Best Binoculars for Bird Watching Under $100 in 2024: Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Binoculars for Bird Watching Under $100 in 2024:

As an avid birder on a budget, finding quality binoculars that won’t break the bank but still provide sharp, bright views is essential to fully enjoy this rewarding hobby. The good news is that major advancements in optical technologies have brought superb birding binoculars into the under $100 price range.

In this 2024 guide, I’ll review the top-rated binoculars under $100 for birding based on optical clarity, ease of use, durability, and value. We’ll cover key features to look for and how budget binocular specs translate into performance. You’ll know exactly what to look for when selecting binoculars under $100 tailored for bird watching.

With the right affordable binoculars that optimize visibility and identification, you can spot dazzling details on birds near and far. Let’s take flight finding the perfect budget birding binoculars to enhance your hobby!

Advantages of Using Binoculars for Bird Watching

Binoculars specially designed for birding provide benefits over using just your eyes, including:

  • Magnification – Enlarges birds at distance for identifying features. 8x or 10x is ideal.
  • Brightness – More light transmission ensures bright, crisp viewing even in low light.
  • Field of View – Allows you to scan wider areas for activity and movement.
  • Eye Relief – Keeps eyes comfortably back from eyepieces when scanning for extended periods.
  • Close Focus – Focus down to 6 feet or less to view nearby birds in detail.
  • Stabilization – Steadier image than naked eye when handholding for long periods.

The right binoculars become an indispensable birding tool that allows you to find more species while avoiding eye and neck strain. Next let’s see what features to prioritize in budget models under $100.

What to Look for in Birding Binoculars Under $100

While you make some compromises at the sub-$100 price point, quality birding binoculars should still offer:

Optical Clarity – Sharp focus and vivid colors in the central field of view. Avoid softness around edges.

Light Transmission – Bright images even in dawn/dusk low light conditions. Larger objectives and anti-reflective lens coatings help maximize light.

Close Focus – Focus down to 6-8 feet to view nearby birds and perched details.

Front Lens Size – Larger 24mm+ front lenses improve light gathering versus smaller 20-21mm size.

Magnification – 8x or 10x is ideal for birding. Higher zooms lose brightness and stability.

Field of View – Wider is better for scanning landscapes and tracking activity. 300-400+ feet at 1000 yards preferred.

Weight – Lightweight body under 20 oz for comfortable carrying over long hikes and observation periods.

Waterproof/Fogproof – Durable, water-resistant housing and purged with nitrogen or argon gas.

Eye Relief – 15mm+ eye relief lets you view for hours without eye fatigue.

Use these criteria to select the standout budget birding binoculars with the best balance of optical performance and ease of use. Now let’s review top models that deliver great birdwatching at under $100.

Best Binoculars for Bird Watching Under $100 Reviews

After evaluating dozens of affordable birding binocular options, these are my picks for the top binoculars under $100 for bird watching in 2024:

Celestron Nature DX 8×28 Binoculars

Celestron Nature DX 8x28 Binoculars

Key Specs:

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens: 28mm
  • Close Focus: 8 feet
  • Field of View: 380 feet @ 1000 yards
  • Eye Relief: 17mm
  • Weight: 17oz

My top overall choice, the Celestron Nature DX 8×28 stands out for delivering stunning optical quality at a bargain price. The generous 28mm objectives let in ample light while ED glass reduces color fringing. At under 1lb, they’re very lightweight and comfortable for all-day carry. Generous 17mm eye relief and twist up eyecups make viewing pleasant and easy to share. The Schmidt-Pechan prism coating and phase corrected roofs yield bright, crisp details even in low light. Their close focus reaches birds as near as 8 feet. Fantastic clarity and sharpness for identifying birds near or far.

Price: $89.95

Bushnell Falcon 10×50 Wide Angle Binoculars

Bushnell Falcon 10x50 Wide Angle Binoculars

Key Specs:

  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens: 50mm
  • Close Focus: 9 feet
  • Field of View: 305 feet @ 1000 yards
  • Eye Relief: 12mm
  • Weight: 27oz

The extra-large 50mm lenses on these 10x Bushnell Falcon binoculars gather tons of light for super bright viewing, especially around dawn/dusk. The 10x magnification extends your viewing distance while still offering a respectably wide 305-foot field of view. The autofocus system provides tack sharp images. Rubber armor coating absorbs shocks and provides a textured grip. At 1.5 lbs they’re heavier but the wide neck strap helps distribute the weight. For the price, the light transmission and sharpness make these budget 10x50s a great choice for open space birding.

Price: $59.49

Nikon Trailblazer 8×25 ATB Binoculars

Nikon Trailblazer 8x25 ATB Binoculars

Key Specs:

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens: 25mm
  • Close Focus: 8.2 feet
  • Field of View: 377 feet @ 1000 yards
  • Eye Relief: 12mm
  • Weight: 10.1oz

Nikon’s eco-friendly Trailblazer ATB series designed for all-terrain birding includes these nice quality 8×25 binoculars that are extremely lightweight at just over 10oz. The respectable 25mm lenses still provide good brightness while ED glass enhances colors and limits chromatic aberration. The eyecups twist up for eyeglass wearers. The exterior lenses feature a hydrophobic coating that causes water to bead up so optics stay clearer in rainy or humid conditions during marsh or shore birding. At this affordable price, they offer great optics for travel and all-day carry.

Price: $96.95

Wingspan Optics Explorer 8×40 Binoculars

Wingspan Optics Explorer 8x40 Binoculars

Key Specs:

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens: 40mm
  • Close Focus: 5 feet
  • Field of View: 430 feet @ 1000 yards
  • Eye Relief: 17mm
  • Weight: 18oz

Boasting extra wide 430-foot field of view, the Wingspan Explorer 8x40s are ideal for birders who enjoy scanning wide vistas or tracking flocks in flight. The sizable 40mm lenses produce bright images in all conditions. The close focus reaches just 5 feet, allowing you to zero in on feeder birds and details. Wide smooth center focusing knob for easy adjustments. Shockproof rubber armor. Phase correction coatings sharpen views. Tripod adaptable. Wingspan’s “Worry-Free Warranty” provides excellent support. Overall, they offer impressive specs and birding performance at a family-friendly price.

Price: $95.99

Gosky Pocket Birding Binoculars

Gosky Pocket Birding Binoculars

Key Specs:

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens: 21mm
  • Close Focus: 16 feet
  • Field of View: 361 feet @ 1000 yards
  • Eye Relief: 15mm
  • Weight: 0.45 lbs

Weighing just 7oz, Gosky’s ultra compact Pocket Binoculars are perfect for backpackers or travelers who need minimal weight and space. The central focus knob tunes in sharpness easily. Textured grip and armor provide stability. At just 4.25 inches tall, they pack away in any bag. Optically, the 21mm lenses and BaK-4 prisms deliver good brightness and crispness for casual birding despite the tiny size. Easy to mount on a harness or strap for all-day carry. A great minimalist and budget-friendly option.

Price: $39.99

Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars

Occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars

Key Specs:

  • Magnification: 12x
  • Objective Lens: 25mm
  • Close Focus: 6 feet
  • Field of View: 305 feet @ 1000 yards
  • Eye Relief: 8-14mm
  • Weight: 0.39 lbs

Occer’s 12×25 binos feature the highest magnification of all my recommendations, extending your viewing distance further to identify birds at range. The tradeoff is a narrower field of view that makes scanning tougher. But for perched viewing, the 12x power brings excellent detail closer. Decent light transmission through 25mm lenses. The compact, slim design easily fits into pockets. Includes carrying case and neck strap. For the price, they excel for travel or packing into bags for opportunistic distant bird sightings.

Price: $39.99

Comparison Table

Here’s a helpful comparison table summarizing the key specifications of each budget bird watching binocular recommendation:

ModelMagnificationObjective LensClose FocusField of ViewEye ReliefWeightPrice
Celestron Nature DX 8×288x28mm8 feet380 feet @ 1000 yards17mm17oz$89.95
Bushnell Falcon 10×5010x50mm9 feet305 feet @ 1000 yards12mm27oz$59.49
Nikon Trailblazer 8×258x25mm8.2 feet377 feet @ 1000 yards12mm10.1oz$96.95
Wingspan Explorer 8×408x40mm5 feet430 feet @ 1000 yards17mm18oz$95.99
Gosky Pocket Binoculars8x21mm16 feet361 feet @ 1000 yards15mm0.45 lbs$39.99
Occer 12×2512x25mm6 feet305 feet @ 1000 yards8-14mm0.39 lbs$39.99

How to Use Binoculars for Bird Watching

Once you’ve selected the perfect budget birding binoculars, a few technique tips will help you get the most out of your new optics:

  • Use neck/harness straps – Keep hands free and binoculars secure and ready.
  • Get proper eye relief – Position eyes optimally back from the eyepieces for full field of view.
  • Hold steady – Support on your knees or tree to stabilize shaky hands when needed.
  • Adjust focus – Refocus each time you view a new bird to sharpen details.
  • Scan systematically – Pan slowly while searching for movement and listening for sound cues.
  • Be patient – Moving too quickly will make you miss things. Take your time observing.
  • Follow the light – Position yourself with sun at your back to see details on shadowed birds.
  • Watch behavior – Note interactions and behaviors that aid in identification.

With practice honing your birding skills using binoculars, you’ll be spotting feathered friends near and far in no time!


As a budget-conscious birding enthusiast, getting quality binoculars under $100 that can reveal colorful details without breaking your bank account is essential. Fortunately, thanks to production innovations, light transmission enhancements, and durable components, there are now excellent affordable options specialized for bird watching.

I hope these binocular reviews and tips help you discover joyful birds out your window or across your favorite nature spot. Let crisp optics enhance your birding hobby without overspending. Just be sure to focus on key features like magnification, lens size, light transmission, eye relief, and field of view when selecting binoculars tailored for your birdwatching needs.

The right beginner birding binoculars become a trusted companion on every outdoor adventure. So start zeroing in on winged wildlife near and far with optics designed to deliver stunning views no matter your budget. The birding world awaits!