TOP RATED BINOCULARS: BEST OF 2016
If you are finally ready to invest in some high end, top or top rated binoculars, then you will want only the highest quality materials and the latest technology available. If you are looking for a more affordable option check out my list of the best hunting binoculars.
Whether you are a bird watcher, a hunter, or just someone who loves to watch nature, an investment in a high powered pair of binoculars can make all the difference in your experience.
Our top rated binocular reviews will help you pick that perfect pair for your investment. I have also reseached the best night vision googles and monoculars. If you are looking for a more budget friendly pair of binoculars you should check out my review of Leupold Binoculars.
If you would like to skip to a particular area just click a link in the table of contents below.
- 1 What Are the Top Rated Binoculars under $500?
- 2 What Are the Top Rated Binoculars for Nature Watching?
- 3 What Are the Top Rated Binoculars for Travel?
- 4 What Are the Top Rated Binoculars Reviewed under $1,000?
- 5 What Are the “Best of the Best” High Powered Binoculars?
- 6 What Are the Best High Powered Binoculars for Hunting?
What Are the Top Rated Binoculars under $500?
Vortex Optics Diamondback 8×42 Roof Prism Binocular
If you want to try some entry-level, high-end binoculars with Roof Prism technology, the Vortex Diamondback 8×42 is a great option. The Roof Prism design provides for superior image quality over standard binocular. The lenses are fully multicoated which provides for superior clarity and optics in a variety of conditions.
The binoculars are designed with special seals to prevent water and other particles from clouding your view. With an argon gas purge system, these binoculars are both fog proof and weather proof.
The adjustable eyepieces are made from a soft rubber which feels natural against the skin and are designed to work well for those who wear glasses.
The Diamondback comes standard with attached lens covers so you never lose them and a specially molded carrying case to protect the binoculars during transport.
You can be confident that if anything should go wrong Vortex will back it up with their unconditional “no questions asked” Lifetime Warranty.
What Are the Top Rated Binoculars for Nature Watching?
Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42 Roof Prism Binocular
If you are ready to take your binoculars to the next level, then the Vortex Viper HD is a great pair of binoculars for a variety of nature situations.
The binoculars are both fog proof and weather proof, which is perfect for those early morning nature spotters.
With fully multicoated XR lenses on all “air-to-glass” surfaces these binoculars delivers vibrant images in High Definition.
The Viper HD uses special lenses not offered in your standard binoculars. These lenses are designed to provide extra-low dispersion so that the images translated to the eyepieces have the most faithful color resolution possible.
And with Viper’s Lifetime Warranty, there is no danger of losing your investment should something go wrong with these top rated binoculars.
What Are the Top Rated Binoculars for Travel?
Swarovski Optiks Pocket Binocular (10x25B-P, Black)
For those doing a bit of traveling, but still wanting high-end, top rated binoculars, then the Swarovski Pocket Binoculars are a great option.
At only 8.1 ounces, the pocket design means these binoculars are small and compact making it a great option for travel on the road or for hikers. But the compact size does not compromise quality. The Swarovski Optiks utilizes a 16 lens, roof prism system to provide ultra-high resolution images.
The lens system also provides for an amazing 16 foot focusing distance and a wide field of view (285 feet) at 10x magnification. You won’t have to worry about missing anything with these binoculars.
Swarovski has been making high-quality optic products for more than 50 years and backs up their products with a Lifetime Warranty.
What Are the Top Rated Binoculars Reviewed under $1,000?
Leica Silverline 8 x 20 40651
In the realm of compact, pocket binoculars, Leica is a known, top of the line producer. These 8×20 models are lightweight (8 ounces) and are perfect for birdwatching or general wildlife viewing.
Leica equips these small binoculars with powerful lenses that translate the clearest images for its size. The Silverline series uses nitrogen filled optics to prevent the lens from fogging, so these are perfect for the early morning or evening spotter. Since these are the optimal times for some of the rarest and most beautiful animals, having a pair of the Leica Silverline is a great option. And, of course, they are also weatherproof should you get caught in some rain.
With adjustable eyepieces, these binoculars will fit comfortably for anyone. If you are interested in a well-known brand with high-quality imaging, Leica is a great choice.
Swarovski CL Pocket 10×25 Binoculars Green
Also coming in under $1,000 is another pair of Swarovski binoculars. The CL Pocket 10×25 are ergonomically designed to work with both your hands and your eyes for ease and comfort.
The CL Pocket Binoculars are designed with a foldable bridge so that they can be collapsed and fit comfortably wherever you go. These lightweight binoculars are small enough to fit in your pocket, yet powerful enough to provide clear and vibrant images.
For their size and price, the CP Pocket offers the widest field of view and the longest eye relief. This makes them one of the best options for hikers and other wildlife enthusiasts.
They come equipped with a strap and field case so you are ready to hit the trails without having to buy extra accessories.
And with Swarovski’s Lifetime Warranty, there is no need to worry should something happen while you’re on the trails!
What Are the “Best of the Best” High Powered Binoculars?
If you are ready to put some real investment into a pair of the highest rated, top of the line binoculars, consider these four models as our picks for the best of the best!
Alpen Rainier 10×42 HD ED
The ED HD lenses flood light for unparalleled clarity of images. The lenses are fully multicoated to protect from scratches and allow for optimal light resolution. These binoculars truly deliver HD images even in low light conditions.
They are nitrogen purged and sealed with O-rings so that they are both fog proof and waterproof. You can be confident that these binoculars will deliver superior images even on rainy and foggy mornings.
The binoculars are designed with twisting long-eye relief which is perfect for those who wear eyeglasses.
The Alpen Rainier is also capable of focusing each monocular separately, which is perfect for those who have varying eye strengths. Once each monocular is set in focus, you can then focus them together for the perfect sight.
The body is rubber armored and shock resistant to withstand some rugged conditions. But no need to worry, Alpen backs up these binoculars with a “no questions asked” Lifetime Warranty.
Leica 10 x 32 Ultravid HD/Black Armored 40291
Leica uses all the most advanced technology in their binoculars. These “Ultravid HD” binoculars are amongst the highest rated in the industry, utilizes high contrast lenses and “pin-sharp” imaging which translate images with the highest fidelity and lowest color dispersion possible.
The fully multicoated lenses provide for vibrant colors even in low-light conditions. The superior quality of the Leica lenses makes these a go-to option for many hunters and morning/evening bird watchers needing superior quality in dim light.
These binoculars are constructed with a high-quality rubber armor coating and uses titanium for its hinges. Once these binoculars are focused and set by the user, you can be sure they will remain in that position. The design makes them easy to grip and they are coated to protect the body from damage during use.
At 10x magnification you can be sure that these binoculars will give you high-quality HD images from thousands of yards away.
Carl Zeiss Optical 8×42 Victory HT Binocular
Any photographer will tell you that Carl Zeiss makes the highest quality lenses in the game. This German company has taken their extreme precision in photography lenses and applied it to high powered binoculars.
The Victory HT Binocular utilizes Carl Zeiss’s trademarked “Schott HT High-Transmission” glass which is fully multicoated and allows for less than 5% loss of light transmission. If the light is out there, it gets through these top rated binoculars!
These binoculars are bit shorter than other models of comparable strength, making them more compact and ergonomic in your hand. The hinge uses a ratio gear to make adjusting the binoculars easier and to prevent slippage while focusing. The focus dial is located closer to your natural index finger than other models, making focuses more natural.
The binoculars come with a 5-year full warranty and lifetime limited warranty. Carl Zeiss has designed these to be a truly luxury set of binoculars.
Swarovski Optik EL Swarovision Binocular, 10×42 mm
The Swarovski Optik high binoculars are everything you would expect from this trusted company. The body is constructed of a lightweight magnesium and is coated with a firm but comfortable rubber. They fit well in the average hand, and the eyecups are adjustable with long eye relief for those with eyeglasses.
The Swarovski EL lenses are HD lenses that give better color transmission and image clarity than standard lenses. They are fully multicoated for optimal light which allows for greater vision during low light settings.
The unique feature of the Swarovski Optik EL Swarovision is their “Field Flattener Lenses.” Many binoculars will distort images on the periphery of the field, but with the field flattener lenses (used in astronomical instruments) you get fully non-distorted images throughout the entire field of view.
This gives an edge to edge clarity without any color loss or color dispersion. When your field of view is several hundred yards, this means that you will not miss that small object on the edge of your vision that just could be the animal you’re hunting for. Nor will you have to move the binoculars as much to focus the center of the field on what you want to see.
Swarovski backs up these binoculars with a lifetime warranty against most common failures.
What Are the Best High Powered Binoculars for Hunting?
Leica 10×42 Geovid HD-B Laser Range Finding Binocular
The Leica Geovid HD-B binoculars are specifically designed with the hunter in mind. If you want only the best for spotting that prized game, then these binoculars are a must-have.
The Geovid comes with a laser rangefinder that gives you an exact reading of how far away your target is, up to 2,000 yards depending on the conditions. When hunting big game, calculating for distance is essential, and these binocular will do that job for you. You can even program this unit with your specific guns and it will calculate for various weather conditions before giving you a reading and placing a red crosshair right on your target.
The fully multicoated lenses and high definition technology will extend your hunting time in both morning and evening by allowing you to see in very low-light conditions. Every hunter knows this is the prime time for some of the best game, and these binoculars will help you spot even the most difficult game.
The binoculars are a bit heavy at 34 ounces, but that comes with the added computerized features. Its ergonomic design will fit comfortably in your hands and feel natural against your eyes.
The Geovid HD-B are weather resistant against rain, but are not waterproof, so caution should be taken when traveling around bodies of water.