Best Binoculars for Safari and Traveling – 2018 List

(Last Updated On: August 13, 2018)

Are you planning on going to African Safari these holidays? You packed everything except for the good safari binoculars because you are not sure which one to buy which one not to!!! I was once in the same shoe you are in now.

Four years ago, I and my friends visited “Ngorongoro Conservation Area” in Africa for my first safari trip. My biggest mistake on that tour was not carrying a good safari binocular. I was thinking any device can do the task but I was wrong. Without proper research, I bought a pair with a higher magnification that I was unable to handle. I missed most of the amazing experience there because of my poor device. I learned a lot from there.

Now after successfully completing three more safari tours and gaining the experience I want to help and share all my experience with you. That is the reason why, I have created this guide where I am going to answer all the details related to good Safari Binoculars as well as few handy tips and recommendations. In addition to that, Our has picked top 7 safari binoculars which you should definitely consider before going to your next safari adventure.

Quick Comparision: Best Safari Binoculars

 Product NameMagnificationObjective Lens (mm)Price*
Celestron Nature DX 8X42 Binocular8x42Around $100
Wingspan CrystalView UltraHD 8X42 Bino8x42Around $200
Vortex Optics Diamondback Binoculars10x42Around $200
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular10x42Around $250
Celestron Granite Roof Prism Binocular9x33Around $250
Hawke Endurance ED Binocular10x42Around $250
Vanguard Endeavor ED II Binocular8x32Around $350

*Price daily changes on Amazon. Do check the current price before making a buying decision!!!


 

Features to Look For in a Good Safari Binocular

When you are packing your bag for a safari adventure, binoculars are something that you cannot miss for anything in the world. You would like to get the best views of the wild animals from as close as possible but stay out of harm’s way at the same time. A safari adventure is a trip of a lifetime, and you need to make the most of your travel. Here are some important features that

a) Magnification

You would obviously like to see wild animals such as rhinos, elephants, and zebras in an as detailed a way as you can. Thus, you should go for binoculars that come with very high magnification. This would help you to see even the tiniest spots on animals such as leopards. However, do not choose binoculars with too high magnification as you cannot keep a tripod in your safari vehicle. Also, it is tough to keep a handheld high magnification binocular steady.

b) Field of View (FOV)

It is actually the width of the image you can see when you use binoculars. With a wide field of view, it is possible to catch the maximum action. A narrow FOV is not much of a problem when it comes to seeing animals that are larger in size and comparatively slower in movement. When you observe birds and other fast and small moving creatures, a wide FOV can help you to obtain a wide picture. You can spot them more easily and view them darting around bushes and trees. When it comes to getting perfect views of bigger animals and birds, a bigger FOV is necessary.

Generally, the FOV of a binocular is expressed in terms of feet at an overall distance of thousand yards. You can also find it being represented in meters at a 1,000 m distance. It is expressed as an angle at times. For safari adventures, you are likely to be content with a field of view of 315 feet at a distance of 1,000 yards. The wider it is, the better it is likely to be.

c) Objective Lens Size

When you are thinking about picking the perfect objective lens size for a safari binocular, you need to consider some important things. You can get clear and bright images with larger lenses, given the fact that these allow more light to enter than compact and small-sized lenses. It is important during safari expeditions, as you will possibly be moving out for a glimpse of the wild beings at their most active hours.

A wider field of view is also possible with large lenses. You can see more of the land and the surroundings around you, which would allow you to spot wild animals more easily. Keep in mind, however, that you need a bigger safari bag – given that larger sized lenses increase the weight and overall size of binoculars.

Thus, as far as the size of objective lenses for binoculars is concerned, you can go for 25mm ultra-compact lenses or even 50mm ultra bright lenses. You may also choose from 42mm full-sized lenses or 32mm mid-sized lenses. You can find these sufficiently bright to get an amazing view, and not have to bear a lot of weight.

d) Durability

During safari trips, you have to move over rough roads and your safari binoculars might get dropped a few times. Choose compact and sturdy binoculars that are built to last, and can withstand accidental bashes and bumps. The best value for money binoculars is those that are shock resistant and have non-slip armor made of rubber material that offers a comfortable and secure grip. The pair of your choice must come with high-quality coatings and glass, superior prisms and premium coatings so that the binoculars can last for the longest time and give you the most returns on your investment.

e) Weatherproofing

Waterproofed safari binoculars ensure that the optics are protected from moisture. In dusty, dry conditions, as can easily be seen on safari adventures, the entry of small debris and dust particles can be prevented and the views will not get ruined.

The safari binocular of your choice needs to be rugged, tough and capable of being used in outdoor areas. It is important to pick binoculars that are waterproof, fog proof (purged with nitrogen) even during extreme changes in temperature. These also need to be shockproof and come with a rubber armor of durable variety to help the lenses keep safe from scrapes or bumps.

While making a safari trip during the rainy season, it is important for you to choose a waterproof binocular. Keep in mind that most safari vehicles do not have waterproof features, but at times you can get the best chances for game viewing while it is raining. You would like to ensure that your equipment is safe and suffers no damage even in a wet weather.

f) Weight

You would surely like to set off with smaller, lighter binoculars on your safari trip. These are more convenient to use and hold up to the eyes, and immediately catch the action. You will also require sufficiently big lenses and decent magnification to view the game in dim lit situations. Choose binoculars that are mid-sized, either 10×42 or 8×32. Binoculars of these sizes have the ideal balance between weight, lens size, and magnification.

g) Brand

Go for top brands such as Vortex, Celestron and Carl Zeiss that offer highly durable binoculars made of almost indestructible materials and offering very high quality images.

h) Price

When it comes to optics, you can just get what you can pay for. The price of a 10×42 pair is more than 2,000 USD (we are not discussing those models here). Low-cost binoculars come in the range of 80 – 150 USD, and can work as long as you find sufficient ambient light. But cheaper models offer distorted, dark or blurry images while full magnification is used. You should choose mid-range binoculars (around $250-$350) to get wonderful views of stunning wildlife. Look for superior binoculars that come in the mid-priced segment and are ideal for regular observers as well as dedicated game watchers.


7 Best Safari & Travel Binoculars

 

1) Celestron Nature DX 8X42 Binocular

safari binocular under 100 dollars

The Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8×42 Binocular is part of the Nature DX series from Celestron, the brand that is associated with high quality but reasonably priced binoculars. This piece is no different, and is especially aimed at intermediate as well as new users

Features

  • It comes with an 8x magnification, and can display very superior images. The images are extremely clear and detailed.
  • It can be mounted over a tripod. Even those who wear eyeglasses can use it.
  • It is compact in size, and measures 5.3″ x 4.9″ x 2″. You can carry it about easily without tiring your hands.
  • The binocular has twist-up eyecups, BaK-4 Prisms and fully multicoated optics. The BaK-4 Prisms are made of optical glasses of very superior quality, and can transmit light in a very efficient manner.
  • It is fog-proof and waterproof, and has been designed to withstand all types of harsh weather conditions. This makes it perfect for all types of outdoor adventurers.
  • The binocular has rubber armor and there is polycarbonate housing that saves the equipment from all types of damages.

Pros

  • The Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8×42 Binocular is lightweight in build, and can easily be carried about irrespective of how much load you are already carrying.
  • The solid waterproof construction ensures that the Nature DX can stay moisture-free.
  • It is also dust-proof and there are no hindrances due to dust or debris in viewing images through this binocular.
  • The Nature DX is fog proof in form as it is nitrogen filled, and can serve you well in areas with high humidity or quick temperature changes. There are no problems in viewing experience due to “internal fogging” issues. The fog proof feature ensures that there is no internal corrosion.
  • The binocular has been built to last, and can survive small drops and falls outdoors or even indoors.

Cons

The adjustable eyepiece is slightly sub-par in quality.

Conclusion

The Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8×42 Binocular offers very high quality images in form. It boasts of superior light transmission, and is fog-proof and waterproof in construction. It is durable and can last for a long time. If you are looking for a superior pair of binoculars to serve your needs and extend your vision, this can be a good option to try.

 

Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon !!!


 

2) Wingspan CrystalView UltraHD 8X42 Bino

The Wingspan Optics CrystalView UltraHD 8X42 binocular comes with strong glass lenses, high magnification, wide field of view (FOV) and high resolution that let you view small birds, skies, fields, woods, wild animals and more with ease.

Features

  • It can be mounted on a tripod, and users can be assured of more ease of use while handing this pair of binoculars.
  • It has a long eye relief, and glass wearers can use it easily and comfortably.
  • The Wingspan Optics CrystalView UltraHD 8X42 binocular has a metal construction and is coated with rubber, which makes it durable and shock-resistant.
  • It is fog proof and water resistant in construction, which guarantees extremely clear images minus any distortions.
  • The low dispersion ED glass helps improve the binocular resolution, and there are no chromatic aberrations or scratches.
  • Its field of view is very wide, reaching 425 feet at 100 yards.
  • The colors are perfect and there are better contrast and improved light transmission due to the phase-correction multi-coating prisms.

Pros

  • The extra-wide FOV, Center-Focus magnification, and fully multi-coated lenses let you view objects 8 times closer and enjoy better light transmission to get the best experience in viewing.
  • You can get the crispest, clearest and sharpest images with this ED Glass Binocular having a nitrogen sealed body.
  • The chassis of Wingspan Optics CrystalView UltraHD 8X42 is very strong and comes with the promise of durability.
  • There are complementary accessories available, including Lens Cover, Carrying Bag, Neck Strap and Lens Cleaning Cloth. The use of these accessories can improve your overall experience.
  • It has an appropriate Eye Diopter, wide Field of View (FOV) and extra-long eye relief, other than twist-up eyecups.
  • Its eye diopter is right and allows a perfect alignment of the binoculars between the eyes. This ensures the best viewing experience.

Cons

Some buyers struggle with the inter-pupillary distance of this pair of binoculars.

Verdict

This pair of binoculars ticks most of the boxes right and is capable of satisfying the needs of bird watchers, hunters, and other outdoor activity enthusiasts. If you are looking for binocular that gives very high-quality vision and can survive small falls and drops, you will love to pick up the Wingspan Optics CrystalView UltraHD 8X42.

 

Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon !!!


 

3) Vortex Optics Diamondback Binoculars

The Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binocular has been designed for people who love camping, hunting and bird watching. While it comes at a reasonable price, does it pack in enough features to be practically useful? Go over the entire review and know more about the pair of binoculars.

Features

  • The binocular has 42mm lenses and comes with 10X magnification that let users view objects in the distance more easily.
  • Its wide Field of View (FOV) lets users monitor large areas.
  • The device has been designed to let users view objects even in low-lit situations, due to the multi-coated optics.
  • With phase corrected prism coating, it is the best choice for night camps or hunting expeditions. The coating assists resolution and contrast, which is effective for any camper or hunter.
  • It is compact in size and can be used for long hours at a stretch without straining the hands.
  • The eyecups are fully adjustable and can keep all the images in proper focus. These can be twisted easily to ensure convenience. For short-sighted people, the device can be very useful.

Pros

  • All types of impurities, such as snow, water, and dirt, can be removed with the help of O-ring seals.
  • There is argon gas purging to make the device fog-proof in form, which arises due to changes in temperature.
  • It has a strong casing that makes the binocular safe and protects it from all the elements.
  • It comes with a zipped case that comprises compartments or chambers to keep the binocular and its various components safe.
  • The eyepiece and the lenses are protected by the rubber armor caps. These can easily bend, which makes them unbreakable in a way.
  • It comes with armor caps, strap, and case. It is tripod-adaptable, and the tripod adapter is located between the barrels. It is ideal for anyone who likes to put the pair of binoculars in a static position.

Cons

  • The eyepiece caps are not affixed to the binoculars. Thus, these can get lost.
  • Its carry case is a little too big but is well-built in form.

Should You Buy It?

While the Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binocular is not perfect and comes with a few hiccups, it scores with its low-light vision, portability, strong build and clarity of images. It is worth picking up.

 

Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon !!!


 

4) Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular

The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular comes from Bushnell, a popular manufacturer of high-quality binoculars. Go through this review and know how it fares, whether in terms of design, durability, clarity or construction.

Features

  • It has 10X magnification, and the objective lens is 42 mm in size.
  • You can get 340 ft field of view at 1,000 yards.
  • It is available in a standard size and is just 700 grams in weight.
  • Its RainGuard feature makes it waterproof in form. The presence of a water-resistant coating keeps the outer surface of the lenses clear throughout. Thus, objects can be seen clearly.
  • It has an Extra-low Dispersion (ED) Prime Glass feature that ensures color tuning, roof prism with superior clarity and high-resolution images.
  • The anti-coating process Ultra Wide Custom Coating on the lens admits maximum light from the glass in the front. It helps improve the color and brightness across the spectrum.

Pros

  • It comes with a tough design but is slimmer and lighter in construction, with a light magnesium chassis. Thus, you can carry it about easily to almost any area without being worried that even slight drops or brushes against trees and other objects will damage the binocular.
  • Its glass is composed of fluorite, a top lens material for binoculars. Hunters and birders can be assured of very clear and sharp images.
  • Its slim and streamlined shape helps the lenses and prisms to be positioned in a straight line, allowing objects to be directly lined up together with the eyepiece.
  • It boasts of superior quality optics, and you can get clear images even when the lighting conditions are poor.
  • The twist-up eyecups can be adjusted very easily. The 17.2 mm eye relief is extremely comfortable for the eyes and can offer a lot of space even for people who wear eyeglasses.
  • It has an adjustable diopter that lets you adjust fly vision for the right or left eye.

Cons

Not many

Conclusion

It can be a great option for travelers, bird watchers, hunters or virtually anyone who likes outdoor adventures and activities. With bright color, sharpness, and perfection of details, this equipment can be a great option for people who love to spend time in creative pursuit outdoors. Despite the clear and crisp quality of views, it comes at a reasonable price and can easily fit your budget.

 

Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon !!!


 

5) Celestron Granite Series 9×33 Roof Prism Binocular

(My Favorite)

9×33 Prism Binocular belongs to the Granite Series of Celestron. It is billed as a binocular that touches the acme of mechanical and optical design. Find out from this review how this equipment works.

Features

  • The binocular is constructed out of magnesium alloy, which makes it lightweight, strong and corrosion resistant.
  • Other than sections of the focus wheel and the bridges, almost the entire surface of the exterior is covered in black, smooth black rubber coating.
  • It has an open bridge design and consists of roof prisms. Its shape makes the frame slightly lighter and also lets users enjoy a one-handed and more secure grip while using the binocular.
  • It is effective in low-lit environments and can help view objects in more detail even at dusk or dawn. All the light wavelengths are well-balanced, making the images realistic and life-like.
  • The Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass lenses offer razor sharp images with proper color correction. Chromatic aberration is almost done away with. Colors are precisely reproduced to ensure superior quality images.

Pros

  • The frame is very contemporary and ergonomic in style and offers comfortable handling and a wonderful grip. You can hold and use it even with one hand.
  • As a mid-sized binocular with a compact design and low weight, it is ideal to take along for travel.
  • It is less prone to breaking, and the twist-up eyecups made of metal are more durable as compared to eyecups made of plastic. The eyecups also let you position your eyes in a proper way, to ensure comfortable viewing – whether or not you have put on eyeglasses.
  • You do not have to suffer from “internal fogging” problems, as the dry nitrogen filled housing prevents fogging of the internal lenses even when you use the equipment in damp areas or move with it between very high and cold temperatures.

Cons

Slightly more eye-relief and a little nearer minimum focusing distance would be more welcome here. One only hopes that Celestron takes care of these in the subsequent models.

Is it Worth Going For?

With good magnification, wide field of view and a compact design, the Celestron Granite Series 9×33 Roof Prism Binocular is perfect to take along on trips. If you have a habit of traveling or indulging in outdoor adventures too often, this model is worth going for.

 

Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon !!!


 

6) Hawke Endurance ED Binocular

best travel binocularsThe Hawke Endurance ED Binoculars is a pair of high-quality binoculars that comes in a mid-price cost. It is designed to provide users with a superb visual extension capability without spending a lot of money.

Features

  • The exterior surface of this binocular has a hard rubber armor textured covering, and a superior finish.
  • The binocular has a magnesium alloy chassis, which makes it strong but lightweight enough to be carried about with ease.
  • The nitrogen purged design makes the equipment makes the roof prism binocular completely dust-proof and waterproof, and prevents the issue of “internal fogging”.
  • The exterior of every barrel has textured rubber grips and thumb indents are placed well here.
  • There are 3 click-stops for optical adjustment – Intermediary Stop, Fully Up and Fully Down.
  • You can get up to 18 mm eye relief with this unit. The longer eye relief can satisfy the needs of most people who wear eyeglasses.

Pros

  • The design is well balanced and the line of sight is straight and to the point. The viewing experience is comfortable, due to the single hinge design.
  • It is cheap and reasonably priced, despite the highly detailed and crisp views that it offers. There are premium features that can usually be seen only in costlier binoculars.
  • At around 652 g, it is light enough to allow easier handling and carrying without causing any fatigue on the hands.
  • The binocular offers well-defined and sharp images of subjects in fine detail.
  • You can comfortably hold the binocular up to the eyes. There is optimal eye relief and the optical performance is high-end, matching that of many premium quality binoculars that are available at a high cost.

Cons

  • The Focus wheel is slightly tighter than can be expected. However, you can get adjusted to this very soon.
  • The area surrounding the field edge is slightly soft, although not much apparent during everyday usage.

Will You Like Buying It?

Surely! With a fantastic optical performance, state of the art features and a strong but lightweight construction, this binocular can easily be used. It is made of a “premium” material that is only used for making high-end binoculars. While it is possible to get better optics, it might be impossible to get that at the affordable cost that the Hawke Endurance ED Binoculars come with.

 

Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon !!!


 

7) Vanguard Endeavor ED II Bino with Premium HOYA ED Glass

best safari and travel binocularsThe Vanguard Endeavor ED II Binocular with Premium HOYA ED Glass is designed as an all-rounder pair of binoculars. It comes from the manufacturer Vanguard. This review takes a look at the equipment, its features, pros and cons, in order to offer you a complete view of the device.

Features

  • The binocular has fully multi-coated lenses and BaK4 prisms to prevent the problems of light scattering.
  • It has ED glass. Once the diopter is unlocked, it can be moved freely.
  • The FOV (Field of View) for the equipment is 340 feet at 1000 yards.
  • The binocular lets you focus on things located at a distance of 6.5 feet.
  • The binocular has textured rubber coating that makes it easy to grip.
  • The focus performance is close and good, with almost no issues of chromatic aberration or fringing of colors.
  • It is possible to get high contrast and pinpointed images adjacent to the edge of the viewing field. The view is more or less flat, with slight curvature of field.

Pros

  • The Vanguard Endeavor ED II Binocular with Premium HOYA ED Glass has a superb construction and boasts of wonderful balance. Users can get a premium feel due to the use of superior materials in the construction.
  • It comes with fantastic eye relief and there is no strain while you look at distant objects with this binocular. The eye-relief of 19.5mm makes it comparable to many of the top choices that are available in the market today.
  • You can access its focus knobs easily, although a small break-in period is required.
  • The wide FOV puts it close to the Vortex Viper HD 8×42 with 8x magnification, 5.1 feet Focus Range and a FOV of 347 feet at 1000 yards, which has won the Editors’ Choice Award.

Cons

The field of view, while good enough, is slightly narrower when compared to the 8×42 binoculars on the market that comes with the widest FOV. While this might be a problem for most users, it can be a bother for some users.

Verdict

With each passing year, the segment for high-end optics binoculars is getting increasingly competitive. The price of these equipment is growing constantly. The affordability of Vanguard Endeavor ED II Binocular with Premium HOYA ED Glass, along with amazing effects, quality of optics, solid construction and focus performance, makes it a top contender.

 

Take a look at more features and the best price on Amazon !!!


 

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