didn’t always get the entire field of view, but with some of my smaller glasses, it was acceptable. If you wear glasses you will want to try this one before you buy it.
- 8x magnification & 32mm objective lenses, these Diamondback HD binos are optimized with select glass elements to deliver exceptional resolution, cut chromatic aberration and provide outstanding color fidelity, sharpness and light transmission.
- Fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission with anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces. Dielectric coating provides bright, clear, color-accurate images. Armortek coating protects exterior lenses from scratches, oil and dirt.
- Adjustable eyecups twist up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses. Center focus wheel adjusts the focus of both binocular barrels at the same time. Diopter (located on right eyepiece) adjusts for differences in a user's eyes.
- Rubber armor provides a secure, non-slip grip, and durable external protection. Binoculars are tripod adaptable allowing use on a tripod or car window mount.
- Argon purging and O-ring seals provide water and fog proof performance in all environments. Rugged construction withstands recoil and impact. Does not include harness.