Best Binoculars For Hunting: Top 5 Picks Of The Year

Best Binoculars for Hunting: Top 5 Picks of the Year

If you are an avid hunter, then you know about the importance of binoculars. I mean let's be real, you can't tag that big buck if you can't even see it. There are tons of great binoculars on the market. If you want the very best binoculars for hunting, then you should know that it can be a daunting task, but fret not. You've come to the right place.

If I could give you any advice, it would be to stop buying cheap binoculars. You won't believe the difference when you try a high-end pair. My brother is one who never listened to me and was continually buying the cheapest binoculars he could find. He replaced the cheap ones so often that he could've bought a quality pair twice over. A few years ago for his birthday I finally got him some Nikon Monarch binoculars. He's been thanking me ever since. Now he gets it.

What Should I Look For In The Best Binoculars For Hunting?

man looking in binoculars during sunset

Image Source: Pexels

The best binoculars for hunting should give you a clear, sharp, and bright image of your prey. Other essential features you should look at include price, weight, the field of view, exit pupil, magnification, lens size, and eye relief. Also, are they waterproof and fog-proof? The best binoculars for hunting should be.

There are two types of binoculars: roof prism and Porro prism. Roof prism binoculars have an H-shaped design, which means that the eyepiece and binocular tubes are in a single line. The roof prism binoculars tend to be more compact. The Porro prism binoculars have the traditional "M" shaped design. But unlike the roof prisms, the eyepiece and the lens are not in a straight line.

If you wear glasses, then you should pay attention to eye relief. Longer eye relief means that you can hold the binoculars further away from your face. That's particularly important if you're hunting with your glasses on. Generally speaking, people who wear glasses should roll down the rubber eyepiece collars before you look through your binoculars. Another tip for glasses wearers is to look for eye relief of 11 millimeters or more.

What Magnification Do I Want In The Best Binoculars For Hunting?

We identify binoculars by two numbers, like 10x42, for example. The figures show the magnification power and the lens diameter. These 10x42 binoculars have a magnification power of 10 with a 42-millimeter lens diameter. In other words, your target will appear 10 times closer than it would to your naked eye.

Further, the width of the lens mainly determines how much light you can gather in your binoculars. Simply put, if you have two binoculars that are virtually the same except for the lens size, the one with the larger lens diameter will capture more light. That means that you will have a brighter view, especially in low light conditions.

All of the best binoculars for hunting on our list this year come in different sizes and magnifications, but we limited our choice to 10x42 variants. You can get magnifications above 10, but for hunters, your best bet is a lower magnification, from 7x to 10x. The reason that you want a lower magnification for hunting is that it gives you a more precise and more stable image. With higher magnifications, you run into trouble with hand movements and shaking, which will blur your view. A 10x42 will provide you with a large field of view and a brighter image, which is essential for hunting at dawn or dusk. Also, it gives you an optimal amount of eye relief.

How Much Do The Best Binoculars For Hunting Cost?

Binoculars are available at nearly every price point from cheap to super expensive. You can find decent binoculars for under $100. But if you want the very best of the best binoculars for hunting, then it's going to cost you a bit more. The five binoculars on this list have prices ranging from $165 to $775.

Our Review Process

This analysis is an independent review of the best binoculars for hunting. We have no business or financial ties to any of the companies on our list. In the review process, we researched professional and consumer reviews. And we compared the features and price of each pair of binoculars.

The Top 5 Best Binoculars For Hunting

After reviewing all of the top-rated and top-selling binoculars on the market, we have chosen the very best of the best. In no particular order, here are our favorite five best binoculars for hunting this year. We highly recommend all five of them.

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Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars 8x42
  • 8x magnification and 42mm objective lenses, the 2018 Viper HD is a high-end, full-size yet compact binocular that is...
  • A high density optical system delivers exeptional resolution and edge to edge clarity. XR anti-relfective lens coatings...
  • A locking, right-eye diopter tailors each barrels' focus to your eyes. The smooth, center focus wheel provides fine...

The first contender for the best binoculars for hunting this year is the Vortex Optics Viper. There's a whole lot to love about these binoculars. For one thing, they have an O-ring that seals out all debris and moisture, making the Vortex Optics Viper waterproof and fog-proof in any weather condition. Another reason that the Viper is one of the best binoculars for hunting is that it features an advanced optical system. It also has an enhanced anti-reflective lens coating that gives you incredible image quality.

The high-density extra-low dispersion glass and the multi-layer prism coating provide images that are clear, bright, and color accurate. These binoculars are HD 10x42, and they are a bit heavier than some of the others, weighing 48 ounces. Also, they have an eye relief of 17 millimeters and a 4.2-millimeters exit pupil. From 1,000 yards, they have a 341-foot field of view.

One of the reasons that the Vortex Optics Viper is one of the best binoculars for hunting this year is because it gets unbelievable professional and consumer reviews. Amazon customers rate these binoculars 4.6 out of 5.0 stars. Out of nearly 300 reviews, 85 percent of them gave the Viper 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

One complaint about them is that they are a little heavier than people expected. Another downside is that they are quite expensive. Although, most people say that they are worth every penny. Common feedback about them is that they are just as good as binoculars that cost three times as much. Hunters rave about them, and many swear that you just can't beat them.

PROS

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty, deluxe carrying case, and other accessories
  • Vortex offers excellent customer service
  • Very bright and crisp views
  • Waterproof and fog-proof
  • Rugged and durable

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Some complained that they don't have a long enough eyecup
  • They have a smaller field of view compared to the others on our list
Nikon 7577 MONARCH 5 10x42 Binocular (Black)
  • All Monarch 5 binoculars are now built with Nikon's premium ED (Extra-low dispersion); Glass for a sharper, clearer and...
  • Almost an ounce lighter than its predecessor, the new Monarch 5 is even easier to bring along on your next adventure.
  • Fully multicoated eco-glass lenses provide a high light transmittance across the entire visible light spectrum. Apparent...

The Nikon Monarch 5 is also in the running for the best binoculars for hunting this year. They feature Nikon's premium extra-low dispersion glass that gives you a super sharp, crisp view. The new Monarch 5 is even lighter than its predecessors, weighing just 21.9 ounces. Another great thing about it is that it has a dielectric high-reflective multilayer prism coating. And like the Vortex Optics Viper, the Monarch 5 is completely waterproof and fog-proof. These binoculars come in several different sizes, but we reviewed the 10x42. It offers 18.4 millimeters of eye relief and a 288-foot field of view. On top of all of that, the Monarch 5 is in a class of its own in battling darkness with super sharp, high-contrast optics.

We also put the Monarch 5 on our list of the best binoculars for hunting because it gets outstanding professional and consumer reviews. Amazon customers rate it 4.7 out of 5.0 stars. Out of nearly 600 reviews, 80 percent of them gave these binoculars 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. Although Nikon did this on purpose, one of the complaints about the Monarch 5 is that the eyepiece lens caps fit very loosely.

PROS

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty, carrying case, and neck strap
  • Lightweight
  • Moderately priced
  • Great optics
  • Wide field of view

CONS

  • The lens covers are ill-fitting
  • Some complained that they make a squeaking noise
  • Others complained that the carrying case doesn't come with a strap
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x 42mm Roof Prism Binocular
  • Rain guard HD water repellent lens coating
  • Lightweight, magnesium chassis
  • Waterproof and fog proof

Bushnell makes some pretty amazing products, and the Legend Ultra Binocular is no exception. These binoculars are the company's most critically-acclaimed, and they handily made our list of the best binoculars for hunting this year. If you use the 10x42, you will have a 340-foot field of view and 17.2-millimeter eye relief. Also, they have a 4.2-millimeter exit pupil.

Further, like the other best binoculars for hunting, these are completely waterproof and fog-proof. They also feature premium extra-low dispersion glass for exceptional optics. The Bushnell Legend comes with a carrying case, a soft microfiber bag, and a neck strap. Another thing we loved about it is that it has a locking diopter. And it's very lightweight, weighing just 22.5 ounces.

Like the other best binoculars for hunting, these get incredible professional and consumer reviews. Amazon customers rate it 4.6 out of 5.0 stars. Out of more than 800 reviews, 77 percent of them gave the Bushnell Legend 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. Most hunters love these binoculars, but some complained about the eyecup.

PROS

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Uses a BaK4 roof prism system
  • Great price
  • Exceptional optic quality
  • Has a locking diopter

CONS

  • Some complained that they are not very durable
  • Rubber coating feels a little cheap
  • Some had trouble with Bushnell's customer service
VANGUARD Endeavor ED 10x42 Binocular, ED Glass, Waterproof/Fogproof,...
  • Extra low dispersion (ED) glass provides exceptional detail and brilliant colors. Advanced multiguard coatings for...
  • Three stage twist out eyecups with long eye relief, locking diopter ring and lightweight, open bridge body design with...
  • Phase-coated BAK4 roof prisms enhance image resolution and edge-to-edge clarity

The next contender for the best binoculars for hunting is the Vanguard Endeavor ED 1042. These binoculars feature extra-low dispersion glass that provides an exceptional HD view. They also use BaK4 phase-coated roof prisms and fully multi-coated lenses. One unique thing about them is that they have the three-stage twist out eyecups with a long eye relief of 16.5 millimeters. Like all of the other best binoculars for hunting, the Vanguard Endeavor is entirely waterproof and fog-proof. It's not quite as lightweight as the Monarch 5 or the Bushnell Legend, but it's still not too heavy at 25.8 ounces. Another thing that we liked about the Endeavor is that it has a massive field of view, similar to the Vortex Viper, at 340 feet.

And hunters love it! All of the best binoculars for hunting get excellent professional, and consumer reviews and the Endeavor is no exception. Amazon customers rate it 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. Out of nearly 600 consumer reviews, a whopping 84 percent of them gave it 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. These binoculars have a stellar reputation. Many hunters believe that they are the very best binoculars for hunting on the market today.

The Endeavor is very similar to the Bushnell Legend, but in a head-to-head match-up, we have to give the edge to the Endeavor. Also, it comes with a carrying case and a neck strap.

PROS

  • Moderately priced
  • Exceptional resolution and clarity
  • Excellent choice for people who wear glasses
  • A massive field of view
  • Super fast focus

CONS

  • Some complained that Vanguard took a long time to mail out rebates
  • Others complained that the focus wheel makes a loud noise
  • The case is a bit too small
  • There is some chromic aberration in very high contrast situations
Upland Optics Venator 10x42mm Binoculars
  • The Ultimate in Optical Clarity
  • Top of the Line Extra Low Dispersion (ED) Glass
  • Built to Survive the Hunt: Waterproof, Fogproof, and a Durable Rubber Body

In many ways, we saved the best for last. The final contender for the best binoculars for hunting this year is the rating. And there's a whole lot to love about them. First, they offer the very best in optical clarity using the top-of-the-line extra-low dispersion glass. Also, they are super durable and work in any weather because they are completely waterproof and fog-proof. The Venator comes with a lifetime warranty, a carrying case, a neck strap, and other accessories.

Another thing that we love about the Venator is that Upland hunters specifically made it for hunting. If you use the 10x42 size, you will get a field of view of 374 feet. You also get 15 millimeters of eye relief. The Venator isn't the lightest of the best binoculars for hunting, but it's still pretty lightweight, weighing 24 ounces.

As you would expect, it also gets fantastic professional and consumer reviews. It doesn't have a whole lot of reviews on Amazon, but it gets a rating of 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. These binoculars cost a lot, but hunters rave about them and say that they are well worth the price.

PROS

  • The best for low light conditions
  • Extremely high-quality build and sleek design
  • It beats all others when it comes to optic clarity
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty and several accessories

CONS

  • Expensive
  • It has a smaller field of view
  • They feel a tad heavy

Which Pair Should You Buy?

black binocular on round device

Image Source: Pexels

We'd be hard-pressed to pick just one of these products as the best binoculars for hunting this year because we love all five of them. If money is not an issue for you, then we recommend the Upland Optics Venator. You just can't beat it for optical clarity. But if we have to choose the very best binoculars for hunting overall, we prefer the Vanguard Endeavor. It's half the price of the Venator, and it has a much larger field of view. If you're a serious hunter, then you can't go wrong with the Endeavor.

Now we want to know what you think! Let us know in the comments section below what you think of our list. And tell us what your pick is for the best binoculars for hunting this year.

About the author

Brandon Cox

I'm Brandon, and with a passion and love for all things hunting, I have invested much time and money bringing myself up to speed with the latest and best hunting Intel. Through my hunting website, I want to share and excite all on the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.

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