Best Mini Binoculars - Compact, Yet Powerful

pentax dcf lv mini binoculars very good for birdingWhen using mini binoculars, you sacrifice a little on field of view (FOV). The field of view is measured as the width of area visible at 1,000 yards.

Because of the smaller objective lens size in compact binoculars, the FOV will be narrower. Therefore, you don't want to get a pair that is too high in magnification, because the stronger magnification lenses will cut down your FOV too much.

You want a compromising balance between magnification and FOV in pocket binoculars. 

Here are some well reviewed Mini Compact Binoculars that have exceptional viewing quality:

Best Mid-Priced (Under $100)

olympus mini binoculars

The Olympus Tracker 12x25 Compact Binoculars are a great pair of compact binoculars for under $70.

  • High-index BaK-4 Prisms for bright, clear images
  • FOV: 79 meters at 1,000 yards
  • Dioptic correction & twisting eyecups

Review of the Olympus Tracker 12x25 Mini Binoculars:

"The Olympus Tracker 12x25 was a perfect choice for me. I use it for travel, bird watching, during hiking and just 'normal' things. The picture is very clear light and small and so it fits everywhere in the car or backbag. I would recommend this binocular. " -Smi

Mini binoculars are nice to have because of their compact size. I usually have a pair wherever I go just so I don't miss out on a great bird or wildlife viewing opportunity. 

I especially like using compact binoculars when going on long hikes or backpacking trips when I am carrying a lot of items and want to cut down on excess weight. I've also used them at sporting events and concerts.

Higher-End (Over $150)

Carson 3D 8x32 High Definition Binoculars with ED Glass are an excellent choice for compact binoculars.

8x32 Carson compact binoculars with ED glass


  • ED Glass
  • Phase Corrected & Dielectric Prisms
  • Waterproof Body
  • Extra-Long Eye Relief
  • Tripod-Mountable &
  • Ergonomic Thumb Groves
  • America's Best Binocular Warranty. In the event that your binoculars get damaged, regardless of cause, Carson will repair or replace them at NO CHARGE.

 Review of the Carson 3D 8x32 Compact Binoculars:

"Did a lot of research before purchasing these binoculars. Also made a hands-on comparison with other binoculars of name brand and costing more.

I am very pleased with the purchase of these binoculars. They have many features of bins costing more. A lot of engineering went into these.

The light gathering ability impressed me most as I use these at dusk and dawn." -Anthony

View the Carson 3D 8x32 Binoculars

Here is another very lightweight option in the Higher End Category for compact binoculars you may not have heard of:

Kenko 8x32 Ultra View EX OP 8x32 DH II Binoculars

Kenko Ultraview EX OP 8x32 DH II compact binoculars
  • Roof prism design, fully multi-coated, phase-coated lenses and prisms - for maximum light transmission and brightness, that produce sharper images and vibrant colors.
  • Fully sealed and nitrogen-purged, dustproof, fog-proof (internally).
  • Waterproof up to 1 m depth at 10m (7IPX rating), shock resistant, rubber coating for comfortable, firm grip, twist-up eyecups, nice large focus ring
  • FOV at 1000m 131.1m, at 1000 yards 420 feet, which is rather exceptional for an 8x32 binocular.

The large focusing knob and easy rotation is a special enough feature that it needs to brought to attention since most users mention this as one of their favorites.

It only takes 1.25 turns of the wheel can go from the minimum close distance (8.2 ft/2.5 m) to infinity.

Therefore, it's easy to track and keep in focus flying birds or whatever you want to follow in the distance.

Weight: Compared to the Carson compact binoculars above, the Kenko Ultra-lightweight is 16 oz (455 g) vs the Carson 3D 8x32 at 19.2 ounces (544 g)

Kenko 8x32 ultraVIEW EX Binoculars Review

"These are very light weight and easy to grip. The images are crisp and clear when looking through them. I love them!

When you are out and about, they are not heavy on your neck. My only complaint is a small one the lenses covers are a bit clunky." - Firefly

View the Kenko 8x32 Binoculars

Best of the Best (Over $275)

Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 pocket binoculars

Zeiss 8x25 Terra ED Pocket Binoculars

  • Impressive wide FOV (Field of View) is 357 ft at 1000 yards (119 m at 1,000 m)/Apparent FOV 52 deg
  • Hydrophobic multi-coating for crystal clear images in low light conditions
  • Waterproof, fiberglass-reinforced casing for use in all weather conditions and rugged outdoor use
  • Foldable design fits into your pocket and is very lightweight - only 10.9 ounces (310 grams)

Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 Customer Review:

"These aren't cheap but they are an incredible value. They are very small and light. They are also incredibly sharp and bright with great contrast. The build quality is really nice. Zeiss hit a home run with this model. I should have gotten these sooner." -Mark

View the Zeiss Terra ED 8x25 Pocket Binoculars

We prefer the 8x25s vs the 10x25s because of the wider field of view, but if you will be doing more long-distance birding in open areas where it's easier to locate birds through the binoculars vs something like following small warblers in a dense spruce-fir forest, then you may prefer the stronger magnification of the Zeiss 10x25 Terra ED Pocket Binoculars.

There are also the Swarovski CL 8x25 Pocket Binoculars priced at over $800, but we don't necessarily think that they are that far superior to the Zeiss 8x25s at nearly 3x the price.

Best Lower to Mid-Priced Mini Binoculars:

If you are looking for something more in the budget-class, here are four compact binoculars under $50 that are well-rated and won't hurt your eyes - don't ever go too cheap, i.e., $12 binoculars from the Superstore!:

View All Mini Binoculars

How to Choose Bird Watching Binoculars:

Bird Watching Binoculars 101

Birding Binoculars 102

Binocular Reviews:

Best Binoculars for Bird Watching

Nikon Monarch Binoculars

Nikon Monarch Binoculars ATB 8x42 Review

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42 Binoculars

Swarovski SLC HD Binoculars Review

Budget Nikon Action Binoculars

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Binoculars for Kids

High Power Binoculars

Jason Binoculars - Auto Focusing Binoculars

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Digital Binoculars with Camera and Video Built-In

Binocular Repair and Care:

Nikon Binoculars Repair

Go to Binocular Care

Binocular Accessories:

Binocular Harness

Spotting Scopes:

Spotting Scopes 101

Spotting Scope 102

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