Best Binoculars Under $400

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Shopping for binoculars with a $400 budget, here are some of the best binoculars for you.

Over the years, one of the biggest life lessons brought forth courtesy of adulting is budgeting and being able to find the best of what you need within that budget. It’s tough, though, and there are times when you will find yourself betraying your budget and yourself because you just saw something you cannot pass on. As a hunting enthusiast, you know all too well what I’m talking about, given the very wide variety of what would be the best hunting binoculars. Some of the optics you sport inexpensive binoculars would easily make you squeal with excitement, and this often means not sticking to budgets.

However, that doesn’t have to be the case, because in as much the high-priced binoculars from reputable brands are regarded as the absolute best, you can still find binoculars with excellent optical features (and great performance) without breaking the bank.

To end your search and save you some bucks, below is a list of some of the best binoculars under $400.

Comparison of the best Binoculars under $400

Best Binoculars Under $400
Best for
Mag/Obj Lens Diameter
Exit Pupil
Eye Relief
Price
Vortex Optics 10×42 Diamondback HD Binoculars
Best Overall Binoculars
10×42
4.2mm
15mm
Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10×42 Binoculars
Best Optical Features and ED Glass
10×42
4.2mm
18.4mm
Steiner Marine Binoculars for Adults and Kids
Most Versatile Binoculars
7×50
7.1mm
20mm
Bushnell Legend L-Series 10x42mm Binoculars
Best Value for Money
10×42
4.2mm
18mm
Vortex Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars
Affordable, High-Performance Binoculars
10×42
4.2mm
15.2mm
Nikon 16002 PROSTAFF 7S 8×42 Inches Binoculars
Best All-Terrain Binoculars
8×42
5.25mm
19.5mm

Reviews of the best Binoculars under $400

  1. Vortex Optics 10×42 Diamondback HD Binoculars – Best Overall Binoculars

First on our list is this pair of Vortex Optics Diamondback HD binoculars, a high-quality hunting optics device with an impressive high-definition optical system featuring a 10x magnification lens and a wide objective lens diameter of 42mm, as well as a 5ft close-focus.

It is a very versatile optics ideal for hunting, bird watching, wildlife watching, hiking, etc., and the best part is that it comes with a Vortex GlassPak harness, which allows for comfortable use for hours of hunting or observation.

Some of the best optical features of the binoculars include the HD optical system that renders high-quality images with minimal chromatic aberrations, hence exceptional color contrast and edge-to-edge sharpness. It also sports ultra-HD glass, XR-Plus lens coatings, a dielectric coating, as well as phase-corrected coating for the roof prisms. These features, along with the index-matched lens configuration, ensure excellent optical performance by allowing for optimum light transmission. The lenses are not only multicoated, but also protected from oil, scratches, and dust by the robust ArmorTek lens coatings on the exterior.

The other features that improve its optical performance include the fully multicoated lenses that increase its clarity, light transmission, and image brightness, the 330ft field of view at 1000 yards, a 63degrees viewing angle, and the 15mm eye relief that enhances comfort for glass wearers. Comfort viewing for glass wearers and persons with wide-set eyes is also possible thanks to the soft-tapered twist-up rubber eyecups, the textured diopter ring for adjustment on the right eyepiece, as well as the adjustable IPD (Interpupillary distance) range of between 53-73mm. It also features a short-hinge bridge, which not only lowers the weight of the binoculars but also exposes more space for easy handling. You may also like the oversized knurled easy-to-use center focusing wheel.

To complement the optical features above and for easy hunting in different conditions, it’s housed in a durable and robust argon-filled and O-ring sealed rubber-armored case. These design features make it non-slip, waterproof, and fog-proof. You can use it on rough terrains, and small falls won’t affect the optics. It also allows for mounting on a tripod.

Pros

  • A remarkable high-definition optical system
  • 63 degrees Wide viewing angle
  • Fully multicoated optics
  • Roof prisms are roof-corrected
  • Easy handling thanks to the focusing center wheel
  • Phase-corrected, dielectric-coated prisms
  • Argon-filled and O-rings sealed optical tubes for water and fog-proofing
  • Durable housing
  • Bright, high-clarity images

Cons

  • Poor quality lens caps
  1. Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10×42 Binoculars – Best Optical Features and ED Glass

One of the things that stands out from the high-end binoculars is the use of ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass for the lenses, a design feature that creates images boasting a high level of clarity and true color thanks to the ED’s glass superior light transmission qualities. And this Nikon piece sports the ED glass, which ensures exceptional image quality. The ED Glass boasts a high anti-reflectivity for clear images. The glass used is also safe, thanks to being arsenic and lead-free.

But this version of the Nikon binoculars, which is an improvement of the Nikon Monarch 3, has a lot more to offer, allowing you to enjoy high-quality images. The other optical features include the fully multicoated lenses and prisms that ensure maximum light transmission, highly reflective dielectric-coated optics, as well as the phase-corrected roof prism that ensures high contrast image colors, bright, crisp, clear, and detailed images. Thanks to the phase-corrected prisms, your images will have minimal color aberrations.

Its optical performance is also taken up a notch by the 10x power magnifications that ensure detailed observations of distant objects, as well as a wide field of view. The field of view and the brightness of the images further results from the 42mm diameter of the objective lens. The wide objective lens enhances its light-gathering abilities, improving image views and quality, even in low light conditions. In combination with the prism and lens coatings, plus the ED glass, these features use the best optical performance.

It also boasts a long eye relief of 18.4mm for comfortable viewing by glass wearers, a comfortable 4.2mm exit pupil for that full view of the scene, and twist-up eyecups for easy use by everyone. If you have slightly wide-set eyes, you may like its interpupillary range of between 56 and 72mm, as well as the right-eye diopter adjustment ring, which compensates for any eye prescriptions. You may also like the simple, stable, and smooth internal focusing mechanism made possible by the closed-bridge configuration. And if you have to keep your gloves on, you can control the focus with ease thanks to the large, slip-center-focus wheel.

Its optical performance is enhanced by the robust construction features. These include the durable reinforced polycarbonate ATB chassis with a rubber armor coating, with palm indents for a non-slip, more secure grip. It also features nitrogen-purged and O-Ring sealed optical tubes that make it waterproof and fog-proof. Thanks to these construction/ design features, you can use the binoculars in extreme weather and harsh environmental conditions.

Pros

  • Tripod-mountable
  • Eco-friendly ED glass
  • Durable, strong, and lightweight reinforced polycarbonate chassis
  • Waterproof and fog-proof
  • Adjustable eyecups with one tethered rainguard
  • Excellent optical features: fully multi-coated prisms and lenses and the phase-corrected coatings
  • Long 18.4mm eye relief

Cons

  • The lens caps are not the best
  1. Steiner Marine Binoculars for Adults and Kids – Most Versatile Binoculars

If you have other hobbies besides hunting, say bird watching, wildlife sightseeing, outdoor sports, hiking, etc., you understand all too well the importance of a good pair of binoculars in your hands. You also know that it’s only logical to get binoculars designed to works across disciplines (your hobbies, in this case). You may also need a piece that your child could use, which is why this Steiner Marine would be an excellent choice for you.

Despite the 7x magnification, which is slightly lower than what you get from most hunting binoculars, it compensates for that small missing piece with its very generous objective lens diameter of 50mm. This wide lens is adequate for you to track game and assess the landscape even in low light conditions because it brings in a lot of might for bright images. It also boasts a wide field of view of 356ft/1000yards. The best part is that these features work together for you to enjoy high-contrast images boasting true-to-color quality. It also sports auto-focus features for the delivery of clean, sharp, and brilliant images in 3D from about 20 yards to infinity.

Thanks to its floating prism system made of flexible silicone mounts for the lens, it is one of the most shock-absorbent binoculars capable of withstanding severe impact, shock, and abuse, without causing damage.

For its high optical performance, you need a durable housing system as housing, and this is where the waterproof, durable, rubber-armored housing comes in. It can withstand use in the harshest conditions, wet, dry, or hot, and the ergonomic, non-slip grip allows comfortable use for hours.

Pros

  • Legendary level of durability
  • Reliable rubber armoring
  • Great focus at all times
  • Exceptional image clarity
  • Weather and waterproof
  • 20mm eye relief
  • BAK4 fully multicoated prisms
  • Excellent light transmission
  • Great value for money
  • Versatile

Cons

  • A little bulky
  1. Bushnell Legend L-Series 10x42mm Binoculars – Best Value for Money

This is the other pair of binoculars designed with the high-quality ED (extra-low dispersion) glass. It boasts impressive optical features and performance, and the best part is that you won’t break the bank to buy it as it is fully within your range.

As a full-featured optic made for hunters and all outdoors lovers/ hobbyists, you are certain that you will be able to enjoy clear, bright, and vivid images, even in low light conditions; the use of ED glass means an almost 100% elimination of any chromatic aberrations as well as color fringing, hence good quality images. Then you have a complete optical system (prisms and lenses) made of fully multicoated layers of highly reflective materials, along with wideband coatings, all ensuring maximum light transmission, as well as the production of bright and very clear images boasting true color features. With these features, you won’t have to worry about image distortion, even in low light or thick bushes. There is also the 65 degrees wide viewing angle, which enhances its performance. The wide viewing angle and the optics translate to an impressive experience with accurate color transmission and the best high-contrast images.

To ensure easy observation outdoors, its housing is built to withstand harsh outdoor conditions. We are talking about the lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant chassis made of a magnesium alloy, as well as the nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed optical tubes that are waterproof and fog-proof. The chassis is rubber armored for shock and scratch-resistance. It also sports a water-repellent rainguard HD for the lenses, hence improved image clarity and viewing vision, whether in rainy, snowy, or foggy conditions.

And thanks to the large knurled-up center focus wheel, you get to enjoy smooth, focusing even with your gloves on. There is also the adjustable diopter ring on the right eyepiece, which locks in place, allowing for easy compensation for optical prescriptions, faster focusing, and the best part is that you won’t have to worry about accidental adjustment because it locks in place.

Pros

  • Exceptional optics
  • Fully multicoated lenses and prisms
  • Excellent color quality, with reduced aberrations
  • Large field of view at 340ft/1000 yards
  • Wide-angle view (65 degrees)
  • Easy handling and focusing
  • 18mm eye relief, with twist-up eyecups
  • Tripod-mountable
  • Durable, robust, lightweight, and reliable
  • Waterproof and fog-proof
  • Nice form factor

Cons

  • Eye caps fall off
  1. Vortex Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars – Affordable, High-Performance Binoculars

Thanks to a good range of optics, this is one of the most powerful binoculars for you, especially if you are shopping on a budget. The 10×42 configuration ensures clear, bright, and high-contrast images, meaning you get to locate, track, and assess objects with ease. It also has a wide field of view, and you will enjoy views up to 325ft at 1000 yards and a 62 degrees viewing angle. The 6ft close-focus distance also makes it great for hunting and all other kinds of observational activities like insects or bird watching.

You may also like it because of the exceptional level of color fidelity, minimum chromatic aberrations, edginess, and bright images, all thanks to the high-definition glass, the index-matched configuration for the lenses, the fully multicoated lenses and prisms, as well as the phase-corrected and the XR Plus high-reflection coating. The 15mm eye relief and the twist-up eyecups further enhance its performance.

The optics are complemented by the rubber-armored housing, and the waterproof/ fog-proof design made possible by the nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed optical tubes.

Pros

  • Great Optics
  • Durable, non-slip grip housing
  • Versatile
  • Easy handling
  • High-quality images
  • Excellent light transmission
  • Large IPD range 58mm – 75mm
  • Soft-tapered twist-up eyecups
  • Waterproof and fog-proof

Cons

  • Precise focusing is extra sensitive
  • Eye relief could be longer
  1. Nikon 16002 PROSTAFF 7S 8×42 Inches Binoculars – Best All-Terrain Binoculars

Last on our list is this powerful pair of binoculars that you can use for hunting, wildlife watching, bird watching, etc., in all kinds of weather and terrains. It’s built for the outdoors thanks to the robust chassis made of reinforced polycarbonate resin for that corrosion-resistant and lightweight build. It also features nitrogen-purged, and O-rings sealed optical tubes, hence the best water and fog-proofed design.

Its optical performance is also top-notch, thanks to features like the 42mm objective lens diameter for a high light gathering ability, hence use in low-light, foggy, and cloudy conditions. The lenses and prisms are arsenic-and-lead free, and fully multicoated for maximum light transmission, and a high level of reflectivity, allowing you to enjoy very clear, detailed, and bright images. The compact roof prisms are phase-corrected for the reduction of color fringing and chromatic aberrations.

You might also like the long 19.5mm eye relief, which makes this an ideal device for glass wearers by reducing strain on the eyes, along with the twist-up rubber eyecups. Also, the 5.3mm exit pupil is comfortable for viewing in low light conditions. And if you have slightly wide-set eyes, the interpupillary range of 56-72mm will make this an excellent option for you. You also get the simple and reliable dioptric adjustment ring on the right eyepiece for compensation, depending on your eye prescription.

Pros

  • Reliable, robust, and durable build
  • Easy handling thanks to the large slip center-focus wheel
  • Long 19.5mm eye relief for glass wearers’ viewing comfort
  • Ideal for use in low light conditions thanks to the 5.3mm exit pupil and 42mm objective lens
  • Large 356ft at 1000 yards field of view
  • High light transmission and good image quality

Cons

  • No phone adapter
  • Some noticeable chromatic aberrations

Buying Guide for the Best Binoculars Under $400

$400 is a lot of money, and though you are shopping on a budget, we wouldn’t want you to suffer any financial loss by buying binoculars whose features fail to match your needs. To safeguard your interests, there are essential features that you must look at, besides the magnification and the diameter of the objective lens. They include:

  • Prism System – whether you buy a 10×42 or an 8×42, you need to look for something with a prism system that ensures that best light transmittance and more compact, small binoculars. To this end, you can choose either the bulkier Porro prism system for less money or the modern, more compact, small, and lighter Roof prisms system and pay a little more. The roof prism system is preferred by most people, and we recommend it too.
  • Coating – the optics will be affected by the material and coating used for the lenses and the prisms. For maximum light transmittance, bright, high-contrast images, opt for the one that’s fully multicoated. Additional features like phase correction coatings ensure the reduction of chromatic aberrations, and this would also be a winning feature for you. Regarding glass for the optics, choose ones with HD or ED (extra-low dispersion) glass.
  • Eye relief – if you wear glasses, you need to be able to see the images comfortably from a distance, and this is possible only with binoculars that boast a long eye relief. Comfort is also enhanced by adjustable/ twist-up eyecups and an adjustable diopterring (right eyepiece) for eye prescription compensation. A good interpupillary range is also crucial.
  • Field of View – this is the maximum distance, left to right, of your scene/ view, as seen at 1000 yards via the binoculars. It’s measured in feet and degrees.
  • Additional features – exit pupil, non-slip ergonomic grip, durability, lightweight design, waterproof, fog-proof, shockproof, close focus, and a smooth focusing wheel.

FAQs

Can I see a space station using binoculars?

Yes. While some people prefer the use of telescopes because it can be hard to see space stations from earth because they move very fast across the sky, high-powered binoculars, say 60x, would allow you to spot a space station.

What does the 10x on binoculars mean, and how far can one see?

The 10x represents the binoculars’ magnification power. 10x means that your binoculars will make the object at a distance up to 10x closer than it really is. So, since you’d normally see objects 12 miles away, the binoculars make it possible for you to see objects at a distance of 120 miles.

What features make the best binoculars for glass wearers?

Look at the eye relief length/ distance as it affects your viewing comfort. Generally, you need long eye-relief binoculars at least 15mm long. You’d also want one with an adjustable right eye (piece) diopter that allows you to adjust sight for each scope individually, and you could even use the binoculars without your eyeglasses.

Conclusion

The binoculars reviewed above are some of our best binoculars under $400. They offer great optical features and performance and offer the best value for your money.

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Terrence Miller
Terrence Miller is a hunter by birth, picking it up from a lineage of hunters and will probably hand the skill down to his son. He has been hunting since he was a young boy and has knowledge of both the new and old hunting equipment. This goes to say that the information provided is very reliable and conclusive. Using the hunting rifles and getting the right hunting gear seems to be a challenge for many individuals who want to learn the skill of hunting. And the reason why the information presented by Miller has detailed coverage on the different types of rifles, and rifle scopes. When not in the wild hunting, Miller loves horseback riding.

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