Compact Binoculars - Reviews & Guides

Binocular Reviews Home > Buyer & User Guides > Compact Binoculars

This section of the site contains reviews, articles and documents in two main sections, but all related to some of the best small binoculars:

  1. Guides: Take a look at this section for links to a whole range of documents and advice on choosing and using the best compact binoculars for a wide range of needs and uses.
  2. Reviews: Read my full in-depth and obviously completely independent compact binocular reviews in this section.

Buyer & User Guides

Pocket Compacts: Leica 10x25 Trinovid BinocularsBest Design for Compact Pocket Binoculars

In a category where size really matters, not all compacts are created equal and this is especially true when you take into account their body and chassis design.

In this article I take you through the different designs and then look at the ones that fold up into as small a package as possible to easily fit into your pocket:

Best Compact Steiner Binoculars

Steiner Wildlife XP 10x26 Binoculars

Due to their build and optical quality as well as their excellent duel hinge design and relatively low cost, Steiner compacts are some of the most popular around.

Below are some related articles:
>> Best Compact Stainer's for Walking Safaris

Opera & Theatre Glasses

Eschenbach Opera Glasse
Binoculars are specifically designed for taking out to the theatre or opera.

Features like being small enough to easily tuck away into your bag or coat is important as is a wide field of view and so they usually have a fairly low magnification of around 3x:
>> Guide to Opera Binoculars & Theatre Glasses


Winner Best Lower Cost Safari & Travel Binocular 2012 - Pentax 9x32 DCF BC Binocularss Award Winners - Travel Binoculars

For some of the very best compact and mid-sized binoculars that are ideal for travel adventures like safaris take a look at the ones that have won awards:

Mid-Level, Compacts for Canoeing or Rafting

Wide Angle Minox Binoculars
Even if you are not actually going canoeing or rafting, this article will still be of interest to those looking for some advice when choosing some small, easy to use, mid-level waterproof compacts:

>> Mid-Level, Compact Whitewater Rafting Binoculars

Swarovski CL Companion 8x30 Binoculars

Swarovski CL Companion 8x30 Binoculars
Whilst the 30mm CL Companion is a little larger than most true compacts, they are also quite a bit smaller than most 32mm mid-sized bins. They also produce as image as good or better than many full sized binos, more::
>> Swarovski 8x30 CL Companion Review


Pentax 9x28 DCF LV BinocularsCheap Compact Binoculars for Travel

In these articles, I answer a range of similar questions from people looking for some inexpensive, yet tough and compact binoculars that are ideal to go travelling with:

Maven C.2 Compact Binoculars

Maven C.2 BinocularsNew to the market and one of the highest specification compacts out there are the incredible series of Maven C.2 Compact binoculars.

Maven Optics supply the C.2 in two configurations, the 7x28 with it's super wide field of view and large exit pupil for great low light performance and the 10x28 for those who's main requirement is to get closer to the action.

Highlights include ED glass lenses, fully multi-coated optics, phase corrected prisms with the very best dielectric coatings on them for maximum reflectivity and thus improved performance.

As well as this, the Maven C.2 Compacts also have protective coatings added to the exterior lenses.

Great Value High End Compacts:
Considering their very high quality components and features, their relatively low RRP of only $200 looks to make these excellent value for money ED glass compact binoculars.

Steiner Safari UltraSharp 8x22 BinocularsBest Compact Binoculars for Sports & Concerts

This article is actually in response to a question I received from a reader here on BBR and in it I take a look at a selection of compact binoculars in a range of prices and discuss the main features and components to look for when choosing an ideal binocular for using at outdoor sporting events and concerts.

10x25 Vanguard Orros BinocularsCompact Vanguard Orros Binoculars

Vanguard are well known for producing very good value for money binoculars and so with this in mind I took a look at the main features and specifications of the two compact models that they currently offer:

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x25 Compact BinocularsBest ED Glass Compact Binoculars

Ever wondered why there aren't many compact binoculars that use ED Glass elements in their lenses? In this article I discuss what is the main reason for this, as well as highlight some of the best ones that do:

Binoculars.com's Best Compact Binoculars 2013

Binoculars.com's Best Compact Binocular 2013 - Steiner Safari 8x22 BinocularsSteiner Safari 8x22 Ultrasharp Binoculars

What Binoculars.com say: "This year's best compact binocular, the Steiner Safari Ultrasharp 8x22, is crazy small, but don't you dare call it cute. The Safaris fold up and fit easily into a jacket or cargo pocket, but offer super-crisp 8X magnification in action. They're waterproof and fogproof, and offer super-fast focus and comfortable eyecups, making them great for watching sports, spotting birds, or scanning the coastline. All of this is housed in the super-rugged, extra-grippy famous Safari body style."

Price Range
The Steiner Safari Ultrasharp Binos cost around $170 in the US and £100 in the UK:


 
 

Reviews: Compact Binoculars

Below are a selection of my most recent reviews that I have written on compact and small binoculars, you can view all compact bins that I have reviewed on BBR.

 

Kabuki Glasses Review

Originally designed for the theater, the high quality Japanese made Kabuki Glasses are also ideal for many other hands free uses like the opera, ballet, concerts and both outdoor and indoor sporting events.

Price: (3/6) Mid Priced Binoculars
 

Bijia HT 12x25 binoculars Review

These cheap, high powered, compact porro prism binoculars from Chinese manufacturer Bijia Optics perform to a surprisingly good level when you consider their very low price point and relatively basic level of components:

Main features include a lightweight and waterproof body with a non slip rubberized exterior armor, BK-7 glass prisms and coated objective lenses.

These Bijia binoculars deliver a high 12x magnification, 273ft wide view at 1000 yards and have fold down rubber eye-cups with 10.3mm of eye-relief.

Price: (1/6) Cheap Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 58%
Above Average
Body Stats: 6/10
Optical Quality: 5/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Levenhuk Atom 10x25 Binoculars Review

Very cheap binoculars featuring an all metal lightweight and very compact twin hinge body design, perfect for taking wherever you go.

Other features include fully coated optics, BK-7 roof prisms and a field of view that is 288 feet wide at a distance of 1000 yards.

Price: (1/6) Cheap Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 58%
Above Average
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 5/10
Optical Stats: 5/10
Image Quality 5/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Levenhuk Rainbow 8x25 Binoculars Review

Available in 7 different bright colors, these low cost Levenhuk Rainbow binoculars also feature a very compact double hinge design, fully water and fog proof shell, BaK-4 roof prisms, twist-up eye-cups and multi-coated optics.

Add to this a very wide field of view, then these and their other features combine to make a compact ideal for general use, travel, hiking and especially for viewing outdoor sports like horse racing, tennis or cricket, where I can see their colors really making them stand out from the crowd. They also make great kids binoculars.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 6/10 63%
Very Good
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 5/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Levenhuk Energy PLUS 8x25 Binoculars Review

Low costing compact binocular from Levenhuk that comes with a number of higher end features including a water and fog proof shell that protects fully multi-coated optics within.

Highlights also include a very wide field of view and a close minimum focusing distance.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 70%
Excellent
Body Stats: 7/10
Optical Quality: 7/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

Levenhuk Broadway 325F Opera Glasses Review

Designed as a useful fashion accessory to take to the theater or opera, these Levenhuk Opera Glasses with their all metal construction and high quality finish both look and feel far more expensive than they are.

Optically these Galilean type binoculars are fully multi-coated and use BaK-4 glass, which beats many others in this class.

Price: (1/6) Cheap Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 8/10 72%
Excellent
Body Stats: 8/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 5/10
Extras & Details: 7/10

 

Swarovski CL Pocket 8x25 Binoculars Review

With the duel hinge design and compact body, these true pocket binoculars fold up to easily fit into the palm of your hand or indeed your pocket!

Fully fog and waterproof, you get a wide field of view and generous eye relief, which is complemented by fully multi-coated optics and phase corrected BaK-4 roof prisms for an image that you expect from Swarovski.

Price: (5/6) High Value Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 9/10 87%
Outstanding
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 8/10
Optical Stats: 9/10
Image Quality 9/10
Extras & Details: 8/10

 

Vanguard Orros 10x25 Binoculars Review

These low cost 10x Vanguard binoculars feature a lightweight rubber coated, water and fog proof body that protects good quality BaK-4 roof prisms and multi-coated lenses.

The also feature a unique offset hinge and focussing wheel that is designed to make adjustments more comfortable as well as helps them fold down to a compact shape for easy storage, making them a great take any and everywhere binocular.

Price: (2/6) Low Cost Binoculars
BBR Ratings:
Body Quality: 7/10 70%
Excellent
Body Stats: 9/10
Optical Quality: 6/10
Optical Stats: 8/10
Image Quality 7/10
Extras & Details: 5/10

 

View >> All compact binoculars that I have reviewed