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Published Mar. 29, 2021

When you’re preparing for a hunting trip, you know that you need to pay special attention to your clothing, your rifle, your ammo, and your backpack — but are you choosing a quality pair of binoculars? Plenty of hunters think they can get by without carrying binoculars, but this single piece of supporting equipment can completely change your game. Binoculars can make every hunt more exciting and more successful, giving you better sight and more visibility when action happens. Almost as important as the weapon you choose, a good pair of binoculars can help you hit your targets, shoot with better accuracy, and even see in low- or no-light conditions outdoors. They’re a must-have whether you’re a novice or an expert.

Discover our picks for the best binoculars for hunting right here and make your next hunting excursion even more successful.

A pair of Adorrgon 12×42 Binoculars gives you absolutely everything you could need for your next hunting trip. These impressive and well-rounded binoculars weigh just 1.1 pounds, meaning they’re easy to carry and hold even for hours at a time. They deliver powerful 12x magnification and a large 367 feet over 1,000 yards field of view thanks to their 42-millimeter objective lenses. You can see clearly and sharply from as far as 650 feet away. A large 16.5 BAK4 prism delivers HD vision and high-quality, highly bright images. Even more importantly for hunters, though, is the clear low-light visibility these binoculars offer. You’ll be able to see in weak light — though not in total darkness — so you can hunt at early dawn and dusk. These binoculars are also built for the unpredictable environment of the outdoors; they’re waterproof, shock-resistant, and are built with rubber armor for a non-slip grip in any weather.

You don’t have to give up crisp, clear images or high-powered magnification if you’re hoping to get a great pair of binoculars on a budget — the Pankoo 10×50 Binoculars are proof of this. These binoculars won’t blow your entire budget, but they can offer an impressive level of clarity from over 800 feet away from your target. These 10×50 hunting-ready binoculars feature 10x magnification and a 50 millimeter objective lens diameter, The multi-layer coated aspherical lenses deliver clarity in any setting, including low lighting. With a 168 feet over 1,000 yards field of view, you can spot fast-moving game easily with these binoculars. And they’re highly durable, too. Constructed with a tough frame and a non-slip rubber finish, these binoculars can survive everything from impacts to shocks and more. Backed by a lifetime warranty, you can have faith in their reliability for a long time to come.

The Vortex Optics Diamondback 10×42 Roof Prism Binocular may be a costly investment, but it’s one that performs exceptionally well out in the field. These roof prism binoculars are equipped with 10x magnification and 42 millimeter objective lenses, multi-coated optics, and phase-corrected prisms. Able to offer close focus as near as five feet and one of the largest fields of view in its entire class, this product will give you striking images. With these binoculars in hand, you’ll be able to capture and detect moving or still game even in low light. Each pair of binoculars is constructed with rugged rubber armor along the exterior, and they’re waterproof and fogproof to survive any outdoor conditions. You’ll get a rainguard, objective lens covers, a comfortable neck strap, and a custom-molded carrying case, plus a VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty with your purchase, too. That warranty alone is highly valuable, allowing you to get your binoculars fixed at no cost, with no questions asked, for years to come.

If you don’t want to weigh yourself down with even more hunting gear, the Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars are the perfect pick. These small, highly portable binoculars are compact in their design so you can take them along anywhere — they even fit right into a pocket. However, despite their small size, they offer great results when it comes to imagery. With 12x magnification, 25 millimeter objective lenses, and a 273 feet over 1,000 yards field of view, you’ll be able to see large expanses of nature without any difficulty. Each pair features lenses coated with FMC Broadband coating and premium BAK4 prisms for realistic, crisp images. The adjustable eyecups may be small, but you can adjust them to suit your comfort whether you’re wearing glasses or not. And, most importantly of all, when you’re outdoors for hours at a time, these compact hunting binoculars are built for unpredictable weather. They’re made out of ABS plastic with non-slip rubber armor for a secure grip, and they’re water-resistant, too.

Achieving just the right focus level with a pair of binoculars can be tricky, as each adjustment is different. A pair of SkyGenius 10×50 Binoculars, however, makes it incredibly simple to achieve the focus you’re looking for. Featuring 10x magnification and a 50 millimeter objective lens diameter, you’ll be able to capture even fast-moving game over a field of view that stretches 367 feet over 1,000 yards. These binoculars for hunting feature a corrective optical coating over the lenses to improve color and minimize distortion. At the center of the binoculars is a large focus knob, which allows you to adjust and balance the vision of each eye. Simple to operate and even easy when you’re using a tripod, you’ll get just the right sharpness no matter how far away you are. These binoculars also perform well in weak or low light, thanks to their aspherical lenses and multi-layered coating for improved light transmission. Just keep in mind they won’t work in total darkness.

If you’re searching for a pair of binoculars that’ll adapt to your needs seamlessly, you’re going to want to choose Usogood 12×50 Binoculars. In addition to a pair of compact binoculars with 12x magnification and 50 millimeter objective lenses, you’ll get a handy accessory that can help you clearly see a field of view that stretches 374 feet over 1,000 yards. Each pair of binoculars comes with a phone adaptor that you can use with your smartphone plus a tripod. These extras allow you to use your binoculars in new ways — you can stabilize them, shoot and capture pictures, and so much more. Built with BAK4 prisms and multi-coated lenses, you’ll get crisp, clear images no matter how you use yours. A quick and easy-focus adjustment knob sits at the center so you can make changes based on how you’re using your binoculars. These binoculars even work for night vision, offering superior light transmission in low-visibility settings.

A pair of Bushnell PowerView 10x50mm Binoculars is a great option for hunters who are putting binoculars to use for the first time. They combine everything you need to enhance your visibility out in nature: 10x magnification and 50 millimeter objective lenses, plus a high-quality BAK7 prism and multi-coated optics for bright, clear results. Made with 100 percent quality materials, you’ll see with high-definition color and clarity. These binoculars instantly focus, a handy feature for first-time users, and the fold-down eyecups let you adapt whether you’re wearing glasses or not. The exterior of the binoculars features camouflage, non-slip rubber armor so you’ll always have a firm grip while they’re in your hands. Rugged enough to survive the rigors of the outdoors, you can use these casually, too, at sporting events, for birdwatching, or anywhere you need a magnified, close-up view. Each pair comes with everything you need, including lens covers, a cleaning cloth, and a carrying case.

Planning on putting your binoculars through the ringer? Make sure you choose the Hooway 7×50 Waterproof Binoculars. Designed for extreme environments, these binoculars are some of the toughest and most heavy-duty you’ll find. Able to survive marine uses, they’re completely waterproof — in fact, they actually float in water, so you’ll never have to worry if you drop them in a body of water. They’re also nitrogen-purged and fog-proofed, built with highly durable lenses and a fully sealed exterior that prevents clouding or moisture damage. With 7x magnification and 50 millimeter objective lenses, you’ll get a field of view that covers 396 feet at 1,000 yards. These binoculars for hunting use a Porro prism setup, with premium BAK4 prisms and fully multi-coated optics for crisp clarity. Another perk of these binoculars is the built-in illuminated compass, which helps you navigate and locate your position, and an internal rangefinder that helps you determine distance and the size of the objects you’re seeing.

No matter what you’re hunting, a pair of Lukang 10×42 Binoculars can help you see it clearly, with bright coloring and a high resolution. These binoculars adjust so you can achieve just the right results, with twist-up eyecups for your comfort, manual focus, and the ability to use the included phone adapter with your smartphone to record video and snap photos. With 10x magnification and 42 millimeter objective lens diameter, you’ll be able to bring local game closer to you, brightening and clarifying the landscape around you. With high resolution, contrast, and good light transmittance, you’ll see easily even in low-light conditions. Built with a multi-layer coated lens and BAK4 prism, you can see over a wide-ranging field of view. At a weight of just 1.1 pounds, these binoculars also make hunting more comfortable; they’re light in hand and easy to hold for long periods of time.

A pair of Free Soldier 20×50 Hunting Binoculars will allow you to hunt earlier and later, giving you more flexibility on your next hunting trip. Specifically designed for hunting game, these binoculars work exceptionally well in low or limited lighting. They deliver clear images in weak lighting, allowing for night vision when it’s needed with up to 99 percent light transmission at any time of day. With a lightweight build at just 1.6 pounds, each pair offers impressive 20x magnification and 50 millimeter objective lenses. You’ll be able to cover a large field of view and capture fast-moving subjects. With large 28 millimeter eyepieces, you’ll also be able to see without difficulty. These binoculars use BAK4 Porro prisms for high-definition results, and the green FMC anti-reflective coating improves sharpness and light transmission. You’ll also get excellent durability from these binoculars, thanks in part to their non-slip rubber grip pads that’ll keep your hands in place in any kind of weather.

Related: 8 hunting knives for the modern-day Jim Bowie

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I have nearly a year of experience reviewing products for Brookline Media’s websites, including The Drive and Car Bibles. My past reviews include best ATV bags, best solar chargers for backpacking, and best waterproof tents. I’ve also written historical articles for War History Online, how-to articles for WonderHowTo, and the nonfiction book Fidget! for Adams Media.

The most common types of binoculars for hunting

Binoculars can be tricky to distinguish — they all kind of look alike at first glance. However, as you compare different binoculars for hunting, you’ll quickly realize there are a few standout variations and a wide range of features between different models. Typically, binoculars are divided into types based on the kind of lenses they use and the visibility they offer. While roof prism and Porro prism are the two most common kinds, night vision binoculars are also an option for hunters. Here’s what you need to know about each variety.

Roof prism binoculars

Roof prism binoculars are the newer, more modern option available. These binoculars are streamlined, sleek, and lighter in weight than older binoculars, and they feature straight-lined tubes with roof prisms that deliver magnification. When light enters the binoculars’ lenses, it’s bounced around through a system of complex pathways before it reaches your eyes and the ocular lenses you’re looking through. As a result, you’ll get strong magnification and bright, clear images. 

Roof prism binoculars have a number of advantages. They’re perfect for hunters because they’re smaller and lighter in weight, which makes them more portable. These features also make them easier to hold for long periods of time. Roof prism binoculars also tend to offer higher magnification. However, they do tend to be more expensive than other options.

Porro prism binoculars

Porro prism binoculars are the older, more classic option. These were the very first kind of modern binoculars created in the 19th century, and they’re still popular today. Porro prism models send light through the objective lenses via triangular prisms, sending it through the binoculars in horizontal zig-zags. This amplifies any available light to deliver sharp, magnified images from a great distance. These kinds of binoculars are particularly great if you’re looking for a larger field of view, and they’re relatively simple in design.

Porro prism binoculars tend to be more affordable and available at a wide range of price points. However, they are heavier and bulkier than most other options. They also tend to feature lower magnification, so while the results are magnified, the magnification potential can be somewhat limited.

Night vision binoculars

Hunters in particular can benefit from choosing a pair of night vision binoculars. While both Porro prism and roof prism styles can offer night vision, this kind of binocular is usually more specialized than your average pair. And when you’re hunting at night or in low-light environments, standard binoculars simply aren’t going to meet your needs. Night vision options, however, include electronically assisted optics. They can take a small amount of available light and amplify it, delivering enhanced images.

You can actually see in the dark with a pair of night vision binoculars. You’ll get usable imagery and be better able to scope out and target your prey. However, true night vision binoculars tend to be quite expensive, and their electronic components can be more fragile.

What to look for when buying binoculars for hunting

As you consider and compare different binoculars, you’ll want to make sure you seek out a few particular features if you’ll be using your pair for hunting. 

First and foremost, you’ll want to look at the magnification and objective lens rating. You can easily determine this in the name of most binoculars — it’s styled as 8×42, for example, or 10×50. The first number is the magnification level and the second is the size of the objective lens (in millimeters). The higher the magnification, the sharper and more precise the images will be. Hunters typically want to look for magnification between 8x and 12x. For objective lenses, bigger is always better for brighter, clearer results.

Secondly, you’ll want to look for a large field of view. While you’re out in the wilderness scoping out game, you need to be able to cover a wide area easily and in just seconds. The larger the field of view from your binoculars, the more area you’ll be able to see without moving. This gives you more visibility and more convenience, allowing you to see your surroundings easily from one place.

The advantages of owning binoculars for hunting

Every hunter can benefit from carrying and using a pair of binoculars. No matter which kind you choose, binoculars will improve your whole hunting experience. You’ll have better visibility, which makes you more likely to be able to spot game. And, you’ll be able to scout clearly without blurriness or a loss of visibility simply because you have to stay back at a distance. 

You can benefit from having binoculars on hand no matter what or where you’re hunting. These versatile and highly capable tools give you so many advantages, including:

  • The ability to perfect your long-range scouting, watching for prey from a longer distance without missing any opportunities;
  • Better clarity and detail so you can spot footprints and trails more easily with improved sight;
  • High clarification that’s even better than what a rifle scope can offer, as binoculars offer more clarity, better low-light results, and sharper visibility;
  • The ability to easily calculate distance accurately; and
  • Improved accuracy so you know you’re always shooting the right prey in the right place — which can also prevent dangerous accidents.

Pricing ranges for binoculars for hunting

  • $50 or Less: If you’re looking for a quality pair of basic binoculars, there are plenty of great options priced under $50. Whether you’re searching for budget-friendly or mid-range quality, this is the price range to shop.
  • $50 to $150: Stepping up to this price range will introduce you to a whole host of different options. Between $50 and $150, you can find night vision binoculars, more capable and wider field of view options, and solid durability. 
  • $150 to $250: The most top-tier and highest-quality binoculars for hunting typically run between $150 and $250. These binoculars are the most advanced, made with the most premium materials, and offer more specialized benefits.

How we chose our top picks

In order to create our list of the best binoculars for hunting, we looked closely at the top-rated and most-reviewed product options available on Amazon. We took ratings and actual user reviews into consideration to assess each pair of binoculars’ effectiveness, sharpness, and benefits for hunting. 

Related: Stay out of sight with these 6 hunting blinds

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