Best Binoculars for Hunting – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews


Hunting is not a hobby, it’s a passion for adventures. Aficionados consider the best binoculars for hunting as an essential ingredient to spot the successful target.

Well, glass matters a lot and is no doubt the best set of glass for long-range hunting comes with a high price, while cheap glass will show a blurry image. For best hunting results consider spending more than $100.

With so many options in the traditional and digital market, it has become difficult to find the best quality hunting binoculars being within budget.  We have reviewed and considered almost all the major factors to list down the best hunting binoculars from midrange to premium.

Best Binoculars for Hunting: Quick Overview


  1. Best Budget Option Binoculars for Hunting: Bushnell Trophy 10×42
  2. Best Value for the Quality Hunting Binoculars: Nikon Prostaff 7S 10×42
  3. Best Bang for your Buck Hunting Binoculars: Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 10×42
  4. Best Top-Notch Hunting Binoculars: Carson 3D Series HD 10×42
  5. Best High-Quality Hunting Binoculars: Zeiss Terra ED 10×42
  6. Best Overall Hunting Binoculars: Vortex Optics Viper HD
  7. Best Premium Binoculars for Hunting: Swarovski SLC 10×42


Best Binoculars for Hunting: Price Categories


  1. Best Binoculars for Hunting Under $200Bushnell Trophy 10×42
  2. Best Binoculars for Hunting Under $200: Nikon Prostaff 7S 10×42
  3. Best Hunting Binoculars Under $300Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 10×42
  4. Best Hunting Binoculars Under $500Carson 3D Series HD 10×42
  5. Best Hunting Binoculars Under $500Zeiss Terra ED 10×42
  6. Best Hunting Binoculars Above $500Vortex Optics Viper HD 
  7. Best Binoculars for Hunting Above $1500Swarovski SLC 10×42


Now let’s dive deep into each.


1 - Bushnell Trophy 10x42

best budget binoculars for hunting

The best bang for your buck option is a Bushnell Trophy 10×42 binoculars. Ideal magnification for best-hunting binoculars for effective targeting is 10x with a 42mm objective lens diameter that gathers enough light to brighten the image.

Enjoy the super bright and razor-sharp images. Along with fully multi-coated optical features and long-range roof prism.

A high number for objective lens diameter always comes with weight but these hunting binoculars won’t weigh you down.

Durable with dura-grip rubber exterior preventing accidental drops and hits. Can be used under extreme weather conditions as they are fully waterproof and fog-proof against damages, ensuring the best image results.

For the price, you find it hard to envision a better pair of binoculars.


Technical Specifications

  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yards: 330 ft 
  • Close Focus Distance: 10 ft
  • Prism Type: Bak-4 Roof
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
  • Eye Relief: 15 mm
  • Weight: 25.3 oz
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2 - Nikon Prostaff 7s Binocular 42mm

best hunting binoculars for the money

Nikon is one of the competitors in the optics industry, has the ability not to disappoint its users by crafting high-performing optics. Our choice for hunting from Nikon under $200 is Nikon Prostaff 7s 42mm Binocular.

Its Phase-Correction Coated Roof Prisms generate high-resolution images with natural colors. While multilayer coating applied to all the lenses and prisms minimizes the loss of light due to reflection and ensures bright and clear views.

Turn-and-Slide Rubber eyecups allow custom adjustment for the space between the user’s eye and the binocular’s eyepiece, producing a full field of view. This feature would be of much attraction for the eyeglasses wearers.

The durable and convenient to hold Prostaff 7S has an armored body ensuring protection against abuse of fall and drop. Non-slip grip even on wet days.

Prostaff is lightweight to hold for long hours. No damage would occur to the internal lens as pro7s are waterproof and fog proof to be used in inclement weather conditions by the hunters.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yds: 324 ft 
  • Close Focus Distance: 13.1 ft
  • Prism Type: Phase-Correction Coated Roof Prism
  • Lens Coating: Multi-coated
  • Eye Relief: 15.5 mm
  • Weight: 22.8 oz
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3 - Vortex Optics Diamondback HD

Best Binoculars for Hunting

One of the best choices of binoculars for hunting under $300 for beginners on a tight budget is Vortex Optics Diamondback HD.

Staying within budget the Diamonds provide superb resolution due to high definition optical systems. Fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission to result in brighter, clearer, color-neutral targets. Armortek coating protects outer lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt.

Wide Field of view covers the maximum area and keeps targets in sight. For comfortable viewing twist up and down the eyecups with or without eyeglasses. If you wear eyeglasses these are the best binoculars for hunting you can get.

The Center focus wheel adjusts the focus of both binocular barrels at the same time while the diopter is located on the right eyepiece that adjusts for differences in your eyes. 

The user doesn’t need to continuously adjust the diopter, because the adjustment is stiff enough to keep it just where required.

They are lightweight and offer a rubber-armored exterior that has a non-slip grip to be useful on rainy days. Waterproof and prevent internal fogging for different ranges of temperatures.

Diamonds are compatible with a tripod adapter so that you can mount it easily and have hands-free viewing for hours and hours.

Last but not least Vortex Diamondback HD 10×42 binoculars include the Vortex VIP (Very Important Lifetime) Unlimited Lifetime Warranty. In case your binoculars become damaged or defective you can get them repaired without paying a single penny. If it cannot be repaired, will be replaced.

With a high rating, it is known to be the “Best Binoculars for Deer and Elk Hunting”. This would definitely be a good investment for a lifetime.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yds: 393 ft 
  • Close Focus Distance: 5 ft
  • Prism Type: Roof Prism
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-coated
  • Eye Relief: 19.5 mm
  • Weight: 21.3 oz
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4 - Carson 3D Series HD Waterproof

best waterproof hunting binoculars


Carson 3D is the best compact binoculars for hunting we have reviewed so far.

Objective lens diameter of 42mm ensures its ability to gather light for clear images but a bigger objective means a heavier pair of binoculars overall. But the overall build is compact and lightweight.

This top-notch pair of binoculars possess ED glass to reduce color fringing. The phase-corrected prisms enhance brightness and contrast to output high-resolution targets at range.

Twist-Down eyecups with extra-long eye relief are one of the attractive features for eyeglass wearers. They are robust and solid, and they can be used in quite tough weather conditions being water and fog-proof.

Carson 3D is a tripod adaptable for the perfect viewing of animals across wide-open fields. The No-Fault, No-Hassle Warranty would make these compact pairs not to let go.

Technical Specifications

  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yds: 314 ft 
  • Close Focus Distance: 9.8 ft
  • Prism TypePhase-Correction-Coated Roof Prism
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-coated
  • Eye Relief: 16 mm
  • Weight: 1.38 lbs
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5 - Zeiss Terra ED 10x42 Binoculars

Best hunting binoculars for Long Range

Zeiss Terra ED 10×42 are high-quality binoculars for hunting under $500, for nature lovers who are interested in every little detail under rough conditions. 

Though not as budget-friendly but they are designed to have the features of high-end binoculars at a reasonable price. 

Zeiss Terra Binoculars are lightweight, easy to use, and comfortably compact thanks to the sleek design. You can adjust them anywhere in your bag for easy handling.

Usually, 10x magnification is not for shaky hands but these best quality binoculars provide fair steadiness making them great for high-resolution long-distance viewing and targeting.

Brilliant and crystal clear images with fine details are coming from the highest optical precision and hydrophobic coating keeping the glass clean from dirt, oil, and water.

100% waterproof and fog-proof performance allowing hunters to enjoy even duck hunting down in their boats and still get vibrant, clear, breathtaking detailed images. 

Rubber armor is coated with a non-slip grip, so this binocular can withstand abuse without damaging the optics.

The most attractive property you will notice once you hold Zeiss Terra is the large but smooth center focus wheel allowing easy grip and fumbling free focus. The Terra ED comes with a binocular harness that keeps the binoculars comfortably on your chest when needed.

They provide excellent value for money, one of the top options for hikers, birdwatchers, nature observers.


Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yds: 330 ft 
  • Close Focus Distance: 5.25 ft
  • Prism Type: Roof
  • Lens Coating: Hydrophobic fully multi-coating
  • Eye Relief: 14 mm
  • Weight: 24.5 oz
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6 - Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism

best hunting binoculars for low light conditions

The Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars are one of our top favorites from the list of best-hunting binoculars. Vortex being is a renowned optic brand that considers performance and durability as its main theme with affordable options.

The Viper HD is a game-changer, its optical features include HD extra-low dispersion glass to produce high-definition images

The fully multi-coating and phase correction roof prism ensures anti-glare, bright, and clear color-accurate images even under low light conditions. Fearlessly use this pair from dawn to dusk.

The reliable performance in all kinds of environments is the factor hunters are more concerned with. These mid-range binoculars are waterproof preventing dust and debris from damaging the lens and also nil internal fogging over a wide range of changing temperatures.

Secured from accidents with ultra-hard scratch-resistant coating and a non-slip grip.

Twist-up and down adjustable eyecups for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses. You can comfortably focus both binocular barrels at the same time with a center focus wheel. Right Locking Diopter can be used to adjust the differences in a user’s eyes. These are perfectly tripod adaptable.

Any damage to the binoculars is covered with a Vortex VIP Lifetime Warranty.

Having premium level quality without the premium level price tag. If you are looking for the best of the best hunting binoculars, there is no way to look any further.

Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yds: 319 ft 
  • Close Focus Distance: 5.1 ft
  • Prism Type: Roof
  • Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coating
  • Eye Relief: 16.5 mm
  • Weight: 24.6 oz
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7 - Swarovski SLC 10x42 Waterproof Binoculars

Best Binoculars for Hunting


Swarovski SLC having 5 out of 5 rating binoculars come with 100% customer satisfaction feedback.

SLC is the perfect high-end binoculars ensuring spectacular image clarity, resolution, and color with zero image distortion, edge-to-edge clarity, and great light transmission at all times of the day.

Their identification is a slogan of Slim, Lightweight, and Compact. So Swarovski adjusts these features in their every binocular, making them handy and portable.

They come with a long eye relief and twist-up eyecups enabling comfortable viewing for observers. Center wheel diopter adjustment is concealed under the center focus wheel enabling quick and precise focusing.

This best hunting binocular has an ergonomic design with an open bridge design which helps in making an easy and comfortable grip with one hand. 

On a tough exterior is a rotating strap connector which is very useful and convenient for carrying the binoculars on toughest hunting games for long periods.

SWAROCLEAN non-stick coating repels moisture and prevents residue from adhering to the exposed glass while SWARODUR coating on exposed lens surfaces is scratch-resistant.

The premium binoculars for hunting with excellent quality and unmatchable optical clarity on the optic’s land.

Technical Specifications
  • Magnification: 10x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Field of View @ 1,000 yds: 330 ft 
  • Close Focus Distance: 10.5 ft
  • Prism Type: Roof
  • Lens Coating: Swarobright and Swarovision 
  • Eye Relief: 16 mm
  • Weight: 27 oz
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Benefits of Best Hunting Binoculars


For hunting a good pair of binoculars plays a vital role in ensuring a successful hunt. For hunting aficionados’ binoculars are equally as important as their weapon. Some benefits you might be interested in knowing:

Spotting. Binoculars help you to scout the surrounding terrain to visualize the prey from a far distance so that it doesn’t see or hear you and run away.

Identification: So once spotted you need to have a better view of your potential target to identify the animal.

Terrain Evaluation. To track their prey hunters need to walk over long distances hence binoculars are helpful in evaluating terrain and plan the best route to take, hence keep the minimum walking distance.

Using Binocular Harness


For hunters carrying a rifle or a bow, shoulder-strapped binoculars would be an issue as they can easily get in the target way. A binocular harness is a great accessory for hunters. 

Binocular Harness:

  • Provide security for your expensive optics. 
  • Helps to prevent accidental drops that can damage the glass. 
  • While walking prevents the binoculars from swinging.
  • Provides image stability. 
  • Make viewing more comfortable. 
  • Equally distributes the binocular’s weight across both the shoulders.
  • Allows hands-free walk.
  • Prevent your arms from becoming tired.
  • Additional pockets are also useful.
  • Easy-to-access – within your reach. 

Best Binoculars for Hunting - Things to Consider


There are several technical aspects of binoculars you should consider when looking for the best hunting binoculars. Few important ones are explained below:

Magnification. The amount of magnification you need depends on the implication. The first number on the binocular preceding x indicates the optic’s level of image magnification. The higher the magnification, the more difficult it is to stabilize the image that makes tracking a moving target almost impossible. 

10x or 8x magnification is generally considered as best for hunting. 

Objective Lens. The number that follows the x on the binoculars indicates the objective lens diameter; measured in millimeters, the objective lens gathers light into the binoculars to provide a bright, clear image. 

The objective lens size is important because it gives you an idea of how the binocular will perform in low-light settings, such as dawn to dusk. 

With a wide, objective lens more light is captured, and the more light, the brighter would be the image. The most common lens sizes are 42mm and 50mm hunters wouldn’t recommend going any lower than that but binoculars with large objective lenses tend to be bulky which can be problematic.

Field of View.  The combination of magnification and objective lens size decides the field of view; how much area you can see through the optic. FOV is measured in feet at 1000 yards. A wide field of view will make binocular viewing much easier especially if you may need to track moving targets. 

The wider the field of view, the more you’ll be able to see. A field of view of 300 feet @ 1,000 yards or higher will be useful for hunting binoculars.

Optical Coatings. Light reflection can distort the image, coatings on the exterior glass surfaces would reduce light glare to ensure a bright clear view. For the best outcome go hunting binoculars with fully multi-coated glass

Bak-4 prisms are fully multi-coated lenses but if you can invest in the High Definition (HD) and (ED) Extra-low Dispersion glass, then that’s amazing.

Eye Relief. Eye relief is the distance from the glass to the eyes that provides a full image, this is an important measure for people who wear eyeglasses. Eye relief of 15mm or higher is perfect for people who wear glasses.

Weight. Compact binoculars are light compared to the full-size binoculars as you would be one hunt with a lot of other gears too.

Durable. Ruggedness with weather-proof quality is so important for outdoor weather-critical environments. Brands with guaranteed weather-resistant and shock-resistant options are better.

Tripod Adaptable: Hunting is the game of patience. You need to carry and hold the optics for hours and hours. Look for binoculars that are tripod adaptable. 

Tips and Tricks - Using Hunting Binoculars


Explaining some tips and tricks for hunting binoculars, you may benefit from:

Lower magnification

Higher magnification is not for shaky hands. Better to stay within 7x to 10x. For high-power binoculars using a tripod would help in getting steady and a clear view.

Though, carrying a tripod across tough terrain isn’t a practical choice. Try leaning against a tree to stabilize yourself or rest your elbow on your knees.

Maximum light gathering

To have your hunting game in low light conditions from dawn to dusk, an objective lens has to be large enough to gather the required light and output the bright and detailed image. Larger the Objective lens bulkier the binoculars. But for hunting light matters more than weight.

Adjusting binocular’s center hinge

Adjusting the center hinge is much important to have around view.

Eyecups Adjustment

Twist-up and twist down the eyecups according to your need. The eyecups allow you to position your eyes at the correct distance from the first lens on the binocular so that you can see the image without any black shading around the edge of the image. 

Set the diopter

Quick focusing is required as you would be changing position quite often. There is always a difference between the view of two eyes, diopter help adjust this difference.

First, close the eye without a diopter, focus, adjust and open the eye, now close the eye with a diopter setting, focus, adjust and open the eye.  Focus the image using diopter adjustments. tada! No more difference between two eyes.

Don’t face the Sun

If you want to see further and clearer sharp images, keep the sun at your back, this reduces the light reflecting off the lenses.

Naked Eye First

A rule of thumb is wildlife can be heard before seen. Always try to target your object first with naked eyes with a wide field of view. Once focused use the binoculars to see the details clearly.

Lens Care

The purpose of using binoculars is to have a clean and clear view, which is not possible with dirty lenses, and wiping off dirt or dust using your shirt or jacket doesn’t sound appropriate. 

Doing so probably causes microscopic scratches over the glass and degrades the performance of the binoculars. You will not get the same image clarity.

Always use a microfiber cloth to safely clean the exterior surfaces of your binoculars. A cleaning solution, compressed air, or a soft brush can be used to get rid of smudges or little particles with a gentle touch.

Invest money

High-end binoculars aren’t cheap but the kind of optical qualities they possess make them worth buying. 

Best Binoculars For Hunting FAQ

What is the best binocular magnification for hunting?

10x magnification is the most appreciated number among hunters.

What is the ideal weight for hunting binoculars?

Hikers and hunters always look for something easy to carry and hold as they would be spending most of their time on tracks and woods. Under 27 ounces is a weight for hunting binoculars.

Are 10x42 binoculars good for hunting?

Yes, ideal magnification for duck, deer, elks, and other animal hunting.

Are 8x42 binoculars good for hunting?

For short-range targets, 8x42mm would serve the purpose but if the targets are smaller and at a long distance then high magnification will provide better viewing.

Is it wise to buy high-power binoculars for hunting?

With higher magnification steadiness of the image would become difficult with shaky hands during tiring hunting adventures and hours. Hence magnification between 7x and 10x do the best for hunting binoculars.

What is the best size for objective lenses in hunting binoculars?

The larger the Objective Lens Diameter, the brighter and more detailed the image is, but the large lens is heavy and expensive. Taking into account the purpose of the binoculars, you should not consider anything lower than 30mm, especially for low light conditions.

What types of optical coatings are required for hunting binoculars?

Optical coatings are one of the basic considerations while looking for wildlife observation or hunting binoculars. Hunters will be spending most of their time outdoors during daylight so light loss from transmission and glare are constant headaches. There are 3 types of optical coating available for basic hunting binoculars: Multi-coated, Fully coated, Fully multi-coated.


Hope the topics we have covered would help you to make the best decision. Let us know if you have any other questions about hunting binoculars.

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