Top 6 Best Hunting Binoculars Reviews 2019 – PRO Guide & Review

Any avid hunter will tell you that binoculars are must-have accessories when out in the rough. Besides, what’s the point of getting started if you can’t even locate your preys? Indeed, binoculars come in great handy during hunting and in fact, are regarded as the most important piece when it comes to comprehensive hunting gear. If you are just getting started, it’s worth noting that finding the ideal pair of binoculars is actually no mean feat to achieve – contrary to what you may be thinking.

Best Binoculars for Hunting Reviews - Hunting Binoculars - proHuntingHacks
Nick Weaver | Montana Mountain Range

As a novice, you should keep in mind that there are lots of factors to consider and a handful of features to scrutinize while at it. Fortunately, we have separated the wheat from chuff as usual by going the extra mile and doing all the hard work for you. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the top six products in the niche to help you in your quest – regardless of whether you’re a greenhorn or pro hunter. Before diving right in, though, let’s delve on the things to consider before dashing out and grabbing the first pair you come across at the local store. Enjoy!

Factors to Consider Before Buying The Best Binoculars for Hunting

As is the case with most products, a lot of factors come into play when shopping around for your ideal pair of binoculars. It would therefore be in your best interest to go through this list of factors to look out for when selecting the ideal product.

  • Magnification

Magnification of Binoculars Explained

In most cases, bigger is always better right? Wrong. This adage doesn’t apply when it comes to hunting binoculars. Here, it’s all about precision and accuracy meaning the higher the magnification, the lower the steadiness – get it? In short, you want an effective pair that doesn’t require steadying after a long, daunting hike through the jungle. A 7x model or one in that range should be sufficient enough to locate prey precisely. If you were under the impression that a 10x model is actually better than a 7x pair of binoculars, think again.

  • Field of View

Field of View of Binoculars Explained

For those in the dark – novice hunters that is, – the field of view (popularly known as FOV) refers to the area of feet you visualize at a 1000 yards using a specific pair of hunting binoculars. To bluntly put it, a small FOV amount translates to a narrow area and conversely, a higher FOV number translates to a wider area. While there is no particular rule of thumb when it comes to choosing the ideal field of view, it’s worth noting that a higher FOV will serve you right if you often hunt in wide and open locations. This simply means that unless you are tracking down a fast-moving prey, a high FOV is of no good use to skilled hunters.

  • Eye Relief

Eye Relief of Binoculars Explained

Eye relief is a fixed distance between the ocular lenses and the eyes. If your eyes are not at the correct distance from binoculars’ ocular lenses, you cannot see the entire field of view your binocular offers. You’ll be getting shadows shifting around the view when your eyes are too close to the ocular lenses. This happens most often when the non-eyeglass wearers forget to twist the eyecups out. After twisting the eyecups all the way out, if you are still seeing shadows in crescent shapes, then your eyes are still close to the binocular. It means the binoculars you’re using do not offer enough eye relief for your eyes. On the other hand, if your eyes are too far away from the ocular lenses, vignetting may occur in the field of view. This is a common issue for the eyeglass wearers, especially when they use the binoculars with the eyecups out. If you don’t adjust it, you will not get the full benefit of your binoculars. So, we recommend to get binoculars that have adjustable eyecups. The above image explains a lot why eye relief is so important. We suggest the eyeglass wearers to use binoculars with eye relief of 15 or more. And never spend money on binoculars with below 10mm of eye relief!

  • Objective Size

The objective size of a model basically refers to the second number following magnification specs. For instance, a 7×40 model has an objective size of 40 – the second number. Generally speaking, an objective range of 40 to 42mm is often preferred by most hunters and unless you plan on hunting at night, going for higher objectives isn’t really necessary. Models with 50mm objective lenses for instance are significantly expensive, but will work some magic for the avid night hunters.

The long and short of it is, I recommend models sporting 40mm objective lenses if you plan on hunting during legal hours. While at it, it’s also worth noting that binoculars with larger lenses are significantly heavier than those with smaller objectives, which means that a 32mm for instance should serve as ideal if portability ranks high on your list of priorities. However, steer off any hunting model with an objective lens of less than 30mm.

  • Prism Type

Prism Types of Binoculars Explained

Binocular prisms can be classified into two main categories – porro prisms and roof prisms. In regards to hunting, models featuring the latter are highly preferred mainly because of their capabilities to deliver slimmer dimensions, besides the fact that they are more lightweight compared porro prism models. While roof prisms also bear the benefit of reflecting light five times – in comparison to four times featured in porro models – they are more expensive and hence, somewhat out of reach if you are on a strict budget. All in all, both have their benefits and downsides and to some extent, quite difficult to tell which one is actually better than the other. It all boils down to the budget you have ultimately.

  • Focus Type

Hunting binoculars can either come sporting a center focus or an individual eyepiece focus. Judging by my experience, I found the latter to be more effective for long distance hunting. Identifying prey beyond 30 yards with individual focus binoculars is quite easy and in fact, you need not engage in focusing procedures at all. To cap it, they are easier to waterproof as these models sport no external parts at all. On the flipside, center focus models are best when the game is close – less than thirty yards.

  • Optical Coatings

Understanding Lens Coatings of Binoculars

Optical coatings are an essential part of any hunting binoculars worth its salt. They are basically incorporated on the objective lens to reduce or even more importantly, get rid of light reflection altogether. In a nutshell, don’t expect to experience the dreaded glares or distracting light loss moments with hunting binoculars featuring quality optical coatings. Sure, fully coated optics may be a tad too expensive for hunters on a budget; however, there is always the option of going for a model with at least one lens that sports an anti-reflective coating. The bottom line here is precise and brighter images are ultimately defined by the quality of coating entailed in a prospective model, meaning the better the coating, the higher the amount of light you get, period.

  • Image Quality

Of course, all hunters want an optically capable unit that delivers high quality images in simplistic fashion. However, such units don’t come cheap. It would therefore be in your best interest to go for models that offer excellent image quality only if you plan on using binoculars for extended periods at a go. On the flipside, though, a cheaper unit defined by fair image quality should serve as ideal for occasional hunters – something in the range of less than a hundred bucks to be specific.

  • Weight and Size

As stated earlier, the amount of glass or type of lens rather, will eventually determine the comprehensive weight of the model. Regardless of how capable a prospective unit may be, wearing a full-sized and heavy pair of binoculars while out on a hunting expedition is never advisable. What you need, however, is a sizeable unit that won’t hurt your back or neck as you meander through the jungle in search of a game. That said, steer off 30mm or less objective models if performance is what you really need. You don’t want to lose valuable time pondering on whether what you see is a rock or deer.

  • Waterproof and Rubber Coating

Rubber coated hunting binoculars have become increasing popular unlike the past when they were only reserved for the military. Besides being extremely durable, the coating makes it easier to hold the unit even during wet conditions. Most rubber coated models are also waterproof and this is a paramount aspect that’s usually overlooked when shopping. What most hunters fail to realize is, waterproof hunting binoculars are not only resistant to moisture, but also dust, grime and dirt. The feature also means your unit is fogproof and hence, ideal for misty conditions which can possibly make your hunting expedition a pain. I recommend lightweight, rubber coated models with waterproof features any day.

  • Cost Factor

As with any other product, the price of your prospective pair of hunting binoculars should play a lead role in determining whether or not it’s worth it. Of course, your needs and expectations should come first; however, the aforementioned factors must complement the cost and reflect great bang to the buck. In regards to hunting binoculars, the more expensive a unit is, the more likely it is to be of premium quality. In other words, high quality glass and exemplary optical coatings come at a cost. Some brands offer premium models costing north of a thousand dollars, but such units will not only prevent eye strain, but also offer up to a decade of service – a worthwhile investment in the long run.

  • Accessories

Most hunters invest in a worthy pair of quality hunting binoculars only to find some essential accessories missing in the comprehensive package – it happened to me as a greenhorn. Accessories such as straps, body harnesses and cases are often not included in the package, meaning you’ll have to buy them separately. To avoid such occurrences, it would be in your best interest to look out for a pair that comes fully loaded with its complementing accessories. Note, you may purchase a strap separately for instance, only for it to feel uncomfortable on your neck just because it wasn’t categorically made for your heavy model.

Comparison Chart of The Top 6 Best Binoculars for Hunting

Product Title Weight Eye Relief Price Editor's Score
1 Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binocular
Best Compact Binoculars for Hunting
Vortex Optics Viper HD 10x42 Roof Prism Binocular 24.6 oz
697 g
1.5 lbs
16.5 mm $$$
2 Carson 3D Series High Definition Waterproof Binoculars
Best Hunting Binoculars for The Money
Carson 3D Series High Definition Waterproof Binoculars 22 oz
626 g
1.4 lbs
16.0 mm $$
3 Leupold BX-1 Yosemite Porro Prism Binoculars
Best Binoculars for Birding
Leupold BX-1 Yosemite Porro Prism Binoculars 17 oz
482 g
1.1 lbs
15.5 mm $$$
4 Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binocular
Best Binoculars for Deer & Elk Hunting
Vortex Optics Diamondback 10x42 Roof Prism Binocular 24.4 oz
691 g
1.5 lbs
16.0 mm $$$
5 Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 Binocular
Best Hunting Binoculars for Glasses Wearers
Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10x42 Binocular 21.6 oz
612 g
1.4 lbs
18.4 mm $$
6 Steiner 2444 Predator Binocular
Best Binoculars for Bowhunting
Steiner 10x42mm 2444 Predator Binocular 26.5 oz
751 g
1.7 lbs
16.0 mm $$$

No worries if you are on a budget right now. Here’s our list of the Top 10 Best Budget Binoculars for Hunting, of course with review!

Best Binoculars for Hunting Reviews

1.   Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42 Roof Prism Binocular

Best Compact Binoculars for Hunting

Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binocular

It should come as no surprise that a Vortex Optics product leads the pack in the niche considering the brand’s solid portfolio over the years. The Viper HD is a superbly built model packing a host of innovative features that any seasoned hunter would require when out gaming. This optical beast comes fully packed with an O-ring to seal moisture and dirt out, multi-coated optics and outstanding image quality just to mention a few. To put this into perspective, here is an in-depth look at the Viper HD by Vortex Optics.

Features

  • Vortex Optics incorporates an O-ring to seal in the Viper HD intended at locking out debris, moisture and dust. In a nutshell, it is a fogproof and waterproof model that works effectively regardless of environment or climatic condition. To enhance the waterproof capabilities, the hunting binocular also entails argon gas that doubles up as a fogproof feature.
  • For precision enhancement while hunting, Vortex Optics adopts the latest HD technology in the extra-low dispersion glass. This results in high quality resolution, impeccable color fidelity and ultimately, accurate high definition images.
  • To eliminate glares, the Viper HD hunting binocular packs fully multi-coated air-to-glass surfaces. This combined with the dielectric prism coatings make up for clear, bright and color accurate image visuals in all weather conditions.
  • Just in case you are worried about its durability, it’s worth noting that the manufacturer offers an unconditional lifetime warranty which speaks tons about the matter.

PROS
  • Superior light transmission enhanced by dielectric prisms.
  • Waterproof features to deliver on high image quality regardless of weather.
  • Adjustable twist-up eyecups for better eye relief.
  • The right-eye diopter combinates the focal differences in eyes.
  • Lifetime warranty that guarantees repairs of the Viper HD at no extra cost.
  • Comfortable to carry around thanks to the strong straps.

CONS
  • The detachable eyepiece caps can easily be misplaced or lost.

In a nutshell, the Viper HD is easily the best hunting binocular and it’s not that hard to see why. It delivers on superior optical abilities regardless of climatic condition, alongside guaranteeing lifelong service just in case you doubt its durability. If you are looking for the best hunting binoculars to elevate your gaming expeditions a notch higher, you know where to look.

Read the full detailed review of the Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binocular

2.   Carson 3D Series High Definition Waterproof Binoculars

Best Hunting Binoculars for The Money

Carson 3D Series High Definition Waterproof Binoculars

A small and compact design is what you get with the Carson 3D Series High Definition Waterproof Binoculars and thanks to the availability of multiple colors and designs, the binoculars can be customized to your needs. Here are some of the specs:

Features

  • HD quality imaging thanks to the ED glass that has been added. The phase-corrected prisms also provide better image fidelity and clear crisp pictures of the target you are looking at. This makes it easier to see sizes at range.
  • The binoculars offer a massive 314-feet field of view, making it possible to keep targets in sight at all times. The maximum distance for these smaller binoculars is also around the 1000-yard range.
  • The objective diameter is around 42mm with a close focus of 9.8-feet, having clear imaging on distant targets are rather easy. The binoculars can also be adjusted with ease if needed for more comfort.
  • The dielectric coating also makes the color contrast that much better and will enable you to have a clear sight any time of the day. The BAK-4 glasses are also glare-resistant, adding to the functionality it offers.

PROS
  • Durable construction being fog and waterproof.
  • Available with camouflaged coating.
  • All extra accessories included.
  • Glare-resistant.
  • Massive 314-feet field of view.

CONS
  • The provided carrying case is not that good. You might need to spend few more bucks to buy another case to protect it.

In short, the Carson 3D Series High Definition Waterproof Binoculars are a little expensive when compared to some other, but has somewhat better vision that is offered. All the extra accessories have also been included; and the No-Fault, No-Hassle Warranty making this a steal for the price.

3.   Leupold BX-1 Yosemite Porro Prism Binoculars

Best Binoculars for Birding

Leupold BX-1 Yosemite Porro Prism Binoculars

Small and compact is what anyone wants in binoculars and the Leupold BX-1 Yosemite Porro Prism Binoculars certainly do not disappoint. With a multicoated lens and L-Coat BAK-4 prisms, these binoculars have been put together with the top Synergy built technology that Leupold has to offer. Sightseeing is made easy with these specs:

Features

  • The addition of the multicoated lens and BAK-4 Prisms make 3D imaging possible and creates the perfect image. With such great light transmission, spotting and tracking moving targets have become very easy.
  • With 6X magnification and an objective diameter of 30-feet, sightseeing is made very easy. The close focus of 10 makes enables great precision when looking at nearby targets or game. The eye-relief is a staggering 18.5 mm, taking the strain of your eyes from constantly using them.
  • While only 4.6-inches diameter, the binoculars are easy to store and it is lightweight as well at only 17-ounces. This makes them perfect for carrying around the neck when taking a wildlife safari.
  • With a maximum range of 1000-yards and 420-foot wide view capabilities, spotting anything g is made much easier. This also aids in helping you track the target.

PROS
  • Lightweight and compact to carry around with ease.
  • User-friendly design and easy to understand.
  • Wide view capabilities for tracking and keeping on targets.
  • Waterproof and extremely durable.
  • Extremely long eye-relief at 18.5-inches.

CONS
  • The eyecups are not adjustable.

Made for hunting and sightseeing, these binoculars give the perfect balance between value and quality at an affordable price. They can easily be carried around and will never be in the way. While it might not be ideal for cold conditions, sightseeing and hunting in the summer will be really easy.

4.   Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42 Roof Prism Binocular

Best Binoculars for Deer & Elk Hunting

Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binocular

Vortex Optics is one of the top brands when it comes to optic technology and the Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42 Roof Prism Binocular offers some impressive features to the hunters. These binoculars are made from top quality rubber and not only are the shock and waterproof but fog proof as well. Let’s look a little deeper at some of the specs:

Features

  • With a magnification of 10X, watching your favorite bird of animal from afar is really easy and brings you up close and personal. The objective lens has a large diameter of 42mm, great for zooming in and seeing every detail.
  • The field of view is a staggering 345-feet wide and with a range of 1000-yards, keeping targets and especially bird in sight is much easier to do as well.
  • With oxygen purged from the barrels of the binoculars and replaced with argon gas, fogging is something that does not pose a problem anymore. Argon does not fog up as much as oxygen and makes them perfect for cold weather conditions.
  • Adjustability is key and with many people having better vision in different eyes, Vortex includes a feature for you to easily adjust this to meet your needs. This means that you will have the perfect vision through the binoculars.

PROS
  • Fogproof, waterproof and shock-resistant design.
  • Large objective lens of 42 mm.
  • Multiposition twist-up eyecups for adjustable eye relief.
  • Locking right-eye diopter is located on the right eyepiece for adjusting differences in eyes.
  • Unconditional lifetime warranty with no questions asked by Vortex.
  • Custom molded carry case is included for each pair of binoculars.
  • Anti-reflective lens that eliminates all glare.

CONS
  • Little bit heavy when compared to other sightseeing binoculars.

With Vortex Optics Diamondback, quality is definitely assured and the inclusion of a VIP warranty is perfect for peace of mind. If you love birdwatching or sightseeing, these binoculars are ideal, but they are multifunction and can be a great investment for hunters as well.

Check out the list of Must-Have Gears for Hunting Coyotes

Review of the Best Coyote Calls

5.   Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10×42 Binocular

Best Hunting Binocular for Glasses Wearers

Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 Binocular

Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10×42 Binoculars is the new name for the previous Nikon ATB binoculars. They are available in 2 sizes: 8X42 and 10X42. Choosing between these 2 will depend on your specific needs and uses. While these are perfect for hunting, here are a couple of specs that you might not have known about:

Features

  • The binoculars have a massive 18.4mm eye relief, great for keeping you from focusing too much and giving your eyes a break. This is also a great addition for users with glasses as it gives them the perfect relief.
  • The maximum range of these binoculars is also a staggering 1000 yards with a field of view at 288-feet, they provide a great way to track any animals and keep them in your field of view.
  • Multicoated lenses and dielectric reflective technology keep glare out of the way. This enables use of these binoculars when the sun is at its peak and even shining directly in your face from certain angles.
  • These binoculars are fog proof and waterproof, the dimensions make them small enough to carry around with ease and the 21.6-ounce weight is light enough for longer walking hunts and hikes.

PROS
  • The turn-and-slide rubber eyecups allow to adjust eye-relief for best fit and clarity.
  • Fog and waterproof.
  • Lightweight.
  • Portable design.
  • Multicoated lenses for great imaging.

CONS
  • The field of view is only 288-feet.

In a nutshell, the Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10×42 Binoculars have all the features you will find in the top binoculars without making you break the bank. Compared to high-end binoculars, they still seem rather affordable.

Check out the list of Required Gears for Deer Hunting

6.   Steiner 10x42mm 2444 Predator Binocular

Best Binoculars for Bowhunting

The Steiner Predator is indeed a beast as the name implies. In fact, the unit’s bold, raw and rugged look speaks volumes about its overall abilities and you can instantly tell that the two triple four binocular is not one to mess around with. To put this into perspective, you get Makrolon housing that can withstand up to 11 Gs of impact, further enhanced by a rugged chassis with durable rubber armoring. To get a clue of what I’m talking about, here is a list of what to expect.

Features

  • The 2444 packs the latest Optimized Light Transmission technology that boosts performance up by 4% in low lighting. This makes it perfect for those that enjoy gaming way past the legal hours.
  • The predator is indeed quick to identify its prey thanks to a fast-close-focus central knob that requires minimal rotation for instant sharpness.
  • It comes packed with the exclusive Color Adjusted Transmission technology designed to amplify the contrast of images within the sensitivity range.

PROS
  • Boasts a lightweight roof prism to ease the comprehensive load.
  • Rugged and raw look ideal for wild hunting expeditions.
  • User-friendly knobs and adjustments.

CONS
  • Limited warranty upon purchase.

Overall, the Predator is indeed a hunter’s gift in whichever aspect you choose to look at it from. It is tough, rugged and immensely powerful even in low lighting. The fact that it is a lightweight beast doesn’t hurt its case either.

No worries if you are on a budget right now. Here’s our list of the Top 10 Best Budget Binoculars for Hunting, of course with review!

Best Hunting Binoculars Reviews - Binoculars for Hunting - proHuntingHacks
Nick Weaver | Montana

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. Which is the best objective lens size for hunting?
A. Generally speaking, any model with a 40mm to 50mm objective size serves as ideal for virtually any hunting application. However, your budget will ultimately determine the model and objective you settle for as the large size can be a tad too expensive for those on a budget.

Q. What is the ideal weight for binoculars?
A. This will vary from person to person, but having lightweight binoculars under 28-ounces is ideal for longer viewing and they will not tire you out as much. Unfortunately, they might lack some of the top features of the larger binoculars. You will need to decide why you will use them.

Wrapping It Up

In a nutshell, the compiled lists of products above are currently the best in the niche and it certainly isn’t by fluke. If you are looking for an effective pair of hunting binoculars to elevate your gaming expeditions, it would be in your best interest to start the quest by checking out the hunting binoculars on this review. Good luck fellow hunters.

If you are planning to hunt deer, coyotes, turkeys or squirrels; we recommend you to check our PRO Hunting Tips we made for you 🙂

If you are looking for Hunting Boots, Hunting Knives or Hunting Backpacks; our Best Hunting Boots Reviews, Best Hunting Knives Reviews and Best Hunting Backpacks Reviews will surely help you to choose the right one for you!

10 Total Score
Best Binoculars for Hunting

The compiled lists of products are currently the best in the niche and it certainly isn’t by fluke. If you are looking for an effective pair of hunting binoculars to elevate your gaming expeditions, it would be in your best interest to start the quest by checking out the hunting binoculars on this review. Good luck fellow hunters.

Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binocular
9.5
Carson 3D Series High Definition Waterproof Binoculars
9.9
Leupold BX-1 Yosemite Porro Prism Binoculars
9.5
Vortex Optics Diamondback 10x42 Roof Prism Binocular
9.8
Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10x42 Binocular
9.7
Steiner 2444 Predator Binocular
9.6
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