You don't have to dance to land a quality binocular for under 100 bucks.
To get the best Porro prism binocular in this budget category, you'll be able to land one for a song!
If your singing abilities are limited, you're not out of luck.
We'll show you how to hit the right notes to make your binocular buy worth every penny!
7 Best Binoculars Under $100 In 2021
- Nikon Aculon A211 8X42 - Editors Choice
- Celestron Outland X 10X42 - Best All-Round
- Bushnell H20 10X42
- Vortex Raptor 8.5x32
- Bushnell PowerView 10x50
- Celestron SkyMaster 25x70
- Tasco Essentials 10X25
The Best Cheap Binoculars Under $100
It's not only children's binoculars that are priced far below what you think you would have to spend, adults can enjoy the low prices too. However, you should be prepared that you're not going to get your lifetime buy here, but you will get something that's worth giving it a shot.
If you're looking for a deal and a steal, this price range is where you want to look. This is also the best place for hunters that are looking for something temporary. And, if there's a hunter who's new to the game, there's no better entry level category to buy your first pair of binoculars than this one.
To find great value in a low budget binocular, you're going to want to look for the best glass and coatings within your affordable price range, and this is exactly what we took into account when finalizing our top 7 hunting binoculars.
|Nikon Aculon A211 8X42||CHECK PRICE|
|Celestron Outland X 10X42||CHECK PRICE|
|Bushnell H20 10X42||CHECK PRICE|
|Vortex Raptor 8.5x32||CHECK PRICE|
|Bushnell PowerView 10x50||CHECK PRICE|
|Celestron SkyMaster 25X70||CHECK PRICE|
|Tasco Essentials 10X25||CHECK PRICE|
Our 7 Top Binoculars Less Than $100
1. Nikon Aculon A211 8x42 - Editors Choice
The Aculon is always priced below $100, no matter what!
With this Nikon hanging from your shoulder, you'll have an extremely wide field of view, fully multi-coated lenses, and aspherical glass elements to help you get the best image quality possible from a cheap binocular.
Even with only 8X power, you can still mount this baby to a tripod. Nikon knows how to jam in quality for the lowest prices possible. It's probably why it's such a popular buy among the hunting community. Are you ready to join the "in" crowd?
2. Celestron Outland X 10x42
Unlike most binoculars in this price range, you're getting a lightweight roof prism bino from the Celestron Outland unit. Its image quality may not be as impressive as the other Porro prism binos we've mentioned, but for under 100 bucks, you'll be set to go without the added weight holding you back.
The entire body is fully protected by a rubber armor, and as is typical with roof prisms, it's fully weatherproof.
If you're looking for a slimmer binocular versus the bulky builds of the Porros, the Outland is your pick!
3. Bushnell H2O 10X42 Roof
Bushnell knows how to appeal to the cost-conscious buyer. They have a wide inventory of binos priced just right and the H2O is a winning optic among them all.
- Eye relief
- BaK4 glass
- Roof prism
For under 100 bucks, having multi-coated optics is the standard. However, this "standard" paired with roof prisms without the addition of phase or prism-specific coatings does result in a slightly darker image than what you'd expect. It may not be as clear a picture compared to a Porro prism bino with multi-coated optics, but on a good day for being outside, you likely won't notice the difference.
For recreational purposes like observing wildlife while at the lake, casual bird watching, or on a hike, the H2O binos should be just what you need. Because of its roof prism design, it can be made waterproof which it is. It's also lightweight at 25 ounces that is around the standard for a 10x42 bino these days.
Keep your glasses on with this small pair because it has decent eye relief of 17 mm and twist-up eyecups which is a step up from the fold-up or winged kind often seen in this price range. The compact bino comes with the usual: neck strap, nylon carry case with belt loop, looped rubber lens caps, and a hinged eyepiece cover.
As an entry-level bino that has been bought, used, and put through the ringer by several hundred buyers, it's a solid buy.
4. Vortex Raptor 8.5x32
You read this right! There's a Vortex in this price range. It's no gimmick. The Raptor is a high quality binocular that smokes many other Vortex units when it comes to the ratings.
It's extremely popular with the masses, and us, for its wide field of view, fully multi-coated lenses, and weatherproof-ability. Even better, it's more compact and lightweight than its Porro prism bino competitors!
Plus, the warranty on it is practically unbeatable. Technically, this Vortex doesn't belong in this price range, so if you're going to spend less than 100 bucks, you better get it while it's on sale!
5. Bushnell Powerview 10x50
If you're looking for that Mossy Oak finish that compliments every hunters' gear, the Powerview 10X50 more than gets the job done.
It's extremely popular, and it's been built to impress. With large objectives and the InstaFocus system, you'll be glassing past sundown.
It's an impressive, all-purpose binocular that has basic features, but the price can't be beat for the 10X50 platform with the stylish finish. Thanks to the PowerView, you'll have max power for max hunting success!
6. Celestron SkyMaster 25X70
For long-distance viewing in the skies or on the ground, you'll need the long reach of the SkyMaster 25x70 binoculars. With high power and low cost - we'd say Celestron has found the perfect balance in this SkyMaster model.
- High power
- 70 mm aperture
- BaK4 glass
- Porro prism
- Short eye relief
A SkyMaster is no small binocular. It has big expectations to fill and so its large frame is a direct reflection of its capabilities. Weighing a heavy 52 ounces and measuring 8.7 x 4.3 x 11 inches in size, this bino is not meant to be handheld by any means. It's intended to be mounted to a tripod that you'll have to purchase separately, but it does come with an included tripod adapter that'll save you a few bucks.
The large objective lenses that are 70 mm in diameter are directly related to the overall weight of the bino. With those large peepers, it'll allow in as much light as possible to provide a bright, clear picture of celestial bodies or that far-away herd of caribou in the distance.
As a Porro prism bino, it doesn't need any fancy prism coatings - good thing because it doesn't have any. All air-to-glass surfaces are multi-coated, it's water-resistant and not waterproof, and it lacks gas-purged chambers for fog-proof protection - all of which is standard for an optic under 100 bucks.
However, the downer is the short eye relief. For those who don't wear spectacles or sunglasses while using binoculars, the 13 mm should be fine. For everyone else - it may be uncomfortable to use.
This SkyMaster giant is for adventurers on a budget who enjoy seeing stars or wildlife. It's not a professional-grade optic, but it is a fun one the entire family can get hours of enjoyment from.
Best Binoculars Under $50
Yes, we even have a suggestion for this very low price range and you really can't go cheaper than this if you plan on taking your binoculars seriously. So, here is our recommendation for your best buy if you have less than $50 to spend. (By the way, the Bushnell PowerView 10X50 mentioned above is only just over the $50 price tag so is also worth considering if you want a full-size binocular and can stretch your budget but just a few dollars more).
7. Tasco Essential 10X25
Spending bare minimum doesn't mean you have to settle. What it does mean is you can have the Tasco Essentials 10X25 binoculars with the roof prism design, fully multi-coated optics, and a plethora of available color finishes.
They are compact, foldable, and lightweight. Are you landing a quality binocular for a song - oh yeah!
In fact, this Tasco has a surprising number of reviews online, and a very impressive customer satisfaction score considering they will put you back a mere $25. They might not be your lifetime buy, but at this price they will make a great starter binocular.
What to Look for in a Cheap Binocular
Making the most of every penny when you're spending in this price range comes down to knowing your binocular stuff. While a binocular might tout premium features, you could be ignorantly forfeiting quality where you need it most - durability and quality glass. While you're not going to get Zeiss or Swarovski glass in this price range, you can still look for the best coatings of what this price category has to offer and that would be fully multi-coated lenses.
Since prism-specific coatings are rare to find under $100, you'll definitely want to put your money into a Porro prism binocular. If you don't mind glassing with something a little bulky and heavy, it's going to be your best buy here.
- Glass: You'll see more BK7 glass in this price range, but opt for BaK4 glass if you have the option.
- Coatings: The more, the better. Fully multi-coated coatings is the best.
- Low-Med Power: 8X42 in this price range is going to be ideal. Going higher-powered in this price range may result in poorer image quality.
- Eye relief 13-18 mm: Ensure your investment is comfortable to glass with.
- Exit pupil 3-5 mm: A larger exit pupil will enhance image quality that can be lacking in binoculars available for this cost.
- Durability: Not all binoculars in this price range will be weatherproof - if it is, excellent! Body armor will also help your buy last longer to delay replacing it with a higher quality one.
Tune up Your Binocular Know-How!
Getting your quality binocular for a song means knowing what to look for. Make sure you tune up your bino know-how with our fully-detailed reviews before you buy.
Once you've hit the high notes, you'll be able to nit-pick every feature for those tell-tale giveaways. Don't be fooled into buying something cheap. Instead, be prepared to make the most out of your low-budget buy.