Good lightweight binoculars for hiking are an essential piece for you when out on the trail. With natural beauty all around you, there will be multiple times when you will want to zoom in for a better look without disturbing the local wildlife.
Ideally, binoculars for hiking should be as lightweight as possible and compact in size. This will make them easy to pack with your gear or even carry in your pocket.
PSSST. Your travel medical insurance can now cover COVID-19!
If you grab SafetyWing Nomad Insurance, it’ll be covered just like other illnesses. I’ve been using it since 2019 and I can assure you it’s the perfect solution for nomads like you and me.
In this guide, we have put together a list of some of the best lightweight hiking binoculars on the market and the features we love about them.
What To Look For When Buying Lightweight Hiking Binoculars
Here are the main features to look for when choosing hiking binoculars. We’ve also included a brief description of some of the terminology you might come across.
Magnification refers to how many times larger an object will appear to you compared to viewing it with the naked eye.
When you come across a description such as 10 x 25 on a pair of binoculars, it means that they will enlarge the object by 10 times. The number ’25’ in this example refers to the diameter of the lens.
The best lightweight binoculars for hiking will offer magnification upwards of 7x.
If your hands tend to shake a little, then it is not a good idea to choose a magnification over 10x, as you may find the image quite blurry. If you want to buy hiking binoculars with a magnification of 12x or more, then you will need to buy a tripod to keep them steady.
Field Of View
This figure represents the width of the area you can see through the binoculars at a certain distance.
It is either expressed in meters or feet.
A field view of 100 meters would allow you to see a width of 100 meters from 1000 meters away. A field view of 200 feet would allow you to see a width of 200 feet from 1000 yards away.
The higher the magnification of your binoculars, the narrower the field of view will be. If you want to do something like bird-watching whilst hiking, a larger field of view would be more suitable.
Companies that make binoculars add a thin layer of chemicals to their lenses. The purpose is to cut down on the amount of light reflected, which will improve light transmission and give you a clearer, more vivid image.
There are several different types of treatments that are applied.
If the description refers to ‘coated optics’, then one or more of the surfaces have been treated. ‘Fully coated’ means that all surfaces separated by air have been treated, whilst ‘multi-coated’ means that one or more surfaces have had a multilayer treatment.
The very best luminosity is provided when the description says ‘fully multi-coated’. This means that all surfaces separated by air have had a multilayer treatment.
It is important that any binoculars you buy for hiking are at least water-resistant. This means that they can safely be used in a light shower of rain, or in foggy, damp conditions.
Unless the specifications state that the binoculars you choose are fully waterproof and can be used in heavy rain, you should assume that they are only resistant to light showers.
Top 7 Lightweight Binoculars For Hiking
Here are our favorite lightweight hiking binoculars, all comfortable to use, easy to carry, and delivering great results!
UsoGood 12 X 50 Binoculars
These powerful binoculars for hiking come with a tripod plus a phone adapter, so you can be assured of a nice, clear image – even if your hands are a little shaky.
UsoGood Binoculars offer a 374-foot field of view and the closest observation distance of 2.5 meters. This means you can look at anything from wildlife to flora within a short range, with no blurring.
Strong and easily adjustable – allowing you to focus well on even fast-moving objects – these waterproof binoculars feature fully multi-layer broadband coating and phase coating on each glass surface.
They come with several useful accessories – including a carrying pouch, neck strap, rubber lens cap, and lens cleaning cloth – and weigh just over 1 pound.
Occer 12 x 25 Compact Binoculars
These high-quality hiking binoculars can be used by adults and children alike.
Delivering incredible clarity, they represent great value for money, with a focus that adjusts rapidly from near to far. This makes them ideal if you want to watch birds or other fast-moving wildlife whilst out on the trail.
With a field of view of 273 feet, these are very comfortable to use. Occer Compact Binoculars feature adjustable eyecups and are ideal even if you wear glasses or sunglasses.
The clarity of the image is enhanced by the optical FMC multilayer broadband green film on the objective lens and the blue FMC coating of the eyepiece-optical.
Compact enough to use one-handed, these lightweight and waterproof hiking binoculars come with a strap, carrying bag, and cleaning cloth.
Aurosports 10 x 25 Binoculars
Among the best lightweight binoculars for hiking, Aurosports Binoculars deliver bright, clear images and fold to a very compact size. Weighing just 0.55 pounds, these are not just easy to throw in with your hiking gear but are also small enough for children to use with ease.
The BAK4 green coating, fully multi-coated lens, and 362-foot field of view make them perfect for viewing nature in all its vivid detail. The focus wheel is smooth and easy to use, so you can quickly keep track of objects at varying distances.
Made from ABS plastic, these durable binoculars have a nonslip rubber coating and are shockproof, built to withstand the rigors of an outdoor environment. They are also resistant to light showers.
E Tronic Edge Binoculars
Offering crystal clear 10 x 25 magnification, E Tronic Edge Binoculars are perfect for observing nature during your hike and are comfortable even if you wear glasses.
The focus wheel is easy to use and the 25-degree viewing angle makes them ideal for a variety of situations, even after your hike is finished!
They have a sturdy, high-quality feel, yet weigh only 0.66 pounds and are incredibly compact. They are water-resistant – meaning that you can use them in a very light shower – and have a non-slip grip for security.
Powerful and stable, they also have an adjustable, removable neck strap and come with both a carrying case and a sturdy box.
Mini Compact Lightweight 8 x 21
If you are looking for super small hiking binoculars, then check out this compact and lightweight pair from Funwell.
Around the size of a cell phone and weighing just 6.4 ounces, they are small enough to fit easily into your jacket pocket. They are also ideal if you are looking for binoculars that your children can use comfortably, too.
With a 362-foot field of vision, they allow you to enjoy all the natural beauty around you on your hike. They are easy to focus on and feature an adjuster to account for differences in eye strength from left to right.
The BAK4 prism, multiple layers coated and full optical lenses provide vivid and clear images. A carrying bag and cleaning cloth are included.
EACONN 10 x 50 Binoculars
Designed for adults, EACONN Binoculars are some of the best binoculars for hiking and bird watching.
The fast, precise focus wheel is easy to use and the 50mm objective lens gives you a clear 342 ft field of view. Meanwhile, the BAK-4 porro prism and fully multi-coated optics minimize distortion, giving you beautiful, vivid results.
These are durable binoculars, ideal for the serious hiker. The interior is protected from dust and water vapor by the nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed optics.
Meanwhile, the anti-slip grip is covered with abrasion-resistant rubber, making them easy to hold no matter the weather!
The rubber eyecups can be folded up or down for the appropriate eye relief – especially if you wear glasses – and the binoculars come with all the accessories you’ll need. These include a carry bag, 4 lens covers, a smartphone adapter, a cleaning cloth, and a neck strap.
Deesoo 12 x 25 Compact Binoculars
Compact and very lightweight, these binoculars for hiking measure just 3.5 x 3.5 x 1.9 inches when folded – small enough to carry in your pocket!
The focus wheel is very easy to use and works quickly, with no blurring around the edges of your 273-foot field of view. Designed to be used by either adults or children, the adjustable viewing lens also makes these binoculars suitable for anyone who wears glasses.
One great feature about these Deesoo binoculars is the upgraded carrying case. Made from 600D material – as thick as a professional hiking backpack – it will protect them easily from harsh weather and rugged terrain.
They also feature a wide neck strap that makes them comfortable to wear over a long period of time.
Final Thoughts On Hiking Binoculars
Finding the right pair of lightweight binoculars for hiking can really enrich your experience, getting you up close to nature without disturbing the wildlife.
I hope that you have found this guide useful in choosing a pair for your next adventure and that you enjoy the extra insight they give you into the natural world.
Need more help with hiking gear? Read one of the following blog posts: