9 Best Hunting Binoculars in 2020

By Robin Owens 14 days ago Binoculars

Great hunting binoculars for both pros and newbies.

best hunting binoculars

To become a good hunter, it’s vital to be extremely patient and work on your shooting skills. It’s also important to purchase equipment that allows you to see long-distance subjects clearly.

Besides reliable weapons, you need to use high-quality binoculars. Not all of them have been created specifically for hunters. This is why it’s better to know which specs you need to pay attention to while making a purchase.

Top 9 Best Hunting Binoculars

  1. Vortex Optics Viper - Our Choice
  2. USCAMEL UW035 - Cheap
  3. Leica Ultravid 10x50 - A decent field of view
  4. Bushnell Green Roof - Great lens size
  5. Nikon Trailblazer 10x25 ATB - Best Nikon hunting binoculars
  6. Leupold BX-4 Pro - Stylish design
  7. Zeiss Victory Pocket - Solid performance
  8. Bushnell Legend - Case and strap included
  9. Maven C1 10X42mm - Robust polymer frame

Manufacturers offer a lot of different models but it might be difficult to decide which pair of the best hunting binoculars suits your needs best.

Knowing that official descriptions might be misleading, I have decided to test the most popular products and choose 5 best options on the market. Below, you will find a detailed description of every pair as well as information about the advantages and disadvantages.

1. Vortex Optics Viper

Our Choice
best hunting binoculars

Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 42mm | Field of view at 1000m: 319 ft/ 1000 yd | Closest focusing distance: 5.1 ft. | Eye relief: 16.5mm | Weight: 2.68 pounds

⊕ Doesn’t weigh much
⊕ A budget pair of binoculars
⊕ Waterproof and fog-resistant body
⊕ Amazing image quality
⊖ A limited field of view
⊖ The carrying case poor quality materials

The Vortex Viper HD 10X42 is a compact device that delivers powerful performance and comes at an affordable price. You can rarely find a pair of inexpensive binoculars that boasts stunning image quality and is pretty lightweight.

The Viper HD stands out among other similar models and is worth every penny you pay for it. It has a solid build and a well-thought-out design, which makes it quite useful under the most different circumstances.

Those who want to purchase the best small binoculars for hunting that can easily fit in a pocket will enjoy using this piece of equipment because of its impressive magnification capabilities.

2. USCAMEL UW035

Cheap
compact hunting binoculars

Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 42mm | Field of view at 1000m: 303 ft | Closest focusing distance: 5 ft | Eye relief: 15mm | Weight: 652g

⊕ Amazing resolution
⊕ Portable, easy to use
⊕ Great magnifying power
⊖ Inconvenient straps

Whether you are a hiker or hunter, the USCAMEL is a smart option to consider. It will be especially handy if you are going on safari.

These compact binoculars for hunting can be carried around easily because of their small size. As the USCAMEL comes with rubber grips, you won’t need to worry about the device slipping out of your hands.

It provides stunning quality and perfect resolution without taking too much space in your travel bag. All in all, it’s one of the best products that cost less than $50.

3. Leica Ultravid 10x50

A decent field of view
compact binoculars for hunting

Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 50mm | Field of view at 1000m: 117metres | Closest focusing distance: 3.25 m | Eye relief: 15mm | Weight: 2.60 pounds

⊕ High-quality housing
⊕ A decent field of view
⊕ Impressive light transmission
⊕ Great rendition of white light
⊖ Exhibits some distortion

Thanks to perfect contrast and amazing brightness, the Leica Ultravid 50 HD-Plus can easily beat other devices that come with even larger optical lenses.

This pair of binoculars is quite durable and delivers an unprecedented level of detail. The Leica 10 x 50 Ultravid HD Plus Binocular makes every trip more enjoyable thanks to its high-quality optics and reliable performance. Manufacturers used the special coating technology for the lens to cover them with several protective layers in ultra-high vacuum under high temperatures.

This 10x50 HD Plus device boasts stunning contrast and high color accuracy without any signs of distortion even under poor light conditions. This pair of the best hunting binoculars is known for its high magnifying power with a perfect level of detail.

It comes with a large-size exit pupil that adds to the most enjoyable viewing experience even at dusk or dawn. There is also a stabilization feature that reduces signs of hand-shake which are common for 10x devices. The 67° viewing angle will suffice for most hunting purposes.

4. Bushnell Green Roof

Great lens size
best hunting binoculars

Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 42mm | Field of view at 1000m: 325m | Closest focusing distance: 16.09metres | Eye relief: 15.2mm | Weight: 764.88 g

⊕ Perfect lens size for hunting
⊕ Wide field of view
⊕ Bone Collector Edition endorsed by Michael Waddell
⊕ Simple zoom feature
⊖ Weighs too much
⊖ The lens cover is prone to falling off

These best binoculars for hunting enjoy wide popularity among hunters who are looking for budget options. They offer great image quality and are made of durable materials. Besides, they deliver perfect clarity thanks to high-quality lenses.

The device comes with Bushnell Green’s signature ergonomic features. You won’t experience eye strain even if you use the binoculars for an extended time. They feel comfortable in your grip, with the cushioned eyecup adding to the more enjoyable experience. To sum up, the Bushnell Green Roof Trophy Binoculars 10×42 is a worthy option to consider if you are a hunter.

5. Nikon Trailblazer 10x25 ATB

Best Nikon hunting binoculars
best binoculars for hunting

Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 25mm | Field of view at 1000m: 342 ft| Closest focusing distance: 11.5 ft | Eye relief: 10mm | Weight: 15.52 oz

⊕ Eco-glass optics
⊕ Anti-reflective layers
⊕ BaK4 high index prisms
⊕ Great field of view
⊖ Lens caps fall off often

Whether you are a fan of hunting or birdwatching, the Nikon 10x25 Trailblazer ATB is perfectly suitable for either activity. The high-index BAK4 roof prisms and multi-coated optics with anti-reflective lenses account for maximum light-gathering capabilities.

This pair of binoculars delivers high-contrast images with stunning color reproduction, brightness and clarity.

6. Leupold BX-4 Pro

Stylish design
compact hunting binoculars

Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 42mm | Field of view at 1000m: 326 ft | Closest focusing distance: 2.3metres | Eye relief: 16mm | Weight: 686g

⊕ Calcium-fluoride lenses
⊕ The double-hinge bridge design
⊕ 50% glare reduction
⊖ Difficult to adjust diopter

The Leupold Bx-4 Pro Guide HD 10x42mm features calcium-fluoride lenses that deliver HD image quality. Besides powerful optics, this pair of binoculars has a small-size body.

Thanks to its open-bridge design, the device is pretty lightweight. It’s perfect for those who are looking for compact hunting binoculars with anti-reflective optics.

The special coating layers account for 50% glare reduction which makes your viewing experience more enjoyable.

7. Zeiss Victory Pocket

Solid performance
compact binoculars for hunting

Magnification: 8x | Objective diameter: 25mm | Field of view at 1000m: 390' ft | Closest focusing distance: 1.9 m| Eye relief: 16.5mm | Weight: 290g

⊕ Worth its price
⊕ Stunning image clarity
⊕ No problems with interpupillary distance
⊖ Adjustment wheel issues

This pair of the best hunting binoculars can be used not only by hunters but also by hikers and birdwatchers. It is extremely lightweight and can easily be pocketed on a trip.

ZEISS has ensured that the Victory Pocket can be used for animal observation under the most different conditions. While it doesn’t weight too much, it comes with great lenses boasting amazing magnifying power.

Thanks to the ZEISS T* coating, the device offers impressive image quality. It also has the LotuTec water-resistant coating layer that allows using this equipment even in rainy weather and makes it easy to clean the optics from dirt.

The 25mm FLPrismSystem lenses with the 3.1 mm exit pupil diameter deliver 8x magnification. When submerged into water, they are pressure-resistant up to 100 mbar.

8. Bushnell Legend

Case and strap included
best small binoculars for hunting

Magnification: 8x | Objective diameter: 42mm | Field of view at 1000m: 426 ft | Closest focusing distance: 6.5 ft | Eye relief: 18mm | Weight: 666g

⊕ Lightweight
⊕ Waterproof, no fogging
⊕ Two casing options
⊕ Adjustable eye relief
⊖ Eye relief problems
⊖ Not for astronomy viewing
⊖ Of the higher price segment

It’s hard to find something affordable among hunting binoculars but that depends on what your financial capabilities are.

This 10×42 model has great specks and the quality is really high which places it among the more expensive binos that simple hunting amateurs might not want to invest in. The manufacturer provides you with a lifetime warranty for this device.

9. Maven C1 10X42mm

Robust polymer frame
best binoculars for deer hunting

Magnification: 10x | Objective diameter: 42mm | Field of view at 1000m: 314 ft | Closest focusing distance: 5.9 feet| Eye relief: 16mm | Weight: 24.5 oz

⊕ Scratch-resistant lens material
⊕ Lightweight
⊕ Absolute lifetime warranty
⊖ The rubber eyepiece rim problems
⊖ Polymer chassis durability is doubtful
⊖ No diopter locking feature

This pair of binoculars comes with a perfectly balanced frame made of polymer materials. It boasts ED-optics with multi-coated lenses and delivers high-quality image with great color accuracy, brightness, contrast and clarity.

Thanks to extra low-dispersion glass, it corrects chromatic aberrations. The frame is quite durable and doesn’t weight much.

Just like other pairs of binoculars equipped with Maven optics, it comes with a life-time warranty.

Image Name Features  
best hunting binoculars
Vortex Optics Viper
Our Choice
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of view at 1000m: 319ft
  • Weight: 2.68 pounds
CHECK PRICE
compact hunting binoculars
USCAMEL UW035
Budget
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of view at 1000m: 303ft
  • Weight: 652g
CHECK PRICE
compact binoculars for hunting
Leica Ultravid 10x50
Professional
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective diameter: 50 mm
  • Field of view at 1000m: 117m
  • Weight: 2.62 pounds
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose the Best Hunting Binoculars?

best binoculars for hunting

Today getting something affordable will not be an issue. But how to select really efficient hunting binoculars? Naturally, you would need to set your priorities first and the list below will help you establish and categorize them.

Magnification

People start their selection from the notion that the bigger will always be the better for them. While magnification is crucial for hunting, it is also important, however, to not exaggerate.

Going overboard will cause image steadiness issues and greatly decrease efficiency. The average need of a hunter is a 7-10 times enlargement so stay within that value for an optimal view.

Objective Size

If you see 7×40, you interpret that as a sevenfold magnification through a 40mm lens. Larger lenses allow for more clarity and detail but be prepared to pay for that extra quality. That is mostly quite literally with money, as the production of such lenses costs more, but also with the considerable increase in the weight of your gear.

The 40-42mm size would be perfect for average hunting needs but only in sufficient light. For darker environments, a bigger lens would be needed to see well enough.

Field of View

One more highly-important value is the width of the field of view and it is indicated in feet over 1000 yards. The wide-angled lens serves a double purpose in binoculars for hunting. Firstly, being able to see more is useful for any purpose, not just hunting.

Secondly, the magnification causes image shrinking. This, in turn, significantly complicates the process of targeting and tracking fast-moving objects as they cross the narrower field of view almost instantly.

Focus

There are several ways to focus a pair of binoculars. First, and probably the most common, is the central focus. This is the large ring in the middle of the device that you rotate to set both lenses simultaneously.

Alternatively, there are those with an individual focus where you can adjust each lens separately. The last type requires no focusing at all, it is already set. This would work just fine for looking at mid-range objects but not so well for those closer or further away.

Eye Relief

If you need to combine the binoculars with some other type of eyewear, the eye relief acquires a large significance. This signifies the distance that you can move the device away from your eyes maintaining the ability to see everything clearly.

The trick here is that an eye relief that’s too small will cut everything off and show you just the center of the image. Be careful with compact binoculars for hunting, making sure that they have at least 15mm of eye relief to accommodate for the eyewear.

Waterproof

Do you anticipate that your hunting will occasionally take place in rougher weather? Rain can catch you even when you don’t plan for it so instead of fearing the water, just opt for a waterproof device. There are many additional reasons why you should do that.

Waterproofing prevents dust and debris from penetrating as well. Plus, such sealed binoculars are also often fog proof, which is a great bonus. Simply make sure there is some grip provided so that your expensive piece of gear doesn’t just slip out of your hand under the rain.

Accessories

Even the budget models will be sold with an accessory or two and those can make the life of a hunter much easier. Typically, you can expect to get a strap and a lens cloth, sometimes there is also a protective case provided.

The strap can be called a crucial accessory for getting the device out of your way safely and quickly, even more so for the bigger models. The case will ease your mind about any transporting mishaps and a good cloth can wipe the lens clean in one streak.

FAQ

  • • What is the best magnification for hunting binoculars?

Judging by the hunting binoculars reviews, the most frequent choice is the 10×42 type. Generally, the 10x magnification is more appropriate for hunting as it lets you spot the pray from further away than the somewhat common among other users 8x.

  • • Are 10x42 binoculars better than 8x42?

Technically, the two have equal light-gathering capabilities but the 8x magnification lets you have a larger exit pupil. In reality, the 10x device will have a better performance in the low light conditions of evenings or bad weather, which is somewhat more preferable.

  • • How far can binoculars see?

This is not a technically correct question because the binoculars you’re using can only see as much as your eye does, making things several times larger for you. Let’s say you’re looking at a ship some 12 miles away through 10x binoculars. Thus, they are showing you exactly 12 miles into the distance, while making the ship appear 10 times bigger than it is.

  • • What strength binoculars do I need?

The best hunting binoculars should start from 10x magnification and go higher if you typically hunt faraway prey. Sports fans will be satisfied with 7x, for instance, and for the visits to the theater, just 3-5x would be sufficient, depending on where you’re planning to seat.

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