Choosing the best pair of hunting binoculars is largely decided by your use case. Are you mainly a whitetail deer hunter, or do you hunt big mountains and wide open areas? Depending on your answer to these two questions, the pair of binoculars you end up choosing could be completely different.
If you’re like most people, it just isn’t feasible to go out and spend money on the most expensive pair of binoculars on the market. You’d rather choose a set of binoculars that fits your first need the best, and could work for your second need. A perfect example of this is the whitetail hunter who goes on a big game hunting trip every few years.
Buying the best 10×42 binoculars would be the perfect fit for that use. On the other hand, if you’re in to buying top of the line gear because it’s designed to last, you may look at a few other options.
If you are short on time, these are top three binoculars we would recommend for hunters.
These are the #1 ranked binoculars for the price.
This is our top ranked hunting binoculars if you're on a budget.
These are the best overall hunting binoculars.
- Leica Geovid HD-R (Best Overall)
- Vortex Viper HD (Best For The Money)
- Vortex Diamondback HD (Best Budget)
- Leupold BX-4 Pro HD (Best Low Light Conditions)
- Swarovski EL (Best Eye Relief)
Best Hunting Binoculars 2020
These are the 11 best binoculars for hunting.
The Leica Geovis 10×42 HD-R binoculars are the best hunting binoculars that you can get in 2020. These aren’t your average white tail hunting binocs, rather your western Rockies specialty.
Not only are these binoculars very powerful, but they also feature linear determination distance up to 2,750 yards, barometric pressure, temperature, angle, and other features to get the absolute best calculations for your shot.
And not to mention the fact that the lenses are HD. Which is some of the best that you can get for sharp colors and contrast.
The Leiva Geovid also has different modes. They are measuring mode, scan mode and single measurement.
With these binoculars you will be able to quickly scan a certain distance without any hassle.
Not only that, but these binocs are also water and fogproof.
Overall, there are a lot of great pairs of binoculars that you can get, but the Leica Geovid HD-R binocs are the best of them all.
Vortex Viper HD Roof Prism (Best For The Money)
These are the best hunting binoculars for the money. The Vortex Vipers don’t cost Leica prices, but perform as though they are. Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but they’re still amazing.
The lenses are HD, waterproof + fogproof, and feature XR anti-reflective lens coating. The Vipers also are equipped with Armotek which protects the lenses from getting scratched or damaged.
The lenses on the Viper are really good. Picking out horns on a Mule Deer buck now becomes far easier. That little tail of the Sitka buck over in Alaska is now visible. The little things that these binoculars are able to pick out change the game.
Not only that, but the material that makes up the exterior of the binoculars are grippy to reduce hand slip.
There are four different magnifications that you can get the Vortex Vipers in. These are the specs of the 10×42’s.
- Eye relief 17 mm
- FOV @1000 yards: 341
- Weight: 24.9 oz
- Dimensions: 5.6″ x 4.9″
If you are new to the optics and hunting area, Vortex is an elite binocular and scope brand. You can trust these guys, especially with their lifetime warranty!
Related: Best Vortex Binoculars
Vortex Diamondback HD (Best Budget Binocs)
The Vortex Diamondback HD binoculars are the best budget binoculars you can get for hunting. A huge advantage that you get with the Diamonbacks is that they come in a lot of different optics and magnifications. So you can get a pair of binoculars for the mountains, and a pair for the timber.
Obviously, being that the price is quite a bit lower than the first two binoculars on the list, they don’t hold as steady. But, these still have great optics and are both waterproof and fogproof. The lenses feature Armotek coating for resistance to scratches as well.
If you take a look at the difference between the Vortex Vipers and the Vortex Diamondback HD, the difference isn’t huge. You will find that the overall build and optics are just better in the Vipers though.
In my humble opinion, while you could use these binoculars for hunting the mountains, I wouldn’t. I’d recommend at least getting the Viper above… The Diamonbacks are a great pair of binoculars if you are hunting close range in Minnesota.
- 17 mm eye relief
- FOV @1000 yards: 393
- 21.8 oz
- Dimensions: 5.1″x5.7″
For a lot of Whitetail hunters and bowhunters, the Vortex Diamonback HD binoculars are the ticket. They’re inexpensive, durable and have quality optics.
Swarovski EL 42
The Swarovski EL 42 binoculars are another set of amazing hunting binocs. They are, by no means the cheapest binoculars on this list, but they are some of the best in terms of optics and technology. The magnification is 8.5x, the exit pupil diameter is 4.9 mm and the eye relief is 2o mm. (20 mm eye relief is really good for binocs.)
Typically a lot of hunters are getting binoculars that have an eye relief of 15 – 17 mm. 20 mm is very, very good. And the exit pupil diameter means that these binoculars are really good at brightening the scene, even in low light conditions.
Swarovski has very good customer service and warranty policies as well.
Overall, these are the best hunting binoculars in terms of quality and performance. The price tag isn’t cheap, but you can with one hundred percent certainty know that you are getting an elite pair of binocs.
The Leupold BX-4 Pro HD binoculars are meant for those of you that need extreme power where-ever you are. The magnification of these binocs is very powerful. Very similar to the Swarovski binocs or the Leica’s but not quite the price tag.
The magnification is 12x (if you haven’t realized yet, the first number is the magnification and the second is the field of view in mm). So the magnification of the Leupold BX-4 pros is very, very sharp. Not only that, but these use HD glass so the colors pop even more.
They’re waterproof, fogproof and also very lightweight. Only weighing in at 28.5 oz, which is really good for the amount of power that these have.
But probably the biggest asset these binoculars have to offer is the ability to see in low light conditions. The technology that Leupold uses to enhance the colors at dusk or in the morning gives hunters an additional half hour of glassing time. Think about it, an extra half of time to find the animal of your dreams, to get set up and make the perfect shot.
- 16 mm eye relief
- 12x magnification
- Twilight Max HD lenses
- Linear FOV @1000 yards: 263
- Weight: 28.5 oz
- Fog and water proof
That’s what these binoculars have to offer. They really, truly are a great set of hunting binocs.
Leica Trinovid HD
Back to Leica, we have the Trinovid HD binoculars. Again, definitely not the cheapest hunting binoculars that you can get, but they are some of the highest performing.
What you are getting in these binoculars are super sharp images and colors. They allow 90% of light in, which allows for very good low light spotting. The differences from the Leica Trinovid and other high end binoculars are that these are very compact and rugged.
Take these binocs hunting nearly anywhere in the world and you will find yourself with the same exact binoculars that you left with.
- 15 mm eye relief
- FOV @ 1000 yards: 355
- Watertight to 3ft
Another extremely popular pair of hunting binoculars are the Vortex Crossfire. Why are they so popular? Well, for one the price is very, very reasonable. For two, like all of Vortex’s products, they’re high quality. (And no, we’re not in any way shape or form sponsored by Vortex, I just really enjoy their products).
These binocs have impressive lenses, especially for how inexpensive the binoculars are. No, they don’t have the Armotek protecting the lenses like the previous Vortex binoculars, but the colors are still very bright.
And the overall build is sturdy with grip. These are the specs of the 10×42 Vortex Crossfires.
- 15 mm eye relief
- Fog and waterproof barrels
- FOV @1000 yards: 325
- Physical weight: 23.3 oz
- Dimensions: 6.0″ x 5.1″
Overall, these are another solid pair of hunting binoculars.
The Zeis Terra ED are the next best hunting binoculars. These are really good for stalk and spotting Mule Deer in North Dakota. The lenses are incredibly powerful with very sharp colors. They are also waterproof and feature nitrogen in the barrels for fogproof abilities.
- FOV @1000 yards: 330
- Dimensions:8.75″ x 6″
- Physical weight: 1.5 lbs
Overall, these are a solid pair of binoculars for the money. They have great long range capabilities and lenses are some of the best in the world.
The next best hunting binocs are the Nikon 7577 Monarchs. If you are looking for a solid Whitetail hunting setup, these are the way to go. They’re not super expensive, but they have quality lenses for glassing.
These are waterproof, fogproof and they also have flip down lens caps for protection.
Now, I’m not going to say that these are the best binocs you can get on this list, but I will say that these might be some of the most popular on Amazon.
They’ve got over 900 reviews with a plus 4.5 star rating.
That’s what you call a popular pair of binoculars.
I love the design of the Leupold BX-2 Alpine binocs. But not only do they look really good, they also perform very well out in the field.
These are a rugged set of binoculars… They’re 100% waterproof, fogproof and shockproof, making these some of the most durable binoculars you can get. The price tag is very nice as well.
I would recommend these for anyone hunting in closer ranges. The glass is very nice, but just not quite elite. They’re a solid set of lens.
- Physical weight: 24 oz
- Eye relief: 16 mm
- FOV @1000 yards: 326
- Fogproof, waterproof and shockproof
These are the last pair of binoculars to make the list. These are another pair of binocs that don’t cost the most, but are very durable in the field. The lens and steadiness isn’t the greatest, but you also aren’t paying Swarovski prices.
I’d recommend these to someone that needs a pair of hunting binoculars in a bad way, but doesn’t quite have the budget for the elite binoculars.
What to look for in hunting binoculars
For one, hunting binoculars have to be durable. They’re going to get dropped, scratched, thrown into the mud and dropped out of a deer stand. They need to have the strength to withstand the test of time.
Two, they have to have good lenses and awesome low light conditions. Usually when you are hunting, it’s not always mid day and sunny. The weather is always changing and no hunter wants to wait an hour past sun-up to start glassing.
You need something that can pick up the most light possible and show the colors early.
And lastly, a quality pair of hunting binoculars are at least waterproof and fogproof. Like I said above, the weather is changing quickly. You still are going to want binoculars even it’s humid or raining out.
What are the best hunting binocular brands?
When it comes to optics brands, the price spectrum is across the board. We’re going to cover a few of our favorite hunting binocular brands below because we love their product, not because of the price.
The brands we’ve listed below are some of the most trusted binocular brands by hunters, period. It’s important to understand that if you want the best binocular for hunting, regardless of what game you’re after, you have to pay. Same thing with rangefinder binoculars, bows, rifles, etc.
When it comes to binoculars, you absolutely get what you pay for. Here are our top binocular brands that have stood the test of time.
Swarovski is by far one of the most trusted brands in hunting binoculars. Used by the top guides and the best hunters for decades, if you’re thinking about investing in a lifetime pair of binoculars, consider buying Swarovski. It’s important to understand exactly what you’re getting with Swarovski, however.
How does Swarovski class their binoculars?
There are several different classes of binoculars offered by Swarovski, similar to most any brand in today’s marketplace.
First, we have the the Swarovski EL line: with the EL 32, EL 42, and the EL 50 binoculars. These are the best of the best from Swarovski. You’re going to spend a considerable amount of money on a set of EL binoculars from Swarovski, but you’ll likely not need another pair of binoculars, ever.
Second, the EL Range Binoculars: The EL range line from Swarovski currently has binoculars in the 10×42 spectrum, as well as 8×42.
Third, the SLC Binoculars:
Last but not least, the CL Binoculars: Swarovski describes these binoculars as “small in size, light in weight, but huge in optical performance”. The CL line is popular, just as all of their optics are, however it doesn’t get the most field use when it comes to hunting. They just have better, more durable binoculars.
Want to read more? Read our Complete Guide To Swarovski Binoculars