Compact Binoculars for Hiking, best small binoculars

When outdoors canoeing, hiking, or backpacking a pair of compact binoculars might always be useful to have. The best small binoculars need to be stowed in your pocket or backpack without adding much weight or bulk. There is already enough gear and stuff that you are carrying around for your outdoor activities, such as food provisions, sleeping bag and tent and other camping equipment. Most binocular manufacturers offer different models of compact binoculars, so depending on what your outdoor engagements it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the best small binoculars.

Best compact binoculars for hiking

Wingspan Optics Spectator 8X32 Bird Watching Binoculars

Wingspan Optics specializes in quality bird watching binoculars. The Wingspan Optics Spectator 8X32 Compact Bird Watching Binoculars is a high quality compact binocular that delivers high-resolution images. 100% waterproof due to a Nitrogen filled and sealed, it’s a great indestructible compact binoculars for outdoors


  • Compact outdoor binoculars
  • Magnification 8x, lens diameter 32mm
  • Field of view 362ft/1000 yds
  • Multi-coated lenses, BaK-4 Glass, Roof Prism
  • Nitrogen filled, 100% waterproof
  • Tripod adaptable
  • Neck strap and case included

Bushnell Powerview 8×21 Compact Folding Binocular

One of the bestselling small binoculars, the Bushnell Powerview Compact Binoculars are affordable all-round binoculars. Only 7 ounces light, these binoculars can be carried anywhere you go.  A convenient pair of binoculars at great value for the occasional user.


  • Multi-coated lens optics providing a brighter view
  • Rubber exterior providing grip and shock absorption if accidentally dropped
  • Fold-down eyecups
  • Roof – Prism,  BK-7 Glass
  • Not water/fog proof
  • Neck strap and a carrying case are included

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10×25 Compact Binoculars

Another bestselling compact binocular from Bushnell is the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD. The multi-coated Bushnell ED lenses and Bak 4 Glass prisms of the Legend HD 10×25 provide sharp and crisp images. The housing is Nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed, making the Legend 100% waterproof.

A great pair of binoculars with high-quality optics at an affordable price.


  • High-quality coated optics sharp images
  • ED glass lens
  • BaK-4 roof prisms
  • 10x magnification, 25-millimeter lens
  • RainGuard HD water-repellent lens coating
  • 100% waterproof
  • Twist-up eyecups
  • Neck strap and case included

Merytes 10×25 Portable High Definition and Blue Film Binoculars

The Merytes 10×25 Portable Binoculars is a compact model for the occasional user. A lightweight build of tough aluminum alloy, the Merytes binoculars is small enough to carry everywhere you go.


  • Coated optics for clear and sharp images
  • Low weight under 7 ounces
  • Carrying case and neck strap included
  • Not weatherproof

TERRA ED Pocket 10×25, the best small binoculars

The TERRA ED Pocket 8×25 compact binoculars are high-quality binoculars that provide brilliant color and contrast under any light conditions. Waterproof, robust and reliable the ZEISS Terra line are some of the best binoculars for hunting, bird watching, hiking, and any other outdoor activity.


  • Schott Extra Low-Dispersion Glass
  • Schmidt-Pechan Roof Prism Design
  • Hydrophobic Multi-Coated Optics
  • Glass fiber reinforced housing
  • Non-slip rubber coating
  • Nitrogen filled 100% waterproof

Compact Binoculars Features

By sacrificing some features, compact binoculars are much smaller and lighter than regular binoculars. So even the best small binoculars will not offer the same features. The compact dimensions imply smaller lenses and shorter tubes this will result in lower magnification, smaller field of view and lower twilight performance.  Depending on our budget to spend for the best small binoculars you have to compromise on features and performance.

  • Magnification, that is the 8x…., means how much larger an object appears
  • Lens Diameter, this is …x21 lens diameter in Millimeters. wider lenses allow more magnification and light sensitivity
  • Eye Relief,  the distance between your eyes and the ocular lens
  • Water-resistant or waterproof – prevent inner optics from getting moist and fogged-over
  • Coated lenses – improve image qualities and contrast
  • Low weight – with usually around or just below 10 ounces compact binoculars are lightweight

Advantages of the best small binoculars

  • Fit easily in any bag or pocket
  • Their small size and low weight make them excellent backup binoculars.
  • Suitable for kids – due to their small size and low weight
  • Use them in concerts or in theaters, when far from the stage
  • Compact binoculars can be used at low distances
  • Small compact binoculars can be carried around the neck ready to be used when one must react quickly
  • Your hand will not tire so quickly during long observation

Disadvantages of compact binoculars

  • Magnifications are limited
  • Lower image quality compared to normal binoculars
  • Smaller lens diameter limits the field of view
  • Less twilight performance through smaller objective lens diameter
  • No additional functions, such as image stabilizers, etc.

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