Best Binoculars for Hunting: Field Tested

Carly Brasseux // January 18

When it comes to hunting, having the right equipment can make or break your success. One essential tool is a good pair of binoculars for hunting. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one for your needs.

After spending a year testing models while hunting, spotting, and hiking in Colorado and Texas, our expert team has found the best options. While testing, we looked at magnification, durability, and clarity. We also paid special attention to portability and price. Below you'll find options to fit every budget and use. Scroll on to see the winners or jump to the section you want to see using the links below. And if you need more help, be sure to read our detailed guide on how to choose the best binoculars for hunting.

Top Hunting Binoculars

Best Value

Maven B3 30mm ED Compact Binocular

$525

Priced at $525, these binoculars feature ED glass for true color transmission and exceptional brightness, ensuring superior low-light performance. We found the smooth adjustments made getting a clear sight simple. And our testers like how compact these are. There are cheaper or higher end options, but for the majority of users looking to spend less than 600 bucks, the Maven B3 30MM Compact Binoculars are a winner.  

Indulge in optical excellence with the Maven B3 30mm ED Compact Binocular – an exceptional choice for discerning hunters who value both quality and affordability. Priced at $525, these binoculars feature ED glass for true color transmission and exceptional brightness, ensuring superior low-light performance. The anodized aluminum adjustments guarantee years of durability, while the silky-smooth focus mechanism simplifies target focusing.

Despite its premium features, the price may be a consideration for some buyers. However, the Maven B3 stands out with tack-sharp edge-to-edge clarity, generous depth of field, and compatibility with 33.5mm screw-in filters for added protection or image adjustment. As a testament to their confidence in quality, Maven offers an unconditional lifetime warranty, securing your satisfaction with this remarkable investment.

Pros:

✅ ED glass for true color transmission and superior brightness
✅ Tack-sharp edge-to-edge clarity and generous depth of field
✅ Compatible with 33.5mm screw-in filters

Cons:

❌ Slightly heavier compared to some ultra-compact models

Rave Reviews
Maven 10×30 is the brightest of all at night and its clarity and sharpeness is comparable to Zeiss Victory Pocket and a step above Zeiss Conquest and Nikon Monarch 7. I am also keeping Zeiss Victory Pocket for its light weight and compactness but my go to bino is now Maven 10×30.

Amazon Review
Best Optics

Leica Ultravid HD-Plus Binoculars

$1,905

A top-tier choice for serious hunters, these offer a 10x magnification and a 42mm objective lens. Track your game effortlessly with a wide field of view, perfect for moving targets. The rugged magnesium housing ensures durability, while the waterproof and fog-proof construction adds reliability in any weather. Despite the high price tag, serious hunters find the investment worthwhile, given the unmatched quality and longevity of the Ultravid HD-Plus Binoculars.
Pros:

✅ Crystal-clear, sharp images
✅ Wide field of view for tracking
✅ Rugged magnesium housing

Cons:

❌ Premium price may not be suitable for budget-conscious buyers

RAVE REVIEWS
I also own other brands that are as expensive or more expensive. These are my favorites. Very sharp, compact, good light gathering. Just the best.

Amazon Reviewer
Best Rangefinder Binocs

Swarovski EL Rangefinder Binoculars

$3,854

Boasting a 10x magnification and a 42mm objective lens, these binoculars redefine clarity and precision. Swarovski's patented FieldPro package, complete with a comfortable strap, lens covers, and a carrying case, enhances your overall experience. Immerse yourself in advanced technology with the integrated rangefinder, allowing quick and accurate distance measurements. While the price reflects a significant investment, the Swarovski EL Range Binoculars stands as the pinnacle of performance, catering to serious hunters who demand nothing but the finest equipment.
Pros:

✅ Swarovski's patented FieldPro package
✅ Integrated rangefinder for quick distance measurements
✅ Exceptional 10x magnification

Cons:

❌ Premium price
❌ Heavier compared to some other models

Vortex Optics Viper HD Binoculars

$489

These binoculars offer unparalleled clarity and brightness in low light, thanks to the impressive 10x magnification and 42mm objective lens. Tested in rugged hunting conditions, the durable rubber armor coating ensures they can handle the toughest environments. The waterproof and fog-proof construction adds an extra layer of reliability. Plus, the lifetime warranty makes these binoculars a trustworthy investment.

RAVE REVIEW

The viper binoculars are a good piece of glass for the money; in fact, this is probably the best optics in its class for its price point.


Amazon Reviewer

Zeiss Victory SF Binoculars

$3,000

Gear up for success with the Zeiss Victory SF Binoculars – a top-tier choice for hunters seeking exceptional quality. With a 10x magnification and a 42mm objective lens, these binoculars deliver unparalleled clarity. The lightweight and ergonomic design ensures comfort during extended use, setting them apart as an excellent companion for your hunting adventures. Benefit from a wide field of view, making it a breeze to spot game in the distance. If you prioritize reliability in your equipment, the Zeiss Victory SF Binoculars stand as a testament to superior performance, making them an excellent choice for discerning hunters.
Pros:

✅ Unparalleled clarity with 10x magnification
✅ Lightweight and ergonomic design for extended comfort
✅ Wide field of view for spotting game

Cons:

❌ Premium price

RAVE REVIEW

I already had Zeiss binoculars; they were still good, but at 25 years old not good enough for my “older” eyesight! These new ones, however, are fantastic. I thought I needed binoculars that I could use with my glasses, but turns out they are so crisp and clear, with so much light gathering that I can use them without my glasses. Plus, the focus knob is much better, as well as the eyepieces and the entire design of the body.

Amazon Reviewer

Nikon Monarch HG Binoculars

$1,000

Step into the elite realm of hunting optics with the Nikon Monarch HG Binoculars – a pinnacle choice for dedicated hunters. Boasting a 10x magnification and a 42mm objective lens, these binoculars redefine clarity with high-quality ED glass, ensuring clear and bright images. The Monarch HG Binoculars feature a robust and waterproof design, standing strong against diverse weather conditions. Revel in a wide field of view and a close focus distance of just 6.6 feet, making them perfect for game-spotting at close range. Elevate your hunting experience with the Nikon Monarch HG Binoculars – an unparalleled investment for those who demand the absolute best.
Pros:

✅ Exceptional clarity with ED glass
✅ Robust and waterproof design
✅ Wide field of view for enhanced visibility
✅ Close focus distance of 6.6 feet

Specifications:

Magnification: 10x
Objective Lens: 42mm
Glass: High-quality ED
Construction: Durable and waterproof
Close Focus Distance: 6.6 feet

Cons:

❌ Slightly heavier compared to some competitors

RAVE REVIEW
These are excellent binoculars. We bought both the 10×42 and the 10×30 Nikon binoculars. We're extremely happy because they are the best binoculars we have ever owned and we've been using binoculars for 60 years. They are light, comfortable to use and easily transportable. We're very happy with them.

Amazon Reviewer

Vortex Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars

$200

Elevate your hunting game with the Vortex Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars – a top contender for sure! As an expert, it's clear why these binoculars reign supreme. Offering 12x magnification and 50mm objective lenses, they deliver exceptional resolution and edge-to-edge sharpness. The optimized glass elements ensure unparalleled light transmission, providing a crystal-clear view. Fully multi-coated lenses with anti-reflective coatings make for eye-friendly viewing. But it's not just about vision – these binoculars boast a rugged construction with nitrogen purging and o-ring seals, guaranteeing water and fog-proof performance. With adjustable eyecups and a center focus wheel, comfort is key, whether you wear glasses or not.
Pros:

✅ Exceptional 12x magnification
✅ Optimized glass for clarity and light
transmission
✅ Rugged construction for durability
✅ Water and fog-proof performance
✅ Adjustable eyecups and center focus wheel for comfort

Specifications:

Magnification: 12x
Objective Lenses: 50mm
Coatings: Fully multi-coated with anti-reflective coatings
Construction: Rugged with nitrogen purging and o-ring seals
Comfort Features: Adjustable eyecups, center focus wheel

Cons:

❌ Slightly larger and bulkier compared to some compact models

RAVE REVIEW
Best binoculars I have ever used. Clear, crisp viewing even at longer distance. Easy to focus and use. The included case is really nice, well padded and tight fitting, high quality materials throughout both the binoculars and the case. So glad I got these.

Amazon Reviewer

Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars

$350

Embark on a visual journey with the Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars – the pinnacle for western hunters navigating rugged landscapes. Boasting 15x magnification and 56mm objective lenses, these binoculars deliver unrivaled clarity for detailed views of big game at expansive distances. Fully multi-coated lenses, complemented by dielectric coating, ensure superior light transmission and color accuracy. The Armortek coating shields exterior lenses from scratches and dirt, maintaining optical precision. Tripod adaptability, accompanied by a tripod adapter, guarantees steady viewing for prolonged observations. Argon purging and o-ring seals bestow waterproof and fog-proof performance. The GlassPak harness not only ensures comfort during wear but also facilitates easy transport. Elevate your hunting prowess with the Vortex Optics Diamondback HD Binoculars – where clarity meets rugged reliability.
Pros:

✅ Impressive 15x magnification
✅ Superior light transmission and color accuracy
✅ Armortek coating for lens protection
✅ Tripod adaptable with included adapter
✅ Waterproof and fog-proof performance
✅ GlassPak harness for comfort and easy transport

Specifications:

Magnification: 15x
Objective Lenses: 56mm
Coatings: Fully multi-coated with dielectric coating
Lens Protection: Armortek coating
Adaptability: Tripod adaptable with included adapter
Performance: Waterproof and fog-proof (Argon purging, O-ring seals)
Comfort: GlassPak harness for comfort and easy transport

Cons:

❌ Slightly heavier compared to some compact models, which may affect prolonged use
❌ The field of view is relatively narrower compared to some competitors in the same price range.

RAVE REVIEW
Clear and ergonomic, therefore a great buy for the money, as good or better than products for twice the money.

Amazon Reviewer

SWAROVSKI 10×42 NL Pure Binoculars

$3,060

Elevate your hunting experience with the Swarovski 10x42 NL Pure Binoculars – a stellar choice for 2023! Compact in size yet expansive in field of view, these binoculars immerse you in every moment, revealing more in every situation. SWAROVISION technology, paired with innovative lens coatings, delivers unparalleled color rendering, high light transmission, and stunning images with remarkable color fidelity.   Designed for the toughest hunting conditions, these binoculars boast a lightweight yet rugged magnesium housing. The precision focusing mechanism and distortion-free image, right up to the edges, ensure quick and easy identification. The only drawback lies in the steep price tag, but for those who demand excellence, the Swarovski 10x42 NL Pure Binoculars stand as an investment in unparalleled optical performance.
Pros:

✅ Portable size with a large field of view
✅ SWAROVISION technology for excellent color rendering
✅ Lightweight and rugged magnesium housing
✅ Precision focusing mechanism for quick identification
✅ Distortion-free image to the edges

Specifications:

Magnification: 10x
Objective Lenses: 42mm
Technology: SWAROVISION with innovative lens coatings
Housing: Lightweight and rugged magnesium
Focusing Mechanism: Precision

Cons:

❌ Limited affordability for budget-conscious buyers

RAVE REVIEW
These are amazing. Crystal clear viewing. Highly recommend. Expensive, but worth every penny.

Amazon Reviewer

Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide HD 10x42mm Binocular

$440

Equip yourself for success with the Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide HD 10x42mm Binocular – the pinnacle choice for hunters in 2023! Boasting high-definition, calcium-fluoride lenses, it unveils unmatched edge-to-edge clarity, ideal for spotting game in the wild. The open-bridge, the dual-hinge design ensures extremely lightweight and ergonomic comfort, perfect for extended hunts. Engineered for all conditions, its 100% waterproof and fogproof construction guarantees a crystal-clear view in any weather. The BAK 4 Prisms take center stage, delivering a perfectly round exit pupil with minimal edge distortion, offering a crisp, clear image that sets it apart from competitors.
Pros:

✅ High-definition, calcium-fluoride lenses for unparalleled clarity
✅ Lightweight and ergonomic open-bridge, dual-hinge design
✅ 100% waterproof and fogproof for all-weather use
✅ BAK 4 Prisms for a round exit pupil and clear image

Specifications:

Magnification: 10x
Objective Lenses: 42mm
Lenses: High-definition, calcium-fluoride
Design: Open-bridge, dual-hinge
Construction: Waterproof and fogproof
Prisms: BAK 4

Cons:

❌ Slightly shorter eye relief may be less comfortable for users wearing glasses

RAVE REVIEW
These are well worth the money for the glass quality alone. I've owned enough binoculars to notice quality when I see it. Took these out hunting shortly after receiving them and to be able to spot a legal buck in low light the first thing in the morning made it all worth while. Would highly recommend.

Amazon Reviewer

Vortex Optics Vulture HD Binoculars

$380

Embark on your hunting journey with the Vortex Optics Vulture HD Binoculars – a paramount choice for hunters seeking perfection. Priced at $349, these binoculars stand out with fully multi-coated lenses and phase correction, delivering a clear and bright image even in low-light conditions. The rubber armor ensures a secure grip, and the center focus wheel facilitates easy adjustments, allowing you to stay focused on your target. With waterproof and fog-proof capabilities, these binoculars defy weather conditions. The Vulture HD binoculars are an essential for any serious hunter, providing the clarity and durability necessary for success in the field.
Pros:

✅ Fully multi-coated lenses and phase correction for clear images
✅ Rubber armor for a secure grip
✅ Easy adjustments with the center focus wheel
✅ Waterproof and fog-proof for versatile use

Specifications:

Coatings: Fully multi-coated with phase correction
Design: Rubber armor for a secure grip
Adjustment: Center focus wheel
Performance: Waterproof and fog-proof

Cons:

❌ Slightly heavier compared to some compact models, maybe less ideal for extended carrying

RAVE REVIEW
Really clear. The lenses are solid and have never fogged. Been outside in below freezing temps and no issues. Easy to focus in on your target. Great for hunting or bird watching. Solid range of view and eye relief. Vortex VIP Warranty is the best around. Keeps me coming back for more.

Amazon Reviewer
best binoculars for hunting

You can find all of these binoculars on our Amazon list! Check it out here.

The Importance of Binoculars for Hunting

When it comes to hunting, having a good pair of binoculars is essential. Not only do they help you locate your game from a distance, but they also offer a number of other benefits that can improve your hunting success.

Benefits of Using Binoculars for Hunting

One of the main benefits of using binoculars for hunting is that they allow you to see your game from a distance. This is critical when hunting animals that are easily spooked. With binoculars, you can stay far enough away to avoid disturbing your game, giving you a better chance of getting closer for that killer shot.

Binoculars also provide a wider field of view than the naked eye, allowing you to scan a larger area for game. This is especially useful when hunting in open terrain where animals can be difficult to spot.

Improving Hunting Success with Binoculars

Using binoculars can also improve your hunting success by allowing you to identify and target specific animals. By observing an animal from a distance, you can determine its age, size, and gender, which can help you make an informed decision about whether or not to take the shot.

Binoculars also allow you to spot game from a distance, giving you time to plan your approach and get into a good shooting position. This can be especially helpful when hunting in areas with a dense cover or when stalking.

Differences Between Binoculars and Other Hunting Equipment

While there are other types of hunting equipment that can help you locate and track game, such as spotting scopes and trail cameras, binoculars offer several advantages.

For one, they are lightweight and easy to carry. This makes them ideal for hunters who need to move quickly and quietly through the woods. Binoculars are also more versatile than other types of hunting equipment, allowing you to use them in a variety of hunting situations.

Overall, a good pair of binoculars is an essential tool for any hunter. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, investing in a quality pair of binoculars can improve your hunting success. And, make your time in the field more enjoyable.

Best Hunting Binoculars: How to Choose the Right Pair

Comparing the Best Binoculars for Hunting - Mallory Paige
Size matters. Here we're comparing options to find the best hunting binoculars. (photo credit: Mallory Paige)

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best hunting binoculars for your needs. Here are some factors to consider when making your selection.

Magnification

Magnification is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing hunting binoculars. The magnification power determines how close the objects will appear to you. Most hunting binoculars come with a magnification power of 8x, 10x, or 12x. While a higher magnification may seem like a good idea, it can make it harder to keep your image steady and cause shakiness. Therefore, it is best to choose a magnification power that you can handle easily and comfortably.

best binoculars for hunting 2023
Photo Credit: Hunter's Wholesale

Objective Lens Size

The objective lens size is the diameter of the lens at the front of the binoculars. The size of the objective lens determines the amount of light that enters the binoculars. The larger the lens, the brighter the image will be. However, larger lenses also make the binoculars heavier and bulkier. For hunting binoculars, a lens size of 40-42mm is ideal as it offers a good balance between brightness and portability.

Field of View

The field of view refers to the area you can see when looking through the binoculars. A wider field of view makes it easier to spot moving targets, especially in dense forests or brush. For hunting binoculars, a field of view of at least 300 feet at 1000 yards is recommended.

Durability

Durability is a crucial factor to consider when choosing hunting binoculars. You want a pair of binoculars that can withstand rough handling and harsh weather conditions. Look for binoculars with a rugged, waterproof, and fog-proof design. The body of the binoculars should be made of a durable material like magnesium alloy or polycarbonate.

Other Factors

Other factors to consider when choosing hunting binoculars include eye relief, focus system, and prism type. Eye relief is the distance between the eyepiece and your eye when the binoculars are in focus. A longer eye relief is ideal for hunters who wear glasses. The focus system should be easy to use and allow for quick adjustments. The prism type affects the quality of the image and the weight of the binoculars.

Hunting Strategies with Binoculars

When using binoculars for hunting, it's important to have a strategy in place. One common strategy is to slowly scan an area with your binoculars (glassing), looking for movement or any signs of game. This can be especially effective in open fields or areas with sparse vegetation.

Another strategy is to use your binoculars to focus on specific areas of interest, such as water sources or heavily wooded areas. By focusing on these areas, you can increase your chances of spotting game.

How to Spot Game More Easily

Binoculars can help you spot game more easily, but there are some techniques that can make this process even more effective. One technique is to look for movement, as even small movements can indicate the presence of game. Another technique is to look for signs of life, such as flickering ears or tails.

It's also important to pay attention to the environment around you. Look for areas where game is likely to be found, such as near water sources or in heavily wooded areas. By understanding the habits and patterns of the game you are hunting, you can increase your chances of spotting them with your binoculars.

How to Adjust Your Binoculars for Different Hunting Scenarios

Different hunting scenarios may require different settings on your binoculars. For example, when hunting in open fields or areas with sparse vegetation, you may want to increase the magnification of your binoculars to get a better view of your surroundings. In contrast, when hunting in heavily wooded areas, you may want to decrease the magnification to get a wider field of view.

It's also important to adjust the focus on your binoculars based on the distance to your target. This can help ensure that you get a clear and sharp image of your target, regardless of the distance.

You can find all of these binoculars on our Amazon list! Check it out here.

About the Author

Carly Brasseux

Carly Brasseux is a determined and passionate freelance outdoor writer, published author, business owner and social media/marketing consultant based in Texas. In a world where women are the fastest growing segment of the hunting population, she is a major proponent of those women wanting to learn more about the outdoors and hunting. Her handle, Miss Pursuit, is an expression of her enthusiasm for all things outdoors, from educating women through her experiences learning to hunt over the last decade, to getting out with her kids to explore the wild. Her expertise in social media and marketing, as well as her vast network of people in the outdoor industry, have given her the influence to make an impact for years to come. Member of the Mule Deer Foundation, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Stewards of the Wild and the Texas Wildlife Association.