The 10 Best Mini Binoculars
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in February of 2019. For those times when you require a closer look, but don't want to schlep heavy gear, you'll need a pair of these mini binoculars. Their compact size allows you to easily slip them into a glove compartment, backpack or pocket and always have them at the ready. As a bonus, many come with a lightweight price tag to match, although we've also included some models that are heavier on features. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 23, 2021:
It was a fairly busy round of updates that saw this list getting shuffled up quite a bit. We replaced the Aurosports Folding with the Aurosports Compact — which we favored for their 12x magnification, a 20% improvement from our previous pick's 10x rating; and switched out the Bushnell Powerview with the Bushnell H2O — which are both more capable and durable than the Powerview. We recognized that, because of the significant difference in price, the Powerview may’ve still been an option that many of our users – namely hunters who are fans of the brand name – would still be interested in, but we felt that the H2O were a sensible substitution, given their clear superiority and still relatively affordable price. Notably, we also retained the Tasco Essentials near the bottom of our list, for users looking for a budget-friendly camouflage pair.
We also removed the Wingspan Optics NatureSport and Asgens Mini, both due to availability issues. And finally, we made two new additions to our list, both are higher-end choices that deliver great quality without breaking the bank.
The first new addition was the Celestron TrailSeeker ED — which comes with a better set of accessories than many options, including a padded case and binocular straps; and the second new pick was the Steiner Safari UltraSharp — which offers a 302-foot field of view from a distance of 1,000 yards, yet can focus on objects as close up as 11 feet, making it quite a versatile pair.
If none of these compact option offer the utility you want, then you might want to think about whether you’ve got room for a full-sized pair. If so, you’ll want to check out our generalized list of Best Binoculars.
February 07, 2019:
Selected both budget and expensive options. In the former category, the Skygenius 8x21, Wingspan Optics NatureSport, and Asgens Mini are all relatively durable, general-use options for daytime operation. As to the latter, the Leica Ultravid BR and Zeiss Terra Ed were both selected because of their brightness and clarity as well as their ability to stand up to the elements. After some deliberation, the Bushnell Powerview were also added; they aren't known to be the most durable, but they offer several powers at a low price point and are acceptable for occasional use.
Swarovski Optik This Austrian outfit offers a wide selection of binoculars that are both capable and stylish, and several of their options – especially the CL Pocket 10x25 and CL Pocket 8x25 – are quite compact. Just note that the price tags attached to said small models are of a much different size. swarovskioptik.com
Carson HookUpz If you want to start documenting some of your birdwatching, you could skip over to some of our lists tracking high-end cameras and lenses, or you could consider this handy adapter, which makes it easy to shoot pictures through your binoculars using your smartphone. Just note that, since it's only compatible with 32- to 55-millimeter equipment, some options on this list may be too small for it. The company also offers other versions for microscopes and monoculars, carson.com