Best Binoculars for Hunting of 2024 Tested and Reviewed

Best Binoculars for Hunting of 2024 Tested and Reviewed

The Best Binoculars for Hunting of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

More reliable than a rifle and more portable than a pack, a binocular is essential to a hunter. A good binocular brings far-away objects closer and helps you find animals, identify approach routes, and see your surroundings in vibrant high resolution.

Additionally, a good binocular can save you miles of walking by glassing prospective areas. I’ve used binoculars to find my lost pickup long after sunset.

While binoculars may seem similar, they actually have many differences. Do you prioritize magnification or field of view? Do you prefer a durable closed-bridge design or a more fragile open-barreled one? Do you need an integrated laser rangefinder, or is low-light capability more important to you?

This review will help you find the best hunting binocular for your specific terrain, game species, hunting style, and budget.

Best Overall: Zeiss SFL 8×40

– Optical Performance: Very Good

– Mechanical Performance: Excellent

– Design: Excellent

– Price/Value: Very Good

Key Features:

– Double-hinge, open-barrel design

– Right-barrel diopter control

– Oversized focus wheel

– Extremely light weight

– Also available in 10×40, 8×30, and 10×30 models

Pros:

– SmartFocus wheel zooms from close focus to infinity in 1.4 turns

– DoubleLink Bridge enables good barrel grip

– Premium glass and coatings

– 4.9-foot close focus

– 22.6 ounces

Cons:

– Fairly expensive at $1,500

– Straps and case are average

The Zeiss SFL offers high-quality performance at a more affordable price compared to other premium binoculars. The image is sharp and vibrant, and the focus wheel is smooth and responsive. It also has a lightweight design, making it ideal for long hikes.

Best Value: Vortex Triumph HD 10×42

– Optical Performance: Fair

– Mechanical Performance: Good

– Design: Good

– Price/Value: Very Good

Key Features:

– Single-hinge, closed-bridge design

– Roof-prism design

– Right-barrel diopter control

– Fully transferable lifetime warranty

– Tripod adaptable

Pros:

– Ships with excellent GlassPak harness

– 22.9 ounces

– Affordable price under $100

Cons:

– Significant peripheral distortion

– Feels somewhat flimsy

The Vortex Triumph HD offers good value for its affordable price. It comes with a convenient harness and has a lightweight design. However, it does have some distortion and may feel somewhat flimsy.

Best for Bowhunting: Maven B.7 8×24

– Optical Performance: Good

– Mechanical Performance: Very Good

– Design: Very Good

– Price/Value: Good

Key Features:

– Double-hinge, closed-bridge design

– Right-barrel diopter control

– Extra-low-dispersion glass

– Extremely compact design

– Also available in 10×24

Pros:

– Weighs just 12.4 ounces

– Highly textured focus and diopter controls

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– Excellent treestand or turkey-vest optic

– Distinctive orange accents

Cons:

– Too small for open-country glassing

– Controls hard to manipulate with gloves

The Maven B.7 is a compact binocular designed for portability and use in tight quarters. It has excellent optics and a lightweight design, making it ideal for treestand hunting or turkey hunting. However, it may not be suitable for open-country glassing and can be difficult to manipulate with gloves.

Best for Western Hunting: Vortex Razor HD 10×42

– Optical Performance: Very Good

– Mechanical Performance: Very Good

– Design: Very Good

– Price/Value: Good

Key Features:

– Single-hinge, open-barrel design

– Right-barrel diopter control

– Oversized focus wheel

– Oversized eyecups

– Also available in 12×50, 8×42, and 10×50 models

Pros:

– Nicely balanced

– Excellent glass

– One-hand operation

– Excellent warranty and customer service

– Ships with binocular harness

Cons:

– Fairly pricey at about $1,200

– Barrels can become slick

The Vortex Razor HD offers a well-designed, high-performance binocular suitable for Western hunting. It has excellent glass, a smooth focus wheel, and comfortable eyecups. It also comes with a binocular harness and has a great warranty. However, it is a bit expensive and the barrels can become slick.

Best Rangefinding Binocular: Leupold BX-4 Range 10×42

– Optical Performance: Good

– Mechanical Performance: Very Good

– Design: Good

– Price/Value: Very Good

Key Features:

– Laser rangefinding binocular

– Ambidextrous ranging button

– 2,600-yard ranging capability

Best Binoculars for Hunting of 2024 Tested and Reviewed

– Uses Leupold’s wind and ranging engines

– 12-yard minimum range

Pros:

– Tripod adaptable

– Fast laser processor

– Employs Leupold’s True Ballistic Range/Wind tech

– Loaded with 25 ballistic groups

Cons:

– No Bluetooth connectivity to an app

– Square, brick-like hand feel

The Leupold BX-4 Range combines optical and rangefinding capabilities in a single unit. It has a fast laser processor and employs Leupold’s True Ballistic Range/Wind technology. It also comes with 25 ballistic groups. However, it does not have Bluetooth connectivity and may have a bulky feel.

Best for Precision Shooting: Bushnell Match Pro ED 15×56

– Optical Performance: Good

– Mechanical Performance: Very Good

– Design: Very Good

– Price/Value: Very Good

Key Features:

– Double-hinge, open-barrel design

– Optic contains MRAD Shot-Call reticle

– Reticle leveler capability

– Dual diopter controls

– Double tripod attachments

– Magnesium chassis

Pros:

– Intended as range spotter device

– Built around premium ED glass

– Extremely tripod-mountable

– Ships with “BridgeSet” interpupillary distance device

– Excellent price for premium 15-power binocular

Cons:

– Reticle makes this a niche product

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– Fairly heavy and bulky at over 3 pounds

The Bushnell Match Pro ED is designed for precision shooting and offers a range spotter device with its MRAD Shot-Call reticle. It has premium ED glass and comes with a tripod-mountable design. However, it may be considered niche due to the reticle and is a bit heavy and bulky.

Best Ballistic Rangefinding Binocular: Leica Geovid Pro 42

– Optical Performance: Very Good

– Mechanical Performance: Excellent

– Design: Excellent

– Price/Value: Good

Key Features:

– Premium glass

– Laser ranging to 3,000 yards

– Pre-installed Applied Ballistic Ultralight software

– Double-hinge, open-bridge design

– On-board environmental sensors

– Rugged magnesium chassis

– Also available in 8×32, 10×32, 8×42, and 8×56 versions

Pros:

– GPS-enabled tracking aid

– Wide field of view

– Custom ballistic profiles available through Bluetooth

– Connects to mobile app and Kestrel devices

Cons:

– High and long learning curve

– Fairly expensive at about $3,300

– Heavy and bulky at over 2 pounds

The Leica Geovid Pro 42 offers a range of advanced features, including premium glass, laser ranging up to 3,000 yards, and custom ballistic profiles through Bluetooth connectivity. It has a wide field of view and is compatible with mobile apps and Kestrel devices. However, it may have a steep learning curve and is quite expensive and heavy.

The unit pairs with Kestrel devices for real-time wind updates. The software calculates windage holds, shot angle, air pressure, temperature, and altitude for a lethal shot.

The 42mm version of the Geovid Pro is new for this year. The inaugural version debuted as a 10×32 last year. The 10×42 is boxy and hefty, weighing a little over 2 pounds. For backcountry hunts in rugged terrain, the trimmer 10×32 would be more suitable.

Best Premium Binocular: Swarovski NL Pure

Score Card

  • Optical Performance: Excellent
  • Mechanical Performance: Very Good
  • Design: Excellent
  • Price/Value: Good

Key Features

  • Hand-fitting design
  • Fluorite glass
  • Magnesium-alloy chassis
  • Short closed-bridge design
  • Field-flattener lens system
  • Wide field of view

Pros

  • Curved barrels minimize shake
  • Extremely positive focus wheel
  • Tapered three-position eyecups
  • Long eye relief

Cons

  • Wildly expensive at about $3,500

Swarovski’s NL Pure is the perfect binocular. Its shapely barrels provide a rock-solid grip. The field-flattener lenses create a picture-window view. The wide field of view gives plenty to look at.

Swarovski brings its best glass—a fluorite recipe—to the NL Pure. The controls are precise, and the eyecups fit comfortably. It’s a joy to use for extended periods, perfect for hunting.

But the NL Pure’s stratospheric cost puts it out of reach for most hunters. It’s also too precious for hard-core hunting situations where optics are in danger of getting damaged. Despite its outstanding attributes, it can’t be named the Best Hunting Binocular.

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Nikon Monarch M5 8×42

Score Card

  • Optical Performance: Good
  • Mechanical Performance: Good
  • Design: Very Good
  • Price/Value: Very Good

Key Features

  • Closed-bridge, roof prism design
  • Right-barrel diopter control
  • Fiberglass-reinforced polycarbonate resin body
  • Premium glass and coatings
  • Tripod adaptable
  • Non-transferable lifetime warranty

Pros

  • Extra-low-dispersion glass in objective lenses
  • 8.2-foot close focus
  • Wide field of view
  • Very light weight at 22.2 ounces
  • Appealing price, under $150

Cons

  • Spongy focus
  • Poor low-light performance

Nikon offers appealing price-point binoculars. The Monarch M5 brings good glass and quality coatings at an affordable price. It performed well with pleasing image quality and minimal distortion. However, its low-light performance was lacking due to its 8x configuration.

The Nikon Monarch M5 is a solid, fairly priced binocular. It’s suitable as a first optic for a new hunter or a reliable backup optic.

How to Choose a Hunting Binocular

An optic becomes the best in the business through consistent performance, glassing comfort, and durability. Picking a binocular depends on your hunting style and needs.

Consider the warranty, included accessories, and overall performance. Invest in the most expensive optic you can afford. Confirm the warranty and customer-service reputation of the brands.

FAQs

Q: Do you need binoculars for deer hunting?

Yes, binoculars are essential for safety, ethics, efficiency, and success in deer hunting.

Q: What are the best binocular numbers?

Binocular numbers indicate magnification and objective lens size. The best binoculars for most hunters are 8×32, 8×42, 10×42, or 10×50.

Q: How much do hunting binoculars cost?

Hunting binoculars can range from $100 to $4,000. Look for models that offer a good warranty, include accessories, and deliver high performance.

Final Thoughts on the Best Hunting Binoculars

This list provides a good starting point for your search for the best hunting binoculars. Test several contenders to find the one that fits your style, needs, and budget.

  • Best Overall: Zeiss SFL 8×40
  • Best Value: Vortex Triumph HD 10×42
  • Best for Bowhunting: Maven B.7 8×24
  • Best for Western Hunting: Vortex Razor HD 10×42
  • Best Rangefinding Binocular: Leupold BX-4 Range 10×42
  • Best for Precision Shooting: Bushnell Match Pro ED 15×56
  • Best Ballistic Rangefinding Binocular: Leica Geovid Pro 42
  • Best Premium Binocular: Swarovski NL Pure
  • Burris Droptine HD
  • Nikon Monarch M5 8×42