All hunting binoculars aren’t made equal.
Any set worth your attention must allow you to see images clearly as far as 1,000 yards.
On top of that, the ideal bino for hunting shouldn’t fog easily. It shouldn’t cause eye aches, either, even after prolonged use.
When choosing your binoculars, you want one that’s glare-free, which allows you to use the ‘nocks anytime, even during sunsets.
High quality binoculars must deliver enough focus depth. That way, you don’t have to adjust the focal knob whenever your target comes close or moves away from you.
Before we go over what you should consider when looking for good binoculars, let’s get a few basics out of the way first.
For starters, binoculars are typically described using two numbers separated by an X.
For example, 8 x 32, 12 x 50 or 10 x 40
The first number before the X represents magnification, while the latter refers to the objective lens diameter. The magnification and objective diameters are in millimeters.
That said, here’s what you should consider when buying binoculars for hunting.
Magnification refers to the magnifying ability of the binoculars or rifle scope.
A pair of binoculars of 10x, for instance, allows you to view the images as if you were 10 times closer to the target. On the other hand, 8x magnification brings the images 8 times closer.
The best binoculars for hunting should offer enough magnification to suit your needs.
As a rule of thumb, pick a pair that offers 8x to 10x magnification if you don’t plan to use a tripod in the hunting field.
Of course, the choice of 8x or 10x depends on preferences. Still, 8x models are excellent for Eastern hunting grounds.
Zoom binoculars with 10x magnification can come in handy when hunting in the West primarily because of their extra magnifying power.
2. Objective Lens Diameter
When it comes to the objective lens diameter, the crucial thing to remember is that the more the diameter, the sharper and brighter the images.
An 8x40 binoculars will deliver brighter and sharper images than an 8x25 model. And, despite both models having the same magnification power.
When purchasing binoculars, you’ll come across three objective diameters marked as follows; 30, 40, and 50 — or 32, 42, and 50.
If you’ll be using your binoculars for purposes other than hunting, it’d be best to pick a 40-objective diameter. A 30 or 32 model is great if you’re looking for something lightweight. If you don’t mind the extra weight, a 50-objective lenses diameter will serve you well.
3. Roof Prism Vs. Porro Prism
Prism refers to how an object is “righted” after passing through a binocular’s objective lens.
Roof prism binoculars have two straight barrels. Porro prism models, on the other hand, feature a barrel that bulges beyond the eyepiece.
Porro prism binoculars sport an antique design and deliver a brighter image than their roof prism counterparts of the same optical quality, objective lens size, and magnification.
Roof prism binoculars are light, easier to carry, and narrower. On top of that, they feature a robust body and withstand the rigors of frequent use. Plus, they're a good pair if you're looking for waterproof binoculars.
When pitted against each other, roof prism models are superior if you’re looking for a quality pair for hunting.
4. Glass Coating
The glass coating on hunting binocular lenses is crucial in determining well you can view your target from a distance.
Good lens coatings minimize light reflection off the binocular’s glass surfaces to enhance the image.
Without uncoated lenses, the objective-to-ocular lens light transmission can be less than 70 percent. Good lens coating can increase the transmission to 95 percent.
Glass coating is further divided as follows:
- Coated Optics: One major optical lens is coated on at least one surface.
- Fully Coated Optics: All glass surfaces and all lenses have a coated layer.
- Multi-Coated Optics: One of the major optical lenses is coated with multiple layers of reflective compounds.
- Fully Multi-Coated Lenses: All glass lens surfaces feature multiple coatings, enabling them to reduce light transmission by 90 to 95 percent.
Roof prisms binoculars use phase coatings to improve contrast and resolution.
Porro prism ‘nocks” don’t have phase coatings. When buying room prism binos, ensure they have phase correction coatings.
Speaking of coatings, you should also consider a binos external coating.
High-quality rubber armor coating can offer a secure, non-slip grip and external protection, so ensure your binoculars have it.
In addition, quality optics come with nitrogen and argon filling to reduce fogging inside the binoculars. Ensure your binos have it.
What, you need to check if the pair has a warranty. The best hunting binoculars should have a lifetime warranty. Think of the warranty as an assurance by the manufacturer of their product’s quality.
While some manufacturers of hunting binoculars will charge you to repair broken pieces, others will replace them free of charge.
You want to buy your bino’s from a brand that will repair or replace defective products, irrespective of who’s to blame.
5. Binocular Harness
Some hunters prefer padded neck-straps to carry their binos. However, there are better alternatives.
Chest carriers will ensure your binoculars are bounce-free on the hunting ground. Besides, most chest carriers have a small pocket to keep things such as diaphragm calls, lens close, and some additional ammo.
Other things to consider when buying hunting binoculars include:
- Clarity Steadiness: Buy a tripod to help keep your binos steady in the bushes. A tripod can help you counter the effects of fatigued muscles, heavy breathing, wind, etc.
- Field of View: You want a pair of binoculars that can comfortably deliver stellar image quality for objects as far as 1,000 yards. The wider the field of view, the easier it is for you to search for your target without moving your binos.
- Eye Relief: Look for hunting binoculars that offer longer eye relief to enable you to use your ‘nocks for an extended period without fatigue.
- Exit Pupil: Good binoculars deliver a brighter and sharper image because they can capture more light than your naked eye. So, look for a pair with a reasonable exit pupil.
You can calculate the fit by dividing the objective lenses size by your bino magnification. Because much of the hunting occurs in low light conditions, a bino with an exit pupil of 4 to 5 mm is ideal.
…Bonus Point: Consider the Bino’sTechnology
When buying hunting binoculars, you want a pair with state-of-the-art technology.
The more advanced your ‘nocks are, the easier it’ll be to get the desired result.
Touted as the best binoculars for hunting, the Stealth Vision Bino is a piece of art.
Designed by an eye doctor, the Stealth Vision 10x42 binoculars delivers the same image clarity as 12x50 models.
Further, it’s one of the most compact binoculars you can get, making it easy to use and carry during your hunting trips.
Even more impressive, the hunting binoculars feature the same technology used in surgical microscopes to improve light and color transmission.
The Stealth Vision Binocular is the clearest and the lightest pair of binoculars ever made. Talk of getting value for your money!
The Bottom Line
Stick to the tips above when looking for the best hunting binoculars. That way, you can spend your money on ‘nocks that deliver value.
Our recommendation? The Stealth Vision Binoculars for hunting.