The 6 Best Hunting Binoculars of 2024

Video binoculars for duck hunting

What factors determine that a pair of hunting binoculars are worth your money? Honestly, I’d argue that these largely depend on personal preferences. To me, a self-taught hunter with about five years of experience, the best hunting binoculars are affordable, fit in my chest harness without falling out, and help me tell a deer antler from a tree branch on the next ridge over.

But because I’ve also been birding for 20 years, I know that not all of the best binoculars period are necessarily good for hunting. In birding (and other viewing-focused hobbies), the difference between good glass and great glass is crucial (and expensive). Ultimately, though, bank-breaking binoculars outfitted with the highest-quality lenses aren’t the best option for field work: Hunting binoculars get exposed to harsh weather, extreme temperatures, heavy use, and literal blood and guts. Honestly, it’s more worth it to spend more on your rifle scope than your binoculars.

Still, when shopping for hunting binoculars, you’ll want to look for at least 10x zoom, great light transfer, and durability—and the type that suits your needs. Like I said, I’ve been looking through binoculars for the better part of two decades, and out hunting for a few years. Here are the best hunting binoculars for every type of need.

The Best Hunting Binoculars of 2024

  • Best Hunting Binoculars Overall: Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 12×50
  • Best Budget Hunting Binoculars: Bushnell All-Purpose Hunting Binoculars 10×42
  • Best Upgrade Hunting Binoculars: Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide HD 10×42
  • Best Binoculars for Deer Hunting: Vortex Optics RAZOR HD 10×50
  • Best Binoculars for Hunting Waterfowl: Nikon Prostaff P7 10×42
  • Best Long-Range Hunting Binoculars: Celestron SkyMaster 15x70mm Porro

Best Overall Hunting Binoculars

Our Pick: Vortex Optics Diamondback HD 12×50

Whether you’re hunting whitetails in Wisconsin or mule deer in Wyoming, Vortex Optic’s Diamondback HD 12×50 binoculars are a fantastic high-definition option. They are mid-range for high-quality hunting optics, yet those who use Vortex binoculars swear by their impressive value; they’ve been compared to high-end brands Swarovski and Zeiss. Indeed this is a result of the Vortex’s unbeatable combo of features for a reasonable price, including a 50 millimeter objective lens, a light weight of 28 ounces, and a 6-inch-long compact size for packability.

My favorite Vortex feature is the company’s lifetime warranty for both defects and damage. That’s right: You can accidentally drop them off a treestand or a rocky outcropping and (as long as you can safely recover them), you may send them in for repair or replacement. This sets aside Vortex from all other hunting binocular companies; because hunters are known for being hard on their gear, having what’s essentially binocular insurance is priceless.

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It is worth noting that reviewers report that the rubber eye cups tend to become unglued with frequent use. However, just give Vortex a call, and they’ll hook you up, thanks to the lifetime warranty. Additionally, the 271-foot field of view (FOV) at 1,000 yards isn’t anything to write home about—generally, I suggest FOVs of at least 300 feet. But for the overall viewing quality you get here, it’s not a dealbreaker by any means.

Best Budget Hunting Binoculars

Our Pick: Bushnell All-Purpose Hunting Binoculars 10×42

Bushnell’s entry-level All-Purpose Hunting Binoculars offer a good value. Unlike competitors in this price range, these are not compact binoculars, which means that their lenses are full-size, let in more light with their 10x zoom (especially compared to 8x), and maintain an acceptable field of view at 288 feet. Overall, they’re simply more useful for hunters than other binos at this price.

Bushnell also offers a 20-year limited lifetime warranty against defects for its binoculars, which doesn’t require a receipt.

This affordable price comes with some tradeoffs: The lens quality of Bushnell’s All Purpose Hunting Binoculars is much lower than more expensive binoculars with the same level of magnification. You won’t have the same edge clarity or low-light performance as more expensive options.

Best Upgrade Binoculars

Our Pick: Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide HD 10×42

If you’re looking for a mid-tier hunting binocular that’s undeniably capable of doing it all, look no further than Leupold’s best-selling BX-4 Pro Guide HD in 10×42 magnification. Whether you’re filling an archery elk tag or hunting pronghorn on the plains, this set of hunting binoculars can help you get the job done. At 5.6 inches long and weighing in at 24 ounces, they have high portability and remain fully functional between -40 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re freezing your tush off in the treestand or forget them on your truck’s dashboard, they’ll still be operable.

You can mount them to a tripod and experience steady, comfortable, long-distance glassing with a 326-foot field of view all day long. Leupold’s gas blend and seals can withstand depths up to 33 feet, protecting them against water and air pressure changes. Did you accidentally drop them in your duck hunting spot? No worries; they’re still good to go!

Finally, Leupold has a lifetime warranty against defects (but not damage) that still stands even if you’re not the original owner of the binos.

At $600, these may be pricey for most hunters just looking for a set of glass. However, their value is worth the cost, when you consider they have a lifetime guarantee. Also, note that the plastic eye cups around the eyepiece move very easily and may shift around in your pack. While this can be a little annoying, it’s not a dealbreaker for these binos.

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Best Deer Hunting Binoculars

Our Pick: Vortex Triumph HD 10×42

Vortex Triumph HD 10×42 binoculars are an excellent option for deer hunting. First of all, their price tag is wallet-friendly. Secondly, the 10x magnification is great for glassing up deer in both open and wooded areas and allows adequate light to get into your binos in low-light conditions, compared to 12x. Additionally, as opposed to 8x binos, the greater magnification of 10x will help you tell the difference between an 8-point and 10-point buck from far away, and the 334-foot field of view will hopefully help you keep track of a moving target.

These binoculars are sturdy and will withstand all sorts of hunting conditions. Additionally, Vortex’s quality glass keeps images crisp, bright, and clear. They’re also fogproof, so they won’t fog up in humid conditions or with rapid temperature changes, like when you take them out of the warm truck and into your snowy hunting spot.

One note: The harness that comes with these binoculars lacks functionality and isn’t very comfortable. You might want to snag a chest pack that will fit you more comfortably.

Best Binoculars for Hunting Waterfowl

Our Pick: Nikon Prostaff P7 10×42

When searching for binoculars for waterfowl or duck hunting season, you’re really shopping for versatile bird-watching binoculars. Great birding binoculars have a wide field of view and a good zoom that’s easy to find with an excited finger, aren’t too heavy to quickly bring to your face, and let in plenty of light. Preferably, they’re also water- and weather-resistant.

Nikon’s Prostaff P7 10×42 binoculars are an excellent choice for waterfowl hunting. Their 10x zoom combined with large objective lenses and 367-foot field of view will help you identify ducks on the water or in the sky with a bright image even in low-light conditions. They’re waterproof up to 3.3 feet, so if they accidentally swim in the pond while you’re setting up your decoys, they’ll be fine. Nikon also offers a limited lifetime warranty on the optical components and a seven-year limited warranty on the non-optical components.

Note that these binos aren’t tripod-adaptable. However, if you’re using them for waterfowl hunting, not birding, you probably don’t want another thing in the duck blind anyways.

Best Long-Range Hunting Binoculars

Our Pick: Celestron SkyMaster 15×70 Porro

Celestron is known for quality optics intended for celestial and microscopic gazing. Therefore, its products are inherently designed to put high-quality images of tiny, faraway things in front of your eyes. The more rugged trail, birding, and field binoculars can be dual-purpose as hunting binoculars. After all, seeing long distances makes or breaks a big game hunt. This is where the Celestron SkyMaster comes into play.

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The smallest of Celestron’s SuperGiant series, the SkyMaster features a 15x zoom and 70 millimeter extra-wide objective lenses that let in a ton of light. These things help reduce eye strain while enhancing faraway images. When glassing up distant ridges, you can mount them to a tripod to increase your steadiness.

Celestron designed these binoculars to be lightweight yet tough enough to bring along on your hunting adventures. They’re impact- and weather-resistant, so when you’re hunting in inclement weather over tough country, you can glass in the rain or stumble over a rock without worry.

All that being said, there are a few trade-offs for this model: These Celestron hunting binoculars may not bring things as close to your view as you’d like. A 50x zoom spotting scope, or even Celestron’s pricier options that feature 25x zoom, will go much further regarding high-quality, ultra-long-range glassing options. At the same time, the 15x zoom sacrifices some field of view over others on this list—you’ll only get 231 feet.

However, for most hunters, these binoculars will do the trick and won’t break the bank if you need to replace them after an exceptionally rugged hunt, an accidental drop from the tailgate, or if they bang up against a tree.

Additionally, the neck strap that comes with the SkyMaster is arguably too thin for the weight of these binoculars. You’ll probably want to snag a thicker strap for them online.

What to Look for When Buying Hunting Binoculars

While there are many things to consider when buying hunting binoculars, here are some general things to remember.

Who We Are

Gabby Zaldumbide lives in western Colorado and is a big and small game hunting guide with Uncharted Outdoorswomen, the only multistate outfitter owned and operated by women in the US. She’s a self-taught adult onset hunter and has been all sorts of animals each fall for the last five years. She’s also been a birder since childhood and loves to glass up our avian neighbors any chance she gets.

In addition to hunting and birding, she runs a small firearms instruction and safety training business with her partner, Dan. He is a bonafide gear nerd who shares all of his expertise with her, even if it occasionally costs Gabby her sanity.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>