Best Binoculars Ratings

90-100%
The VERY Best
80-90%
Outstanding
70-80%
Excellent
60-70%
Very Good
50-60%
Above Average
40-50%
Below Average
0-40%
Poor

The Best Rated Binoculars

When I first started the Best Binocular Reviews website, it my my intention to make it easier for people to sift through all the marketing jargon and select not only the best best binocular, but also the right one for their particular needs. Since then this site has grown a huge amount and so has the amount of binoculars that I review - and whilst choice is great, it has become evident to me that it is also making it harder for people to decide between binoculars.

In order to rectify this, I have introduced the Best Binoculars Ratings, a score card that makes for a simple way for you to quickly narrow down your shortlist. I would still suggest that once you have narrowed your search down, you read through the review to make your final decision as the scores are just a guide and it must be stressed, just my opinion.

How Binoculars Are Rated

So, I guess the next question you probably have is How Are Binoculars Rated?

Well, the total score is displayed as a percentage and is composed of a 6 different sections that encompass all the main elements and specifications of the instrument and includes aspects like the build quality, the level of optics and coatings used and the quality of the view.

I go through each of these elements in detail below and explain how I derive a score for each one:

Body Construction Quality:
This is the score out of ten of the quality of the outer body of the binocular, the materials used, how well it has been made, if it is water and fogproof and generally how tough it is. How well does the diopter adjustment and focusing wheel work, it also includes the quality of the eye-cups and generally, does the binocular feel like a quality optical instrument.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Body Stats:
This is a rating, again out of ten on the binoculars dimensions, weight and overall balance. This score is in relation to other binoculars in their size class. For example a compact binocular will always be smaller and lighter than a full sized one, so it would be unfair if you compared them without taking into consideration what class they were in.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Optical Components Quality:
This score is a reflection of the quality of glass used in the lenses and prism. It also includes the quality of their coatings, if they are just fully coated or fully multi-coated and if they have any anti-reflection coatings on the prism. Do they used extra low dispersion glass or have any special lens coatings for example.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Optical Stats:
This is an overall score of how wide a field of view a binocular has, the amount of eye-relief as well as it's minimum focusing distance. This score is in relation to others in their size and magnification class. I have done it this way because it would be unfair to compare the field of view of a 10x compact with an 8x full sized binocular. For more details on how I calculate each binoculars optical stats score click here.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Image Quality:
With all my reviews I compare the view through the binocular with a benchmark binocular in their class. This gives me good feeling of where they sit in relation to other binoculars that I have reviewed in the past. They are rated on their brightness, sharpness, contrast, color reproduction, amount of colour fringing (chromatic aberration) and the amount of softening of the image on the periphery of the view. The optical quality score is an overall reflection of these qualities in relation to other binoculars in their size class. I have done this because a small compact binocular, no matter how good it's coatings and quality of glass is never going to compete in brightness with a good quality full sized binocular and so it would not be fair to directly compare the two. So the score is in relation to others in their size class.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Extras & Attention to Detail:
This score reflects the quality of the carry bag and the neck strap. Does the binocular come with a lens cleaning cloth and what about lens caps. Just all the little things that can make the difference between a good binocular and a really great one.
10 = The Very Best, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Excellent, 7 = Very Good, 6 = Above Average, 5 = Average, 4 = Just below Average, 3 = Poor

Top Rated Binoculars

Below are the most recent rated binoculars that I have so far reviewed.

View >> All Rated Binoculars reviewed on Best Binocular Reviews.

Compare Side-By-Side:

Compare features of all reviewed & rated binoculars on BBR Side-By-Side

 

Vortex Razor UHD 10x42 Binoculars Review

Ideal for nature lovers, wildlife observers and hunters alike. Vortex Optics new flagship binoculars, the Razor UHD uses the very highest level of body and optical components and coatings to deliver a truly superb performance.

Highlights include an APO Lens System, Phase Corrected Abbe-Koenig Roof Prisms that deliver an extremely high quality image with a wide field of view. Optics are protected by an Argon purged, waterproof Magnesium Chassis.

Price: (6/6) Expensive Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 92%
The VERY Best
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 10/10
Optical Stats: 10/10
Image Quality 10/10
Extras & Details: 9/10

 

Kite Lynx HD+ 10x50 Binoculars Review

These high-end 10x50 binoculars from kite Optics are only slightly larger and heavier than most 10x42 binoculars, yet at the same time they offer the user a superior quality and very wide view with an image brightness and low light performance that match many high-quality 8x42 binoculars.

other highlights include Aluminium Twist-up Eye-cups, Phase Corrected Schmidt/Pechan Roof Prisms and lens with Scratch Resistant & Water-dirt Repelling Coatings.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 83%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Celestron TrailSeeker ED 8x42 Binoculars Review

At the mid-level price range, these Celestron TrailSeeker ED binoculars are just about as good as it gets and in my opinion one of the Best Value For Money Binoculars in their class.

Highlights include high quality optics like dielectric coated, phase corrected prisms that bring about a high-quality, bright view. ED glass in the lenses helps produce the extremely low levels of color fringing. They also have a fully waterproof and nitrogen purged, lightweight and compact magnesium chassis.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 82%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Hawke Frontier HD X 8x42 Binoculars Review

Very high level 8x42 binoculars at a mid-level price range, these Hawke Frontier HD X binoculars feature an extremely wide field of view, a magnesium alloy body, metal focus wheel and eye-piece housings as well as a fully multi-coated optical system with BaK-4, phase corrected, dielectric coated roof prisms.

Indeed, the only difference between these and the more expensive Frontier ED X binoculars is the lack of ED lens elements. The difference this makes is...

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 83%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Vortex Vanquish 10x26 Binoculars Review

These reverse Porro prism compact Vortex binoculars perform at a level that way exceeds their budget level price tag.

Highlights include an image quality and brightness that really surprised me and a build quality with a level of components that matches and even surpasses many mid level instruments.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 70%
Excellent
Body Stats: 6/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Athlon Midas 12x50 Binoculars Review

Quite possibly one of the best value for money long range hunting/wildlife binoculars currently on the market, the 12x50 Midas binoculars contain most of the features used on Athlon's top of the range Cronus and Ares series binoculars, yet cost far less.

Highlights include a very powerful 12x magnification, Argon purged magnesium chassis, ED glass lenses, phase corrected BaK-4 roof prisms with ESP Dielectric Coatings that deliver bright and very high quality images.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Steiner Predator AF 8x30 Binoculars Review

Designed specifically for hunting, these Steiner Predator AF binoculars feature special lens coatings that enhance the colors of game and thus help them to stand out from their environment.

These porro prism binoculars also have an always in focus optical system that ensures you are able to quickly locate and then follow wildlife.

The small shape and open bridge design is extremely comfortable to hold and ideal for travel as well as those who carry a lot of other gear.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 78%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Bresser Pirsch ED 8x56 Binoculars Review

Not much larger or heavier than many 8x42 binoculars, these 8x56 Pirsch ED Binoculars from the German Optics company Bresser offer a bright image with a superior low light performance.

Image quality is ensured with the use of ED glass lenses, phase corrected and dielectrically coated BaK4 roof prisms, whist the fog and waterproof body also contains features like an all metal focus wheel end eyepiece housing to ensure their durability.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 80%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Steiner BluHorizons 10x26 Binoculars Review

Compact Steiner roof prism binoculars with the double hinge design makes them a true pocket binocular ideal for lightweight travel and uses like skiing and hiking.

The sunlight adaptive optical system reduces glare and makes for a less washed out and more vibrant image in very bright light conditions.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 78%
Excellent
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Tom Lock Series 1 8x42 Binoculars Review

These cheap 8x42 binoculars from Tom Lock feature a multi-coated optical system and BaK-4 roof prisms.

The polycarbonate chassis is waterproof and with a nitrogen filling, the internal lens surfaces are protected from fogging.

The Series 1 also features long eye-relief, a large central focus wheel and right eye diopter adjuster and would suit the birdwatcher on a very tight budget.

Price: (1/6) Cheap Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 62%
Very Good
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 6/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Levenhuk Heritage Plus 12x45 Binoculars Review

Made in Russia for Levenhuk by the Kazan Optical-Mechanical Plant which also supplies the Russian army, these classically shaped porro prism binoculars take you back in time.

Made using an aluminium chassis they feature fully multi-coated optics and a ruby coating on the exterior lenses.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 5/10 58%
Above Average
Body Stats: 6/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 6/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Bresser Condor 10x42 Binoculars Review

Aimed at the serious, but price-conscious outdoor enthusiast, the new Condor binocular from German brand Bresser combines a high quality exterior with optics that can perform well even when the light levels get poor.

Highlights include a tough fog & chassis with aluminium focus wheel, eye piece housings and diopter adjuster as well as a fully multi-coated optical system.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 78%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

National Geographic 6x21 Children's Binoculars by Bresser Review

Bright and colourful, these National Geographic binoculars are made by the German optics company Bresser and are specifically designed for younger children.

The lightweight and very compact body is perfect for small hands and faces and the low 6x magnification ensures a wide field of view and an image that kids with shaky hands can keep still to ensure a good view...

Price: (1/6) Cheap Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 65%
Very Good
Body Stats: 10/10
Optical Quality: 5/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Levenhuk Bruno Plus 15x70 Binoculars Review

These high 15x magnification binoculars with large 70mm objectives designed with astronomy in mind, but also make excellent long-range binoculars for terrestrial observation

These Levenhuk Bruno Plus binoculars are tripod mountable and feature the classic porro prism body shape with a waterproof aluminium chassis, twist-up eye-cups, diopter adjuster and large centrally located focus wheel.

A Fully Multi-Coated optical system with BaK-4 glass prisms ensure a bright, high quality view.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Snypex Knight D-ED 10x32 Binoculars Review

These high performance, mid-size Snypex binoculars offer the user greater image detail at longer ranges and are an ideal instrument for travel, safaris, hunting and general nature and wildlife observation.

Top specification optical components include APO lenses with ED glass elements, Bak-4 Dach roof prisms with phase correction and dielectric coatings that ensure the best possible views...

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 83%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Vixen SG 2.1x42 Widefield Constellation Binoculars Review

With an extremely wide field of view and low power, these small, easy to carry Vixen binoculars offer a unique view of the stars and complete constellations.

This along with their exceptional low light capability also make them and excellent choice as a high quality pair of opera or theatre glasses and a host of other uses.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 77%
Excellent
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

GPO Passion ED 8x42 Binoculars Review

Offering extremely good value for money, these GPO Passion ED binoculars combine components like a magnesium chassis and a fully multi-coated optical system with dielectrically coated, phase corrected roof prisms with a whole host of very impressive specifications.

The result is a highly capable binocular that beats most in its class and competes very well with many far more expensive instruments.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 85%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Luna Optics LN-DB60-HD Digital Night Vision Binoculars Review

These high powered 6x-30x digital night vision binoculars do much more than simply allow you see in the dark! With full HD video on image recording capabilities they can also be operated during the day.

Ideal for day or or nighttime surveillance, wildlife observation, hunting, patrols, or other activities that require stealth. The unit has an on-board Infrared Illuminator that enables the device to work in complete darkness.

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Night Vision Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 78%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Levenhuk Bruno Plus 20x80 Binoculars Review

Very high powered 20x binoculars with a large 80mm aperture that are primarily designed for astronomy, but also make a very effective instrument for long range terrestrial observations during the day.

Particular highlights include a waterproof aluminium chassis, twist-up eye-cups and a built-in tripod mounting bar.

Good quality glass and coatings and large lenses combine well to deliver a bright, good quality view.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

 

Hawke Frontier 8x42 ED X Binoculars Review

When you factor in their price, the list of highlights on these mid-to-high end Hawke binoculars is truly impressive.

Highlights on the exterior include a magnesium housing, metal eyepieces and focus wheel. Optically they are fully multi-coated, have ED glass lenses with water repellent coatings as well as phase corrected, dielectrically coated prisms

The field of view is phenomenal as is the image quality and brightness....

Price: (4/6) Mid-High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 87%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 9/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Helios Stellar-II 15x70 Binoculars Review

High powered binoculars specifically designed with astronomy in mind, but which can also very effectively be used for long range terrestrial observation.

The large 70mm lenses in combination with a quality fully multi-coated optical system to a great job collecting and then transferring a high level of light to your eyes for bright, high quality views.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 8/10
Extras & Details: 6/10

Compare Side-By-Side:

Compare features of all reviewed & rated binoculars on BBR Side-By-Side

View >> All Rated Binoculars reviewed on Best Binocular Reviews.