Tasco Binoculars Review: 3 Binos Under $50 Each!

If you’re a critic of low budget optics and you’re typically dropping a few hundred bucks on one, this isn’t the review for you.

But, if you’re like a lot of hunters out there with run-of-the-mill budgets, you’re probably looking within the $10 to $50 range. Now, low budget optics aren’t always “cheap” and they’re not just made for kids.

You can get a quality optic that has a range of magnifications, compact dimensions, color finishes, and varying sizes of objective lenses. But, we’ll get into those full details later on in this Tasco binoculars review.

We are going to check out the:

Who Are Tasco?

If you’re familiar with low budget binoculars, then you’re probably already aware of the American-based optics brand, Tasco. Since they were founded in the 1950s, they’ve been well-known and favored by the entry level user or the easy-going and recreational hunter.

To help give their name a little PR, it might be interesting to you to know that they once bought out another well-known optics brand, Celestron.

At that time in ’97 and ’98, Celestron was second behind Meade in telescopes sales across the nation. Today, Tasco is owned by the parent company that owns Bushnell. So, can you trust Tasco binoculars? Absolutely!

Tasco Binocular Reviews

Tasco leaves the fancy dressings and trappings for other brands to fiddle around with. They’re just dedicated to providing the best glass, binocular type options, weatherproof-ability, and colored finishes for the lowest prices in the market.

If you’re not quite convinced, here’s one of the best Tasco binocular reviews you’ll ever read. It’s time to get off your high-horse and give the underdog bino a run for your money.

Tasco Sierra 10X42 Review

sierra-10x40This Tasco Sierra 10X42 binocular has every hunters ideal magnification x objective lens combo of 10X42 with multi-coated lenses. It has twist up eyecups, is fully waterproof and fog-proof, and is tripod adaptable on a roof prism platform.

Reviewers have strolled their way online to post a review about the roughly $40, all-purpose Sierra and they’ve given it a rating. It’s a better than average score, but not the best out there.

As the most expensive binoculars of the most popular Tascos online, it found a spot on this review. I also wanted to pick one bino from the Tasco Sierra line, and it may as well be the ever-loved 10X42.

But, why doesn’t a binocular that looks great on paper do outstanding in the reviews? Here’s our Q&A to provide you with all there is to know about the weather-brave optic.

Tasco Sierra 10X42 Q&A:

Q. What kind of prism glass does this Sierra have?

A. This Sierra 10X42 has the obvious roof prism design that’s been constructed with BAK4 glass. BAK4 glass provides a very nice and round exit pupil and has a higher refractive index than BK7 glass.

Although you won’t see anywhere on Tasco’s website that this is built with BAK4 glass, it is. I got it straight from a Bushnell source. In fact, all of Tasco’s binoculars are made with BAK4 glass except for one.

The only BK7 binocular is the variable Essentials 10-30X50 porro prism bino with Zip Focus technology.

Unsure what glass you want to go for? Check out our Glass 101: BAK4 vs BK7 article.

Q. Is the Sierra 10X42 waterproof?

A. According to Tasco it is. The Sierras are fully 100 percent waterproof and fog-proof since they’re supposed to be the high-performing, all-weather binoculars of the entire Tasco binocular family.

The Sierra’s are the only options when it comes to weatherproof-ability.

But, out in the field it might be a little bit of a different story. The durable rubber coating is not only for easier gripping, it’s also for protection for the binocular itself from dings and bangs and from the weather.

While Tasco isn’t quite “up there” with world-renown brands as far as construction and quality build goes, this Sierra will hold up to a sprinkling and even some good rain. But, submersion? I wouldn’t place any bets on it.

Q. What is the number one complaint of the Tasco binoculars?

A. If you receive your brand new Sierra and you find it’s more than difficult to get the two images to align into one well-focused image, this is called optical misalignment.

Just send in your Sierra to Tasco to be repaired or replaced under the warranty.

This seems to be a common issue for hunters who purchase the Sierra 10X42.

While not all of the Sierras have this problem, there are a few that must miss quality control steps to catch this malfunction before it ever reaches the customer. Boo Tasco.

But, good thing for you, this Sierra is covered by their Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Q. How can I get the binoculars to become aligned myself?

A. I’m no technician and it’s not always advised for you to tinker around with the optical systems of your binoculars.

You could end up voiding your warranty and you likely don’t have the expertise to fix this issue, especially if you’re not mechanically-inclined like I am.

But, I did promise you the best Tasco Sierra binocular review so I’ll include a couple of rig-it together type steps – if you dare try it.

  • Remove the eyecup on the diopter side of the bino
  • Peel back the rubber armor
  • Locate a set of three alignment adjustment screws near the center focusing wheel
  • Rotate one screw to loosen
  • Rotate the other two screws to tighten
  • Look through the eyepieces to see for focusing
  • If still unaligned, try tightening the other screw and loosening the other
  • Keep repeating this process until image is focused

Notes to remember: After a few turns, you’ll figure out which screw to rotate and in what direction.

After each alignment change, allow your eye muscles to rest by briefly looking away in between adjustments.

Q. What if there’s a rattling noise in the barrel?

A. If there’s rattling noises going on in the barrels of your binocular, the prism assembly is loose within the adjustment screws that are used to keep them in place.

  • With a firm grasp, grab hold of the underside of the barrel where the eyepiece connects
  • Unthread the eyepiece from the barrel
  • Loosen all three alignment adjustment screws
  • Allow the prism assembly to fall into its slot placement
  • Re-tighten the alignment adjustment screws just barely enough to hold the now-aligned and evenly-sitting lenses in place
  • Repeat the process mentioned above to now align the optics

Notes to remember: don’t tip the binocular upside down during this process. With the eyepiece removed, the prism assembly could fall out and you’d be done for.

Also, the screws are what holds the prisms in place.

Sierra 10×42 Bino Specs:

  • Magnification: 10X
  • Power Variability: Fixed
  • Objective Diameter: 42 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: 6 feet
  • Dimensions: not listed
  • Weight: 25 ounces
  • Field of View: 293 feet/1000 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 15 mm/4.2 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Multi-Coated
  • Glass: BAK-4
  • Prism System: Roof
  • Focus System: Center
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
  • Eye cups: Twist up
  • Tripod adaptable: Yes
  • Rangefinder: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • Twist up eye cups for a comfortable fit for appropriate eye relief
  • Tripod adaptable for long range viewing and steady handling
  • BAK4 prism glass for excellent image quality
  • Multi-coated lenses for sharp, bright, and clear optical performance
  • Impressively close focus distance of 6 feet
  • Fully 100% waterproof and fog-proof for absolute weatherproof-ability
  • Durable fully armored aluminum body for protection in rugged terrain and for secure gripping
  • Backed by Tasco’s Limited Lifetime Guarantee

Rating:

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Tasco Essentials 7X35 Review

essentials-7x35This Tasco Essentials 7X35 binocular has Zip Focus technology, an extremely wide field of view, and has fully coated lenses.

It’s also tripod adaptable and has the porro prism design with BAK4 glass prisms for excellent optical performance.

For the number of reviews online, it’s got a great rating. Rewardingly, this is a good size fan base rooting for this Tasco low budget binocular. You never know – for roughly $20 you might just become one of them.

As part of the porro prism line of binoculars, this Essentials model won my attention because of its excellent wide field of view.

And for roughly $20, it seems to be the perfect all-purpose binocular, for the avid hunter or the observant bird watcher. I know you’re probably frothing at the mouth wondering what the field of view is and what this Zip Focus technology is as well.

So, to prevent any further drooling embarrassment, let’s dive into the Q&A.

Tasco Essentials 7X35 Q&A:

Q. What is Zip Focus?

A. Every binocular operates under a focusing system that determines its unique way of coming into focus. Most conventional binoculars have the center focus system.

Well, this porro prism Essentials 7X35 mm binocular has the zip focus system which is unique to Tasco but an invention of Bushnell’s.

The center focusing wheel is located in the center of the open bridge design. The idea is that you can move it with less pivots to get a faster focus of the entire field of view.

This zip focusing system is faster than a center focus system and you might only see it on really expensive sets of binos.

Although this is an excellent feature to see on a low budget binocular, you’ll have to be aware that it might wear out faster than a center focus system on an equivalent quality binocular.

Q. What is the field of view of the Essentials Zip binocular?

A. This bino has an impressive 500 feet field of view. I haven’t seen this wide of a FOV on a binocular in this price range before.

Another one of Tasco’s wide FOV binoculars includes the opera glasses, the roof prism 4X30.

It’s listed as a porro prism bino on their website, but you’ll see it’s clearly not a porro.

Either way, if you’re going to be doing some extreme close range hunting, you could probably get away with the $12 opera glasses, otherwise the 7X35 is all yours.

On a porro prism binocular, you’re also going to get some nice 3D effects going on. With a field of view this wide, you could spend hours glassing the hot spot for your next hunt.

Nothing will sneak past you when you have these pair of eyes on.

Q. What is the exit pupil?

A. With a little math, the objective lens size (35) divided by the magnification (7), you’ll see that you have a pretty good size exit pupil (5mm) for a binocular for low light hunting.

While it’s going to provide you with more light than you can use during bright conditions, the 5 mm is going to help you put faces to those creeping shadows once legal hour approaches.

Another one of Tasco’s low light hunting binoculars is the 10X50 model of this series. It has the 5 mm exit pupil, 50 mm objective lens, and nice field of view of 367 feet.

And, the best part about it is, you’ll barely spend $10 more for the additional magnification and the larger objective lens upgrade. That’s going to appeal to the longer range distance hunter too.

Q. Is this Essentials binocular covered by a warranty?

A. Yes. The nice thing about Tasco is, there’s no side-stepping with them where “x” binocular is covered by “x” warranty and “that” binocular is covered by “this” warranty.

All of Tasco’s binoculars are covered by their signature Limited Lifetime Warranty.

The catch about getting the warranty fulfilled actually lies in the date your Tasco was manufactured.

Because of the hard economic times it went through prior to being purchased by Bushnell, binoculars made before 9/1/2002 need to be sent to ABO, USA.

If yours was made after this date, you can simply contact Bushnell for a complete set of instructions on what to do next if you need a repair or a replacement.

Essentials 7X35 Binocular Specs:

  • Magnification: 7X
  • Power Variability: Fixed
  • Objective Diameter: 35 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: not listed
  • Dimensions: not listed
  • Weight: 22.4 ounces
  • Field of View: 500 feet/1000 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: not listed/5 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Fully-Coated
  • Glass: BAK-4
  • Prism System: Porro
  • Focus System: Zip
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: No/No
  • Eye cups: Fold down
  • Tripod adaptable: Yes
  • Rangefinder: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • Zip Focus system for half-turns for fast focusing of wide field of views
  • Extremely wide field of view of 500 feet
  • Tripod adaptable for long range viewing and steady handling
  • BAK4 prism glass for excellent image quality
  • Fully-coated lenses for bright and clear images
  • Same model available in 10X50
  • Durable fully armored aluminum body for protection in rugged terrain and for secure gripping
  • Backed by Tasco’s Limited Lifetime Guarantee

Rating:

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Tasco Essentials 10X25 Review

essentials-10x25This Tasco Essentials 10X25 is their roof prism compact binocular with double hinges for a folding compact design. It has fully coated BAK4 prism lenses with fold down eyecups that barely weigh just over half a pound.

For a compact binocular, this little Tasco has nearly every online reviewer wrapped around its little bino anchor. It has a superb rating with large numbers of reviewers sharing their opinion about it.

For those who doubt the popularity of low budget optics, they’d better beware. Today’s Tasco binoculars have smoked out all the phony ones that claim they have it all.

The impressive reviewer base of this compact roof prism bino is what caught my attention and is what will capture the attention of serious future hunters looking for a low budget Tasco binocular.

To see what this little guy is packing, here’s a fully detailed Q&A.

Tasco Essentials 10X25 Q&A:

Q. What kind of eyecups does this Tasco have?

A. Unlike some of the other Tascos that have the twist up eyecups, this particular one has the fold down eyecups.

They’re made out of rubber and the whole point is to allow you to get maximum comfort when your brow touches the eyepiece.

If you don’t wear any glasses of any sort, you can keep the eyecups “up” for full comfort and to find that sweet spot with the right amount of eye relief. But, if you do wear glasses, you can fold them down.

While twist up eyecups have quickly become very popular, fold up ones still have their traditional advantages about them.

They’re more impervious to dust, sand, and grit because there’s no threading for it to get in between.

The simple construction of the fold up eyecups keeps water and particles out of the eyepiece and the binocular. So, old-fashioned but practical? Definitely.

Q. Are there any other available finishes with this Tasco?

A. If you’re looking for a fancy, swanky, or bright finish that’s not the typical black, then this is the model you want to buy.

And, let me preface with saying you shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting your bino to look as cool as you do when you hit the dirt.

There’s also a color that will suit everyone’s personal palette. There’s the classic black, pink, red, yellow, green, royal blue, and my personal favorite, the camo.

Q. What are the double hinges for?

A. The double hinges that are attached to the barrels on both sides of the binocular are the points where the barrels can fold inwards. This turns this already small bino into a compact dwarf.

It’s really light weight at 9.2 ounces and fits in the palm of your hand.

It’ll also fit anywhere on your person if you’re wearing typical hunting vests with pockets. Even if you wear it with the neck strap, there’s no neck fatigue at all because it barely weighs anything!

For hunters who are stalking the fields or the woods all day long, this small and nifty bino that your forgetting is on your person will be the one that gets to come along.

Now, you don’t have to leave your other beast of an optic in the truck because it’s too much of a heifer… sound familiar anyone?

Q. How much does this compact binocular cost?

A. Are you ready for it? It costs roughly $10 online. If you bought extras for gifts, you could even get free shipping.

But for  roughly $10, you’re not going to find a cheaper binocular than this that wasn’t found in a toy store.

The only catch to the price tag is when different color finishes are part of the equation. There is a significant price jump that’s seen between the colors.

The black is the cheapest at just under $10, the camo is around $10, and the royal blue comes in at around $30.

The other remaining colors jump up to a soaring $50+ price range. These prices are the average retail costs online at the time of writing.

Q. Is this compact binocular available with a different magnification and objective lens size?

A. Yes there is. There is the 8X21 and the 12X25 folding compact binoculars.

Other than the consequential varying specs such as the field of view and exit pupil size, they’re all optically and mechanically equivalent to the 10X25.

They’re both more expensive, by a few bucks, than this 10X25, but why the 8X21 is more than the 10X25 is beyond me.

There is also another Tasco roof prism binocular that has the folding design feature, but it’s what you would consider a mid-size bino.

It’s the Tasco Essentials 16X32, and it’s about double the price of this black 10X25, and it a low $20.

Q. What is the Essentials 12X25 compact binocular?

A. Okay, I wanted to take a moment and throw in this awesome, compact bino. I would’ve given this baby its own entire review but, a few short words here will suffice.

It has a long distance and high ranging power of 12X that would be excellent for hunters out in the open plains.

The 25 mm objective lens helps to keep this bino light weight at 11 ounces and small in size to keep it within the compact family. While the 12X25 is an excellent way to go, it’s unfortunately not tripod adaptable.

This can be a shame since 12X magnification can create some pretty unsteady viewing.

This doesn’t seem to be a problem though for over 550 reviewers who gave it a 4.2 star rating. To still hit the 4 star range with such high numbers of critics is excellent.

So, if you’re wanting a high-powered, compact, light weight, and affordable binocular, the Essentials 12X25 is your best bet.

Otherwise, the 10X25 has the perfect all-purpose magnification that’ll do exceptionally well for all your hunting needs.

Essentials 10X25 Binoculars Specs:

  • Magnification: 10X
  • Power Variability: Fixed
  • Objective Diameter: 25 mm
  • Close Focus Distance: not listed
  • Dimensions: not listed
  • Weight: 9.2 ounces
  • Field of View: 288 feet/1000 yards
  • Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: not listed/2.5 mm
  • Optics Coatings: Fully-Coated
  • Glass: BAK-4
  • Prism System: Roof
  • Focus System: Center
  • Waterproof/Fog-proof: No/No
  • Eye cups: Fold down
  • Tripod adaptable: No
  • Rangefinder: No

Noteworthy Features:

  • BAK4 prism glass for excellent image quality
  • Fully-coated lenses for bright and clear images
  • Same model available in 8X21 and 12X25
  • Various color finishes available
  • Extremely budget-friendly binocular
  • Durable fully armored aluminum body for protection in rugged terrain and for secure gripping
  • Backed by Tasco’s Limited Lifetime Guarantee

Rating:

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Which are the Best Tasco Binoculars For You?

If you’re a hunter who’s glassing in a wide, open area and you need to change up your bino focusing range in a jiffy for high-stress moments, the Essentials 7X35 has it all.

Don’t forget that it has an impressive 500 wide field of view, is tripod adaptable, and most importantly, it has the Zip focus system to get you sharp viewing in an instant.

For the hunter who has a little more experience using optics, you’ll appreciate the fast focusing feature. For newbies to this type of technology, you won’t ever know how good you have it until you switch to a new one.

If a compact binocular is going to be your choice from this Tasco Essentials binocular review, then I highly recommend either the 10X25 or the 12X25. They’re both going to be excellent options for your general hunting needs.

Hunters of all experience levels will find maximum benefit from any one of Tasco’s compact binoculars.

The most expensive binocular in today’s review was featured first and for good reason. It’s the fully weatherproof Sierra binocular. The Sierra line offers the only waterproof and fogproof binos in the entire Tasco binocular series.

If you’re willing to pay a little bit more, you’ll be secure to stay put when the rain clouds storm in.

Want Low Budget Binoculars? Tasco.

All of Tasco’s binoculars are very easy to use, have incredible low-budget prices, and there are a wide variety of finishes to choose from.

Optics technology has come a long way, not just over the last 50 years, but over our most recent decade. Tasco has used this innovative movement in today’s world to make it more affordable for the average pocket-book.

Tasco doesn’t need to compete with the big boys, they don’t need to tack on fancy features, and they don’t need to raise prices on the cost-conscious hunter.

They’ve got the low-budget market’s supply of quality binoculars for hunters who are new to the game.

Got a bit more money to spend and want something a bit fancier? Why not check out our our review of Nikon binoculars, we delve into the ins and outs of 5 of their top selling binos.