Choosing a Pair of Binoculars? What You Need to Know
Whether you’re on safari or a hunting trip, there’s one thing you’ll surely need: a good pair of binoculars. Animals won’t always cross your path or go close to your safari vehicle as you observe them in their natural habitat. Without binoculars, getting an up-close look at a hippopotamus resting on the riverbed some distance away is impossible.  Many people wish to purchase binoculars to make the most out of their first safari experience. However, shopping for a pair that’s just right for their needs can get overwhelming, what with all the options available.  Finding the best pair depends on several factors. Consider these, and you’ll find the perfect set for your safari or hunting trip in no time. 

All About Binoculars

Binocular basics

Binoculars work by magnifying what people see with special lenses. When choosing what kind of binoculars to get, the first thing you should consider is the magnification level. This is usually indicated on the packaging as a set of two numbers with an “x” between them. The first number stands for the magnification level. For instance, binoculars marked with 10 x 43 mean they can magnify up to ten times larger than the normal eye.  The second number stands for the aperture, which determines how much light the lenses let in. Lower apertures create bigger spaces for light to enter. This works relative to the magnification level. Generally, the lower the magnification compared to the aperture, the higher the crispness and quality the image will be. This is because bigger lenses let more light in, so details are much more precise and easier for the eye to see.

General uses for binoculars

Binoculars can fall into two categories: hunting and bird watching. Both of these activities require binoculars that are much higher in quality than those designed for more casual use. It’s recommended that a magnification of at least 6 to 8 should be used for bird watching.  Those looking to buy binoculars for recreational purposes should look for sturdiness as opposed to sensitivity. You probably won’t need a pair with a magnification level used for hunting or bird watching, but if you want to bring it with you on a rock climbing or river rafting trip, you’ll need a much more solid build to protect the lenses inside. 

How to choose a pair of binoculars

Before making your purchase, it’s important to try the binoculars of your choice. Higher-end optic dealers will always let you test a product before making the investment. Here are some things to do when buying your binoculars:
  • Determine your price range - The best binoculars will be comfortable while producing a crisp, clear image through the lenses. You can find such binoculars in both higher and lower price ranges. 
  • Choose a magnification - Keep in mind that binoculars with higher magnification are prone to handshake and don’t work as well unless there’s a lot of light available. Those with 8x magnification show an image that is brighter, clearer, and with a wider view. 
  • Test the eye relief - Binoculars will usually have eyecups that can adjust depending on your need, such as for people who wear eyeglasses. Make sure there’s enough eye relief and that you don’t see black rings around the image.
  • Check the image quality - Your eyes will be looking through the lenses for extended periods. Ensure that the colors look just the way they should and that the image is sharp and clear. Testing binoculars out in a place with low light is a good tip.
  • Test several models - Each model is different. One might have the perfect lenses but sit uncomfortably between your eyes. Another might be great to hold, but not have the right specifications for the lenses. Trying different models will eventually land you a pair that suits you best. 


With a great pair of binoculars, you can take your safari and any outdoor activity to the next level. There are many things to consider when finding just the right pair, but for anybody who’s adventurous and wants to see the world through a different pair of eyes, this is the perfect way to do so. If you’re looking for the right pair of binoculars, casual safari wear, or something as specific as a KAVU critter tale rope bag, we at Safari Supply cater to the needs of world travelers, global hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. We offer a broad selection of premium outdoor, adventure, and safari gear and clothing to suit your needs. View our catalog to find the right gear for you.