Best Hunting Binoculars For Every Budget

March 15, 2020 2 Comments

best hunting binoculars

 

Binocular is an important part and device of the hunting process and we need to find the best set of binoculars for our hunting purposes.

If you have the right hunting binocular, it will be your friend when hunting. If you choose the wrong one you will be like one-handed hunter.

If you are an experienced hunter you know how to choose binoculars and why you need it.

If you are just starting as a hunter you probably want to know how to choose binoculars for hunting and how are they different from classic binoculars.

So, in this article I will explain all these aspects.

Normally, hunting binoculars are not much different from standard classic binoculars aside from a few aspects I want to talk about in this article.

First of all, hunters buy binoculars for spotting games or for scouting trails or just for observations including bird watching.

These are universal tasks common to all hunters. Some hunters try to use their rifle scopes but it’s not comfortable to be honest. They can’t replace standard binoculars.

Sometimes hunters prefer monoculars because they can be used with one hand. Monoculars are super lightweight because it’s only one barrel.

But though they can be used with one hand, they can’t outperform binoculars that have two barrels.

I think you agree that watching with two eyes is way easier and more comfortable than with one eye.

If you want to know the difference between binoculars and monoculars you can read my article here. If you still want binoculars then continue reading the rest of the article.

 

 

hunting-optics

 

What to Look for When Choosing Hunting Binoculars

 

Magnification and Field of View

When choosing binoculars for hunting many people especially unexperienced think the higher the magnification the better it will be for hunting purposes.

In fact, it’s not true. High power binoculars are not useable for hunting. Because they are bulky and cause shaky image.

Also, another downside of high power binoculars is that field of view is very narrow which is not suitable for hunters or bird watchers.

Sometimes some hunters may need high power binoculars with magnification 15x or even 20 x to observe games at greater distances.

In that case they probably need a tripod. Otherwise observing objects will be extremely difficult considering binocular’s weight.

I think the ideal magnification for hunting binoculars is 8x or 10x at best.

8x binoculars have wider field of view which is why this type of binocular would satisfy needs of almost all hunters.

Especially, 8x binoculars are good for hunting in the forest while 10x binoculars are good for open terrains.

If you need to observe objects at greater distance, I think 10x binocular will be your ideal choice.

But not all 8x or 10 binoculars are the same which leads me to discussing another aspect which is objective size.

 

 

objective-lens-size

 

Objective Size

Not all binoculars are same as I mentioned above. Most binoculars have objective size, such as 25mm, 30mm, 32mm, 40mm, 42mm, 50mm.

I think if you are looking for the best image quality in terms of bright, colorful and crystal clear image, binoculars with objective size 40mm is the ideal choice.

Such lens size allows to transmit enough light through binoculars and get bright and clear image.

Such binoculars are reasonably lightweight and can be used without a tripod. You need binoculars with the following configuration:

 

  • 8×40 (8x magnification, 40mm objective size)
  • 10×40 (10x magnification, 40mm objective size)
  • 12×40 (12x magnification, 40mm objective size)

 

If you need more lightweight binocular that still produces high quality image then choose binoculars with objective size 30mm.

Such binoculars are more lightweight than binoculars with 40mm objective. They are easier to use for hunters. You need the following configurations.

 

– 8×30 (8x magnification, 30mm objective size)
– 10×30 (10x magnification, 30mm objective size)

 

The last option would be binoculars with objective size 21 and 25mm. These are super lightweight binoculars that are very easy to use even with one hand.

But the downside of such binoculars is that exit pupils are small and may not fit well your face.

I personally have different binoculars and in my opinion the ideal size for objective is 30 or 40mm.

 

 

waterproof-binoculars

 

Waterproof & Fogproof

Choosing binoculars for hunting is very different from choosing binoculars for other purposes like for general use or safaris, stadiums.

Using binoculars in hunting conditions means your optical device can drop into a water or something even worse.

Plus it may be severe weather conditions or temperature changes.

That’s why when choosing binoculars for hunting make sure to choose optical instrument filled with nitrogen or argon that prevents devices from internal fogging.

Also, make sure to choose binoculars that have rubber armor and are called shockproof. All this will protect your optical instrument from various forms of bad exposure.

 

 

porro-roof

 

Porro vs Roof Prism

It’s a fact that porro prism binoculars are cheaper than roof prism optical instruments. But porro prism binoculars are bulky while roof binoculars are lightweight.

Porro binoculars produce a little more 3d dimensional image than roof binoculars. Though the difference is not huge.

Generally speaking, porro binoculars are larger in size and heavier. If size and weight of binoculars is important for you then choose roof binoculars.

 

lens-coating

 

Lenses and Coatings

Lenses and type of coating used in binoculars is also important for binoculars image quality.

If you are looking for acceptable quality, fully or multi-coated optics will satisfy your needs. If you need quality above average level then choose fully multi-coated optics.

If you look for a premium, highest quality binoculars then choose dielectric, anti-reflection coated optics that provide maximum light transmission.

Such binoculars are expensive but at the end of the day you get for you pay for. Among premium class binoculars are Zeiss, Swarovski, Leica, Meopta.

For some hunters it may be very important which is totally understandable.

If it’s not critical for you then you better choose high-end class binoculars, such as Leupold, Carson, Vortex, Vanguard, Wingspan.

 

 

celestron-focusing-mechanism

 

Focus Mechanism

When you choose hunting binoculars paying attention to binocular’s construction and focus mechanism is important.

Turning central focus wheel and diopter must be smooth so you can adjust binocular vision holding it with one hand.

In cheap binoculars very often focus wheel and diopter ring are not smooth and require some force.

Ease of use is very important if you are an active hunter. If so, don’t choose cheap binoculars. Start from $200 binoculars so you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Armour

Hunters is a specific group of people that need highly durable binocular that can be used in various conditions. Cheap binoculars will not stand it.

They are made of cheap plastic without any form of protection. You can easily break such binoculars if you drop it accidentally.

When it comes to expensive hunting binoculars they are made of magnesium or polycarbonate most of the time and also have special rubber coating that protects your device from drops.

Plus thanks to polycarbonate and magnesium your optical device become super lightweight.

 

 

eye relief

 

Eye Relief

If you have problems with your eyesight you probably need to choose specific binoculars suitable for glass wearers.

Generally speaking, optics used in binoculars are designed in a way to correct your vision. You don’t actually need glasses. You can use binoculars without glasses.

Binoculars will correct your vision. Binoculars work on the principle similar to glasses but on more advanced level.

If you have more serious problem with your eyesight like astigmatism then you need to choose hunting binoculars with eye relief of at least 15mm and look through binoculars without taking your glasses off.

You need eye relief binoculars in order to comfortably use it and see image without black spots narrowing your field of view.

 

 

rangefinding-feature

 

Rangefinder Binoculars

Some hunters may need rangefinder feature to know the distance to an observed object. Such binoculars have a laser rangefinder.

Marine binoculars have reticle rangefinders which is for marine purposes. Hunting binoculars have laser rangefinders which is activated by pressing a small button.

Once it’s pressed the distance is displayed on the binoculars lens screen like on the screenshot of Vortex Fury HD 5000 Binoculars 10×42.

This binocular is very expensive, $1,199. Another rangefinder binocular is Nikon LaserForce Hunting Binoculars 10×42 which is $1,196.

 

 

full size-vs-compact

 

Full Size Standard vs Compact Binoculars

If you plan to buy hunting binoculars you need to set priorities first. What is your priority? Image quality or less weight?

If image quality is your priority then choose full-sized binoculars like 8×42 or 10×42. Such binoculars transmit light properly and as a result you get bright, clear image.

If weight is your priority then choose compact binoculars that have smaller objective lens and exit pupils and transmit less light.

Image in such binoculars is a little darker than in full-sized binoculars. I don’t mean image quality is bad. They still deliver high quality image.

But if you compare image brightness, full-sized binoculars always outperform compact binoculars in all respects.

Plus full-sized binoculars are more easy to use and they comfortably sit on your eyes. But if weight is your priority then choose compact hunting binoculars.

 

 

Image Stability

When looking through binoculars it’s difficult or almost impossible to get completely stable image because of the binoculars weight.

It’s no secret that the best image stability can be achieved in compact binoculars.

If it’s your priority then choose compact binoculars made of magnesium because they are the lightest optical instruments available on the market.

 

 

super image quality

 

Image Quality and More

When you plan to choose hunting binoculars you must understand one simple rule. Price is the key factor. If you are looking for an optical device that combines critical things like:

  • Image quality
  • Weight
  • Easy of Use
  • Binoculars Accessories
  • Waterproof
  • Fogproof
  • Shockproof

Then you need to choose only brand binoculars that start from $200 at least. Brand means quality when it comes to optical device.

Brand binoculars are very different from cheap non brand Chinese binoculars that you can buy for around $30 on Amazon. You will be disappointed.

If you are serious hunter then you need a serious product designed and manufactured by professionals who know how to deliver quality and satisfy your needs.

Expensive binoculars are expensive for a reason. Once you hold cheap and expensive optical device in your hands you will immediately feel the difference.

Image quality in expensive binoculars is significantly different from cheap binoculars in all respects.

The image in such binoculars is bright, crystal clear, sharp, colorful and in short, it’s exceptional.

 

 

floating-binos

 

Floating Binoculars

Some hunters may need floating binoculars that float and don’t sink if you accidentally drop into a water.

Such binoculars even have a floating neck strap or you can buy it separately. You can buy it on Amazon for about $30.

Floating binoculars are not expensive and can be bought for about $120 from Levenhuk or even for $2,000 from Steiner brand.

Only you know your specific hunting needs. If floating binocular is your priority then choose marine binocular. You can find way more binoculars in this article.

 

 

Affordable Full Size Hunting Binoculars – Price: $116 – $300

     Bushnell Trophy Binocular 10×42

  • Wide field of view
  • Magnification power: 10x
  • BAK-4 prism
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • 330 feet / 1000 yds or 6.3°
  • Waterproof
  • Shockproof
  • Fog proof
  • Weight 716g
  • Customer satisfaction: 91%
  • Price: $163

Bushnell Trophy Binocular

4,6 score

 

 

 

 

 

 Carson JR Series – 10x42mm – BAK-4 prism, Fully Multi-Coated

– Wide field of view 5.8º
– Waterproof/Fogproof
– Magnification power 10x
– High quality optics BAK-4
– Weight 621g
– Eye relief 17mm
– 100% customer satisfaction
– Price: $175

JR Series – 10x42mm - BAK-4 prism

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

     Bushnell Legend L-Series 10x42mm Binoculars

  • Wide field of view
  • Magnification power: 10x
  • BAK-4 prism
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Phase 3 Prism Coating
  • 340 feet / 1000 yds or 6.5°
  • Waterproof
  • ED Prime Glass
  • Fog proof
  • Weight 712g
  • Locking Eyepiece Diopter
  • Customer satisfaction: 90%
  • Price: $173

 

Bushnell Legend L-Series 10x42mm Binoculars

 

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

     Bushnell Legend Ultra 10x42mm Binoculars

  • Wide field of view
  • Magnification power: 10x
  • BAK-4 prism
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • 340 feet / 1000 yds or 6.5°
  • RainGuard HD water-repellent lens coating
  • ED Prime Glass
  • Fog proof
  • Lightweight, magnesium chassis
  • Weight 712g
  • Locking Eyepiece Diopter
  • Customer satisfaction: 92%
  • Price: $220

 

Bushnell Legend Ultra 10x42mm Binoculars

 

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

     Celestron Gamekeeper 10×42

  • Prism type: BAK-4
  • Field of view: 6.3º
  • Magnification power 10x
  • Waterproof/fogproof
  • Weight 618g
  • Eye relief 14mm
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Price: $116

Celestron Gamekeeper 10x42

4,5

 

 

 

 

 

     Celestron – Nature DX ED 8×42 Premium Binoculars

  • Eye relief 17.8mm
  • Magnification 8x
  • BAK-4 Prism
  • Extra Low Dispersion (ED) Glass
  • Field of view: 7.5° (393feet / 1000 yds)
  • Waterproof/ Fog proof
  • Suitable for eyeglass wearers
  • Tripod adaptable
  • Weight 705 gr.
  • Price: $143

Celestron – Nature DX ED 8x42

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

     Alpen Optics APEX XP 10X42

  • Magnification 10x
  • Eye relief 16mm
  • BAK-4 prism
  • PXA phase coating for superior resolution
  • Field of view: 6° (315 feet / 1000 yds)
  • Waterproof/ Fog proof
  • Customer satisfaction 100%
  • Suitable for eyeglass wearers
  • Price: $300

Alpen Optics APEX XP 10X42

 

4,6 scored

 

 

 

 

 

     Celestron Gamekeeper 12×50

  • Prism type: BAK-4
  • Field of view: 4.6º
  • Magnification power 12x
  • Anti-Reflection Multi-Coated Optics
  • Waterproof/fogproof
  • Eye relief 14.4mm
  • Weight 785g
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Price: $149

Celestron Gamekeeper 12x50

4,5

 

 

 

 

 

     Alpen Shasta Ridge 10×42

  • · Waterproof
  • · BAK4 Optics
  • · Long Eye Relief
  • · Fully Multi-Coated
  • · Metallic Coated
  •   Eye relief 16mm
  •   Weight 728g
  • · PXA Phase Coating
  • · Price $199,95

Alpen Shasta Ridge 10x42

 

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

Premium Class Full Size Hunting Binoculars – Price $299 – $2,659

Carson 3D Series Waterproof Binoculars with ED Glass, 10×42, Mossy Oak

– Wide field of view
– Field of View: 314 feet at 1,000 yards, 6º angle of view)
– Waterproof/Fogproof
– Magnification power 10x
– High quality optics BAK-4 with ED Glass
– Eye relief 16mm
– Weight 635g
– 100% customer satisfaction
– Price: $493

carson 10x42 3D with ED glass Mossy Oak

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

         Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars 8×42

  • Magnification power 8x
  • HD premium high quality optics
  • Field of view: 7.6º (399 ft at 1000 yards)
  • Waterproof/Fogproof
  • Customer satisfaction: 88%
  • Extra-low dispersion glass
  • Dielectric prism coatings
  • Weight 686g
  • Eye relief 20mm
  • Price: $639

vortex viper 8x42

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steiner Optics Predator Binoculars 10×42

– Wide angle of view (6.2 degrees field of view)
– Premium Glass BAK-4 Prism
– Magnification power 10
– Waterproof/Fogproof
– Weight 751g
– Customer satisfaction: 83%
– Price: $399

Steiner Optics Predator

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

     VANGUARD Spirit ED Binocular, 10×42

  • Eye relief 16mm
  • Magnification 10x
  • Bak4 phase-coated prisms
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Extra Low Dispersion (ED) Glass
  • Field of view: 6° (314feet / 1000 yds)
  • Waterproof/ Fog proof
  • Suitable for eyeglass wearers
  • Tripod adaptable
  • Weight 640 gr.
  • Price: $299

 

VANGUARD Spirit ED Binocular, 10x42

 

4.8-score

 

 

 

 

 

     Swarovski EL42 Binocular 8.5×42

  • Magnification power 8.5x
  • Eye relief (exit pupil distance) 20mm
  • Field of view: 7.6º (399 ft at 1000 yards)
  • Waterproof/fogproof SWAROVSKI optics
  • Customer satisfaction: 81%
  • Price: $2,659

Swarovski EL42 Binocular 8.5×42

4,6 score

 

 

 

 

 

Vortex Fury HD Binoculars, 10×42

– Wide field of view 6.1 degrees
– Magnification power 10 x
– Fully multi-coated high quality optics
– Eye relief 16mm
– Waterproof / Fogproof
– Weight 916g
– 100% Customer satisfaction
– Price: $1,599

 

vortex fury

 

4,6 score

 

 

 

 

Compact Hunting Binoculars  – Price: $77-$304

 

     Barska 10x34mm WP Air View Binoculars

  • Eye relief 16mm
  • Magnification 10x
  • BAK-4 roof prism
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Field of view: 6° (314feet / 1000 yds)
  • Waterproof/ Fog proof
  • Suitable for eyeglass wearers
  • Shock-Absorbing Rubber Armor
  • Tripod adaptable
  • Weight 453 gr.
  • Price: $111

10x34mm WP Air View Binoculars

48-score

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Barska 10x26mm WP Air View Binoculars

  • Eye relief 14.1mm
  • Magnification 10x
  • BAK-4 roof prism
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Field of view: 5.6° (293feet / 1000 yds)
  • Waterproof/ Fog proof
  • Suitable for eyeglass wearers
  • Shock-Absorbing Rubber Armor
  • Tripod adaptable
  • Weight 215 gr.
  • Price: $77

10x26mm WP Air View Binoculars

48-score

 

 

 

 

     Hawke Endurance ED Binocular, 10×32

  • Eye relief 13mm
  • Magnification 10x
  • BAK-4 roof prism
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Extra Low Dispersion (ED) Glass
  • Field of view: 5.8° (304feet / 1000 yds)
  • Waterproof/ Fog proof
  • May be not suitable for eyeglass wearers
  • Tripod adaptable
  • Weight 538 gr.
  • Price: $189

Hawke Endurance ED Binocular, 10x32

4.8-score

 

 

 

 

 

     Celestron Gamekeeper 10×25

  • Prism type: BAK-4
  • Field of view: 6.3º
  • Magnification power 10x
  • Waterproof/fogproof
  • Anti-Reflection Multi-Coated Optics
  • Eye relief 10mm
  • Weight 296g
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Price: $84

Celestron Gamekeeper 10x25

4,5

 

 

 

 

 

  Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Binocular 10×25

– Wide field of view 5.4 degrees
– Waterproof/Fog proof
– Magnification power 10x
– Fully Multicoated ED Glass Lenses
– RainGuard HD Water Repellent Coating
– BAK-4 prism
– PC-3 Phase Coating
– Eye relief 15.5mm
– Weight 229g
– Customer satisfaction: 90%
– Price: $149

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x25

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

 Steiner Optics Safari Series Binoculars 10×26

– Wide angle of view
– Waterproof
– Steiner high-contrast optics
– Magnification power 10
– Customer satisfaction: Yes
– Field of view 5.7 degrees
– Weight 281g
– Price: $154

Steiner Optics Safari Series Binoculars 10x26

4,8 score

 

 

 

 

 

     Bresser Montana 8×25

  •  Wide field of view 6.8 degrees
  •  Waterproof, fog proof
  •  Magnification power 8x
  •  Phase-Corrected BAK4 Roof Prisms
  •  Fully multi-coated
  •  Weight 380g
  •  Customer satisfaction: Yes
  •  Price: $299.99

Montana 8x25 Binocular

 

4,6 scored

 

 

 

 

 

     Bresser Hunters specialties 10×32

  •  Wide field of view 5.8 degrees
  •  Waterproof, fog proof
  •  Magnification power 10x
  •  High quality optics BAK-4
  •  Anti-Reflection Multi-Coated Optics
  •  Eye relief 15.2mm
  •  Weight 527g
  •  Fully multi-coated
  •  Customer satisfaction: Yes
  •  Price: $139.99

Hunters specialties 10x32

 

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steiner Model 8×30 Predator AF Binoculars porro prism

– Wide angle of view 5.7 degrees
– High-Contrast CAT Lens Coatings
– Individual Sports Auto-Focusing System
– Eye relief 15mm
– Weight 539g
– Porro Prism Light Path
– IPX4-Rated, Weather Resistant
– Magnification power 8
– Customer satisfaction: 100%
– Price: $304

Steiner Model 8x30 Predator AF Binoculars

4,7 score

 

 

 

 

RangeFinder Hunting Binoculars – Price $432

 

     ATN BinoX-HD Smart Day & Night Smart HD Binocular 4-16x

  • Wide field of view
  • Magnification power: 4-16x
  • BAK-4 prism
  • Smart Rangefinder
  • 320 feet / 1000 yds or 6°
  • Take your shots in color at high resolution
  • No blurry images
  • E-compass – binoculars have a built-in gyroscope
  • 1080p HD Video Recording & Photos
  • Wi-Fi Streaming
  • Micro SD
  • iOS & Android
  • Weight 816g
  • Customer satisfaction: 65%
  • Price: $432

ATN BinoX-HD Smart Day & Night Smart HD Binocular 4-16x

4,6 score

 

 

 

 

Floating Hunting Binoculars – Price $119

 

     Levenhuk Nelson 7×50

  • Wide field of view
  • Magnification power: 7x
  • BAK-4 prism
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Digital illuminated compass
  • Rangefinder with reticle
  • 366 feet / 1000 yds or 7°
  • Waterproof
  • floating body
  • Fog proof
  • Customer satisfaction: Yes
  • Price: $119

 

Levenhuk Nelson 7x50

 

4,6 score

 

 

                         

             

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Comments (2)

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  1. Benny says:

    Hi, it is a great and nice feeling to know that someone will create a great website like this and also create a write up on an article like this. The act of hunting has been a trend in my family as my dad was a hunter. My grandfather was also a hunter. Getting this devices at these range is awesome. Thank you 

  2. sabrinamou says:

    Thank you so much for sharing with us such a beautiful article and beautiful Hunting Binocular for my brother through you. My brother’s birthday in the month ahead. My brother likes to hunting. When I read your article about hunting binocular, I know all these aspects. I want to buy one and I hope my brother likes it. I like Carson JR Series – 10x42mm – BAK-4 prism, Fully Multi-Coated, so I’ll buy it for his birthday gift. I think your article will be very helpful to all who like binocular. I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I want to share this article on my social media and I think if I share your article on my social media everyone will know about it. Best respect!

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