Simmons Binoculars Review: 4 ProSport Binoculars Priced Under $100

If you’re the kinda spouse that gets excited when you spot a deal, you like to save a few bucks, and your efforts please your better half, then I’m proud to announce that you’re in the right place.

If you’re shopping the binoculars market for a new pair of eyes for your next hunting excursion, then you need to read this Simmons binocular reviews. We will be putting the following binos under the magnifying glass:

Ditch the bells and whistles, embrace the necessities, and revel in the up-close and personal image quality that Simmons binoculars can bring you. Crystal clear glass, full weatherproof-ability, and durable armor casings are everything that you need in a good set of binos.

Who are Simmons?

Simmons is a low budget brand who has proved that successful marketing tactics in the form of approaching the hunter with a transparent and up-front agenda works. Since the early 1980s, Simmons has been productive.

They’ve dished out some excellent optical innovations with extreme durability like no other in its class.

If you’re wanting to spend as minimal cash as possible without compromising on quality, ensure that you can trust the brand, and know that you can fill your tag this deer season with a low budget bino, turn to Simmons who knows how to do it all – including how to make sure you get the go-ahead from the wife to buy the Simmons binoculars you desire.

Simmons Binocular Reviews

Simmons makes it easy for you to navigate their binoculars category with only 13 options to choose from. Now that’s a way to narrow down the selections that only makes it that much faster to get out in the field tomorrow.

All of their ProSport series binoculars have fully coated or multi-coated lenses, close focus distances all seven meters or under, and a variety of different finishes for all under $100!

With your spouse’s approval on such a low budget, let’s not wait any longer to discover the nitty gritty in one of the best Simmons binocular reviews.

Simmons FRP ProSport 10X25 Review

simmons-frp-prosport-10x25This Simmons FRP ProSport 10X25 is a light weight, double-hinged folding binocular with BK7 glass and tough body armor to protect it while keeping your hands securely in place.

Finished in camo style with 10X magnification and 25 mm objective lens, you might mistake these for your beloved first pair of binos you had when you were a kid, and that isn’t a bad thing.

The rating this bino is pulling speaks for itself. Furthermore, it’s seeing an extremely solid customer satisfaction rating. For a very cheap binocular, it’s doing extremely well for itself.

For being such a cost-effective binocular, I had to throw this one into this Simmons binocular review. It’s going to be one of the most cheapest, without being “cheap”, binoculars you’ll see in our reviews – ever.

For those of you who think a single $20 bill should do it all, you’ll be happy to know that it’s a reality. Now, let’s take a look at this Q&A to see if it’s even worth considering.

FRP ProSport 10X25 Binocular Q&A:

Q. What does FRP mean?

A. Knowing what to look for in a binocular starts with knowing what all the tacked-on acronyms mean. In this case, FRP stands for Folding Roof Prism binoculars and isn’t unique to Simmons.

You’ll also see it mentioned in other manufacturing binocular descriptions too. But, more on this folding feature…

This binocular has double-hinges on each side of the barrels that connect to the bridge of the bino that allows it to fold. This makes this bino a little more compact in size so that it might fit into your pocket to take with you on every hunt.

Why do I say might? Here’s the scoop on the dimensions.

Q. Is this Simmons really a compact binocular?

A. With the folding feature and a very light weight of 11.3 ounces, you’d think you’d be getting a pretty small device. But, in the realm of compact binos, it’s in the giraffe park of the zoo.

Since Simmons doesn’t publish any information about its dimensions on their website, I did what I always do when I need a straight-up answer…

I called them.

It seems that they don’t know the dimensions either – the product team was “out” for the day. No worries though. Lucky for them, Amazon has the initiative to measure the products they get their hands on to sell. According to Amazon, this seemingly little device is actually a whopping 9.2 (L) x 7 (W) x 2.8 (H) inches.

I even asked technical support if these dimensions sounded right. They said yes… Yeah, that folding feature is looking pretty convenient right about now.

On the other hand, if you take a look at what Walmart measured in, they say it’s a tiny 4.5 (L) x 3.5 (W) x 1.25 (H) inches. Hmm… If you’re not too worried about how big or small this bino is supposed to be, than good for you. For the rest of ya’ll, it’s $20.

If you pick it up from the shelf in a store, return it if it proves to be a heifer.

Q. How much does this binocular cost?

A. When I said earlier that a single $20 bill would do it, I was dead serious. It’s in the $10-$20 range online and you can even get it with free shipping. Throw in about a buck or two for sales tax and you might even be walking away with change in your pocket!

Does it get any better than this? I don’t think so.

Q. Is Simmons a brand I can trust?

A. With a such a low cost price tag, you might be wondering if it’s even worth throwing $20 at it, especially if there are any penny pinchers like me out there. So, for those of you who are asking, I’ll remind you that reviewers online were very happy with it.

Secondly, have you heard of Bushnell? That’s who answered the phone when I called them in Kansas, USA. They acquired Simmons back in 2008 and they’re known for producing some favorite and reliable optics for hunters all around the globe.

They also scored some brownie points with me since I was able to speak to a real, live, human being after choosing only one automated option.

Bushnell is also the parent company for other well-recognized names such as Butler Creek, Tasco, Browning Sports Optics and more. So, if you’ve liked what you’ve read so far, I think you’ll be well-pleased with your roughly $20 purchase.  Our full review of Tasco binoculars can be read here, these binoculars are extraordinarily affordable.

Q. Is it a waterproof binocular?

A. Unfortunately, it’s not, and this is to help keep those costs so attractive and so low. Although it does have the roof prism design, which means it could be made to be waterproof and fog-proof, it’s more suited for casual use.

If you’re going to be dragging your ProSport through rugged terrain and some dark and heavy weather, you might want to consider a tougher optic like the only other roof prism ProSport 12X50 mentioned later in this review.

Simmons FRP ProSport 10X25 Specs:

  • Magnification: 10X
  • Power Variability: Fixed
  • Objective Diameter: 25 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 12.47 feet
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 2.8 inches
  • Weight: 11.3 ounces
  • Field of View: 288 feet/100 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 8.2 mm/ 2.5 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Fully Coated
  • Glass: BK7
  • Prism System: Roof
  • Focus System: Center
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: No/No
  • Eye cups: Twist up
  • Tripod adaptable: No
  • Rangefinder: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • BK7 glass in roof prism design for brilliant image quality
  • Extremely light weight ideal for carry-around use
  • Durable rubber armor body for secure gripping in wet and harsh conditions

Rating:

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Simmons ProSport 10X50 Review

simmons-prosport-10x50This Simmons ProSport 10X50 binocular has large 50 mm objective lenses, a great 5 mm exit pupil, and a wide field of view. Even better is its multi-coated optics on BK7 prism glass.

If you’re wondering how these big pair of eyes hold up in reviews, you’re not going to be disappointed. It has a strong rating that has plenty of reviewers giving it the double thumbs up. You might just chime in and agree once you’ve handled one of these.

Now, there’s some of us who are willing to spend a little more than $20, but not much more. With the old adage of “buy the best of what you can afford”, this $30(approx) binocular might be the exemplar and it’s exactly why it’s in one of the best Simmons binocular reviews.

For a large 50 mm objective lens bino offered for less than $50, I had to let you low light hunters know about this baby.

So, how are you supposed to know if it’s going to see the stars or the twinkling of the night-stalking coyote in the shadows? By reading my Q&A, that’s how!

ProSport 10X50 Binocular Q&A:

Q. What are the benefits of having a 50 mm objective lens?

A. The objective lens size and light transmission debate has been a long time topic of controversy. For more on how large objective lens sizes can benefit your low light hunt, check out our Objective Lens Diameter: Does Size Matter? article for a full run down before buying Simmons binoculars.

But, if you want the short answer, I’ll give it to you here.

The idea is: the larger the objective lens size, the more ability the bino has to let in more light. More light can mean a brighter image. A brighter image can improve your low light hunt. Can 50 mm lens do this? Yes, they can.

On this ProSport, if you combined the 50 mm size and the 5 mm exit pupil with the multi-coated lenses, you have the potential to get the brightest images possible for your eyes.

This means hunting longer, tracking animal movement and behavior in low light conditions, and getting a pretty wicked view of the night sky.

Q. What level of lens coatings does this ProSport have?

A. This Simmons ProSport binocular review covers low budget binos with fully coated and multi-coated lenses. This particular ProSport 10X50 has the better of the two: the multi-coated coatings.

This means that you’re getting multiple coatings on at least one lens in the entire optics assembly. The fact that a low budget brand provides a $100 treatment on a $30 binocular tells you that Simmons thinks their optics are worth it.

Q. What kind of prism design does this Simmons have?

A. This Simmons ProSport 10X50 has the porro prism design that has the zig zag or traditional shape. You can tell immediately by the offset eyepieces to the objective lenses.

The nice advantages of the porro prism is you’re almost always going to get a wider field of view compared to a roof prism model with the same specs and they generally offer a greater depth of view. As a generality, porro prisms will have high-performing abilities for great value.

The downside is that they’re extremely difficult to weather-proof. This means that this 10X50, as well as all of the porro prism ProSports in Simmons’ line, are not waterproof or fogproof. They will also tend to be bulkier and heavier in build. The upside is, it’ll save you a little more in cost.

Side note: The nice feature about the Simmons website is that they organize their binoculars according to prism design. This makes it extremely easy to navigate all the techs and specs about the particular ProSport you want to buy.

Q. How much heavier are the ProSport Porro Prism binoculars to the Roof Prism ones?

A. Unfortunately, the weight factor between the two types of binoculars isn’t limited to prism type alone – it’s a little trickier than that. Weight also includes several other factors such as magnification, variable zoom power, objective lens size, and what material the binocular is made out of.

But, for the sake of comparing the porro prisms with the roof prisms within the ProSport line, this 10X50 is 29 ounces. The same 10X50 with the roof prism is 28.5 ounces. In this case, the mere .5 ounce is negligible.

Even the porro prism 8-24X50 variable zoom bino is one ounce more, making it a total 30 ounces.

And, to further emphasize that other factors affect overall weight, the porro prism 8-17X25 variable zoom bino is an extremely light 10 ounces – even though it has variable zoom power versus the fixed 10X50. (Tip: as a general rule, variable zoom optics are usually heavier than fixed powers.)

It’s even less than half the weight of the lumbering 8-24X50! The obvious and significant weight-affecting elements here? The half-sized objective lenses and the slightly less maximum zoom power of the 8-17X25 bino is what keeps it slim and trim.

In the end, a weight difference of a couple ounces between the porro prism and the roof prism ProSport binoculars is a non-issue.

Q. What are the other models in the Simmons porro prism line?

A. This list is quite a bit smaller than the popular roof prism models, but they’re still show-stoppers in their own right. There is the 8X40 that is available in camo! The following models are only in the black finish and are the 10X50, 8-24X50, 10X25, and the 8-17X25.

 Simmons ProSport 10X50 Specs:

  • Magnification: 10X
  • Power Variability: Fixed
  • Objective Diameter: 50 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 22.97 feet
  • Dimensions: 4.2 x 10.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Weight: 29 ounces
  • Field of View: 341 feet/100 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 12 mm/ 5 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Multi-Coated
  • Glass: BK7
  • Prism System: Porro
  • Focus System: Center
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: No/No
  • Eye cups: Twist up
  • Tripod adaptable: Yes
  • Rangefinder: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • BK7 glass in porro prism design for optimal viewing quality
  • Multi-coated optics for brilliant image quality and maximum light transmission
  • Tripod adaptable for steady and still viewing
  • Durable rubber armor body for secure gripping in wet and harsh conditions

Rating:

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Simmons ProSport Compact 8-17X25 Review

simmons-prosport-compact-8-17x25This Simmons ProSport Compact 8-17X25 is a porro prism bino that has a variable zoom power of 8-17X with multi-coated lenses. It also features a 5 mm exit pupil on BK7 prism glass on a compact and small armored body that’s tripod adaptable.

Reviewers love this bino about just as much as they love the above-mentioned ProSport FRP binocular. Like that one, this compact bino has received next to no negative feedback.. There’s only one word for this – excellent!

As only one of two variable zoom binoculars in the entire Simmons line, featuring this one was an obvious decision, and it’s also the cheaper one costing roughly $40-ish dollars online. Out of the two, this 8-17X50 was, by far, more popular than the 8-24X50 – hands down. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and check it out – this Simmons review doesn’t lie.

Not sure whether or not a zoom power binocular is for you? The following Q&A will address the ins and outs of owning this variable power Simmons bino so that you can make the most informed Simmons buy.

ProSport Compact 8-17X25 Binocular Q&A:

Q. What are the advantages of a variable zoom binocular?

A. In the binocular world you either love ’em or hate ’em. It’s a matter of being able to effectively focus your lenses for the varying distances. Think of it more like a rifle scope optic that gets right on target and sharpens its image quality no matter what your stalking distance is (within the scope’s reasonable capabilities).

Lost? Check out our Hunting Rifle Scope Reviews if you think you may need a rifle scope instead of a binocular, otherwise, continue on.

If you’re set on a bino, here’s what this ProSport variable zoom will get you. You’ll have the benefit of being able to have just one binocular that has the ability to go from 8X high power to 17X super high power with just a turn of a knob.

If you’re changing up your stalking or viewing behavior during the hunt from close range to long-range or vice versa, this might be a good option to consider.

To use the variable zoom is easy as puttin’ on your hunting boots and walking out the door at the end of the work week. Use the optic in low power at first for the wider field of view.

Once you’ve found your target, zoom in to super high power to see the dirt, debris, and patches on your soon-to-be furry trophy.

Q. What is BK7 glass?

A. BK7 is known among amateur optic geeks as “cheap” glass, although this isn’t always entirely true. While BaK4 prism glass is often seen in mid-grade and higher end binoculars, BK7 is also used in very expensive and premium binoculars when combined with the right optical conditions.

But generally, you will see it in more budget-friendly binoculars like this ProSport binocular.

BK7 uses borosilicate components to make up the crown-based glass. It does have a lower refractive index than BaK4 glass which is why it’s been labeled as the inferior type of glass.

Tip – refraction index refers to the ability of the glass to minimize variations of wavelengths of light to keep light loss and light scattering from happening. These variations are the reason why chromatic aberrations in the lenses occur.

With that under your belt, BK7 glass does lose light when it reflects off the sides of the prisms. You’ll be able to see this in the squarish-shaped exit pupil that has grey-like aberrations towards the sides.

If you can live with that funky exit pupil and slightly dimmer edges of view, the BK7 will be perfectly fine for your $40 binocular.

Q. Is this binocular tripod adaptable?

A. Yes! In fact, all of the ProSport porro prism binoculars are tripod adaptable. With such high magnification ranges of this binocular, you will need something to help maintain a still and steady image.

Even hunters with binoculars that have fixed 10X magnification still appreciate being able to use a tripod when you can’t seem to get rid of that hand shakiness.

Q. What does close focus mean?

A. This is a term that you’re definitely going to need to know if you’re going to buy a Simmons binocular or even if you’re going to surf the binocular market. There’s no getting around the fact that you need to get up to date with the terminology.

To help you out, here’s the short and sweet answer: it’s the closest distance to you that you can effectively use your binoculars and still maintain its optimal focus. The shorter the distance, the better.

So, does this binocular have a good close focus distance? Since it’s a high powered variable zoom optic, you really shouldn’t need me to answer this for you. This bino is made for long distance viewing, and if you’re interested in this, then you’re probably not going to be concerned with the nearby distances.

But, since this optic starts on the lower end for binoculars (8X), this variable zoom power ProSport has a decent close focus distance of 9.8 feet. If you ask me, I’d say that’s pretty good.

Simmons ProSport Compact 8-17X25 Specs:

  • Magnification: 8-17X
  • Power Variability: Variable
  • Objective Diameter: 25 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 9.8 feet
  • Dimensions: 3.5 x 9.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Weight: 10 ounces
  • Field of View: 216 feet/100 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 12-9 mm/ 3.1 – 1.47 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Multi-Coated
  • Glass: BK7
  • Prism System: Porro
  • Focus System: Center
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: No/No
  • Eye cups: Twist up
  • Tripod adaptable: Yes
  • Rangefinder: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • BK7 glass in porro prism design for optimal viewing quality
  • 8-17X variable zoom power for close to long distance ranging
  • 9.8 feet close focus distance
  • Multi-coated optics for brilliant image quality and maximum light transmission
  • Tripod adaptable for steady and still viewing
  • Durable rubber armor body for secure gripping in wet and harsh conditions

Rating:

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Simmons ProSport 12X50 Review

simmons-prosport-12x50This Simmons ProSport 12X50 is the first fully waterproof and fog-proof bino to hit this review. The huge 50 mm multi-coated lens, superior BaK4 glass, the fixed 12X power, and the tripod adaptable feature makes this a winner in the Simmons line-up.

If you get tickled seeing high customer review ratings, then be prepared to wee in your pants. The most expensive binocular of the day also happens to have the highest reviewer input online out of all of Simmons’ binoculars. It has plenty of reviews that deemed it worthy of its rating.

As the most talked about binoculars of the low budget manufacturer, this was the easiest bino to pick for this in-depth Simmons review. As you could say, it was a no-brainer.

As the most expensive bino in this review at still a low cost of $65(approx) online, let’s pick it apart piece by piece to really get to know what makes it worthy of your extra pennies in the following Q&A.

ProSport 12X50 Binocular Q&A:

Q. What are the advantages of having a roof prism Simmons binocular?

A. Roof prism binos have been quickly gaining popularity over the years. The more streamlined build, the sleeker appearance, and the lighter frame has had users looking towards the roof prism bino for their hunting needs.

Another advantage is that they’re typically going to be made more sturdier, rugged, and durable than a porro prism binocular. For hunters out in harsh terrain or with clumsy paws, this is a benefit to keep note of.

The disadvantage is that they’ll cost more than a porro prism bino because it costs more to make. To be optically equal to a porro prism, it needs reflective mirror coatings and phase-correction coatings to get it on par.

With the extra reflections that light needs in a roof prism system, more technology and intricate manufacturing is vita.

Q. What are some tips to keep my Simmons binocular lenses clean?

A. If it has never crossed your mind to keep your lenses clean, then this “tsk tsk” is for you. To get any binocular, low budget or premium, to last you a lifetime, you need to take care of it – properly. That means more than just putting lens caps on and stowing it away in the travel case.

When you’re out in the woods, the swamp, or the plains, you’re going to get a little dirt, dust, and grime on your binocular. And, even with the most careful practices, you’ll still going to get a splash or two on the lenses.

To ensure you’re not damaging your bino in the cleaning process, you’ll want to learn how to remove this gunk appropriately.

If you have one of those electronic air/dust blasting cans, use it to get rid of excess dust and dry dirt. You could also use a soft brush to remove this as well.

If you got your sticky mitts on the lens, wipe it off in small circular motions with a cotton swab or eyeglass tissue that’s been dabbed with a mild and soft soap-to-water solution. Now you can use your eye caps and travel case.

Q. How do I adjust for uneven eye strength when looking through binoculars?

A. This might seem like a toughie for you calibrate your bino for your eyesight, but it’s really not a big deal. You’ll want to pay attention to these instructions since many people don’t even realize that each eye has varying eye strengths that are just as unique as fingerprints.

To make sure that you’re getting the most potential out of your Simmons ProSport 12X50 binocular, follow the simplified steps below. For a full run down on adjusting your binos, check out our ‘4 Essential Binocular Adjustments’ article.

  • Use the bino hinge to get the right interpupillary distance for your eyes.
  • If you have a variable zoom bino, adjust the power setting to the highest magnification.
  • Zero the diopter and look at a far-away target.
  • Cover the objective lens of the diopter side (right side) of the bino.
  • Rotate the center focus knob until you have a clear and sharp image.
  • Uncover the diopter side and now cover the left side.
  • Adjust the diopter until you have a clear and sharp image.

Q. What is interpupillary distance?

A. To get the most out of this 12X50 binocular, you should know what it means first. The IPD is the small distance from one pupil to the other. Now this distance is going to be different for everyone – this supports the importance of properly focusing your set of binos for you.

But, how do you get the right distance?

Most binoculars will have a hinge or some sort of feature to enable you to start bringing in the barrels of the bino closer together.

Starting from a fully extended outward position, just bring it in towards the middle in an inward position until the two circles you see through the bino make one full circle. Voila – you have your IPD.

 Simmons ProSport 12X50 Specs:

  • Magnification: 12X
  • Power Variability: Fixed
  • Objective Diameter: 50 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 19 feet
  • Dimensions: 4 x 10.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Weight: 28.2 ounces
  • Field of View: 255 feet/100 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 16 mm/ 4.7 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Multi-Coated
  • Glass: BaK4
  • Prism System: Roof
  • Focus System: Center
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
  • Eye cups: Twist up
  • Tripod adaptable: Yes
  • Rangefinder: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • BaK4 glass in roof prism design for excellent image quality
  • Powerful 12X magnification for long distance viewing
  • 100% waterproof and fog-proof for optimal survival in harsh weather
  • Multi-coated optics for brilliant image quality and maximum light transmission
  • Tripod adaptable for steady and still viewing
  • Durable rubber armor body for secure gripping in wet and harsh conditions

Rating:

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Which are the Best Simmons Binoculars For You?

All of these excellent and low budget binoculars are under $100. Even better, they’re all under $80! With a working-man’s budget, Simmons sure has us kind of hunters in mind.

And, when you need affordable, basic, but trustworthy, you can count on the FRP ProSport 10X25 to get it done. Tip – for how economical they are, they’d make great stocking stuffers for your other hunting buddies who are looking for something fast and easy to use.

Perhaps your son or newbie-to-hunting pal would appreciate a pair.

But, if you’ve got a few bucks more to spend because you pocketed your daily lunch burrito money instead, you can have the porro prism ProSport 10X50 for $30(approx). Now, that’s a way to upgrade, even if it is with your lunch money.

Now dipping into the $40 range binoculars is the variable zoom 8-17X25 compact ProStaff. This little thing will get you as intimate as you want with that cute, sitting duck or as far away as you need to be from that angry, hot-head hog.

Just make sure you have a more expensive rifle on you than this bino and you should be good. This would be a perfect entry level device to figure out how to use a variable power bino for those of you willing to give it a try.

But if you’re a high roller, then the 12X50 for under $70 is an excellent way to make use of your hard-earned cash. This is the top of the line model in this Simmons ProStaff review, and the fans and reviewers have spoken – it’s the best.

Simmons: Good Entry Level Optics

Put a smile on your better half’s face and save a few bucks by celebrating low budget scopes. They’re not just for babies or for beginners – it’s also for serious hunters who want to make the most of an entry level optic in the weathered hands of a hunting pro.

If you’re in doubt about where your next twenty bucks should go, just follow the yellow brick road of reviews… it’ll lead you right to the best low budget binoculars worthy of your scrimped-and-scraped cash.