7 Best Birding Binoculars under $200

Birding is a fun filled outdoor excursion enjoyed by people of all ages. It is a great way to take your mind off the bustles of everyday life and spend some quality time getting closer to nature. Whether you are a birding beginner or not, we understand that this expedition doesn’t have to be expensive so, we are going to help you find the best birding binoculars under $200 for your specific needs.

When it comes to bird watching, nothing beats a quality pair of binoculars. It will help you find the birds with ease in different habitats. Binoculars are also helpful when it comes to observing these magical creatures at extended ranges where it would be impractical to use your naked eyes only.

There are tons of binoculars available out there. This makes it a chore to know which model to choose especially if you have a tight budget. To help, we have put together a comprehensive buyer’s guide on the best birding binoculars under $200. On top of that, we have attached a list of the important things one should consider to make the right purchase.

But first things first, let’s begin by looking at the attributes that make great birding binoculars.

What Makes a Good Birding Binoculars

For a pair of binoculars to be great for bird watching, it should have the following attributes:

Bright and Crisp Optics

The first thing that a great binocular for bird watching should have is bright and clear optics to yield stunning views of the birds.

Lightweight Construction

Lightweight construction is another attribute that makes a great binocular for birding. Lightweight binoculars are not just portable, but also comfortable and easy on the hands during lengthy sessions of use.

Sufficient Eye Relief

With sufficient eye relief, binoculars become more comfortable on the eyes during use. It also makes the binoculars snug to use with or without eyeglasses.

Moderate Magnification Power

Lastly, a good binocular for birding should have a moderate magnification of not more than 10x. Moderate magnification makes the binoculars easy to hold steadily with either one or both hands.

Best Birding Binoculars under $200 – Top Picks

Binoculars provide excellent views of birds in all habitats. Here is our selection of the best budget models under $200 suitable for every avid birder out there. Let’s have a look.

1) Vortex Optics Crossfire HD 8×42 Binoculars

best birding binoculars under $200



Vortex Optics Crossfire HD 8×42 are by far the best birding binoculars under $200. They live up to the Vortex reputation of quality, performance and functionality where they excel in virtually all lighting and weather conditions.

This pair of binoculars brings HD optics and high-end form factor. It employs select glass elements which deliver exceptional resolution and color contrast. Additionally, all the air-to-glass surfaces have anti-reflection lens coatings for high light transmission.

Another thing that makes the binocular ideal for bird watching is lightweight design. It weighs a mere 23.8 ounces and is compact in size for easy packability. Over and above that, the binocular has a generous eye relief of 17mm so it is suitable for use with or without spectacles.

In terms of construction, the Vortex Optics Crossfire HD 8×42 Binocular has a rugged chassis to withstand rough handling and repetitive use. The chassis is rubber armored to provide a secure, slip resistant grip as well as additional external protection. This pair of binoculars is also tripod adaptable for use on a tripod, monopod or car window mount.


  • 8x moderate magnification
  • Fully waterproof and fog proof
  • HD glass elements
  • Rubber armored body
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Roof prism optical path
  • Center focus system


  • Lightweight and compact
  • Long eye relief
  • Crisp clear optics
  • Sturdy and rugged construction
  • Easy to hold and use


  • Not sharp at long distances

2) Celestron – Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars

best birding binoculars under $200



Celestron – Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars is an outdoor and bird watching binocular ideal for people of all ages. It is easy to use and a great choice for beginners in bird watching.

The optical performance of this binocular is unrivaled. It is outfitted with premium quality glass elements for optical performance. Additionally, the optics are multi-coated to enhance optical clarity and detail in all environments.

Weighing a mere 12.1oz, this binocular is ultra-light, portable and comfortable on the hands during lengthy glassing sessions. In terms of construction, it is made with a rubber armored polycarbonate housing to stand up to the toughest weather conditions. Furthermore, it is 100% waterproof, fog proof and dustproof.

With the 8x magnification, this pair of binoculars is ideal for watching birds at all distances. It also comes with a close focus distance of 6.5 feet for viewing close up subjects such as plants and insects.


  • Phase-coated BaK4 prisms
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Durable polycarbonate housing
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • 8x magnification power
  • Tripod adaptable


  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Ease of use
  • Durable and reliable construction
  • Easy to hold
  • Great picture quality


  • The accessories included don’t last

3) Nikon ACULON A211 8×42




Nikon ACULON A211 is a highly versatile binocular that offers the best value for money. This optics brand has made a multitude of binoculars in the last couple of decades, and this budget model is one of the best for birdwatching.

The selling point of this binocular is optical quality. It features multi-coated lenses and high-quality prisms that work in tandem to deliver the best image quality in a multitude of lighting conditions.

Not only is the optical performance of this binoculars outstanding, but also build quality. It is engineered and built with high-quality materials which promise durability and longevity. Furthermore, a durable rubber armor covers the whole chassis to provide non-slip grip, even in wet environment.

In addition to being lightweight, the Nikon ACULON A211 binoculars have a smooth central focus knob for easy focusing. It also brings to the table turn-and-slide rubber eyecups that allow for comfortable viewing during extended periods of use.


  • Rubber armored coating
  • Turn and slide rubber eyecups
  • 8x magnification power
  • Premium BaK4 Porro prism
  • Smooth central focus knob
  • Aspherical multi-coated eco-glass lenses


  • Lightweight
  • Good warranty
  • Easy to hold
  • Phenomenal picture quality


  • Not water resistant
  • Narrow eye relief

4) Athlon Optics 8×42 Neos G2 HD Binoculars

Athlon Optics 8x42



Athlon Optics 8×42 Neos G2 HD Binoculars are the best birding binoculars under $200 for family use. They are exceptional in terms of true color production in all environments. Additionally, they are built light to be easy to hold with either one or both hands.

A highlight of this optical gear is high-definition views. It employs HD glass elements that ramp up resolution and color contrast, both of which are vital for bird watching. On top of that, it uses advanced fully multi-coated lenses for ultra-clear brightness even in low light.

Construction-wise, the binocular has a composite chassis which is lightweight but tough enough to withstand wear and tear. Furthermore, the optical tubes are O-ring sealed, nitrogen purged for 100% waterproofing and fog proofing. It also has a tough XPL lens coating to prevent scratches as well as dirt buildup.

On top of everything else, the Athlon Optics 8×42 Neos G2 HD Binocular is multifunctional and great for hunting, stargazing and wildlife viewing, not just birding.


  • High-quality BaK-4 prisms
  • Waterproof and nitrogen purged
  • Premium extra-low dispersion glass
  • Magnesium chassis base
  • Advanced fully multi-coated lenses
  • Water and dirt repellent XPL lens coating
  • Center focus system


  • Long eye relief
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Great value for money
  • Versatile and easy to use
  • Quality craftmanship


  • Stiff focus wheel

5) Bushnell Legend Ultra HD E-Series 10x42mm Binoculars

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD E-Series



Combining cutting-edge design and exceptional performance, Bushnell Legend Ultra HD E-Series 10x42mm Binocular is an invaluable tool for bird watching. If you are an avid birder looking to take your bird watching to the next level, this pair of binoculars suits you.

It has a high 10x magnification to bring you closer to the faraway birds and ensure comfortable glassing sessions. Even with the high zoom power, the binocular does not compromise on field of view. It provides a spacious field of view for quick and easy target finding.

Furthermore, the binocular has an ultra-wide band coating process that is customized for every lens element in the optical path. The coatings maximize light transmission for bright and clear image views across the full light spectrum. They also offer extra protection from scratches during use.

For all-weather operability, the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD E-Series 10x42mm Binoculars have reliable waterproof and fog proof protection. On top of that is a Rainguard water repellent coating that keeps the field of view clean in wet conditions.


  • 10x magnification
  • High-quality glass elements
  • Center focusing
  • Tripod mountable
  • Waterproof and nitrogen filled
  • Ultra wide band fully multi-coated optics
  • BaK4 roof prisms
  • Twist-up click stop eyecups


  • Large field of view
  • Fairly lightweight and comfortable to hold
  • Great value for money
  • Incredible image detail in great color

6) Carson VP Series Full Sized 8x42mm Binoculars

Carson VP Series


Next in our list of the best birding binoculars under $200 is Carson VP Series Full Sized 8x42mm Binoculars. Carson’s commitment to excellence is clear in this binocular which boasts an array of high-quality and user-friendly features.

The build quality of this binocular is outstanding. It is rugged enough to withstand any abuse and serve you a prolonged period of time. Furthermore, it is built waterproof and fog proof to weather the most unforgiving weather conditions.

Optically, the binocular has phase-corrected prisms which provide superior image quality. The coatings on the prisms and lenses ramp up light transmission in low light and prevent glare in bright light. This ensures that you get the most detail of the birds in any lighting condition.

For added convenience, the Carson VP Series Full Sized 8x42mm Binocular is tripod mountable. It also features an extra-long eye relief for comfortable use, with or without eyeglasses.

In addition to all these handy features, this pair of binoculars comes with a range of accessories to ensure that you get the most out of it.


  • Phase-coated BaK4 prisms
  • Waterproof and nitrogen filled
  • 8x magnification
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Adjustable eyepieces
  • Center focus system


  • Large field of view
  • Tripod mountable
  • Extra-long eye relief
  • Lightweight and compact design


  • Not very durable

7) Vanguard Endeavor ED II Binoculars 8×42

Vanguard Endeavor ED II




The Vanguard Endeavor ED II Binoculars is another budget binocular that is ideal for bird watching. It delivers sharpness and clarity in all situation, with exceptional color resolution and contrast.

Built with premium HOYA ED glass, this binocular provides true color viewing experience of birds in all habitats. It also brings to the table advanced multi-guard lens coatings for high light transmission.

To complement the stunning optical features, this pair of binoculars is built to last. It has an extremely sturdy and solid body which is fully waterproof and fog proof. Over and above that, the open-bridge design makes the binoculars more comfortable to hold securely during use.

Another impressive thing about the Vanguard Endeavor ED II Binoculars is lightweight construction. It is light enough to hold and carry for a long period of time without fatigue. Over and above that, it features 3-stage twist-up eyecups with click stops for use with or without glasses.


  • Premium HOYA ED glass
  • 100% waterproof and fog proof
  • 8x magnification
  • Advanced lens coatings
  • Twist-up eyecups
  • Phase-corrected BaK4 prisms
  • Locking diopter ring
  • Pebbled rubber armor
  • Magnesium chassis


  • Multi-functionality
  • Lightweight
  • Large field of view
  • Superb brightness and clarity
  • Very easy and comfortable to use


  • Slight chromatic aberration problems

See Also

Things to Look for in the Best Birding Binoculars under $200

If you are buying your first pair of binoculars for birding or looking for a newer model, below are the things you should factor in before settling on any product.

Glass Type

The type of glass a binocular is made with has a direct impact on the picture quality. Ensure that you get a binocular with the best glass elements possible. Such binoculars enhance the brightness and clarity of the sight pictures in all light settings. For the best birding binoculars under $200, we recommend a model with either premium ED or fluorite glass.

Lens Size

Another essential thing that you should consider is lens size. In binoculars, the size of the objective lens determines how much light will collect inside the optics.

Generally, the larger the lens diameter, the more light is collected and the better the image views will be. A tip is to get a binocular with a 40mm or 42mm objective lens size. Such a size provides the best balance of light collection and low weight.


Weight in binoculars is determined by the type of glass and the materials used in the construction process. If the binoculars are heavy, they will strain your hands and be cumbersome to carry around. So, try and look for the lightest pair possible. Lightweight binoculars are not just easy to carry, but also simple to use.

Focus System

Another thing to consider is focusing system. We all have different visions which make it hard to focus on an object that is far away. This is where focusing system in binoculars come in to play. You can easily adjust the focus knob/wheel and bring the object into focus.

Eye Relief

Lastly, consider eye relief. Whether you wear eyeglasses or not, eye relief is an important feature to consider when looking for the best birding binoculars under $200. We recommend that you settle for binoculars with at least 15mm eye relief. The longer the eye relief, the more comfortable you will find the binoculars to use.

Final Words

Bird watching is an enjoyable outdoor adventure activity and binoculars are a crucial tool that every avid birder should have. With a quality pair of binoculars at your disposal, you will observe and identify birds from a distance and have the most memorable experience. Whichever model you end up choosing, it is my hope that the information in this article has helped steer you in the right direction.