Best Binoculars For Hunting…

This Article Covers:
How To Choose Hunting Binoculars? – Cut Through the Noise… with 7 Reviews, and Unbiased Buyer Guides (2021)
We Dive Into The Best Brands, Vortex, Maven, Zeiss, Leupold, Steiner, Athlon, Bushnell… All Build Excellent Hunting Binos – Only One Is The Definite Winner!?

Binoculars for Hunting Deer?

Every successful deer hunter relies on patience, a little luck, and good stalking skills,
Stalking skills built up over many years, accumulating in you seeing the deer before they see you?
To do this regularly, you will always need solid hunting skills, of course…
But in my experience, it also helps to have Quality Binoculars!

Which Bino Is Best?

If I was to buy only one pair of Hunting Binoculars, without spending a fortune?
My pick would be the 10×42 Viper HD from Vortex Optics.
Excellent glass at a great price, Waterproof, Shockproof, Best warranty in the business…
Vortex has earned their reputation for quality mid-priced binos, that competitors struggle to match!
But you decide for yourself, below you can compare the best…
7 of the Best Hunting Binoculars – as well, we list 8 of the Best Binocular Brands.

7 Best Hunting Binoculars [compared]

ImageFeaturesRatingPrice 
Viper HD
  • by Vortex Optics
  • 10x42mm
  • model – V201
  • 24.9 oz.
  • 17mm Eye Relief
  • Waterproof
  • Fogproof
  • Scratch Resistant
  • Rubber Armored
Best Value!
Legend Ultra HD
  • by Bushnell
  • 10x42mm
  • Magnesium Chassis
  • Waterproof
  • ED Prime Glass
  • RainGuard HD
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optics
  • Locking Diopter
BX-4 Pro Guide HD
  • by Leupold
  • 8x42mm
  • BAK 4 Prisms
  • High Definition
  • Calcium Fluoride Lenses
  • 100% Waterproof
  • 100% Fogproof
  • 100% Shockproof
  • Twilight Max HD
Maven B1 ED
  • by Maven
  • 10x42mm
  • Roof Prism
  • ED Glass
  • 2.13 lbs
  • Aluminum Body
Zeiss, Terra ED
  • by Zeiss
  • 10x42mm
  • Schott ED Glass
  • Zeiss MC Coating
  • Waterproof
  • Fogproof
  • 24.5oz.
Argos G2 HD
  • by Athlon Optics
  • 10x42mm
  • Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
  • ESP Dielectric Coating
  • Waterproof
  • Fogproof
Predator Series
  • by Steiner Optics
  • 10x42mm
  • CAT Lens Coating
  • Waterproof
  • Fogproof
  • 26.5oz.

My Pick…

My choice from the seven binoculars listed above is the Vortex Optics, Viper HD 10×42
Vortex Optics is a well-proven brand with an excellent range of hunting binoculars
Viper HD 10×42 offers excellent quality at an affordable price!
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Choosing Binoculars

When buying binoculars there are 4 important features I’m interested in

  1. Magnification – 8×42 for bush hunting, 10×42 for open country
  2. Good Glass – Good Contrast, preferably German Fully Multi-Coated, ED Glass
  3. Durability – water-proof, fog-proof, good lens caps, rubber armour body
  4. Lightweight, Compact, Adjustable to suit my face shape.

Binoculars are judged by the quality of their glass…
But I find, I’m often forced to compromise when choosing hunting binoculars, it is a trade-off between their physical size, magnification, objective size, eye relief, build quality, price, and quality of glass or individual lens coatings.
Japan also produces good quality glass for Binoculars.
Some features are more important than others


Magnification

Magnification is important… commonly used for hunting is 8×42 or 10×42 this dictates to a certain extent where you would use them, open country,[10×42] or heavy bush,[8×42] or even larger magnification for long-range hunting in mountains or flat open country.
The 8x in the 8×42 represents the magnification [the deer appears 8 times closer than with your naked eye] the 42 is the objective size.

Field Of View

Field Of View: refers to how wide an area you can see through the optic, field of view is measured in feet at 1000 yards.
The type of hunting you commonly do will dictate the best field of view.
For more static targets further away from you the 10×42 binocular is a great option, I use it for hunting open country where I expect to locate the animal, then stalk closer to take the shot – a 10×42 Viper is the binocular I use for deer hunting.
But typically most hunters would look for binoculars with a wider field of view, like the 8×42, if they need to quickly acquire or track moving targets.
10×42 binoculars have a field of view of 319 feet at 1000 yards.
8×42 binoculars in comparison have 347 feet field of view at 1000 yards,
The difference between 319 feet and 347 feet doesn’t seem that big? until you look through a 10×42 and try to follow an agitated deer that has just cut your wind… but in most cases, when hunting the 10×42 binocular has worked the best for me.

Objective Lenses

Measured in millimetres, the objective lens allows light into the optic, 42mm is a common objective size for most hunting situations it is not too big that the binoculars feel heavy in use or difficult to carry in a harness or chest bag.
But the 42mm objective is big enough to allow sufficient light in, for a bright, clear image, even in low light.

Optic’s

Chasing resolution and sharpness often involves paying top dollar for well-known Brands with German Glass, this won’t always guarantee the best binocular for your hunting needs, there are many other factors to consider – But, German Glass, is the benchmark for many people buying hunting binoculars – myself included!
If you are working within a tight budget? At a minimum, whatever the Optic’s Brand Name, you should look for Fully Multi-Coated and ED Glass.

Fully Multi-Coated – all glass surfaces have received multiple layers of anti-reflection coatings, this, and ruggedness is what you want to see in your hunting binoculars.
Thanks to technical advancements, lower-priced, mid-range hunting binoculars are now fully multi-coated with anti-reflection coatings a feature once limited to high-end very expensive binoculars.
Quality glass and applied coatings combined with a good optical design heavily influence the binoculars ability to transmit more light leading to a cleaner sharper image, as well this improves the low light ability of your binoculars, these factors along with the ever-increasing price point… often defines quality, when researching binoculars.
You will often see good binocular glass referred to as ED Glass.
ED stands for extra-low dispersion, also be referred to as HD glass, his glass contains Fluorite, which helps with colour fidelity and cuts down on chromatic aberration, also known as “purple fringing” and glare.

Durability

Toughness matters when hunting… water-proof, shock-proof, gas-filled, fog-free… and non-slip rubber-coated, these features are considered the norm among better brands, it is also the bare minimum you should look for when buying binoculars for hunting – when hunting in cold, wet conditions, there is nothing more frustrating than trying to evaluate an animal, while looking through a fogged-up optic!

Compact Binoculars Are Best

Like most hunters, I don’t enjoy carrying excess weight especially around my neck, so I use compact, roof prism binoculars when hunting.
They fit easily into a small bino-bag or chest harness, perfect for hunting deer in wilderness areas.
Top Quality, compact binoculars offer a small profile in a tough, lightweight body… despite their small size they are powerful, with a good range of magnification to choose from.
Compact Binoculars are easier to carry and use, the question you need to answer is, do small 8×42 bino’s contain all the features you need to hunt your target species efficiently?
For deer hunting compact binos, work just fine for me.
The less weight, I carry into the bush, the more meat, I can carry out…

Types Of Binoculars

There are 2 types of hunting binoculars based on the prism design, Porro Prism Binoculars or Roof Prism Binoculars.
Porro Prism Binoculars are known to be bulkier in size but they produce brighter images at a comparatively cheaper price.
Roof prism Binoculars are known for being compact and more durable, so better suited to most hunting situations.

Roof Prism Binoculars

Roof prism binoculars are the more modern of the two and in my opinion, they are the best binoculars for hunting simply due to their size and low weight.
However, they are a little more complex to make so they often cost more than Porro Prism Binoculars.

Porro Prism Binoculars

Porro Prism: is the original style of binocular, developed by Ignazio Porro, this basic binocular design produced in the 19th century amazingly this design is still in use today.

8 Best Hunting Binocular Brands


Vortex Optics

Vortex Optics:Since 1986 we have been and remain an American owned, Veteran owned, Family owned and operated business of hard-working folks located here in south-central Wisconsin. Dan and Margie Hamilton, the original and current owners, moved to Middleton, WI in 1986 and started a small outdoor retail store.”
The binoculars Vortex Optics market are manufactured overseas: Japan, Philippines or China, depending on the product line.

3 Best Hunting Binoculars From Vortex Optics

  1. Razor HD 8×42, 10×42, 10×50, 12×50 
  2. Viper HD 8×42, 10×42, 10×50, 12×50
  3. Kaibab HD 18×56 

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Athlon Optics

Athlon Optics: “Athlon is a proud US sports optics product company. Devoted to designing and delivering superior quality optics products and outdoor accessories at a competitive price.
Currently, only the top of the Athlon Cronus BTR series of scopes is made in Japan. All the other Athlon series are manufactured in China.
We work with our manufacturing partners that own and operate vertically integrated manufacturing facilities, utilizing EP-level cleanrooms for assembly, sophisticated high precision CNC machines, advanced lens polishing, and superior coating equipment. All our optical products are tested for waterproofing, fog-proofing, and shock-proofing before we ship.”

Nikon

Nikon: “Nikon binoculars carry a preeminent reputation for crystal clear optics for every outdoor activity. Whether you’re using our binoculars for bird watching, hiking, stargazing, marine observations, astronomy or anything else, you’ll find the best outdoor binoculars for you. Browse our entire line of full size, compact and zoom binoculars to find the right pair.”
LaserForce, Nikon’s 10×42 Rangefinder Binocular

Leupold

Leupold binoculars: “parts are mostly made in America, but the lens glass and other material they use is imported from Germany and Japan Our lens systems are designed at Leupold, by American optical engineers, in our state-of-the-art optics labs. The glass is then procured from vendors who must meet stringent quality standards. Incoming parts are carefully inspected in our testing facility before they are accepted into the build process.”

Steiner

Steiner:All Steiner binoculars are made in Germany. Some of Steiner’s cheapest binoculars are also some of their most popular, their Safari binoculars are compact, tough have quality Steiner BAK-4 optics all at a very reasonable price, making them, in my opinion, some of the best value for money binocular in their class.”

Bushnell

Bushnell:Bushnell states on their company website that they are “the most recognized and reputable sports optics brand in the world.” Looking at the reputation and the products, it’s easy to believe that statement. Bushnell is known to provide excellent quality at a reasonable and affordable price point.”
Bushnell is based in Kansas, but most of its manufacturing is done in Japan.

Zeiss

Zeiss:The Zeiss Victory FL 7×42, 8×42 and 10×42 binoculars are all-purpose binoculars that are perfect for birding and hunting.
Zeiss Does Not Offer the best optics warranty I have seen…?
During the first five years of original ownership, Zeiss will, at its discretion, repair or replace your product if it is accidentally damaged during normal and intended use.”

Maven

Maven: “Because of our direct to consumer model, we only sell through our website or at consumer shows and events. This is the key to allowing us to produce a high-quality product but at about half the cost of our competitors.
All Maven optics come with an unconditional lifetime warranty.”
Made In USA 
The S Series and B Series are assembled in a military standard (MIL-SPEC) facility in San Diego and are then shipped to our headquarters in Lander, Wyoming where we inspect and test for quality assurance. The RS Series is assembled in Japan, and the C Series are assembled in the Philippines. Once assembled, they are shipped to our headquarters where each batch is sample-tested for quality assurance.
In our S, B, and RS Series optics, we utilize the best optical components available from Japan. In our C and CM Series, we use a combination of key Japanese components along with other optical elements from China, and the CS Series utilizes all Chinese components.
Performance in low-light conditions is outstanding.
Maven Outdoor Equipment Company sells high-quality optics direct to the end-user… allowing them to offer lower prices.

Frequently Asked Questions…

Best Binoculars For Deer Hunting?

Vortex Optics – Viper HD 10×42 are popular with many deer hunters – they are well built but compact, with fully multi-coated lenses, this tough water-proof, hunting optic suits a range of hunting, at 24.9oz the Viper HD is light to carry and use… also available in – 8×42, 10×42, 10×50, 12×50.

Best Binoculars For Bow Hunting?

LaserForce, Nikon’s 10×42 Rangefinder Binocular – Quality Binoculars! you get to range the animal at the same time as you evaluate whether to take him or not…

Best Vortex Binoculars For Hunting?

Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42 in the mid-price range and 10×42 Razor UHD is their Top Of The Range Bino…

Best Magnification For Hunting Binoculars?

10x or less unless you are going to use a tripod – 8×42 or 10×42 is the best magnification for hunting! I recommend you use 8×42 if you need a wider (FOV) or 10×42 for glassing more open areas, 12×50 with a tripod if you really need the extra power.


Summary…

In my opinion… The best binoculars for hunting would be either the
Vortex Viper HD or the Maven B1 ED both in 10×42
The Viper is a popular well tested hunting optic at a fair price.
The Maven is only sold online in its self an interesting marketing strategy…
I would be happy to own either of these binos!

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