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The Best Kids’ Binoculars for Intrepid Outdoor Explorers

Nature is better than screen time.

The best kids’ binoculars let kids see the world around them in a new and magnified way. With binoculars for kids, intrepid explorers can see bugs in exquisite detail, and spot birds nesting in towering trees. It’s STEM learning in action. Youth binoculars let kids explore nature up close, are durable, and lightweight enough to be toted around.

Our friends at REI have a few solid suggestions for picking out binoculars. You want a full-sized pair for birding or otherwise watching wildlife. A mid-sized pair is great for all-around sporting use. And a compact set, while being the lightest, are also the least comfortable because of their size (or lack thereof). In terms of magnification, binoculars have two numbers showing magnification power and lens diameter.

Binoculars with a magnification power of five, for example, make objects appear five times closer. And if you’re taking your kid out to spot some hawks or eagles, get binoculars with a wide field view.  And if you’re heading out in nasty weather, consider getting a pair of waterproof or weather-resistant binoculars. 

The Best Kids’ Binoculars for Preschoolers

These sweet little binoculars weigh 5.6 ounces, so they're ideal for toddlers; they are toys only, without amplification, but are great for pretend play.

These starter binoculars, ideal for preschoolers, are focus-free and feature large eyepieces for ease of use. They provide 2x magnification, and have a breakaway neck strap. And they weigh only 4.8 ounces.

At 3.87 ounces, these hardy binoculars are perfect for little preschooler hands. These are 4x25 adjustable field glasses, and will encourage youngsters to get outside and explore the world around them.

The Best Binoculars for Older Kids

If you want a truly immersive experience, these badass binos both amplify what kids see, want what they hear. For your aspiring birder, or just kid who needs a little encouragement to come hike with you, these next-level kids binoculars should do the trick. They amplify sights and sounds three times so kids can wear them like sunglasses and see the wonders of nature up close but also hear the birds by means of a locational microphone.

These wonderful binoculars have 8x magnification power, and 6. 5 foot close focus. As for durability, these have a waterproof/fogproof, rubber-armored, polycarbonate housing. Meaning, they're gonna last. And last. These are a solid mid-sized affordable option for kids old enough to handle something that's not a toy. And they weigh 1.25 pounds.

These durable yet affordable binoculars will take a beating and still keep working. Their rubber coating and recessed lenses protect them during all kinds of scrapes and tumbles. The lenses themselves are no slouch—anti-reflective and offering eight-times magnification, they’re a great option for vacations and neighborhood exploration.

These binoculars are great for older kids and are absolutely perfect for hikes and camping trips. OK, while not technically for kids, if your tween or teen has shown responsibility with cheaper options, SkyGenius is an affordable upgrade to adult-quality optics. The 10-times magnification of a 50mm lens will have him or her picking the nose of local wildlife. Some slip- and shock-resistance is standard, and it’s even adaptable to a tripod.

Kids can customize these sports binoculars to best see their favorite teams, based on the color of the jersey. These water-resistant binoculars are no joke. They have awesome permafocus technology that keeps distant objects in focus, so kids don't need to constantly make adjustments. And they come with red, blue, black, and white color tiles so kids can focus on their favorite teams from a distance.

True night vision binoculars cost a small fortune. Here's a hardy, handy set that's great for kids. Call us crazy, but we're guessing you do not want to shell out a car payment for top of the line night vision binoculars that your intrepid explorers will lose somewhere in the yard. So check out this pair. They have 12x magnification, and work great in low-light conditions, but not in complete darkness. For that, you need military-grade or hunting-grade binos.

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