In this buyer’s guide, my goal is to help you find the best pair of hunting binoculars on the market, whether it is for hunting big game like mule or white tail deer, elk, or other game to meet your exact needs. If your anything like myself, you’d rather be out in the woods hunting, and I hope to make my field tests and research into a compact, digestible guide as I similarly spent many days trying to find the best pair for my hunts.

Certain gear can help make your hunting experience smoother, and easier. Using technology, such as a modern pair of binoculars can help in the field. If you’re looking for a pair of binoculars for hunting, your needs may be different than just for bird watching or stargazing. For hunting, you’re looking for binoculars that are designed for long range stealth observation.


Binoculars are worth their weight in gold when doing long-range hunting, and tracking large game. It’s no understatement when hunting for sport, that it’s important to be completely confident of knowing what you’re looking at, whether that dot across the mountain is a hiker, bear, or deer. A quality pair of binoculars will make your hunt easier, safer, and doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank to get them.

In short: you’ll want to look for either an 8×42 or 10×42 magnified binocular if your intended usage is for hunting. The rationale is they are more lightweight, making them more portable for you as you move around, and are more stable. As I will explain below, there are different nuances to consider, such as if you are using them at dusk or minimal visibility/light hours, or prime day time.

There are many different brands, features and types of hunting binoculars on the market that it can make your head spin.

I will look to help break down not only what are the best hunting binoculars available today, but what makes a quality binocular, and what you should look for.

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In a rush for time? Click here to find out what our #1 pick is for the BEST hunting binoculars!

RankingImageNamePriceCheck Price and Reviews
Best Deer Hunting BinocularsBushnell Legend Ultra HD Binoculars$
Best Overall Hunting BinocularsVortex Optics Viper HD 10x42
Best Elk Hunting BinocularsNikon 7577 Monarch 5 Binoculars$$
Best Premium 8x42 Binoculars For HuntingNikon 7548 Monarch 7 8x42$$$
Best 'Bang For Your Buck' Hunting BinocularsVortex Optics Diamondback HD 10x42 Binoculars$$

Best Deer Hunting Binoculars

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Binoculars


  • Magnesium Chassis
  • RainGuard HD
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics
  • Lead Free Glass
  • Phase 3 Prism Coating
  • Ultra Wide Band Coating
  • ED Prime Glass
  • Locking Eyepiece Diopter

For those of you who are also hunting knives collectors and wild game hunters, the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD is like the Buck 110 of hunting knives (bang-for-buck). The Bushnell Legend is one of the most popular and iconic hunting binoculars on the market. Not just taking our review here into consideration, but if you peruse other review websites, or Amazon, you’ll see the 100’s of 5-star reviews the Legend has, and it’s widely regarded popularity and acclaim.

Why do so many hunters turn to the Bushnell Legend?

The Bushnell Legend is a great pair of binoculars for hunting because of its overall design and construction. It’s built for durability, and to hold up to the elements in the field, whether it’s rainy, windy, snowy, or whatever Mother Nature has in store for your trip. Quality binoculars are not cheap, that’s why it’s so important to find a pair that is both waterproof and fog proof, which the Bushnell Legend is.

Rainguard Technology With Premium Materials

When you’re in the field hunting, having a clear shot before you pull the trigger is important. You want to be able to carefully stalk your pray from afar, and have a clear track on their movements. Weather can be unpredictable while hunting, and if you’re exposed to rainy conditions, you don’t want that to end your hunt prematurely because your binoculars are not waterproof. The Legend has premium, state-of-the-art hydrophobic and oleophobic lens. This means that your lenses are protected from blurring or fogging up from fingerprints, rain, snow, sleet or water.

The Legend is constructed with non-slip rubber armor, and an ergonomic design to maximize comfort and grip while you’re out in the field.


  • Excellent design
  • Rubberized grip
  • Premium optics
  • Good value for the $$
  • Focuses fast


  • Some issues with rubber eye piece cover


The Legend has tremendous optics, wide field of view to carefully stalk your prey, exceptional magnification, a roof prism, and overall top-grade construction, to make it one of the top pair of hunting binoculars available on the marketplace!

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Overall Hunting Binoculars

Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42

Vortex is another major, popular brand when it comes to hunting binoculars. The Vortex Viper is considered to be one of the top hunting binoculars available, because of its durability, design and ergonomics. The Viper offers crystal clear images and field of view because of its extra-low dispersion which helps to avoid chromatic aberration. These binoculars are built to hold up to the elements, and withstand any type of inclement weather. As discussed in the buyer’s guide below, you want your hunting binoculars to be both waterproof and fogproof, both of which the Viper offers. One of the best in the marketplace – relegated in the upper echelon of hunting binoculars.

Crystal Clarity Optics

The Vortex Optics Viper features 10x magnification, and 42mm objective lenses, with a high density optical system and anti-reflective lens coatings that helps provide a stunning image. Utilizing a multi-layer prism, when you’re looking through the Viper, you’ll notice crystal-clear and accurate images of your focal point. The image clarity that the Viper offers can compete with binoculars that are double its cost.

Design & Construction

Ergonomics and practicality are two important centerpieces for the Viper. The Viper HD is built to be waterproof, and fogproof, so that no matter the conditions, you will have clear images. The Viper is constructed with a rubber, compact chassis and armortek coating, ensuring that it is durable for any hunt. I personally prefer rubberized handles on hunting binoculars as it provides for the best ‘grippy’ feel (as opposed to binoculars that feel like they will slip out of your hand in the rain). This is more important than ever in rainy conditions.

Magnification: 10x
Objective Lens: 42 mm
Eye relief (mm): 16.5
Exit pupil (mm): 4.2
Linear Field of View: 319 ft / 1000 yd
Height: 5.8 in
Width: 5.3 in
Weight: 24.6 oz


  • Excellent out of the box
  • Crystal clear optics
  • Quality lens caps
  • Great ergonomic design


  • The focal length could be improved
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Premium 8×42 Binoculars For Hunting

Nikon 7548 Monarch 7 8×42

The Specs

Magnification: 8x
Objective Lens: 42 mm
Prism: Roof
Coating: Reflective multi-layer prism coatings
Chassis: Rubber armored coating

Our Thoughts

When it comes to premium binoculars for rifle hunting, the Monarch 7 is considered one of the best, and comparable to the Vortex Viper. The Monarch offers crystal clear and crisp images, durable rubber coating to ensure you can maintain grip during rainy conditions, and a reasonable price tag. Nikon is one of the best, and most trusted brands in optics, and the Monarch is a quality product from a reliable brand.

The Monarch 7 is all terrain, waterproof, and fog-proof. Utilizing dielectric highly reflective multi-layered prism coatings, the Monarch 7 provides for high-contrast, razor-sharp images, and accurate colors. These are the same binoculars many professional guides and hunters turn to because of their pristine image quality, extreme durability, and value for the money. In this case we recommend the 8×42 Monarch 7 because in my opinion it offers better attention to detail and clarity than the 10×42.

Comparative to Binoculars Double The Price!

These are one of the best mid-price binoculars on the market. You can find binoculars for $1,000 and $1,500 that the Monarch 7 can compete with neck and neck. They do everything that you would want hunting binoculars to do, from clear images, to being easily adjustable, to having a non-slip feel, large eye relief that can be used with glasses, and perform exceedingly well in low-light situations. Some of the features you’ll find in the Monarch 7 rival binoculars that can run into the $2,000 range!

Both the Monarch 5 and Monarch 7 are on our list because both are excellent binoculars worthy of your consideration. However, the reason the Monarch 7 is going to be an upgrade is with the overall improved quality and performance. You will notice a difference in their weight/feel, angular field of view, and of course, its reflected in the price. The Monarch 7 will offer one of the largest fields of view available on a modern binocular, and offer clarity for both medium and short-distance work with plenty of eye relief.

If you’re a serious hunter that is looking for one of the best hunting binoculars available, you’ll want to give the the Monarch 7 serious consideration!


  • Excellent image quality
  • Practical ergonomics for good grip
  • Large field of view


  • One of the pricier binoculars on our list
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Elk Hunting Binoculars

Nikon 7577 Monarch 5 Binoculars

The Specs

Magnification: 10
Objective distance (mm): 42
Angular field of view: 5.5
Exit pupil (mm): 4.2
Field of view (1,000m): 96
Eye relief (mm): 18.4
Close focusing distance (m): 2.5
Length (mm): 145
Width (mm): 129
Depth (mm): 55
Weight (g): 600
Prism Type: Roof

The Nikon 7577 Monarch 5 comes in two different magnifications, 10×42 and 8×42. Nikon is a highly trusted brand when it comes to optics, and the Monarch 5 is nothing short of what we would expect from Nikon.

Truly spectacular binoculars with excellent optics, unlike larger porro prism binocular. They offer a close minimum viewing distance, but adjust for long distance viewing just as easily, making it easy to track long-distance game. They’re portable and light enough that you can easily carry them around with you during your hunt where they aren’t a burden to you. The rubber coating is one of the most important features of the binoculars since they’re easily gripp-able in any inclement weather or rain.

Not all binoculars offer the same quality or practicality in the field for hunting. When you’re in dusk, or low-light situations, you need a binocular that can still provide a clear, crisp image. That’s exactly what you will get with the Nikon 7577. While I personally did not test using them with glasses, I’ve heard from others that there are no issues with using glasses with the Monarch 7 and having a seamless experience.


All in all, these are a great pair of binoculars at a reasonable price. They are light, have excellent edge-to-edge clarity, great depth and perspective of the field, and offer great focus and magnification. You really can’t go wrong buying the Monarch 5!


  • Very reasonable price
  • Edge to edge clarity
  • Crisp image
  • Rubberized coating for good grip
  • Clear optics


  • The only main con you may notice are the lens caps for the Monarch 5
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best ‘Bang For Your Buck’ Hunting Binoculars

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 10×42 Binoculars

The Specs

Magnification: 10
Objective distance: 42
Eye relief (mm): 15
Close Focus: 5.0′
Interpupillary Distance (mm): 55-73
Weight: 21.3 oz
Height: 5.7”
Width: 5.1”


  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Bright, clear, crisp images
  • Easily adjustable center focus wheel
  • Rubberized grip makes it easy to hold under rainy conditions
  • Water & fog proof
  • Constructed with roof prism
  • Excellent value for money


  • May not offer as much field of view as top-end binoculars

The Vortex Optics Diamondback HD comes in several magnification and objective lenses options. In this review, we are focusing on the 10×42 as it is one of the best options & values for hunting binoculars. The other variations are worth considering if you have alternative needs for your binoculars. Vortex is an extremely high-quality, and trusted optics brand, and the Diamondback does not disappoint. Vortex is not known as the ‘Gucci’ of binoculars and gear, but rather is a brand known for the value of their products (quality meeting reasonable pricing). Keep in mind that these binoculars are only a few hundred dollars, these are not $500, or even $1,000 binoculars. It is important to keep costs in perspective when comparing a $200 binocular to a $1,000 binocular. For the money, the Optics Diamondback offers from of the best performance to dollars spent as any binocular on the market offers.

With 10×42, it offers clear vision for long-range game monitoring, while still providing crystal-clear resolution and picture sharpness. They offer great clarity, work well in low-light dusk situations, and have a large field of view. They are lightweight which makes it easy to transport and carry on your hunts. The o-rings provide water and fog proofing of the binoculars to ensure that when you’re out in the field, your lenses are still usable. The rubberized armor on the grip not only gives it protection from falling, but allows you to maintain a grip, even during rainy conditions.

The Diamondback HD can typically be found for less than $300. For the money the quality of these binoculars are hard to beat, and even comparable to hunting binoculars in the $750 to $1,000 range. It is high praise for a truly outstanding pair of binoculars. These come with a harness, lens cover, strap and case.

I highly recommend the Vortex Diamondback HD for any serious hunter.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide Based on Field Testing

1) Magnification

The most obvious goal of a pair of binoculars is for magnifying an object in the distance.

Ideal magnification for hunting is 7x to 10x. The higher magnification that your binoculars are set to, the image steadiness will lower. If you need more magnification than this, you may want to consider a spotting scope.

Zoom binoculars tend to not be waterproof or for hard use in the field. The best hunting binoculars will have a lower magnification of 8x or 10x. For instance, if you have a 10x magnification, it will make the deer or elk that you’re looking at in the distance appear 10 times larger than if you were viewing it without the binoculars.

2) Objective size

The objective size is identified with the second number you see such as 7×40. A 40mm or 42mm can work with hunting and help you to see any large object from distance.

The smaller the lens is, the more portable the pair of binoculars will be. But, the trade-off will be the less distance you will be able to see with clarity. Less mm equates to being able to see less detail at distance. Anything above 40, such as 50 can provide much better zoom, but will be heavier to carry during your hunt. You have to factor whether you want precision, lightweight, maximum zoom or affordability. When it comes to hunting, 42 mm is the most common objective size.

Furthermore, the lens furthest from your eye is known as an objective lens. The one closest to your eye is the optic lens. Center focusing wheel. Right eye adjuster. Everyone has different eyes. The adjuster will fine tune your right eye. The easiest way to focus your binocular is to focus your left eye, and then cover up the left lens, and adjust your right eye.

3) Field of view

The field of view in your binoculars is the area in feet that you can see. This is typically in distance of 1000 yards. A larger field of view means that a binocular offers more visibility over a wider area, while a smaller field of view offers less visibility and more concentrated on one specific area.

Your targeted field of view is dependent on the hunter. If you are tracking large game, you may need larger field of view to track them. Smaller game not in a wide open area may need a smaller field of view.

How far can you see from a 1000 yards. The larger the field of view, the more you can see. A binocular on a tripod will tend to give you the best field of view.

When you’re tracking a moving target, naturally you want a wider field of view to carefully watch its movements. The lower the magnification is, the greater the FOV you will have.

4) Exit pupil

In order to have a properly functioning pair of binoculars, you will need to have an exit pupil. This is what allows light through the binoculars, so that you can see. The exit pupil is determined by the objective lens and the magnification. The more you want to be able to visualize, the higher the exit pupil you will want.

It is the small beam of light that you will see on the back end of a pair of binoculars. The larger the exit pupil, the more light that can enter to your eye. If you are going to be in low light hunting situations, you want larger exit pupil. 10X42mm will work for most hunters. For real low light conditions, 5mm exit pupil may be more ideal.

5) Prism

There are two types of prisms in hunting binoculars, roof and porro prisms.

What does a prism do?

Well, a prism reflects the light.

How does a porro prism differ from a roof prism? 

A porro prism differs from a roof prism in that a porro reflects light four times versus a roof prism that reflects light five times. You will typically find a porro prism in a larger binocular. If you look at the way the binocular is built with a porro prism, the light is redirected inside the binocular while a roof prism offers more of a direct line with the eyepiece.

Which type of prism is more popular?

Roof prism is the most popular. Porro prism are more traditional look and an older style. Porro generally offers better optical quality for less money and 3D image. Objective lens are offset, and a little more bulky. Tend to be less durable than roof prism. Objective lens and ocular lens are straight in line and easier to make waterproof.

The roof prism will produce a higher quality image for you in the field, but there are certainly two schools of thought on which one is better. Porro was more popular prior to the release of roof prisms in the 60’s. You may find the porro prism binoculars are cheaper, and on budget binoculars, while most of the premium and higher-end binoculars on the market today will have a roof prism.

6) Focus

The focus type is important when factoring the distance you will be from your targeted game, and the clarity you are looking for. You can choose between binoculars that have center focus or individual eyepiece focus. Individual eyepiece focus tends to be the most popular, as most hunters need their binocular for distance and that is where they shine.

You will generally see a number on the center focus, such as 10x42mm. The first number, 10, means how many times the object is magnified. So, this object will appear 10x larger. The 42mm means how large the objective lens is. The larger the window, the more light that optic will allow through it.

The three types of focus are: individual focus, center focus and focus-free binoculars. Individual focus means the telescope is focused independently. You likely have seen center focus before with the ring in the center that can focus both at the same time.

7) Eye Relief

Eye relief is te distance that someone can hold a pair of binoculars from their eye, and still be able to see the image clearly. Eye relief is particularly important for those with glasses. A pair of binoculars that offers inadequate eye relief will cause a reduced field of view for you.

The closer you can get your eye to the ocular lens, the larger field of view you will have. Eye relief is important if you wear glasses.

Eye relief allows you to hold your binoculars from your eye while still being able to see the full picture. Lack of eye relief will restrict your field of view as you try to view from your binoculars. If you wear glasses, you’ll want eye relief of 15 or more.

8) Optical coatings

When you are hunting, whether in the open fields or woods, sunlight and glare can play a very large factor into your ability to see clearly through binoculars. Coatings are applied to the actual surface of the binoculars to help eliminate light reflection. Better coated binoculars will offer clearer images for the user. It is highly advisable to consider a pair of binoculars that have some type of anti-reflective coatings. While you can choose between single-layer and multilayer coating, it is a great idea to have some coating as opposed to binoculars with no coating.

Every time light hits a lens, it is reflected. Thus, an anti-reflective coating can help get more light through while a fully multicoated lens is the best. You’ll notice that more expensive binoculars will have HD glass, which means better colors and image, and offers the best performance. It is absolutely worth the money. Why? A multi-coated binocular will tend to be your best option in the field allowing you to see your hunts more clearly with anti-reflective coatings. Anti-reflective coatings are transparent films overtop of the glass on the binoculars, in an attempt to prevent light from reflecting.

9) Picture quality

When using binoculars for hunting, the purpose is to be able to clearly see your target. Whether that object in the distance is a deer, or a branch. As such, image quality is of the upmost importance. Choose binoculars that have dependable, clear image quality.

As you move into different price tiers of binoculars, one of the biggest differences you will notice is image quality of sharpness and clarity. If you are on a budget, this is the area you need to consider. If you are a regular hunter, image quality is something you may not want to skimp on.

If you’re bird watching, you want binoculars that offer color accuracy to see the wings of the birds. When you’re hunting, you want to focus more on contrast, and identifying camouflaged game more so than you necessarily care about the color of the animal.

10) Weight

The more advanced binoculars you look into, the more hefty they tend to be in weight. This can happen for a few reasons, including the amount of glass used in it’s construction. If you are going to be carrying around these binoculars for hours at a time, either holding them up by hand to view through, or simply hold, it is an extra few pounds added to your trip. Factor the weight into your consideration

The alternative to a hefty binocular is considering a compact binocular.

11) Waterproof

Do you only hunt under sunny and dry conditions? Or, do you hunt during rainy days as well? Waterproofing of your binoculars is important to consider – this is often in the handle construction with rubber coating. We strongly recommend waterproof binoculars because they are not only easier to grip when they are wet, but are more resistant to dirt and grime.

Roof prism binoculars will tend to be waterproof, while porro prisms tend to not be. If you’re spending time in the field while it’s raining, you need a pair of waterproofed binoculars. Nitrogen or argon will typically be used to waterproof the binoculars and keep them sealed.

Fog proof is equally as important. Since you can’t see through a foggy lens, you will want a pair of binoculars that are fog proof.

12) Accessories

Some binoculars offer different accessories, such as a strap or case. A strap can be very useful to hang around your neck without having to carry it around all day. A quality case will keep your binoculars in pristine condition when not in use. Binocular lens cloths are also extremely useful to keep your lens clean, just like you would clean your eyeglasses or sunglasses.

13) Price

At the end of the day, of course price should be a consideration for you. It is important to figure out your allotted budget for purchasing a quality pair of binoculars for your hunting expeditions. However, a quality pair of binoculars can range from $100 to $200 or more. If you are going to stalk your game from afar, it is worth spending a little more for a quality pair of binoculars that will not only last longer, but offer a clearer image, ergonomically designed for prolonged usage and designed to avoid eye fatigue.

14) Dependability & Durability

Your hunting binoculars should provide dependable performance, so that whether you use it 1 year or 5 years from now, it should still be in functioning order. A quality pair of binoculars should last for years, and not fall apart after using them only a few times. This is often dependent on the construction of the binoculars themselves. You may want a rubberized armored body which can provide protection whether your binoculars are dropped or it rains.

15) ED Glass

ED glass is known as extra-low dispersion glass. These are lenses are used in hunting binoculars to help reduce chromatic aberration. What does this mean? If you’re looking for a clear image while hunting deer or wild game, you’ll want to avoid any binoculars that have fuzzy images or chromatic aberration.

16) Chassis

First and foremost, you want a pair of hunting binoculars that have high quality lenses, optics and interior technology. However, just like you want a high-quality band to go with a Rolex or expensive watch, or a nice chain to go with a diamond necklace, the same is true with your binocular. You want a binocular that has a quality chassis, that can hold up to the elements and isn’t flimsy or cheap.

17) Warranty

Binoculars can be an expensive investment into your hunting adventure. As such, you want to be sure that you are investing in a quality manufacturer and brand that will stand behind their binoculars and optics. You may find rangers of warranties anywhere of 2-5 years, to lifetime warranties. Be sure to factor warranty length into your purchasing decision.

Quick Tips

Don’t Forget To Clean Your Lenses

Most binoculars will come with cleaning cloths. I recommend regularly cleaning the lens to keep them sparkling. This is especially important when you’re in low light conditions.

Tracking in view

Binoculars are excellent tools, but they are only as good as the operator using them. To get the most out of your binoculars while hunting, be sure to properly set the focus to get the best picture.


You have binoculars in order to keep distance from the game you are tracking. While you lose width as you magnify, use your binoculars 10x magnification to hone in your target before they ever even hear or smell you.

Clear Picture

Most binoculars are equipped with optical coatings because too much light can cause a glare or difficulty seeing. I’d recommend trying to keep the sun behind you to your advantage, so that you will have a clearer image than the sun’s rays reflecting into your binoculars slightly blurring your field of view and perception.

What Are The Best Binoculars For Hunting Specific Types of Game?

Best Binoculars For Deer Hunting

When you’re out deer hunting, it likely means that you’re either in a field, or a forest with dense woods, shrubbery and trees. With that being the case, you’ll need binoculars that offer clear, long-range vision so that you can easily identify and discern what is in your field of view. When hunting in woody terrain, you want to consider a pair of binoculars that are atleast 8x to 10x magnification.

Best Binoculars for Elk Hunting

Elk hunting, which is one of my favorite hunts, tends to be a different terrain than deer hunting. Elk hunting is similar to deer hunting in that its long range, but it will tend to be more mountainous than hunting deer. Since you’re likely going to be mobile, you want a pair of binoculars that are both durable, and lightweight, but offer long-range magnification and clear imagery.

Best Binoculars for Bear Hunting

If you’re hunting black or brown bears, you’re likely going to be in similar terrain as to hunting deer, which is in woody terrain. You want a pair of binoculars that offer long-range magnification and clarity, as it is extremely important to keep your distance from a bear for your own protection, safety and as to not startle it. It can be easy to overlook your game while in the woods, so a high-quality pair of binoculars are important. Hunting large, dangerous animals requires exact precision, and accuracy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are binoculars?

Binoculars are useful to give you a magnified, zoomed-in image of an object in the horizon. There are 100’s of different kinds of binoculars on the market. Some are sold generically, some are sold for specific functions such as hunting, or stargazing or bird watching. Typically, hunting binoculars are better suited for universal use, as compared to the alternative. Binoculars in a sense are like two telescopes connected together providing a zoomed in image. If you are one of the 20 million Americans who enjoy hunting (according to the NRAILA), you’ll likely want a quality pair of binoculars.

What is the science behind it?

Light travels from a distant object causing a refraction. Those rays of light enter through the binoculars, to your pupil, providing a magnified and enlarged image of the object you are looking at. The ability to focus and zoom in can be done right on the binoculars with the center focus or magnification.

What purpose are your binoculars for?

The type of binoculars that you buy should be oriented for how you will be using them. This guide is designed for hunting binoculars, but for stargazing or bird watching, there are other considerations. You may want different magnification options for casual bird watching.

What if I have glasses?

If you wear any type of glasswear; whether it is eye glasses or sunglasses, you will need binoculars that have sufficient eye relief. The closer that you can hold the binoculars to your eye, the better field of view you will have.

Can I just use my rifle scope?

Relying on your rifle’s scope as your means of scoping out a new area is an inefficient way to recon an area. A riflescope offers an extremely small field of view compared to a binocular. Moreover, using your riflescope requires you to aim your firearm across the entire area, which is dangerous. It is much easier to scan and pass over a large area with a pair of binoculars than a riflescope, which is designed for precision shooting.

Why should I avoid cheap binoculars?

While you don’t have to buy $1,000 or even $500 binoculars, it is a good idea to invest in a quality pair of hunting binoculars that can last. While you’re hunting in the wilderness, temperatures can change swiftly, plummeting or rising. If your optics fog up, you won’t be able to clearly see. If you’re using cheap technology with dull optics, you may not be able to clearly identify your game. Lastly, if it starts raining, and your binoculars are not waterproof, it could potentially destroy your binoculars before you find your prey, and turn into (cheap) dead weight. Quality binoculars can make or break your hunt, just like your rifle.

How important is waterproof and fog proof coatings?

For a hunter, who may be exposed to numerous conditions across each hunt, you can’t take for granted waterproofing. It is critical for any avid hunter, as foggy lenses can render your binoculars completely useless for that hunt. Similarly, if your binoculars are not reflection-proof, and shine into the eye of the animal you’re hunting, that could scare them away. For a few more dollars, it is important to find a pair of quality binoculars that offer waterproof and fog proof coatings!

What do the numbers on binoculars mean?

The numbers on the binoculars will tell you both their magnification power and objective lens diameter. With a pair of 10×42 binoculars, “10” is the magnification strength, and “42” is the diameter in millimeters of the objective lenses.

Top Hunting Binocular Brands


Bushnell is a well-known brand when it comes to optics & hunting. Bushnell is based out of Overland Park, Kansas, surrounded by prime hunting areas. Bushnell is recognized a trustworthy brand for not only their binoculars, but their game cameras as well. Founded in 1948 by David Bushnell, Bushnell sells excellent optics including microscopes and telescopes which is great for hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts in general. Bushnell tends to put out some of the ‘higher-end’ products in their category. Bushnell’s binoculars in particular are award winning for design, quality and value.


As a hunter, you’re likely familiar with Vortex because of their rifle scopes. They are based out of Wisconsin. Vortex is an excellent optics manufacturer, and widely used because of their high-quality products at very reasonable prices. I became most familiar with Vortex because of their lines of products in spotting scopes, rifle-scopes, rangefinders, and binoculars. Vortex differs from some of the other binocular manufacturer’s with their quality customer service and warranties. They have what they term is an “unlimited, unconditional lifetime warranty” where they will cover any damage to the binoculars!


I hope that our buyer’s guide on finding the best hunting binoculars for the money has helped you in your quest! There are no shortage of options, from brands to features, that I have attempted to simplify your search to a handful of the best binoculars on the market. Just like you want a clear image from your binoculars, I too hope that this post has brought you some clarity. I am happy to answer any questions in the comments or via the contact us page, if you have any particular questions about a certain pair of binoculars for your unique needs!

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