Guide for the Best Binoculars for Hunting

Guide for the Best Binoculars for Hunting
Like most of the hunting gears, a best binoculars for hunting is a must – have item, especially for which can offer the essential role, as much as to say that it has the similar importance as a riffle. A pair of binoculars is used for scouting the terrain to have the best views of the surroundings in the distance that your naked eyes cannot reach. Usually, when scouting with binoculars, hunters usually look for the potential goals, as well as their sexes to set up a reasonable plan to hunt.

What is Hunting Binoculars

Binoculars are a pair of duplicate or mirror – proportional telescopes with side – by – side organization and lined up to point exactly in the alike course, admitting the user to see in both eyes when watching far goals. Most of the binoculars are designed to be held by both hands, even though there are a wide range of kinds from opera spectacles to huge pedestal set up military ones.

There are actually a lot of kinds of binoculars with different functions and quality. Of course, the binoculars for hunting differ with the birding or the ones for general uses. The main elements to take the comparisons between them are the magnification, lens coatings, field of view, the weight, so forth and so on, for example, look at the magnification. With the binoculars for hunting, it is usually 8x with light transference and huge enough goals to catch the lights in the condition of lacking light. For bird watching, the magnification is commonly from 7x to 9x.

Features to look for when choosing Binocular for Hunting

Magnification and Field of View(FOV)

Many of us still keep thinking that choosing the highest magnification will be the best binocular. Actually, it is wrong because the higher the magnification is, the less still of the optics will be. Even just a gentle movement can make the vision hard to get a clear view.

About the field of view, usually, it will be down if you select the higher magnification. In details, it effects on the width of the view, which you are capable to see. Continuously, with a limited field of view, it will be rather difficult to spot the position in the game, especially when scanning in a huge area, in addition to, following the movement of your goals if they are the fast – moving.

Binoculars FOV and magnification

image source: bhphotovideo

From those points, to choose the best magnification to get the best field of view, it is all based on the terrain you are hunting usually. Most of the hunters choose to organize hunting parties in the forest, where the best binocular is the one with low magnification, as well as the ability of catching a lot of lights, because of the low light condition of the woods. The ideal ones are 8×42 binoculars and this kind is also the favorite of many female hunters, because of its lightweight. On the contrary, if you hunt in an open place, a higher magnification will be better to allow you to have the wider view, as well as go after the movements of animals. Usually, a 10×42 in this case is the best, but it is also heavier, so that if hunters use for a long time continuously, they may feel tired with arms and shoulders. Anyway, do not go for the higher magnification deftly lest, you will get an unstable view.

Objective Lens

Many hunters will go out for hunting early in the morning or late in the afternoon, as at those times, the lights are not enough for animals to find out the dangers quickly, which leads to the success awards. Yet, the low light condition also influences on the hunters, so that with the objective lens with capacity of concentrating lights and the bright levels of released images are the most important elements. In general, a higher lens will make a better binocular in the low light condition.

The other factors include the quality of the objective lens, the materials of lens coating as well as the optics, also play the essential parts in offering the best quantity of lights to your eyes. However, there is just one thing that the higher objective lens, the heavier and more expensive the binocular will be. So, you need to find a good one with the price reasonable with your budget.

Mostly, binocular in full size will have the objective lens of 42 mm diameter while small size tends to have 26 mm or even 22 mm in diameter. The ideal for those who want to travel light, but also a fine low light capacity is the medium binocular enclosed with the 32 mm optics, because it can offer well both the benefits of lightweight and light gathering ability.

Exit Pupil

A tiny ring of light you can see if looking through the eye pieces of a binocular while holding it away from your face is called exit pupil. To calculate the exit pupil of a binocular, you can use this easy equation:

Exit pupil = Lens diameter ÷ magnification.

Exit Pupil

image source: Nikon

For example: if you have a 10×42 binocular, it means that the diameter of the optics is 42 mm and 10 times magnification that binocular can release. Then, the calculation will be 42 ÷ 10 = 4.2 mm.

This number shows you the brightness degree of the image you are watching through the binocular.


About prism, a lens system with multiple coatings can offer more light refraction, thus, it can transfer the images which are much brighter in the condition of low light. The technical description of the prism technology is to ensure the clear and the contrast of the images. Basically, it is so good to find out 2 from the latest technologies when buying hunting binocular, one is Porro technology and another is Roof technology.

The Porro technology transfers the finest images in the condition of clarity and sharpness. Besides, the Roof technology has the similar way but it is much cheaper to construct. High quality optical lenses with the Roof technology used in the more expensive binoculars allow you to get the brightness image rendering capacity.

Optical Coatings

Optical Coatings

To support the light transferring, a binocular is used an anti – reflective coating added to the lenses. This creates the blue, red, and green reflections can be watched from the objective lens on the front side of a binocular. The producers provide 5 different levels of anti – reflection coatings:

  • Coated: This is the single coating of anti-reflective function that you can find on a few lenses, often it is the first and last.
  • Fully coated: A layer of anti – reflection will cover the entire air – to- glass surfaces.
  • Multi – coated: A few lenses will be covered various layer coatings, especially the first and last.
  • Fully multi – coated: Various layers of anti-reflective coating will cover the entire air-to-glass surfaces.
  • Ruby / red – coated: This is used for limiting the glare of bright light.

Eye Relief

This is an important part that you need to keep in mind while choosing a hunting binocular. This is the space from the ocular lenses, in which the images will be concentrated in. From that point, if you wear glasses, you can get your eyes close to the lenses, you need a tool to help to arrange the image beyond the ocular lenses, which is eye relief.

If you wear glasses, you need to find an eye relief as least 15 mm to get the full view. The only disadvantage of the eye relief is that it limits the field of view. So for those who are far-sighted or near-sighted, you do not need to wear glasses while using the binocular, but if you get astigmatism, you have to wear them and prepare for an eye relief.

Top 9 Best Binoculars for Hunting Reviews 

1. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism, 10x42

Our Rating: 4.7 / 5

This binocular is made by Bushnell sports compactness with the zoom of 10 times and 42 mm diameter in objective lenses. It has high field of view that is 345 feet. The long eye relief is another essential element to help user get the best view but almost are overlooked, while with the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism, 10×42, it is enough to allow you to have full and wide view with 16 mm.

About the lenses, they have Rain guard HD water resistant coating to save them from water absorption to view pleasantly with no interruption. The additional function of ED Prime Glass allows getting superb rendering image, in addition to the diopter lock in cases of quick focus demands.

On the other side, it has the waterproof and fog proof functions to put more security on the device and make it become a perfect gear for hunting. However, it is light with the weight only of 24.4 Oz and contains the magnesium chassis to help the device more durable. Besides, the exit pupil is 4.2 mm.


  • Contain an anti – water coating for lenses
  • Light
  • Ability of waterproof and fog proof
  • Have a soft case for carrying, strap for neck and microfiber bag
  • 10 times magnification, 42 mm diameter in objective lenses
  • Also have ED Prime Glass and Ultra Wide Band Coatings
  • long eye relief offers the better view


  • Provide only one extra position in eyecups twist
  • Do not have Rubberized Coating
  • The cover to protect the Objective Lens is not good

2. Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism, 10x42

Our Rating: 4.8 / 5

In a hunting party, it is worthy to invest for a binocular as it can increase many activities in many ways. This one is an ideal choice for hunters who are looking for a good binocular.

The first advantage of the Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism, 10×42 is its body made from rubber to create the stability and durability that can stand for many shocks. Next, the functions of waterproof and fog proof are the ones make it become a necessary gear for hunting. Also, it is equipped with rain guard to protect itself from rains or storms, in addition to the multiple coatings on the optical lenses, as well as the phase corrected prisms to make the image transference better with the best sharpness and beauty.

Last but not least, the super lightweight helps you carry around easily and hold for a long time without tiredness.


  • 10 times magnification and 42 mm optical lenses
  • Rubberized body for stability and durability
  • Capable of waterproof and fog proof
  • Rain guard function
  • Multiple coatings on the optical lenses
  • Phase corrected prisms
  • Light weight


The lenses are hard to focus.

3. Nikon 7576 MONARCH5 8x42

Our Rating: 4.6 / 5

This kind of binocular is made by Nikon with the zoom of 8 times and 42 mm diameter in objective lenses. It has high field of view that is 288 feet. As mentioned above, the long eye relief is very important and in this Nikon 7576 MONARCH5 8×42, it can offer up to 18.4 mm for this element to have full and wide view as much as possible.

About the body, it is made from rubber to create the stability and durability that suffers shocks. The extra function of ED Prime Glass allows getting clearer, sharper, and brighter image, in addition to Fully Multicoated Eco-Glass Lenses helps to transfer light in high volume to get clear vision.

Besides, the waterproof and fog proof benefits help to put more security on the device and make the binocular become a perfect appliance for hunting. However, it is light with the weight only of 21.9 Oz. Besides, the exit pupil is 4.2 mm.


  • The zoom of 8 times and 42 mm diameter in objective lenses
  • High field of view
  • Long eye relief
  • Rubberized body for stability and durability
  • ED Prime Glass
  • Fully Multicoated Eco-Glass Lenses
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Lightweight


  • Eye cups and lens caps are not as good as the others

4. Vanguard Endeavor ED Binocular (8x42)

Our Rating: 4.7 / 5

Vanguard Endeavor ED Binocular is made by Vanguard with the zoom of 8 times and 42 mm diameter in objective lenses. It has high field of view that is 367 feet per 1,000 yards and the view angles of 7 degrees. On the other hand, its eye relief is very long with 19 mm, longer than the Nikon above, and able to focus in 6.6 feet in near distance.

The extra function of ED Glass allows limiting the color dispersion to give fine rending colors and clear, sharp, and bright image, in addition to Fully Multicoated Lenses helps to transfer light in the best ability to get good view.

Alongside its lightweight, the waterproof and fog proof ability allow putting more protection on the binocular and make it become one of the most essential devices for hunting. The 3 – stage twist out eyecups and the locking diopter ring are other advantages of this kind.


  • 8x magnification and 42 mm in objective lens diameter
  • High field of view
  • View angles of 7 degrees
  • Long eye relief
  • Near focus up to 6.6 feet
  • Have ED Glass
  • Fully Multicoated Lenses
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof and fog proof ability
  • 3 – Stage twist out eyecups and the locking diopter ring
  • Good warranty


  • Too high level of chromatic aberration

5. Celestron 71347 Outland, 10x42

Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

For those who are looking for a binocular that is not only used in hunting, but also in birding, this kind is a suitable choice really.

Celestron 71347 Outland, 10×42 Binocular is made by Celestron with the size of 10x magnification and 42 mm in objective lens diameter offering the wide field of view, addition to the bak – 4 prisms to increase color fidelity. It has high warranty in two years. On the other hand, its eye relief is long with 14 mm, and the twist – up eyecups helps to adjust quickly.

About the body, it can focus in near distance within 13 feet. Alongside the extra function of anti – moisture neoprene case for carrying and neck strap, the fully multicoated optical lenses helps to transmit light in the best capacity to get the best view.

Another advantage of this binocular is the waterproof ability allows putting more protection for the binocular.


  • For multiple purposes of use
  • 10x magnification and 42 mm in objective lens diameter
  • Wide field of view
  • Bak – 4 prisms
  • Long eye relief
  • Twist – up eyecups
  • Near focus in 13 feet
  • Anti – moisture neoprene carrying case
  • Neck strap
  • Fully multicoated optical lenses
  • Waterproof ability


  • Heavy weight

6. Bushnell PowerView Super High-Powered Surveillance Binoculars

Our Rating: 4.2 / 5

This is a wonderful hunting tool for hunters, and also a favorite kind of many bird hunters as its various benefits. With Bushnell PowerView Super High-Powered Surveillance Binocular, it does not like the other kinds with sizes of either 8×42 or 10×42, this offers up to 20x magnification and 50 mm in optical lens diameter with multiple coatings in the optics, allow the binocular to collect enough light to transmit and provide bright and beautiful image.

One more advantage is the patented one touch Insta concentrate system helps to keep the device in sharp concentration. Besides, the Bushnell PowerView is designed with rubberized body to have to ability of suffering shocks very well, in addition to the near focus up to 45 feet. Arranging concentration is very easy and you can turn it from far to close with finger tips. With the high field of view – 170 feet at 1,000 yards, you can get high quality image as much as possible and receive the limited lifetime warranty. The Fold-Down Eyecups make the device able to work well in the condition lacking of light.


  • 20x magnification and 50 mm in optical lens diameter
  • Multiple coatings in the optics
  • Patented one touch Insta concentrate system
  • Rubberized body
  • Near focus up to 45 feet
  • High field of view – 170 feet at 1,000 yards
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Fold – Down Eyecups


  • Heavy weight

7. Bushnell Powerview Compact Folding Roof Prism

Our Rating: 4.1 / 5

This line has multiple uses, for hunting or birding, they are still good and due to each type of hunting to choose the suitable magnification, for examples, if you are going to hunt bird, the sizes of 8×40, 8×25, 7×35, and 8×30 are the best choices.

Bushnell is always famous for distributing high quality with reasonable price hunting binoculars. Besides, they also provide a wide range to choose due to each particular need. With this one, it provides a lot of sizes in magnification / objective lenses such as: 8 x 21, 10 x 25, 12 x 25, 10 x 32, so forth and so on. Optics with full coatings allows the brighter image. A key feature of the Bushnell line is the rubberized body, which does not except this kind. By this feature, the binocular is more durable and stable to offer the anti – shock function as well as the firm grip. The fold – down eyecup helps to have a better view in low light condition, which are very suitable for those hunters who are usually go out for hunting early in the morning or late afternoon, in addition to the center focus system helps you to concentrate on the goal easily from far to near. One more advantage of this kind is the Bk -7 prism glass provides beautiful color fidelity.


  • High quality in cheap price
  • A wide range of sizes
  • Optics with full coatings
  • The rubberized body to reduce shock
  • The fold – down eyecup
  • The center focus system
  • The Bk -7 prism glass


  • Heavy weight
  • Not waterproof and fog proof

8. Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Porro Prism Binocular

Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

Right from the name, we can guess the first advantage of this binocular is the function of anti – water and fog proof. On the other hand, the BaK-4 prisms and multi – coated optics play the important roles in providing the clear and sharp images with brighter light transference. Again, with this Bushnell line, its body is, of course, rubberized to offer the ability of durability and stability, in addition to the firm grip and anti – shock as well.

About the size, it provides 8x magnification and 42 mm in optical lens diameter, as well as the near focus in 18 feet. High eye relief with 17 mm allows the user to get the better view while wearing glasses. Another benefit of Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fog proof Porro Prism Binocular is their huge center focus, helps to adjust the distance from far to close easily. Last but not least, this line also has Twist-up eyecups and the limited lifetime warranty.


  • Provide anti – water and fog proof function
  • BaK-4 prisms and multi – coated optics for clear and sharp images
  • Rubberized body for durability and stability
  • Provides 8x magnification and 42 mm in optical lens diameter
  • Have huge center focus
  • Offer Twist-up eyecups


  • Heavy weight

9. Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC Binocular Laser Rangefinder with Matrix Display

Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

This is one of the best hunting binocular for hunters with the world – leading ability of identifying area by laser. Every detail is zoomed in the various contrast and wonderful sharpness from angle to angle fully multiple coating optical lenses and BaK – 4 prisms. Just by pushing on a button, you can get the exact distance with the goals from ten to 1.760 yards presented on the screen.

Besides, the device is coated with rain guard layer to protect it from rain and storm, as well as the fog proof and waterproof function to make sure the clearness and sharpness of the image in all kinds of conditions. On the other hand, the Bushnell Fusion 1-Mile ARC Binocular Laser Rangefinder with Matrix Display also encloses a CR – 123 battery in 3 – volt, a neck – strap, and a case for carrying with limited warranty about electronics and lifetime in two years.


  • XTR® technology for ultimate light transmission
  • Center Focus System
  • BaK-4 prisms for clarity and sharp image
  • Rain Guard feature for anti – water (100 percent water / fog proof)
  • Enclose carrying case, CR – 123 battery in 3 – volt and neck strap
  • Center Focus System
  • Fully Multiple Coating Optical Lenses
  • Twist – Up Eyecups


  • The range finder does not work well

Other consideration


This is one of the most essential features you also keep in mind because, depending on each purpose, the kind of binocular can be different. For example, if hunters want to buy a hunting binocular for their evening or early morning hunting parties, the one with fold – down eyecups is the best suit as this allows them to have the bright and sharp image, while with female hunters, they love to choose a binocular with lightweight to avoid the tiredness of holding it for a long time as well as easy to carry around.

Durability and Design

Types of Binoculars

Image source:

No one wants to buy a device which can only last for a few months. It is not only a nuisance, because they have to buy a new one, but also waste time and money. So, the durability is the feature you must consider in addition to the design.

Actually, there are a wide range of designs that the newbies may get confused in their very first time choosing a binocular. For this feature, you need to remember 2 main keys to choose, which are the size and weight. Even though a binocular does not big or weighty much, but if you hold it for a long time, you will find it hard to keep it stable to get the clear view. Thus, let’s keep an eye on the weight, especially those who are females.

About the size of binocular, it has 3 main kinds, including the full size, the mid – size and the compact.

  • Full-size: This is the greatest in collecting light to provide the bright enough in low light condition as well as over – all optic presentation.
  • Mid-Size: For those which have the objective lens of 30 or 32 mm, they are the mid-size binoculars. Some hunters prefer to have the medium sizes can choose this kind. Its ability in gathering light is higher than the compact and lower than the full size.
  • Compact: This is the smallest size and able to work well in bright light condition, but on the contrary, it is not as good as the full size and the mid – size.


There is a rule of thumb: the more expensive of a binocular, the more additional functions it will have. For example, with an expensive one, it will add the waterproof and fog proof features, more coatings on the lens, the neck strap, so forth and so on. But on the other hand, you need to keep in mind which one is the most suitable for your budget. If you are in a tight budget, you should consider which elements are the main and must have in a binocular, and then take a few other added features if possible.

Eye Cups

Eye CupsEye cups also play an important role in a binocular, so that forget it not while choosing because they help to maintain the additional light out of your eyes. They also support the eye reliefs in keeping your eyes feel pleasant. There are two basic kinds of this feature, including: the roll – up rubber and the slide – out. Besides, there are still a lot of different sizes, in addition to the shapes, and it will depend on the user to identify which one will be the best.

Rangefinder features

With the binoculars for hunting, they are designed for range finding factors. This one may be a bit more expensive than some normal range finder. Even though they are both used for the purpose of calculating the distance from the goal to the standing position, but there are still some different features, which are the reason why hunters should invest for the hunting range finder despite of its high price.

A normal range finder is only allowed to measure the distance but not the others such as the slope, while a hunting one offers this element to suit with a real hunting terrain. By the way, the distance a normal one can measure is more limited than a hunting range finder very much, in addition to the flexibility is also different and of course, a range finder for hunting will provide the more flexibility than the rest, because the hunters need to follow the movement of the animals.

Brightness and Sharpness

This may be an additional feature but with those hunters have the hunting schedule in the early morning or evening, it is very important, because in the lack of light condition, brightness and sharpness are the 2 main features play important parts on making the decision of the success of the hunts. Besides, a fade and dark view will make it hard to get the exact positions or follow the moving animals as well.


Best Binoculars for Hunting

1. Are there any differences between a BAK – 4 and a BK – 7 prisms?

Among many kinds, the BAK – 4 prisms glass has the highest quality, while the BK – 7 are also good but does not as good as the BAK – 4. If comparing these 2 kinds, you can see that the brightness level of Bk – 7 prisms glass decreases more slightly than the BAK – 4.

2. It is important to consider the objective lens diameter while choosing a binocular?

When choosing binoculars objective lens diameter, the question is that whether or not we should choose a big objective lens diameter, and whether or not we choose a large diameter to gather as much light as possible. When choosing telescopes, amateur astronomers often have the saying: “the bigger the better”, even though it is usually correct with the telescope, but with binoculars it is not necessarily so. To the observation through the binoculars achieve the highest efficiency, the diameter of the beam leaving the exit pupil should be equivalent to the dimensions of the iris of the human eyes.

Although the dimensions of the pupil in each person is different depending on age, environmental lighting conditions, and some other factors like genetics … the numbers just generally ranged from 2.5mm to daylight day until about 7mm in completely dark conditions. If at the time of observation, circular exit pupil of the binoculars smaller than the eye pupil, then we do not see the biggest field of view of the equipment. In contrast, large circular eyepiece will cause “wasting field of view” because the human eye pupil cannot catch a full beam comes out of the eyepiece.

3. Sometimes we also meet the recommendation of the manufacturer about Ruby Coating on the body tube of binoculars. Is this ruby layer good?

The benefit of this type of coating really has not been mentioned much in documentation, but the manufacturers of binoculars using this coating say that they are the best kind of anti – glare when observing things with intensity am quite large, such as snow or white sand or under the sun. Whether this is true or not, we still do not know, but certainly, this type of coating takes disadvantage when animal observations because they reduce the light intensity of the object observed.

4. What are multicoated lens and coated optics? Which kinds of coating is the most popular?

Today, virtually all types of binoculars have coated the lenses with magnesium fluoride, but this still does not say much about the quality. With some sort of inexpensive binoculars for hunting, coated optics phrase usually means only the outer surface of the objective lens, and eyepiece are coated, while the internal side of the lens and other elements in them still remain the same. If you want to get the best image quality, you must have all the lenses been coated on both sides, which is called fully coated optics, and also this kind is the most popular.

However, it is not all. If one coating layer is effective, the multi-layered coating on lenses will offer even better results. So we have the phrase “multicoated lens”. The lenses are coated with multiple layers, reducing the reflectivity to less than 0.5% (1.5% when compared to the first coating layer) and reflected green light when tilting under the light. Usually, the thin Maggie fluoride layer coated on the lens is the ideal for hunting binoculars.


When choosing the best binoculars for hunting, make sure you use them in the most comfortable way, let’s keep in mind those elements mentioned above to consider clearly before dropping your money on without any regrets or wasting. And do not forget to check the distance between the two tubes whether or not they fit with your eyes by picking it up to watch. Hope the article will help you much.