10 Best Binoculars for Hunting in 2020
We think you will agree with us if we say:
As we grow into more pro hunters, we find out that high-grade optics get more critical.
It is where choosing the best binoculars for hunting will come in.
Today’s best hunting binoculars are engineered to offer you with clearer and brighter vision when in the field.
Nevertheless, shopping for this could be a challenging experience. Luckily, this guide should aid you to shortlist your options. Also, check our detailed buying guide later on in the article.
You will not fail with any one of the top 10 we listed in our below comparison chart. For an in-depth breakdown of every single product, see the hunting binocular reviews section.
Best Hunting Binoculars Comparison Chart
|Model||Magnification||Lens Diameter||Weight||FOV||Best For||Check on Amazon|
|Bushnell Legend Ultra HD||10x||42mm||1.54 lbs||340 ft||Overall||Check Best Price|
|Bushnell Powerview||8x||21mm||7 oz||378 ft||Compact||Check Best Price|
|Vortex Optics Viper HD||10x||42mm||24.6 oz||319 ft||Elk & Deer Hunting||Check Best Price|
|Vortex Optics Diamondback||10x||42mm||21.4 oz||330 ft||Under $200||Check Best Price|
|Bushnell H2O||8x||42mm||25 oz||325 ft||Budget Friendly||Check Best Price|
|Carson 3D Series||10x||42mm||1.4 lbs||314 ft||Duck Hunting||Check Best Price|
|Nikon MONARCH 5||10x||42mm||1.35 lbs||288 ft||Bowhunting||Check Best Price|
|Nikon Prostaff 7s||10x||42mm||1.42 lbs||324 ft||Eyeglass Wearers||Check Best Price|
|Bushnell Trophy XLT||10x||42mm||25 oz||325 ft||Value||Check Best Price|
|Bushnell Falcon||7x||35mm||21 oz||420 ft||Tight Budget||Check Best Price|
- Bushnell Legend Ultra HD – Best Overall
- Bushnell Powerview – Best Compact
- Vortex Optics Viper HD – Best for Elk & Deer Hunting
- Vortex Optics Diamondback – Best Under $200
- Bushnell H2O – Budget Friendly
- Carson 3D Series – Perfect for Duck Hunting
- Nikon MONARCH 5 – Great for Bowhunting
- Nikon Prostaff 7s – Good for Eyeglass Wearers
- Bushnell Trophy XLT – Value for Money
- Bushnell Falcon – If You’re on a Tight Budget
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD - Best Overall
The 10x magnification power is an advantage in itself, whereas the 42mm objective lens can collect sufficient light to give you bright pictures.
It is lightweight, yet that does not mean it is flimsy. Because its build is both waterproof and fog-proof, so regardless of the climate conditions, this device will perform its task as it should.
Besides the waterproof ratings, you receive a broader than regular FOV. This model is completely assembled and manufactured in the US and also is available in a black tactical model.
If you wish to use this binocular both for birdwatching and for hunting, you may conveniently do so as it boasts an excellent image clarity.
Overall, you will secure the best value for the money if you choose the Legend Ultra HD since these binos come with a pair of essential accessories.
Bushnell Powerview - Best Compact
While this pair of binoculars is not camouflage-ready specifically, the outside design is a mix of woodland camo and military desert camo, providing you with a unique hybrid design. It’s ideal for stealthily observing prey by a distance.
You will not have a shine or glare come from your lens, flashing to your prey and blinding you. You get bright and clear images up.
You may customize your binos accordingly, based on your specs, and use the non-slip rubberized grip to take all shock off use and travel.
It is a compact budget product with a purse-friendly selling price, so as you would expect, some sacrifices are made. Nevertheless, if you are on a limited budget, this is much better compared to nothing and worthy of consideration.
Overall, it is Bushnell’s leading lineup of field glasses, so you obtain the best of the best through tried-and-true procedures and years of experience.
Vortex Optics Viper HD - Best for Elk & Deer Hunting
With a wide field of view and 10x magnification, you will not have any problems spotting a faraway target. They are designed to endure the most intense outdoor conditions.
It comes with an O-ring that could seal any sort of moisture and debris and may make it difficult for it to pierce the binocular. So, the equipment is both waterproof and fog proof.
The Viper’s extra-low, HD dispersion glass offers this device with unbeatable color fidelity and resolution, even in night or a low light environment. Images are clear and razor sharp at rated ranges.
Scrape them up, drop them, it does not matter: they will still function the very same method. It takes lots of pressure to break this match of binoculars.
It arrives with some accessories, which includes a neck strap, carry case, rain guard, and lens cover. Perhaps above all, you will receive a lifetime unconditional warranty, and the Vortex company has a track record for outstanding customer service.
Vortex Optics Diamondback - Best Under $200
The Vortex Optics Diamondback is sturdy, 10x magnification, and fog proof, and waterproof construction. And not to mention the lifetime warranty.
Also, these binoculars rubber exterior means you can keep a firm grip, even if it is raining.
It provides a FOV on a level with higher priced binoculars. The eyepiece is a flexible and essential tool that helps you conveniently and quickly focus the binos.
The user-friendly construction is an excellent value that is supported by the different accessories supplied, like the lens covers and carry case.
A few of the individuals who have purchased this product were so pleased with what they received that they labeled it the top optic investment.
Overall, you may pay extra to get high-end optics, yet it is hard to push back the Diamondback when it comes to the best value binoculars for hunting. After a while, Vortex is among the big names in binocular products for a fact.
Bushnell H2O - Budget Friendly Option
With the comfortability and ease of this binocular, your eyes will not feel strained following continuous use. Also, the carry strap will make everything simpler, whereas plenty of straps lead to being irritable.
It incorporates an 8x magnification power that is excellent for hunters who acknowledge that they got shaky hands, mainly when the cool starts seeping to their bones.
The materials which this gadget is created from are extensively tested, thus that they provide the ideal performance under many different situations you encounter.
For quick adjustments, this product is equipped with twist-up eyecups and a sizeable center-focus knob. The non-slip rubberized armor, together with the smooth texture grip, take shock if you drop it.
Also, this model is considerably inexpensive compared to many other hunting binoculars, but it is because of the fact the H2O contains multi-coated optics rather than fully multi-coated types.
Carson 3D Series - Perfect for Duck Hunting
It sports a camouflage style, and it boasts full multi-coated lenses, with this product you can blend in the ecosystem.
It is a pretty compact pair by the full-size binoculars standards, and coupled with lightweight, they are easy to use all day and carry.
The product is outfitted using a rubber armor combined with textured coating, meaning that you can hold the binos correctly in your fingers without these slipping.
This model includes an objective lens diameter, which measures 42 mm, which is more compared to capable of collecting a lot of light to you to spot where your big game is located.
The FOV is 314 ft at 1000 yards, which is more than reasonable because you will be capable of using the tool also for birding.
They do miss a handful of features, for example, adjustable eyecups, yet as compensation, one gets optics, which not most other wallet-friendly field glasses can match.
Nikon MONARCH 5 - Great for Bowhunting
Weighing in 1.35 lbs, it goes without stating that you can get the maximum from these binos without them needing to weigh down you as you monitor your targets moves.
It is fitted with premier ED glass to more brilliant, sharper, and clearer images. Also, it is worth noting the optical parts of this gear are entirely multi-coated.
This one includes turn-and-slide rubberized eyecups, a central focus knob that is told to be soft, and flip-down lens caps to improve user experience.
Completely fog-proof and waterproof too, the Nikon MONARCH 5 model is a serious hunting instrument that will never disappoint you, even in gnarliest of conditions.
The model comes in two variations – 10×42 and 8×42. So, you ought to choose the one which best fits your needs and the target types you scout for.
Nikon Prostaff 7s - Good for Eyeglass Wearers
It has turn-and-slide rubber eyecups that enable you to modify the space in between your eyepiece and the eye. So, you can enjoy full FOV easily and quickly.
This Prostate 7s rubberized-armored construction is convenient to hold; also, the grip is firm, even when hunt grounds are wet.
This one includes fully multi-layer coated lenses and phase correction roof prisms; thus, the pictures you will visualize are clear and crisp.
The Nikon Prostaff 7s offers consistent clarity and color, whatever you are seeing, so they are perfect for birding, hiking, and hunting.
The unit comes in 2 magnification powers – 10x and 8x – and 2 objective lens diameters – 42mm and 30mm. Based on your requirements, you should select the model with the capabilities you want most.
Overall, this device offers a great balance between price and quality. The build is robust as well as we love the clear optics.
Bushnell Trophy XLT - Value for The Money
This fog proof and waterproof binocular are secured by O-ring seal plus rubber-armored housing that is comfy in your palm. There are smooth touch thumb grips, which you will also find useful.
The dura-grip rubber featured by the outside creates this model to endure the check of the clock because the odds of you putting it down is much lower in case you were about to make use of a typical model having a soft surface.
The Bushnell Trophy boasts a 42mm objective size and a 10x magnification strength, meaning that you may use it to most kinds of hunting.
As for optics, multi-coated lenses provide bright and sharp pics, especially in low-light situations. Also, the quick focus is beneficial and functional.
If you are all about personalizing optical tools to make these fit your eyesight, you will be pleased to know this one has twist-up eyecups.
Bushnell Falcon - If You’re on a Tight Budget
Fold-down eyecups accommodate a degree of versatility, mainly for people who wear sunglasses or prescription glasses. Also, these prevent glasses lenses scratching.
Sub-$50 binoculars often lack clarity, yet not these. The picture is sharp enough to locate an elk, deer, duck, turkey, squirrel, coyote, mule, moose, coues, whitetail, or waterfowl without much trouble.
The lenses are coated fully for better light transmission. Notably, we like its Instafocus feature that makes focusing upon agile targets a lot easier and quicker.
The quality of the build is pretty decent, and this binocular can cope with a trek in the woods without much difficulty.
These are quite flexible binos that can get used not just for hunting yet also for archery, watching sports games, hiking, and birding.
At such a low price, you will find some compromises in quality. For instance, it only provides around 7x magnification, which might not be sufficient for a few hunting needs. Nevertheless, the optics supplied for the cost are more than decent.
Hunting Binocular Buyer's Guide
Our hunting binoculars buying guide will explain the various factors to consider. As soon as you finish exploring, you will know which set is perfect for you and what binoculars should you buy for hunting.
The Right Binoculars to Hunt Specific Game
It will rely upon the bear type you are hunting plus where they shed. These can mix in the forest rather quickly, so you will want a pair with excellent contrast. 8x to 10x magnification are more than sufficient. The Swarovski is a reliable option here.
It will depend on if you are hunting them from longer ranges in dense woods or across open plains.
When hunting at a forest, you do not require as much zooming - 8X will be more than enough. What you do need is a pair that can take on some hits. The Vortex version will work well.
By contrast, when you are working over much longer ranges with flat out western plains, you will need extra magnification. There you will need a minimum 10X magnification. The Bushnell Trophy will do the job.
You are about to be outside for some time when you are hunting elk. Also, you can expect to need to hike above more mountainous landscapes. Get as lower a weight as much and better magnification. The Zeiss set would be an excellent option.
Moose are hunted often at a long distance, just like bears, so that you will need a 10x magnification. Do not skip on optics while hunting this dangerous, big game. The Zeiss Terra ED version is an excellent choice, mainly with the hydrophobic coating.
20 Factors You Need to Know When Choosing Binoculars
You will find that buying the great binoculars for hunting is an extremely personal choice, yet there are a few underlying factors you should look for before choosing your next set of hunter binoculars.
Most top-rated binoculars for hunting come with some accessories. In case you are getting cheap binoculars, then those may not be high-quality, but they are better than none. Cases, straps, lens cleaning cloths, and harness are common add-ons, and these may prove useful.
Estimate your price range and evaluate your options vice versa. We have listed binoculars for each budget range: under 100, under 150, under 200, under 250, under 300, under 400, under 500, under 600, and even under 1000 dollars.
The more costly the product, the higher the odds it was constructed with premium-quality materials. A few models could be a bargain as some hundred bucks, but they may only work out okay for frequent usage. So, it is not compulsory to dish a good fortune to buy the binoculars you have been dreaming of.
Even though it is not becoming the deal-breaking aspect to consider, the product's brand you are buying means a lot. Nobody tells that you will run into problems with the customer service or the warranty, but these both matter a good deal when you are selecting a brand.
Collimation is merely a fancy term which means optical alignment. An adequately collimated binocular should have the optical axis of lenses aligned along with high accuracy. Lenses that are free from collimation will lead to poor performance as well as a headache to the hunter.
The other aspect is the pivot points among both optical tubes. Those pivot points shape the binoculars bridge, and should also be precisely aligned for your eyeballs to see effortlessly and correctly.
You might need to check a few of the real customer reviews, recommendations, and ratings. Other users may tell you simply what to expect for product capabilities. It might be a good idea to consult a professional, request for a friend's opinion, or try to find what are the best binoculars for hunting online, than to blindly trust the description of the product.
Exit pupil is decided by the objective lens diameter and the magnification. Exit pupil's diameter will provide the light amount that gets to your eyes. You determine the exit pupil from dividing the second number (objective) by the first number (magnification).
This exit pupil counts for hunters since it handles the amount of light ambient that attains your eye. The iris in humans is about 7mm on diameter, thus the nearer to 7mm, the nearer you are to viewing the picture with max brightness.
Eye relief is the range from the eyepiece of binoculars to your eyes. Most brands install eyecups in the eyepieces in which the eyes are positioned at the appropriate distance from the eyepieces to the simplicity of use.
Many longer eye relief binos have fiber optic modifications in one of the eyepieces. It'll enable most individuals to adjust the focusing mechanism to their eye's prescription while using the field-glass without their prescribed glasses. Often, the eyecups are flexible for further seeing adjustments.
Field of View
The field of view is decided by the optical design of binocular. It is the picture width you can view using the binoculars from a specified range (usually 1000 ft). Take note of this figure, as better binos will many occasions have a marginally larger FOV.
There are 3 types of focus to take into account when it comes to the best binoculars for hunters.
As the light goes through glasses, it possesses a habit to split to its distinct color parts. You will sometimes notice this as “haloing” or “fringing,” where you could see blue, green, and red bands at an object edge.
Extra-low dispersion glass (ED) and high-definition glass (HD) aim to overcome this to offer a sharper picture. Unfortunately, there is no common industry standard; hence one maker can claim their ED glasses are superior to others, yet there is no method to check.
Image quality boils down to the clarity and sharpness of your viewpoint. The resolution you receive depends on your price range. It may not be relevant to you to have excellent image quality. Suppose this is the scenario, then the majority of the budget-friendly hunting binoculars are more than enough.
However, if you are frequently hunting plus are about and out in all climate conditions, in that case, you should choose the top optics you shall get. Remember that picture quality could be significantly decreased the more zoom you use.
Lens coating is a vital element of any set of binoculars. These help in the light transmission, and cut down in glare, plus other optic phenomena.
You will see most often 4 explanations on binoculars:
Magnification, also known as power, is the very first no in binocular models and is among the most essential choices you will have when choosing hunter binoculars. For instance, 8x42 contains an 8x magnification. 8x indicates the subject you are looking at will appear eight times closer or bigger than using your naked eye.
Differences between 10x and 8x magnifications:
It is the 2nd no in binocular specs. When you notice a binocular designated as 10x42, it merely means the objective lens is 42mm on diameter. This objective then directs that light straight into the prisms, that flip the picture right side upward, and to the magnify lens close to your eyes.
The bigger the diameter of the objective is, the extra light that is collected from the FOV. Therefore, a 10×50 binocular should produce a clearer picture compared to a 10x42. Once you go up on objective power, also you go up in dimensions and price.
Prisms are paramount in a set of binoculars since these are what enable you to view the photo right side upward via the eyepieces. Search for binoculars with prisms created out of BaK-4 glass. This glass is optically advanced in comparison to the BK-7, which you will see in the inexpensive units.
You will find two prisms types used in many binoculars nowadays, porro prisms as well as roof prisms:
A set of cheap hunter binoculars might or might not even make it past the next hunting season. Instead, choose anything with more value that won't only last yet will vastly outshine the cheap off-the-shelf binoculars. We will stay with reliable brands like Pentax, Nikon, Vortex, Steiner, Zeiss, Leupold, and Leica.
While we do not ever suggest buying anything below $100, it's not essential to spend 2000 dollars either. To find the best bang binocular for your buck, we would consider the medium to the middle-upper line of hunting field glasses for the optimal blend of value and performance.
Relative Brightness Index (RBI)
It is the index utilized to describe just how bright a picture is viewed in binoculars. You multiply exit pupil from itself to find the RBI. For an 8×42 binocular model, the exit pupil amount is 5.25; thus, 5.25x5.25 is 27.56.
Size and Weight
Full-size binoculars could be somewhat bulky and weigh nearly 2 pounds or more that is not perfect for hunters who love to travel light. In case, carrying heavy, high power binoculars for hunting is not your thing, then you may always look into compact binoculars.
Probably the most significant aspect of the hunting binoculars' weight is the amount of glass and type. The larger the objective lens, the bulkier the binoculars, although bigger binoculars are often extra powerful.
Twilight factor is a debatable spec and is quite useful for hunters since it is said to be decided by how far you can watch in a dusk or dawn condition. The bigger the twilight factor is, the brighter binocular is said to be in sunset and sunrise.
Because binoculars are effectively outdoor units, binoculars should come with waterproofing. This waterproof ability is usually via a rubber coating that also provides it some kind of sticky grip and shock protection. Although ordinary products can hold for some minutes, high-quality waterproof products can be kept submerged for hrs without being damaged.
See this video below for more details on picking the correct binocular. While HunterWithinMe did not upload it, there are a few actual value facts in the footage that is worthy of watching.
10 Tips When Using Hunting Binoculars
Check out our tips & tricks to use your brand-new hunting binoculars:
Hunting Binoculars FAQs
What is the Difference Between Roof Prism and Porro Prism Binoculars?
Roof prisms overlap, thus the objective lens and eyepiece are in lines. Porro prism is what you may think of like classic binoculars where the objective lens and eyepiece do not line up.
What Does Nitrogen Purged Mean?
Nitrogen is an inert gas - it does not react with any other substances. In high-quality models, it is used to purge (drive out) oxygen and hydrogen, which are the reason for fogging within the lenses. O-ring seal is used to stop these elements from coming back in and make sure the nitrogen does not leak out.
Which Magnification is Ideal for Hunting?
If you mostly hunt in the woods in which visibility is restricted in the first place, in that case, 8×42 binoculars should be a good option. Alternately, 10×42 binoculars are great for hunting at open fields, hence if you got steady hands and excellent vision.
How Can I Maintain My Binocular Clean?
As binocular is an essential gear, it is normal for these to get often dirty. Most field glasses are made from the sensitive covering. So, be cautious in the maintenance process. You may use a cleaner kit or clean them manually using a microfiber cloth or brush.
How Do Binoculars Work?
Light enters into the binoculars front via the larger objective lens. At this stage, the picture is upside downward. The light after that passes via two prisms, that turn this right side upward. Lastly, the light goes via multiple ocular lenses, including the eyepieces, that magnifies it.
How Much Does Hunting Binoculars Cost?
You can discover cheap binoculars for hunting as low as $20, yet they have nor the optical accuracy nor the robust build you demand. For between $55 to $90, you will find an array of perfectly capable products suited to people who are in a budget. Premium-quality, full-featured hunting binoculars begin at about 200 dollars, with a sweet spot at around 300 dollars.
How Can I Say if My Binoculars Are Waterproof?
The only method to be sure is to consider an independent ingress safety rating - starting from IPX-0, which means no safety at all, all the way up to IPX-7, which means the gear can be submerged on meter water for half an hour. It is outlined by the producer but verified independently.
Can’t I Simply Use My Rifle Scope?
You would think so, yet you could be incorrect. Riflescopes are ideal for when you are lining up for a shot since they possess a minimal focus. When you are tracking an animal, their field of sight is not wide enough. Apart from that, each time you are scoping in the wilderness, you are pointing your shooting gun. It is not secure.
Can I Wear Eyeglasses When Using Binoculars?
Some binoculars models are created in a unique technique to turn it convenient for people who use eyeglasses. In case you own eyeglasses, in that case, you should preferably opt for binoculars having above 15mm eye relief.
Do I Buy Compact or Full Size?
Compact binocular models have several disadvantages in comparison to full-sized models. They often include fewer features, just because they are small in size. Optically they generally have a narrow FOV, and the tiny lenses mean these gather less light.
In the meantime, contrary to their larger relatives, they easily slip into your pocket, plus they do not weigh a lot. It all will depend on just how much functionality you are willing to let go in exchange for portability. In case you hunt mostly on full daylight, it can be a lucrative compromise.
Now you understand what the best hunting binoculars for sale are and which factors you should be considering. As such, one will have no issues finding a great device that functions you well.
While we could present you with all of the information online, only you could narrow down binoculars, which are right for your specific hunting requirements.
Overall, you cannot fail with any one of the best binoculars for hunting in our listing, and we warmly welcome opinions below should you strongly believe we have to include your favorite pair that might not have made the chase.
Note: Also, we have a hunting boots guide written explicitly to hunters. It will surely help you in choosing the best one for you.