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Best Sports Binoculars

Updated on April 11, 2013

What Are the Best Sports Binoculars?

I like sports. I go to a lot of games, mostly baseball, football, and some college basketball. The only problem is that, on my salary and budget, I can only afford the nosebleed seats. Not only can I not see the game well from up there, but the snack guy rarely makes an appearance up there.

After missing a few too many important plays, I made two great decisions. One, I can get up and get my own snacks. Two, I needed to get a good pair of binoculars for sporting events.

I had borrowed several pair from friends over the years. While I appreciate my friends letting me sponge off of them like that, I found the binoculars were always clumsy and it was hard to follow the game.

After looking around for some time, I finally found a couple of choices that I liked. Iâve listed them below.

Look For Lightweight Binoculars

One consideration I made was that whatever binoculars I chose, they had to be compact and lightweight. I didn’t need to be lugging around a big pair of lenses around my neck. It’s usually too hot in the summer at baseball games or I’m bundled up in winter for football games to have these strapped to me. I wanted something I could fit in my pocket, or at least a small case.

Here are a few of the models I took a look at.

Bushnell Xtra-Wide 4x 30mm Binocular
Bushnell Xtra-Wide 4x 30mm Binocular

These are great for football games. It allows you to see most of the field and see the sacks. It's focus free, which means you can follow the action without having to adjust the knob on every play. These are great binoculars for football viewing.

Travelite 10x25mm Binocular
Travelite 10x25mm Binocular

These Nikon compact binoculars are very easy to carry and put in your pocket. The optics are very good, but they need to be adjusted frequently. Best for baseball games.


Review of the Bushnell PowerView Binocular (8x21)

Look For Waterproof Binoculars

During rain and snow, it’s best to find a pair of waterproof compact binoculars. They should be light enough to move quickly and prevent water from seeping in and ruining your investment. Here are a few that I looked at.

Best Compact Waterproof Binoculars

Nikon 7486 PROSTAFF 12x25 Waterproof All-Terrain Binocular
Nikon 7486 PROSTAFF 12x25 Waterproof All-Terrain Binocular

These are a great choice. They are sturdy, without feeling clumsy. They are a bit pricey, but if you go to a lot of outdoor games, these are good to go.

Bushnell H2O Waterproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 25-mm
Bushnell H2O Waterproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular, 10 x 25-mm

These are nice and light. They felt a little too light in my hands. One strong breeze and they might whip out of my hands. They would be great with a strap and the price is low.

Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 8 x 42-mm, Black
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 8 x 42-mm, Black

A great selection if you know you'll be out at a football game on a rainy day. They are fogproof, which is nice so you don't have to keep wiping them clear.

Bushnell Legend 10x 26mm Ultra HD Compact Waterproof Binoculars
Bushnell Legend 10x 26mm Ultra HD Compact Waterproof Binoculars

These are a little expensive, but the feature I like is that it reduces the appearance of raindrops on the lenses so they look like specks.


Let's Vote, Sports Fans!

Do You Think Binoculars Are Necessary For a True Sports Fan?

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Consider Digital Binoculars

I looked at a few of these in my travels. They felt good to my hands. These cameras allow you to take digital pictures while you're watching the game. I don't want to get into the legality of taking pictures during a game, but they are good for watching and photographing your child's game.

Some of these are reasonably priced, while others can put a dent in your wallet.

Digital Binoculars With a Camera

Digital Concepts Digital Camera & Binocular 27379
Digital Concepts Digital Camera & Binocular 27379

The Vivitar digital camera binoculars are an average rated pair. They are very inexpensive. However, the battery doesn't last as long as you would hope. For an entry level digital pair of binoculars, these would do the trick.

Sony DEV-3 Digital Recording Binoculars, Black
Sony DEV-3 Digital Recording Binoculars, Black

The Big Kahuna of digital binoculars. They weigh a hefty 5 pounds, but they are sturdy. They also cost a LOT. I couldn't afford them, but my brother, a rabid sports fan, coughed up the cash after a good Vegas trip.

Canon 10x30 IS  Ultra-Compact Binoculars (Black)
Canon 10x30 IS Ultra-Compact Binoculars (Black)

These are half the price and weight of the Sony above. They are easy to handle and can fit in a small bag, making them easy to carry into a game.


Sony Dev-3 Digital Binoculars - See Them In Action

My Final Choice

I decided to buy the Bushnell Xtra-Wide 4x 30mm Binoculars. I like the wide field of view and the fact that I don't have to adjust the image when I'm moving. Some day I'll upgrade to a more expensive pair, but, for now, these will do the job.

Unless I can get my SuperBowl tickets this year! Hey, it could happen!

Do You Think Sports Binoculars Add To the Enjoyment of a Game?

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    • jamesdesalvo lm profile imageAUTHOR

      jamesdesalvo lm 

      5 years ago

      @sojourner-1: Thanks. My brother still won't let me borrow his expensive ones. I guess it's payback for all of the horrible big brother things I did to him growing up. Thanks for checkiing this out.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Everyone needs to own binoculars. There is always one reason or another to need to get a better view of something. I know, I have six of them. One for the car, one for waterproof, extra zoom, and so forth. Nice selection of binocs.


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