Whether you’re a hunter, photographer, birdwatcher, or just a visitor to the Smoky Mountains, everyone should have themselves a pair of binoculars for whatever adventure might call for having some. Binoculars let you see far into a landscape for your eyes to roam when your feet aren’t allowed to walk that far. So here are my top 10 compact binocular reviews 2012.

Vanguard Orros 8x25 mm Compact Binoculars

High definition performance, moderate price what more do you really need. This is a nice basic set of binoculars that are extremely user friendly.

Carson Scout 8x22 mm Binoculars

These binoculars are conveniently priced for social outings and have a great outer protection coat. So if you have a little one at the ball game who’s just dying for a closer look, why deny the kid? Carson Scout binoculars can take the pressure!

Yukon Frontier 10x42 mm Compact Waterproof Binoculars

The name is perfect because I’ve taken these binoculars on many frontier adventures. I’ve definitely had my share of dropping them in ponds or streams, and they hold up in the water. If only I could open my eyes underwater, I could take these bad boys into the ocean! 

Kruger Optical 6x18 Discovery Expedition Compact Binoculars

Fully water proof, light in weight, inexpensive, and user-friendly – never have I had as much fun recommending the quirky Kruger compact binoculars to friends and family! Oh, did I mention it can FOLD?

Barska 10x20 mm Blueline Compact Binoculars

These nifty little binoculars have – instead of the standard black or grey coat – a fierce metallic shine that will give you an extra hint of awesomeness on your outing. It’s a perfect cross between sophistication and technological assertiveness. This Barska is a personal favorite of mine for concerts in orchestra halls.

Carson 30x21 mm GreyHawk Compact Zoom Binoculars

Similar in body shape and weight to the Carson Scout, the Carson GreyHawk expands on standard binoculars to venture into zooming features. As much as I hated my dad dragging me out of bed at 4 a.m. for hunting, I would’ve jumped at the chance to wield a Carson GreyHawk as a kid out in the great old outdoors. Lucky for kids today that it’s around now, huh? Now even the most reluctant companion to their dad can become a nature enthusiast with one look into these binoculars.

Eschenbach 10x28 Farlux B Silver Binoculars

Just with German roots in the name, we already know this item is a pillar of technology. However, if you shake your head at such an assumption and want some real proof of quality, you’ll surely find it with these binoculars. The lenses are intricately designed and coated, while the outside is equally complex to be durable – an ideal combination.

Leica 10x25 Trinovid Binoculars

No matter what you’re looking at, you’re guaranteed a high definition look as long as you carry these Leica Trinovid Binoculars with you. Strong lens performance and lightness make these binoculars a pleasure to carry wherever you might need them.

Steiner 10.5x28 Wildlife Pro Binoculars

I don’t recall ever being quite so surprised as I was by Steiner’s 10.5x28 Wildlife Pro Binoculars. To me, “pro” usually suggests that only the best of the best can use that product because they have the most know-how (i.e. the skills to work the darn thing). Putting the word “pro” in a product name serves to warn brand new enthusiasts that they may like to look elsewhere until they’re proficient in the product. These, however, were user-friendly and 100% effective right away.

Kruger Optical 10x32 mm BackCountry Compact Binoculars

These binoculars work wonders for heavily wooded areas or places where a little too much sun is getting in and obscuring your vision. When I dabble in photography, Kruger’s BackCountry compacts allow me to look around through their lenses to see what my eyes can’t. They are a photographer’s best friend, letting him know just where to put the camera lens!