Birdwatching is a fantastic hobby for adults or for the whole family.
It deepens our knowledge and appreciation of nature while allowing us to observe and enjoy the fascinating activity and beautiful plumage of birds.
Birdwatching is something that can be enjoyed from the convenience of your own backyard or balcony, or you can satisfy your explorer’s instinct by birdwatching on the trail, out in nature, or while hiking or camping.
In order to really see and appreciate the birds around you, a great pair of binoculars is essential.
Whether you are looking out over the lawn or hiking in the mountains, a compact and lightweight pair of binoculars helps you see and understand the world around you.
Compact binoculars are also convenient for sporting events, concerts, theatrical performances, or anywhere you want to see better and get closer.
Here are the best compact binoculars for bird watching.
|Aurosports Compact Binoculars|
|Adorrgon Powerful Binoculars|
|Wingspan Compact Binoculars|
|Bushnell Roof Prism Binocular|
|Nikon MONARCH 5 Binocular|
|Vortex Roof Prism Binoculars|
|Celestron Nature Binoculars|
- Best Compact Binoculars for Casual and Backyard Birdwatching
- Best Compact Binoculars for Birding
- Best Compact Binoculars for Birdwatching: Our Top Choice
Best Compact Binoculars for Casual and Backyard Birdwatching
The compact Aurosports folding binoculars are extremely lightweight and easy to use and give great visibility even in low light conditions. They are a perfect choice for children and families that want to get to know neighborhood birds and wildlife.
The Aurosports 10×25 Folding High Powered Compact Binoculars have 10 times magnification and a 25-millimeter objective lens. The lenses have FMC HD multi-colored green film for improved light transmission and greater clarity and contrast, with a BAK4 prism.
They have low light night vision (not true night vision) for visibility in low light conditions. They have an ABS water-resistant coating with a nonslip texture to protect from shocks and drops. You can adjust the diopter for perfect vision in each eye, and then focus with the large center wheel.
They measure 3.7 x 2.1 x 3.6 inches, and weigh .75 lbs., with a 362 foot field of view. They come with a carrying bag and a cleaning cloth.
These compact binoculars offer 12 times magnification and visibility even in low light conditions, but weigh just over one pound and fit easily in the hands, making them a great choice for back yard bird watching, as well as nature walks, concerts and sports, and other times when you want to see up close without getting up close.
The 12×42 Powerful Binoculars with Clear Weak Light Vision measure 5.75 x 4.95 x 2.1 inches, and weigh 1.1 lbs. They have professional HD vision, with 16.5 millimeter BAK4 Prism and multi-coated lenses that give bright, crisp images. They allow vision in low light, but not complete darkness.
They have a 367 feet field of view, and 18mm eye cups that are comfortable for people wearing eyeglasses or sunglasses. They are also water resistant and have a durable armor with a nonslip grip.
These binoculars are tripod-mountable and come with a carrying case, neck strap, lens covers, and cleaning cloth. A phone adaptor is also available for additional purchase.
The Wingspan Optics FieldView are waterproof and fog proof, for reliability in rain and unpredictable weather conditions. They are ultra-compact, at just 4.5 x 4.5 inches, and weighing less than a pound.
The Wingspan Optics FieldView Compact Binoculars have 8x magnification with a 32 millimeter lens diameter. They have a 362 foot field of view, and 3 meters close focus.
The BaK4 prism offers excellent clarity, and the 14.8-millimeter eye relief is comfortable for people who wear eyeglasses or sunglasses.
They have a tough armored coating with a nonslip grip and can be mounted on a tripod. They come with a neck strap, nylon mesh carrying case, eyepiece and lens protective covers, and a non-abrasive microfiber lens cleaning cloth. They also have a lifetime warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Best Compact Binoculars for Birding
The Bushnell H2O is a rugged, waterproof, compact pair of binoculars with the quality and clarity you would expect from Bushnell. The multicoated optics create crystal clear, HD images without fogging, and they weigh just 1.5 lbs.
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binoculars are 100% waterproof, with sealed O-rings and nitrogen purged for reliable clarity that won’t fog up. They have BaK4 prisms and multi-coated optics for excellent clarity and light transmission.
They are encased in nonslip rubber armor, for water resistance and durability, with a Soft Textured Grip that absorbs shock and gives a firm grip even when wet.
The large center knob also has texture, to adjust easily in wet conditions or when you are wearing gloves. Twist-up eyecups make them comfortable to use with or without eyeglasses.
The Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binoculars come with 8x magnification (with a 325 feet field of view) or 10x magnification (with a 305 foot field of view). They have a 42 millimeter objective diameter, 12 foot close focus distance, and 17 millimeter eye relief. They measure 7 x 6 x 3 inches and weigh 25 ounces.
The Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binoculars come with the binoculars, a neck strap, a carrying case with belt loop, and rubber lens covers. They are backed by a lifetime guarantee.
The Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 is built for extreme use, with a waterproof and fog-proof construction and superior optics. Weighing just 1.35 lbs., and built with the attention to light transmission, quality, and clarity you would expect from Nikon, the Monarch 5 is a significant improvement over its predecessors.
Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 Binoculars have Nikon’s extra-low dispersion glass, for images that are sharper, clearer, and more brilliant. The Eco-Glass lenses have high light transmission and Dielectric High-Reflective Multilayer Prism coatings, for exceptional color, crispness, and contrast.
They have long-eye relief to make them comfortable for people who wear eyeglasses, with good space between the brow and the soft rubber eye cups.
The body is rubber-coated to resist water, protect from impact, and provide great grip in wet conditions. They are O-ring sealed and nitrogen filled for water and fog resistance. The central focus knob is smooth and intuitive to operate.
The Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 Binoculars come with 10x magnification and 42 millimeter objective diameter, with a 288 foot field of view, or 8x magnification with 42 millimeters and a 330 foot field of view.
They have a 7.8-foot close focus distance, an 18-19mm eye relief, and a 47-51 degree field of view (depending on the magnification). They measure 5.7 x 5.1 inches and weigh 21 ounces.
The Vortex Diamondback Binoculars are extremely rugged and durable, with adjustable eyecups and adjustable distance between the lenses to fit every user.
They are small and lightweight but have a compact center hinge to give your hands more room to hold the binoculars, and a textured grip to prevent slipping.
Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars have dielectric fully multicoated lenses that transmit more light and provide great clarity. A large field of view helps you easily find and focus on the birds you want to see.
They have rubber armor, textured grip, and thumb indents for great security when holding them, and shock and impact resistance for durability.
The eyecups twist for adjustable eye relief, and the binoculars can be rotated to increase or reduce the distance between the eyes for a great fit. You can also adjust the diopter to account for vision differences in each eye. They have argon and nitrogen purging to prevent internal fogging and are waterproof for extreme weather.
Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars come in a wide range of magnifications, from 8x and 28 millimeters, to 12 x and 50 millimeters. They measure from 4.4 x 4.6 inches to 6.7 x 5.5 inches, and weigh between 14 to 28 ounces.
The Celestron Nature DX was recognized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as a Top Pick in its price range. These binoculars were specifically for outdoors and birding, combining great optics, portability, and affordability.
The Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8×32 Binoculars are 5 x 1.8 x 4.9 inches, and weigh 1.25 lbs. They have phase-coated BaK-4 prisms and fully multi-coated lenses for brightness, contrast, and high resolution.
They are waterproof and fog proof, purged with nitrogen, and with a rubber-armored polycarbonate housing and texture for a great grip.
The twist-up eyecups have a multi-stop function, so they are comfortable for people who wear eyeglasses, and don’t need to be continually adjusted. These binoculars are available from 8x to 12x magnification, with 6.5 feet close focus distance and 304-388 feet field of view.
They are tripod mountable, and come with a carrying case, lens caps, eyepiece rain guard, neck strap, lens cloth, and instruction manual. They are backed by a limited lifetime warranty, and lifetime unlimited support from US-based experts.
Best Compact Binoculars for Birdwatching: Our Top Choice
Our top pick for the best compact binoculars for bird watching is the Celestron Nature DX. While some of our other favorites may be smaller or lighter, these are a fantastic balance between quality, size, and price.
The fact that they can focus on objects as close as 6.5 feet, or as far as 304 feet, makes them convenient for bird watching in a wide range of conditions, and they are waterproof, fog-proof, and durable.
The multi-stop eye cups reduce continuous fiddling with the eyecups and allow you to keep them adjusted just the way you like them. Plus, they are backed by a lifetime guarantee and supported by lifetime, US-based, expert support.