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You have already spent a fortune on your safari trip and don’t want to drain your wallet? Keep reading to find out about the affordable safari best binoculars under $100 without sacrificing from the quality.
Investing in gear for a safari trip can be expensive. Clothes, camping equipment, and camera aside, binocular is another essential item having an exponentially increased price with quality. Believe it or not – just like many other electronic and optical devices, binoculars can also cost under 100 USD.
You may not achieve the flawless image quality of a top-rated binocular, but you will still have a decent combination of features. To give you examples of a cheap compact binocular, we have covered ten best binoculars under $100 for you to choose from.
Our Top Ten Picks For Best Binoculars Under $100
Bushnell H20 10×42 Roof
Among the entry-level binoculars, Bushnell H20 has the most desirable combination of specifics. Affordable binoculars can employ compromised ergonomics, but make no mistake, the 100% waterproof and non-slip rubber-armored Bushnell H20 is not one of them.
The roof prism features the latest technology of BAK-4 prism with multi-coated optics for crisp images and light transmission. Other features like 17 mm eye relief and twist-up eyecups make it one of the most straightforward binoculars. Whether you are on a safari or bird watching tour, Bushnell H20 provides the best outcome.
- Multi-coated BAK4 prism
- Long eye relief
- 82 USD on Amazon
- The prism lacks phase correction, which could create deficiencies in brightness in gloomy and dark places.
Celestron Outland X 10×42
Manufacturing a binocular with roof prism can be tricky, which makes them more expensive than anticipated. So, finding a roof-prismed Celestron Outland in the lowest price range is a miracle.
The most significant advantage of the integrated roof prism is the smaller size compared to other cheap binoculars. The compact design has a side benefit of waterproofing, as the binocular has a rubber armor like many roof prism binoculars.
The BAK4 prism with multi-coatings creates perfect imaging for outdoor activities, although the brightness can be hard to adjust with extreme light or extreme darkness. Nonetheless, you could use the twist eyecups to optimize your viewing. Overall, Celestron Outland is a perfect match for nature observers, hikers, safari-goers, and even novice hunters.
- Rubber armored body
- Roof prism with small size
- 58 USD on Amazon
- The eye relief is only 14 mm, which could be a problem if you are wearing sunglasses.
Vortex Raptor 8.5×32
Although Vortex mostly produces high-end binoculars, Raptor is one of the best binoculars for the money. The wide-angle design may not be the smallest, but it offers a high FOV of 390 feet per 1000 yards, meaning you will rarely have adjustment issues. The 70 mm vast Interpupillary Distance of Raptor eliminates all the distortion throughout your full range of views.
The fully multi-coated lens and Bak4 glass of the Porro prism alleviate the struggles of viewing in low light or too much light. Being waterproof and foolproof, it can be used in wet and humid times for wildlife observation and birdwatching.
- Wide field of view
- Fully-coated lens
- Rubber armored body
- 99 USD on Amazon
- Short eye relief of 13.8 mm
- Not tripod adaptable
Nikon Aculon A211 8×42
Nikon’s binoculars are among the top-rated according to the binocular reviews on Amazon, and that includes their cheapest product Nikon Aculon A211 8×42. One of the unique features of this product is the aspherical eyepiece, which reduces the fish-eye effect and even corrects for astigmatism.
The Porro prism has Bak4 technology and Eco-Glass multi-coating for ultra-sharpness and perspective. Having a FOV of 420 feet, Aculon A211 can show a vast area in one round. From hunting to game-viewing, Nikon Aculon A211 is one of the most multi-purposed binoculars in the lowest price range.
- Eco-glass technology
- Wide FOV
- Aspherical Lenses
- Short eye relief (12 mm)
- Not weatherproof
Tasco Essentials 10×25 – Budget-friendly Best Binoculars Under $100
It is a far-fetched idea to find a binocular that is cheaper than some of your clothes, but it is not impossible. The pocket-size Tasco Essentials has emerged as the best binocular under $50, and the solid proof that a budget binocular can compete against even high-end or mid-range products.
The first difference you can notice is the fold-down cups instead of the twist-ups. What it means is that you can simply fold it up and down depending on your sunglasses.
This type of eyecup is proven to be more durable against dirt and dust. The image quality is enhanced by the use of BAK4 prisms with fully coated lenses, which some of the more expensive binoculars happen to lack. These features are all fitted into a tiny binocular with ergonomic rubber/aluminum armor for a soft grip.
- Lightweight and small
- Foldable eyecups
- Excellent sharpness and color contrast
- Only 18 USD
- Not waterproof
- Can be unstable at maximum magnification
Wingspan EagleScout 10×42
Most of the best cheap binoculars have either very narrow lens diameters or low magnification, but Wingspan Eagle Scout has the right amount of both. The 42 mm diameter and the fully multi-coating help to retain the compact design while offering bright images in the dark.
With the nitrogen purging technique, Eagle scout has been made weatherproof and fog proof, which is also hard to incorporate into budget binoculars.
- Wide lens diameter
- Decent magnification
- 73 USD
- Difficult to adjust the focus
Bushnell Legacy WP Porro Prism – Best Binoculars Under $100 with Eye Relief
A common deficiency of the best binoculars under $100 is the lack of proper eye relief, creating problems for those with sunglasses. With 14 mm eye relief, Bushnell Legacy is the best in this category and the low price range.
The magnification is variant and leaves it up to you to zoom in and out between 10-22 x. The 50 mm fully coated lens is far-reaching for this price range, so you don’t have to lower your expectations for viewing in low light.
The Porro prism design has integrated the Bak-4 technology for image clarity. Despite having a Porro prism, Bushnell Legacy is perfectly weatherproof. Overall, it has the whole package with just under $100.
- Variable magnification
- Large lens
- Good eye relief
- It is very heavy and bulky due to the Porro prism.
Celestron Skymaster 25×70
This item, despite being in the same price range, is quite different from our other picks. The perfect duo of 25x magnification and 70 mm objective lens defies every obstacle in viewing the far distances on the ground and in the sky. Thanks to its Porro Prism with multicoated layers, you never lose clarity even when viewing small and far objects hidden in the dark.
The significant difference, though, is that this exceptional binocular requires a tripod since it is too heavy to hold by hand. If you can spend a few more bucks for a tripod, Celestron Skymaster will take your breath away with its unparalleled light allowance and color contrast during huntings, sky viewing, and animal-watching from hides or decks.
- Very wide lens for extra light allowance
- High magnification power
- High-quality Porro prism
- Short eye relief (12 mm)
- Too heavy and requires a tripod
- Not fully waterproof
Bushnell Powerview 10×50 – Innovative Design of the Best Binoculars Under $100
Aesthetically, budget binoculars with Porro prisms are not appealing, but Bushnell’s Powerview defies this generalization. The most prominent role in the innovative design belongs to the Realtree AP camouflage non-slip rubber armor. The curvy and soft surface feels like you are holding cotton candy.
Aside from its design, Bushnell stands out for its Bk-7 prism with multicoated optics for an extra nudge of brightness and clarity. The other advantage of this product is the built-in InstaFocus feature that allows instant focus at any distance.
For a binocular that has a 50 mm wide lens, it only weighs 25 ounces. In the end, Bushnell Powerview is full of surprises, including its low price for the value.
- Instant focus
- Bk-7 prism for extra clarity
- Superb low-light viewing
- 61 USD
- Not weatherproof
- Short eye relief (10 mm)
- The difficulty of close distance focus
Vanguard Orros Waterproof 8×25 Compact Binoculars
Binoculars with roof prisms are often expensive because of the complex manufacturing to attain sufficient light refraction, but don’t lose hope yet! Vanguard Orros is a pocket-size binocular with basic features compressed into a feather-like binocular.
Don’t be fooled by the small size; Vanguard Orros is far from fragile. Thanks to the O-ring seal with compressed nitrogen to protect the interior, it is fully waterproof and fog proof.
This budget binocular comprises all the side benefits of a lightweight binocular. For instance, you can adjust the focus with only one hand due to the offset focus wheel. With the Bak-4 multicoated prism, you can get crisp images in full resolution and vivid colors. If you want a small and durable product with just the right level of basic features, you should opt for Vanguard Orros.
- Long-lasting and waterproof
- Compact design and small size
- Ease of adjustment with large zoom wheels
- Crisp imaging
- Even eyecup design, meaning no eye correction
- Short eye relief
Buying Guide for Finding the Best Binoculars Under $100
When choosing the right budget binocular for your needs, you need to know what budget products are and aren’t capable of. Going through our recommendations, you must have noticed some common patterns in all the best binoculars under $100. In general, if a product excels in certain aspects, it will forfeit other features. Here is a summary.
Power (magnification x lens)
In this price range, you can still find a variety of magnification from 8x to rarely 20x. The interval 8-12x should be sufficient on your safari trip. Similarly, you can find products with lens diameters ranging from 25 to even 70 mm. Keep in mind that larger diameter means a bulkier binocular.
You will find both Bak4 and Bak7 in this price range, but you should prefer the former.
Fully multi-coating guarantees excellent sharpness and image quality. Most items in the low price range will luckily have that feature.
Eye relief seems to be a common lack in all the budget products. You need an eye relief of at least 15 mm to use the binocular with sunglasses, but most products in this price range will have a maximum of 13 mm.
Another issue in low-cost binoculars is the lack of durable body armor. A lot of binoculars under $100 will not be weatherproof. If you are traveling in the rainy season, you should opt for waterproof binoculars rather than over-the-top image quality.
Summing Up the Best Binoculars Under $100
While the best binoculars under $100 certainly don’t manifest perfection, they still boast decent or even excellent quality. The rule of thumb for buying budget binoculars is to decide whether you prioritize image quality or durability.
Unfortunately, a cheap binocular with excellent imaging will either be too heavy or not waterproof, or neither. If size and endurance are more relevant to you, don’t worry, you will still get satisfactory viewing quality.