The 10 Best Binoculars for Hunting – An In-Depth Buying Guide & Reviews

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When it comes to hunting, the most essential thing that you will need is a rifle or bow. But you will also need to have a good pair of binoculars. The binoculars are actually just as essential as the rifle or bow. A good pair of binoculars allows you to spot game trails, rubs, and any nuances in the terrain. Aside from helping you to hunt for your target, the binoculars will help to make sure that you’re actually aiming at the right target.

You’ll come across a wide range of hunting binoculars in the market. Some of the best binoculars for hunting come with features that can help to make your hunting experience more fun and exciting. It’s important that you know exactly what you need when looking for a binocular to buy to ensure that you’ll get the most out of the product that you’re buying.

For first time hunters, it can be somewhat challenging to look for the right binoculars to buy. You’ll find many different brands and models, each coming with different features and specs. But don’t worry because we have made your search easier for you. We’re going to talk about hunting binoculars below and we will include hunting binocular reviews to give you an idea of which among the binoculars in the market is more suitable for your needs.

What Are Binoculars?

Binoculars are devices specifically designed to give you crisp and clear images of the horizon. When it comes to hunting, it’s important that you purchase hunting binoculars. If you’re going to settle for any standard pair of binoculars, you could end up getting a low-grade pair that will do nothing to help you in your hunting excursions.

Even though hunting binoculars are specifically designed for hunting, they can also be used for other purposes, such as bird watching, sightseeing etc. But the features that this pair of binoculars comes with can help to make your hunting experience even more fun and convenient.

When you look at a pair of binoculars, you’ll see two telescopes that are connected to each other with a bridge. This is exactly what a pair of binoculars looks like. However, the way these devices magnify objects from afar will mainly depend on the type of binoculars that you will get.

Light rays travel from distant objects, which is a result of the constant reflection of light that hits just about any object. The process is known as refraction. Once the rays reach the lens of the binoculars through the convex lenses, what you’ll see will be a magnified version of the object that you’re trying to watch.

All in all, the binoculars are equipped with four lenses and each side has two lenses. These lenses are not perfectly straight and they bend in a certain way in order to catch refraction. If you look through one of the lenses and then the other, you’ll be able to view enlarged images, which is why objects from afar will be clearer.

The difference in the different kinds of magnification will mainly depend on how far the lenses are placed from each other, which can be controlled using center dials.

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Description

Bushnell PowerView Instafocus Binoculars

8x zoom

The exterior is made of non-slip rubber that’s capable of absorbing the shock resulting from accidental falls

Stylish design

Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars

Equipped with a short hinge design

Features 10x magnification

Lenses are very durable

Waterproof

Swarovski 46211 CL Pocket 10x25 Binoculars

10x magnification level

The objective lens has a diameter of 25mm

Optics are multi-coated

Roof prism design 

Leupold BX-5 Santiam HD 15x56mm Binocular

100% waterproof

Features a dual-hinge design

Field-replaceable adjustable eyecups

The focusing system is extremely smooth

Nikon 8x42 ProStaff 3S Binocular

42mm objective lens 

8x magnification 

Equipped with high-reflectivity mirror coating prism made of silver-alloy

Features an Eco-glass

When Were They Invented?

It was the famous scientist Galileo Galileii that invented the first telescope in 1609. The device was used mainly for viewing heavenly bodies in the solar system and was designed like those opera glasses and used arranged glass lenses to magnify objects.

Sir Isaac Newton introduced a new design for the telescope in 1704. This telescope uses a curved mirror to gather light and reflect its focus. The reflecting mirror works like a light collecting bucket, so the bigger the bucket, the more light it collects. The reflector telescope that Newton designed paved the way to magnify objects a million times.

What Do the Numbers in the Binoculars Mean?

You’ll find figures imprinted in the binoculars and these basically refer to the lens’ magnification feature. It means the number of times that the image is doubled for visibility.

Therefore, if you set it to 8, this means that the image will seem eight times closer than it is in areal. The magnification feature allows you to set how far away you are from the object you intend to shoot. This way, you will be able to plan out your hunting more effectively and not end up lost.

Things to Keep in Mind When Looking for the Best Binoculars for Hunting

You’ll find a lot of great binoculars that are ideal for hunting and won’t cost a lot of money. But how do you decide which among them are the best? One way to know the best binoculars for hunting is to take a look at the following features.

Magnification

While in most cases, bigger is always better, this is not really applicable when looking for good binoculars for hunting. Although it’s important to have some magnification when preying on targets, having too much magnification could lead to issues with image steadiness.

Generally, a magnification of 7x to 10x should be enough to accommodate the hunting needs of most people. If you feel that you need more, then it may be a good idea to consider spotting scopes.

Field of View

The binoculars’ field of view refers to the widest dimension that you’ll find in the binocular and is usually expressed in feet over 1,000 yards. When it comes to the field of view, the higher the number, the bigger the area that you’ll see in your binoculars.

If you’re going to use magnification, the size of the image will be reduced as well as the field of view. For hunters who need to use the binoculars in open spaces, for instance, across a valley, the higher field of view will be useful for you. Furthermore, binoculars that have a wide field view will make it easier for the hunters to aim and track any moving target.

Focus

When looking for binoculars for hunting, you will be able to choose from three types of focuses. First is the individual focus. For this binocular, each telescope will be focused independently.

The other is the center focus, which consists of a large focusing ring located right in the middle of the binoculars. When you turn this, the binoculars will focus both of the telescopes of your binoculars at the same time. There’s also the focus-free binocular that will not need any kind of adjustment. This one is ideal for distances in the medium range but not for long or short distances.

Objective Size

The objective size shows the diameter of the objective lens and is expressed in millimeters. This is the second number that you’ll see when looking for hunting binoculars to buy.

The binoculars with an objective size of 7×40 mean that it has a 7x magnification and a lens of 40mm. Remember that the larger the objective size, the more details you will be able to view. But the disadvantage of having larger lenses is that they are usually heavier and are generally more expensive.

The safest choice would be to settle with the 40-42 mm objective size. If you’re going to hunt at night and under low lighting conditions, it might be better to go for something bigger.

Optical Coatings

When using binoculars for hunting, one of the most annoying things that you’ll encounter is the resulting light reflection, which could possibly hinder your ability to track your target in the field. Luckily, there’s a solution to this and that’s the coated optics.

The coating is applied on the surface of the glass in order to eliminate or minimize light reflection or glare that can be a hindrance to your hunting adventure. Thus, the best hunting binoculars for the money are those that come with coated optics.

Eye Relief

When it comes to buying something that you need to wear on your eyes, eye relief is a very important factor to take into consideration. So when it comes to choosing the best budget binoculars, never compromise on eye relief. Eye relief is basically the distance in which the user can hold the binoculars while still seeing the entire picture.

If the binocular has insufficient eye relief, you won’t be able to concentrate on hunting since you can only see the center part of the image and the field will be restricted. For hunters who need to wear a pair of sunglasses during hunting, choose binoculars that have an eye relief of 14 mm to 15 mm.

Image Quality

You definitely want your binoculars to be able to capture high-quality images. This feature comes down to the overall sharpness and clarity of your sight. Also, the quality will depend on how much you will be willing to spend on the binoculars.

Of course, you can expect to spend more for binoculars that have a better quality. If you’re someone who hunts on a regular basis, then investing in binoculars with good image quality will be a good idea. This way you can reduce the magnification that you’ll use when viewing your target from afar.

Size

Remember you’ll be carrying the binoculars with you as you hunt in the woods so you should go for something that you can easily carry around. Usually, full-size binoculars are the heaviest and could weigh more than two pounds, which may not be a good choice for hunters who need to carry something lighter.

The weight of the binoculars will mainly depend upon the type of glass used for the device. Usually, the bigger the binoculars’ objective lens, the heavier the device will turn out. Nevertheless, heavier binoculars are usually more powerful. So if you don’t mind carrying a heavy bulk as you hunt, then go ahead and choose a heavier and more powerful model.

Waterproof

If you want to hunt in any weather condition, then you need to invest in a binocular that’s waterproof. But even if you don’t intend to hunt during the rainy season, having waterproof binoculars is still a good idea since the weather can sometimes be unpredictable. With these types of binoculars, water can be prevented from getting into the device.

Accessories

The best binoculars for hunting may also come with some extra accessories. If you are on a limited budget, then you may want to settle with a basic model without a lot of fancy accessories. A pair of binoculars that has lenses, cases, and straps should be enough.

The strap is important since you will be strapping the device around your neck for a more convenient way of using the binoculars for hunting. Also, try to choose a model that comes with a case so it can be protected in the event that it accidentally falls off your hands as you hunt on the woods!

Full Size vs. Compact Binoculars

Since you’re going to carry it with you during your hunt, then it’s important to go for compact binoculars that are not too bulky to carry around. These devices may have fewer features compared to the full-size binoculars but they are definitely more convenient to lug around.

The best compact binoculars for hunting are those that have small lenses and have a narrow field of view. Because of their small sized lenses, they can collect less light, which reduces the brightness of the image that’s being viewed.

Thus, these models are ideal for use during sunset or sunrise. Furthermore, compact designed binoculars usually have a much longer minimum distance for focus. Thus, you’ll be able to capture a magnified view of your target even when you’re 5 to 6 yards away.

But the biggest advantage of getting these binoculars is that they are compact. Unlike the bigger full-size models, these binoculars can be slipped easily into your pocket. Plus, they don’t weigh a lot so you can conveniently carry them with you wherever you go hunting.

The decision on whether to get compact binoculars or not is all up to you. If you don’t mind sacrificing quality in exchange for convenience, then go ahead, and go for the compact ones. As long as you choose to hunt on full daylight, the compact binoculars for hunting should be able to work just fine.

What Magnification Power Should You Be Looking For?

The major difference between the 10×42 and 8×42 binoculars is the level of magnification. If you need to use it for a distance of around 400 yards away, and you’re going for the 8×42 magnification power, then this will allow you to see the object as if it’s only 50 yards away from you.

The actual distance of 400 yards will basically be divided into 8. If you’re going to use binoculars with 10×42 magnification power, the 400-yard distance will look like it’s only 40 yards away from you.

Best Binoculars for Hunting in the Marketplace

You should know by now what a binocular for hunting is and how it works. Also, you should already have an idea of what to consider when looking for the best binoculars for hunting. To save you some time, we have prepared a list of the top binoculars that can work best for hunting.

1 – Bushnell PowerView 10x50mm Porro Prism Instafocus Binoculars

The Bushnell PowerView features a large 50mm size objective lens that can soak up a good amount of light, which allows for more precise and detailed viewing. So even if you hunt at dusk or dawn, you can certainly benefit from these binoculars.

It features an anti-reflective coating on its glass surface that delivers bright and high-contrast images. Furthermore, the lens’ 10x magnification as well as the field of view of 341 feet means you will be able to rapidly scan areas for the presence of deer.

In fact, this product is highly recommended if you’re looking for the best deer hunting binoculars. If you want stylish binoculars that you can take on your hunting trip, this model should be first on your list.

Its housing features a Realtree AP camouflage exterior that’s made from a non-slip rubber material that could stand up to the daily wear and tear. Although these binoculars may not be the lightest in the market given their weight of 1.6 lbs., it’s still a great choice for those who need an affordable and durable pair of binoculars for hunting.

Pros:

8x zoom
The exterior is made of non-slip rubber that’s capable of absorbing the shock resulting from accidental falls
Stylish design
Made of 100% quality materials

Cons:

Glass is not fog-proof and not waterproof
Cannot be used with a tripod

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2 – Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars

If you’re looking for good hunting binoculars on a budget, the Vortex Diamondback comes highly recommended. Capable of delivering super bright images, this pair of binoculars can work really well even when used under low light conditions.

Featuring an extra-low dispersion glass, this device offers crisp and clear images without having to deal with a lot of aberration. Furthermore, the binoculars’ 315-foot field of view allows you to cover enough ground, allowing you to easily zero-in on your target.

For hunters who need to wear eyeglasses while going on a hunt, you can benefit from this product’s twist out and adjustable eyecups that allow you to set the binoculars’ eye relief.

In addition, the binoculars have rubberized housing that enhances the product’s durability while offering a non-slip grip during situations when your hands are wet. When you purchase this product, you’ll also get a padded neck strap as well as a carrying case, which makes carrying the device even more convenient during your hunting trips.

Pros:

Equipped with a short hinge design
Features 10x magnification
Lenses are very durable
Waterproof

Cons:

The rubber grips are not that good

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3 – Swarovski 46211 CL Pocket 10×25 Binoculars

One of the best compact binoculars for hunting is the CL Pocket 10×25 binocular, which can be folded to fit in your pocket. But don’t be fooled by its small size. Made by Swarovski, this pair of binoculars delivers powerful performance similar to full-size binoculars.

Featuring a field of view of 294 feet, which is large enough for compact binoculars, this pair is definitely worth buying. With an objective lens of 22mm and 8x magnification level, these binoculars are more suitable for daylight use. Yet, they are capable of delivering bright and high-contrast images.

The binocular’s focusing wheel is easy to operate and allows you to dial in your target area fast. Its anti-fog nitrogen and water-sealed aluminum housing ensure that the binoculars can deliver excellent and shock-resistant performance even during extreme temperatures. This pair of binoculars comes with a carrying case that has a zippered closure, allowing easy access to your binoculars.

Pros:

10x magnification level
The objective lens has a diameter of 25mm
Optics are multi-coated
Roof prism design

Cons:

Some might consider it expensive

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4 – Leupold BX-5 Santiam HD 15x56mm Binocular

If you’re looking for a pair of binoculars that can be used for open territories, such as in the West, you’ll surely love the Leupold BX-5 HD 15 x 56 mm binocular. Designed for all-day hunting sessions, this pair of binoculars has a 15x magnification level, which is definitely great.

But in order to keep the images steady, you may need to rely on a quality tripod. The roll-up eyecups of this pair of binoculars have certain stops that could work well for hunters that need to wear glasses.

With a large central focus ring, these binoculars allow you to simultaneously focus on the binocular barrels. Furthermore, the locking diopter on the right side can be easily adjusted to accommodate one’s specific eye characteristics.

Pros:

100% waterproof
Features a dual-hinge design
Field-replaceable adjustable eyecups
The focusing system is extremely smooth

Cons:

Pricey

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5 – Nikon 8×42 ProStaff 3S Binocular

For hunters who would prefer to hunt in forests and woods, the ProStaff 3S Binoculars from Nikon can make for a perfect pair of binoculars to use, thanks to the lower magnification. Its field of view is 378 feet and is capable of gathering a good amount of light coming from its 42mm objective lens.

These binoculars can offer a close-up focus of 10 feet, allowing you to view images in great detail. What’s more, this pair weighs only 19.9 ounces, which makes it a great choice for those looking for a lightweight and compact pair of binoculars.

The Nikon 8×42 comes with a rubber-coated exterior offering a non-slip grip so if you’re a reckless type of guy, you’ll surely appreciate these binoculars. This pair comes at a good price, making it the best budget binoculars for hunting.

Pros:

42mm objective lens
8x magnification
Equipped with high-reflectivity mirror coating prism made of silver-alloy
Features an Eco-glass that’s lead and arsenic free
Roof prism features optical path design

Cons:

There are several other better options in this list

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Good YouTube Video

This is a good video explaining the right ways to choose one of the best binoculars one can buy online. This Youtube video is detailed and fun to watch

6 – Vortex Optics Fury HD 10×42 Laser Rangefinding Binocular

The Vortex Optics HD 10×42 Rangefinding binoculars is another great performing binoculars that is definitely worth checking out. Featuring multi-coated lenses with 42mm objective lens, these binoculars can deliver crisp and clear images with targets of 9 to 1,000 yards, and even further for reflective targets.

When set in scan mode, this binoculars offer continual distance readings while you pan across the field or keep track of any moving animal in a field of view of 315 feet. The right side controls of the Vortex Optics are extremely easy to use and can be manipulated with a single hand. Thus, you can use your other hand for doing other important tasks.

These binoculars have been gas purged for waterproof and fog-proof performance in all weather conditions. Furthermore, the eyecups of these binoculars can twist up and down, which allows for more comfortable viewing experience, whether you’re wearing a pair of glasses or not.

Pros:

Equipped with high-definition lenses
Primary HCD mode
Scan feature design

Cons:

The binoculars’ diopter adjustment keeps on changing on its own

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7 – G4Free 12×25 Compact Binoculars

When looking for the best hunting binoculars under 100, the G4Free Compact Binoculars might be worth checking out. This model is known for its funky design that will surely stand out.

When buying this product, you’ll get powerful surveillance binoculars that are definitely among the most cost-effective ones in this list. The minimalist design focuses on space saving while still having some of the most significant functions, such as the central adjuster knob.

The G4Free Compact Binoculars would be a great choice for hunters of all levels, including the entry-level hunters. Also, if you’re not keen on spending a lot of money on your first pair of binoculars, then this pair is definitely what you should get for a start.

Pros:

12x magnification level
Affordable price for a high-quality set of binoculars
High-definition quality
Night vision

Cons:

The adjustment knob is a little bit touchy and somewhat frustrating to tinker

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8 – USCAMEL 10×42 Binoculars

Another high-grade pair of binoculars that you should consider buying is the USCAMEL 10×42 Binoculars. It’s extremely affordable and comes with a good price tag, making it one of the best hunting binoculars under 100. If you’re on a budget and you need a good pair of binoculars for your hunting expeditions, you better check this product out.

Despite it being affordable, the USCAMEL 10×42 Binoculars will surely not disappoint. It’s extremely durable and made from a durable magnesium alloy material that’s definitely built to last. This is a pair of binoculars that are guaranteed to last longer despite the regular use.

Pros:

Fantastic prism system for easy adjustments
High-quality FMC optics
Made of durable material
Offers an extensive view of up to 1,000 yards

Cons:

Magnification could take a while to adjust

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9 – SkyGenius 8×42 Full-size Binoculars

You’ll surely stand out from the rest of your hunting peers if you have the SkyGenius 8×42 Full-size Binoculars with you. It looks really great and performs well by offering clear and crisp images. Yet despite its amazing features, you’d be surprised that this pair doesn’t cost a lot.

In fact, it’s one of the best budget binoculars for hunting. When buying this pair of binoculars, you’ll get a few extra accessories as well, such as the carrying case and strap.

These binoculars are very light that you won’t even notice that a pair of binoculars is actually hanging on your neck! While SkyGenius is not a popular brand for hunting accessories, the company is committed to offering high-quality products, as evident on this pair of binoculars.

Pros:

Super clear images
The center dial is easy to use and maneuver
Excellent eyecups will not strain the eyes even when used longer

Cons:

Grips are lacking

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10 – Nikon Trailblazer 10×25 ATB Waterproof Black Binoculars

Another great pair of binoculars from Nikon is the Trailblazer 10 x 25 Waterproof Black Binoculars. This pair is definitely one of the best binoculars for hunting that has been gaining popularity among hunting enthusiasts lately.

It’s clear from this model that Nikon has used their knowledge in producing only the best products in the market. These binoculars have eco-glass surrounding on the lenses and are fog-proof and waterproof. Although these binoculars are gaining popularity for hunting, bird watchers can also use this pair for their hobby.

With these binoculars, you’ll get a jet-black design that’s truly pleasing to the eyes. It features a lightweight design and excellent zooming features that makes it perfect for anyone that needs an excellent performing pair of binoculars for regular hunting expeditions.

Pros:

Excellent zoom feature
Fully multi-coated optics
Rubber armored body
Waterproof and fog proof design

Cons:

Cannot be used with a tripod
Zoom may be great but could get very shaky easily

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Conclusion

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Description

Vortex Optics Fury HD 10x42 Laser Rangefinding Binocular

Equipped with high-definition lenses

Primary HCD mode

Scan feature design

G4Free 12x25 Compact Binoculars

12x magnification level

Affordable price for a high-quality set of binoculars

High-definition quality 

Night vision

USCAMEL 10x42 Binoculars

Fantastic prism system for easy adjustments

High-quality FMC optics

Made of durable material

Offers an extensive view of up to 1,000 yards

SkyGenius 8x42 Full-size Binoculars

Super clear images

The center dial is easy to use and maneuver

Excellent eyecups will not strain the eyes even when used longer

Nikon Trailblazer 10x25 ATB Waterproof Black Binoculars

Excellent zoom feature

Fully multi-coated optics

Rubber armored body

Waterproof and fog proof design

As you can see, you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to the best binoculars for hunting. But if you are to choose only one from the list, we would highly recommend the Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars.

As a matter of fact, the Vortex Optics is one of the top-rated binoculars for hunting, having a very good rating score. This is not surprising given the many excellent features that this product comes with.

Featuring a 10x magnification level, short hinge design, and waterproof feature, this product has everything that a hunter needs in a reliable and durable pair of binoculars for hunting.

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