Anyone who is involved in hunting will tell you that it requires a reasonable amount of skill and plenty of patience, but having excellent vision is also a necessity. In fact, other than your weapon of choice for hunting, binoculars are your best tool for getting the results you want. However, since many binoculars have different features, it’s essential that you choose a pair that works best for the things you do the most.
While beginning the search for hunting binoculars is far from difficult as it merely involves typing in the search term to Google, understanding which pair of hunting binoculars is right for you is more challenging than just seeing what is out there. Reading product descriptions and reviews is a good start, but it may not always offer all the information you need. It doesn’t help if you aren’t sure what features are the most important for the hunting you do.
Because of that, we’ve compiled a list of the best of the best when it comes to binoculars for hunting. We’ll also share what features matter, such as field of view, eye relief, fully coated lenses, and much more. Once you read through all the information, you’ll be able to see precisely which binoculars are the best for the kind of hunting that you do on a regular basis.
Best Binoculars for Hunting
Carson 3D Series High Definition Waterproof Binoculars
If you already have a set of steady hands and you want to walk away with binoculars for hunting with 10x magnification, the Carson 3D model is an excellent choice for your needs. It offers a 42mm objective lens, which means it can gather up plenty of light to help you see a target and take aim at it quickly. It is also made with a rubberized armor with a textured coating, so it won’t slip out of your hands, even when it’s raining.
This model has an eye relief of 16mm, features a fog and waterproof design, and BAK-4 prisms for some of the best features found on binoculars. It has a field of view of 314 at 1,000 years, which is more than enough for most who are hunting. With fully multi-coated glass and a camo design, it is likely to meet all your needs and more at a reasonable price.
Bushnell PowerView 10 x 50mm Porro Prism Instafocus Binoculars Realtree AP
As one of the best binoculars for hunting, the Bushnell PowerView offers everything you need in one set of hunting binoculars. These binoculars are incredibly lightweight at seven ounces and offer one of the most useful features you can find in binoculars on the market: multicoated optics. There’s never a need to worry about shine or glare coming through the lens and scaring off your prey.
As part of the premium lineup of binoculars from this manufacturer, you can expect the best of the best due to years of experience and procedures that have stood the test of time. These binoculars include a rugged build for durability, high-quality prism glass, and improved light transmission. The one package also comes with a carrying case, cleaning cloth, and a lens cover, so no extra purchases are required to get started.
USCAMEL Binoculars for Adults Compact HD Professional Binoculars
As one of the top binoculars from USCAMEL, this product offers a low price and comes with tons of features to set it apart from the competition. The high-grade binoculars feature excellent optics specifically created for hunting environments. You can easily spot a target from up to 1,000 yards away and lock in to ensure you get the shot you are hoping for.
One of the things that sets it apart is the very durable chassis of the binoculars, which is created out of a magnesium alloy that is built to last. What that means for you is that you’ll be able to use these binoculars year after year for decades without needing to replace them. For someone on a budget, the level of features and durability are unsurpassed by other options you could choose. It also offers an ultrawide field of view so you can see prey from very far away and have time to adjust your hunting plan as you need to.
Vortex Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars
This Vortex Optics Crossfire HD comes in at a reasonable price compared to other models and has a weight that is light and makes it easy to transport. As with other products from Vortex Optics, it offers a high level of magnification and a large objective lens to promise the best possible image when you are out in the field. One of the other positives of this set is that it has fully multi-coated lenses for the best transmission of light through several anti-reflective coatings.
There is rubber armor on the outside of these binoculars, so they won’t slip out of your hands or experience damage if they fall. These binoculars also include an extra feature where they can be placed on a tripod or a car window mount for versatile use. O-ring seals and nitrogen purging also ensure the device is waterproof and safe from fog so you can use it anywhere you like.
Aurosports 10 x 25mm Folding High Powered Compact Binoculars for Adults and Kids
If you want some bang for your buck, the price is right with the Aurosports folding compact binoculars. Designed for hunting and great for bird watching, people of all ages can enjoy using this model during the day or night due to the low-level night vision that is included. It has a considerable viewing field so you can focus in quickly and get excellent details.
The lens on this model is waterproof and has multi-coating for exceptional clarity, while the actual exterior has a non-slip grip that works great in bad weather. If you plan to transport your binoculars wherever you go, you’ll appreciate how easy this model is to carry once you fold it up.
Bushnell 334211 Trophy Binocular Realtree Xtra 10 x 42mm
Another one of the best options from Bushnell is the 334211 Trophy binocular, coming from a manufacturer known for offering top-of-the-line hunting-style binoculars. This model has a camouflage design that will prevent prey from noticing you while also providing waterproofing so you can head out into the field whenever you want to hunt. It has most of the top features available and even comes with a soft case and a space to attach clips on the sides.
When it comes to ease of use, Bushnell offers an easy solution with the center dial that lets you zoom in quickly and easily. It also makes it easy to adjust in the moment, so that you don’t miss out on a target because you’re fiddling with the binoculars. It also has grips that are integrated into the full design and painted with the rest of the device, so it all comes together in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars
With the Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars, you get a significant number of features for a reasonable price with dependable optics that would be expected on a much more expensive model. They come with a GlassPak binocular harness to keep them close to you at all times so you can use them whenever needed. This offers protection and is more comfortable than a typical neck strap.
With the Vortex Optics Diamondback, you get eyecups that can twist up or down to accommodate both those with glasses and those without. The Vortex Optics comes in multiple variations in terms of magnification and objective glass, so you can choose what fits your style in the best way. It also features a waterproof and fog-proof design for more convenience.
Bushnell Trophy Roof Binoculars
Another of the best choices on the list is from Bushnell at a great price point for hunter binoculars. This is a high-quality bundle that comes with the Trophy XLT Roof Prism Binoculars, a Bone Collector edition glass piece, and a binocular harness. The binoculars offer fully multi-coated optics for the best images you can imagine when you’re out in the field.
The harness that comes with this model is designed to keep weight off your neck and keep the binoculars right where you need them so you can use them in seconds. They feature a 15.2mm eye relief that works with or without glasses and a fast-focus center wheel for convenience and easy use.
Upland Optics Perception HD 10 x 42mm Hunting Binoculars
This pair from Upland Optics has a lot going for it from durability for long days hunting to the top possible clarity through using ED glass for manufacturing the product. The latter helps cut down on aberrations, so you get the best clarity and color of the image as possible when you’re hunting. It’s also a lightweight option with an enormous eye relief and high optical zoom.
Another factor that these offer is the ability to use them in environments of all sorts. They are made to be both fog-proof and waterproof, so you get the performance you want no matter where your day takes you. This kit comes with everything from a cap to a carry case, cleaning cloth, and neck strap.
Leupold BX-2 Acadia 10 x 42mm Binocular
These binoculars by Leupold are an aesthetically pleasing binocular model in a shadow gray color. They are entirely waterproof and resist fog while being backed by the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty so you can enjoy peace of mind when you use them. The use of fully multi-coated components ensures the top contrast, color fidelity, and clarity in any environment.
These use BAK-4 prisms that include a round exit pupil to cut down on edge distortion so you can see things in a clear and crisp manner. These are roof prisms that are phase coated for the best possible resolution so you can see prey without any problems. It also comes with a built-in tripod adapter port so you can use the device however you like.
Adorrgon 12 x 42mm Powerful Binoculars with Clear Weak Light Vision
The first thing to be aware of with the Adorrgon binoculars is that it offers an anti-slip grip through a durable and portable body. It’s made of odorless rubber armor that provides shock resistance, which can be used while you are on the move. It works well for hunting but can also be utilized for things like watching wildlife, traveling, hiking, climbing, driving, and more.
The large BAK-4 prism in this item is fully multi-coated to offer the best visual clarity possible without any distortion around the edges. You can expect a high-definition image with a bright picture and a great deal of crispness. It also comes with many extras like a carrying case, an eyepiece, protection covers, a cleaning cloth, and a neck strap.
Everything You Need to Know About Hunting Binoculars
A good pair of binoculars is a great thing to have when you are hunting for two different reasons. One of them is that they take the image of what you are looking at and enlarge it, so it’s easier to see. Binoculars are also able to let in more light to your eyes, which makes images look brighter even in areas with low light. However, searching for the best option can be confusing when many models claim to be capable of everything under the sun.
The best binoculars for hunting for you may not be the same best hunting binoculars for someone else. It really comes down to your priorities, your budget, and the environment you intend to hunt in. Below, we’ll go over some of the most important things to take into account when choosing binoculars for hunting.
Cost of the Best Hunting Binoculars
With so many different options on the market today, saying one price is better than another is difficult. The best option is to consider your budget and priorities and then align those things with the features we mention below. As you might expect, the more expensive models often have higher quality glass and more coatings to keep them in good shape longer.
You can find binoculars that run nearly a thousand dollars, with features like prevention of eye strain, which may make them ideal for frequent use. However, there are also less expensive options out there that will do the job and last for years to protect your investment. Choosing a medium value model can be a good choice for those who want to keep to a budget but get plenty of value out of the money spent.
When it comes to many products, the phrase “bigger is better” is true, but hunting binoculars are one product that are a bit different in this regard. This isn’t to say that having magnification is bad for tracking and spotting targets, but that having too much magnification can create images that aren’t very steady. In most cases, for those who are hunting, a 7x to 10x magnification level is the sweet spot for a great image and the steadiness you need to hunt.
Size of Objective Lenses
When you see one number that is followed by the designation for millimeters (mm), it is likely referring to the diameter of the objective lens. This is going to be the second number you see when you research binoculars for hunting. As an example, binoculars designated as 10 x 40mm are going to offer 10x magnification and a 40mm lens size.
When you have a larger objective lens, this results in seeing more detail. However, larger lenses also tend to be heavier and can be expensive. Many people go with a 40 or 44mm objective lens as a nice compromise. However, if you plan to mainly hunt at night or in other environments with low light, a larger lens may be the best choice.
Field of View Options
The field of view of binoculars refers to the widest dimension that you can see and will be measured as a number of feet over 1,000 yards. A larger number refers to the ability to see over a wider area when using binoculars. Of course, when using magnification, the image size will be reduced along with the field of view.
If you’re someone who wants to use hunting binoculars in an open area like a valley, having a high field of view is a perk. In addition, a wider field of view also makes it easier to track and aim at a moving target.
Various Types of Focus
When you are choosing the best hunting binoculars, you need to consider which of the three focus types is best for your needs. The first is an individual focus, which means that every telescope focuses on its own without any change to other telescopes. The second is a center focus, which is typically a large ring on the center of the best binoculars that can focus one or both telescopes at one time.
The final sort of focusing type is the focus-free, which is exactly what it sounds like from the name. You do not need to fiddle around with adjustments when using these hunting binoculars. This kind of binocular for hunting is best for a medium distance and less ideal for long and short distances.
Eye Relief and Vision Help
The best binoculars for hunting include eye relief, which is something that is essential for anyone who wears eyeglasses or sunglasses while out in the field. This is an especially important factor to think about when you are going to be hunting. Eye relief refers to the distance that you can see when holding the binoculars to your eye while still seeing the entire picture.
If your best binoculars for hunting have insufficient eye relief, you will see the center of the image, but the rest of the field is going to be more restricted. For those who wear any kind of glasses while hunting, you want to look for at least 14 to 15mm of eye relief to ensure they fit well and do the job for you.
Optical Coating Options
When you have a pair of binoculars that are fairly average, it can result in a frustrating situation where light is reflected onto the binoculars. This can make it exceedingly difficult to track targets when you are out in the field. Thankfully, coated optics are available and offer an easy solution to this problem.
The coating can be found on the objective lens glass surface and will help eliminate or reduce the amount of glare or light loss that you experience. This results in a clearer and brighter image that is easier to track when you are outside hunting. The best options are going to offer multi fully-coated optics, which is worth paying a little extra for.
Many lenses offer some kind of coating, and understanding the differences between them can help you choose the best hunting binoculars:
- Fully coated – These lenses are completely covered on all air-to-glass lens surfaces with anti-reflective coating.
- Multi-coated – Some lenses on the binoculars, often the last and first, have many layers of anti-reflective coating.
- Fully multi-coated – The best binoculars will be fully coated on all air-to-glass surfaces with several different layers of anti-reflective coating.
- Single coated – Some inexpensive binoculars will include a single layer of the anti-reflective coating.
- Rudy coated – While a rare option, some hunting binoculars have a red anti-reflective coating that helps remove glare from bright light.
Weight and Size of a Pair of Binoculars
If you decide to go with a pair of binoculars that are full-sized, they are often heavy and can weigh more than two pounds. For hunters who prefer to travel light, this may not be the best option when spending time outside for a full day at a time. The largest factors in terms of weight are the type of glass used and how much of it is included.
When you have a larger objective lens, the binoculars are going to be heavier. However, these lenses are also typically going to be more powerful, so they do have a time and place where they work well. If you aren’t interested in dealing with heavy and bulky binoculars, you may want to go with a pair of compact binoculars instead.
Need for Waterproof Binoculars for Hunting
Whether you plan to go hunting in weather conditions of all types or not, you may end up in the rain even on what was supposed to be a clear day. Nobody wants to have a pair of hunting binoculars that can’t handle a little moisture when the weather changes on a dime. This is why we recommend that you always choose a pair of binoculars that come in a waterproof version.
This is not only great for keeping water from entering the device, but also for avoiding getting dust and debris in the binoculars. Hunting binoculars with a rubber coating are especially good since they are easy to keep a hand on when it’s wet outside. Another positive of waterproof binoculars is that they often are also fog-proof at the same time.
Deciding Whether You Need ED Glass
ED glass is the abbreviation for extra-low dispersion glass and is often used for hunting binocular lenses as it helps reduce chromatic aberrations. If you look through a pair of hunting binoculars and notice fuzziness, also called color fringing, ED glass can prevent this issue. The best binoculars using ED glass will have little aberration so you can enjoy a crystal-clear image of turkeys, deer, elk, or other animals you are hunting.
Types of Prisms
When binoculars are made, they make use of one of two types of prims: Porro prisms or roof prisms. Compact binoculars often use roof prisms, which are known to offer lower levels of clarity. A Porro prism is the best choice when you want the clearest images possible.
However, technology is in a constant state of improvement, and many great hunting binoculars use roof prisms to create images that are more than sufficient for your hunting needs.
Exit Pupil Options
Exit pupil is what allows light to pass through to your eye, and the size of the exit pupil is calculated based on the magnification and diameter of your objective lens. When you put a pair of binoculars to your face and look through the eyepieces, the visible light shafts you see are the exit pupils.
When the exit pupil is smaller, less light can reach your eye, while the opposite applies for a large exit pupil. As such, hunters in low light may want larger exit pupils for the best clarity. The ideal option is to choose exit pupils at least as large as your own pupils. Going with even larger exit pupils can also be a good choice, whenever possible.
Accessories for the Best Hunting Binoculars
In many cases, binoculars also come with a selection of accessories to get you started right. If you are choosing inexpensive binoculars, these might be budget items, but they are better than having nothing extra. Everything from lens cleaning cloths to cases, straps, and more are commonly offered and can be useful when hunting.
Having the option to strap the binoculars over a shoulder or around your neck can make it easier to transport them, depending on their weight. In addition, a case can help you prevent damage, while a lens cloth will ensure that your view is impeccable at all times.
The truth is that choosing the best pair of binoculars takes some time and effort. In order to ensure you make the right purchase, a bit of research and some time reading reviews can go a long way. It’s also important to consider things like eye relief, the objective lens diameter, the focus and prism type, and the field of view.
The build of the binoculars you choose is also important since waterproof and fog-resistant models are in demand since they protect your new tool from dust, moisture, and other debris.
If you take your time and read the information above, you’ll find the right binoculars for hunting in a short time. All of the options are high-quality and designed for use while hunting so you can be sure they will do the job you want them to do. If the listed binoculars aren’t quite working for you, look at the most important factors listed above and find a pair of binoculars that do meet your needs.