Are Binoculars under $100 Good for Hiking?

My friend Richart was planning to go hiking for a long time. As I am working on binoculars, he wants some suggestions about binoculars. Which binoculars will be best for hiking, what specifications do you need? I suggested to him some affordable binoculars which are under $100. He was a little surprised and asked are binoculars under $100 good for hiking? Then I think, many of you may have the same question. I decided to discuss this topic in this article. So go through this article, and you will find out the answer! Before moving to the specification of the binoculars under $100, you should know what you need for hiking.

What specifications do you need for hiking?

The specifications of binoculars vary for different types of activities. For example, when you buy a binocular for hiking, the features will be different when you pick a pair for sports or wildlife viewing. Here are the required specifications of binoculars that you need for hiking.

Magnification power

The main objective to use binoculars during hiking is to get a closer and magnified view of distant objects. For hiking, you don’t need higher magnified binoculars. Highly binoculars offer narrow fields of view as well as they will be heavy. For hiking, you need 6x to 10x magnification. Less or more magnification isn’t good for hiking. We recommend using 8x or 10x binoculars for hiking to get a wider field of view with detailed and clear images.

Objective lens

The size of the objective lens defines the light-gathering capacity of the binoculars. Usually, a bigger objective lens is recommended for hiking. As a result, it can produce bright and clean images every time. For hiking, 35mm, 42mm and 50mm are good options for you.

Eye comfort

Eye comfort is dependent on eye relief distance, eye pupil distance as well as on the length of the eyepiece. The eye relief distance should be greater than 15mm. As a result, the glass wearer also can view without eye fatigue. The eye pupil distance should be greater than 4.0mm. It is dependent on the magnification and objective lens of the binoculars. You can easily calculate the eye pupil distance by dividing the objective lens size by the magnification value.

For example, a 10×42 binocular will provide a 4.2mm eye pupil distance which is good enough for a comfortable viewing experience. You can choose 7×35, 8×42, 10×42, or 10×50 binoculars for hiking. Make sure the eyepieces are large and adjustable for both eyeglass wearers and non-wearers.


When you choose a binocular for hiking, you should pick which provides fast and easy focusing. Make sure the binocular has a central focus wheel to adjust the focus quickly. Can focus on close objects.

Field of view

A wider field of view is a must for hiking. So that, you can cover a wider area at a time. The field of view should be between 300 and 375 feet at 1,000 yards for hiking.


Though binoculars are designed with 2 types of the lens – Porro and roof prism. Both are good in their way but for hiking, you should go for roof prism binoculars. They will provide superior image quality. At the same time, the binocular pair will be lightweight and durable.


The materials should be durable and stable. Also, the body should be covered with shockproof rubber armor. The binocular pair can withstand rough handling, abuse, and collision as well. At the same time, your hiking binoculars should be lightweight. So that you can carry it effortlessly. It should be below 1 pound.

Withstand capacity

As you go hiking, the binoculars should be waterproof and fog proof. They should be argon or nitrogen purged. The lens should be UV protected as you use it outdoors.

Other necessary features

  • Lenses should be treated with an anti-reflective coating
  • Should be able to eliminate the chromatic aberration
  • Should produce color correct and color fringing free images
  • Can able see in low light conditions
  • Must have straps, harnesses, or some other means of attachment so that they can be carried
  • hands-free
  • The interpupillary distance should be adjustable
  • Must have an adjustable diopter
  • Eyecups should be twist-up and adjustable
  • Must come with a carrying case and lens cleaning cloths
  • Should come with a limited lifetime warranty
  • A tripod attachment or smartphone mount system adds a bonus

What do you get from under $100 binoculars?

Now we will look at what you get from a $100 binocular or what you can expect from affordable binoculars.

Magnification power

You will get a variety of magnification ranges in binoculars for under 100 dollars. Most of the binoculars under $100 come with 6x, 8x, 10x, and even 12x magnification power. They can deliver bright, clear, and detailed images of the targeted objects.

Objective lens

You will get typically 25mm, 35mm, 42mm, and 50mm diameter objective lenses on affordable binoculars.


Most binoculars under $100 are designed with the ability to focus easily and quickly.

Field of view

Binoculars under $100 generally offer 300 to 370 feet at a 1000 yards field of view.


Roof and Porro both prisms are both used to make binoculars for under $100.


Usually, affordable binoculars are made of plastic. They are mostly durable. Some of them come with rubber armor.


  • Weights are between below 1 pound to 3 pounds
  • Most of them are waterproof and fog proof. So they can be carried in wet weather conditions
  • Able to strap to the body or attach to a backpack
  • Can see in low-light conditions
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Most of them can withstand harsh weather conditions
  • Neck strap, carrying bag, and lens cleaning cloth included
  • Some of them offer tripod and smartphone mount systems
  • Durable enough to withstand collisions
  • Have clear and fully multi-coated optics
  • Suitable for eyeglass wearers and non-wearers
  • offers an anti-slip and comfortable grip
  • Some brands offer a product-limited warranty

So, Are binoculars under $100 good for hiking?

It depends on the selection of binoculars. If you fail to choose the appropriate one, then the binocular under $100 may not be beneficial for hiking. In that case, my answer is YES, if you can choose the right binocular for under $100. From the above discussion, we can see that affordable binoculars also offer the necessary features that you need for hiking.

So far, you will get enough magnification, aperture, the field of view, eye relief, eye pupil, durability, warranty, weather sealing capacity, lens coating, neck strap, carrying bag, lens cleaning cloth, durable boy, rubber armor, other extra features in a binocular which price range is under $100.  Binoculars under $100 can be your perfect companion during hiking if you can choose the best pair for you.

Hopefully, this discussion will help to clear your confusion as well as will be beneficial when you choose an affordable binocular for hiking! To get a perfect pair of binoculars according to your budget, you can check out this article – Best compact binoculars for hiking. Grab the best one and go hiking! Feel nature closely and enjoy every single moment of your life!

About Nathan Mattingly

My name is Nathan Mattingly, and I specialize in writing about optics, including binoculars, spotting scopes, monoculars, and rifle scopes. With a passion for the outdoors, I have developed a deep understanding of these products and their technical aspects. I excel at explaining complex concepts in a way that is easy for readers of all levels of experience to understand. Trust me to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information available to help you make informed decisions.

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