The Best Binoculars Under 50 Dollars in 2021

Mark Porter

Table of Contents

Every outdoor-oriented family has been there—cringing at the prices of binoculars—thinking, “How will we afford a pair for everyone?” Well, it’s because you’re looking in the wrong section.

Here’s the thing: 

Like most things, binoculars come in different shapes and prices. The midrange section costs hundreds of dollars a pop, and if you don’t have that kind of money to throw around, you should be researching the best binoculars under 50 dollars.

Here’s a selection of the best binoculars under 50 dollars:

The Best Binoculars Under 50 Dollars in 2021 infographic

Who Is This Guide For?

This buying guide will work for anyone interested in viewing things from a distance. That includes beginner birders, hikers, hunters, and sports fans who enjoy watching games in an arena.

We have a lot of birding-oriented binos on this list, and the reason is simple: most binoculars that work for birders will be great for everyone across the board.

In fact, birders are the driving force behind the outdoor optics industry; they want binoculars that can zoom in on a scissor-tail flycatcher from 1000 yards out and still be affordable. The industry has stood up to the challenge. You can now get good cheap binoculars that can work for sports fans, birders, and hunters who are on a budget.

Of course, there are many clunkers in the cheap binoculars section. That’s why we put together this buying guide with the best binoculars under 50 dollars. You might not get the best field of view or the most powerful objective lens, but you can expect modest performance in a neat package.

Reviews of the Best Binoculars Under 50 Dollars

We have done all the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to scour the internet looking for binos under 50. Our top pick is the AOPFGN 20X50 Adult Binoculars, but we have also included quite a few alternatives just in case.

1. Best Binoculars Under 50

AOPFGN promises affordable, fully multi-coated bak4 prisms in a waterproof case, and they have delivered. The 20X magnification paired with a 42-millimeter objective lens allows a decent field of view for objects at 1000 yards or more. That makes them perfect for distant bird watching and other outdoor activities.

The rugged rubber armor on the device creates an anti-slip grip, which comes in handy when hiking or birding in wet conditions. However, you cannot use the binos in heavy rainfall nor submerge them in water. The protection is only enough to keep light showers and fog out.

All things considered, this pair offers a visual “bang” for your buck.


  • High-power binoculars.
  • Durable. 
  • Waterproof and fog-proof.
  • Low-light vision.


  • Best suited for adults.
  • The magnification might not be as advertised.

2. Best Low-Light Binoculars

While the 10X magnification on the SkyGenius binoculars might seem conservative, they’re undoubtedly impressive. The clarity on this pair rivals that of high-end binos, thanks to the generous 50-millimeter objective lens that covers over 300 feet in one scene. That makes them one of the best binoculars for hunting, birding, and other outdoor activities.

The multilayered aspherical lenses allow excellent light transmission during low light conditions. That means you can bring this pair of binoculars to concerts or do a bit of moon gazing when the conditions are right. It’s also worth noting that these binos will not work in complete darkness.

The durability of this device is also impressive. People have dropped it on several occasions and come out with minor scuffs at worst. The polycarbonate case on this pair is virtually bulletproof and has odorless rubber armor. That’s not a typical feature combo with binoculars under 50 dollars.


  • Versatile and well suited for wild adventures.
  • Waterproof.
  • Wide field of view.
  • Soft rubber armor.
  • Surprisingly good 10X zoom.


  • Double vision issues.
  • Struggles with low-light vision.

3. Best Focus Knob

The Brigenius 10X50 is a beneficiary of the falling cost of optics manufacturing and treatment. This revolution has allowed makers of binoculars to throw previously high-end parts into cheap binoculars under 50 dollars, and this pair is one of the many beneficiaries. They pack a decent 10X magnification and 50-millimeter objective lens diameter. The result is an astonishing 367 feet (1000 yards)-wide field of view.

The pair features bak4 prisms, aspherical lenses, and full multilayer coatings that guarantee excellent light transmission, clear images, and low-light visibility. They can also handle high humidity, dust, and light showers like a champ. Also, the large center focus knob works reliably for a wide range of depths.


  • Decent 10X magnification.
  • Overall good quality.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • Low-light vision.
  • Wide field of view.


  • Double vision can be an issue.

4. Best Field of View Under 50 Dollars

It’s hard to ignore this high-power pair of binoculars from Rohan when making a list of the best binoculars under 50 dollars. They’re one of the few options in this category with a 50-millimeter objective lens diameter and a 20X magnification. This combination is carefully tailored to produce crisp images from 1000 yards out, complete with a decent field of view.

Thanks to their sturdy polycarbonate build and waterproof properties, these binos pair nicely with hunters and bird watchers. They can also work for sailors who like to scout open waters.

The central focus knob on these binos allows users to change focus, giving them much-needed convenience easily. Unfortunately, this device’s low-light capabilities leave a lot to be desired, but they’re mountable and come with a free case.


  • Tripod mountable.
  • Comes with a case.
  • Multi-coated optics.
  • Waterproof and fog-proof.


  • Not the lightest pair of binoculars on this list.
  • Some users say they come with a strong chemical smell.

5. Best Build Quality

Occer makes some of the best compact binoculars under 50 dollars, and the 12X25 is an excellent example of that. They pack 25-millimeter objective lenses with a field of view that rivals some of the most expensive options. And, they’re small enough to slip into a purse or fit in a child’s hand.

The rubber eyepieces on these binos slide off to accommodate eyeglass wearers. They also have decent eye relief and large eyepieces that allow people with glasses to get decent pictures. That, combined with their compact and durable build, makes these binos perfect for birding, sports, and other outdoor activities.


  • Clear images from 1000 yards out.
  • Compact binoculars.
  • Built with high-quality materials.
  • Easy to use.


  • Users say this device doesn’t work well in low light, despite having “night vision” claims on the box.

6. Best Compact Binoculars Under 50 Dollars

This is another pair of good cheap binoculars that work great and pack a ton of features. They can withstand most weather conditions while maintaining excellent picture quality, making them a great option for birders and sports fans who like going to arenas.

The Aurosports binoculars feature bak4 prisms, which produce satisfactory images. You get a truer round exit pupil, which means better edge-to-edge sharpness in good lighting conditions. 

Add that to the large field of view on these puppies, and you’ll see why they make an excellent option for tracking large bird colonies without messing with the focus knob too much. Think of them as one of the best binoculars under 50 dollars.


  • Compact binoculars.
  • Works for adults and kids.
  • Decent picture quality.
  • Respectable eye relief.


  • Poor build quality.
  • No low-light vision.

7. Best Magnification

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These 20X50 binoculars from Stilnend feature a 20X magnification and  50-millimeter objective lens diameter—a combination that most manufacturers don’t offer at this price. With this setup, you get bright and sharp images from 1000 yards away without compromising on colors. 

The twist-up eyecups accommodate eyeglasses surprisingly well, and the decent-quality strap makes it easier to carry the binoculars. Factor in the durable rubber armor, and you’ll see why this device earned a spot on this list.


  • Rugged rubber and leather armor.
  • Versatile and easy to use.
  • Modest price.
  • Generous 20X zoom.
  • 2-year warranty.


  • Bulkier than most options on this list.
  • Some users say the magnification is not 20X.

8. Best Full-Size Binoculars Under 50 Dollars

This low-cost pair of binoculars from Liangzai might be new in the market, but they have proved to be a quality product in a tiny package. 

This piece sports 42-millimeter objective lenses and 10X magnification capable of producing a 303 feet (1000 yards) field of view. They might not be the ultimate setup for serious birding or stargazing, but they’re an inexpensive option that will get the job done.

The lenses on these puppies deliver up to 99.5 percent light transmission, which guarantees low-light vision and brighter images during the day. You can use them with or without glasses, and the nitrogen and O-ring keep out the moisture and dust to facilitate clear vision at all times. That, combined with the lightweight construction and stylish design, makes these binos an excellent option for outdoor sports and daytime concerts.


  • Full-size binoculars.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • Cleaning cloth included.
  • High-quality neck-strap and bag.
  • Lens covers.


  • Picture quality is not the best.

9. Best Lightweight Binoculars Under 50 Dollars

These lightweight binoculars can fit in your palm and are totally worth the small weight they add to your language. The 12X magnification and 25-millimeter objective lens diameter produce a 126-feet (1000-yard) field view. That means you can bring these beauties to a concert or birding trip and have a similar experience with someone with a bigger pair.

Users can easily adjust the focus using the smooth central knob and right eye lens to switch between near and far objects. That makes them perfect for operas, arenas, and hiking trips. They also fold at the center to allow adult and child use without causing eye strain. Hang them around your neck or throw them in a backpack, and you will never know they’re there.


  • Small and light.
  • Clear images.
  • Easy focus.
  • Strap and bag.


  • Night vision is not as advertised.
  • The design might not suit everyone’s taste.

10. Best Waterproof Binoculars Under 50 Dollars

No products found.

If you’re on a tight budget and willing to soak in a smaller scene at a time, try the SGODDE 10X25 binos. 

They’re one of the best binoculars under 50 dollars, with decent low-light vision, solid build, and anti-slip rubber coating. The lenses are both bak4 prisms with 99.5 percent light transmittance; that translates to better quality images, even in low-light conditions.

This pair might not be the binoculars of your dreams, but they can be a great choice for people looking to have a spontaneous bird-watching adventure. The durable rubber armor protects these binos from minor falls, and the lightweight build makes them painless to carry around. Use them for hunting, skiing, bird watching, outdoor sports, and more.


  • Rubber armor.
  • Compact and easy to carry.
  • Works for children and adults. 


  • Not the sharpest images.

How We Made This List

You might be wondering:

How did they arrive at these options? Why can’t I see a review on model X?

Well, the answer is simple. Too much choice is not always a good thing. That’s why we narrowed the list down to the best-rated binos on the market right now. We have hands-on experience with some of these binos, and we also got a little help from birders in our circle.

Then there’s the issue of pricing; this guide has to stay under 50 dollars to remain relevant. That’s why you don’t see some of the big names in the optics space. The idea is to help people get into outdoor optics by introducing them to the best binos under 50 dollars.

How To Choose the Best Binoculars Under 50 Dollars

Man using hunting binoculars

You’re probably overwhelmed by all the options listed above, and that’s perfectly normal. We used enough optic jargon to confuse even the most experienced outdoor enthusiast. That’s why we added this section to help you find the best binoculars for your situation.

Whether you’re looking for entry-level birding binoculars or professional level stargazers, we’ve got you covered.

Pick Optics That You’ll Love

You probably know optics are the heart of every pair of binoculars you’ve ever seen. Think of them as the part that determines the final price of a pair and its application.

Here are some of the things you should know about optics:


Looking back at the reviews, you’ll find lots of figures such as 7X42. The 7X implies the binoculars can make an object seven times bigger than it looks from a distance; the 42 is the objective lens diameter (more on that later.)

Choosing between 8X, 10X, or 20X is purely a personal choice. 8X gives a bright, wide image, while the 10X and 20X translate to a narrower field of view, darker images in low-light, and a noticeable handshake. That makes 8X a better choice for people looking to view a bigger scene at a time. The 10X and 20X are better choices for distant viewing.

Objective Diameter

The second number in the binoculars description represents the size of the objective lens. And it’s the part that determines how far the binos can zoom in and the level of picture sharpness they can achieve. Bigger lenses will work better in low-light conditions and are commonly found in high-end pairs.

Field of View

Simply put, the field of view is the scene you can see at any given time. And it’s inversely related to the magnification. 

Higher magnification means a smaller field of view, and the opposite is true. That means you will have a harder time following a herd of wild beasts with a 20X unless you’re trying to count the beasts. You will have a better experience with an 8X on that safari.

Look Through the Reviews

With the technical jargon out of the way, you’re ready to start looking at reviews. For example, if you have settled on a 10X50, start looking at reviews of binoculars in your price range. However, don’t be afraid to look above and below your range. You’ll be surprised at how budget binos compare to midrange pairs.

It would also be a good idea to ask for recommendations in birding forums. Most people in these online gatherings have extensive experience with optics and are more than willing to help. Others might not be experts, but they might have hands-on experience with a product you have in mind.

During this research phase, look for the best image quality you can find within your budget. How sharp is the image? How bright is the image in low-light? All of these are questions you should answer before settling for an option. Generally, stay away from binoculars with objective lenses smaller than 30 millimeters.

Check the Eye Relief

Most binoculars under 50 dollars come with retractable eyecups designed to accommodate eyeglasses or provide shade for those without. The idea is to find binoculars with durable eyecups that come off easily, especially if you wear glasses outdoors. You also want an option that offers longer eye relief. Think of it as the only way to get rid of the black rings on your images.

Build Quality

Most binoculars under 50 dollars have impressive specs but fall short in the build quality department. Some manufacturers use low-quality plastic that will break after a good fall, especially with kids in the picture. You may also want to go with a waterproof option that comes with rubber armor and lens protectors. This setup protects your binos from damage after impact, and settling for anything less could end in regret.


What Is the Best Magnification for Binoculars?

Binoculars in the 7X to 10X range should be fine for most applications. The lower you go with the magnification, the bigger the field of view. The 10X will bring in pictures from longer distances than the 7X, but you have to compromise on the field of view. A 10X pair works great for a birder, while a 7X will be a perfect hunting partner.

How Far Can 10X50 Binoculars See?

In all honesty, there’s no precise answer to this question. But it’s safe to assume your pair can extend your sight 10 times. Most people can see 30 miles while out at sea, and these binos can theoretically do 10X that to bring in pictures from 300 miles away. This assumes that you’re standing on a huge ship that floats hundreds of feet above the waterline.

High levels of magnification also come with disadvantages. A sneeze or cough can throw off your aim, and it’s surprisingly hard to re-aim because of the small field of view. That’s why you shouldn’t go for the highest magnification on the shelf, especially if you’re a beginner. It would be better to start with a 7X or 8X pair instead.

Which Is Better, 10X42 vs. 10X50?

More light means brighter and clearer pictures, and that’s why the 10X50 might be a better option for people looking to use a pair in low-light conditions. But that doesn’t mean every 10X50 is better than all 10X42s out there. The picture quality depends on the materials used to build the instrument.

If size is a determining factor, you might want to know that the 10X50 is slightly bigger and heavier than the 10X42. The objective lens on the 50-millimeter binoculars is 8 millimeters larger than the 42 binoculars.

Everything considered, the 10X50 can be a better option for hunters, while the 10X42 is an excellent birding instrument. The trick is to get binos with decent quality glass in them.

Can You Use Binoculars for Planet Viewing?

A pair of binoculars is not the best tool for this task, but they can work for specific situations. A telescope is often the most preferred instrument for planet viewing as it shows more detail. Still, binoculars have their place in planet viewing.

Planet binoculars, such as the 15X70, will allow users to view Jupiter and the Earth’s moon with reasonably good detail. You can also see Jupiter’s moons, which seem to disappear when passing through Jupiter’s shadow or behind it.

Saturn is also visible with the right equipment. But you will need binoculars with a 60-millimeter aperture to see all the details. However, you might miss the rings as they’re only visible when the angle is in your favor.

What Is the Highest Magnification of Distance Binoculars?

The Nikon 8252 Aculon A211 10-22X50 is one of the most powerful binoculars on the market right now. They give users the option to zoom between 10X and 22X on a 50-millimeter lens. They achieve this by allowing users to change the magnification using the central focus knob and eyepiece-zoom.

These binos are surprisingly light, ergonomic and the multi-coated eco glass produces bright pictures in most lighting conditions. Focusing on high magnification can be challenging, but they come with a tripod that makes things easier.

Are Expensive Binoculars Worth It?

Maybe. It depends on the intended use and the choice you make. Prices can go up to 2500 dollars apiece for high-end pairs from big brands. At this price, you’re paying for high-quality materials, a warranty, and the feeling that comes with having a Carl Zeiss logo on your binos.

If you only use binoculars for recreational purposes, buying 1000-dollar binos would be a waste of money. You’re better off going with a cheaper alternative that will get you a decent picture.

Still, some people need a good pair of binoculars for their day job. And this is the only situation when buying an expensive pair makes sense. Most of these instruments come with a lifetime guarantee, and you get a highly durable set that you can depend on.

Does Wearing Glasses Affect the Picture Quality?

Many binos makers don’t include a user manual with their products. Maybe it’s because they think you will get the hang of it on your own, or they want you to look for info elsewhere. This minor issue affects people with eyeglasses. They usually have to make significant adjustments to the instrument before using it, with zero instructions.

Few people will tell you this, but removing the eyecups from binoculars affects performance. These rubber cups are supposed to put your eyes at the proper distance from the lens. Removing them means letting in perpetual light that reduces the image quality.

However, you can tweak the barrel position to match the distance between your eyes. The idea is to get a solid image on both sides. You can also change the diopter to allow eyeglass usage with no eye strain.


The AOPFGN 20X50 Adult Binoculars are the closest you can get to all-around binoculars under 50 dollars. And the build on these beauties is surprisingly good for their price. You get lightweight binos with an honest 20X magnification and 50-millimeter objective lens, making them a perfect instrument for beginner birding, concerts, and other outdoor activities.

The SkyGenius 10X50 Adult Binoculars are also a solid option for people who want to look beyond Earth. This little pair will pull images of the moon’s surface, and they weigh close to nothing. That makes them one of the best binoculars under 50 dollars for hiking trips and stargazing.

Generally speaking, all the binoculars reviewed in this post are worth your time and money. You just need to find the option that works for you and have a go at it.

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