Whether you’re a hunter, bird watcher, or just someone with a healthy sense of curiosity, a good set of 8×32 binoculars can help you get as close to the action as you need to be. The “8×32” references the fact that these goggles can magnify an image up to 8x and have a 32mm lens. That’s not enough to reveal every single feather on a robin, but it should give you an excellent view of your surroundings. The best 8×32 binoculars tend to be smaller and less expensive than some of their more powerful counterparts, so you should be able to carry a pair with you as you stumble along through the wilderness. If you accidentally break them, you won’t have to refinance your home just to replace them. Here are some of the best 8×32 binoculars to consider.
The Best 8×32 Binoculars
This sleek black pair is extremely lightweight and compact, allowing you to slip them in your coat pocket when you go for a hike and barely even notice they’re there. Despite their diminutive size, they pack some serious punch, as they reveal everything in their broad field of view with crystal clarity.
Don’t worry if your palms tend to sweat while you walk either, as the non-slip grip ensures you can easily hold onto them safely. This also allows you to let your kids take a peek, without having your heart in your throat the entire time they’re holding them. If a mishap does happen to occur, the company offers a lifetime warranty against damages.
Comes with nylon mesh carrying case
- BrandWingspan Optics
- Weight15.2 ounces
Ideal for birdwatching
Can be aligned quickly
Lens caps often get in the way
Some shadowing at edges of frame
Hard eyecups may be uncomfortable for some
As you might expect given the name, the Kevenz are extremely compact binoculars, and can fit neatly in the palm of your hand. They also won’t take up much space in your bag or backpack, so you can have room for all your other gear as well.
Despite their diminutive stature, they’re impressively powerful. They have a BAK-4 prism and FMC lens and eyepiece, providing you with a near-HD experience. The field of view is vast as well, so you should be able to see just about anything in front of you with them.
7.2-degree viewing angle
Included neck strap
- Weight1.06 pounds
Good starter pair for kids
Lens caps are attached, so you won’t lose them
Can be focused quickly and easily
Anti-fog function isn’t terribly reliable
Few accessories provided
Made primarily of cheap plastic
This pair has a special ED-glass lens, which helps produce the proper colors on anything you view by reducing fingering and correcting chromatic aberration. The end result is a crisp, clear image, even in less-than-ideal conditions. This makes them a good choice for hunters who don’t let a little foul weather keep them from venturing out to their stands.
They also have a rubberized armor coating, enabling them to withstand a little rough treatment. While we’d never recommend dropping your binoculars, this pair is hardy enough to survive a mishap or two, so you won’t have to treat them with kid gloves while you’re out birding in the field. That does add a bit of heft to them, however.
Waterproof body with O-ring seals
Comes with BinoArmor carrying case
- Weight2.4 pounds
Ideal for low-light conditions
Lots of accessory storage room on case
Ergonomic grips good for arthritis sufferers
On the heavy side
Included neck strap is poor quality
Focus wheel tends to squeak while adjusting
If you enjoy going out in inclement weather, this pair is one you should want to have strapped around your neck. It’s both water- and fog-proof, thanks to its O-ring seals and nitrogen filling.
Bird watchers should be especially keen on this pair, as its lenses have a special emerald coating to draw out the full color spectrum along the green tones. This will make any forest setting truly pop, while giving you the most impressive green shades imaginable.
Three-stage twist-out eyecups
Locking diopter ring
Oversized focus wheel
Extra-low dispersion glass
- ModelEndeavor ED 8320
- Weight1.05 pounds
Open-bridge ergonomic design
Backed by a limited lifetime warranty
Fit well over glasses
On the heavy side
Eyecups let some light in
Take up a lot of space in the bag
With a 420-foot field of view at 1,000 yards, these Sightrons will bring everything in front of you into clearer focus. They also illuminate shadows well, bringing everything into view, even if you’re not in the middle of a clearing.
The optics are multi-coated with BAK-4 phase-coated prisms, ensuring you get the crispest images and sharpest resolution possible. They’re easy to focus in a hurry, so you won’t miss that rare bird because you were struggling to dial them in.
Case and lens covers included
- Weight1.24 pounds
Good at handling glare
Work well for stargazing
Quick and easy to focus
Included lens covers are worthless
Easy to lose focus accidentally
Neck strap is poor quality
This versatile pair is perfectly suitable for professional use, but at a price point that keeps them well within the budget of the average user. It offers clear and precise magnification, with little shaking, so you can see the world around you without getting seasick along the way.
It also boasts a smartphone mount that enables you to attach a compatible phone to the binoculars. This way, you can record what you see, allowing you to play it back again and again once you get home.
Includes cleaning cloth
Compatible with both Android and iPhones
Can be used with tripod
Non-slip rubber coating
- ModelEagleView GOBED001
- Weight1.54 pounds
Good choice for concerts and vacations
Smooth adjustment wheel
Very clear image
Eyepieces can pop off occasionally
Cell phone attachment has a bit of a learning curve
Large and bulky
They look like something you’d see around the neck of a general in battle, and these binoculars might just be rugged enough to survive a war, thanks to their thick rubber armor. They may not win any awards for beauty, but they’re certainly stout enough to handle traipsing through the woods in search of birds or deer.
If you do somehow manage to break them, though, they’re backed by a limited lifetime warranty, so there’s no need to handle them with kid’s gloves (and you can actually let your kids handle them, too). Despite their robustness, they’re still relatively lightweight, so they won’t weigh you down out in the field.
Come with padded case
Roof-prism style construction
Loop on case for easy carrying
- BrandMeade Instruments
- Model125022 Wilderness
- Weight1.1 pounds
Ideal for use in inclement weather
Bright and clear images
Only available in one color
Included accessories are mediocre
Not the most attractive pair
This pair has a 426-foot field of view at 1,000 yards, giving you a wide view of the surrounding terrain. That doesn’t mean that you can’t see the things directly in front of you, though, as it can focus on objects as close as 6.6 feet away.
They’re also fog- and weather-proof, enabling you to see vividly in any conditions. You can take them out in a rainstorm, or just the early morning dew, and they’ll still be ready to go for years to come.
Smooth rubber finish
Wide field of view
- ModelVP Series VP-832
- Weight1.15 pounds
Focus knob turns smoothly
Dioptic correction easy to manipulate
Sturdy build quality
Difficult to fit them in their case
Eyepieces are on the narrow side
Some purple fringing at edges of frame
File this pair under “jack of all trades but master of none.” They’re good at just about everything, without being truly outstanding in any one category, but that makes them an excellent starter pair for those just dipping their toes in birdwatching or similar hobbies.
They’re good for teaching young kids how to responsibly handle binoculars as well, since they’re hardy enough to survive a drop or two and come with accessories like an eyepiece rainguard.
Helpful instruction manual included
6.5-foot close focus
Multi-stop twist-up eyecups
- ModelNature DX 71330
- Weight1.25 pounds
Ideal for beginners
Strong glass lenses
Good for backyard use
Focus knob is tight and difficult to turn
Not ideal for users with large heads
Can be blurry at the edges
Best 8x32 Binoculars Buying Guide & FAQ
While you undoubtedly understand the need for a good pair of binoculars, deciding which pair you should buy isn’t quite as simple. There are so many specs to learn and understand, and buying the wrong pair can be quite an expensive mistake. We’ll cover all the basics, so you can be confident that you’re getting the best binoculars for your needs.
Below, we’ve covered everything you need to know to find the perfect pair for you. Regardless of whether you’re shopping for a pair to use occasionally around the backyard or you need a top-of-the-line pair to help you identify every bird in your state, you’ll find the information you need to make an informed buying decision.
Why Do You Need 8x32 Binoculars?
A good pair of 8x32 binoculars gets you closer to nature—without having to get too close. This lets you spy on that rare bird you saw flitting around your backyard, or survey the woods for deer without having to trudge through them.
Just what does “8x32” mean, though? The “8” refers to the magnification, so they can magnify images up to 8x their size. The “32” is the lens diameter—32 mm, in this case. Combined, these measurements allow you to have a powerful set of binoculars without making them too bulky, so they’re easy to slip in your pocket or wear around your neck.
They also do well in low light, so you can see clearly at dawn or dusk. Regardless of the time of day, a quality pair of 8x32 binoculars will provide you with a bright, clear image to enjoy.
- They’re fantastic for bird-watching, hunting, or just checking out the world around you
- They’re compact and easy to pack, so you can take them with you on camping trips or vacations without sacrificing a ton of room in your bag
- If you enjoy watching creatures in their natural habitat without disturbing them, a pair of 8x32 binoculars will make you feel like you’re right next to the animal, without putting it or you in any danger
Types of 8x32 Binoculars
Generally speaking, there aren’t very many “types” of 8x32 binoculars on the market, as “8x32” is a type in and of itself. That said, there are a few distinguishing features you may come across while shopping for your next pair, so here are a few things to be on the lookout for.
- Waterproof and Weather-Resistant
Not all binoculars are equally suited for use in the rain or other inclement weather. Some are specially designed to be waterproof; these usually have sealed O-rings that keep moisture from penetrating them and fouling up the sensitive equipment inside.
That said, just because a pair claims that they’re waterproof binoculars doesn’t mean you should put those claims to the test. Water is still harmful to them, so try not to drop them in a stream, and leave them safely tucked inside your bag while it’s raining (unless you need them, of course). If they do get wet, wipe them off as soon as you can.
Similar to water- and weatherproofing, some binoculars are better able to withstand rough treatment than others. The difference is usually a thick coating of rubber armor that some models have. This lets them survive occasionally being dropped or whacked into tree branches with little damage.
Again, though, don’t take this as a challenge. A pair with an incredibly thick rubber coating is still a piece of sensitive equipment, and should be treated as such. Also, the rubber won’t protect the glass lenses, so be especially careful with them.
If you’re buying a pair for your child, rubber coating is essential, as they’ll no doubt have few mishaps along the way. A side benefit of the coating is that it makes the binoculars easier to hold, especially for smaller hands.
Have you ever looked inside a pair of binoculars and not seen anything at all? There are only a couple reasons why this could happen, like having the lens caps on or your eyes closed. The most common culprit, however, is fogging.
Sometimes, moisture suspends itself to the lenses, which can reduce visibility. This happens most often when you go from one extreme temperature or humidity level to another. If the fogging is on the outside of the lens, you can just wipe the water away; if it’s on the inside, however, you’re going to have to do some repair work.
You should be aware that just because a pair is waterproof does not mean that they’re also fog-proof. Look for both designations before making a purchase.
What to Look for When Buying 8x32 Binoculars
So, what makes one pair of 8x32 binoculars better than another? Are there any features or distinctions you should look for? As it turns out, yes, there are a few things to check for that determine the best binoculars for a given purpose. The features below can drastically affect your experience with your binoculars (and therefore your enjoyment), so it’s smart to understand them before you start shopping.
- Lens Coating
The lenses of your binoculars will be coated in one or more substances. This coating can have a dramatic effect on the image quality, as it affects the quantity and angle of light transmission.
You’ll likely see different terms used when describing coating. If all it says is “coated,” that means the lens probably has only a single layer of anti-reflective coating on it. “Fully coated” means that all sides of all lenses have been covered. Meanwhile, “multi-coated” means that the lenses have been covered in multiple layers of coating. You may also see “fully multi-coated” or “prism coated,” but those are less common with 8x32 models.
So which is best? Multi-coated will likely give you a brighter image, but lenses with a single full coat are usually the most durable. It’s a question of which is more important to you.
- Water Resistance
As mentioned above, water is the mortal enemy of any pair of high-quality optics. While we know you won’t subject your binoculars to too much moisture, it can be unavoidable at times—which is why you want to know that your pair won’t break if it takes a little dip.
As an added bonus, water resistance often translates into resistance from dust and debris as well. After all, if the binoculars are sealed tight enough to keep water out, dust doesn’t stand a chance. This allows you to be more carefree with your binoculars, rather than constantly fretting about keeping them spotless.
- Image Stabilization
If you’ve used a cheap pair of binoculars before, you may have noticed how much the image bounced around. That’s not helpful if you’re trying to pinpoint every detail of the bird in that tree over there—and it’s really not helpful if you’re prone to motion sickness.
Some binoculars are made with image stabilization technology, which helps reduce the vibrations from shaking hands or stiff winds. This keeps the image as still as possible, letting you soak up every last detail.
You may have to pay a bit more for a pair of quality binoculars with image stabilization technology, but it’s usually well worth it.
Tips for Buying and Using 8x32 Binoculars
Using binoculars may seem painfully simple—just hold them up to your eyes, right? However, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to be sure to get the best viewing experience possible.
The way you hold them will go a long way towards determining how stable the image is. You can place both hands around the barrels to give you a firm grip, then either keep your elbows tucked close to your body or rest them on a stationary object.
Be sure to adjust the barrels properly as well. Ideally, their distance will perfectly match the distance between your eyes. You’ll know if you’ve reached that point because the image will be a perfect circle, without any dark edges or overlap.
You shouldn’t need to strain your eyes, either—after all, that’s why you bought the binoculars, right? If your eyes are getting tired or you’re suffering from headaches, there may be a problem with your pair. Check with the manufacturer to see if you need a replacement.
- Don’t buy a pair that’s too big or too small for your hands. The easier they are to grip, the easier they’ll be to use.
- If your eyes don’t have the same prescription, get a pair with a diopter so you can adjust each lens individually.
- The strap is your friend. Always have it around your neck, even if you don’t think you need it.
- When trying to find a bird or other specific detail with your binoculars, first find an easily recognizable landmark near the animal with your naked eyes. This will give you a clear focus point when you switch to the binoculars.
Best 8x32 Binoculars FAQ:
Once you finally take your binoculars out into the field, you may find that you have a lot of questions as to how to best use them. While we unfortunately can’t go out with you (although we do appreciate the invite), we have listed some of the most common questions users have below.
Q: How do I clean binoculars?
You can buy a can of compressed air to blow any debris off the lenses, or you can use a soft lens wipe and some cleaning solution to wipe them clean.
Q: Which is better: higher or lower magnification?
A: That depends on what you’ll use them for. Higher magnification works better for observing an individual target at a great distance, but you’ll sacrifice some field of view and be more vulnerable to shaking hands. Lower magnification gives you a much broader view of the terrain in front of you, but the individual images will be smaller.
Q: What is eye relief?
A: Eye relief is the distance your eyes should be from the eyepieces to give you the best view. Low eye relief means you have to get extremely close, while higher eye relief allows you to be farther back. If you plan to wear glasses while using your binoculars, look for a pair with high eye relief.
Q: My hands shake. Is there any other way to hold my binoculars?
A: While you can use the tips we listed above to minimize shaking, if you want the most stable image possible, you’ll likely need to use a tripod. Some pairs have an opening on the bottom where you can attach a tripod, so look for this while shopping. Just be aware that the tripods are almost always sold separately.
Our Top Pick
The Wingspan Optics FieldView PS-83201 8x32 Binoculars are our favorites, largely because of their high-quality lenses. Their premium optical performance gives you some of the sharpest images you’ll find anywhere, even in low-light situations. Even so, you don’t have to be too precious with how you use them, as the non-slip grips makes it unlikely you’ll drop them, and they’re backed by a lifetime warranty if you do. They’re also fog-proof and tripod-mountable, which makes them versatile enough to use in almost any condition.