Finding a decent pair of binoculars without spending a fortune used to be tough to do, but not any more. New manufacturing methods are allowing makers to trickle many of the high-tech features that used to be found only in higher-priced models down to their budget glass. Here are five great, affordable binoculars to consider.
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42
Having a tough time trying to pick out a moderately priced Bushnell binocular from the catalog? Here's a short cut — the Legend Ultra HD 10x42
. The unit's ED Prime glass is set in a magnesium housing and has both Ultra Wide Band and RainGuard coatings for excellent light transmission and all-weather function. This utility glass also has a locking diopter, tough rubber outer coating and long eye-relief. Bushnell even tosses in a fancy harness if neck straps rub you raw.
Redfield 10x42 Rebel
Regardless of your Northern or Southern heritage, you just might let out a rebel yell when the cashier tells you the 10x42 Rebel
binoculars you are buying from Redfield will cost less than $200. Lenses are fully multicoated and BAK4 prisms sit safely inside an aluminum chassis covered with a tough, no-slip rubber coating.
The binos are waterproof, nitrogen filled and have twist-up eyecups. The unit is also covered by a limited lifetime warranty.
Nikon ACULON 10x42
If your now ex-wife got everything in the settlement, including your binos, you could still probably scrape up enough change from what used to be your couch and truck to buy an ACULON 10x42
binocular from Nikon. It's an entry-level unit, but we all have to start or restart somewhere. The ACULON line — there are nine different power ranges — have BAK4 high-index prisms, multi-coated lenses and are rubber-armored.
Zeiss Terra ED
While the price is shockingly low for a binocular wearing the little blue Zeiss logo, all the elements are here for a functional, high-performance unit. The newly introduced Terra ED
binoculars (8x42, 10x42) have Schott ED glass and Zeiss' MC coatings. The Terra binos feel great in your hands and are very compact. While they do not outperform the Conquest HD (one of the best bino values to date), they are a lot of glass for the money.
Steiner Champ 8x22
The phrase 'less is more ' comes to mind when holding the new Steiner Champ 8x22
binoculars. And for guys who don't want the bulk and weight of a full-size optic but occasionally need to give something a little bit of a closer look, the 8.7-ounce 8x22 mm model is close to perfect. The 10X model has four additional millimeters of objective glass and weighs just an ounce more. Extended eyecups, high-contrast lens coatings and a sturdy rubber-armor coating make the Steiner Champs perfect for hunters.
Have you tried any of these binos? Share your opinions with us on Facebook!