Which? Best Buy binoculars
These binoculars we recommend below have all topped a series of robust laboratory tests. These Best Buy-rated compact binoculars have made the grade by combining optical quality with durability and ease of use.
A good pair of binoculars will deliver a first-class image, but be both hard-wearing and easy to use in the field. But which binoculars are best for you?
Does it matter what magnification they provide? How will they perform in low-light conditions? What features are the most important? Should you spend just £45 or more than £100? When we test binoculars we see how they perform in a number of key areas, including their optical quality, their ability to withstand tough conditions and their ease of use.
We've tested 8 sets of compact binoculars from well-known manufacturers, including Nikon, Olympus and Steiner. We've even tested a pair recommended by the RSPB for bird watching to see how they measure up. But only the top performing binoculars we review are classed as Best Buys.
What makes a Best Buy pair of binoculars?
We assess each pair of binoculars for optical quality in both good and low-light conditions. We also check how simple they are to use, how comfortable they are to hold and how easy it is to adjust the controls. We also evaluate their resilience in the field, subjecting them to knocks, extreme temperatures and high humidity. And a rainfall test assesses how waterproof they are. When a pair of binoculars does exceptionally well in our tests, we make it a Best Buy.
Compact binoculars reviews you can trust
We are independent and impartial, and we’ve been reviewing products and making recommendations for more than 50 years. There are no ads on our site. We don't work for the manufacturers, we work for you. We test the products, and pass the results on. It's that simple.
Try a trial membership, and you'll receive access to all our online content and get Which? magazine delivered monthly to your door. You can also phone our Which? Legal Service and personal finance experts for one-to-one help, plus you'll get access to Which? Local, where members share recommendations for the best services in your area.