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The Best Binoculars for Football Games Reviewed (Buyer’s Guide)

Scored some cheap tickets but realized they’re in the nosebleeds? Scored some box tickets but realized the box is all the way up there?

Being at the stadium but having to watch the football game on the big screen is a major bummer, and that’s where having a good pair of binoculars can make a huge difference. After I’ve researched, compiled and curated a list of the top 10 brands, I found Nikon 8252 ACULON A211 to be the overall best binoculars for football game. 

Below, you’ll find a comprehensive review of some of the finer binoculars on the market, as well as a buying guide to help you decide what is best specifically for you.

So keep on reading!

PRODUCT

PRODUCT DETAILS

BEST OVERALL

Nikon 8252 ACULON A211

  • Excellent magnification range that is easy to adjust.
  • Delivers a high-quality image under a multitude of weather and lighting conditions.
  • Offers a wide range of magnifications that can be quickly customized to the situation

BEST SMALL COMPACT BINOCULARS

Wingspan Optics Spectator 8x32

  • Crystal clear image quality produces sights that the naked eye cannot.
  • The non-slip grip feature makes it easy for everyone to hold on to for an extended period of time.
  • A large field of view means that you’ll be able to see a whole stretch of the field, and enables you to zoom in on particular players or actions, like when a kicker is about to attempt a game-winning field goal.

BEST OPTICAL PERFORMANCE

Celestron Outland 8x42

  • A versatile binocular with superb value.
  • Ideal in low-light conditions, like Monday Night Football.
  • Excellent field of view.

BEST VALUE

Canon 10x30 IS Ultra-Compact Binoculars

  • No need to invest in a tripod.
  • Image Stabilization helps you to follow the action closely.
  • Awesome price point for compact, easy-to-carry binoculars that are chock-full of features.

MOST-WEATHER RESISTANT

Bushnell 10x42

  • Focus switch is easily located on top of binoculars.
  • Multi-coated optics for advanced light transmission.
  • 100% waterproof and extremely durable.

Best Binoculars For Football Games

#1 Best Overall: Nikon 8252 ACULON A211

The ACULON A211 10-22×50 zoom binoculars are perfect for watching the game from the box. They’re built with multi-purpose functionality with magnification possibilities of up to 22 times.

This pair of binoculars includes all of the basics, such as a single piece tethered ocular rain guard used to protect the eye cups. Plus, it also has the ability to clip the objective lens cap to the neck strap. However, the binoculars also have state-of-the-art features like its highly durable rubber coating armor.

Nikon has engineered a number of high-quality features into the ACULON A211, like multicoated lenses and porro prisms, which work together to provide excellent depth of field. This enables you to spot even the tiniest details over the course of the game. You may even have a better view of that game-changing fumble than what the official on the field can see!

Best yet, the lenses on the ACULON are anti-reflective, meaning the sun won’t be blocking out your eyes over the course of the game. The magnification on these binoculars are also easy to adjust, with the zoom lever carefully mounted on the eyepiece.

PROS

  • Excellent magnification range that is easy to adjust.
  • Delivers a high-quality image under a multitude of weather and lighting conditions.
  • Offers a wide range of magnifications that can be quickly customized to the situation.
  • Smooth range of focus allows for quick viewing.
  • Has a comfortable and ergonomic design.
  • Tripod adapter included for hands-free use.

CONS

  • Can feel a little heavy to carry after a long period of use.

Moreover, Nikon has designed the ACULON to be as ergonomic as possible, and that includes a lightweight design that comes in at just over three pounds. This means you can get the best out of the binoculars no matter the game day conditions, and you’ll be able to carry them from the tailgate all the way to the end of the fourth quarter.

#2 Best Small Compact Binoculars: Wingspan Optics Spectator 8x32

The Wingspan Optics Spectator are the perfect pocket-sized optics to carry with you wherever, whenever. Best of all, these compact binoculars do not compromise at all on detail, clarity and brightness, and are in fact loaded with so many amazing features!

Take, for the example, the nitrogen-sealed lenses which prevent fogging, and the extra-wide field of view that can bring you eight times closer to the action. With an objective lens of 32mm, these compact binoculars are easy to grip for both adults and children. This means that no one has to miss out on the gridiron action. Simply find your target with a wide view and zone in.

PROS

  • Crystal clear image quality produces sights that the naked eye canno
  • The non-slip grip feature makes it easy for everyone to hold on to for an extended period of time.
  • A large field of view means that you’ll be able to see a whole stretch of the field, and enables you to zoom in on particular players or actions, like when a kicker is about to attempt a game-winning field goal.
  • Budget-friendly considering the bevy of features.

CONS

  • Though advertised as waterproof, the binoculars are only able to withstand splashes of water on the surface and the lenses. Therefore not ideal for heavy rain game days.

The image itself is brilliant, sharp and crystal clear even with the focus not sharpened. All thanks to the use of BAK-4, which is technology that helps produce a better image quality and has anti-reflective varnishes.

#3 Best Optical Performance: Celestron Outland 8x42

The Celestron Outland 8×42 was engineered to meet everyone’s needs, and the optics on these binoculars match their general versatility. The lenses are multi-coated to give you high resolution and high contrast views, while the prisms are made of BAK-4 glass to offer enhanced color fidelity.

These binoculars preserve true colors in any kind of weather conditions. The wide 6.8°  angular field of view allows you to see 1000 yards into the distance, which means you will not miss a moment of the game.

In addition to its high-powered optical performance, the Outland binoculars offer a smooth rubberized armoring that ensures a non-slip grip. Moreover, there is a large knurled center focus knob and a rubber diopter ring to aid in focusing.

With 8x magnification, you’ll be able to catch and follow every player on the field. Plus, you’ll even be able to spot the beads of sweat pouring down their faces!

PROS

  • A versatile binocular with superb value.
  • Ideal in low-light conditions, like Monday Night Football.
  • Excellent field of view.
  • Sturdy enough to withstand the elements on the next rainy football game.
  • Extremely durable and rugged.

CONS

  • Can feel over encumbering after long periods of use.

These binoculars are also tripod-adaptable and include a binocular strap and a soft, protective case.

#4 Best Value: Canon 10x30 IS Ultra-Compact Binoculars

At an affordable price point, the Canon 10×30 IS Ultra-Compact Binocular is the best value you can find for binoculars of this quality. In fact, what separates these binoculars from the rest of its class is the Image Stabilization (IS) feature that prevents the shaking of the image when looking through the binocular.

Simply press the IS button on the top when the shaky image appears and the image will immediately become steady. This is crucial for following the trail of action on any given play. What’s more, if the ball is moving around frenetically (think: fumble), then you can quickly re-stabilize your image while following the ball.

The presence of IS means that you do not require a tripod, which helps you travel lighter when going to the stadium. Moreover, the IS considerably reduces eye fatigue and headaches caused by swaying images, which is something you will appreciate over the course of three hours.

PROS

  • No need to invest in a tripod.
  • Image Stabilization helps you to follow the action closely.
  • Awesome price point for compact, easy-to-carry binoculars that are chock-full of features.

CONS

  • Water resistant but not waterproof, meaning that the binoculars cannot be used in rain.
  • If dropped, can damage the IS mechanism.
  • Need a pair of AA batteries to utilize the IS mechanism.

Lastly, the eye cups are soft and made up of rubber, which can be folded down to increase the field of view. People with glasses will particularly appreciate this quality of life feature.

#5 Most Weather-Resistant: Bushnell 10x42

In terms of waterproofing, the Bushnell 10×42 binoculars have the most cutting-edge design on the market today. These binoculars are able to give you a crystal clear picture no matter the elements.

They are lightweight and feature a Soft Texture Grip to help keep your hand steady at all times, even during inclement wind conditions. Moreover, these binoculars are purged and sealed with nitrogen o-rings to ensure they remain waterproof.

Best yet, there’s no compromise on quality, as you’ll find the same quality of features. It has premium quality BAK-4 prism glass to maximize clarity and magnification options that provide a crisp and sharp image.

PROS

  • Focus switch is easily located on top of binoculars.
  • Multi-coated optics for advanced light transmission
  • 100% waterproof and extremely durable.
  • BAK4-4 prisms provide bright, crisp viewing so you don’t miss a single play.
  • Great for any situation.

CONS

  • Not the most compact and easy-to-carry binoculars.

Overall, Bushnell, a leading innovator in the optics industry, has developed a pair of binoculars that offer superior build, quality, and image even under the most extreme conditions.

Buying Guide

Buying binoculars to catch the football game can be a relatively complicated affair. After all, binoculars are complex pieces of technology, and not all binoculars are made the same. Luckily, I’ve created a buying guide to help you determine what pair of binoculars will suit you.

There are 4 specifications you should consider when purchasing binoculars: the product features, its size and weight, magnification options, and field of view.

Product Features

The binocular’s features are of utmost importance. Some models come provided with different types of coatings that eliminate the possible strain the binoculars might have on your eyes. While others feature a durable shell that will not break if accidentally dropped.

In general, I recommend you search for a pair of binoculars that are 100% waterproof. Most NFL stadiums are roof-less, meaning you’ll be outdoors for 3+ hours. If it rains, or some other meteorological conditions pop up, you won’t be able to enjoy the game unless you have waterproof binoculars.

It’s important to note that water-resistance is different from waterproof. Water-resistant means that the binoculars can overcome some water, but will be damaged in case of heavy rain. Waterproof, meanwhile, means that the binoculars can be submerged under water with no damage whatsoever.

Size & Weight

A football game can last upwards of three hours, once you factor in TV timeouts and halftime. This means that the size of your binoculars is crucial if you want to remain comfortable during the game.

A more compact size will allow you to hold your binoculars up throughout the entire course of the game, and will also help keep your hand steady as you are less likely to suffer from fatigue.

In general, lighter is better (20 to 25 mm objective lenses) because it means that you can carry the binoculars with one hand while you munch on popcorn on high-five fellow supporters. It also means that you won’t be burdened with carrying a heavy binocular through the tailgate and into the stadium.

Magnification Options

Magnification is an underrated feature that you should not take for granted. After all, the entire point of bringing binoculars to the football game is to magnify your viewing experience, right?

I recommend searching for binoculars that offer magnification between 7x to 10x, as this is the sweet spot between getting close to the action and getting TOO close, where your eyesight will fatigue and field of vision decrease.

You don’t want to miss the action, you want to capture it! Zooming in too much will cause you to lose the bigger picture and potentially miss an important moment in the game.

Field of View

At any given time, there are 22 players on the field, each occupying a small space of the 100-yard gridiron. This means that you need a pair of binoculars that will help you catch all of the action unhindered.

Binoculars that offer a small field of view will only allow you to catch a small piece of the action, while binoculars with fields of vision that are too wide will have you relying on your zoom and magnification features, which may cause a strain on the eye.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Nikon 8252 ACULON A211 is our favorite model for watching football games due to its magnification options, easy to focus control, and large, protective lenses. This pair of binoculars is your go-to if you’re looking to enhance your experience, whether your seats are in the nosebleeds or up in the box with the team’s owner.

You don’t need binoculars per se, but a quality pair will take your football game experience to the next level.

Use them to get a detailed view of the players in the huddle, or the referees, or even the coaches on the sideline. One of my favorite pastimes was watching Chip Kelly turn tomato-red after a missed penalty – something I never would have had the chance to look out for if I wasn’t using binoculars.

All of the binoculars highlighted on this list are perfect for following the action of the field. In general, you need more magnification the higher your seats, but try to aim for 7x to 8x, as this will provide the best aspect ratio in terms of getting a wide field of vision and seeing the field up close. Moreover, I recommend you purchase a pair of binocular that are, at minimum, water-resistant, as this will keep you covered on game days where there is inclement weather, which happens all the time in the NFL

The Canon 10×30 IS Ultra-Compact Binoculars is my pick for best value binoculars, primarily because it comes loaded with so many cutting-edge features. The Image Stabilization feature is just so handy, and the price point is surprisingly affordable all things considered.

As long as your binoculars are able to magnify to 7x or 8x, then the size of the model does not matter. In fact, compact might be better than bigger models as you will not have to lug the larger model around all day. Moreover, compact binoculars cause less strain on the user’s neck, hands, and eyes, and can therefore be more valuable than larger binoculars.

Final Words

If you are looking to take your viewing experience to the next level, I recommend the Nikon’s ACULON 8252 binoculars. These binoculars are the perfect entry-level models for those unfamiliar with how to use binoculars, and will help you catch all of the live action on the football field thanks to a plethora of features.


Nikon 8252 ACULON A211

Our Best Overall Binocular for Football Game

  • Excellent magnification range that is easy to adjust.
  • Delivers a high-quality image under a multitude of weather and lighting conditions.
  • Offers a wide range of magnifications that can be quickly customized to the situation.
  • Smooth range of focus allows for quick viewing.
  • Has a comfortable and ergonomic design.
  • Tripod adapter included for hands-free use.
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