Best Hunting Binoculars With Quality Optics in 2019

Hunting, Reviews

Some of the best hunting binoculars combine practicality with impressive optics. It may seem difficult to find binoculars which check these two boxes for characteristics but a few options prove it’s possible. Some of the big names such as Leupold or Bushnell now make specific hunting binoculars. But these products are available from smaller brands as well. Hunting binoculars can also be versatile in general and they can serve other purposes as well.

Features to consider in Good Hunting Binoculars

When it comes to the ultimate hunting binoculars, optics is where hunters should focus their efforts on. It all starts with how the optics look on paper.

8X magnification

This is the shortest magnification range seen in the best hunting binoculars. It’s as popular as it used to be but it is generally associated with stable images.

10X magnification

This magnification range is recommended for mixed types of hunting. When hunting in different locations, versatile optics can make a difference.

12X magnification

Reaching the furthest is what describes this magnification range the best. Users can rely on some of the most detailed images of their subjects from a distance with binoculars offering such optics.

32mm, 42mm, and 50mm optics

Apart from magnification, the diameter of the optics is important when transmitting light. The most compact option is represented by the 32mm binoculars. 42mm binoculars are the balanced performer chosen by most hunters. For a wide field of view, the 50mm optics are the right choice. The following hunting binoculars combine these impressive optics with reliable durability.

The Best Hunting Binoculars 2019

1. Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars with Low Light Night Vision

Why we like it: Lightweight, shockproof and waterproof, these binoculars are a reliable companion on hunting adventures.

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Design features

These compact binoculars can easily fit inside a pocket. They are among the simplest and most respectable options of the moment when it comes to everyday practicality. This is why they are used across various sports and hobbies. Hunters find them particularly useful due to their long eye relief which allows good visibility in changing weather conditions.

Even if the binoculars are made with a waterproof design, this doesn’t mean they survive full submersion. In turn, the binoculars are made to keep occasional droplets out of the optics, which can be helpful when the rain starts or when it ends.

Another interesting design characteristic is given by the rotating eyepieces, which allow adjustable focus and the ability for glass wearers to also use the binoculars. At a weight of just 0.65 pounds, the product is easy to handle even with one hand only.

Convenient features

The binoculars are very easy to use. Unlike many other complex designs, it offers simple adjustments made for one eye at a time. The folding design of the binoculars allows proper comfort and good visibility with both eyes. Users need to fold the binoculars until the lens are centered at the viewpoint.

To adjust the focus, users then need to rotate the center knob until the left eyepiece is clear. This is made while closing the right eye. To adjust the right eyepiece, users need to close the left eye and turn the right eyepiece until the image becomes clear and in focus.

With 12X magnification, the compact 25mm lenses offer clear images up to 1.000 yards. It is up to the hunter to find the right focus depending on the subjects’ distance and even on its background. But with optics’ coating, these adjustments can be made even in low light conditions, but not when completely dark.

Verdict

Compact and easy to adjust, these 0.65 pounds binoculars are made for the traveling hunter.

Pros
  • Made with a foldable design
  • Includes adjustable eyecups
  • Focuses on both eyecups
  • Waterproof and shockproof construction
Cons
  • Not to be used during the night

2. Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular

Why we like it: Made with non-slip rubber, this rugger binoculars offers HD clear images.

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Design features

Used in hunting, the design of the binoculars favors durability. Unlike many other entry-level options, it is made to resist mild shocks. At the same time, the binoculars are also made to offer a solid grip. Sweaty hands can cause all types of accidents and slips but Bushnell deals with the issue by adding a textured rubberized grip on the housing. In case of a slip, the optics will still survive the fall as they are protected by a shockproof design.

Based on a BaK-4 prism, the binoculars offer a proper viewing experience. Light transmission is among the best with current optics. The magnification is slightly reduced compared to similar alternatives, but at 10X, it is still more than enough for hunting purposes. 8X alternative optics based on 42mm lenses are available as well.

Convenient features

One of the most convenient aspects of the binoculars comes with the protected optics. Free from fogging issues, the optics are suitable for all types of weather conditions. Changing temperature can cause all types of fogging issues and hunters to know this the best as they use their binoculars early in the morning.

Made with long eye relief, the binoculars can also be used by those wearing glasses. The twist eyecups are easy to use and while their design is not innovative, the binoculars are still familiar when it comes to the ease of use.

Verdict

Made with a large focus know, the binoculars excel in light transmission.

Pros
  • Made with a folding design
  • Based on the popular Bak 4 prism
  • Designed with 17mm eye relief
  • Includes waterproofing
Cons
  • Not phase-coated

3. Aurosports 10×25 Folding High Powered Binoculars

Why we like it: With a rubberized design and with an included carry pouch, the binoculars are suitable for hunting.

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Design features

Based on a foldable design, the binoculars allow proper viewing angles even for hunters wearing glasses. They are among the options with dioptric adjustments. But the design of the binoculars is also familiar for many hunters making an upgrade. Focus rings are placed in the middle and on the right side of the binoculars. Both rings offer proper adjustability for both eyes so that all animals and subjects are in focus.

The multi-coated lenses also offer to waterproof, which is now surely becoming a standard with the best hunting binoculars. However, the sealing is not the most advanced and this means these binoculars don’t handle full submersion. On the other hand, they are made with both 10X and 12X magnification which means hunters can be out of the rain and under protection away from the subjects themselves.

Convenient features

Up to 1.000 yards, the binoculars offer a reliable performance. Furthermore, the bring objects closer allowing hunters to plan their shots better. Regardless of the hunting weapon, the binoculars offer a clearer perspective on the immediate surroundings.

The close focus should be made at a minimum distance of 3m. Interestingly, the binoculars don’t need too much time to focus as the system is mainly based on the user’s actions. With shockproof protection, the good news is even the occasional hit won’t damage the optics and the focus mechanism.

Inside the pack, users also find a carry pouch together with a cleaning cloth. All hunters should also know that this microfiber cloth is the only solution to clean lenses without scratching their surface. A carry strap is also included for hunters who need to have quick binoculars access.

Verdict

Offering a good starter pack, the binoculars come equipped with accessories without requiring any additional purchases.

Pros
  • Based on a BaK 4 prism
  • Reliable 10X magnification
  • Made from durable ABS plastic
  • Lightweight design made for travel
Cons
  • Not the smoothest focusing rings

4. Upland Optics Perception HD 10x42mm Hunting Binoculars

Why we like it: Made with extra-low dispersion glass, the binoculars offer exceptional quality with reduced chromatic aberration.

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Design features

The optics of the binoculars are known to be the most impressive characteristics. But their design is not bad either. The waterproof design of the binoculars allows them to be considered in changing weather conditions. With added lens caps, carrying the binoculars around the neck while seeking shelter from the rain causes no potential damage to the optics.

The fog proof construction of the binoculars is also at a high standard. As with most optics from the manufacturer, keeping fog away from the surface of the lenses as well as from the inside of the lenses is successfully implemented.

Convenient features

Made by actual hunters, the binoculars offer some of the most reliable characteristics together with great optics. The most convenient aspect comes with image clarity. Furthermore, all users can rely on durable optics with ED clarity, something which is not offered by most other alternatives.

The 10X optical zoom is considered as standard, even if 8X alternatives would be better for those with shaky hands. The 42mm lens size used in the binoculars is also widely accepted as one of the perfect sizes for hunting purposes.

However, the extra technology of the binoculars adds a bit of weight. At 1.44lbs, the binoculars are not exactly the lightweight option to consider. However, they do a great job in general when it comes to shock protection. It is a matter of deciding over superior optics over the lowest possible weight, a matter which is important for those hunting out in nature for days at a time.

Verdict

With hard to match image clarity with little distortion, the binoculars are only aimed at the detail-orientated hunter.

Pros
  • Suitable for all types of light conditions
  • Made with ED glass
  • Impressive 17.2mm eye relief
  • Top fog-proof performance
Cons
  • Heavy for many hunters

5. Bushnell PowerView 10 x 50mm Porro Prism Instafocus Binoculars

Why we like it: With a camo design, these binoculars represent a true choice for real hunters who like to stay low.

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Design features

This large foldable design is one of the pocket-friendly and quality 50mm options. While the optics are considerably larger than many expect, they are suited for wide-open spaces and a better understanding of the surrounding environment.

While it should not matter too much, the binoculars also feature a distinct camouflage design. This means that the low profile of the hunter can be maintained for longer. In reality, however, it might be just a subjective issue for most hunters.

Available in special multi-pack deals, the binoculars offer a better perspective for groups of hunters who want the best optics but who are also on a budget. Compared to compact binoculars, Bushnell’s design is worth the upgrade mainly due to the superior optics.

Convenient features

Made with a rare BK-7 prism, the binoculars offer some of the best optics for this price from the popular manufacturer. The fold-down eyecups are added for practicality while the multi-coating is one of the essential areas of improvement in terms of image quality and contrast.

With 10X magnification and 50mm lenses, the view offered by the binoculars is somewhat more comprehensive compared to the one offered by many other brands. Made with quality materials, this product is aimed at serious hunters who might be looking to make an upgrade from smaller less qualitative alternatives.

Suitable for wide angles viewing, the binoculars also transitions into a hiking companion. Those traveling out in wide-open spaces will not need any additional optics to get a closer look at trails or their surroundings.

Verdict

Made with BK-7 quality optics, these wide-angle binoculars offer impressive clarity at a fair rate.

Pros
  • Made with wide 50mm lenses
  • Designed with a camouflage profile
  • Multi-coated optics enhance light transmission
  • Based on Instafocus technology
Cons
  • Large to carry in pockets

6. Bushnell Trophy Binoculars

Why we like it: This compact design is available with different optics and different colors to suit any type of hunting style.

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Design features

Made in different colors, the binoculars is one of the simplest compact solutions for hunters to consider. From the all-green design to the camo options, there are a few good solutions to go with.

Unlike with many other similar options, the binoculars represent a viable option for magnification options. Some hunters still prefer the stability of the 8X magnification and Bushnell offers them this option with the binoculars, together with 10X alternatives.

Smaller 32mm optics are to be chosen together with 42mm alternatives. These two options serve different types of hunters. Smaller optics are suitable for quick use and pocket storage while the larger lenses offer a more familiar perspective, popularly seen in most other hunting binoculars.

Convenient features

Even if the binoculars are small, it is still reliable. Most hunters immediately figure out its focus system with the large adjustment knob between the eyecups. The 330’ field of view is clear and it offers sharp images during the day.

The non-glare multi-coated lenses are also backed by a durable body. Made with waterproofing, the binoculars also come with a rubberized grip which also acts to prevent shock optics’ damage. But these binoculars can also seem familiar to many current hunters. This is due to the fact they’ve been featured on the Bone Collector.

When it comes to drawbacks, it’s worth noting there’s no 12X magnification to count on. Hunters preferring that closer look with further magnification don’t find the binoculars to be too appealing compared to other Bushnell designs.

Verdict

Compact and versatile, the binoculars are a great first purchase to get a better view of the prey.

Pros
  • Made with a compact design
  • Available in multiple colors
  • 32mm and 42mm optics to choose from
  • Protected by an anti-shock design
Cons
  • No 12X optics

7. Artilection 10×42 Binoculars

Why we like it: Made with a BaK 4 prism and featuring a lifetime warranty, these binoculars are a solid option for avid hunters.

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Design features

The lightweight design encourages plenty of movement for all hunters dealing with heavy hunting gear. Even if made from plastic, the binoculars are still durable and protected against shocks with thick rubber. As a testament to its durability, the manufacturer covers the product with a lifetime warranty.

All the important materials and technologies for optics protection are in place. They include dustproof and waterproof designs. One area which differentiates the binoculars is with the hot shoe design which allows it to be placed on tripods. As a result, the binoculars can be relied on with various types of hunts which require considerable patience.

Those planning to wait for their prey a bit longer can do so even if the weather is not perfect. Taking the occasional splash, the binoculars represent one of the best options for spring and autumn hunting. Even hunting in snowy weather conditions is possible with the binoculars.

Convenient features

Using an ultra-clear fluorite glass lens, the binoculars offer clear images with impressive color resolution. There’s no chromatic aberration to worry about either. However, in some rare cases, chromatic aberration can be seen, especially around the edges.

For most hunters, the 42mm wide-angle lenses offer a good field of view. Even the 16.5mm prism is larger than the standard 15.5mm regular alternative. The result is better light transmission abilities and clearer subjects.

A free smartphone adapter is also included in the pack. Hunters who want to immortalize their subjects in their natural habitat can use this adaptor on all iOs and Android smartphones. Installing it on the binocular while on the tripod improves the chances for sharp images.

Verdict

Affordable and made with a large prism, the binoculars are the go-to option when tripod mounting is a determining factor.

Pros
  • Made with a lightweight body
  • Features ultra-clear fluorite glass
  • Optics support a wide 42mm angle objective
  • Can be placed on tripods
Cons
  • Tripod adapter sold separately

8. Vortex Optics Crossfire Roof Prism Binoculars

Why we like it: Nitrogen purging lens treatments make these binoculars reliable in all weather conditions.

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Design features

With a wide field of view, the binoculars are among the few options to consider with such quality at a low price point. At 50mm, the field of view is impressive. Recommended for hunters stepping up their game, the binoculars offer an impressive view to count on.

Of course, at 2 pounds, this is not the lightest option on the market. However, offering superior optics is often worth carrying the extra weight for many hunting situations. But even with such a large design, the binoculars are still easy to handle. Offering adjustable eyecups they are specifically made for improved focus. Furthermore, they offer a diopter setting design which means all objects appear crystal clear.

Convenient features

The enhanced depth of field is what makes the binoculars spectacular. Its optics support better subject to background separation which means there are plenty of instances where they can offer one of the most memorable designs with the prey.

The rubber armor of the binoculars protects the optics. But at the same time, it is very sleek which keeps the elegant profile of the binoculars compared to most other alternatives. As a result, they can even be considered for camping, hiking or any other outdoor activities.

Those who like the design but don’t feel too fond of the large 50mm lenses also have the option of going for a smaller alternative with one of the 42mm options. For hunters on the mover, having smaller optics may be a better alternative.

Verdict

With a sleek design, the binoculars stand out for optics quality and impressive depth of field.

Pros
  • Made with large 50mm optics
  • Delivers impressive depth of field
  • Suitable for good light transmission
  • Sharp subjects up to 1.000 yards
Cons
  • Heavy compared to other binoculars

9. Leupold BX-1 McKenzie Binocular

Why we like it: The open bridge design sits at the base of these lightweight multi-coated binoculars.

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Design features

With an impressively-lightweight design, the binoculars are made for various purposes. Hunters can consider them to carry in pockets or in their backpacks. Unlike many other similar options, these binoculars are also paired with clear optics without too much chromatic aberration towards the edges. Specifically coated to deal with twilight use, the binoculars are ready to be taken on every outdoor adventure.

The compact design is completed by a rubberized textured grip. These binoculars are among the options most representative to polymer housing designs. But even with this lightweight material, these binoculars are still supportive of all types of optics needs up to 12X magnification.

Convenient features

With precision focus adjustments, it’s all up to the user. There’s no collimation needed for the optics and the binoculars also provide twist-up eyecups with extra comfort even while wearing glasses and looking to focus on objects.

The housing is made of aluminum but the body of the binoculars is further protected by waterproof design. This is the main reason why these binoculars are specifically stronger at dusk. Since they offer up to 10 extra minutes of use early in the morning, they also protect the optics from the inherent fog at such times.

Verdict

While the binoculars are small, the low light performance makes them one of the compact versatile hunting options.

Pros
  • Very easy to carry
  • Specifically optimized for low light
  • Includes a manual focus knob
  • Clear towards the edges of the glass
Cons
  • Lens caps need a better fit

10. Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binocular

Why we like it: The Celestron binoculars aim to be the best 8X42 design on the market.

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Design features

Designed by a respected manufacturer, the binoculars offer a forgotten range of 8X42mm. This means it doesn’t have the zoom of some of the other binoculars but it has the stability and the optics quality to take on some of the most popular alternatives.

It is one of the best releases from the popular DX range. Unlike the other 3 binoculars of the series, it comes with 18mm eye relief for the ultimate comfort. But its optics are impressive as well. Based on BaK 4 optics, it even includes a phase coating to offer clearer images.

At its compact size, the binoculars also feature waterproofing. This is why they are considered for all types of other activities such as bird watching or hiking. But hunters specifically like its weight and the fact it can be placed on a tripod.

Convenient features

Representing one of the best options of its class in terms of image brightness, the Celestron design is very similar in use to its biggest rivals from Leupold and Bushnell. But the biggest advantage of the binoculars comes with stable images. These images are hard to match when compared to most 12X alternatives.

With a distinct hunting color design, the binoculars also maintain a low profile approach. Orientated towards the user, the product offers reliable eye relief as well. However, when placed head to head with some of its traditional rivals it falls a bit short in low light conditions.

Verdict

Compact and versatile, the binoculars is the complete choice from Celestron’s DX series.

Pros
  • The best equipped DX series release
  • Suitable for highly-detailed images
  • An affordable gate into Celestron optics
  • Available in different magnification options
Cons
  • Fall short in low light conditions

Guide to Buying the Best Hunting Binoculars

Which lens size is the best?

The lens size is subjective for most hunters. While bigger lenses are better in offering a wider field of view, smaller lenses have the major advantage of saving important weight and space in the hunter’s backpack.

Should I choose maximum magnification?

Maximum magnification is present under 12X characteristics for most popular hunting binoculars. While they bring subjects closer, they are not necessarily better. Those struggling to keep binoculars steady should consider shorter magnification ranges.

Is a hunting tripod necessary?

A hunting tripod can help stabilize images. However, such a tripod is not included with a hunting binocular. Most binoculars need a special tripod adapter before being considered for a more static method of hunting for the prey.

Do hunting binoculars need to be maintained?

All hunting binoculars need to be regularly cleaned. Microfiber cloth is perfect when in direct contact with the lenses. But even the body needs to be dusted and wiped from any excess oil from the skin. On the long term, it is also advisable to check for any signs of water leaks inside the optics as they can develop mold and they can fog up the optics on the inside.

How to choose the best hunting binoculars

A few directions are when choosing the best hunting binoculars. Among their characteristics, it’s important to know that optics and the way they’re protected by the body is going to dictate how the binoculars are used on every hunting trip.

Optics size

The size of the lenses is what impacts visibility the most. But the biggest lenses are not always the sharpest. Lens manufacturing technologies has a few limitations, especially on the lower end. Chromatic aberration is one of the main issues to worry about with most lenses. If this is not an issue at the center of the image, it can become highly visible towards the edges. Chromatic aberration refers to unusual colors which are seen in areas of the lens of high contrast and which can distort reality a bit.

Although chromatic aberration is an issue, it can be comparable to the loss of clarity and detail. This is where every lens comes with its performance and little tweaks such as proper coating can hide a few of these imperfections.

When unsure about the size of the lens to go with, it is generally recommended to choose a reliable 42mm design. These binoculars are very popular and they represent one of the best solutions for every type of hunting need.

Those who want to minimize the size of the binoculars as much as possible since they have to deal with heavy hunting gear all the time can always go lower. A 32mm alternative is still seen as reliable, even if it’s not as popular as it used to be.

Optics coating

Multi-coating such as phase coating is increasing in popularity. It can improve the way the lenses react, especially in low light, bright light and other types of harsh conditions. This is why some binoculars are specifically made to deal with the increasing number of low light hunters. Twilight-tailored designs are widely available. On the other hand, not all the products of the moment are made with reliable coating and not all lens treatments are the same.

Optics can also be treated against fogging. This is one of the most important issues to remember and in the conditions in which they are made for the ultimate results, keeping fogging away from the lenses is crucial. However, little can be done about poorly designed binoculars which fog up on the inside and it can even be a sign of a much-needed upgrade.

Size

Arguably as important as the lenses themselves, the size of the binoculars is what dictates the best performance. This is why many hunting binoculars are made to be as compact as possible. Unlike all other types of binoculars, hunting designs should still be low profile products.

This is why camo designs abound in the market and why all-green alternatives blend in well with the environment. Furthermore, there are a few other options for those seeking better performers regardless of the size. This is where larger binoculars, especially those with 50mm lenses prove to offer better optics but with the cost of the size and weight. Even in this range, binoculars heavier than 2 pounds can be found from all major manufacturers. While they feature prime optics, they prove uncomfortable to carry around the neck for the entire day.

Materials

From ABS plastic to thick rubber and aluminum, there are a few materials users should be aware of. Plastics are still widely used in hunting binoculars. However, they might not be as reliable between products as there are many types of plastics.

Aluminum housing protects the optics while the rubberized design offers better grip and minimum shock protection. Hunters should be aware that even binoculars advertised as shock-proof might still not take a fall on a hard surface too well. Apart from visible damage, physical shocks can impact the optics in time. Even the smallest crack comes with considerable damage such as fogging on the inside of the lens.

Reach and depth of field

The reach of the hunting binoculars plays its role as well. While these binoculars reach as far as they should for their size, there are variations in magnification strength. From 8X to 12X, there are multiple options to consider, often from the same binoculars. This is why it can be important to look for the most detailed images at any magnification level. Hunters have the freedom of going with any of the options which allow a closer look at their subjects, even if the prey changes.

Versatility

The versatility of binoculars can be seen in the number of uses outside hunting. Since they are not specifically cheap to replace, binoculars can serve multiple purposes. Of course, using a rangefinder as a binocular might not be the best alternative.

However, having some of the most reliable and versatile hunting binoculars to rely on every outdoor adventure is crucial. This is why it’s worth investing in practical and compact binoculars which are the easiest to use on every other occasion.

While some binoculars advertise night vision capabilities, this is not completely true. While they seem versatile, they mainly refer to low light conditions. Seeing in the dark with these binoculars is not possible. Even relying on some binoculars in the evening can come with serious issues when it comes to spotting the target. This is why the versatility of each release should mainly include alternative use on trekking, camping, sports events, and bird watching.

Accessories

There are not too many accessories needed outside what is already offered in the pack. One of the methods of keeping binoculars safe is by carrying them in a dedicated case or pouch. The best binoculars already include a carrying pouch.

Cleaning the lenses is also crucial for best visibility. A cleaning cloth is offered by most binoculars right out of the pack. Other important accessories include tripod mounts. However, it’s still rare to see them included in the pack. This is the main reason why these adapters are sold separately. They are not included in the tripod’s pack either and they are purchased from third-party manufacturers in most cases.

Final considerations

Some of the best hunting binoculars are made to last for years. Unlike most other products today which is made to be replaced down the line, binoculars are made to last. This is the main reason many of these products are already covered by a lifetime warranty.

But beyond the issues of durability, binoculars should be easy to use as they should help hunters perform better. Unlike many other optic products, binoculars are not powered by batteries at a consumer level. All their power is optical and mechanical. There’s no digital zoom to get closer to the prey and as a result, all work is done by hand.

Adjustments usually imply a focus system and eye relief. This is why these two characteristics are crucial for the hunter. Those wearing glasses should specifically seek out binoculars with adjustable diopter, as there are many valuable options to consider.

When taking out the binoculars on the first hunting trip, it is generally recommended to try out focusing on different targets before the hunt even begins. In most cases, it takes a bit of practice to get the fastest results. In others, the focus ring needs a break-in period to run smoothly. However, most binoculars should be ready for action right out of the box. Without spending too much on cleaning products, all of these binoculars should be kept clean and free from moisture as even the waterproof designs are not made to survive a full submersion.