It's easy to drop some serious dough on optics, but it's not always necessary. For a solid binocular at a great price, don't overlook the Nikon ProStaff 3s. Lightweight and waterproof, with a rubberized non-slip surface, the 3s lets in loads of light, offering impressive sharpness and a bright, clear view. I chose the 8x42, which allows easy scanning and quick subject acquisition from eye to glass. In the truck, these binos bring roadside raptors into detail and reveal elk hidden on distant hillsides. In the field, they're light and compact, creating absolutely no strain on my neck, and the long eye relief means I can use them while wearing glasses. Throw in the lifetime no-fault repair/replacement policy, and this bino becomes one of the best deals around. $120; nikonsportoptics.com.