Best Hiking Binoculars in 2021 Reviewed

by Sigita B | Last Updated: December 4, 2020

Whether you are a passionate hiker, an avid outdoors person, or a serious wildlife watcher, carrying a good set of binoculars is a must. They will let you sink in the beauty of nature, making your hiking trip into an even more nuanced experience.

When packing a hiker’s backpack, you need to pack all the essentials you will need on the trail while keeping the pack as light as possible. Big, bulky binoculars will only add to this problem. So, what is the solution?

Your binoculars should be light, small, and compact. Keeping this in mind, we have prepared a list of the best binoculars for hiking that are small in size, compact and lightweight – without making any compromises when it comes to their optical abilities.

If you are in a rush and do not wish to read the full article, here are the
top 3 hiking binoculars in our opinion:

Best premium
Leica Ultravid BR 8×20 Compact Binoculars
Leica Ultravid BR 8×20 Compact Binoculars

These are among the smallest binoculars on the market. Measuring at just 4 inches, they are roughly the size of a credit card. Nevertheless, they do a tremendous job. The optics came out top-notch and sharp enough, helping you capture every possible detail even in low light.

Our pick
Zeiss 8×25 Terra ED Compact Binoculars
Zeiss 8×25 Terra ED Compact Binoculars

Zeiss 8×25 Terra ED is among the best compact binoculars you can get your hands on. Whether it’s about getting a good view of the trail ahead or tracking game in the wild, these binoculars will not let you down. Just grab these and take them to the woods – you will see everything crystal clear!

Best budget
Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8×32 Compact Binoculars
Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8×32 Compact Binoculars

Nature DX compact binoculars are equipped with Celestron optics technology. These pocket-friendly hiking binoculars are very budget-friendly. But even at this price point, they have fully coated optics for a bright and glare-free image.

The Top 6 Binoculars For Hikers in 2021

Hiking couple with binoculars

Leica Ultravid BR 8×20 Compact Binoculars

Leica is a German company which has been manufacturing high-end optics and camera since 1914 so you would expect it to be a reliable manufacturer that only pushes out top-quality product. And that is true! We are impressed with the overall performance of these binoculars.

Before getting into the details, let’s look at some of the key features of this product:

These are among the smallest binoculars on the market. Measuring at just 4 inches, they are roughly the size of a credit card. Nevertheless, they do a tremendous job. The optics came out top-notch and sharp enough, helping you capture every possible detail even in low light.

Leica has done a wonderful job in making these binoculars extra lightweight. They are compact, portable and barely add any weight to your backpack. They come in a strong, durable body that is shock-proof.

Considering all the aspects, it would be safe to say that this is one of the best compact-sized binoculars at this price point.

If you buy this product on Amazon, it has a 30-day return policy, giving you the chance to test the binoculars out and return them if they do not meet your expectations.

This product does cost a hefty sum but given its overall performance and features, it is good value for your money.

Best premium
Leica Ultravid BR 8x20 Compact

8x Magnification provides sharp and detailed images and offers a good overview, especially in wooded regions, due to its larger field of view.


Rubber-armored and water-resistant housing provides maximum robustness and protection to a depth of 16.5ft./5m and makes the Leica Ultravid BR very resistant and reliable in any situation.

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Carson 3D Series HD 10×50 Binoculars

Carson is a major player when it comes to manufacturing binocular, telescopes and other optical instruments. The 3d Series Binocular is a flagship product by Carson and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better companion than this one.

Before jumping into the details, here is a brief summary of its features:

To keep the weight down, Carson has used a polycarbonate material for its binocular’s chassis. This material is known to provide great durability, which is exactly what is needed in a product like this. These binoculars only weigh 658 grams and have nice, modern design.

The optics too came out great. They offer a wide field view while keeping the resolution amazingly bright and sharp.

Binoculars must provide good visibility in low light. Who wants to miss out the scenic view of the late sunset? In our tests we found the binoculars to be good in this regard, if not the best. The color shifting was great, output was sharp and it beats even some of the expensive ones in low lighting performance.

These binoculars have a fully rubberized armored coating making it durable even in extreme conditions.

They come with a carrying case, shoulder strap, binocular harness and other useful accessories.

Overall, these binoculars are a great option for you. It won’t be easy to find another product like this for such a reasonable price.

Carson 3D Series HD 10x50

Includes ED Glass for Sharper and Brighter Images | 10x Magnification | 42mm Objective Lens Diameter.

Included with BinoArmor Deluxe Carry Case, Neck Strap, Shoulder Harness, Lens Covers and Lens Cloth.

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Zeiss 8×25 Terra ED Compact Binoculars

When talking about binoculars, you cannot leave this brand out. Zeiss was founded by the optician Carl Zeiss in 1846. Since then, the brand has come up with a wide range of products.

Before we dig into the pros and cons of Zeiss 8×25 Terra ED Compact Binoculars, let’s take a look at its features:

Somehow, Zeiss managed to load up all these exciting features in a pair of 1.55 lbs binoculars. Zeiss has provided a hydrophobic coating protection which makes the binoculars fog and water repellent. It will provide you with a clearer and sharper view in all kinds of weather.

The combination of 25mm objective lens, 8x zoom and smooth focus adjustment gives these binoculars a wider angle, good clarity, and ultra-laser focus. Just grab these and take them to the woods – you will see everything crystal clear! You can also opt for the 10×25 lens model for extra magnification.

Zeiss 8×25 Terra ED is among the best compact binoculars you can get your hands on. Whether it’s about getting a good view of the trail ahead or tracking game in the wild, these binoculars will not let you down.

This product is easily available online and comes with a 2-year warranty. Big thumbs up from us!

Our pick
Zeiss 8×25 Terra ED Compact

88% Light transmission - schott ed - glass with a hydrophobic multi-coating provides optical clarity and precision in all situations.

Comfortable, fast focusing - the large, smooth and easy-to-grip focus wheel makes focusing particularly easy and, most of all, quick on a Zeiss Terra ED. 

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Nikon 7548 MONARCH 7 8×42 Binocular

Nikon is a brand that specializes in quality camera lenses and they have brought the same expertise to building the 7548 MONARCH. This specific model from Nikon does tick every box to provide you the best experience.

Here is a brief countdown of its features:

Nikon provided a rubber finish coating which provides a good grip.

No room left in the backpack? Don’t worry! Due to Monarch’s light weight and compact design it will fit in your pocket without any struggle.

Regarding the optics, these binoculars produce great image quality and the superior ED glasses give you a brighter, wider and sharper view so that you can cherish the views even from a great distance.

If you wear glasses, these binoculars are a blessing for you. They come with a high-eyepoint design which is extremely useful. We were impressed with the design as well. It is sturdy and reliable in all weather conditions.

The Monarch is quite pricey but its performance and special features make up for it.

Nikon Monarch 7 Binocular Roof Prism

The Monarch 7 8x42 provides an exceptionally wide field of view that makes it easy to find your subject.

Dielectric High-Reflective Multilayer Prism Coatings are applied to all lenses and prism coatings to provide high-contrast images and accurate color reproduction.

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Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42 Binoculars

Vortex is an American company that is serving its customer since 1989. It manufactures a wide range of products including binoculars, telescopes and other related peripherals. These binoculars have all bases covered.

Before we move ahead, let’s take a look at the features:

Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42 Binoculars are equipped with 10x zoom capability and larger objective lens. It allows maximum light transmission, which in turn gives you a high-resolution field of view.

These binoculars are lightweight and come with a harness which gives an improved user experience. They are waterproof so you don’t need to worry about rainy conditions. These binoculars are also fog-proof – an inert gas is used to prevent lenses from getting foggy on the inside.

Vortex provides necessary accessories right out of the box like rain guard, neck strap and lens covers, making these binoculars a better companion for you in rough and tough conditions.

All things considered, Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42 is surely worth the price, especially given the unconditional lifetime warranty.

Vortex Optics Viper HD 10x42

10x magnification and 42mm objective lenses, it is a high-end, full-size yet compact binocular that is suited for any hunt. An easy-to-grip, rubber armored chassis with perfectly placed thumb indents provides superior ergonomics.

A high density optical system delivers exceptional resolution and edge to edge clarity. XR anti-reflective lens coatings give bright, full views even in low light situations.


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Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8×32 Compact Binoculars

Celestron is a subsidiary of Synta Technology Corporation, California, USA that specializes in the manufacturing of binoculars, telescopes, microscopes, spotting scopes and accessories. Take a quick glance at the most important features of these binoculars!

Nature DX compact binoculars are equipped with Celestron optics technology. These pocket-friendly hiking binoculars are very budget-friendly. But even at this price point, they have fully coated optics for a bright and glare-free image.

Now a little more about the design of these binoculars. They have a rugged rubber armored body which gives them rigidity in tough conditions. Even in heavy rain showers, the surrounding rubber coating will protect your binoculars from water.

Despite having all these features, the binoculars only weigh 18 ounces. They are lightweight, and even though the price point is incredibly low, Nature DX gives you a fog proof Nitrogen purged seal protection and BAK-4 prism coating. That is an amazing value for your money.

These binoculars are available in several different focal magnification ranges starting from 8×25 to 12×56 so you can choose whichever suits you best.

If you are on a tight budget, go for the Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8×32. It gives you amazing performance for a very low price without compromising on the optics.

Best budget
Celestron 71330 Nature DX 8×32 Compact

Perfect binoculars for every adventure: A great match for everyone from beginners to mid-range outdoors and birding enthusiasts. The perfect combination of premium builds, portability, and price.

Top-rated glass optics with impressive specs: Fully multi-coated lenses for brighter images, more contrast and high resolution with phase-coated BaK-4 prisms, 8x magnification power, and 6. 5-foot close focus.

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