Best Binoculars For Your Little Explorers

Kids love observing the world around them, even if these days that world is limited much more than usual.  One day the world will open up for travel again, and a pair of binoculars is an excellent gift to your child for any travel adventure. 

It’s important to realize that many kids’ binoculars are not going to have the same quality or longevity as adult binoculars, but remember that they’ll be using them for a much shorter period of time before outgrowing them.  

However, this shortened span is a valuable window for helping to instill a sense of wonder and curiosity in your kids, even if this has to begin with a backyard camping trip under the stars.

This post is part of our favourite kid’s camping gear series – come and see all the best gear for outdoor-loving kids

What To Look For In Kids’ Binoculars

Kids Binoculars vs. Adult Binoculars

While the qualities of kids and adult binoculars are similar, they are not quite the same.  Many adult binoculars are designed for specific viewing activities, such as birdwatching.  You can easily spend hundreds of dollars on adult binoculars, but children’s binoculars are generally much cheaper because your bub is often just tickled pink at being able to see something up close.  

Additionally, the manufacturers of children’s binoculars often emphasize durability as one of the main features of their product because, well, kids drop things. A lot. 

Features of Good Kids Binoculars

Magnification: Most kids’ binoculars have a magnification anywhere between 2x and 8x, which is beneficial because a higher power of magnification is more difficult for small hands to adjust.  

If it takes more than a few seconds for your child to adjust a blurry image, they will quickly get frustrated and give up OR you’ll spend every once-peaceful moment listening to demands for help. You don’t want that life.

Field of View (FOV): The field of view narrows and zooms in with higher magnification, so it’s best to choose binoculars for kids with no more than 8x power.  It’s much easier for young children to locate what it is they’re wanting to see with a wider, less powerful field of view. 

Size and Weight: We recommend choosing lightweight, compact binoculars, especially if you child is going to be carrying them around for an extended period of time (hiking, birdwatching, etc).  You also want to consider if your child will be able to hold the binoculars easily.  

A preschooler’s hands will be much smaller than a pre-teen’s.  Check the manufacturer’s recommended age range for the kids binoculars you’re considering.

Durability:  As we’ve previously outlined, durability is a MUST with binoculars for kids.  They need to be able to survive the likelihood of quite a few tumbles and still be usable.  Many kids’ binoculars have added cushion and anti-skid grips, which are a major plus.

Best Kids binoculars

BrandWeightMagnificationBest ForPrice
Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars8.5 oz2XToddler outdoor play$
Dreamingbox Compact Shock Proof Binoculars for Kids7.4 oz8 x 21 mmDurable and compact 3 to 12 year old$
THINKPEAK High Resolution Binoculars for Kids8.1 oz8 x 21 mm3 years+ $$
Cobiz Kids Binoculars5.1 oz10 x 25 mmSchool-aged children$$
Obuby Binoculars for Kids8.8 oz8 x 21 mm3 to 12 years$
Kidnoculars Extreme15.8 oz3x5 to 10 year olds$$
Occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars with Low Light Night Vision7.2 oz12 x 25 mm12 year old +$$
Celestron – Outland X 8x42 Binoculars2 lbs8 x 42 mm12 year old +$$$
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular1.5 lbs8 x 42 mm12 year old +$$$

$ – Under $20USD; $$ – Under $40USD; $$$ – Over $40USD

The Best Kids Binoculars for Preschoolers

Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars

Our top pick for binoculars for preschoolers are the Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars.  Given that it is often difficult for young children to adjust the vision clarity on binoculars, these are focus free and have enlarged, perfect-fit eyepiece goggles for comfortable viewing.  They are built with durability in mind, and are perfect for outdoor exploring.

The techie bits you need to know:

  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 5.75 x 2.8 inches
  • Item Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Magnification: 2X
  • Manufacturer Recommended Age: 36 months to 6 years
  • Large, comfy eyepieces for than 3X the size of normal eyepieces
  • Breakaway neck strap
  • Designed for outdoor play
  • No batteries required

Pros: Easiest binoculars for kids to use, focus-free vision, incredibly durable

Cons: Design is not very compact and could take up extra space in travel bag

LET’S GO! Compact Shock Proof Binoculars for Kids

These Let’s Go! Shockproof Binoculars work well for preschoolers for several reasons, the most important one being durability.  These kids binoculars are designed to be dropped quite a bit and still come out on the other side.  They also provide crystal clear magnification, and their compact design allows them to be easily stored in that toddler-sized travel backpack.

The techie bits you need to know:

  • Product Dimensions-4.65 x 3.98 x 2.13 inches
  • Item Weight-6.3 ounces
  • Magnification-8 x 21
  • 12 mm Objective Lens Diameter
  • 21 mm Field of view: 128m / 1000m (yard) Prism Type
  • Extra coating around eyepieces for added cushion and durability
  • Ergonomic, non-slip grip ideal for small hands
  • Shockproof rubber coating
  • FMC prism green coated optics system
  • Multi-layer broadband coating technology
  • Waterproof

Pros: Ideal for many different types of travel experiences, very durable, compact design

Cons: Field of view is small, difficult for younger children to adjust for clarity

THINKPEAK High Resolution Binoculars for Kids

These THINKPEAK binoculars are durable, lightweight, and compact.  They’re ideal for all types of travel and provide crisp, colorful images in high resolution.  The anti-friction, shockproof rubber coating technology helps these binoculars last for much longer than other products.  

The techie bits you need to know:

  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 4 x 1.5 inches
  • Item Weight: 8.1 ounces
  • Magnification: 8 x 21mm
  • Field of View: 7.2°
  • Manufacturer Recommended Age: 3 years and up
  • High-powered magnification
  • Ergonomically designed grip, especially for kids
  • Foldable for easy storage
  • Double breakaway neck strap hold binoculars securely in place

Pros: Made to survive tough environments, compact and travel-sized

Cons: Focusing dials may be difficult for children to adjust at first

The best kids binoculars 6 to 12-year-olds

Cobiz Kids Binoculars

We’ve chosen these Cobiz Binoculars for our top pick as they offer a more powerful viewing choice for older children who are more capable of focusing the lens.  They’re sleek and lightweight, and they fold for compact storage.  These kids’ binoculars are fully adjustable and allow for clear vision in many environments, from birdwatching to spying on lions on safari.  

The techie bits you need to know:

  • Product Dimensions: 3.22 x 3.93 x 2.16 inches
  • Item Weight: 5.1 ounces
  • Magnification: 10 x 25mm
  • Viewing Range: 380 feet to 1000 yards
  • Premium Optics
  • Lightweight, ergonomic design
  • Comes with neck strap and cleaning cloth
  • Ideal for any traveling situation 

Pros: Sleek design well-suited for older children, easily adjustable and storable

Cons: While viewing distance is good, it is not quite as powerful as more expensive counterparts

Obuby Binoculars for Kids

Coming in a close second, the Obuby Binoculars for Kids are incredibly compact and travel-friendly.  They don’t boast as powerful a magnification as our top pick, but they’re still a very reasonably priced choice for real professional binoculars for your child. 

The techie bits you need to know:

  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Item Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Magnification: 8 x 21
  • Viewing Range: 122 ft/1000 yards
  • Manufacturer Recommended Age: 3-12 years
  • Field of View: 7.2°
  • Soft rubber around eyepieces
  • Easy to focus
  • Superior high resolution magnification
  • BAK 4 FMC prism green multi-layer broadband
  • Ergonomically patented grip

Pros: Very powerful lens allows for crystal clear vision, low price point for high quality children’s binoculars

Cons: Too small for older children

Kidnoculars Extreme

These binoculars for kids are a great option for the kind of travel we’re used to nowadays, or the lack thereof.  Make the most out of backyard explorations and adventures with amplified vision and sound, and get your kids engaged in the world around them.  These can be stored easily in a backpack or knapsack, although they’re a bit bulkier than other models. 

The techie bits you need to know:

  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 9.8 x 3.1 inches
  • Item Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Magnification: 3x 
  • Manufacturer Recommended Age: 5-10 years
  • Requires 2 AAA batteries (not included)
  • Built-in audio amplification
  • Supports STEM learning

Pros: Added benefit of increased sound as well as vision, durable and comfortable

Cons: A bulkier option than others, and requires batteries to fully function

The Best Binoculars For Ages 12+

Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars with Low Light Night Vision

Our top choice goes to these high-powered yet compact binoculars perfect for the budding teen explorer.  The adjustable eyecups work well for those who wear glasses.  Not only are they waterproof, but they also work as low light night vision binoculars for late-night games and dimly lit areas.

The techie bits you need to know:

  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 4.4 x 1.9 inches
  • Item Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Magnification: 12 x 25
  • Field of View: 7.5°
  • Viewing Range: 273 ft/1000 yards
  • FMC Broadband coating and premium BAK4 prism
  • Portable, compact, and small
  • Durable and Waterproof

Pros: Excellent price point, combination of daytime and low-level night vision, easily stored in travel bag

Cons: Carrying strap must be purchased separately, no covers for eyepieces

Celestron – Outland X 8×42 Binoculars

These Celestron binoculars have a superior view to our top pick, and that also comes with a higher price point.  However, the added benefit of fog-proof capabilities and a durable carrying case along with accessories make this worthy of a second look.

The techie bits you need to know:

  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 3 x 8 inches
  • Item Weight: 2 pounds
  • Magnification: 8x42mm
  • Field of View: 6.8°
  • Multi-Coated Optics
  • Waterproof and Fogproof
  • Twist-up Eyecups for Quick Adjustment

Pros: Suited for a wide range of traveling activities, fogproof, very durable

Cons: Not as suited for astronomy, focus knob can be a bit stiff to adjust

Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular

If your teen is going to be spending any amount of time outdoors, these Bushnell Waterproof Binoculars are the way to go.  They boast impressive HD clarity and are 100% waterproof, so an accidental rain shower won’t put them out of commission. 

The techie bits you need to know:

  • Product Dimensions: 7.008 inches x 6.024 inches x 2.953 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Magnification: 8x42mm
  • Field of View: 325 ft.
  • 100% Waterproof construction
  • BaK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics
  • Non-slip rubber armour 

Pros: HD viewing quality, completely waterproof, adjustable eyepieces

Cons: Less affordable and heavier than other options, don’t come with a carrying case

By splitting these up into age categories, we hope we’ve been able to help you narrow down your choices depending on your child’s age and ability level.  

There are few things more exciting for many children than seeing the world around them up close, and any of these kids binoculars would be an excellent first step in bringing that wonder to your own child.

Before you go… More fun & practical kids products you may be interested in

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