The 5 Best Binoculars For Birding

park ranger looking through binoculars
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Updated: August 7, 2022
Birding is a fascinating pastime enjoyed by many. It is a great outdoor adventure that anyone can take part in. One of the required pieces of equipment for birding is a good set of binoculars. Having them allows you to see the details of the birds from a greater distance. Every bird has specific characteristics and features, helping identify the specific species. Without binoculars, even trying to find birds, let alone identify them, is quite tricky. A good pair of binoculars while bird watching changes all of that. It closes the visual distance and makes it seem like you are just a few feet away. It is an awesome experience observing the birds in their natural habit undisturbed.

Not all bird watchers are the same, and we understand that. When purchasing a set of binoculars for birding, defining your budget is typically the starting point. The 5 binoculars we review are the best in class for their representative price category.

For those in a hurry the our choice for the best binoculars for birding is the  Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 8×42

We evaluated and reviewed 25 different pairs of binoculars to determine the best binoculars for birding overall. We looked at everything from budget binoculars to get you started to the top of the line, rather pricey binoculars. When it was all said and done, we chose the Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 8×42 as the best overall pair of binos. Obviously, if you have the spare cash to spend thousands on the top of the line then, by all means, you should get them. The majority of people interested in birding do not fall into that category. So our goal was to pick the pair best overall that factors in quality and cost.

The Nikon Monarch 7 8×42 ATB is the most popular set of binoculars for good reason. The price point is excellent, and not that far from the most budget-friendly pair. We highly recommend the Nikon Monarch 7 for birdwatching. They are feature-rich, with excellent quality for the price.

Nikon has an excellent optical system for the ED glass to give you a clear and bright image. You experience a wide field of view that is just right for bird watching. Nikon uses a dielectric multilayer prism coating, which gives a nice, even light transmittance. The result is a bright clear high contrast image where the colors are a true match to the naked eye.

The body of the binoculars is a durable rubber-armored coating. It is just rough enough to prevent slipping, but still comfortable to the touch. The central focus knob is medium in size, so it fits well with the rest of the body, and the focusing wheel is smooth when you turn it.

One of the features we liked about the eyecups is the adjustable click-stop design. Something to note, the close focus capability is 8.2 feet, which is a bit further than some of the other models we compared the Nikon to. It is easy to see why these binoculars are so popular with bird watchers.

Nikon 7548 MONARCH 7 8x42 Binocular (Black)
381 Reviews
Nikon 7548 MONARCH 7 8x42 Binocular (Black)
  • The MONARCH 7 8x42 provides an exceptionally wide field of view that makes it easy to find your subject.
  • Dielectric High-Reflective Multilayer Prism Coatings are applied to all lenses and prism coatings to provide high-contrast images and accurate color reproduction.
  • Thanks to a durable rubber armored coating, the MONARCH 7 is comfortable to hold and rugged enough to stand up to any conditions.
  • Extra-low dispersion glass enhances brightness and color fidelity
  • Roof prisms with phase-correction preserve clarity and detail
  • Highly reflective dielectric prism coating renders
  • Anti-reflective multicoated lens system
  • Nitrogen-filled housing for fog proof and waterproof performance

The 5 Best Binoculars For Birding We Review

We have summarized the details of the binoculars for each of the categories in this table.

Preview
Celestron – Nature DX 8x42 Binoculars – Outdoor and Birding Binocular – Fully Multi-coated with BaK-4 Prisms – Rubber Armored – Fog & Waterproof Binoculars – Top Pick Optics
Nikon 7576 Monarch 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
Our Choice
Nikon 7548 MONARCH 7 8x42 Binocular (Black)
Vortex Optics Razor UHD Binoculars 8x42
Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Binocular with FieldPro Package, Green
Binoculars
Celestron Nature DX 8x42
Nikon MONARCH 5 8x42
Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 8x42
Vortex Razor UHD 8x42
Swarovski EL 8.5x42
Manufacturer
Celestron
Nikon
Nikon
Vortex
Swarovski
Best Of Category
Budget
Entry Level
Overall
High End
Top Of The Line
Magnification
8x42
8x42
8x42
8x42
8.5x42
Rating
Reviews
3,574 Reviews
1,560 Reviews
381 Reviews
139 Reviews
148 Reviews
Price
$121.71
$463.49
$1,632.96
$2,169.05
Preview
Celestron – Nature DX 8x42 Binoculars – Outdoor and Birding Binocular – Fully Multi-coated with BaK-4 Prisms – Rubber Armored – Fog & Waterproof Binoculars – Top Pick Optics
Binoculars
Celestron Nature DX 8x42
Manufacturer
Celestron
Best Of Category
Budget
Magnification
8x42
Rating
Reviews
3,574 Reviews
Price
$121.71
More Details
Preview
Nikon 7576 Monarch 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
Binoculars
Nikon MONARCH 5 8x42
Manufacturer
Nikon
Best Of Category
Entry Level
Magnification
8x42
Rating
Reviews
1,560 Reviews
Price
More Details
Our Choice
Preview
Nikon 7548 MONARCH 7 8x42 Binocular (Black)
Binoculars
Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 8x42
Manufacturer
Nikon
Best Of Category
Overall
Magnification
8x42
Rating
Reviews
381 Reviews
Price
$463.49
More Details
Preview
Vortex Optics Razor UHD Binoculars 8x42
Binoculars
Vortex Razor UHD 8x42
Manufacturer
Vortex
Best Of Category
High End
Magnification
8x42
Rating
Reviews
139 Reviews
Price
$1,632.96
More Details
Preview
Swarovski 8.5x42 EL Binocular with FieldPro Package, Green
Binoculars
Swarovski EL 8.5x42
Manufacturer
Swarovski
Best Of Category
Top Of The Line
Magnification
8.5x42
Rating
Reviews
148 Reviews
Price
$2,169.05
More Details

The Best Binoculars For Birding

1. Celestron Nature DX 8×42

Best Budget Binoculars for Birding

The Celestron Nature DX 8×42 is our top pick for the best budget binoculars. They are mid-sized, making them comfortable in the field and genuinely are one of the favorites among bird watchers for this category.

You get the right combination of field of view, magnification, and up-close focus all for under $160. Even if your budget is slightly higher than this category, you may still want