Exciting Outdoor Adventures With The Best Binoculars Under 500

Mark Porter

Table of Contents

If you’re reading this, you’re either a wildlife field worker, an avid birder, or a licensed hunter, just to mention but a few.

No matter your reason for using binoculars, there’s no need to go wild and break the bank. With the best binoculars under 500, you’ll find one that’s high-quality and offers excellent performance.

If you’re in a hurry to find the top product, we recommend the Gosky Roof Prism Binoculars

Alternatively, here’s a list of the best binoculars under 500 right now:

Before we go deep into these products in detail, check out our guide below to help find the best for you.

Best Binoculars Under 500 infographic

What Sets the Best Binoculars Under 500 Apart?

Here are several aspects you should consider when checking our detailed reviews below:


Magnification is shown as two numbers. Using a 10×50 magnification as an example, the numbers indicate as follows:

  • 10: The first number is the binocular’s magnification level, which tells you how closely you’ll observe the object. This means the object will appear 10 times closer.
  • 50: The second number (50) represents the objective lens diameter in millimeters.

While you may be tempted to go for a binocular with higher magnification, it does come with several disadvantages.

An increase in magnification narrows your field of view, making it hard to stabilize or focus on the image. If you go for a magnification higher than 10, you’ll also need a monopod or tripod, as the binocular will be too heavy.

On the other hand, if the objective lens increases, you get more light and a brighter image. Smaller objective lens sizes are better for activities that require low light, but they tend to make the binoculars heavier and bigger.

For binoculars under 500, settle for a magnification between 7 to 12, as it won’t only make your image brighter; it’ll also widen your field of view. This makes it easier to locate your target and follow its every movement.

Each of the reviewed products below have a magnification that’s between 10 to 12, which is sufficient magnification for any outdoor activity.

Anti-Reflective/Anti-Glare Coating

There’s nothing more annoying than glare when using binoculars. It’s not only uncomfortable; it also makes your outdoor experiences distasteful.

The difference between regular binoculars and high-quality binoculars under 500 is the ability to get the light from the object back to your eyes.

Unlike regular binoculars, many models we’ve featured have coated lenses that help eliminate or mitigate glare. Anti-reflective/anti-glare coating improves the image quality, as it minimizes the bouncing of light around the optic’s interior.

There are five types of anti-glare coating

  • Phase coating.
  • Fully multi-coated.
  • Multi-coated.
  • Fully coated. 
  • Coated. 

The best anti-glare coating for hunting or birding activities is phase coating. While all anti-glare coatings do a sufficient job, phase coating does more. It significantly reduces the sharpness and brightness of the image. 

The Gosky Roof Prism takes the day, with the type of anti-glare coating it offers.

Field of View

Your field of view (FOV) determines the image width, making it easy to see a wide area, despite the distance. 

Determining your FOV depends on the magnification. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the binocular’s magnification, the less your field of view.

An increase in magnification power ends up shrinking your target area. The more your field of view, the easier it gets to spot animals without moving your binoculars or scanning. 

Eye Relief

Eye relief is important since it aids those who wear glasses.

The average eye relief distance between your eyeball and eyepiece lens is between 5 to 20mm.

Long eye relief of around 20 to 24mm is perfect for people who wear glasses, as they get to use binos comfortably without placing their eyes directly on the eyepiece.

For people who don’t wear glasses, you can settle for a short eye relief of less than 13mm. 

Of the five binoculars in the review, the Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 has an eye relief of 19.5mm, which is perfect for people who wear glasses.

Water and Fog-Resistant

Spending time outdoors means that you’ll want to have items that are compatible with any weather condition, including your binoculars. Therefore, make sure you go for waterproof and fog-resistant binoculars. 

This feature prevents water and blocks debris and dust from entering the binocular’s interior, especially in dusty environments. It also ensures that no mold and fungus grow inside your binoculars.

Reviews Of The Best Binoculars Under 500

1. Best Binoculars Under 500 Dollars

Unlike regular binoculars, these Gosky binoculars come with a smartphone mount that makes it easy to see an image with your phone using its focus. The best part is that the mount is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

It also has a 10×42 magnification, making it perfect for hunting, birding, watching outdoor sports events and hiking and the best 10×42 binoculars under 500 dollars. Even so, note that some customers find them a little bulky.

The magnification combines well with the compact roof prism design that closely overlaps and enables the objective lenses to perfectly line up with the binocular’s eyepieces. According to customers, the roof prism also gives the binoculars a slim and streamlined shape, making them less bulky.

Another notable feature is the binocular’s thick rubber armor coating that helps insulate and protect it against fall. It also comes with a shock-absorbing case for an extra layer of protection whenever you go hiking.

For added accessories, you get a carrying case, cleaning cloth, neck strap and rubber lens covers, providing excellent value for money.

One downside is that customers note it isn’t waterproof, meaning you have to be careful when using it in inclement weather.


  • Good magnification.
  • Excellent accessories.
  • Multi-coated lenses.
  • Shock-absorbing case.


  • A little bulky.
  • Not waterproof.

2. Best Binoculars for Hunting Under 500 Dollars

The Bushnell 234208C binoculars feature a compact Porro prism design, which provides a greater field depth and a wider field of view, making them excellent for hunters.

With a wider field of view, users could easily spot animals without having to move or scan your binoculars. Customers also claimed they could follow the animal’s movements further within the binocular’s circular frame of vision without shifting.

It also has a 10×42 magnification for a clear image view. Complementing this magnification is its 15.2mm eye relief, making the binoculars accommodating to most glass wearers. 

Another notable feature is its O-ring sealed and nitrogen-purged optics that ensure the binoculars can withstand any weather conditions. Customers found that this feature makes the binoculars fog and water-resistant.

It also comes with a harness accessory that keeps the binoculars’ weight off your neck and keeps the optics front and center. Other included accessories are lens covers, a neck strap and a carrying case, all of which help protect the binoculars and make them easier to carry.

Despite the incredible features it offers, customers claim that this binocular is heavy and bulky, which is a disadvantage when using it for a longer duration. However, the harness accessory can help offset the weight and make them easier to handle.


  • Ideal for hunting/observation.
  • 100% waterproof and fog-proof.
  • Wide field of view.
  • Good magnification.


  • Heavy and bulky.

3. Best 8×42 Binoculars Under 500 Dollars

For over a decade, Nikon has established itself as a go-to for all optics and imaging products, with the Nikon Monarch 5 binoculars holding up the reputation.

Weighing in at 2.16 ounces, this pair is extremely lightweight, with customers claiming they could hold them for long durations without getting tired, making it great for hunters on long trips. It’s also equipped with user-friendly features, like turn-and-slide rubber eyecups with three extendable positions. 

The eyecups’ three extendable positions help position your eyelids and exclude extra sidelight. Other notable user-friendly features are its flip-down lens caps and focus knob. The flip-down lens caps protect the lens from external damage, while the focus knob helps give you a sharper and clearer image.

If you wear glasses, you’ll certainly appreciate the 19.5mm eye relief this binocular offers. With such eye relief, even glasses-wearers can enjoy the whole field of view. 

Another stand-out feature is its fully multi-coated eco-glass lenses, which prevent scattering and light reflection. These minimize light loss and boost your image contrast, resulting in a clearer view.

You also don’t have to worry about using these binoculars in extreme weather conditions, as they’re waterproof and fog-proof. It also has a rubber-armored body that not only protects its interior but also increases durability.  

Despite all its strengths, the Nikon 7577 has a ⅛-inch gap between the cap and lens. According to customers, this gap causes the lens cap to fall off, especially when going through tall grasses and brushes.


  • Water and fog-proof.
  • User-friendly.
  • Lightweight.
  • Fully multi-coated lenses.


  • Lens cap can fall off.

4. Best Binoculars for Birding Under 500 Dollars

With a magnification of 10×42, a FOV of 345 feet/1,000 yards, and an objective lens of 42mm in diameter, you’re guaranteed high-quality image viewing while out hunting, birdwatching or hiking with the Vortex Optics Diamondback.

It also has a roof prism design, making it lightweight and well-balanced. This design makes it easy for anyone to handle the binoculars without tiring extensively.

Further notable features are the multi-coated optics and phase-corrected prisms, which give you a brighter and clearer image even in low-light conditions.

This Vortex pair also has a soft rubber rain guard that offers protection against fog and water. Customers say how the guard is easy to hold even when your hands are cold and wet, which is perfect for the chilly migratory bird counts and hunting expeditions during autumn.

Also, its 16mm eye relief is perfect for most eyeglass wearers, while accessories include a tethered objective lens, a neck strap for your comfort and a carry case.

If you struggle with fiddly mechanics, you may struggle with this pair since customers mention how it can be difficult to refocus.


  • Soft rubber rain guard.
  • Roof prism design.
  • Good magnification.
  • Comes with several accessories.


  • Focus doesn’t realign easily.

5. Best Low Light Binoculars Under 500 Dollars

Compared to what’s in the market today, the Canon Image Stabilization uses an optical stabilization technology that helps guarantee your image is clear, sharp and stable. However, for this functionality to work, you need to use more of the binocular’s battery life.

Unlike other Canon binoculars, the manufacturer has made adjustments to the battery by improving its battery consumption and power efficiency. Even while using the image stabilization technology, customers claimed to get approximately nine hours of use before replacing the batteries.

Another notable feature is the 12×36 magnification and 36mm objective lenses that make outdoor activities enjoyable even in sunny environments. This combines well with the Porro II prism design, making the binoculars more compact and easy to carry. According to customer reviews, the Porro II design also gives a sharp and clear image, even in bad weather.

Also note that the lenses have a flattening design, reducing image fuzziness and making them clearer.

One notable letdown is its rubber coating, though. Customers mention how the rubber coating is gooey and comes off on the hands and clothes. Its control buttons also tend to jam up a lot, making it difficult to operate.


  • Uses image stabilization technology.
  • 5mm eye relief.
  • Maximum magnification.
  • Porro II prism design.


  • Gooey rubber coating.
  • Jammed-up control button.
Binocular over a map

Enjoy Your Outdoor Adventures

The Best Binoculars Under 500 should be functional and come with many features that make your outdoor adventures exciting.

While our picks were all-sufficient, the Gosky Roof Prism Binoculars pair stands out here. It’s not only the best overall but is also one of the best waterproof binoculars under 500 dollars. On top of the excellent magnification, it comes with a smartphone mount that’s iOS and Android compatible.

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