As part of my general website analysis and as a great way for me to keep abreast of any trends within the industry, every once in a while I take a close look as to which are the highest selling and therefor the most popular binoculars with BBR readers.
Whilst carrying out this research this time, I thought that the results could be of interest to the BBR community and so have decided to publish them:
20 Best Selling Binoculars on BBR
Below are the highest selling binoculars among BBR readers over the last 6 months (as ranked by the reports that Amazon gives me*).
Approx price: $190 / £170
Best value for money in 2014, the Celestron Trailseeker is still every bit as worth of this accolade now as it was back then. In fact I have just checked and at the time of winning their award in 2014, these would have set you back about $240 / £200, so now with their prices dropping even further, it is easy to see how they are still so popular.
Whilst at this price level you would expect to have a fully water & fogproof body, but one that is made from lightweight magnesium is totally unexpected.
Likewise I would expect to see that the optics have been fully multi-coated within this class, but to have both dielectric & phase correction coatings on the BaK-4 Roof Prisms is something you rarely see in this class.
What is more, these 8x42 binoculars have a very wide field of view (426ft @ 1000yds) that is substantially wider than the majority of 8x42’s and thus will greatly please most birders, hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts.
Approx price: $81 / £63
When I tested these cheap Orros bins from Vanguard, I thought that their very lightweight and fairly compact shape made them simple to carry as well as store on me when not in use.
I really liked the offset hinge and focus wheel as it helps those with small hands including children easily reach the wheel on one side using their left hand, whilst those with larger hands can use their right one and thus also have the wheel perfectly positioned for them. Their wide eye-distance adjustment range will also accommodate a wide range of users including those with close set eyes, which once again makes them also great for children. For me, I think their biggest strong point is that they don’t really have any major bad points, which at this very low price is impressive.
Approx price: $77 / £61
The Celestron Skymaster series of binoculars makes for a great low cost option to get into astronomy or long distance terrestrial observation.
Large 70mm multi-coated objectives and BaK-4 porro prisms combine well to provide a good view at night that at this price is impossible to beat and it is mainly for these reasons that these are one of the highest selling bins on Amazon.
Approx price: $180 / £85
As a whole, Steiner produce a whole range of compacts that are amongst the most popular on the market. Their secret is combining a good quality, well designed and long lasting exterior with high to very high level optics and all at a price that matches most, if not all within their intended class.
The 10x26 Safari UltraSharp is no exception to this formula and makes for one of the most useful mid priced compacts that I have ever used.
Approx price: $218 / £220
What is more impressive is this year their price has dropped even further and so now you are getting what I believe is a real bargain for a binocular that comes with many high end features that match bins far more expensive than these. When I first reviewed the Endeavor ED 10x42, they were available for around $350 / £270 which I thought was great value, now depending on where you get them, they cost about $218 / £220 which for an ED bin is awesome.
As well as ED (Extra low-dispersion) glass, these have Phase corrected roof prisms made from high quality BaK-4 glass, they are also fully multi-coated and have comfortable and weight saving open bridge body that is both fog and waterproof. Also important to mention is that for a 10x42 binocular, they have a really wide field of view.
Approx price: $260 / £250
With the new Monarch 5, Nikon have taken an already great pair of optics and added a number of new features that makes it easy to see why they are so popular, be that at this or indeed any price.
These new features include the addition of an ED (extra-low dispersion) glass element in the lenses that reduce the amount of color fringing caused by chromatic aberrations. All lenses are also fully-multi coated with anti reflection coatings.
Other highlights include multiple layers of dielectric coatings to help with transmittance as well as phase correction coatings on the BaK-4 roof prisms to keep the light in the correct color phases for a sharper & brighter image. As with most of the other Nikon bins, all the glass used in their lenses and prisms is free from lead and arsenic which is good for the environment.
Approx price: $108 / £120
A special convergent lens optical system on the Pentax Papilio binoculars enables them to have an incredibly close minimum focusing distance of only 1.6ft, which as their name suggests makes them Ideal for pursuits like viewing butterflies, other insects, flowers, birds or even nearby objects in a museum.
However as well as this they also work really well as a standard compact binocular allowing you to enjoy birds in your back garden or because of their small size, easily fit into your pocket and take on a walk or to a sporting event.
It is because of these and their very competitive price and a host of other reasons, the Papilio is one of the most popular compacts out there.
Approx price: $2000 / £1800
By far the most expensive binoculars in the list of the top selling binoculars here on BBR, but then these really are as good as a pair of optics can get – with a Swarovski EL binocular, there simply are no compromises and they guarantee the highest image quality possible.
- HD Optics with Swarovision Technology
- Field flattener lenses
- 20mm Eye-relief
- Field of View: 399 ft at 1000 yds.
- Close focus: 4.9ft
Approx price: $60 / £55
Available in a wide range of colors these relatively inexpensive Levenhuk binoculars most certainly make a statement. Combined with a good quality as well as wide wide field of view, they make a great choice for a host of uses, from sports events like horse racing, cricket and tennis, to birding in the garden and taking on any travel adventure.
Add to this the double hinge design of these compacts which not only permit them to fold up into a tiny shape, but it also gives them a very wide IPD range and thus they can adjust to fit the faces of almost every one, including young adults and children and it is easy to see why they are so popular.
Approx price: $100 / £120
When you consider their low price tag, the list of highlights on them is impressive. For me most importantly these are fully multi-coated, have phase corrected BaK-4 roof prisms, a lifetime warranty, long eye relief and a very wide field of view (395ft @ 1000yds) that is certainly going to please most birders, wildlife observers and general users looking for a bargain.
Approx price: $190 / £170
I tested and used these Vanguard binoculars a lot, indeed I even took them with me on safari and whilst they were released a few years ago now, they are still one of the best value for money 8x42 binoculars available. In fact as they are no longer Vanguard’s latest release, they are now being sold at a far reduced price than a few years ago which only goes to make the deal even sweeter.
Strong Points: The fact that Vanguard have managed to include so many top quality features including ED glass into a binocular and keep it down to the price that they have, is very impressive. The view through them is excellent as is their low weight and I just love the quality of the extras like the nicely padded neck strap that doubles as the carry strap for it’s case.
Approx price: $280 / £300
The best safari & travel binocular of 2013 is still going as strong as ever. Indeed the entire Granite series from Celestron is one of the very most popular on Amazon both in the US and the UK and it is really easy to see why:
When I first reviewed them back in 2013, they had a retail price of around $400, now in the US, you can find them for around $280! Incredible – you most certainly get way more for your money than what I would expect.
Extra Low Dispersion (ED) Glass Elements in the Objective Lenses, Fully Multi-Coated Optics, BAK-4 Prisms with Phase Correction and Dielectric Coatings, Lightweight Open-hinge Magnesium Alloy Body, Metal Twist-Up Eyecups, and a nice wide field of view for a 9x magnification: 378 feet at 1000 yards (7.2°).
Approx price: $180 / £144
Due to their lower cost, wide choice of sizes, magnifications, good build quality and high specification components, the entire Diamondback series from Vortex Optics is one of the most popular amongst BBR readers. However out of them all, it is the 8x42 that stands above them all which is in part to their huge field of view of 420 feet at 1000 yards (8°), which is one of the widest in their class.
Another point to note is that instead of filling the chassis with usual nitrogen gas, Vortex use Argon to ensure complete fog-proofing.
Approx price: $44 / £64
These cheap Pentax binoculars have been around for a long time. The compact porro prism design means that whilst they may not fold up quite as small as the best double hinged roof prism compacts, the design of their prism means that they do not require the same and expensive coatings as they do, to deliver the same level of performance.
The result is a good view and relatively high performance level from a very cheap and transportable instrument, which is why they are understandably so popular amongst BBR readers.
Approx price: $110 / £135
Ranked first in a Cornell review of birding binoculars in the economy class, these are fully supported by Nikon’s 25 Year Limited Warranty and No-Fault Repair/Replacement Policy, the mid sized, porro prism Action Extreme’s look to be a great low cost option and one which many BBR readers go for.
The use of BaK-4 Porro Prisms means they don’t require the same coatings as roof prisms to achieve the same standard of image and thus they are able to keep prices to a minimum without sacrificing on the view quality.
Approx price: $190 / £200
Ideal for use as both a marine binocular or on the land, the fixed focus 7x35 Navigator binoculars from Steiner are the smaller and more easily transportable, but still near indestructible version of the award winning 7x50 Navigator that won Binocular.com’s best Marine binocular of 2013.
Approx price: $350 / £500
The premium quality Steiner Predator binoculars have been specifically designed with the hunter and wildlife enthusiasts in mind and as such come with all the related strengths and features that you would expect:
This includes a tough rubber armoring and a fully waterproof chassis. But what really sets the Predator series apart from other binoculars for hunting is that they have a unique lens coating that is tailored to help you to spot animals more easily by making them stand out from their background.
Approx price: $99 / £500
The budget friendly 8x42 Shrike from Eagle Optics has long been a preffered choice amongst birders seeking a good quality pair of optics, but who can’t or don’t want to spend a fortune.
High end features that you don’t always get at this level include Fully Multi-coated Lenses, BaK-4 Prisms and a good field of view: 341 feet at 1000 yards.
Just as the more expensive Eagle Optics binoculars, these are still offered with their Platinum Protection unlimited, unconditional lifetime warranty.
Approx price: $170 / £300
In 2012 these Pentax binoculars won the BBR award as the Best Lower Cost Safari & Travel Binocular. Now in 2016, they have dropped in price even further and still remain a firm favorite, but at even better value for money.
When I tested them, highlights for me were the 9x magnification that gave you just that bit more power than an 8x, yet not such a reduced field of view as you get with most 10x binoculars. For me this made them great as a general use all round birding and wildlife observation binocular.
Add this feature to their compact design and 32mm objective lenses and you have a great little travel and safari binocular that will also perform well on most nature and bird walks.
Other high quality features include a lightweight & compact open-hinge body that is fog and waterproof to 1m, fully multi-coated lenses, phase Correction Coatings on the BAK-4 roof prisms.
In my opinion, and obviously that of many other readers is These 9x32 Pentax DCF BC binoculars are really great value for money (in the US):
Approx price: $240 / £270
Winner of Binocular.com’s best Marine binocular of 2013, the 7x50 Steiner Marine binocular is described as being almost indestructible.
Obviously fully water and fog proof, these marine specific binoculars also feature a fixed focus optical system for instant target recognition and a 7x magnification for a wide field of view and increased image stability, which at sea or even on a lake can be vitally important.
*This list of best selling binoculars was compiled and produced from the sales reports that I get from Amazon.com where BBR is an affiliate. One of the ways BBR is able to exist is that I earn a small commission when readers make a purchase from Amazon after clicking on our links to their store (these including those above). Please note, no personal details are passed on (indeed I never ask for them anyway), but I do get an overall report from Amazon about what products they sold after readers went onto their websites and thus it is from this info that I was able to create this list.