My favorite binoculars are an old pair of Bushnell Powerview 10X50 binoculars.
I found them at a yard sale for a very low price. They have an adjustable right eyepiece which I re-set, then use a lever to focus both eyepieces. They provide a 34 foot view at a thousand yards.
I rarely use them at that range because in northwest Michigan I am normally looking at deer, fox, coyotes and small animals at closer range.
The ten power brings my target up close, and I am able to hand hold the binoculars. I am not steady enough to hold anything greater than ten power. I have tried a twenty five power spotting scope on a tripod, but it is difficult to acquire and follow the target.
My Bushnell binoculars are the ideal for critter watching, because they are portable, easy to use and easy to carry.
I don’t recall using these binoculars in the rain, the critters I watch are smart enough to find shelter!
Using them in winter requires special attention. Bringing warm binoculars out in a snowstorm is asking for problems. When I plan to use them in snow, I just leave them in the car overnight so that they are the ambient temperature to prevent snow from melting on them.
For winter outings, I dress in multiple layers, then keep the binoculars outside the outer layer. When I go outside, I avoid stepping in snow for the first ten minutes so that my boots and pants have a chance to get cold. This keeps my boots and clothes dry. Then all I have to remember is to NOT breathe on the binoculars.
The only downside to these binoculars is that they can’t be used closer than about 35 feet. When stalking a vole or chipmunk, they frequently get closer than 35 feet.