6 Best Binoculars under $300 | Hunting in 2023

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The Nikon Monarch 5 10×42 is the best binocular under $300 overall, with its fully multi-coated optics, ED glass, and excellent image quality. The Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 is the top choice for hunting, with its rugged build quality and impressive optics. For premium features at a budget price, the Upland Optics Perception HD 10×42 is a great option.

Top 6 Binoculars under $300

BinocularWeightWaterproof?Close Focus
Nikon Monarch 51.35 lbsYes8 ft
Vortex Diamondback HD1.6 lbsYes5 ft
Upland Optics Perception1.44 lbsYes6 ft
Athlon Optics Midas1.76 lbsYes6 ft
Carson 3D ED1.44 lbsYes7 ft
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD1.54 lbsYes6.2 ft
binoculars comparison chart

With technological evolution in optics, you can now acquire the best binoculars under $300, meeting nearly all the fancy features. Are you wondering why binoculars with premium features cost an arm and a leg? You will be pleased to know that this isn’t the case any longer. You don’t have to pay $1000 to relish the premium traits.

Getting an expensive binocular will cost you the earth, while a very cheap one might escort you to a frustrating experience. But if you go for something near $300, you can get a high-quality glass, premium coatings, and optimum durability.

We are here to be of service in finding you a binocular that lasts longer than what you would look forward to.

Top Binoculars under $300

After tons of research, we picked the best binoculars under $300. You’re in luck if you care about the brand since several respected manufacturers, like Vortex, Nikon, and Bushnell, have made the finest budget binoculars. By reading the reviews, you will be clear about what to buy and why.

Nikon MONARCH 5 10x42
Nikon MONARCH 5 10×42
  • Model: 7577
  • Brand: Nikon
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Rubber
  • Water Resistance Level: Waterproof
Vortex Optics Diamondback HD
Vortex Optics Diamondback HD
  • Model: DB-211
  • Brand: Vortex
  • Color: Green
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Water Resistance Level: Waterproof
 Upland Optics Perception HD
Upland Optics Perception HD
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Rubber
  • Water Resistance Level: Waterproof
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 4.9 x 2 x 5.5 inches

The 6 Best Binoculars Under $300

1. Nikon Monarch 5 – Best Overall

Nikon Monarch 5

Product Information

  • 10×42
  • Weight: 1.35 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Waterproof


10 out of 10

The masterfully-built Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 is hard to beat. It possesses fully multi-coated optics and Bak-4 glass. The quality is further subsidized by the Extra-Low Dispersion(ED) glass, which marks down the chromatic aberrations to the maximum possible level.


  • Multi-coated optics and Bak-4 glass
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Extra-low dispersion glass
  • Rubber armor
  • Quality light transmission


  • Large Lens caps

Moreover, the prisms on these binoculars are given away to dielectric coatings, thus guaranteeing high-contrast images that are incredibly accurate. Nikon has held its prominence at its level best.

Besides the first-class optical performance, these binocs are rubberized on the exterior ensuring durability and providing a non-slip grip.

As a hunter, you might run into wet days on the field, but as long as you have these binoculars, you need not panic.

This is because these binoculars are completely waterproof and fog proof.

Keeping the need for eyeglass wearers in mind, the eyecups on these binoculars have been made adjustable, which attracted us a lot.

The Field of view you get to see with these binoculars is 330ft.

Furthermore, the focusing knob allows you to quickly switch focus from a distant item to one as near as 8ft.

We used them for a variety of activities such as hunting, astronomy, and touring and concluded that they are the best Nikon binoculars.

2. Vortex Diamondback HD – Best for Hunting

Vortex Diamondback HD

Product Information

  • 8×42
  • Weight: 15.9 oz / 451 g
  • Color: Green
  • Waterproof


9.8 out of 10

If you want top-notch performance at a pocket-friendly price, then here it is, the Vortex Diamondback HD 8x42. It features fully multi-coated lenses, which deliver crystal-clear images. As a result, it competes with the expensive pairs in the market.


  • Impressive image quality
  • Completely weatherproof
  • Lightweight and compact binoculars
  • Unmatched close focus
  • Hd glass


  • Chromatic aberrations in some situations

Moreover, the phase-corrected roof prisms enhance image resolution and contrast, whereas the HD glass helps reduce chromatic aberrations.

You will fall in love with the slim and compact ergonomic design, making it a pleasure to hold.

It proved to be an excellent friend even in the most inhospitable weather, owing to its waterproof and fog-proof build.

The O-ring seals and filled argon gas in the barrels provide weatherproofing.

Moreover, It can take accidental falls and has a soft grip because of the rubberized body. Consequently, we would regard them as the best binoculars.

Apart from the build and optical system, Vortex diamondback offers adjustable eyecups for comfortable viewing both by eyeglass and non-eyeglass wearers.

The close focus distance is impressive as it allows you to focus on objects as close as 5ft.

Besides, the 8x magnification allows you to enjoy a wide 390ft of view.

Being backed by the Vortex VIP lifetime warranty, they are one of the best at the low price of under $300 that we have tested till now.

3. Upland Optics Perception HD 10X42

Upland Optics Perception

Product Information

  • 10×42
  • Weight: 1.44 lbs
  • Color: Black
  • Waterproof


9.7 out of 10

Allow us to introduce you to the Upland Optics Perception HD 10×42, a virtue contemplating their performance. When reviewing this binocular, the first thing to speak of is the ED glass, which cuts color fringing and delivers end-to-end clarity.


  • Dielectric coatings
  •  Sealed and nitrogen purged
  • Long eye relief
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Wide Field of view


  • A free play focus wheel

The single hinge body design comprises phase-corrected roof prisms made of Bak-4 glass; therefore, quality is guaranteed.

You must be happy to know that the optics are fully multi-coated, while the prisms are submitted to dielectric mirror coatings.

However, these coatings are rarely found on cheaper products, but it is the secret to their outstanding image quality.

Moreover, the body is fully sealed to survive the wettest days on the field.

While preventing the interior glass surfaces from moist up, manufacturers have purged the binoculars with dry nitrogen gas.

Upland Optics body is coated with rubber on the exterior, which has a tight fit and durability and also gives you a strong grip.

Furthermore, the eyecups on these binoculars can be twisted up and down, which is expected from any binocular in this price range.

Having a 17.2mm long eye relief, it accommodates any face, even those with eyeglasses.

They are the best price binoculars with a lifetime warranty and will surely give you a fantastic experience.

4. Athlon Optics Midas 8X42 Binocular Review

Athlon Optics Midas

Product Information

  • 8×42
  • Weight: 25 oz / 708.8 g
  • Color: Green
  • Waterproof


9.6 out of 10

The Athlon Optics Midas 8×42 is a premium binocular yet available at a very reasonable price. The 42mm objective lenses are made from extra-low dispersion glass that produces sharp images. Assisting light transmission, the anti-reflective coatings applied to the whole optical system brighten the image even in low light conditions.


  • XPL special coatings
  • Excellent image quality
  • ED glass
  • Rubber armor
  • Weatherproofed


  • Field of view is not true
  • Free play focus knob

Furthermore, roof prisms manufactured of Bak-4 glass are used in this binocular. You’ll be amazed to learn that these binoculars have many coatings.

  • Firstly the prisms are submitted to phase-corrected coatings.
  • Then dielectric mirror coatings are applied to the surfaces.
  • Finally, the outer lens surfaces are XPL coated (Xtra Protective Layer).

As a result, they reflect more light, produce brighter images, and provide durability to the lenses against scratches.

Furthermore, they are wholly sealed, argon-filled, and utterly resistant to water, fog, and dust.

So If they accidentally fall off your hands in a water stream, they will survive and would be ready for use again.

Having a massive 426ft field of view at 1000 yards, you would never miss a moving target.

The eyecups are adjustable and give eyeglass wearers a 17mm long eye relief, which is more than enough.

Lastly, to observe closer objects like butterflies and other insects, this masterpiece can focus as close as 6ft.

Along with a lifetime warranty, it has all the features one needs in its optics.

5. Carson 3D ED HD 10X42 – Best Value


Product Information

  • 10×42
  • Weight: 1.44 lbs
  • Color: Black
  • Waterproof

Our Rating

9.5 out of 10

The Carson 3D Ed 10×42 is an excellent inexpensive binocular having a lightweight, ergonomic design. It belongs to the Carson 3D series binoculars, having an Extra-dispersion glass that reduces chromatic aberrations and delivers a clear view.


  • Fully multi-coated
  • Roof corrected Bak-4 prism
  • Weather-resistant
  • Lightweight and ergonomic design
  •  Lifetime warranty


  • FOV might not be enough for some users

All the optics have received many anti-reflective coatings but they are fully multi-coated. These coatings enhance light transmission, providing excellence in low light conditions making them the best low light binoculars.

For ensuring further quality, the phase-corrected roof prisms are made from the most delicate Bak-4 glass, which indeed does its job.

Just like many others on the market, they have also rubberized the exterior thoroughly, which is why the binoculars can take accidental falls and has a pleasing grip.

Moreover, for further durability, these best-value binoculars have been sealed with O-rings, and the air inside has been replaced with inert gas nitrogen. The binoculars are waterproof and fog proof, preventing dust and debris.

Comprising a pair of twistable eyecups, which are smooth to turn, these binos provide 16mm eye relief.

It gives you a 314ft field of view, a 10×42 pair that is way above other average pairs.

Carson hasn’t mentioned the close focusing distance, but we measured it at a 7ft distance, and surprisingly it worked perfectly.

Having a lifetime warranty, they are the best hunting binoculars under $300.

6. Bushnell Legend Ultra Hd 10X42 Binocular Review


Product Information

  • 10×42
  • Weight: 24.7 oz
  • Color: Black
  • Waterproof


9.4 out of 10

When you hear the name Bushnell, one thing is sure you’ll be looking at quality optics. The Bushnell  Legend Ultra HD 10x42 have fully multi-coated optics, which Bushnell calls the “Ultra Wide Band Coatings.”


  • Magnesium chassis
  •  Water-repellent coatings
  • Resistant to inclement weathers
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Rubberized


  • Eye relief could have been better

Unlike other manufacturers, who use cheap polycarbonate housing, Bushnell has used a highly durable magnesium chassis. Made of Bak-4 glass, the phase-corrected roof prisms play a key role in maintaining quality and transmitting light better.

Moreover, the optics are made of glass with extra-low dispersion qualities, which helps improve the view by reducing chromatic aberrations.

Special water-repellent lens coatings have been applied to the exterior surface, which along with the waterproof and fog-proof design, makes it possible to withstand wet days. They are one of the best binoculars for bow hunting.

If you are a hunter or birder, you will be pleased by the 340ft field of view, which is more than what other 10x-powered binoculars would offer. We won’t call the 15.2mm eye relief excellent, but it’ll work perfectly for any eyeglass wearer.

Lastly, they have a 6.2ft close focus distance and are one of the best cheap binoculars delivering high quality. If you encounter an issue, simply return them as a lifetime warranty backs them.

Luxurious View for Just $300

We feel glad to give you reviews of the best binoculars for the money, which nearly feature all the qualities of premium binoculars. These reviews were written with great care and after testing different binoculars on the market.

We found the Nikon Monarch 5 10×42 to be the best binoculars under 300 dollars, as it encompasses ED glass, Bak-4 prism, and fully multi-coated optics. These features work to deliver first-class images and make it a top-notch binocular.

Secondly, the Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 proved worthy of being the best binocular. To support my saying, this binocular delivers an impressive image, has an HD optical system, and can withstand the harshest conditions.

The Upland Optics Perception HD 10×42 got our pick for the third-best on the list. This binocular is trying its best to compete with others with dielectric coatings, an HD optical system, and a fully waterproof design. If you are looking for something that falls under the $300 price range, then the above binoculars can be considered and won’t disappoint.

Thank you for giving us time to read, and we hope you have enough knowledge to buy a binocular now.

Additional Common Questions

What is the best power binoculars for general use?

In my experience, for your day-to-day activities like birdwatching or attending sports events, binoculars with a magnification ranging from 8x to 10x would serve you best. It’s the ideal balance between better views and portability. Now, you might be tempted to reach for higher magnification, but remember the rule of thumb: the higher the magnification, the shakier the image gets. You’d need really steady hands or a tripod for stable viewing when using high-magnification binoculars. But for typical general use, if you’re just starting out or even if you’re more experienced, you can’t really go wrong with 8x to 10x power binoculars.

What are the best strength binoculars to buy?

When shopping for binoculars, the ‘best’ one greatly depends on your specific needs. For long-distance viewing, for example, you’d want binoculars with high magnification, at least 15x to 20x, ideally. The larger the objective lenses (we’re speaking about 50mm or more here), the more light they can gather, and consequently, the brighter and clearer your images will be. Furthermore, excellent image stabilization comes in handy, especially at this high magnification level, to counteract the shake and give you a stable view. I once watched a flock of birds from several miles away using a set of high-powered stabilized binoculars, and it was a game-changer. The details were stunning, and I could observe for a long time without the image blurring or my arms growing tired.

Which binoculars are best for long distance viewing?

You’ve left an incomplete question here, but I infer that you’re asking about the best binoculars for long-distance viewing. As I mentioned earlier, for impressive performance over long distances, consider buying binoculars with a high magnification (at least 15x-20x), large objective lenses (50mm or more), and image stabilization. I once had a pair of these for a mountain hike, and they really took the experience to another level. The far-off vistas looked stunningly close, and despite the high power, the views remained stable, clear, and detailed.

Who makes the clearest binoculars?

The clearest binoculars are generally produced by brands known for their high-quality optics. Names like Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, and Nikon come to mind. These manufacturers have established reputations over the years for delivering top-tier image clarity in their binoculars. However, it’s important to recognize that the “clearest” binoculars depend not only on the brand but also on the specific model and even the individual unit. I’ve found that reading detailed reviews and trying out different binoculars for myself in a store has been helpful when aiming for the clearest view.

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