Hunting binoculars – Buying guide & Comparison
In the market for the best binoculars for hunting? If you have no time to waste, perhaps this paragraph might be able to give you a useful piece of advice. Based on the opinions of hunters in the United States, we’ve found that the Bushnell PowerView is one of the highly recommended choices out there especially as it boasts several features you might be interested in. The high-quality optics that this unit has been outfitted with can ensure you get a good glimpse of your target. The camo design blends in the environment so that you don’t risk scaring off the animals you’re trying to take a peek at. As the PowerView is a 10x50mm alternative, it’s mostly destined for people who have steady hands. If this model doesn’t seem to suit you, perhaps you might enjoy trying out the Nikon 8264 ACULON.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect Nikon hunting binoculars or have nothing against choosing one manufactured by some other brand, you’ve come to the right place. To make it easier for you to separate the wheat from the chaff, we’ve compiled all the useful info you need to consider in a comprehensive guide.
To learn how to make an informed decision and one that leaves you with a product that meets and even exceeds your expectations, just keep on reading.
With most devices that deal with optics, in general, you’re probably tempted to think that a higher magnification power is always better. This rule applies in the case of microscopes, for instance, so why shouldn’t it with binoculars?
The fact of the matter is that, with a higher magnification, the image you will be looking at will suffer from each and every one of your hand moves. Unless you have super powers or an extremely steady hand, you probably need to stick to models that come with a magnification of about 10x and less.
Birders, for example, prefer models of which the magnification ranges from 6x to 8x, in most cases, and that’s because they’re hardly interested in carrying a hefty tripod with them. Hunters can be more creative than that, however, as they can purchase a convenient and somewhat small monopod that can be carried with ease.
Many zoom binoculars are also not waterproof, and when you’re out and about and looking to target that deer, bear, moose, or coyote, you definitely want to make sure that an occasional shower won’t damage your binoculars forever. So, while a superior magnification is always to be preferred, it might have a negative impact on your experience.
Objective lens diameter
This is the second number you’ll see in most product descriptions. With a larger objective lens diameter, you’ll be able to see more detail. This rule is rather simple, but it is important to note that a 50mm lens is far less budget-friendly compared to a 40mm one, especially if it has been manufactured by a company like Zeiss or Nikon.
Also, you need to make sure that you’re getting good hunting binoculars on a budget, and that’s where the size of the objective lens might take a toll on your finances. Anything under 30mm is less than satisfactory, so try to stick to models that have an objective lens diameter of at least 40mm.
This diameter can also be correlated to the overall size of the product, so if you want a lightweight pair, you might have to deal with a lack of precision in terms of the image it can offer you. On the other hand, superior diameters are synonymous with bulky designs, so they might affect portability, in the end.
Eye relief is a major factor to take into account if you wear eyeglasses or sunglasses. You have to be able to hold the binoculars at a comfortable distance and still get the whole picture. Since this detail has become more and more important over the years, it has started to show up in most product descriptions.
Still, it wouldn’t hurt if you took the time to read some of the best hunting binoculars reviews, especially if you wear eyeglasses on a daily basis. Don’t settle for an eye relief of less than 14 to 15mm as it might be uncomfortable and render the product unusable.
With more coatings, you won’t have to see any light reflection or experience any light loss. Glare is a pain, and that’s something all hunters are aware of, but it’s also quite difficult to look at a target at nighttime if the binoculars don’t have enough optical coatings.
Most of the models you’ll come across these days can, in this sense, be coated, fully coated, multi-coated, and fully multi-coated. It goes without saying that the last are the best, on this account, as they have multiple layers on all air-to-glass surfaces. They will be able to provide you with crystal clear images both during the day when the sun is shining brightly in the sky and at night when you need you need your binoculars to be capable of gathering a bit more light from the environment.
It’s rather difficult to tell whether the model you are eyeing boasts good-quality optics or not. If you’re getting it online, it might be even harder as you can’t even look at it. Nonetheless, there are some pointers to bear in mind, such as the brand that has manufactured the lenses.
If you’re getting a unit made by Nikon, Leica, Zeiss, or even Bushnell or Vixen, you can practically rely on the theory according to which these brands make the best hunting binoculars for the money. While some might cost a pretty penny, you will inevitably enjoy using them for a more than decent amount of time.
Weight and size
Last, but not least, you should also look at your physical attributes and try to correlate them with the binoculars you’re going to spend your pennies on. If you aren’t particularly strong and tend to feel tired after a hike, the last thing you might need would be a heavy and cumbersome pair.
On the other hand, if you have nothing against carrying a somewhat hefty unit around your neck, feel free to get one of these. People say that heavier gadgets and devices are often better than their lighter counterparts, and unfortunately, this is often true. As the rule applies with binoculars, as well, you might have to reassess your priorities and try to find a way to comfortably transport your hunting optics.
A reasonable method would be to purchase and utilize a harness where you can hang your binoculars so that they don’t have to hang around your neck. If you’re worried about image shakiness, don’t hesitate to invest in a convenient and well-made monopod that you can take everywhere.
While some people might be tempted to think that such units have to be camo hunting binoculars in order to be destined for this purpose, this is a myth. However, you do have to pay attention to the design of the product, to a certain extent, as you don’t want it to blow your cover.
Top hunting binoculars reviews in 2017
In the hopes that our hunting binoculars buying guide has managed to shed some light on the details you ought to bear in mind, we recommend considering the following suggestions. It appears that the next models are critically acclaimed despite the fact that some have a magnification power of 10x. Maybe you can counteract this inconvenience.
As one of the most popular choices out there, these Bushnell hunting binoculars manage to meet and even exceed the expectations of most consumers.
Because they have been outfitted with high-quality optics, they do the job right how they’re supposed to.
The 10x50mm alternative is both durable and beautifully designed, and the camo pattern allows you to blend in the natural environment from which you’ll be watching your targets. It’s very likely that you’ll find the product particularly comfortable to use, even if you usually wear eyeglasses. It comes with fold-down eyecups.
Some of the individuals who own the unit say that the focus is bright and clear and that this feature allows them to get the most out of the model.
Other buyers argue that a better alternative is recommended for strenuous activities such as hunting, so you may have to be prepared to invest a bit more money if you’re looking for a high-end pair.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($54.34)
Nikon 8264 ACULON
If portability is what you are searching for in binoculars, you’ll find the Nikon 8264 enjoyable. They are so compact that they weigh less than ten ounces. The small design allows you to wear the pair around your neck without ever feeling a bit of strain or fatigue.
As for magnification power and objective lens diameter, the 10×25 unit appears to be a winner in this sense.
Since it comes with multicoated Eco-Glass lenses, the quality of the optics that this model has been outfitted with is no matter for discussion. The focus is both smooth and fast, so you won’t lose your potential target because your binoculars aren’t working properly.
Something that needs to be added in regards to this option is that it isn’t fog proof and waterproof so you might have to use it only during the warm season.
However, this does not seem to bother most owners especially as they say that the Nikon model offers more than enough value for the money.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($79)
Bushnell Trophy 334212
Given that the Trophy 334212 is available in three magnification powers, you’ll be able to choose just the right one for your needs.
Regardless of your selection, however, it should be noted that this model has an ergonomic design which allows you to hold it comfortably in your hands.
Besides, the unit is both waterproof and fog proof, so it’s definitely designed to be rugged and reliable even under harsh circumstances.
The 334212 comes with lens covers, so you will be able to take care of the pair so that it lasts for a good deal of time. While the binoculars aren’t as affordable as some of the other choices we have showcased in our selection, you’ll need to decide whether or not you’re ready to make an investment.
The owner feedback that this unit has received is mostly favorable. Some hunters say that they are light and small, but they get the job done just fine.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($105.99)
Leupold 119198 BX-1
Leupold is a big name in the industry of manufacturing binoculars, whether they are destined for activities such as hunting or not.
This particular unit boasts a magnification of 10x42mm, so you should check them out if you don’t suffer from a bad case of shaky hands.
The 119198 is waterproof and comes with lens covers. What’s more, a case is included in the deal, so you don’t have to purchase it separately.
Something that needs to be added about the 119198 is that it is made in China, although the quality is all Leupold, as attested by some of the people who were kind enough to write reviews and let the world know how these binoculars perform.
Moreover, the unit is covered by a lifetime warranty which is a reassuring detail to take into account. Some of the buyers say that the rubber lens covers aren’t particularly good as they tend to fall off too easily.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($119.99)
Bushnell Compact Folding
This roof-prism binocular comes with a magnification of 8x and an objective diameter of 21mm.
This feature ensures that you can use the model conveniently and comfortably especially as they boast a simple, unique, and clean design that will allow you to carry them with ease.
The center focus system that the unit has been outfitted with also enables you to get sharp and clear images and enjoy the sight, for a change.
The multicoated optics are also worth mentioning, and that’s because they can guarantee that the sneak peeks you’ll get of your target will be bright.
As with the Leupold option, we have mentioned earlier on, this one is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. So, unless you don’t care too much for prolonging the life of the product, you can actually return it and get a refund it if you don’t find that it’s the right one for you.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.99)