It has become difficult to separate wheat from chuff in the current market. This is because of the vast array of commodities that have flooded the market, the majority of which are sub standardized and not worth your money. In case you it has been a tall order for you to choose the best binoculars for hunting, this guide will go a long way to help you in your choosing process.
Before grabbing that piece of optics being thrown at you, ensure you know your needs and preference and then correlate them with the features of the products in the market. It is important to know that the best binoculars for sporting may not be the best hunting binoculars. Below are some of the things to consider when choosing a pair of hunting binoculars.
How to choose the best hunting binoculars
It is important to note that the notion that the bigger the better doesn’t apply when it comes to the magnification of binoculars. For all types of hunting binoculars, a magnification ranging between 7x and 10x is adequate, if not more than adequate. Higher magnifications means lower image steadiness. This definitely reduces your shot accuracy. In case the 10x magnification isn’t enough for you, use a spotting scope to boost the magnification.
Typically, an objective lens of 40 or 42mm does work virtually in any hunting kind. The bigger the objective the greater the field of view hence more details can be seen. Though going for bigger objectives such as 50mm can’t be completely censured, the cost accompanied by the bigger objectives may not be worth it as the smaller ones can do well. Just know that the smaller the lens, the better the portability and the price. Don’t go lower then 30mm as this would be very unsatisfactory.
Field of View
This is in most cases depicted as FOV @ 1000 yards which implies the area in feet that a user can visualize with their optics 1000 yards away. It therefore means you should go for the biggest number possible, so that you can visualize as much details as possible. It’s however worth noting that in most cases, unless other technologies are used, the wider the FOV, the poorer the image quality.
Relative Brightness & The Exit Pupil
The objective size and the magnification are two factors responsible for determining the exit pupil size. The exit pupil allows light to get through to the user’s eyes. The exit pupil is found by dividing the objective lens size by the lens magnification. More light is allowed through if the exit pupil is higher hence it’s better to go for such.
Type of Prism
Two main prisms types exist namely: the porro and the roof prisms. The roof prism binoculars are lighter than the porro, also coming with slimmer dimensions due to its direct alignment with the eyepiece. Unfortunately, it is more expensive than the porro prism. The porro prisms are less compact and reflect light for times whereas the roof types reflects five times and are more compact. For lightweight, compact and best performance, the roof types will do whereas the porro will be best when it comes to cost effectiveness.
This is a crucial consideration only for those who wear glasses and would need to use the binoculars with their glasses on. The best definition of the eye relief is the distance you can hold you pair of optics from your eye without affecting the Field of View size you can see.
This are coatings on the glasses that are applied to increase light transmission thus improve image brightness and sharpness. In other words, coatings reduce or completely eliminate glare and light loss. Three types of coatings exist with the names: coated; fully coated; and fully multi-coated with the least being the former and the best being the latter. Fully multi-coated optics will do you a great good.
- Size and weight: The smaller and lighter the product, the better
- Weather proof and fog proof
- Binocular accessories such as straps, body harness and cases would be a great addition
- Cost: if you can afford going for the high end products, go for them rather than the cheap options
- Consider recommendations
- Brand and country of origin
Reviews of the Top 5 Best Hunting Binoculars
Canon 10×30 IS Ultra-Compact Binoculars
These Canon Pair of optics are really fantastic. This is the best hunting binoculars you can get in the market. In fact, it is the best binoculars for the money as it offers the best performance not only in hunting but also when it comes to safari, sporting events and birding or even a great accompanying accessory on a cruise. Featuring the Image Stabilization (IS) technology, the pair of optics is very unique from all the other binoculars in the market.
- Rubber coating for Water-resistance
- 10x magnification in such a compact design
- Inbuilt optical image stabilizer using 2 AA batteries
- Ultra compact and light weight best binoculars for hunting
- Just 21 ounces in weight
- Long enough eye relief of 14.5mm
- Super spectra multi-coated & lead-free lens
- Doublet filed-flattener for reduction of distortion of image from edge-to-edge
- Shaking is reduced by Image Stabilization feature hence great for object that are fast in motion
- IS also makes it great to use the product under high magnification
- Tripod isn’t necessary anymore, thanks to IS and lightweight construction
- Can be used for so many activities such as hunting, birding, racing etc
- Long enough eye relief thus a great product for those who wear glasses.
- The IS can easily be damaged if the product is accidentally dropped
- It isn’t waterproof hence can’t be used in rain
If you are a hunter and is looking for the best binoculars for the money, that you can comfortably and easily use to make that bloodshot target, then the IS 10x30 is the pair of optics to go for.
Steiner 210 Military-Marine 10x50 MM1050 Tactical Binocular
This Military-Marine pair of optics may be a little bit costly but one of the best binoculars for the money, thanks to the incredible features attributed to it. Some of the traits that make it a popular combat include the exceptional clarity, reliable optical performance together with the incredible toughness among others. The product also comes with the Sports-Auto-Focus system, specially designed and patented by Steiner.
- The Steiner’s Sports-Auto-Focus for sharp, crisp images no matter the closeness or farness without need of constant adjustment
- 10-years limited warranty
- Rugged Rubber-armored ergonomic coating and design
- Waterproof and also fog resistant
- Just 36 ounces weight
- 10x50mm binoculars
- Exceptionally soft and smooth silicone made eyecups
- Fully multi coated optic and BaK-4 porro prisms
- Tough rugged construction hence you don’t need to worry about the terrain
- Can be used in all weather conditions
- Great high powered optics for close and distant viewing
- Great performance at twilight
- A little bit costly
The Steiner 210 MM 1050 has been designed for the provision of maximum brightness whereas supplying a magnification power of 10x. With fully multi-coated optics together with rugged rubber craftsmanship, the product is one of the best hunting binoculars you can use in making those accurate shots while hunting the elk, antelope and mule deer among others.
Carson 3D Series High Waterproof Definition Binoculars
The Carson 3D Series have well been manufactured with high end solutions and have stood the test of the times for a couple of years now. This series of binoculars have a great history to live for, thanks to them for making a name for them. The 3D series is great as its performance during the day is wow and impressive under low light conditions. Be assured of getting bright & crisp, sharp images both at dawn and at dusk.
- Comes with accompanying accessories such as the neck strap and the shoulder harness, lens cloth and a Deluxe Carry Case
- Comes in three different sizes and magnifications namely 8x42mm, 8x32mm as well as the 10x50mm
- The eye relief is extra long
- Best America’s Binocular No-Fault & No-Hassle replacement or repair warranty
- Rubberized armor coating for tough terrain
- All weatherproof for tough weather
- ED glasses included for enhanced sharper and brighter images
- It is compact and lightweight hence great to look at and easy to carry
- Bright and great quality image production
- Quality accompanying accessories such as the neck strap and the harness
- Easy and quick to use
- A wider field of view would have been better
- No lens covers
The product is ideal for use in wildlife observation and targeting. Though their FOV is narrower, the binoculars will still do a great job when it comes to birding among other activities. The fact that it can be effectively and efficiently used for a number of activities makes it one of the best binoculars for the money.
Polaris Optics WideViews Professional Bird Watching 8X42 HD Binoculars
Despite featuring a big size, the Polaris 8x42 HD pro pair of optics is the best bird watching and by extension, the best hunting binoculars. Even with its size, it is objective to say that with the features it has, the product is compact. There is no way with such incredible features it could have been more compact. With the automatic focus adjustment feature, clear images are easily produced by this pair of optics.
- Field of view is extra wide
- Nitrogen purged and sealed design for Waterproof and fog proof
- Phase-correction coating on the high index prisms for sharp optical quality
- Great close focus performance
- Great for bird watching and animal hunting
- Lifetime warranty
- Automatic focus adjustment
- Bright image performance and clarity no matter the distance
- Easy focusing, thanks to the automatic focus adjustment feature
- Sturdy construction for effective use in all terrains
- Compact and lightweight construction hence ease to travel and move with
- Eye piece adjustability is great and eye relief good
- Its price is quite high but if you aren’t on a tight budget, the product doesn’t have a downside
The product comes with great optical features for maximum possible image performance and incredible mechanical features that enhance its durability and great performance even in tough terrain and extreme weather conditions. With an extra wide FOV, and the great optic features, the product, though quite expensive is worth every single cent of yours hence the very best binoculars for the money.
Bushnell Falcon 7x35 Binoculars
The 7x35 Falcon, by Bushnell, features an excellent design thus making it a great pair of binoculars for sightseeing outings, hunting, exploration, sporting events, concerts and hikes among others. This pair of optics offers the user with an exceptionally wide FOV, something that is greatly attributed to the Porro prism system they use. With a handsome magnification, they are capable of producing crisp clear images, regardless of the distance which the object is positioned.
- 12mm eye relief together with a 5mm exit pupil
- 100% quality building materials
- Quality optics together with great HD clarity
- 420-ft FOV @ 100yards
- Close focus distance of 20ft
- Auto focusing porro prism with 7x Magnification
- Aesthetic design and durable construction
- 21 ounce weight
- Excellent auto-focus
- Great pricing
- Good sharpness and clarity of image
- BK-7 glass prism it uses are less superior than the now popular BaK-4 glass prisms
- Not weather proof
- Would have been nice if the lenses were fully multi-coated rather than just fully coated.
The 7x35 Bushnell binoculars features the much sought for filly-coated lenses which makes it possible for the resolution to be excellent and light transmission superior. With the renowned InstaFocus feature as an addition, the product emerges as one of the best binoculars for hunting as rapidly moving objects can easily be kept on focus.
It takes time to purchase that absolute piece of optics that is the best binoculars for hunting. It requires a little bit of efforts if you are to end up with the right product. It is important that you first do enough research by reading a couple of customer reviews, and knowing the details of the products in the market before you can make a decision. All in all, you need to have a clear understanding of the objective lens types and size, the magnifications, the field of View, eye relief, prism types and the focus type. You also need to go for the product with durability factors such as fog proof and water proof if you need them, dust and debris resistance and generally sturdy binoculars that can last for long even in the toughest terrain. These combined with the reviews of products in the market will never allow you to go wrong.