Best 8×32 Binoculars – Compact, But Still Big Enough

When choosing a great pair of binoculars, understanding the purpose of the binoculars has a huge impact on your decision-making process. That said, sometimes you do not need binoculars for a specific activity and simply want a pair that work well for a generalist approach.

That is why we put together a list of the 10 best 8×32 binoculars, covering a wide range of brands and price ranges. We also provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you understand the most important qualities of recreational optics– the glass and prisms.

Buying Guide

Glass

  • Bak-4 – While there are lower grades of glass used for binoculars, our list makes it a point to avoid those models. This leaves Bak-4 as the lowest grade of glass on our list, though it should be known that this is one of the generally highest grades of optical glass used. Thankfully, this does not impact the cost as much as there are plenty of reasonably priced binoculars that use Bak-4 glass.
  • ED/HD – Extra-low dispersion and high-definition glass are not so much different types of glass as they are different glass manufacturing processes. ED and HD glass tend to be made of Bak-4 or fluoride glass that is ground flatter than most. The main benefit of this type of glass is that it provides truer color representation.
  • Flouride – Fluoride glass substitutes some of the silica commonly used in glass for non-oxide fluoride to reduce the number of impurities in the glass that can impact the pathway of light traveling through it. The result is glass that produces fewer artifacts, phase issues, and other problems that reduce binocular optical quality.

Prism

  • Roof – Like with the glass, our list avoids some of the other prism configurations that are not quite as effective– though part of that has to do with the size of the binoculars. Because 8×32 binoculars are inherently smaller, it can be difficult to make Porro prism designs that do not feel odd. As such, while the roof prism provides a more direct and saturated transference of light, the glass used is especially important.
  • Schmidt-Pechan – This is a type of roof prism that allows the manufacturer to make their binoculars more compact than other types of roof prism arrangements. On top of that, this roof prism design is coaxial which makes it easier to adjust the image presentation during the manufacturing process and is less likely to fail when in use.

Best 8×32 Binoculars

Athlon Optics Talos HD Binoculars

Athlon Optics specializes in outdooring optics which positions the brand perfectly for 8×32 binoculars that are also reasonably priced. One of the more surprising aspects of the Athlon Optics Talos HD binoculars is the field of view which just barely comes in as the second-best at 427’.

On top of that, these binoculars use Bak-4 HD glass, though it often feels like the clarity drops at the edges of the view. However, that might be more a result of the adjustments which can be difficult to zero in properly, but at least the Athlon Optics Talos HD binoculars are water and fogproof.

Pros

  • Has a 427’ FoV
  • Has HD Bak-4 glass
  • Is water and fogproof

Cons

  • Not the best clarity
  • Not the easiest to use

Bushnell Trophy 333208 Binoculars

Bushnell focuses primarily on hunting gear, but provides a wide range of outdooring optics for a host of different activities– thankfully, they are also inexpensive. In terms of the Bushnell Trophy 333208 binoculars, these are the perfect pair to bring along on an extended hike thanks to a lightweight design that comes in at only 15 ½ oz.

Even better, these 8×32 binoculars are IPX7 water and fogproof, making them a perfect option for use in inclement weather– though their focusing features can be a bit difficult to use. On top of that, the Bushnell Trophy 333208 binoculars have one of the smaller fields of view on our list at only 393’– though they still have decent optical quality for their cost.

Pros

  • Only weighs 15 ½ oz
  • Are IPX7 water and fogproof
  • Is less expensive

Cons

  • Has a smaller FoV
  • Not the easiest to use

Eyeskey Shadowhunter Binoculars

Eyeskey is not one of the more reputable or experienced companies on our list, but that just means they have to sell their products at low prices to compete in a saturated market. That said, the Eyeskey Shadowhunter binoculars still check most of the boxes and happen to be more compact than most, making them easier to carry around.

Though, that compact size might be counterbalanced by the fact that these 8×32 binoculars tip the scales at 21 oz and tie our list for the heaviest entry we reviewed. It also does not help that they also have the smallest field of view at 388’, but they provide a solid build with good water and fogproofing.

Pros

  • Is water and fogproof
  • Are compact binoculars
  • Is less expensive

Cons

  • Has a smaller FoV
  • Are heavier binoculars

Celestron TrailSeeker Binoculars

Known far more for their optics focused on astronomy, Celestron still provides good options for shorter ranges that also happen to be fairly inexpensive. Even better, this is another pair of 8×32 binoculars that are easy to carry around for extended periods thanks to a lightweight design of only 16 oz.

A big part of what allows the Celestron TrailSeeker binoculars to maintain a lightweight design comes from the durable magnesium alloy chassis. Unfortunately, the company did not put the same level of craft into the complete build as the eyepieces may or may not be glued on properly, though this does not at least seem to impact the water and fogproofing.

Pros

  • Only weighs 16 oz
  • Made of magnesium alloy
  • Is water and fogproof

Cons

  • Has a smaller FoV
  • Not the best QC

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars

Vortex, more than many of the companies on our list, specialize in affordable hunting optics, though these are not exactly “budget-friendly”– even if they are reasonably priced. These 8×32 binoculars come equipped with HD Bak-4 glass, but that still does not seem to translate to the sharpest image on our list.

To make matters trickier, the Vortex Optics Diamondback HD binoculars also seem to suffer from color shifting, both of which suggest the roof prisms are a bit off. That said, these binoculars were made for hunters as they only weigh 16 oz and provide a great field of view at 426’.

Pros

  • Only weighs 16 oz
  • Has a 426’ FoV
  • Has HD Bak-4 glass

Cons

  • Not the sharpest image
  • Not the truest color

Carson 3D Series Binoculars

Carson may not be as established or experienced as some of the other big names on our list, but they focus on optics in general and meet high standards– like being water and fogproof. That said, you do have to pay for quality, and the Carson 3D Series binoculars are not an inexpensive pair.

On the other hand, these 8×32 binoculars come with Bak-4 ED glass and fully multi-coated lenses that produce a bright, clear image– even if the field of view is a bit disappointing at only 392’. However, these binoculars might be the best we found for people who wear eyeglasses thanks to an impressive eye relief of 19 ½ mm.

Pros

  • Has ED Bak-4 glass
  • Is water and fogproof
  • Good for eyeglasses

Cons

  • Is more expensive
  • Has a smaller FoV

Zeiss Terra ED Binoculars

While they may not be known specifically for binoculars, Zeiss produces some of the best optical glass in the world and brings that fully to bear with the ED Schott Bak-4 Glass used in the Terra EDs. As if that were not enough, these 8×32 binoculars also employ Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms to avoid potential alignment issues.

Even better, the Zeiss Terra ED binoculars work exceptionally well near or far with the largest field of view at 442’ and the shortest minimum distance at 5 ¼’. Granted, you have to pay a pretty penny for all of these qualities, and these binoculars are not as easy to use as some of the competitors.

Pros

  • Has a 442’ FoV
  • Has ED Schott Glass
  • Has Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms

Cons

  • Is more expensive
  • Not the easiest to use

Hawke Frontier ED X Binocular

Hawke focuses more on outdooring in general than sporting binoculars, but that helps ensure the Hawke Frontier ED X binoculars put their ED Bak-4 glass to the best use. Not only does the high-quality glass and fully multi-coated lenses produce an excellent image quality, but it also has a 426’ field view.

That said, the Hawke Frontier ED X binoculars are larger than you might expect for general outdooring binoculars, and they cost a good bit of money as well. However, they are well worth the cost thanks to IPX7 water and fogproof design as well as functional temperature ranges from -15 C° to 55 C°.

Pros

  • Has a 426’ FoV
  • Has ED Bak-4 glass
  • Are extremely well-made

Cons

  • Is more expensive
  • Not the most compact

Swarovski EL 8×32 Binoculars

Out of all the optics companies that focus on hunting, Swarovski ranks at or near the top, and the use of fluoride glass over traditional Bak-4 is one of the main reasons why. To further reinforce the use of high-end glass, the Swarovski EL binoculars also employ a slew of proprietary coatings to further increase the image quality.

Granted, this means that you should expect to pay plenty when purchasing these 8×32 binoculars. It is also a bit odd that the Swarovski EL binoculars weigh upwards of 21 oz given that they are for hunters, though the 423’ field of view is fairly impressive.

Pros

  • Has a 423’ FoV
  • Has fluoride glass
  • Has proprietary coatings

Cons

  • Is more expensive
  • Are heavier binoculars

Zeiss Carl Victory FL Binoculars

Zeiss wraps up our list with the highest-tech model on our list but all of that technology also comes at a fairly steep cost. That said, if you are looking for superior image quality, it is hard to argue with the Zeiss Carl Victory FL binoculars’ use of Schott fluoride glass combined with fully multi-layered coatings.

One flaw that distinctly stands out for such an expensive pair of 8×32 binoculars is the smallish field of view which only offers 400’. On the other hand, these Zeiss binoculars also employ the high-quality Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms while providing excellent water and fogproofing from LotuTec coatings as well.

Pros

  • Has Schott fluoride glass
  • Has Schmidt-Pechan roof prisms
  • Has numerous coatings

Cons

  • Is more expensive
  • Has a smaller FoV

Conclusion

In the end, you can find a great pair of 8×32 binoculars at virtually any price point, though the image quality tends to increase along with the price. That said, you can still get decent image quality at a budget-friendly price as well as a water and fogproof build for every kind of weather.

If you go on extended hikes, consider grabbing a pair that weighs less and is more compact to make them easier to carry. If you plan to use your binoculars in the mountains or other areas with wide-open vistas, make sure to pick up a pair with an extremely large field of view to take advantage of the landscapes.