12 Best Binoculars for Hiking (Lightweight & Trail Tested)

Camping or hiking trips are full of fun because you get to enjoy the fresh mountain air and see those breathtaking views nature has in store for you. 

For the best experience, you need a pair of binoculars that are compact, lightweight, and easy to use. They should be light enough to throw them into your backpack without thinking, but still provide bright colors and clear images.

Not every pair is suitable for hiking – here are the best binoculars for hiking worth the money.

We Recommend

Best price/value ratio

Nikon Monarch 5

Best lightweight

Zeiss Terra ED

Best budget option

Vortex Diamondback HD

Best binoculars for hiking

1. Nikon Monarch 5 10x42 Hiking Binocular

The best hiking binoculars from Nikon comes with a 42mm objective lens and a 10x magnification. 

These binoculars pack enough power to provide you with sharp images in broad daylight. 

With the size of the objective lens, these entry-level binoculars for hiking are suitable for dim light conditions as well. 

Another exceptional feature of these binoculars is their compact design. You can conveniently slip them into your backpack or even hang them in your neck. 

These are the best binoculars for backpacking and come with ED glass and have fully multi-coated lenses. The views you will see through these will be incredibly sharp with maximum color rendition for an entry-level device.  

These backpacking binoculars are designed for outdoors and used in all weather conditions. Nikon has nitrogen purged them and with O-rings, these trail-tested binoculars become resistant to fog and water. It also comes with a long eye-relief and you can conveniently use this device with your eyeglasses. 

What we liked

  • The eyecups come with a multi-positional twisting lock for convenience
  • The polycarbonate body makes the device convenient to use in the outdoors
  • Lightweight construction and easy to carry
  • Fully water and fog-resistant for an exceptional all-weather performance
  • Central focus ensure that you get to see the view quickly without missing any action
  • Wide FoV angle even at full magnification
  • Long eye relief to ensure convenient use with spectacles

What we didn’t like

  • Its magnification is fixed and you can focus on close objects
  • The accessories that come with it are of low quality 
  • Lens caps come off quite easily

Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
Magnification: 10x
Lens Coating: Fully multi-coated
Field of View: 288 feet at 1000 yards
Prism Type: BaK4 Roof Prism
Eye Relief: 18.4mm
Weight: 31.89 oz

2. Vortex Diamondback HD 10x42 Hiking Binoculars

The Vortex Diamondback HD binoculars come with 42mm objective lenses and feature 10x magnification. 

These lightweight and compact binoculars are suitable for a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and hunting. 

These camping binoculars feature fully multi-coated lenses and provide you with an FoV of 330 feet at 1000 yards at full zoom. 

And with HD lenses, these binoculars can produce high-quality images with true colors. 

You can enjoy those magnificent views while you are in the open using these best compact binoculars for hiking. 

These are the best binoculars for mountain viewing that come with an Armortek body to ensure they provide you top performance outdoors. 

Moreover, these binoculars come with central focus construction, so you don’t have to spend hours focusing your device to view what you want to view. 

What we liked

  • Full HD optical system for better color production and image clarity
  • Rubber armor body  for a good shock-resistant performance 
  • Fully multi-coated optics with dielectric prism coating for better viewing at high zoom
  • Waterproof construction to handle moisture and rain
  • Comes with a variety of accessories
  • Eyepiece cover with rainguard protection

What we didn’t like

  • The attachment for the eyepiece cover is pretty low quality 

Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
Magnification: 10x
Lens Coating: Fully multi-coated
Field of View: 330 feet at 1000 yards
Prism Type: BaK4 roof prism
Eye Relief: 15mm
Weight: 21.3 oz

3. Zeiss Terra Ed Compact Pocket 8x25mm Binocular

The Zeiss Terra Ed binoculars have a compact design, which makes them an ideal option for carrying in your backpack. 

Due to their lightweight constructions, these binoculars are one of the ideal options for hiking and camping. 

Even with so much to offer in terms of portability, these binoculars feature a decent pair of objective lenses with a 25mm diameter. 

You can use its 8x magnification to zoom in your views. 

These are the best binoculars for hiking backpacking and they feature the Schmidt-Pechan prism system. Hence, these binoculars are so compact yet serve as a good viewing device. 

With a 16mm eye relief and FoV angle of 52-degrees, you can comfortably view a larger area even with your spectacles. The central focus system ensures you don’t spend too much time focusing on your device. 

And with fog and water resistivity, you can use your binoculars in various weather conditions. These are the best backpacking binoculars due to their size and weight. 

What we liked

  • Zeiss has purged these binoculars with nitrogen to make them fog and waterproof
  • With central focus, these binoculars are very easy to focus
  • The lens comes with a multi-layer coating to ensure clearer images 
  • It features long eye relief that makes viewing through the eyecups very convenient
  • Schmidt-Pechan prism system ensures better light transmission and also keeps the weight of the device on the lower side
  • Lightweight, compact yet durable 
  • Multi-coating (hydrophobic) ensures optical accuracy

What we didn’t like

  • Not suitable for dim light conditions
  • A bit expensive

Objective Lens Diameter: 25 mm
Magnification: 8x
Lens Coating: Hydrophobic multi-coated
Field of View: 357 feet at 1000 yards
Prism Type: Schmidt-Pechan roof prism
Eye Relief: 16mm
Weight: 11 oz

4. Leupold BX-1 Rogue 10x25 Compact Hiking Binoculars

The BX-1 Rogue Leupold comes with a couple of 25mm objective lenses and you can zoom in 10x times. 

The best feature of these binoculars is their compact size so they can easily fit in your palm. 

The best part is despite being so small. These binoculars don’t compromise on the overall optical performance. 

These best hiking binoculars for the money feature a BaK4 Porro prism system with fully multi-coated lenses. 

The inverted prism system these binoculars come with ensuring you don’t have to deal with any low-quality viewing. 

These lightweight binoculars for hiking come with durable aluminum housing. Another exceptional feature that makes these binoculars ideal for outdoor use is they are completely waterproof. 

Leupold has filled them with nitrogen and sealed them to make sure nothing penetrates the barrels of these binoculars.

What we liked

  • High-quality accessories included
  • Best lightweight binoculars for hiking
  • Twist-up eyecups are very comfortable for an extended viewing
  • Nitrogen sealed to keep the binoculars fog or water-resistant
  • The inverted BaK4 prism system ensures clarity and improved light transmission
  • Fully multi-coated lenses for maximum color fidelity and high contrast 
  • Durable aluminum body with rubber armor coating to make the device impact resistant 
  • The central focus is tactile and large for a convenient use

What we didn’t like

  • Not a suitable option for long-distance viewing
  • Doesn’t work well in dim light environments
  • The eyecups detach a bit too easily

Objective Lens Diameter: 25 mm
Magnification: 10x
Lens Coating: Fully multi-coated
Field of View: 294 feet at 1000 yards
Prism Type: BaK4 Porro prism
Eye Relief: 15mm
Weight: 12.64 oz

5. Vanguard Endeavor ED 10x42mm Binoculars

This Vanguard Endeavor ED is another powerful binocular you can use for various outdoor excursions. 

It has a 42mm objective lens and games with 10x magnification. 

It is equipped with ED glass, which makes sure you view the images at higher zooms. 

Due to its view quality and color fidelity, this device is an excellent choice for wildlife research and bird watching. 

These are the best binoculars for sightseeing and they feature a BaK4 roof prism. 

They have a robust construction and you can take them out on your trips. 

Vanguard has also made the body fully waterproof and you can comfortably use the binoculars in any weather conditions. 

As they are nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed, you won’t have to deal with fog. 

What we liked

  • Extremely lightweight and small in size
  • BaK4 roof prism with fully multi-coated lenses
  • Fully fog and water-resistant with O-rings and nitrogen purging
  • A wide FoV of 374 feet at 1000 yards  for better situational awareness
  • Decent amount of eye relief available glasses wearers
  • Central focus makes focusing easy and quick
  • Fully ergonomic open-bridge construction

What we didn’t like

  • Non-variable magnification means you can’t focus on close objects

Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
Magnification: 10x
Lens Coating: Fully multi-coated
Field of View: 342 feet at 1000 yards
Prism Type: BaK4 roof prism
Eye Relief: 16.5mm
Weight: 25.75 oz

6. Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42 Backpacking Binoculars

The Zeiss Conquest HD boasts 42mm objective lenses with 10x zoom and features a superior lens construction. 

The design of these binoculars enables you to enjoy a wide FoV of 345 feet at 1000 yards with top-notch color fidelity. 

The 42mm lenses of these binoculars ensure the maximum amount of light even in low light situations. 

These objective lenses come with Zeiss’ signature T* multi-coating. Its prisms also have a dielectric coating on them. 

These are the best binoculars for hiking, not only for the quality images it produces but also for its overall design. These binoculars have a compact design and easy to carry. There are other lighter options available. 

What we liked

  • A long eye relief of 18mm that makes the binoculars comfortable to use with spectacles
  • Wider FoV of 345 feet at 1000 yards at higher zooms for better viewing 
  • With T* multi-coating lenses Zeiss ensures high light transmission 
  • Larger exit pupil for better low light performance 
  • Multiple accessories available for outdoor use
  • Fully fog and water-resistive design
  • Central focus ensures quick adjustments 

What we didn’t like

  • A bit heavyweight 
  • The lens cap is poorly designed 

Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
Magnification: 10x
Lens Coating: T* multi-coated
Field of View: 345 feet at 1000 yards
Prism Type: Schmidt-Pechan roof prism
Eye Relief: 18mm
Weight: 28 oz

7. Steiner 10x42 Predator Hiking Binoculars

The Steiner Predator features a 42mm objective lens and 10x magnification. They are specifically designed for hunting. 

You can conveniently use them for hiking and camping. 

These binoculars for hiking come with a compact construction and can handle moisture and fog as well. 

The BaK4 roof prism these binoculars feature is excellent for light transmission. 

The rest of the job is done by the high contrast coated optical lenses. These are the best lightweight binoculars for backpacking due to their light transmission in darker conditions. 

The binoculars feature an exit pupil of 4.2mm, which further improves on producing better images in low light. The 16mm eye relief is good enough to work for the individuals who wear spectacles. 

These outdoor binoculars have NBR rubber armoring finish, which makes them shock-resistant. Moreover, this viewing device comes with several accessories to facilitate your hiking and hunting endeavors. 

What we liked

  • A top-quality performer in low light conditions
  • Can produce brighter contrast with natural HD colors
  • These binoculars have a rugged body that is very convenient to hold in your hands 
  • Fog and waterproof construction 
  • A wide FoV with a wide exit pupil for better viewing with lesser ambient light
  • An excellent choice for hiking as well as hunting
  • Ergonomic construction for long hours use

What we didn’t like

  • Don’t come with a tripod mount
  • The neck strap clasp is very low quality
  • Bit expensive

Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
Magnification: 10x
Lens Coating: HIgh contrast
Field of View: 328 feet at 1000 yards
Prism Type: BaK4 roof prism
Eye Relief: 16mm
Weight: 27.2 oz

8. Nikon Trailblazer 10x25 ATB Backpacking Binoculars

These Nikon Trailblazer hiking binoculars come with 25mm objective lenses and 10x zoom. 

Their compact size and lightweight construction make them an ideal choice for your hiking and camping trips. 

But you can do a lot more with this useful viewing device. 

It is the best binocular under 100 and does a fine job if you are looking for a budget-friendly option. 

These lightweight binoculars for backpacking have a BaK4 roof prism that transmits a maximum amount of light through the optics.

If you use eyeglasses, these binoculars might not be the best for you because they come with a short eye relief of 10mm. 

Even at 10x magnification, you can comfortably enjoy its wide FoV of 342 feet at 1000 yards. With an exit pupil of 2.5mm, these binoculars might not be effective in low light conditions. 

But they feature multi-coated lenses for sharper images. With a central focus, you won’t have to spend too much time on any adjustments. 

What we liked

  • Turn & Slide eyecups ensure proper fitting and protection
  • The rubber-armored body makes the device easy to grip and hold
  • These binoculars are fog and waterproof with nitrogen purging
  • Extremely lightweight and convenient for all-day use
  • Central focus quickly focusses both lenses simultaneously
  • Multi-coated lenses with BaK4 prism for maximum light transmission
  • Anti-reflective compounds on lenses for better viewing in broad daylight

What we didn’t like

  • Short eye relief
  • Not that great in low light situations

Objective Lens Diameter: 25 mm
Magnification: 10x
Lens Coating: Multi-coated
Field of View: 342 feet at 1000 yards
Prism Type: BaK4 roof prism
Eye Relief: 10mm
Weight: 15.52 oz

9. Leica Ultravid 10x25 BR Lightweight Binoculars

These Leica best lightweight hiking binoculars have 10x magnification with 25mm objective lenses. 

They combine image quality with product resilience and provide you a powerful package. 

The optics of these ultralight binoculars have HD coating along with Leica’s signature AquaDura coating. 

This HighLux System ensures the best results no matter where you point your binoculars. 

The lightweight construction of these binoculars features a rubber-armored body, which makes gripping very easy even in moist conditions. 

Due to this construction, the device is not only robust but survives some impacts as well. 

Decent eye relief of 15mm and exit pupil of 2.5mm makes them the best lightweight binoculars for travel and various outdoor activities, including hiking. 

Its FoV is very wide at 295 feet. With a central focus, you won’t have to adjust both your lenses separately whenever you need to view something. 

What we liked

  • Leather finish for easy grip and hold
  • Lightweight construction and compact size
  • Quality image sharpness and contrast
  • Black rubber armor for impact resistance 
  • Leica AquaDura and HD coating for maximum light transmission
  • High magnification with wide FoV
  • Water resistivity up to 16.5 feet

What we didn’t like

  • Short exit pupil makes it not an ideal choice for low light situations
  • Higher pricetag

Objective Lens Diameter: 25 mm
Magnification: 10x
Lens Coating: HD and AquaDura coating
Field of View: 295 feet at 1000 yards
Prism Type: BaK4 roof prism
Eye Relief: 15mm
Weight: 9.44 oz

10. Celestron Nature DX 8x42 Binoculars

These Celestron’s best outdoor binoculars come with 42mm objective lenses. 

With an 8x magnification, this device can provide you a wide FoV of 388 feet at 1000 yards. 

You can enjoy your views with these binoculars in a better way because they also come with a long eye relief of 17.5mm. 

Even if you wear eyeglasses, using these binoculars won’t be an issue for you. With this device, you also get an exit pupil of 5.25mm. 

Coupled with an objective lens of 42mm, you will get an extraordinary performance in low light conditions. These binoculars come with a BaK4 roof prism and fully multi-coated lens for more color rendition and image sharpness even at high zooms. 

These best binoculars under 150 are fully waterproof and suitable to use in any condition. Available with multiple accessories, the binoculars come with a rubber-armored body. 

So you can use them conveniently for a variety of purposes. Celestron has nitrogen purged these binoculars so you can use them in all weather conditions too. 

What we liked

  • Large objective lens diameter of 42mm for better light gathering
  • Broader exit pupil for better dim light performance 
  • Wide FoV of 388 feet at 1000 yards with 8x full zoom
  • Easier adjustments with the central focus
  • Nitrogen purged for fog and water resistivity 
  • Rubber armored body for easy gripping 
  • Lightweight to carry around in the pack

What we didn’t like

  • Fixed magnification doesn’t allow focus on closer objects
  • No image stabilization 
  • No anti-glare features 

Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
Magnification: 8x
Lens Coating: Fully multi-coated
Field of View: 388 feet at 1000 yards
Prism Type: BaK4 roof prism
Eye Relief: 17.5mm
Weight: 22 oz

11. Vortex Razor HD 8x42 Wildlife Binoculars

The Vortex Razor HD is incredibly clear, bright, compact, and lightweight. 

These are ready for any outdoor activity in the most rigorous environments. 

They have a compact sized BaK4 roof prism and feature a multi-layered dielectric coating that will contribute well to clear and right images that are true to life. 

The device features premium quality ED glass that comes with Vortex’s signature anti-reflective AR coating. 

You won’t have to worry about any glare when using the binoculars in broad daylight. They also come with phase-corrected prisms that further improves your contrast and resolution. 

For durability, the Razor HD features an Armortek body that ensures your device doesn’t get any scratch and remains safe from dirt or oil. 

Vortex has designed it to be an ergonomic device that is very compact to hold. Therefore, you can slip it in your backpack with maximum comfort. It only weighs around 24.72 oz. 

What we liked

  • High-quality ED glass optics for high contrast and sharpness
  • BaK4 roof prism with XR coated lenses to prevent glare and for maximum light transmission
  • Extended eye relief of 17.5mm for convenient use with spectacles
  • 5.3mm exit pupil for better performance in dark conditions
  • Wider FoV of 388 feet at 8x zoom
  • The central focus for convenient use and management
  • Rubber armored body for quality all-weather performance

What we didn’t like

  • Not suitable for close focus
  • A bit expensive

Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
Magnification: 8x
Lens Coating: XR+fully multi-coated
Field of View: 388 feet at 1000 yards
Prism Type: BaK4 roof prism
Eye Relief: 17.5mm
Weight: 24.72 oz

12. Rudolph Optics 8x32 HD Ultra Lightweight Binocular

Rudolph Optics 8×32 is compact as it only weighs around 16 ounces. So it is a perfect choice for hiking or camping. 

But there’s more… You can also enjoy clearer and sharper images with its 32mm objective lenses and 8x magnification. 

Even with a compact design, this device comes with a good-enough eye relief of 14.7mm that allows you to use it with eyeglasses. 

But it’s 5.1mm exit pupil seals the deal because you can conveniently use the device in low light conditions as well. 

Your purchase of these lightweight binoculars includes a neck strap and a carrying case. The rubber coating of this device ensures comfortable outdoor use as it features waterproofing. So it delivers maximum value for all outdoor adventures. 

What we liked

  • Comes with rubber coating finish for waterproofing
  • Central focus makes the device easy to use
  • Good to use in low light conditions with 5.1mm exit pupil
  • Eye relief of 14.7mm makes them easy to use for glasses-wearers
  • Fully multi-coated optics with BaK4 roof prism for sharper and brighter images
  • Lightweight and compact making them easy to store in your backpack
  • Wider FoV for better viewing the sights during your adventure

What we didn’t like

  • The carrying case is a bit low on quality
  • No image stabilization 
  • You can’t focus on close objects

Objective Lens Diameter: 32 mm
Magnification: 8x
Lens Coating: Fully multi-coated
Field of View: 430 feet at 1000 yards
Prism Type: BaK4 roof prism
Eye Relief: 14.7mm
Weight: 15.84 oz

How to choose the right binoculars for hiking?

Aperture

An aperture of a pair of binoculars refers to the objective lens diameter. Of course, you are going for compact designed binoculars; therefore, you can’t go with larger apertures. But you cannot compromise on this feature if you want to view beautiful outdoor sights. 

Therefore, for a compact device, a 25mm objective lens is suitable if space is a huge concern for you. But if you can still afford a bit bigger device, you should choose a 32mm or even a 42mm objective lens.

Magnification

If you want more details on your target, you better choose higher magnification. For wider views, 7x or 8x magnification is more than sufficient. If you are interested in bird watching or wildlife observation on your hiking trips, choose a device with 10x magnification for better zooming. 

Prism

Quality prisms are better for light transmission. Phase coated prisms are great due to their higher color fidelity. Prism setting will tell a lot about how compact a binocular is without compromising viewing quality. Roof prisms are good for outdoor excursions because they are durable. And Phase coated BaK4 prism is the best choice for this purpose.

Field of view

Magnification and FoV are influenced by one another and you can’t have both of them together. With higher magnification, you have to give up FoV and vice versa. So if you think you enjoy wider scenery and don’t focus on a single object, prefer FoV over magnification. 

And if you choose to focus more on one particular target, choose higher magnification. Therefore, it’s a balancing act between the two. The best option for you is to go for an 8x magnification with close to 400 feet at 1000 yards FoV to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Lens coating

As you are going to be outdoors, you need to have your lens coated with a variety of layers to ensure they stay top-notch in various conditions against different elements. Fully multi-coated lenses are the best choice to keep it safe from any external elements. But also consider going for anti-reflective coatings to keep glare under control and ensure convenient use in broad daylight. 

Eye relief

It is the distance at which your eyes should be from the device’s ocular lens to look at the image. Devices with longer eye reliefs are easy to use. If your eyes are too far or close from the lens, the images will darken from the borders. Therefore, consider going for eye relief around 15mm to 18mm. The longer, the better!

Weatherproof

Your device should be trail tested and needs to come with a weather shield that protects it from harsh weather conditions such as scorching heat and rain. In most cases, you have to deal with moisture, rain, and fog when you are in the open. Therefore, make sure you choose a device that comes with fog and water resistivity at least up to some extent.

Weight

Weight is the key when you are hiking as you cannot add too much of it behind your back or you will get exhausted in no time. Hence, you have to pack as light as possible and only consider critical things. 

But you can’t leave your binoculars either. You should choose a compact and lightweight device you can conveniently carry around without even noticing. Any good binoculars for hiking weighing around 10 oz to 30 oz can be designated as a lightweight device.

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