If you’re an avid bird watcher, then you know the importance of excellent binoculars. Most birders feel like their binoculars are an extension of their own bodies. The wrong binos can ruin your whole outing. But how do you choose the best ones? Well, that’s where this Bushnell binoculars review comes in!
The truth is, good binoculars are expensive. We consider them a long-term investment. So you really want to do your homework before you buy. If you choose wisely, you won’t have to purchase new binos every couple of years. You can easily get 20 years of enjoyment out of the right ones. So save up and get the best binoculars that you can afford.
The good news is, there are some great ones available at reasonable price points, Bushnell binos included.
Before we get to the Bushnell binoculars review, let’s talk a little about some of the features that you should pay attention to today.
THE MAGNIFICATION AND OBJECTIVE LENS DIAMETER
While you’re reading this Bushnell binoculars review, it’s essential that you pay attention to the magnification and objective lens diameter numbers. The binos that we looked at are 10×42 millimeters, 7×35 millimeters, 8×42 millimeters, and 10 to 22×50 millimeters.
So what exactly do those numbers mean?
Well, the first number is the magnification power. The magnification number tells you the number of times that the binoculars magnify an object. For example, the binoculars that are 10×42 millimeters magnify the object by 10 times.
We recommend that you use binoculars that have a magnification of 7x to 10x. Generally speaking, anything above 10x usually provides so much magnification that the image you see will look super shaky. You really can’t hold your binoculars still enough without a tripod on magnifications over 10x.
Objective lens diameter
The second number in the combination is the objective lens diameter. This number is the diameter of the objective lens measured in millimeters.
The objective lens is the lens closest to what you are looking at, not the one closest to your eyes. The reason that the objective lens size is important is that it is responsible for the amount of light that flows through your binos. The bigger the objective lens, the more light that will enter the binoculars. And that’s a good thing because it allows you to see brighter images and crisper colors.
We recommend using binoculars that have an objective lens diameter of 30 to 42 millimeters. If you go much larger than that, you will significantly increase the overall weight.
We consider objective lenses below 30 millimeters to be compact binoculars, which are ideal for kids because they are lighter and smaller.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE BEST BIRD WATCHING BINOCULARS
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Beyond the magnification and objective lens diameter, there are a few other things that you should look for in the best bird watching binos.
First, what is the price? We have included binoculars at a wide variety of price ranges in this Bushnell binoculars review. All of the ones on our list this year are below $500. Some are even available for less than $50.
Another thing to look for is image quality. When you test out binoculars, you should look for bright, crisp, accurate color.
If you wear eyeglasses or if you like to watch the birds with your sunglasses on, then you should also look at the eye relief. All of the binos that we looked at in this Bushnell binoculars review can accommodate glasses wearers with retractable eyecups. You should look for multi-adjustable eyecups.
If you wear glasses, then you should adjust the eyecups to their minimum position. Make sure that this position provides you with enough eye relief. And make sure that you don’t see black rings around the image.
INSIDE THE REVIEW PROCESS
Our goal in this Bushnell binoculars review is to help you find the best binoculars for bird watching. We have researched and examined professional and consumer reviews. And we compared the features and price of each pair of binoculars. This was an independent review. We have no business ties to any of the manufacturers on our list.
Product Comparison Table
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THE BUSHNELL BINOCULARS REVIEW
In no particular order, here are some of our favorite Bushnell binos.
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In our Bushnell binoculars review, the first one that we looked at was the H2O 10x42mm Roof prism binoculars. The first thing that we love about these binoculars is that they are 100 percent waterproof. They also feature an O-ring that has been sealed and nitrogen-purged for reliable, fog-free viewing.
The H2O Roof binoculars offer stunning HD clarity with BaK-4 prisms which provide a bright, crisp, and clear viewing performance. The multi-coated optics also give superior light transmission.
You don’t have to worry about losing your grip while you’re birding, either, thanks to the non-slip rubber armor.
Because of the twist-up eyecups, you can comfortably use these binoculars with or without glasses.
The exit pupil is 4.2 millimeters/0.165 inches.
The Bushnell H2O Roof binoculars come with a neck strap, a carrying case, and rubber lens covers for glass protection. They also come with a limited lifetime warranty.
These binoculars are moderately priced. And they get excellent professional and consumer reviews. Amazon customers rate them 4.6 out of 5 stars. They get the highest marks for picture quality.
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Stunning clarity
- They feel expensive even though they’re not
- Poor lens cap design
- Some complained about moisture getting into the lenses
- On overcast days the brightness can be muted
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The next binos that we looked at in this Bushnell binoculars review are the Legend Ultra HD Roof Prisms. These binoculars are water and fog proof. And they feature ED Prime Glass, which provides exceptional optics.
These lightweight binos also have an ultra-wide field of view with long eye-relief and a locking diopter.
Another thing that we love about them is that they feature RainGuard HD technology, which uses Bushnell’s original oleophobic and hydrophobic lens coating to prevent fog, water, and oily fingerprints from ruining your view. Because of this technology, water drops bead up into super small droplets that scatter less light, assuring that you can see the birds in any weather.
The Legend Ultra HD binoculars come with a carrying case, neck strap, and microfiber cloth bag.
Compared to the others that we looked at in this Bushnell binoculars review, the Legend Ultra HD is on the expensive side. But it still gets killer reviews. Amazon customers rate it 4.6 out of 5 stars.
These binos get the highest marks for ease of hold and picture quality.
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Incredible crisp view
- RainGuard technology
- More expensive than the others
- Not as durable as it should be for the price
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Next up in our Bushnell binoculars review is the Falcon 133410. These binos offer 7x magnification with an auto-focusing porro prism and a 35-millimeter lens diameter.
The Falcon binos also have fully coated optics, which provide superior light transmission.
You can use these binoculars in any weather conditions thanks to the non-slip rubber grip pads.
The Falcon binos also feature a 12-millimeter eye relief and a 5-millimeter exit pupil with a 20-feet close focusing distance.
These binoculars come with a carrying case and a neck strap.
Compared to the other binos that we looked at in this Bushnell binoculars review, the Falcon 133410 are super cheap. But that doesn’t change the fact that they get excellent professional and consumer reviews. Amazon customers rate these binoculars 4.5 out of 5 stars.
They get the highest marks for ease of use, durability, and value for the money.
- The quality far surpasses the price
- Super affordable
- Well made
- Quick focus paddle
- Eyepieces can come out of alignment too easily
- Only magnifies to power 7
- Lens covers don’t fit great
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Finally, in our Bushnell binoculars review, we looked at the Trophy Roof binos. The fully multi-coated optics provide ultra-bright, razor-sharp views. Bushnell seals and nitrogen purges the O-ring to assure that these binos are 100 percent waterproof and fog proof.
These binoculars also feature a fast-focus center focus wheel and a 15.2-millimeter eye relief.
Bushnell has upgraded these binos to their XLT series, which include a new housing that makes them even more durable and comfortable to use.
The Trophy Roof binoculars come with a carrying case, lens covers, and a neck strap. It also comes with a deluxe binocular harness which takes all of the pressure off of your neck.
These binoculars are moderately priced, and like the others in our Bushnell binoculars review, they get excellent professional and consumer reviews. Amazon customers rate these binos 4.6 out of 5 stars. They get the highest marks for ease of use and optics.
- Superior quality
- Stunning clarity
- Comes with harness
- Waterproof and fog proof
- The lens protectors aren’t that great
- The binoculars are a bit heavy and bulky
- Some complained that it’s hard to focus on anything beyond 40 yards away
So How Do the Bushnell Binoculars Stack up to the Competition?
In our Bushnell binoculars review, we also took a look at three other top-selling brands for some comparison.
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The Wingspan Optics Skyview Ultra HD Binoculars are one of the best for bird watching. They feature new ED glass, which allows you to see even clearer and sharper.
The fully multi-coated lenses and phase correction coated prism provide stunning views with the color and brightness that you need.
Like the Bushnell binos, these are waterproof and fog proof. They’re also lightweight yet very durable. And they come with 17.8-millimeter eye relief.
Another thing that we love about these binoculars is that they come with a lifetime warranty.
The Wingspan binos come with a nylon mesh carrying case, eyepiece and lens protection covers, and a nonabrasive microfiber lens cleaning cloth.
They’re also moderately priced, similar to the Bushnell H2O binoculars. And like the Bushnells, they get killer professional and consumer reviews. Amazon customers rate them 4.6 out of 5 stars. They get the highest marks for ease to hold and picture quality.
- Fantastic optics
- Made specifically for bird watching
- There is some chromatic aberration
- The carrying case isn’t the best quality
- Not ideal for stargazing
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The next bino that we looked at in our Bushnell binoculars review is the Nikon ACULON. The Nikon binoculars feature a 10 to 22 power magnification with 50-millimeter lens diameter.
One of the things that we love about these binoculars is that they come with a ton of optical technology. Not only do they have a unique zoom feature that allows you to see the birds up close, but they also feature multi-coated lenses to enhance brightness. And the Nikon Eco-Glass delivers unbelievable clarity and precision in a lightweight, lead and arsenic-free glass composition.
Another thing that we liked about the Nikon binos is that they have turn-and-slide multi-click rubber eyecups, which allows you to adjust the eye relief for a truly custom fit. The Nikon offers a full field of view and maximum comfort.
The Nikon comes with a nylon carrying case, a neck strap, and a tripod mount.
These binoculars are moderately priced, and like the others in our Bushnell binoculars review, they get excellent reviews. Amazon customers rate the Nikon binos 4.5 out of 5 stars. They get the highest marks for durability, low light, and material quality.
If you’re going to use these binos with the power 22 magnification, it is best to use a tripod.
- People love the zoom feature
- Enhanced brightness
- Not waterproof or fog proof
- You need a tripod for the top magnifications
- Some people complained about the smell of the binoculars
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Last up in our Bushnell binoculars review, we looked at the Maven C1. The first thing that we love about these binoculars is that they feature ED glass and fully multi-coated lenses that provide an extraordinarily clear, bright, high-contrast picture with exceptional color reproduction.
The Maven binos are also waterproof, fog proof, and scratch resistant. Another great thing about them is that they come with an unconditional lifetime warranty. So if your binoculars get damaged, Maven will take care of it.
Maven uses a no retail-markup business model so that they can cut the cost on their binos. But having said that, I also have to note that these are the most expensive binoculars that we looked at in our Bushnell binoculars review.
The Maven C1 comes with a carrying case and lens covers.
Like the Bushnell binos, the Mavens get killer professional and consumer reviews. Amazon customers rate them 4.5 out of 5 stars. And they get the highest marks for value for the money and low light.
- Super high quality
- Superior image clarity
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Wider field of view
- On the expensive side
- Some complained that the diopter ring is difficult to set
The Bottom Line in the Bushnell Binoculars Review
The bottom line in this Bushnell binoculars review is that Bushnell makes some excellent binoculars for bird watching. They are certainly above average in technology and picture quality. Most people agree that Bushnell binos feel expensive. But the good news is, they’re not! They’re actually quite affordable.
Of all of the binos that we looked at in this Bushnell binoculars review, our top pick is the Legend Ultra HD. However, we would recommend all of the Bushnells on our list. If you don’t mind spending the extra money, we also really liked the Maven.
We would love to hear what you think. How do you like the Bushnell binoculars? Let us know in the comments section below. And share with our readers if you have any great tips for birder newbies.
Have a great day and happy birding!