Best Solar Binoculars – Top Reviews in 2019

If you want equipment to view the sun, but solar telescopes and solar glasses are too much or not enough, then solar binoculars will be a perfect balance. Solar-viewing binoculars are just like standard binoculars, but when used correctly, allow you to look at the sun, magnified.

Using binoculars to stare at the sun can be such a fascinating study. It’s especially interesting during a solar eclipse. The best feature about these binoculars is that you still get adequate magnification power, which is a bit better than solar glasses but not quite as powerful as the magnification of a solar telescope.

Most models are designed to protect you from harmful rays of sun that can do damage to your eyes. Looking at the sun for even a second without protection can do irreparable damage to your eyes. The most important feature is the ISO industry safety rating so always make sure the binoculars you use have the best possible rating.

It’s also very important to note that it’s not safe to use this equipment without first making the proper adjustments. Never assume the equipment is already set and always take the time to ensure you’ve set it. Follow these instructions to set your equipment properly before viewing the sun.

Set Your Solar Binoculars Before You Use Them

Before loading your solar binoculars into your favorite solar backpack, make sure to configure it properly. Like with a solar telescope, setting your optical equipment is easy. All it requires is that you set the diopter control. To do this you’ll be using the two controls on your equipment; the center focus (in the center of the unit) and the diopter control (at the eye-placement end of the lens). You’ll also be using an objective cover. An objective cover typically comes with the equipment, but it can be purchased separately.

To set your diopter control:

  1. Place the objective cover over the the right objective lens.
  2. Looking down, turn your body toward the sun.
  3. Remain looking down and place the unit comfortably to your eyes. Note that you will not be able to see anything yet because of the solar-protective filter.
  4. Raise your gaze upward, looking through the eyepiece until you see the sun.
  5. Adjust your center control until the disc of light is in focus through the eyepiece. Leave the center control where it is and do not readjust it from focus.
  6. Lower your gaze away from the sun, looking downward through the eyepiece.
  7. Take the unit away from your eyes to switch the objective cover to the left objective lens.
  8. As before, look comfortably downward through the eyepiece.
  9. Raise your gaze again to find the sun in the lens.
  10. If the sun is now in focus, you’re done. If not, adjust your diopter control until the sun is in focus. Now you’re ready for the best view of the sun.

When you’re done looking at the sun, ALWAYS look downward to the ground before removing the equipment from your eyes. And remember to wear proper sun protection, like this solar escape hat.

Now that you’re familiar with how to safely enjoy sun-viewing, let’s take a look at some of the most popular models available online. As you read the reviews below, keep in mind how you, personally, intend to use yours. Will it be only on occasion? Will you need them to be rugged and durable? The comparison of these reviews below will help you make the right choice for investing in this unique and fascinating solar equipment. (Looking for more cool solar products? Check out these awesome solar watches!)

Celestron EclipSmart Solar Eclipse Binoculars

Lunt Solar Systems Sunoculars

Celestron EclipSmart Sun Binoculars

Best Solar Binoculars – Top Reviews of 2019

All of the models that have made it to our list comply with ISO safety standards and can be used by adults or children, though it’s recommended that children be over 3 years of age and supervised for safety, especially to the eyes. In addition to safety, we’ve also taken into consideration the field of view, versatility, durability, and price. Read below for 2019’s top reviews for the best solar binoculars.

Celestron EclipSmart Solar Eclipse Binoculars

Editor's Pick

Whether you want to observe the natural details of the sun for your science project, track planetary transit, or watch the next eclipse, the Celestron EclipSmart model is hands-down the best in solar binoculars.

These boast built-in, non-removable, glass solar filters that fully meet the ISO standards for safe viewing of the sun. They enhance overall safety and even go the extra step to make safety easy for younger enthusiasts. Another nice feature is the 42mm wide objective lens aperture. You’ll be able to locate the sun easily, and thanks to the 10x magnification power, you’ll even be able to observe sunspots and other indicators of solar activity.

Comfortable and eyeglass-friendly, this equipment also features soft, folding eyecups and come with all necessary accessories including an objective cover, neck strap, and carrying case to take them wherever you go.

PROS:

  • Includes all necessary accessories
  • Includes a carry case
  • ISO12312-2 - Safe
  • Generous field of view
  • Durable and rugged

CONS:

  • Can be difficult to focus
  • Does not include instructions

Celestron EclipSmart Sun Binoculars

Best Value

From the same brand and sharing many features with our top pick, the Celestron EclipSmart Total Eclipse brings outstanding value for money. It has a smaller objective lens aperture of only 25mm; but it’s only a fraction of the cost. It’s the ideal set for students; allowing thorough observation of the sun without breaking the bank.

Like its bigger brother, this model comes with a dual lens, non-removable, glass solar filter and comply with ISO safety standards. A set of instructions will tell you how to use it, so you can observe the natural details of our daystar.

A smaller frame, and rugged rubber-armored aluminum design, makes this model ideal to carry for an outdoor adventure. Despite the more restricted field of view, it’s still easy to locate the sun and observe the entire disk. Furthermore, you’ll enjoy the same 10x magnification. Coming with a great price and packing a variety of incredible features, this unit is perfect if you’re looking for the right balance between value and money.

PROS:

  • Very affordable
  • ISO12312-2 - Safe
  • 10x magnification
  • Durable and rugged

CONS:

  • Smaller field of view

Meade Instruments EclipseView Solar Binoculars

The Meade Instruments 127000 EclipseView is a versatile choice for those interested in observing solar activity, but also other celestial wonders like the stars and planets. It’s not as powerful as a telescope but still has 10x magnification power. A 50mm wide objective lens aperture will help you bring your sky monitoring at the next level, whether it’s observing an eclipse, the milky way, or Andromeda.

The coated optics and BK-7 prisms provide really bright, high-resolution images; just what you need for taking pictures at night. However, the removable white light filters are the true perk of these solar binoculars. They are CE and ISO-certified for safe solar viewing, and you can simply attach them to the lens before observing the sun.

A rubber armored body ensures a comfortable and secure grip. However you must pay attention when children are using this equipment, as improper mounting of the filters could result in serious eye damage. Perfect to use for eclipse watching, sun observations, stargazing, and even bird watching, this equipment is undoubtedly some of the best you can find.

PROS:

  • Provides high-resolution images
  • CE & ISO Certified for Safe Viewing
  • 50x magnification

CONS:

  • Can be difficult to focus and display double-vision

Lunt Solar Systems Sunoculars

Most Popular

Perfect for kids 13 years and older, these binoculars are great for anyone shopping on a budget. Whether it’s for your child’s school project or just to have some fun observing Helios from your backyard, the Lunt Solar Systems Sunoculars are a great alternative to eclipse glasses.

Instead of white light filter lenses, they filter the light through CE-certified film. This still ensures a high-quality viewing, but it’s not recommended to watch the sun for too long through this filter. This instrument also features ultraviolet and infrared-blocking components, displaying the sun in a pleasant orange color.

Specifications include 6x magnification power and 30mm objective aperture. Fixed eyecups make it a bit harder to use with eyeglasses; nevertheless, this model is an excellent choice considering their price and will more than suffice for viewing a solar eclipse event.

PROS:

  • Very affordable
  • CE-certified for safety
  • Great for kids
  • Ultraviolet and infrared blocking

CONS:

  • Not appropriate for prolonged sun-viewing

Lunt Solar Systems Sunoculars Eclipse Binoculars

The last entry on our list is another choice from Lunt Solar Systems. If the mini variant doesn’t suit you and you don’t mind dropping a few extra bucks, the full-size model enhances the viewing of eclipses, planetary transit, and sunspot observation.

With built-in white light filters, this model is undoubtedly a better choice than the mini model if you want to observe the sun for long periods of time. This model also includes the filtering and blocking of ultraviolet and infrared light from the sun. A 13.6mm eye relief also allows using this model while you’re wearing eyeglasses. Furthermore, the 8x magnification and 32mm apertures allow a seamless observation of the entire solar disk. Perfect for many purposes and equipped with a soft case, lens cap, and strap, this is a sound investment if you don’t mind the heftier price.

PROS:

  • Easily view eclipses, planetary transit, sunspots, magnetic activity
  • All ultraviolet and infrared components are completely and safely blocked
  • Includes all necessary accessories
  • Includes a carry case

CONS:

  • A bit more expensive than other models

What to Consider When Buying

What to Consider When Buying

You should be extra careful when buying solar binoculars. Never buy a pair of binoculars that do not come ISO (and/or CE) safety certified. Since you’ll need an objective lens cover, it’s best to look for a model that automatically comes with one. Do not attempt to use your solar binoculars without a lens cover. Here are some other important features to consider:

White light filters: some models can have either built-in filters made of glass, or CE-certified film or removable filters. Removable filters can also be made of glass or film, and they can be either custom-made for your specific binocular model or universal. The best models have built-in glass filters, which offer the highest degree of protection. However, some models with removable filters are more versatile, allowing you to make other observations too.

Magnification and lens aperture: The main reason to buy binoculars instead of eclipse glasses is magnification. You can use them to watch the eclipse, to track planetary transit, or observe sunspots. Most high-end equipment has at least 10x magnification and a wide lens aperture; usually 25mm or over. Lower magnification is also acceptable, especially if your main purpose is to watch an eclipse.

Build quality: solar viewing equipment is often employed by kids for their science projects. That’s why you should invest in a resistant instrument that can withstand harsh use. A rubber-armored aluminum body is your best bet, as these units provide better grip and also have a better impact resistance.

Accessories: It might not seem important, but accessories can enhance your user experience. Some of the most useful accessories include soft or hard carry cases, neck straps, lens covers, and a lens cloth.

Conclusion

A pair of these binoculars are a must-have if you want to observe solar activity throughout the year or watch an eclipse event. They’ll come in handy if you want to explore the solar system as well. The market is full of choices, from models with built-in glass filters, to more versatile alternatives with removable filters.

Which product is the best for you largely depends on your purpose and budget. If you only want to watch eclipses now and then, a cheaper option could be ideal. If you’re an astronomy enthusiast or need great gear for a science project, a pair with high-quality lenses, glass filters, and a greater magnification is undoubtedly a better choice.

Regardless of your needs or purpose, we hope this article has helped you find the right selection. Whatever your choice, all the solar binoculars featured on our list will surely offer a quality view of the sun, safely.

4.6 rating
Based on 29 reviews

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