Binoculars are an essential tool for bird watching, hunting, and many outdoor pursuits. However, the price of high-quality binoculars can reach significant amounts and even breaking a pair can be quite costly. There are several ways to save money when it comes to purchasing binoculars that have to do with buying a good used set or forgoing the potentially expensive purchase of fancy optics in favor of less-expensive but effective features.
To help you narrow your search, we're going to break down the features that make binoculars better and how they compare to lower-priced options. Below listed 8 best rated binoculars under $400 will give you good features and functionality at a price that won't drain your wallet.
The 8 Best Binoculars under $400
1. Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10x42 Binocular
Nikon's 7577 Monarch 5 are compact and easy to handle which makes them ideal for traveling.
These Nikon binoculars are designed with Nikon's premium ED (Extra-low dispersion) Glass and rubber armoring to decrease the weight of the binoculars and sharper, clearer field of view.
The binoculars have a total magnification of 10x and an objective lens diameter of 42 millimeters each. They feature multi-coated eco-glass lenses that allow brighter and high light transmission which is less than that of some other binoculars on the market but will still let you see birds in great detail at night.
When using these binoculars, you'll be able to watch birds on a wide-angle range without losing their details once they get closer to your line of sight. Check more reviews about Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8×42 Binoculars
2. Zeiss Terra ED Binoculars
Zeiss is an well-known brand in the world of optics and they made high quality telescopes, microscopes, and binoculars available. Their Terra ED binoculars are made to be compact, lightweight, and durable while also providing standard magnification for observation.
The Zeiss Terra ED Binoculars are excellent for outdoor activities. They have a 442ft field of view with an 8x magnification power. They are also waterproof so they can be used in all weather conditions. The eye relief is 16mm, which means that users may have to put on their glasses when they start using the binoculars for the first time, but it’s not a problem because these binoculars are designed to last forever. They have a long product life. They have a 4mm exit pupil so users don’t have to worry about their eyes getting too strained. The colors are clear and the image is bright. Viewers using this binocular with its 4mm exit pupil can clearly view the image or object they are viewing with no problem.
Read more: Olympus 8x40 DPSI Binocular.
3. Athlon Optics Midas Roof Prism UHD Binoculars
Athlon Optics Midas is designed to be easy-to-use, which makes them ideal for novice birders or people who want an easy-to-carry pair of binoculars that can bring them nice images without any frustration.
Built with advanced fully multi-coated lenses for better light transmission, and an argon purging for waterproofing and thermal stability, this binocular offers the standard image quality you can get for the price.
Athlon Optics Midas Roof Prism UHD Binocular can be useful in many ways. One of them is for viewing objects from a distance, particularly in situations where the use of other optical equipment may not be practical or convenient. This product can be used for traveling, walking to work or walking your dog. They also make a great gift idea for any bird watchers you may know. This product can be used in many different ways; for example; surveying, bird watching, surveillance.
Read next: Best 8x42 binoculars.
4. Carson 3D Series Binoculars
Carson 3D Series binoculars are made to be used in all types of weather conditions including rain, snow, and fog. The waterproof, fog proof, and nitrogen-filled lenses keep them clean no matter the weather. These binoculars also feature an extra-low dispersion (ED) glass that reduces chromatic aberration by keeping your subject sharp even when you're using the highest magnification.
The coatings on the lenses are hydrophobic so they won't be damaged by water droplets even if you're using them in heavy rain.
These binoculars have a comfortable eye relief and rubber armor that is both anti-skid and impact-resistant.
5. Burris Optics Fast Focus Binoculars
Burris Optics fast focus binoculars are constructed to be comfortable and durable. They have a surface-coated lens with a multicoated exterior that won't get scratched or fogged up easily. The edge of the eyepiece rim is rubber coated so you can get a better grip when you're using them.
The binoculars feature an adjustable focus wheel that allows you to easily adjust the magnification of the lenses from 8x through 14x by turning the wheel at the base of each side ocular lens. The binoculars also have a forgiving eye relief that makes it easier for you to use them without sacrificing your field of view.
6. Steiner BluHorizons Binoculars
Steiner's BluHorizons are made with rubber armor that is both waterproof and impact-resistant. The binoculars are designed with rubberized Armor styled grips that make it easy to hold the binoculars on any type of surface.
The binoculars are compact and lightweight enough to be portable, yet durable enough to withstand rough use.
These features make Steiner BluHorizons Binocular a perfect binocular for birdwatchers, photographers and nature lovers.
A mere blink of eyes and these binoculars will help you spot the quarry in the wildflowers, remote mountains or far away forests. It also makes it a perfect companion for your remote hiking trips or hunting expeditions. This is an ideal gift for yourself or your loved ones who love outdoor activities!. Read more reviews about Steiner brand - Steiner 10×50 Predator Binoculars
7. Sunagor Mega Zoom Binoculars
As per the Sunagor Mega features, these binoculars are specifically designed for birding in bright light conditions. The binoculars feature a multi-coated lens which improves the clarity of your images by reducing glare and increasing light transmission.
They also feature a large objective lens that provides you with a larger field of view and more detail than if you were using lower magnification binoculars.
The binoculars feature a comfortable eye relief and rubber armor that is both anti-skid and impact-resistant which helps keep them from moving around during strenuous use. They also feature an adjustable focus wheel that makes it easy to adjust the magnification between 30x through 160x by turning it at the base of each ocular lens.
8. Vortex Optics Diamondback 10x42 Binocular
Vortex Optics Diamondback is American made binoculars, as a manufacturer of optical equipment, they offer binoculars, riflescopes, spotting scopes, holographic sights, reflex sights, and other accessories.
They feature phase coated roof prisms, fully multi-coated lenses, and standard quality construction on every single unit. These binoculars come with a tethered lens covers on each objective lens, a center focus wheel that’s easy to adjust on the fly, and individual eye diopters that adjust for differences in vision on each side of the binocular. The optics also feature integrated, twist-up rubber armor that’s not only waterproof but also provides a very comfortable grip when you’ve got these in your hands for long periods of time.
Here’s a quick rundown of the specs and features for this unit:
This is a 10x magnification for these binoculars. That makes them equivalent to an optical view of 42mrad across the entire field of view, which is pretty good. The magnification should be enough to provide sharp views even when you’re trying to look at distant objects at night or when you’re in the midst of dense city light pollution.
This particular Diamondback unit features a 42mm objective lens diameter. That’s quite large for a roof prism and will strike most people as rather unusual. This is, however, the same diameter that you’ll find among many of the higher tier optics on the market today, including many of the more expensive options. This size is great for making sure you have a large field of view at all times while still retaining some level of optical quality. Read next - best vortex hunting binoculars
There are a lot of factors to consider when looking for standard quality binoculars. The four most important things to think about are the magnification, the field of view, and how easy they are to use.
The higher the magnification that your binoculars have the better your field of view will be since it'll allow you to see more of your subject even if they're far away. For example, a 10x40 binocular will allow you to see a larger area within 100 yards than a 10x42 would at 1000 yards.
The best magnification to use depends on the type of binoculars you're looking at, but if you're looking for something high end then you should at least consider getting binoculars that have a magnification of at least 10x.
There are many binoculars that have both 42mm and 50mm objectives on the market. These two values are actually the standard values for roof prism binoculars. A key factor in determining which is best for you will be seeing whether or not the binoculars you’re looking at are water proof or water resistant. This is because if they are not waterproof, you'll want to avoid getting them wet, especially with a larger objective lens, since they will likely develop fogging issues once they get even a little bit wet.
Field of View
The field of view is the area that your binoculars can see within while using them. For example, if your binoculars let you see 100 yards then they'll be able to see twice as much over the regular 10x magnification set.
The field of view depends on how big or small your target is so if they're close to another object like trees or buildings then more focus might be needed. If you're trying to find the binoculars with the highest field of view then it's best to look for ones that have an objective lens diameter of at least 50mm.
Ease of Use
The ease of use is also very important since it will let you see whatever you want to without having to worry about adjusting your binoculars or moving around too much. This includes things like how well they fit into your hands, how well they focus, and how easy it is to adjust each eyepiece.
The best way to find the binoculars with the best ease of use is by looking for ones that have a larger eye relief which will let you keep your eyes open longer without having to move your head too much. The other thing you should look for is plenty of focus options so you can adjust them for any type of target with no trouble.
These four factors are important to most people when it comes to buying a new pair of binoculars, but most people don't consider how they perform under various types of weather conditions or how easy they are to use.
If you're looking for a set of binoculars that will last you a long time and perform well in all types of weather then consider getting one that has an objective lens diameter of at least 50mm. If you're just looking for something that's good enough that won't break the bank then any binocular under $400 should be your top choice.
The happy journey begins!