Best Mid-Range Binoculars for Bird Watching (7 Top Choices)

Best Mid-Range Binoculars for Bird Watching

Have you ever been out in the woods, tracking a bird, and just missed identifying them because they were too far away? This frustrating birding situation is all-too-common in our hobby and has cost many birders an elusive spotting. However, binoculars can help you avoid this issue and are a powerful tool for birding and an essential option for beginner, intermediate, or advanced birders.

That said, it is important to research your binocular options because there are many, many potential models on the market. If you’ve ever checked out a few birding binoculars online, you know prices can be staggeringly high on models with only minor differences. How can you tell these different options apart, and which is the best overall choice for your needs as a birder?

Thankfully, we’ve done all the hard work for you already! We researched the best binoculars for bird watching and identified several models that work for different people based on price, magnification, features, and more. At the end of this in-depth article, we include a frequently asked questions section that should address your concerns and help you better understand your binocular options. So let’s dive in and learn more about some great binoculars!

Best Mid-Range Binoculars for Bird Watching

The 7 Best Binoculars for Bird Watching

In the following list, we’ll include the best overall option, which is a bit higher in price than several other models on the list. Then, we’ll highlight various options based on budget and features and highlight binoculars that work well for beginner, intermediate, and advanced birders. We feel confident that you’ll find at least one model that fits your overall birding needs.

Best Overall OptioN

Best High-End Option: Nikon Monarch M5

These binoculars are much lower in price than our top line model. However, we still define them as “high-end” because of their unique range of features. For example, they come with a sophisticated and strong rubber armored exterior design. This design feature provides maximum shock resistance that makes them easier to hold for long periods without growing fatigued.

They also come with diverse Nikon-quality features that make them easier to use in the field, such as the center focusing knob, the broad field of view, and an overall ergonomic design that fits in multiple binocular bag types. If you want a high-end model that won’t break the bank, we recommend this model as a great option for those who can’t afford the top option on our list.


  • Nikon’s Extra-Low Dispersion lenses that minimize glare and improve visual acuity
  • Waterproof design that minimizes fog using a nitrogen-purged style
  • Flip-down lens covers that protect your binocular lenses

Why We Like It

  • The surprisingly reasonable price considering its overall strong quality
  • The comfortable and enjoyable grips that make holding them more comfortable
  • The phase-corrected color coating that improves the overall resolution and image quality

Best Mid-Range Option: Nikon 7237 Action 7×35 EX Extreme All-Terrain Binocular

Nikon is a popular binocular manufacturer because they’re good at creating strong models with reasonable prices. This mid-priced option, and while it may lack some of the bells and whistles of the models discussed previously, it should still work well for many birders. We suggest it for the weekend warrior or occasional bird watcher who just needs a pair of simple but effective spotting glasses.

Their fairly light feel (just over 2.5 pounds) makes them easy to carry in the wild, as does the included neck strap. Hang them from your neck and pick them up when you spot a bird you need to categorize. Surprisingly, you get around 487 feet for your field of view, which is very good for a model of this price. While it’s only a 7×35 model, for many birders, that will be enough to spot their favorite species in the wild.


  • Dielectric high-reflective coating that helps improve images in low light
  • Waterproof and fog-proof design that keeps lenses clear
  • A tripod attachment that makes them easier to use for long-term viewing

Why We Like It

  • The price is definitely right when it comes to these binoculars
  • The adaptable option for people who wear eyeglasses
  • The diverse range of color and design options, including a camo-style look

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Best Budget Option: SkyGenius 10 x 50 Binoculars

SkyGenius produces inexpensive binoculars that can fit easily into many birders budgets. For example, this model is very inexpensive and is easily worth the money and then some. It has 10x magnification with a 367-foot field of view. While that’s not as broad as you might like for your glasses, it’s still good enough for many birding situations and is amazing when you consider this model’s low price.

While it’s true that these binoculars will be bare-boned compared to the more diverse and expensive options on this list, we believe that you get more than what you pay for with this option. Simply put: you’re not going to find a budget set on the market that provides this diverse range of viewing options and as much power. We suggest it for birders on a budget or as a backup set for serious watchers.


  • Weak light vision that helps to provide excellent light transmission
  • Anti-slip grip design that minimizes the risk of dropping these models
  • Tripod adaption that makes them easier to use for long-term viewing situations

Why We Like Them

  • The amazing price that makes them affordable for many viewers
  • The multiple included features, such as a holding bag and strap
  • The surprisingly broad range of view for a budget pair of binoculars

Best Advanced Birder Option: Celestron Trailseeker ED 10X42 Binoculars

Are you an advanced birder who wants a great pair of binoculars with professional-level magnification but still wants to watch your budget a little? This model might be the best option for your needs. As a 10×42 set, it provides 10x magnification over a broad viewing range. It also includes a lo-dispersion glass design that makes the around mid-range purchasing price more than worth it for most birders.

For example, it includes a BaK-4 prism design that increases your light and color transmission to provide true-to-life colors and looks. It is also fully waterproof and designed with comfortable and adjustable eyecups. The padded cups will minimize strain and fatigue and give you the long-term viewing options that you need to spot beautiful and unforgettable birds in the wild.


  • A strong lens coating that minimizes fogging risks
  • The less than two-pound weight for easier holding
  • A 10x zooming option that makes spotting easier

Why We Like It

  • The price is very fair considering the quality of your viewing
  • The ergonomic design that minimizes wrist strain
  • The simple-to-use zoom option that increases its ease of use

Best Intermediate Birder Option: Vortex Optics 10X42 Viper HD Binocular

If you aren’t exactly a newbie to bird watching but still wouldn’t call yourself pro-level, you might enjoy this pair of binoculars. Though they’re a bit pricier on most sites, they provide many quality-of-life upgrades that make them easier for intermediate birders to use. Their 10×42 design includes a sharp zoom and quick focus that minimizes the risk of losing your bird.

It also comes with waterproof and fog-proof lenses that reduce bird-loss risk and an anti-reflective coating that avoids glare that might give your position away. We also like the incredibly lightweight (just over 1.5 pounds), which should make it easier for intermediate users to spot birds for hours without getting tired. These upgrades alone make the higher price worth it for skilled but still learning birders.


  • HD glass that provides maximum image clarity
  • Strong near-focus of 5.1 feet for those surprising and startling birding moments
  • A 319-foot field of view, which is a bit low for our tastes but still decent

Why We Like It

  • The strong and durable case that helps newer users enjoy birding more
  • The high-quality zoom that minimizes focus loss
  • A great close-focus option for birders who like getting near new species

Best Beginner Birder Option: Celestron – Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars

Newer birders likely want a simple pair of binoculars with a reasonable price and adaptable usage. We found that this set, with its budget-friendly price range, is a great option for those birders who are just getting started. This budget model will give new birders plenty of zoom options and high-quality lens protection and may even work well as a backup model for more advanced birding enthusiasts.

The overall design is suited for beginners, with a portable and hand-held design, a lightweight feel, a 6.5-foot close focus setup, a useful 8x magnifying power, a polycarbonate housing, and a strong rubber-armored feel. Every element of these binoculars includes easy-to-understand design factors that make them simple to just pick up and use without studying a complex manual for hours.


  • Padded eyecups that minimize strain or injury and position eyes properly
  • Eyeglass-friendly design that works for many uses
  • A compact carrying case that makes it easier to carry in the wild

Why We Like It

  • The price point is perfect for people just getting into birding
  • The 8x zoom is competitive with other binoculars on the market
  • The streamlined design works well for just about any birder

n: Zeiss 8×42 Victory SF Binocular

While we mostly tried to stick to binoculars that were reasonably priced and easy for most birders to afford, our best overall option is very high in price. However, that price is a great investment for the serious birder, particularly if you plan on bird watching in many environments and want binoculars that minimize problems like glare and other long-term issues.

These binoculars come with options like 92% light transmission, which provides the best clarity, color fidelity, and brightness among the many models on the market. It also includes SmartFocus, a zoom option that helps you focus quickly and easily on birds. That option alone makes this an excellent pair of binoculars, as you’re less likely to miss out on spotting that elusive eagle hanging out in your viewing area.


  • LotuTec lens coating that minimizes glare and weather-related issues
  • UFL Concept optics that produce a true-to-life image with each zoom
  • 8x magnification with a 465-foot field of view over 1,000 yards

What We Like

  • The streamlined and efficient handle design that fits ergonomically in the hands
  • The 8×42 design that provides steady and calm viewing
  • The large field of view that helps improve spotting in rough environments

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Binocular FAQ

We included this FAQ section as a bonus for birders interested in binoculars. We answer the questions that we know people like you ask because we’ve asked them ourselves! Read through this section if any of the terms or ideas mentioned in our reviews seem confusing to you or hard to understand.

What Magnification Binocular is Best for Bird Watching?

The best magnification range for birding binoculars may vary depending on your needs. A 7x gives maximum image stability but less zoom. An 8x design gives medium stability and magnification and is a good mid-range option. A 10x zoom provides maximum zoom but less stability. Base your choice on your birding preferences and your skill: 8x is a good starter option.

Which is Better: 8×42 or 10X42 Binoculars for Birding?

Using 8×42 binoculars provides benefits like less image shake, a wider field of view, more eye relief, and stronger low-light performance. However, they provide less zoom and don’t have detailed images. By contrast, 10×42 provides more magnification for very far-off subjects but creates shakier images and isn’t suitable for low-light conditions. So choose carefully when making your pick here.

What is the Best Brand of Binoculars for Bird Watching?

Just about any brand will work well for bird watching, though Celestron, Canon, and Nikon are all very high quality. We strongly suggest Celestron as the most reliable and affordable of the high-end options, though also think that Nikon is good for those on a budget. Bushnell, Swarovski, and Hawke are also great for more sports-oriented individuals, such as people who may also use binoculars to hunt.

What Do Those Binocular Terms Mean?

Here are a few simple definitions that explain a few terms used in this article:
Field of View: The field of view indicates how wide your binoculars can see: broader views provide more potential sightings but also limit your zoom.
Brightness: Indicates how bright the image is upon reflection: you want to get brightness that is as close to the real view as possible.
Coatings: Each binocular lens receives a specific coating that helps minimize things like glare and improve your view. These coatings may vary depending on the manufactu

Wrap Up- The Best mid-range binoculars for bird watching

We hope you’ve found the best mid-range binoculars for bird watching that fit your budget and bird watching preferences. There are dozens of brands and models out there, so it can be a daunting task to find the perfect pair. Consider starting with a budget option. Then, once you have some experience and know you are committed to the hobby (and price tag), upgrade to a premium pair of binos. (Haven’t heard the word binos before? Check out our post covering all of the birdwatching slang)

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