Well while other shop in stores I can shop online. With bike computer and lights picked out what about binoculars. Been wanting a super compact and then a high quality one for years. The net is that if you want a midpriced binocular, go with the Vortex Viper HD 8×32 and if you want a set of compact then it is the Vortex Vanquish 8×26
At the high end are the 8×42 and then Ye midsized 8×32. The 42mm is nice but heavier. And easier to position because with a 42mm wide Lense even though they have the same 8x magnification you get more light. All in all a lighter 8×32 seems right for casual use.
Birdwatching.com has a good review and notes these with great scores. Of course the Swarovski, Zeiss, Leitz, Nikon cost $1800 so no surprise there.
Then high quality and moderate prices are the Meopta at $800 and the Aspen at $700.
The best values are the Vortex Viper. In 2011, they are replaced by the viper HD at $560. And the Vortex Fury 8×32 is just $300 so the easy value winner but also discontinued. Both seem like good find them on sale winners. Or wait for reviews of the HD to make sure they didn’t go backwards.
Binocular mid range Overall Score
Swarovski EL 8×32 WB 4.94
Zeiss FL 8×32 4.83
Leica Ultravid HD 8×32 4.76
Nikon EDG 8×32 4.65
Meopta Meostar 8×32 4.44
Vortex Viper 8×32 4.37
Alpen Rainier #67 8×32 4.10
Vortex Fury 8×32 4.01
Leupold Yosemite 8×30 3.01
Now for really inexpensives the vortex seems to dominate according to Birdwatching.com Picks
The vortex vanquish is just $119 and water proof too across lots of sites like Birdwatching.com Store but is porro prism
The vortex diamondback is also waterproof and roof prism 8×28 and $149 Birdwatching.com