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A good pair of binoculars can be the difference between getting that huge multi-point buck you were aiming for and walking up to discover that it was actually just a two-pointer.
It’s not practical to glass everything through your rifle scope. So, binoculars are pretty much a necessity for hunting.
Our Best Choice
Nikon Prostaff 7s Binocular 42mm
SPOILER: There are a ton of options at just about every price. If you just want to cut to the purchase, get the Nikon Prostaff 7s Binocular 42mm. They’re reasonably priced, and equipped with the lenses that have made Nikon legendary in the photography and optics industry.
For those of you who want to scan the field a bit before shooting your shot, we’ll cover all the best options. That way, you can get the binoculars that suit you best.
Best Binoculars for Hunting Reviews: Taking in the Landscape
Our winning binoculars get the first spot. We’ll roll out the rest in order of price, from almost free to debt inducing.
Let’s see what we’ve got.
1. Nikon Prostaff 7s Binocular 42mm - Best Overall Binoculars for Hunting
The Nikon Prostaff 7s Binocular 42mm is one of the most respected binoculars on the market. These binoculars are built to Nikon’s exacting standards and tough enough to handle the rough stuff.
All the lenses are Fully Multilayer coated with Nikon’s proprietary lens coatings that deliver excellent image clarity and vivid color. This produces a high contrast image that makes it easy to identify even those animals with effective natural camouflage, so you never miss an opportunity.
Additionally, the 42mm objective lenses and Nikon’s ultra clear glass maximize light transmission to help you spot game at dawn and dusk.
The eyecups are adjustable. So, it’s easy and comfortable to use these binoculars with or without glasses.
Lastly, the entire exterior is covered in rubber armoring for improved grip in all conditions and with sweaty hands. The rubberized housing also adds impact resistance. So, these binoculars will last through your roughest expeditions.
The overall performance is excellent. However, these binoculars do run on the heavy side. They won’t break your back or anything. But, there are lighter options. Also, you may want to replace the included lens caps, as they are a bit flimsy.
But, the downsides are more than worth it. The price and performance makes these binoculars an excellent choice for any hunter, and they might be the best binoculars for western hunting.
2. Bushnell Falcon 7x35 Binoculars - Budget Binoculars for Hunting
Bushnell has a long standing reputation for producing affordable, high-quality gear. The Bushnell Falcon 7x35 Binoculars offer a blend of affordability and performance that’s hard to find anywhere else.
The lenses are fully multi-coated for superior light transmission. And, Bushnell has equipped these binoculars with an Instafocus feature that makes it easy to focus quickly when shifting targets or following moving animals.
These binoculars are also equipped with fold-down eyecups, which make it easier to get a clear focus with or without glasses.
Although the optics are impressively clear, these binoculars only offer 7x magnification.
Also, the 35mm objective lenses collect a good amount of light. But, the image might be a little dark in very dark environments.
Overall, these binoculars produce an excellent image. But, some hunters may want more powerful binoculars.
Even so, these are an excellent option for hunters on a budget, and those who primarily hunt in daylight and don’t need extremely powerful optics.
3. Nikon 8x42 Prostaff 3S Binocular - Binoculars for Hunting Under $100
If you’re looking for an excellent set of binoculars for under $100, the Nikon 8x42 Prostaff 3S Binocular is hard to beat. There just aren’t many binoculars that offer such high quality and performance in this price range.
First, the binoculars come in two configurations:
- The 8x42 variant, which is an excellent all-purpose binocular that’s suitable for almost any type of hunting.
- The 10x42 variant, which is the best option for hunters who need more magnification for hunting in wide open landscapes or to identify smaller animals. These are also an excellent binoculars for birding.
Both variants feature Nikon’s proprietary full multicoated lenses and ultra clear glass. And, the 42mm objective lenses collect a lot of light. So, the image is bright and clear enough to pick out game in low contrast environments.
The eyecups are adjustable to accomodate prescription or protective eyewear.
Like many other Nikon binoculars, the exterior is coated in rubber armoring. So, these are easy to hold onto, even in wet conditions. And, the rubber coating provides good impact resistance, in case you do drop them.
Unfortunately, the lens caps are pretty cheap. So, you may want to replace those.
And, some users have noticed a little bit of distortion around the edges of the image. It doesn’t interfere with viewing. But, you may want to get something else if you plan on using your binoculars for pictures or video.
But, these are a great option for budget-minded hunters who want binoculars capable enough for any terrain or game at a decent price.
4. Bushnell Green Roof Trophy Binoculars 10x42 - Value Binoculars for Hunting
The Bushnell Green Roof Trophy Binoculars 10x42 offer a moderate step up from Bushnell’s budget binoculars. They’re still in the budget-friendly zone. But, these binoculars punch above their weight in terms of performance.
The 10x magnification and fully multi-coated lenses produce a clear image that’s excellent for spotting game from really far away. There’s also a fast focus feature that helps you dial in the focus quickly when you’re panning or switching to new targets.
Additionally, the 42mm objective lenses collect a lot of light for a bright image in dawn and dusk environments. All the optical features make these binoculars excellent for hunting in any terrain, at any time of day.
The exterior is coated in a rubber layer to make these binoculars more grippy and impact resistant. You’re less likely to drop them. But, if you do, they’ll hold up.
These binoculars also come with flip up lens covers, which are convenient. Unfortunately, the lens caps are not particularly durable. Also, these binoculars come in at just over two pounds, which is a bit on the heavy side.
Even with the downsides, these are some of the best binoculars for the money, for any type of hunter.
5. Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars - Binoculars for Hunting Under $200
Vortex Optics equipment usually runs on the high end of the price spectrum. But, the Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars come in at a middle-of-the-road price point, and deliver great performance.
First, they’re available in a whole bunch of configurations:
- 8x42 is the optimal all-purpose binocular for hunting.
- 10x42 for those who need a bit more range on their optics or who hunt smaller game.
- 12x50 for those who need extreme long-range optics and excellent image clarity in low light conditions. If you bump up to the 12x50 variant, you’ll bust above $200 by a few dollars.
If you have the budget, you can bump up to the Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars. They’re similar to the Diamondback binoculars, but have better lens coatings for a clearer image and better color fidelity.
So, there’s an option for everyone.
No matter which variant you get, the fully multi-coated lenses and excellent glass will produce a bright and clear image in any landscape. And, 42mm or 50mm objective lenses take in enough light to spot animals at dawn and dusk.
To help you customize the fit, the eyecups are adjustable. So, these are comfortable with or without glasses. Also, the focus of each eyepiece can be adjusted individually, to really customize the focus for your eyes.
The only trouble with the focus adjustments is that there are a lot of them. Some users have found these to be tricky to focus. But, Vortex provides instructions in the box.
On the exterior, the housing is coated in rubber armoring to give you good grip and improve the durability.
Overall, these binoculars are a great buy for anyone who wants excellent performance, but isn’t quite ready to fork over the money for super high-end binoculars.
6. Athlon Optics Midas Roof Prism UHD Binoculars - Binoculars for Hunting Under $300
The Athlon Optics Midas Roof Prism UHD Binoculars pack in a lot of lens technology without jacking up the price too much.
The lenses feature three different technologies:
- ED glass for maximum light transmission and minimal color diffusion.
- ESP dielectric coating for more vivid colors and higher image resolution.
- Full multi-coating transmits 99% of the available light to your eye.
That’s a lot of techy words. What it all means is that these binoculars produce a clear enough image to find and identify animals in any terrain.
And, the image is bright enough that you’ll be able to use your binoculars at the very edges of dawn and dusk.
Also, these binoculars are available in a few configurations:
- 8x42 for all-purpose hunting use.
- 10x42 for long-range hunters.
- 10x50 for long-range hunting in low light.
- 12x50 for ultimate long-range, low-light performance.
The 10x50 and 12x50 models are going to run you a bit more than $300. But, the other two are totally doable on a $300 budget.
No matter which variant you get, you’ll get twist-up eyecups for viewing with or without glasses. And, each eyepiece has an adjustable focus for a customized focus.
These binoculars are waterproof. There’s texturing to help you keep a hold of them. However, there’s no armoring on the exterior. But, they’re still plenty durable.
All in all, the drawbacks are very minor. The image quality and configuration options make these binoculars an excellent choice for any hunter who’s willing to spend a little to get top-notch optics.
Heading Back to Camp
You can hunt without binoculars. But, it makes your life in the field a lot harder. And, you can use your hunting binoculars for lots of other things like bird watching, viewing sports games from the nosebleed section, and long-range sport shooting.
Nikon Prostaff 7s Binocular 42mm
If you want a pair of binoculars that hits all the important points without hitting your wallet too hard, get the Nikon Prostaff 7s Binocular 42mm. They’ve been tried. They’ve been proven. You can’t go wrong.
Now that you’ve scanned all the options, get yourself some binoculars and stop squinting off into the distance.