I took a trip to Yellowstone and I had with me a pair of quality binoculars.
But before I purchased the binoculars for my trip, I did some research, called a few companies to inquire about their optics and I also checked out consumer reviews and ratings.
And I was happy to find that there are binoculars designed specifically for travel, which you can use for wildlife viewing and sightseeing.
And in some way differ with binoculars you would use for hunting or recreational shooting.
Many binoculars designed for travel have a compact design. They are lightweight and easy to carry. They have great optics and they are inexpensive.
So I decided to write this article to share with you what I discovered to be the best binoculars for Yellowstone. I have also included a small buyer’s guide to help you choose the right binoculars for your Yellowstone trip.
Binoculars for Yellowstone Comparison Chart
|Objective Lens Diameter|
|Field of View|
393 feet/1000 yards
388.55 feet/1000 yards
392 feet/1000 yards
314 feet/1000 yards
426 feet/1000 yards
|Angle of View|
|Exit Pupil Diameter|
|Minimum Focus Distance|
5' / 1.5 m
6.5' / 1.98 m
6.6' / 2 m
16.4' / 5 m
6.5' / 1.98 m
55 to 75 mm
56 to 74 mm
56 to 72 mm
57 to 74 mm
5 Best Binoculars for Yellowstone (as of November, 2020):
If you are not new to binoculars, you must have come by Vortex products, heard of them or you own one. Whatever the case, Vortex is world-renowned for its premium quality optics.
And I am a proud owner of a Vortex Optics DB-204 Diamondback 8×42 binoculars. The reason why I was drawn to these binos more than any other was not because of the high number of positive ratings and reviews but because of its features and overall performance.
The Vortex Diamondback sports a 42mm objective lens with a field of view of 393 feet. The lens gathers adequate light for clear and pristine sights. And they are coated to prevent glare and deliver clear views at different ranges.
This is an 8x magnification binoculars and what’s so great about the low power is that you can identify animals that are at great distances. If you are observing a bear, you’ll be able to see clearly that it’s a bear and not a rock or something different.
Like other quality roof prism binos, you can adjust the eyecups on this one to get your ideal eye relief.
Construction wise, the Diamondback has a compact build that is covered with rubber armoring. And it is purged with argon gas to prevent internal fogging and to make it completely waterproof.
- Phase-Corrected BAK4 Roof Prisms
- Fully Multi-Coated Optics
- Dielectric Coating
- Adjustable Eyecups
- Short-Hinge Bridge
- Oversized Knurled Center Focusing Wheel
- Textured Diopter Ring on Right Eyepiece
- Twist-Up Coft Tapered Rubber Eyecups
- Lightweight & Durable Aluminum Body
- Argon-Purged & O-Ring Sealed
- Waterproof & Fogproof
- Rubber Armor & Tripod Adaptable
You can’t go wrong with this Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8×42 binoculars. It has a large objective lens that can transmit plenty of light delivering high-contrast and clear images. The lenses are multicoated to give you clear views even in dim conditions.
The bino has 8x magnification and what I like about binos that have low power is that they are more stable than binos with high magnifications. And the images appear brighter and clearer.
With these binos, you won’t struggle to make out what animals you are looking at, as you would if the magnification was higher.
In Yellowstone, animals are constantly on the move, either grazing, looking for food or not trying to be food. And to catch every bit of action, you cannot do it with a small field of view.
The eye relief these binos offer is excellent. If you wear spectacles or eye lenses, you’ll appreciate the 17.5mm eye relief, which is pretty adequate. And since you can adjust the eyecups, you can get the eye relief that you want with ease.
All these features are housed in a polycarbonate body. And the reason why Celestron chose this particular material for this binos is that it is strong, lightweight, and durable.
And given that the binos are designed for travel, wildlife viewing, bird watching, and activities of that nature. They are not large or bulky.
The housing has rubber armor. And the armor is to help you have a firm grip and minimize damage from falls and bumps.
- Phase-Corrected BaK-4 Roof Prisms
- Fully Multicoated Optics
- 17.5mm Eye Relief
- Center Focus Wheel with Ridges for Improved Grip
- Twist-Up Eyecups with Multiple Position Stops
- Polycarbonate Construction
- Waterproof & Fogproof
- Nitrogen-Filled Housing
Carson TD-832ED 3D Series 8×32 is a great bino that is relatively expensive compared to similar models. But for a trip to Yellowstone, you’ll find that this bino is going to serve you well.
The Carson 3D series comes in five different configurations. This is the 8x32mm model. And the reason I choose to review this particular one was that it falls in the category of binos that provide a wide field of view and generous eye relief.
But given that this has a 32mm objective lens, the field of view it offers is great. On top of that, the binos have a close focus of 6.6 feet, so you can get to see birds, small animals, and insects in great detail.
Like many premium binos, the Carson 3D uses ED glass lens, which helps prevent chromatic aberration. And it also uses multicoated lenses to provide you with clear views irrespective of the lighting conditions.
The other thing that’s great about this bino is its strong and durable build. The Carson 3D is made of tough and long-lasting material to give you many years of use.
And the build has a rubber armoring to give a solid grip and to minimize the damage in case they accidentally fall or bump into other objects.
- Extra-Low Dispersion Glass
- Phase Corrected BAK4 Roof Prisms
- Anti-Reflection Fully Multicoated Lenses
- Closed-Bridge Configuration
- Knurled Center Focus Knob
- Right-Eye Dioptric Correction
- 19.5mm Long Eye Relief
- Nitrogen-filled, Water & Fogproof
- Protective Black Rubberized Armoring
- Slip-Resistant Grip
- Thumb Grooves on Underside
4. Nikon 8246 Aculon A211 10×42 Review
If you are looking for a bino that is reliable and delivers consistent performance, then you should consider getting the Nikon 8246 Aculon A211 10×42.
Nikon is known for developing top-quality optics. And what I like about the Nikon Aculon A211 is that it’s significantly affordable and performs way better than some similar models that are pricey.
It is a 42mm bino with a 10x magnification. It is a porro prism bino so it’s a bit larger than a roof prism bino and some people may find it heavy. But it offers extremely clear views in extreme conditions and in low light.
Another great feature is its 420 feet field of view. It’s pretty wide making it easy for you to keep track of a moving bear or coyote. And with a close focus distance of 16 feet, you can spot small animals at a distance.
And using the adjustable eye cups, you can adjust the eye relief for comfortable viewing. Although I don’t find the 11.6mm eye relief adequate for people who wear spectacles. It’s sufficient for people who don’t have eye problems.
The Aculon A211 has a solid design. The rubber armoring makes it easy for you to grip the binos even if your hands are wet. And it protects the binos from water damage.
- BAK4 Traditional Porro Prism Design
- Aspheric Lens Design
- Lead- & Arsenic-Free Eco-Glass
- Anti-Reflection Multi-Coated Optics
- 11.6mm Eye Relief
- Smooth Central Focus Knob
- Right-Eye Dioptric Correction
- Turn-and-Slide Rubber Eyecups
- Durable Rubber-Armored Coating
- Comfortable Slip-Resistant Grip
- One-Piece Tethered Ocular Rainguard Protects Eyecups
- Tripod Mountable
5. Athlon Optics 113004 Midas 8×42 Review
The Athlon Optics 113004 Midas 8×42 uses ED glass lens that reduces chromatic fringe and they are coated to bring a clear image to your eyes. The BaK-4 prisms are also coated to give you sharper images at any distance.
These are 8x42mm roof prism binos that come with adjustable eye cups. And you can twist the eyecups to get the eye relief that you are comfortable with.
When it comes to build, the Midas has a magnesium chassis that has rubberized armor. The armor gives you a firm grip and protects the bino from water damage.
So it can withstand any challenging elements, which means you can visit Yellowstone irrespective of the weather condition.
- Compact BAK4 Roof Prisms
- Advanced Fully Multi-Coated Optics
- Extra-Low Dispersion Glass Objectives
- ESP Dielectric Coating & XPL Coating
- Phase Corrected Prisms
- Lightweight Magnesium Chassis
- Long Eye Relief
- Close Focus
- Twist Up Eyecups
- Waterproof & Argon Purged
Yellowstone is one of the most spectacular places in the world. There is a plethora of wildlife and geological spectacles. From geysers erupting hot water over 100 feet in the air to beautiful gray wolves hunting in packs.
There is so much to see that you need more than two days to enjoy every bit of it. And to see and enjoy many of these attractions, you need a pair of quality binos.
But how do you know what binos to buy for your Yellowstone adventure?
Choosing a quality set of binos can be a challenge. Not all binos are designed for wildlife viewing or sightseeing. So the first thing you need to check is whether the binos are roof prism or porro prism binos.
The other features to check are the objective lens and the magnification. You don’t need high magnification for wildlife observation. Magnification of 8x is sufficient to see animals at long distances in great detail. And you won’t experience any handshake.
There are other features that you should look into like the field of view, eye relief, and build.
Yellowstone is a beautiful place with plenty of wildlife and you don’t want to miss out on anything. And to enjoy it even more, get yourself a good set of binos like the Vortex Optics Diamondback binos.
They have great image clarity and a rubber armor body that offers extra external protection from water and shock damage. And with the lifetime warranty, you can enjoy free repairs.