When choosing the best binoculars for hunting you will go through lots of reading, and in the end, you will lose your self in all the details, or you may even buy the wrong binocular. Hunters need specific binoculars, and even if some binoculars are more powerful than others, they are not a right choice for a hunter. Picking best hunting binocular is hard, and if you want a great product, you will need to pay a premium price. Only you can decide what you need and for what you will use binoculars. Only you can pick right one for you, but you should read all the info and all the reviews to help you make a right decision.
First, you should set a budget, after that, you should setup most essential features like magnification and objective size, these two features are most important, and these two features will filter many binoculars and your decision will be more comfortable.
What You Need to Look When Buying Best Hunting Binocular
Zoom or Magnification
This feature is most important because everyone likes to have as much zoom as possible to see as far as possible, but not hunters. Hunters require a decent zoom, for example, between 5x and 8x zoom. Large zooms will need a tripod, and if you don’t use one, you will have a hard time making the picture steady. Don’t get caught in the trap and buy 20x zoom binocular because with that binocular you can see planets and stars but you will have a hard time with finding game in woods.
Objective Lens Size
Usually, sellers describe binoculars with two numbers, for example, 5X40 will mean that the binocular has 5x zoom and the objective size is 40mm. You can also make a mistake here and buy expensive 70mm objective, but that will just cause problems for you on a hunt. If the lens is 70mm and there are two of them, then you need to understand that this binocular is large and will require two hands to operate and probably you will need to be seating or even use a tripod. You should aim for a lens between 30 and 40. You can probably get away with 50, but I don’t recommend that.
FOV (Field of View)
Field of view is important, but not to all hunters. If you are hunting steady animals and you are not tracking them while they run then large FOV is not needed. Every standard FOV binocular is suitable for hunting, and you don’t need to pay too much attention to this parameter.
Exit pupil is a parameter that determines how much light you be able to visualize. The good strategy to figure the best exit pupil is to look at your own eye pupil. Young adults have eye pupil that can dilate up to 7mm, and older people can dilate only 4mm, and you should always look for exit pupil to be larger than your eye pupil dilation.
Individual Focus or Center Focus
Individual focus is better because it can adjust each lens separately and that makes a picture more crystal and with more details. But the center focus is what a hunter needs. You need to change focus fast with a center wheel. That focusing is much faster, and even that focus is not needed in many situations because in many situations you will not watch too far away and game that is on 40 yards is visible without even using focus.
Eye relief is not that important if you don’t use glasses. But if you use sunglasses or for any other reasons you can not put your eyes close to binoculars, then you need to look for a binocular with a large eye relief, look for eye relief binoculars with 15 or even more.
The optical coating is what makes bright images appear in best binocular. No coating binoculars are affordable, and single layer coating binoculars are coming at a reasonable price too. But if you want to have really best binoculars for hunting, you will need to pay for the multi-coated or fully multi-coated lens. I know fully multi-coated lens binoculars are extremely expensive, but that makes them the best hunting gear that will give you the best image under all circumstances.
If you go with the best image quality, you will need to spend a fortune on the binocular. And the real question is how you will use binocular? Will you just check if something is animal or tree, like using it only when needed or you will spend hours of hours watching through the binocular? If you use it just to spot game, then you don’t need extra quality image because the standard quality image will tell you if something is an animal or no. Because of that if you are on the budget, I suggest not to spend money on an expensive high-quality image binocular, also read Trail Camera Reviews.
If money is not the problem and you know you will be using binoculars for several hours without a rest, then, without doubt, the best advice is to go and buy the most expensive one. With the price comes the quality. If you just need binocular to tell you if something is an animal or not, then any budget binocular will do the job. Anything between these two is your own choice and below I have decided to review top 10 binoculars that I think are good in any budget range.
Top 10 Best Hunting Binoculars in 2018
Bushnell Green Roof Trophy Binoculars, 10×42
Maybe 10x magnification is too much for some hunters, but this affordable binocular is very good if you are searching a game on a longer range. This model is made for hunters, and it comes in green color which makes it invisible when you move through woods. Fully multi-coated optics means that picture that in this binocular is in high details. Green Roof Trophy is water resistant, and that is ideal if you are going on longer hunt and you are expecting rain. I can highly recommend this binocular to all hunters and to the people who are just going to watch animals. This low-cost binocular is all you need to have a clear picture for a longer time. Thanks to the fully coated optics images are sharp, and hunters will find this very useful when hunting in a low light environment. The weight of this binocular is small, only 1.56 lbs which are ideal for hunting.
Vanguard Endeavor ED
Vanguard made this is best binocular for hunting and a different type of users. Some of them are hunters. Vanguard Endeavor ED has 3 versions, 1042, 8420 and 8320. 1042 is the largest model with 10x zoom, and many hunters would make a mistake and buy this model expecting to receive the best benefit while in the hunt. But the hunting benefits are much different, and in fact, the best choice is small 8320 model. All models use the same material and same technology. All of them have fully multi-coated lenses. All of them are waterproof, and they all come with a lifetime warranty.
Vanguard uses ED glass that delivers a premium image with high contrast. The weight between 8420 and 1042 is not significant, and you may fool yourself and pick 1042 because of higher zoom, but hunters don’t need 10x zoom, 8x is more than enough and because of smaller zoom 8420 is a better choice. It has a larger field of view and eye relief. 8320 model is lightweight but at the same time with great performance and everything that is included in other models and that makes it the best choice. The only disadvantage is that the 8320 is the most expensive comparing the three models. If you like Vanguard Endeavor ED design and high technology, then I highly suggest going with 8320 because that small binocular may be the best hunting equipment you have.
Bushnell Trophy Binocular 10×42
Like already stated these large zoom binoculars are hated by some hunters but this one is still made for hunting, and the proof of that is camouflaged design. This Bushnell binocular model has full multi-coated lenses that will deliver greatest light and brightness even in the dark moments. The size of this binocular is not big and can be used without a problem in the hunt, and 1.58 lbs of weight should not give you any carrying problems when moving through woods. Eye relief in Bushnell Trophy is high enough for people who wear the glasses. Without trouble, you can use this binocular even if you have glasses or just need to have your eyes on the distance of 15mm from binocular. You can get this model in army dark green color or camouflage colors. Camouflage version is costing few dollars more, but if you are hunting in the woods with this camo colors, then it is worth to take it.
Celestron 71404 TrailSeeker 8×42
Celestron is a well-known company that produces binoculars. Mostly they are focused on binoculars to look stars and planets. But this model is TrailSeeker, which means that is made for finding trails and watching animals. Maybe it is not made for hunting, but can be used in hunting. It comes in dark army green color, so it is not going to be visible in case you need to stay invisible. The body is made of magnesium alloy which makes it extremely light. You will not have any added weight in your backpack if you pick this model. 8x zoom is ideal for hunting, and wide lense of 42mm is good for the high field of view. This Binocular is ideal for a hunt on an open field, and with this model, you will not have the problem tracking even the fast animals. Lenses are fully multi-coated and will deliver crystal clear pictures even in the dark. If you have a tripod, you can use this binocular even on the tripod. With such a high field of view, this model is ideal for hunters that need to see wide area or hunters that are tracking fast animals like wolf’s, tigers or antelopes. And with such an affordable price this is easy decision to make. If you need a large field of view binocular, Celestron Trailseeker is ideal for you.
Best Binoculars for Deer Hunting
Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42
Vortex Optics Diamondback is nicely designed binocular with hunters on the manufacturer mind. Maybe zoom is 10x, and maybe that is an upper limit for hunters, but this binocular is one of the most popular on the list because of warranty. Vortex will fix and replace any kind of malfunction for a lifetime. You will not get anywhere else better deal than this. Field of view and great performance in dense light makes Vortex Diamondback ideal hunting binocular. Binocular is also waterproof, fog proof, has rugged rubber armor with fully multi-coated lenses that make this a great deal. I can highly recommend this binocular for the hunters who just need something more from the binocular. Price of this binocular is not small, but you will get a lifetime warranty and high-quality binocular made from a premium and best material that will last for ages.
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10X42
Third Bushnell model on the list and this is without a doubt the best from Bushnell on this list. Like the title states, Ultra HD means that the Legend has a high-quality optics that will at all time give you a high-quality picture with perfect clarity. All material used in production is of high quality and that guarantees durability. Design of this amazing binocular for hunting is in touch with woods and hunting. You can get this binocular in two colors, camo or black. If you use it for hunting, then I highly suggest going with camouflage edition. Rain, fog, any weather cannot harm this piece of hunting equipment because it is made of such material that is resistant to all kind of weathers. We can say that Legend is in the same quality range as Vortex Optics Diamondback, both of them have the same performance, and both of them are 10×42 binoculars. And to make things even harder for a hunter to choose from these two models, Bushnell also gives a lifetime warranty no question asked on this model. The only advantage of the Bushnell Legend binocular is the price, it costs 50% less than Vortex model, and that is a huge advantage if you ask me.
Nikon 7540 MONARCH 3 8×42 Binocular
Monarch 3 by Nikon is one of the premium binoculars on this best hunting binoculars list of 2018. This binocular can be used in all weathers and all circumstances. Dust, water, mud, snow, nothing can make Monarch 3 from being useful. Because of that even tho it is not made in camouflage design Nikon Monarch 3 is lovable by hunters. You can choose from 8×42 and 10×42 models. You will be paying a little more for 8×42 version because after all it is more wanted by the hunters. High-quality lenses with substantial reflective alloy and fully multi-coated lenses guarantee best images from dawn to dusk. Eye relief on this model is huge and without a problem, you can wear glasses and use this binocular. Another interesting and very useful feature of this model is a wide field of view that can be very useful when you are tracking fast animals. Nikon is a company which primary goal is to produce high-quality binoculars with incredible performances that makes customers satisfied. And proof of that is all over the internet, on many websites you can read about this model as being one of the best in its category.
Steiner Marine 7×50
Steiner is the company that puts everything in quality and durability. Because of that dedication, this binocular can withstand an impact of 11Gs. Maybe on this model Steiner was not focused on the hunting, they focused on sailors. Sailors love this binocular because it gives them all they need. But hunters can get high benefits from this model as well. 7x zoom is ideal for the hunters and 50mm lens is amazing and provides huge eye relief and field of view. This large lenses guarantee better picture performance than the smaller size lenses because they can catch more light and because of that they will work better in dark places. Optics are fully multi-coated, and the rubber is providing good grip even when raining. Autofocus is one of the premium features of this model. With autofocus, you can see highly detailed pictures without needing to adjust the focus on your own from 20 yards to infinity. Steiner Marine is fully waterproof and fog proof and can withstand shocks of 22Gs. With such a durability Steiner gives amazing warranty and low light. Warranty is also transferable to future owners and you don’t need to have card nor recipe to take lifetime warranty. In other words if you buy this binocular you will not need to buy any other binocular for many years.
Best Binoculars for Bowhunting
Carson 3D Series High Definition
Carson 3D is affordable and in my opinion best binocular for hunting and the money that comes with some patented technology that provides high quality images even when not in ideal situations. Carson put ED glasses for sharper and nicer images. You can choose from various version. TD-832ED, TD-842ED, TD-042ED, TD-050ED, TD-042EDMO are five models which you can choose. I highly recommend picking a TD-832ED or TD-042EDMO. There are not much difference between models, the TD-832ED is having 8x zoom and 32 mm lens which gives a high field of view and lower size and weight. Because of that it is ideal for long hunts because it will not add additional weight to your backpack and you will be carrying it without a problem. TD-050ED is 10×50 model which is good for close focus and because of that it has a smaller field of view, this model is not ideal for hunters, maybe hunters who kill from a longer distance can use this but I highly doubt that because the size and weight is considerably higher than the 8×32 model. TD-042EDMO model is recommended for hunters, it has 10x zoom and 42mm lens. It comes in camo design which will help you to stay undetected in the woods. Eye relief on this model is a bit smaller but still you be able to use glasses without a significant problem. Carson 3D Series High Definition is waterproof and durable binocular that comes with a lifetime warranty.
Best Cheap Binoculars for Hunting
Vortex Optics Viper HD
Vortex is one of the leaders in high quality binoculars and Viper HD series is just proof of that. This extremely high quality and durable product is ideal for hunting. Viper HD has many models: 8×42, 10×42, 10×50, 12X50 and 15×50. And as you already can say 15×50 is not for hunting and please don’t buy that because it will give you all kind of troubles from fatigue up to shaking picture when steady clear picture is needed. 8×42 model is my choice because it is a smallest and has a low weight. That feature makes this model ideal for hunting. It comes in green color which will fit the environment and help you hide. 8x zoom is more than enough and 42mm lens is large enough to provide a large field of view and have a decent eye relief of 20mm. That performance means that people with glasses can without a problem use this binocular. No matter the conditions in the hunt the Viper HD will help you. Water nor fog can stop this binocular from delivering a high quality pictures. Durability is a guarantee by Vortex.
If you went through all the mentioned models on the list, you now understand why it is so hard to pick best hunting binocular. Some of them are lightweight, but the light ones have a lower performance because lens size needs to be smaller. If you ignore the lightweight and size and go for a large and powerful binocular, you will find out that you make a huge mistake. Because for large zoom and large size binoculars you need to have a steady hand or tripod to see a clear picture. Don’t make that mistake. When picking the best hunting binoculars the statement that smaller is better is true.