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The Best Binoculars of 2017


Binoculars haven’t changed much in a hundred years. They remain, at their essence, portable parallel tubes that magnify and brighten distant objects. While electronics (in the form of integrated laser rangefinders) have made recent appearances in the category, evolution in the ecosystem of binoculars is slow. Besides cosmetic changes—a fresh style of eyecup here or a new armor texture there—this year’s crop of binoculars is functionally identical. There isn’t a rangefinding bino in the bunch. That’s not to say there’s nothing remarkable. We tested some of the finest binoculars in the 14-year history of our evaluation, and we uncovered some screaming deals. But performance boosts were achieved with advances in optical coatings and new types of glass that allow more light transmission.
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