The Scores

Our rating scores are based on 10 = THE perfect field guide.

Guess what?…No such field guide (yet) exists! There are a few guides that may rate a “10” in one or two categories, but the perfect guide is an illusive ideal that may never be attained.

Our ratings cover five areas that we feel are essential to all field guides:

  • Portability: how small and light-weight is it?
  • Quality: the accuracy and quality of the information provided.
  • Features: how many of essential features of a field/finding guide (book or app) does it provide. Note that in general book field guides tend to score lower on features.
  • Usability: how easy is it to use effectively. Books tend to score higher than apps in usability (except for books that require a lot of flipping around!)
  • Completeness: how comprehensive is the information provided for all of the species in the area covered?

The Criteria

How small and light-weight is it?

  • 10 = wearable
  • 9 = app or phone-sized booklet (roughly 3x5x0.4″ / 8 x13x1cm)
  • 7 = slim field guide (about 4.5×8.5×1″ or 12x19x2.5cm)
  • 5 = typical field guide (5.5x10x1.5 or 14x22x3cm
  • 3= large/heavy guide or desk reference
  • 1 = very large desk reference

We’re Tough

The Perfect Field Guide Doesn’t Exist

There are some great field guides out there, but none are perfect.   We try to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each guide, to help you choose the best guide for you. Our ratings our tough.  We believe “Perfection” is an an ideal and may be unattainable for many of the rating criteria.


Expert Reviews

By nature lovers, for nature lovers.

We’re a group of avid naturalists with extensive experience using field guides . Our goal is to give you the most insightful reviews based on our use and knowledge of each field guide.

Chime In!

Your reviews are important.

Each review impacts a guide’s score on the website and influences how we rate the guide. So, chime in!