A Complete Guide to Choosing the Best Binoculars for Hunting


Best Hunting Binoculars

The same way you have to bring the right rifle or bow with you when you are going for hunting is the same way you should carry with you the best binoculars for hunting. A pair of good binoculars is an important hunting gear you should carry with you. Some hunters may disregard this equipment, but a serious hunter should not leave home without a pair.

Regardless of your hunting style, binoculars will give you a better aim at your prey and enable you to locate its exact position with ease.

Without a good pair of binoculars, you will not be able to see the whole animal; your eyes do not have such accuracy.

If you are looking for the best hunting binoculars, then this post will give you all the information you need. We analyzed tens of top-rated binoculars for hunting on the market, and we can confidently say that we identified five that will be worth your money.

To help you further refine your choice, we have compiled a resourceful buying guide that has all the information you may need in choosing and using binoculars. In our buyer’s guide, you will find all the highlight features you should look for in binoculars, including weight, magnification, the field of view, eye relief, and much more. Moreover, our reviews are exhaustive and have covered the good and the minuses.

So keep it locked here to know all that you need to know.

Choosing the Right Binoculars for Hunting

Before we share the reviews, you need to understand the basics of binoculars. We will, therefore, briefly touch on the requirement to keep in mind when choosing a hunting binocular to ensure you choose the right one;

  1. Understand the best magnification a hunting binocular should have

When choosing your new pair of hunting binoculars, you need to get one with the right magnification. A lot of hunters get tempted to buy binoculars with very high magnification strength.

However, this may hinder you from properly locating your prey. As a matter of fact, some of the best hunting binoculars are often those with a lower magnification of 10X or 8X. Binoculars with lower magnification are normally great for hunting expeditions because;

  • They give you a clearer, stable image of your prey than binoculars with high magnification figures. This is because binoculars with higher magnification are affected by a very slight movement of your object resulting in blurred or distorted images.
  • They offer a wide field of view, making it easier for you to scope out objects that you wish to see more closely.
  • They provide optimal eye relief, which means that you will have enough distance between the eyepiece and your eyes, which is great for people who normally wear spectacles.
  • You get brighter images when hunting at dusk or dawn

However, this is not to mean that binoculars with higher magnifications may not be a better option. The best way of deciding on the right magnification of your pair of hunting binoculars is to know the environment you will be using it more often.

If you normally hunt in the woods where your prey is closer, and light levels are lower, then you should go for binoculars with low magnifications of 10X or 8X.  If you normally hunt in open spaces where there is a lot of light, then you need a binocular that magnifies your target more, and thus one with considerable magnification strength such as 12X will be ideal.

  1. Understand the size of binocular lenses that are best for hunting

The best time to hunt is normally at dusk or dawn when light levels are at a minimum, and having a pair of binoculars that do well in low light conditions is highly essential.

The general rule of thumb is, the larger the lenses a pair of binoculars has, the better it is for a binocular to gather light, and thus the brighter the image of your object will be. Obviously, you will have to factor in lens quality, coatings on the lenses, and the prism used in a binocular as all these will affect the light coming into your binocular and transmitting ability. That’s why it is advisable to choose binoculars with large sizes of lenses, as this means they will perform well in low light conditions.

Keep in mind that Large lenses mean that your binoculars will be bigger and have more weight; therefore, know that you will be carrying a heavier pair of binocular should you go for one with larger lenses.

Often, the best hunting binocular should have a lens with 42mm. This size offers a great balance between the light captured and weight. Some hunters will sacrifice the size of the lens for more compactness; you should make your choice as well.

Other features to consider include;

  • Durability and ability to withstand different harsh weather conditions. Therefore, ensure your binocular is fog proof and waterproof to prevent damage to its internal elements in case there is a downpour when you are in the woods
  • Type of coating. We would recommend that you go for a pair of binocular with rubber coating as this will protect its delicate elements from scrapes and bumps should you accidentally drop them

With this knowledge in mind, you can now choose the right binocular for your hunting needs.

Best Binoculars For Hunting in 2020

 

 

Bushnell Falcon 133410

 

 

Nikon Prostaff 7s

 

 

Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42

Type of prismPorro prismRoof prismsRoof prism
Magnification7X magnification10 x magnification10x magnification
 FOV420ft325ft/1000 yards345 feet/1000 yards

Here are the top best binoculars for hunting we found;

Bushnell Green Trophy Binoculars

Bushnell designed these binoculars specifically for hunters featuring high-quality optics that offer steady images and brightness. The focus is good and offers the kind of performance you would need for viewing wildlife. These binoculars are suitable for light travel experience with the roof prism system. Fortunately, the Bushnell Green Trophy 10 x42 offers all that without spending a lot of money.

10×42 magnification and wider lens diameter

Magnification and objective lens diameter are the two basic aspects to consider. It offers a 10x magnification with a clear focus distance of 325 feet at 1000 yards. Better yet, the eye relief is 15.2mm with an impressive exit pupil of 4.2 mm. Even glass wearers should find this model easier to use.

Focusing Wheel and Diopter

The Green Roof Trophy Binoculars come with a center focusing wheel that lets you adjust the focus for clear images. The diopter is also another nifty addition on the wheel, as it can help you to get a better position and focus.

Ergonomics

The first thing that comes to mind when handling these binoculars is a soft-to-touch and tight grip. They are waterproof with O-ring seals and nitrogen purged lenses; therefore, you can use them in wet weather and areas with high density. The coating is rubber for added comfort, and the objective lenses have a handy flip cover.

Features

  • 10x objective lens
  • 42mm objective lens
  • BAK4 roof prism
  • Dura-Grip rubber
  • Multicolored optics
  • Weighs 25 ounces
best binoculars for hunting

Pros

  • It has a waterproof design
  • Durable and comfortable
  • Crystal-clear optics
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Some customers reported double vision

Tip: Suitable for people looking for an affordable binocular camera

Vortex Viper HD

Made in Japan, the Viper HD series from Vortex is quickly becoming a favorite among hunters and bird watchers. What makes the binoculars unique from the rest is the high-density glass that separates light into its wavelengths for more clarity than normal glass. To this, Vortex adds an extra coating to make the lenses more resistant to scratches and dirt. Overall, the Vipers are well worth their affordable price.

Single Bridge Design

The Vortex Viper HD uses a single-body design, which is a customized design from the roof prism design. It feels more comfortable and offers a unique balance. The sleek design ensures easier focus of birds and wildlife without slipping the binoculars.

Convenient Focus Wheel

Another excellent addition is the sleek focus wheel that is centrally located and looks great. The wheel is larger with an amazing grip, especially with the stippled exterior. The design of the wheel differs from those in other models, but it’s great in winter conditions when you have thick gloves. The loads of grip you get in this pair is paramount.

Lockable Diopter Ring

Like all other Vortex Vipers, these binoculars come with a lockable diopter in the right eyepiece for convenience. In case your diopter settings shift or re-adjust, you can select your preset optics. This is a great feature, especially for bird watchers.

O-ring Seals

The best time for bird watching is dawn, and you probably need waterproof binoculars that are fog-proof. These Vortex binoculars are fully O-ring sealed with argon-coated lenses to resist diffusion. You also get a carry case to store the eyepiece and a durable neck strap.

Features

  • 10X magnification
  • 42mm objective lenses
  • Dielectric, multi-layered coatings
  • Rubber-armored chassis
  • O-ring seals
best binoculars for hunting

Pros

  • They offer great roof prisms with less reflective silver coatings
  • Resistant to scratch
  • Affordable price
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • It's bulkier

Tip: Great for hunting during winter conditions

Nikon Prostaff 7s

The reason why the Nikon Prostaff 7s is on our list is that there are very few faults to find here. It’s an amazing pair not only for hunting animals that move first but also for bird watching. This is because it includes a cornucopia of amazing features, such as the advanced optics technology that Nikon is known for.

The pair features an extra-wide field of view, larger objective lens, and low, close focus range for the best clarity. They are available in two colors, green and black, with an aesthetically pleasing lightweight design. Here are some of its features.

10x magnification

Firstly, the 10X magnification is enough for the size of individual focus binoculars, but what makes the Nikon 7s cut above is the super clear view images. Thanks to the adjustable roof-prism and eco-glass lenses, you get sharper images with clarity for every scene around.

Nikon uses a reflective mirror coating to the glass lens to improve light transmission even when light conditions are not clear and vivid.

30mm Objective Lens

The 10x magnification, in combination with a wider field of view of 30mm, ensures a broad viewing angle when you need to focus on large targets. The model offers clear images in the distance ranging from 3 meters to 800 meters. It also comes with a turn and slide rubber eyecups to allow anyone to adjust their view comfortably. Even people with eyewear will find it easier to look through.

User-Friendly Exterior

The long and sleek design is amazing, and the black color makes it even better. It weighs about 2.1 ounces with a fog-resistant chassis to fit the hunting style. The rubber-armored coating is a relief for when you need a solid grip. The durable and super protective design is excellent for that on-the-go.

Features

  • 10x Magnification
  • 30 mm objective Lens
  • Dimensions of 3.25 x 6.5 x 9.25 inches
  • Waterproof
best hunting binoculars

Pros

  • Offers an excellent grip
  • Easy to adjust
  • It’s built to last
  • Offers a longer eye relief

Cons

  • The lens covers could be more durable

Tip: ideal for hunting animals that keeps on moving

Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42

When purchasing a pair of binoculars for hunting, bird watching, or camping, you need one that does not strain the eyes, provides great magnification, and is portable. The Vortex Optics Diamondback binoculars tick all the right boxes for best binoculars 2020. They are built to last, featuring a sturdy and waterproof material. Read on to find out the features that stand out in this product.

Excellent optic performance

When carrying out activities like bird watching and hunting, these binoculars would make a great companion. It offers an impressive 10x magnification with a huge clear view. Thanks to the 10x magnification, it’s easy to see those distant targets through the 42mm powerful lens. The optics feature a multi-coating that increases light transmission, especially in low light transmission.

Roof Prism

The main reason behind the popularity of binoculars with roof prism is their compact design. Apart from the size factor, roof prism binoculars tend to be durable. The Vortex Optics 10×42 offers this feature coupled with phase-corrected prism coating. This helps to polarize the light paths for easier contrast and resolution for hunters and campers.

Adjustable Eyecups & Diopter

The Vortex eyepiece also features convenient adjustable cups that keep the image in focus, even for those with low optic power. When you want to adjust both barrels at the same time, it’s easier with the center focus wheel. Another unique feature of this pair is the diopter that helps to adjust eyesight differences. This is a nifty feature as people rarely have equal optic power.

Convenient accessories

Right out of the box, you will be impressed with the durable design of the case, inside a zipped compartment that protects the binoculars. The rubber armor caps provide extra protection to the lens and eyepiece. You also get a tripod adapter for those who want to place the eyepiece in a fixed position. The Vortex strap keeps them grounded on your neck.

Features

  • 10×42 magnification
  • Multi-coated lenses
  • Roof-prism
  • Multi-position eyecups
  • O-rings seals
Top Hunting Binocular Brands

Pros

  • Offers a wider field of view
  • Can focus on objects in low light
  • Compact design
  • The strap ensures easy carrying

Cons

  • The eyecups can easily get lost as they are not attached

Tip: Suitable for hunting distant targets

Bushnell Falcon 7x35mm

Bushnell is a popular brand that has a good reputation for producing some of the most effective binoculars over the years. The Bushnell falcon is a great pair deigned for hunting and bird watching. What’s more, it comes at an affordable price tag. There are many Bushnell fans who have praised these waterproof binoculars for their instant and clearer focus. Here are its outstanding features.

7×35 magnification and objective lenses

The Bushnell Falcon provides a magnification of up to 7x to bring distant subjects to close observations. The 35m objective lenses boost light-gathering capability in low-light conditions such as dawn and dusk. Extra-low dispersion glass elements enhance contrast and sharpness to give a clear view.  The Bushnell Falcon also uses an automatic focus that works effectively.

Fold-down Eyecups design

Featuring a 12mm eye relief and 5mm exit pupil, this product enables you to focus on scenes closer, thanks to the twistable eyecups. What’s more, the design allows you to have a wide field of view up to 420 feet when standing a 1000 yards away. Even with glass wearers, it is easy to get a clear view of the subjects without straining the eyes.

Porro Prism Design

The Bushnell Falcon has prisms made of Bk-7, which are less expensive than BAK-4, although the single-layer coating transmits less effectively compared to multicolored optics in roof prism. Nevertheless, these binoculars are sufficient to use for bird watching. One major drawback with the Bushnell Falcon is they are not fully waterproof.

Features

  • 7x magnification
  • 35mm objective lens
  • 420 field of view at 1000 feet
  • Fold-down eyecups for easy adjustments
  • Eye relief of 12mm
  • Weighs 21 ounces
binoculars for hunting

Pros

  • The InstaFocus means you get straight into action
  • The non-slip rubber offers a secure grip
  • Offers a clear view
  • Offers a great price

Cons

  • Not waterproof

Tip: Ideal for deer hunting

Best Binoculars for Hunting: Buying Guide

When looking for the right pair of hunting binoculars, you will notice that there are many technical aspects you need to understand. Here are the things you should check in a hunting binocular;

1. Magnification and Field of View

We have already mentioned earlier that a higher magnification doesn’t always make a hunting binocular a great buy. This is because a larger magnification makes it harder for you to stabilize an image of your subject. When you are using a pair of binoculars with higher magnification, even the slightest of the movement by your subject will result in a distorted image. Besides, a larger magnification means that you will have a narrower field of view.

A smaller field of view means that you will find it hard to scout preys that are in front of you, especially those that move very fast. On the other hand, a wide field of view will enable you to scout prey over expansive areas.

Therefore, the best magnification for hunting binoculars should take into consideration the terrain you hunt in often. If you often go into the woods, then you should choose a pair of binoculars with a lower magnification. This allows you to have a wider field of view, irrespective of the binocular brand you are using. Thus, you can choose a binocular with 8X magnification.

If you hunt in open grounds or want a binocular that can help you see longer distances easily, then you should opt for one with higher magnification. This allows you to spot your prey from further distances and in greater detail. For open fields, 10X magnification can be a great choice.

2. Image/visuals quality

Some hunters use binoculars all the time while others use their binoculars occasionally. If a pair of binocular is a tool you frequently use, then it is more important to go for a binocular that gives you better image quality.

However, you should be prepared to pay a top dollar if you would like a binocular that deliver clear images. Often, bright and crisp image visuals are only offered by models that are quite pricier.

3. The diameter of the objective lens

The majority of the best binoculars for hunting have a diameter of 40 or 42mm. This is great as you will be able to see all the necessary details in a precise, clear manner.

The rule of the thumb is that the larger the diameter, the more details you will see. However, it is also worth noting that binoculars with a bigger objective lens diameter cost more. For those who often hunt during the day, a 40-42mm lens diameter will be okay. In fact, anything above 30mm is satisfactory.

Also, keep in mind that binoculars with a bigger diameter tend to be heavier. Therefore, if you want to cut on the weight of your hunting gear, then you may need to go for binoculars with less objective lens diameter.

4. Coating applied on the lenses

If clarity and brightness of visuals are crucial to you, then you need to find binoculars that have a quality lens coating. In addition, quality lens coating prevents losing light and glare. The coating is added to lenses to prevent reflection of light.

There are different options when it comes to lens coating with the main ones, including multi-coated, fully multi-coated, and fully coated. Lenses that are fully multi-coated tend to be expensive, which is why many hunters go for those with multi-coated lenses.

5. The weight and size of binoculars

You don’t want a binocular that will weigh you down when you are chasing prey. That’s why you should go for a pair of binoculars that are quite lightweight. Most full-size regular binoculars often weigh more than two pounds. Although they might be the best, they may not be suitable for those who go for regular hunting expeditions. This is because they will strain your hands or neck.

Compact binoculars are great since they are easy to carry around and pack. However, they lack in performance and delivery. You must know how to strike the right balance.

6. Eye relief

This is another feature that matters to many hunters, especially those who wear sunglasses or eyeglasses. Eye relief refers to the distance between the eyes and binoculars. A good pair of binoculars should offer a good range of eye relief that allows you to see the visuals well. Therefore, look for a binocular that has an eye relief range of 14-15mm.

7. Type of prism

Binoculars can have two types of prisms; the first one is roof prism. This is positioned in a straight line with the eyepiece. Binoculars with this prism are lighter and pricier.

The second prism is Porro prism. Binoculars with this type of prism tend to be bigger and allow better light reflection. They tend to be cheaper. The prism is not fully in line with the eyepiece, which means that the object may appear as though they are on top of the eyepiece. Other features to look for in a binocular are;

8. Size of the exit pupil.

This differs from one binocular to another. The higher the exit pupil size, the more light you get. Look for models with the same size as your exit pupil size

9. Focus systems.

There are two focus systems, including center focus systems, which are great for hunting preys that are closer than 30 yards, and individual focus system that does well when you are hunting prey that is in mid or long distances

Our Top 3 Recommendations

In case you’re still not sure of the ideal pair of binoculars for your needs, this section gives a better comparison between the top 3 binoculars that we highly recommend for this guide. The section delves into the features that make our choices more popular over the regular ones.

Bushnell Falcon 133410

You can consider Bushnell Falcon, especially for watching birds and wildlife. It comes from a famous brand and offers a faster and clearer view than most other models at its price. With a 7X magnification and the instafocus system, it can focus on moving targets without having to wait like with most other models.

The 35-millimeter diameter of the lens is less but still sufficient for hunting and bird watching, especially in the day time. The design has superior light transmission even better than more expensive models due to the fully coated optics. The focusing distance is 20 feet close, and the 5mm eye relief works well for people with glasses.

Nikon Prostaff 7s

If clarity is your priority, you also need the extra comfort you get in this model from Nikon. Unlike the Bushnell Falcon, this Nikon model offers a roof prism design making it ideal for travel. The coated roof prisms are waterproof and fog proof making it suitable for use from dusk to dawn.

Compared to Bushnell 7×35 mm, the Prostaff 7s offers 10x magnification and 42 mm objective lenses meaning you get a bigger field of view. The Nikon 7s also comes with multicolored lenses coated with a reflective mirror on the surface for better light transmission. The model is fully waterproof with nitrogen purged lenses to resist moisture.

Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42

The final product is for everyone looking for comfort, optical quality, and durability all-in-one. The Vortex is sleek with multicolored lenses and comes with rubber armor to create a secure grip. Unlike Prostaff 7s, its lenses feature both Argon and Nitrogen to prevent internal fogging that could occur as a result of varying temperatures. In other words, these are waterproof, even in extreme conditions.

Like Prostaff, its lenses are multicolored to enhance light transmission, with a diopter located on its wheel for easy adjusting of the focus. They are perfect for hunting, and surprisingly, they cost almost the same as Nikon Prostaff 7s. What’s more, Vortex backs them up with a lifetime warranty, which shows the high quality of these binoculars.

FAQ About Best Hunting Binoculars

What is the best binocular for hunting?

Well, this depends on your hunting needs. We have reviewed the top 5 best binoculars for hunting in this guide. Make sure to choose the right one for your needs.

What is the best magnification for hunting binoculars?

In general, a magnification of 10X is great for mountain hunting. Most hunting binoculars come with a 10X magnification. This is powerful enough to reveal great details from a distance, but it is modest enough to see clearly when your object is moving. Therefore, if you are just looking for a pair of binoculars that is great for mountain and western hunting, one with 10X magnification will be ideal.

What are the best deer hunting binoculars?

Well, a binocular for deer hunting should have great magnification that ensures you don’t get blurred images when a deer is moving. The best one on our list is Bushnell Falcon 7x35mm.

Are 10×50 binoculars good for hunting?

Yes. These binoculars have spherical lenses and are multi-layer coated to give you a brighter view. In addition to being great for hunting, they can also be great for bird watching, sporting events, and watching things that move a lot.

How far can I see with 10×42 binoculars?

This depends on the details you want to see. Generally, you can see things as far as 2km. If you need to spot things that are far from this, then you will need to use binoculars of a higher power.

How many miles can you see with binoculars?

There is no exact answer to this question. Binoculars can see anything your eyes can spot in a better and bigger manner. Healthy eyes can see a ship sailing over the horizon at 12 miles. Therefore, a binocular can see 12 miles as well, but make the ship bigger and clearer.

Additional Information; Tips for Using Hunting Binoculars

  • Clean your lenses

You should keep your lenses clean all the time if you want to see your prey right. Make sure to clean using soft, damp clothing that will not scratch your lenses.

  • Check your focus

You need to adjust your binocular focus to ensure that you get the best picture.

  • Use magnification

You should not be afraid to use different magnifications. Keep a good distance from your prey to avoid scaring it.

  • Use the sun

The position of the sun can hinder or help you. Try to keep the sun behind you if you want a sharper, clear image.

Final Thoughts

Buying the best binoculars for hunting is not an easy task. You have to consider a lot of things and compare features. That’s why we did a lot of research for you and brought you all the information you need to choose the right pair of hunting binoculars.

We made sure to review models from top hunting binocular brands and chose the top-rated ones. All the above binoculars will give you a good value for the money. We hope that you have found a model that suits your needs.

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