Binoculars are a must-have for every enthusiast hunter. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, you will need a pair of binoculars to locate your target. In fact, many consider them to be the second most important piece of gear after your gun or bow.
If you want to take your hunting hobby to a whole new level, we have compiled a review of the 6 best binoculars for hunting to help you choose from the best. We know that choosing the best set of hunting binoculars that matches your needs can be challenging, but with this guide, you will be able to find a suitable choice.
Best Binoculars For Hunting Comparison
Hunting Binocular Reviews
Here are 6 of the top hunting binoculars on the market today;
Termed by many as one of the best mid-range binocular, Vortex Optics Viper HD includes many of the advanced features you would find in much-pricer binoculars but at a relatively lower price. The lenses are perhaps the only features that separate it from glasses that cost several thousands of dollars.
Made from an extra low dispersion, high-density glass with anti-reflective coatings and phase correction, these binoculars give you an unmatched view of your prey. Besides, they allow for exceptional transition between shadows and the sun all while still giving you a high-quality view.
One feature that stands out with these glasses is the locking diopter; this allows for adjustment to enable you to customize your focus for each eye- individually. The housing is also solid and well-built with rugged surface that can withstand some abuse,
With an ArmorTek coating, these glasses provide outstanding non-slip holding and easily absorbs the shock caused by bumps and falls that are unavoidable in any hunting mission.
Overall, Vortex Optics Viper HD will give you a better value for your money both in terms of performance and durability.
Pros of Vortex Optics Viper HD
- It is affordable
- Comes with fully multi-coated optics
- Manufacturers offer limited lifetime warranty
- Solid shockproof material
- Waterproof and fog proof
- It has a better field of view than its counterparts
- Has a closed bridge design
- doesn’t have a usable tripod design
With a quality optic, the Bushnell Trophy XLT, 10x42mm gives a clear view. This binocular is known for its solid construction that makes it withstand any weather condition, which makes it durable. It has a clear and crisp sight that lets you see your target clearly. Its great magnification gives you a clear image despite any movements made by your target. For hunters who want to improve their shooting accuracy, this particular binocular will help you improve your shot accuracy.
They have a streamlined design and a rubber armor-coated casing that provides extra protection of the lens and the components inside. They are not hard to use and bulky. These binoculars also come with a thumb grips that are soft in your hand which makes them easier and more comfortable to use. It also has flip-down covers for its multi-coated lenses that offer protection against the rough environment in your hunting trips.
With an adjustable eyepiece, you get eye protection and extra comfort. It has a central focusing system and a long eye relief.
The Bushnell Trophy XLT, 10x42mm is one of the most popular and rugged hunting binoculars on the market. Truly, Bushnell took their time to create this ultimate hunting binocular and many hunters can agree with this. These glasses also work well for bird-watching.
Pros of Bushnell Trophy XLT, 10x42mm
- They give vivid and true color
- They are easy to focus
- Highly portable
- Near close-focusing distance
- They have no tripod adapter
- Are not waterproof
Nikon is a reputable company that has made some of the most popular and durable cameras and binoculars, and Nikon 8218 Trailblazer is no exception. This Nikon Binocular is both completely waterproof and fog proof, which means that they can perform in any weather condition. With a lightweight body and sleek design, Nikon 8218 Trailblazer is comfortable to use.
It is arsenic and lead-free, and its lenses have optics that are made of Eco-Glass that works well at transmitting light to give you a clear view at any distance. With a 10X magnification, you get a clearer image. Its rubber-coated body gives you a comfortable grip.
This Nikon binocular will work in any environment since it has a compact body. With its light transmission ability, you can hunt in any lighting condition. It is very dependable and versatile and can work just as well for hiking and mountain climbing as it does for hunting. Its lightweight nature makes it highly portable.
Nikon 8218 Trailblazer comes with a full lifetime warranty, and this applies even if you are not the set’s original owner. If it comes with manufacturing defects, Nikon will do the repair for free or replace it in case it is unrepairable.
The Pros of Nikon 8218 Trailblazer
- It offers an excellent field of view
- It is compact, all-terrain design
- Comes with a rugged design
- Loose eyepiece covers
- Poor performance under poor lighting conditions
Carson 3D Series High Definition binoculars have truly lived to their name. They are a top choice among the 10X42 category binoculars for hunting. They come with many advanced features that make your hunting work easier. Some of these important features include fully multi-coated optical elements and phase correction coating on its prism glass.
It also has a quality design and lightweight nature. The unit is fitted with polycarbonate chassis and weighs relatively low as compared to other rival binoculars. In terms of protection, the Carson 3D Series High Definition has rubber armoring which gives it sheer protection against all the bumps and vibrations you may encounter in your hunting mission.
With waterproof and fog proof features, this unit not only allows you to hunt in any weather condition but also makes it durable.
This unit is offered at a reasonable price range. It comes in different sizes and colors and offers a perfect balance between performance and price ratio in the world of binoculars.
The Pros of Carson 3D Series High Definition
- It has a greater eye relief that provides functionality with eyeglasses
- The resolution is quite amazing and better than most rival binoculars
- Its soft-rubber-coated focus gives you close-to-infinity focus
- It has a compact design and waterproof nature which makes it durable
- It lacks incremental adjustment in focus
- It has no lens covers which makes it quite incomplete
This is one of the top binoculars that have received massive praises and excellent rating from happy customers. The testimonials speak volumes about how much respect and trust is put towards its manufacturer. Although it comes in a higher price range than most binoculars on this list, the feature set justifies the price. Out of all the features and quality of Vanguard Endeavor ED 8420, here are the outstanding features;
These units come with specially colored lenses that work effectively in poor lighting conditions. This will come in handy when trying to spot preys that tend to come out at dusk or dawn. The lens coating helps to improve the rate of transmission of light to your eye. This binocular has no central column as the manufacturer prefer an “open bridge” approach making it easier to hold for a longer period.
Its large focus wheels that are simple to use along with eye cups that allows you to adjust three different settings gives you the best view.
Vanguard Endeavor ED 8420 is also waterproof and fog proof. If you are hunting in an area that has harsh weather, you can be sure that your binocular will be safe thanks to its solid construction.
Its seven-degree field of view angle gives you a maximum amount of peripheral movement. This becomes useful when you are trying to track the movement of your prey in the foliage.
Pros of Vanguard Endeavor ED 8420
- It features ED Glass with a multi-guard lens coating for crystal clear view and high resolution
- It has a waterproof and fog proof design
- Has an ergonomically designed focus knob and a magnesium allow body
- Backed by lifetime warranty
- Long eye relief and lockable diopter ring
- Might be too heavy for some people
The Vortex Optics Diamondback is one of the best hunting binoculars on the market thanks to its great quality and affordability. This binocular is fog proof and waterproof and therefore can withstand any weather condition.
It is great for keeping out moisture, thanks to its roof-prism mechanism. It also holds up any type of impact and degree. Its focus provides great detail in any light condition. Also, it comes with several handy accessories such as rain guard, unique molded carrying case, and neck strap. This Vortex Optics Diamondback also comes with a full lifetime guarantee.
The Pros of Vortex Optics Diamondback
- It comes at an affordable price
- Has a wider field of view that is better than its counterparts
- Lifetime warranty
- Solid shockproof material
- It has a waterproof and fog proof
- It comes with a strap for easy carrying and protective casing
- Comes with unattached eyepiece caps that can get lost easily
- They have a closed bridge design
9 Essential Factors When Choosing a Hunting Binocular
Nowadays, with many brands making binoculars in the current market, it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. If you are finding it challenging choosing the best hunting binoculars, we have you covered as we have put together a buying guide that gives you information that will help you choose a suitable binocular for your hunting needs.
Before buying a binocular, ensure that you correlate your preferences and needs with features that you are looking for in your new glasses, estimate your budget, and analyze the feature accordingly. You can have a look at the following guide we have created for you.
Quality Build and Components
Quality should not be compromised when shopping for hunting binoculars. It is better to pay more to get a reliable binocular both mechanically and optically than settling for a cheap unit that will not serve you right.
However, you don’t need to break the bank to get a good one either. Find a middle ground where quality components merge with reasonable pricing. The best way is to settle for a camera that has great specifications.
By understanding the different specs of a binocular, you will be able to make a sound decision and end up with a durable and reliable purchase.
Also called power, magnification is the first thing many people check when buying hunting binoculars. An 8 X 42 binocular model has a magnification of 8X meaning that an object will appear eight times closer or larger than with your naked eye.
The smaller the magnification, the brighter your image will appear. A bigger magnification will make your target appear closer, but your field of view will be sacrificed as a result.
The spine of every binocular is magnification, and without it, you might as well just use your eyes. The more the magnification your binocular has, the larger or closer everything will look. However, don’t go for the device with too much magnification as you won’t be able to see things accurately.
At higher magnification power, say 30X, a little shake of your hands will make the view in the binocular’s lens looks as if there is an earthquake. At 40X, the shake will be so great that you will nearly not be able to recognize anything because it will be overly shaking.
There are two types of focus type; individual eyepiece focus and center focus. Binoculars with an individual focus provide excellent results in terms of medium and long distance viewing. When you want to visualize a target beyond 30 or 40 yards, they offer a good field of view without any focusing. They tend to be waterproof and have no external parts, making them more durable.
Center focus suits hunters who are targeting preys that are less than 30 yards.
Field of View
The field of view is determined by the optical design of a binocular. It represents the width of the picture that you can see with the binoculars at a particular distance, usually 1,000 feet. Pay attention to this factor, as better binoculars come with a slightly larger field of view.
Simply put, a smaller objective lens, a greater magnification, or both combined, has a lesser field of view.
You get a 180-degree field of view when you look through your eyes. You can see everything in front of you without any problem. However, as soon as you start to limit your field of view through your binocular, you will then need to shift your binocular side to side to see everything. Therefore, getting the largest field of view will enable you to see almost everything without moving.
Optical coatings are fitted to the glass surface of the objective lens so as to reduce or eliminate light reflection. You will not come across glare and light loss when your glasses have an optical coating, but you will stumble upon them if your model lacks a good coating. Clearer and brighter images often come with a quality optical coating.
If a binocular has coated optics, this means that at least one lens on a glass surface has an anti-reflective coat. Other units are fully coated, fully multicoated, and multi-coated. Fully coated models might be too expensive for some hunters, but multi-coated alternatives are still fine.
The more quality the coating, the brighter the light you will be getting, so if you want the best binocular for hunting, you might want to consider spending more to get a pair that is at least multi-coated.
Exit pupil and comparative brightness Index
The exit pupil refers to the size of the beam of light entering each eye from the lens. On the other hand, the brightness index is a theoretical measurement of how bright the image should when exiting the exit pupil. To calculate the brightness index, you square the exit pupil value.
Without getting into too much mathematics, a larger objective lens with a smaller magnification will give you a brighter image to see. On the other hand, a smaller objective lens with higher magnification gives you a darker image to see.
The eye relief is how far away from your binoculars eyepieces your eyes have to be while seeing a full field of view. The longer the eye relief, the more flexibility you will have regarding the distance you should maintain between your eyes and your eyepiece to see everything clearly.
This is a crucial consideration, especially for people who wear sunglasses or eyeglasses. It is the distance a user can hold their binocular from their eyes, while still being able to see the entire target image. If you wear sunglasses, go for binoculars that have a larger eye relief. Keep in mind that a poor eye relief, or lack of it, will sacrifice your field of view.
Weight and Size
The amount and type of glass used in the binocular may dictate the final unit of your unit. No matter how muscular you may be, hanging a large pair of binoculars around your neck may make your hunting nasty,
Also, besides hunting compact binoculars might be used for hiking. However, you need to balance performance and size. For instance, going for a 30mm model might be good for your neck and back, but might compromise performance.
Waterproofness and Rubber Coating
Waterproofness is one of the crucial details that you need to consider if you want your unit to be resistant to grime, dust, dirt, and water. Therefore, if you are hunting in an area with rainy, or wet conditions, this feature will come in handy.
As for rubber coating, it’s one of the paramount details to consider, as it will make the binoculars easy to hold during rainy or wet conditions. Besides, this coating can protect your unit in the long run.
The Bottom Line
Any of the above hunting binoculars would be suitable for most hunters. However, it is important to choose the one that best suits your needs in terms of magnification level of your lenses, which dictates the distance you cover when hunting as well as the field of view, among other considerations. For people who hunt in rainy, wet condition, consider binoculars with waterproof and fog proof designs.
With these features in mind, you will be able to choose the best binocular for hunting.