If you want to get binoculars for birding, hunting or watching what your neighbours are up to (just joking!), but don’t have a lot of cash to spare, we’ll show you what budget binoculars offer excellent bang for your buck and that will provide amazing views for an extremely reasonable amount of money.

How much should I pay for budget binoculars?

Budget binoculars can be found from as little as $30 to around $120. But it’s not always the case that cheaper means inferior quality. In fact, one of the best cheap birding and hunting binoculars we’ve reviewed is below $50 at the moment of writing this article. Ridiculous price considering the quality of the binocular. You’ll find out which model we’re talking about by scrolling down.

What magnification do I need?

It all depends on what you’re going to use them for and your personal preferences: Larger models (over 10x) are suitable for those who will mostly use them in nature because they provide high magnifications needed for observing birds or other wildlife without scaring them away. Smaller models (10x or less) are recommended for watching sports events, concerts or anything else you’ll want to see in detail.

How did we choose the best budget binoculars for 2022?

There are loads of cheap binoculars available, so choosing only seven wasn’t easy. In the end, the choice came down to the relationship between price and quality.

We are more than happy to report that you CAN get a reliable model for under $100. 

The list is sorted by price – the pricier models are at the top, the cheaper ones at the bottom. Also, let me tell you this – all of the binoculars on this list are great. You just have to choose one according to what you are going to use it for.

So, without further ado, let’s get to our list. These are the best budget binoculars for 2022:

Athlon Optics Neos G2 HD 10x42mm Roof Prism Binoculars 116009

Bushnell Legacy WP 10x50mm Porro Prism Binoculars 120150

Vortex Raptor 10x32mm Porro Prism Binoculars R310

Bushnell 12X50 Spectator Sport Porro Permafocus Binoculars BS11250

Sightron SI Series 8x32mm Roof Prism Binocular 30004

Bushnell Powerview 12x50mm Porro Prism Binoculars 131250

Celestron UpClose G2 10×50 Binoculars 71256

Athlon Optics Neos G2 HD 10x42mm Roof Prism Binoculars 116009

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Athlon Optics is a relatively new player in the binocular and spotting scope industry and we’ve tested their Neos series in the past. We were pleasantly surprised with how well it performed for such a reasonable price. The HD line of optics provides more enhanced resolution, contrast, color fidelity across its 42mm objective lenses. It’s waterproof, fogproof, and an all-around durable model.

We would recommend this binocular for those who want to use it mainly for nature viewing and birding as they provide a wide field of view and a decent 10x magnification, which will easily be enough for even the most demanding nature enthusiast.

Bushnell Legacy WP 10x50mm Porro Prism Binoculars 120150

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The Bushnell Legacy WP is the best budget binocular for hunting because it uses extra-low dispersion glass which provides exceptionally bright, sharp images. 

The lenses are multi-coated to reduce glare and reflections off of light sources or water. The focus knob allows for quick adjustments.

Bushnell is known to be a pretty solid brand in spotting scopes, rifle scopes and now birding optics too. And this model is one of their most inexpensive outdoor binoculars that provide high magnification (12x), large objective lenses (50mm), and rubberized armor coating which makes them very durable. That said, these binoculars are not recommended for those who wear glasses!

Vortex Raptor 10x32mm Porro Prism Binoculars R310

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Vortex is a top US optics company that provides some of the best budget binoculars for birdwatching and hunting. The Vortex Raptor HD 10x32mm offers HD (High Density) extra-low dispersion glass which provides excellent resolution, contrast, and color fidelity to make sure you enjoy every moment spent outside spotting wild birds or watching flocks performing their acrobatics during migration season.

It’s also waterproof and fogproof, has an outstanding field of view, comes with a lifetime warranty (which means that if they break down after the first few years of use, Vortex will replace them).

They’re lightweight, but not compact enough to be carried around all day.

All things considered, we would recommend these budget binoculars to people who want to use them mainly for hunting, birdwatching, and other outdoor activities like hiking or traveling.

Bushnell 12X50 Spectator Sport Porro Permafocus Binoculars BS11250

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This model is specifically designed for watching sports events, concerts, or anything else that’ll happen in front of you and not moving away. The magnification power allows for a good detailed view but it’s not as powerful as other models we’ve reviewed (like the Athlon Optics Neos HD) so it’s not ideal for wildlife viewing.

It also doesn’t provide ED glass lenses, but it does include some other useful features such as BAK4 roof prisms and what Bushnell calls a PermaFocus system that eliminates the need for refocusing during observation. 

It’s waterproof, fogproof, and provides a more than decent view for watching concerts or football.

So, next time you are at a Rolling Stones concert, pull this baby out and try counting the wrinkles on Mick Jagger’s face!

Sightron SI Series 8x32mm Roof Prism Binocular 30004

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The Sightron SI Series is the best high-end budget binoculars for birdwatching. It’s compact and lightweight, provides a wide field of view and offers great sharpness and clarity to let you spot birds from a distance. They’re water and fog proof and won’t lose adjustments due to temperature changes (all important things when hunting).

All in all, we would recommend these binoculars if your main activity is birding or wildlife watching since it provides an exceptional performance for such a low price.

Bushnell Powerview 12x50mm Porro Prism Binoculars 131250

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Another budget binocular by Bushnell that provides high magnification, large objective lenses, and decent light gathering capabilities. It’s not recommended for people who wear glasses but if you are after a pair of the best binoculars for hunting or birdwatching without breaking your bank, this model should be one to consider.

Bushnell Powerview uses multi-coating to reduce glare and reflections off of light sources or water while extra-low dispersion glass offers sharp images with great contrast. The twist-up eyecups are also very useful since they ensure long eye relief which is especially important for hunters who want to use their optics in various situations (with earmuffs on, caps, etc.)

Celestron UpClose G2 10×50 Binoculars 71256

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This classic model from Celestron is a solid choice for birdwatching and hunting. It offers great magnification which makes it perfect for spotting small details of objects far away, while the 50mm objectives provide decent light gathering capabilities. The optics are fully multi-coated to reduce reflections from glares, but the lenses don’t include any phase correction coatings so images will be a bit darker than what you get with better binoculars.

It’s not recommended for people who wear glasses since the eye relief is short and it doesn’t have twist-up eyecups. However, if you need a good pair of budget binoculars that’ll perform well in various weather conditions while providing clear sharp images, this one should fit perfectly into your needs.

I hope this review has been useful for helping you make your decision about what to buy and how much it will cost, as well as what features are most important to consider when making such an investment. Thank you so much for reading!

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