A waterproof 8x42 roof prism binocular, such as the Nikon 8x42 Monarch is the universal binocular and can be used for just about any binocular application. If you are new to binoculars, you will an 8x42 easier to use than a 10x42. The $300 price point also gets you the most optics and quality for the dollar. Beyond that, you pay much more for ever smaller increases in quality and performance.
I just bought my first pair of mid range binos ($300-$600) and I tested a whole bunch of different brands and models. The best bang for the buck, (for me) was the Vortex Viper 8x42. I tested them at a local retailer and looked across their large store focusing on a far away sign to test them. I could see some subtle differences in the slightly darker environment, but there were some very clear differences after testing them outside in the parking lot.
The Nikon Monarch's are pretty good overall, but there are some very clear differences when you get in an environment where there is high lighting and you can compare these models side by side. We focused on a sign approximately 500 yards away, and you could make out the letters just barely with the Monarch's, (which it would be acceptable if i didn't know better.) but throw the Viper's up to your eyes, and you could read everything clear and crisp. I really was not believing what i was seeing until i messed with both for a few minutes. I re-focused, and adjusted, and tinkered, and i there was truly no way to get the monarch's as crisp and clear as the Viper's.
I'm not saying the Monarch's are bad glasses, nor am I pushing the Viper's, the point of my story is, you would definitely benefit from comparing a few in your price range side by side to see the differences. I will GUARANTEE, no matter what anybody says, there are differences in every price range. I compared quite a few models, from Swarovski EL's, (which were the clear winner's in every category for me, however out of my price range) to Leica's, Zeiss, all the way down to the Bushnell Elite's. For the money that i was willing to spend, the Viper's were the best bang for the buck. Clarity, size, build quality, FOV,
I would recommend finding a large retailer such as Cabela's or Sportsman's Warehouse, that have a large number of models in stock and just start using them. You will quickly discover what you can and can't live without for the money that you are willing to spend.