Focus in With the Best Binoculars for Hunting in 2023

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Hunting is an activity that requires a keen eye. But what if your eyes need a little help? A good pair of binoculars is one of the tools that can give you a major advantage while hunting. 

These days hunting binoculars have gotten pretty advanced, though. With so many models with even more special features and a list of confusing technical specs, choosing the right ones for your hunting style can seem overwhelming.

That’s why this guide covers all of that. Not only do we have reviews of the best binoculars in 2023, but we’ll go over all those confusing specs and features too. 

Alright, let’s get focused.

Our Hunting Binoculars Top Picks

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon and other retailers

Reviews of the 8 Best Hunting Binoculars

Vortex Diamondback HD Binoculars

Vortex Diamondback HD Binoculars
Vortex Diamondback HD Binoculars

The Vortex Diamondback HD hunting binoculars are a great choice for hunters looking for a high-quality pair of binoculars that won’t drain your bank account. Even though they have a reasonable price point, they offer a number of top-shelf features, including a durable and lightweight design, high-quality optics and a wide field of view.

My favorite feature of the Diamondback HD binoculars is definitely their rugged design. These binoculars are built to withstand the rigors of hunting, with a tough and durable rubber body that includes fog- and waterproof sealing. This makes them a good choice if you hunt in rough terrain or go on extended hunting trips that may involve inclement weather. It’s also good if you hunt from a tree stand because they’re more likely to survive the fall if you accidentally drop them.

A close second favorite feature is the high-quality optics. The binoculars feature fully multicoated lenses that provide a pretty clear image with minimal reflection, even in the low light conditions of dawn and dusk when you’re likely to hunt whitetail deer. I also particularly like the wide field of view, which makes it easier to track and follow moving targets, making it easier to observe quarries slightly out of range and even tweak your calling strategy accordingly.

Additionally, the Diamondback HD binoculars come with a number of accessories that help you when hunting and increase the value of the device. These include a carrying case and a neck strap, which is admittedly a little short so watch out if you’re tall. Altogether these make it easy to transport and use in the field, another bonus if you hunt in deep woods for extended periods, but it’s even convenient just climbing into a tree stand.

Last but not least, the Vortex Diamondback HD binoculars come in a TrueTimber Strata camo design. Since you’ll likely move the binoculars when a quarry comes into range, it really helps prevent that movement being spotted if they’re camo. That said, if you prefer solid green, Vortex does provide that option. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you!

What we liked:

  • Great value
  • Durable rubber armor
  • Fog- and waterproof sealing
  • Clear anti-reflective image
  • Wide field of vision
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • TrueTimber Strata camo

What we didn’t:

  • Short carrying strap

Zeiss Conquest HD Binoculars

The Zeiss Conquest HD Binoculars are a top-shelf option for those looking for high-quality binoculars for hunting or really any outdoor activity. In other words, get your money’s worth from the top-shelf price tag by using them for bird watching, scouting or just managing your herd in the off-season. These binoculars have advanced optics that provide one of the clearest and brightest views on the market, even in low light, which is when deer hunting is best.

Zeiss Conquest HD Binoculars
Zeiss Conquest HD Binoculars

To be specific, Zeiss used Schott glass for the lenses. This glass provides exceptional clarity and color reproduction so the image you see isn’t blurred or diluted. This is great for something like bird watching, of course, but it’s also good for hunting because you can better judge the angle of your quarry’s approach so you can make a more accurate shot.

Another reason for the clear image is the T* multicoating on the lens surfaces which helps to reduce reflections and allow more light to pass through. Similarly, the LotuTec coating prevents fogging for a better image regardless of the weather. Speaking of which, the binoculars are waterproof, so you can’t use them as an excuse not to hunt in the rain.

In fact, I was pretty impressed with the overall durable construction of this model. The tough rubber body is dustproof as well, so you can feel confident hunting regardless of climate and the mud and grime that might come with it. Zeiss even provides you with a “No-Fault” guarantee where they’ll repair or replace your binoculars if they’re damaged during normal use, like hunting, within the first five years.

Lastly, the binoculars are fairly user-friendly and feature an ergonomic design that most people will find comfortable. The focus knob is easy to use, though it is a bit touchy given that this is a top-shelf model capable of fine tuning. At less than three pounds, they’re easy to carry, whether in your hand or rucksack.

What we liked:

  • Versatile uses
  • Clear, color-true image
  • Anti-reflective multicoating
  • Fog-, dust- and waterproof
  • 5-year “No-Fault” warranty
  • Lightweight ergonomic design

What we didn’t:

  • High price range
  • Touchy focus knob

Vortex Crossfire HD Binoculars

Another Vortex model, the Crossfire HD binoculars have an even lower price point than the Diamondback HD, which is why they’re my budget recommendation. Nevertheless, they have a lot of the same great features of the Diamondback. Most importantly, the mutlicoated lenses let a lot of light through, even at dusk and dawn when deer are more active. At the same time, they minimize reflections to give you a clear and accurate view of your quarry.

Vortex Crossfire HD Binoculars
Vortex Crossfire HD Binoculars

Similarly, Vortex filled the binoculars with nitrogen gas. This helps keep them from fogging up regardless of the temperature or humidity. This makes them a good choice for both early and late season hunting no matter what climate you hunt in.

As for durability, I like the rubber armor that protects the binoculars in case of a fall. Plus, they’re fully waterproof, so don’t worry about getting caught in the rain or taking them on long hunting trips. That said, I’d rate the quality of the focus knob, eye pieces and other moving pieces a bit lower. They work great at first but wear out faster than on other more expensive models.

Again, I recommend getting these in the TrueTimber Strata camo finish. They are available in an army green, but the camo will help you stay hidden from game, especially since you’re likely to move the binoculars when the animal is closeby.

What we liked:

  • Low price range
  • Anti-reflection multicoated lenses
  • Nitrogen gas to prevent fogging 
  • Rubber armor
  • Fully waterproof
  • TrueTimber Strata

What we didn’t:

  • Moving pieces wear out

Bushnell Forge Binoculars

Bushnell Forge Binoculars
Bushnell Forge Binoculars

The Bushnell Forge binoculars are a great choice for hunting over long ranges. That could mean hunting elk out west or just whitetail hunting across an open feed plot in your tree stand. This is because they have an impressive 15x magnification in the 56mm model, giving you a close focus distance of 12 feet and 235-foot field of vision at 1,000 yards. Meanwhile, the 42mm model can give you a huge field of vision, 340 feet, though the magnification is only 10x.

I also have to mention the advanced ED Prime Glass coated with Ultra-Wide Band that Bushnell used in the lenses. This glass maximizes transparency for a better image in low light. Meanwhile, the DiElectric and PC-3 coating on the prisms give you better contrast and resolution. Again, this helps with hunting in low light conditions, and it also helps pick out quarries that are far away.

Finally, I like the Forge binoculars because they’re tough. I love that in addition to the rubber armor, the casing is tactile and easier to hold onto even if it’s wet. I’m not a fan of the coloring, which is a light brown that could stand out depending on the environment, but it’s not a huge downside.

To add to the toughness, they’re fogproof and waterproof, so rough mountain terrain isn’t a problem, even if there’s snow and rain. They’re also lightweight, the 42mm version weighing in at a mere 28.4 ounces, a nearly unnoticeable addition to your rucksack.

What we liked:

  • High magnification
  • Wide field of vision
  • Good contrast and resolution in low light
  • Tactile rubber armor casing
  • Fog- and waterproof
  • Lightweight

What we didn’t:

  • Light coloring
  • No included accessories

Vanguard Endeavor Ed Binoculars

Another value option, the Vanguard Endeavors are a pair of mid-range binoculars with a number of top-shelf features. Specifically, note that they’re constructed with the same ED (extra-low dispersion) glass as the Bushnell Forge binoculars but at a lower price point. This glass gives them a clear picture even when there’s little light at dawn or dusk.

Vanguard Endeavor Ed Binoculars
Vanguard Endeavor Ed Binoculars

The field of vision is pretty good on this model as well. There’s only one option, but it gives you visibility of 340 feet at 1,000 yards with 10x magnification, same as the Bushnell model. That’s great for spotting quarries as soon as they get close so you can get prepared and call as necessary.

One thing I don’t like about this model is the position of the focus wheel. I prefer wheels more in the center of the binoculars since that makes it easier to manipulate while holding them to your face, which means less movement and less chance of spooking game. The rear position of this focus wheel is a bit more awkward, but I do like that it’s large and precise.

Vanguard made these durable too. They have a casing of rubber armor. The only vulnerable parts are the moving hinges in the middle. However, they are both fog- and waterproof including rubber coating on the eyecups. In other words, they’re great for all-weather hunting.

What we liked:

  • Great value
  • ED glass
  • Wide field of vision
  • Fog- and waterproof

What we didn’t:

  • Rear-positioned focus wheel
  • Vulnerable hinges

Vortex Razor UHD Binoculars

Vortex Razor UHD Binoculars
Vortex Razor UHD Binoculars

Vortex is one of the best binoculars brands, and this is one of their most advanced options. I didn’t make it the top recommendation because most hunters don’t have a need for such state-of-the-art features, but if you do need a top-shelf model, these are definitely a solid choice.

First and foremost, these binoculars are built with the latest ultra-high definition (UHD) optics technology, providing a crystal clear and bright image, even in challenging conditions. If you’re completing your kit for a long-term hunting trip or heading out west for the elk migrations, this model’s ability to provide clear and bright images even in dim light and bad weather is, in my opinion, more than worth it.

That’s far from the only feature that makes the Razor binoculars ideal for extreme hunting, though. They also have one of the most advanced exterior lens coatings made of ArmorTek. This prevents scratches and makes it easy to clean the lenses, so if you imagine yourself getting dirty while you hunt, that’s another reason to consider these.

Of course, these binoculars are fog- and waterproof as well, but they take resisting the elements another step further. They’re purged with argon gas, which seals them tight. Plus, they’re constructed of magnesium, making them lighter-weight than other models but even stronger, reinforced with rubber armor.

Finally, you can choose from a wide range of magnification options with the highest being an amazing 18x. If you prefer a wider field of vision, the model with just 8x magnification gives you a visibility of 420 feet at 1,000 yards. Either way, this really helps with elk hunting and spotting herds and quarries across large valleys or plains.

What we liked:

  • Bright and clear UHD optics
  • Protective ArmorTek lens coating
  • Argon-purged fog- and waterproof
  • Lightweight magnesium construction
  • Rubber armor
  • High magnification and field of vision options

What we didn’t:

  • Top-shelf price range

Swarovski EL Rangefinding Binoculars with Tracking Assistant

Swarovski EL Rangefinding Binoculars
Swarovski EL Rangefinding Binoculars

These are easily the most advanced binoculars on the list. That’s because, on top of cutting-edge optics, they feature electronic technology that can do a host of impressive things to benefit your hunt.

First of all, the binoculars have a Tracking Assistant. This actually determines the GPS location of your quarry, so if you down it over a long distance, it will help you find it. This is in addition to the built-in rangefinder that already can give you the distance of the animal from 10 to 2,200 yards.

That’s not all Swarovski packed into this thing, though. It also gives you personalized ballistics through a phone app that takes into account real-time atmospheric data where you’re hunting. Plus, there’s automatic brightness adjustment for hunting in all types of conditions.

Despite the electronic features—which do require the included battery, by the way—the Swarovski binoculars are fairly lightweight and easy to carry around. In fact, they even come with a neck strap and field bag.

Lastly, I can’t leave out the optics. The field of vision is huge. With 10x magnification, you get an FOV of 359 feet at 1,000 yards. Combine this with the electronic features and rangefinder, and you have one of the most advanced hunting tools on the market for taking it to the next level.

What we liked:

  • Rangefinder out to 2,200 yards
  • GPS tracking assistant
  • Personalized ballistics
  • Auto brightness adjustment
  • Easy to carry and store
  • Huge field of vision

What we didn’t:

  • Top-shelf price range
  • Battery required (included)
  • Only one magnification option

Bushnell Fusion X Rangefinder Binoculars

If you want a rangefinder-binoculars combo but don’t need all the other advanced electronics features of the Swarovski binoculars, the Bushnell Fusion X might be the model for you. What I like in particular is that it’s easy to see the rangefinder reading because they’re displayed in red and black. It also has multiple modes depending on the weapon you’re using, making it more versatile than other models.

Bushnell Fusion X Rangefinder Binoculars
Bushnell Fusion X Rangefinder Binoculars

Another thing I really like is the focus knob. It’s precise yet smooth and easy to turn. Plus, it’s positioned in a convenient spot between the lenses.

The optics and durability are pretty advanced as well. There’s only one option, but it gives you 10x magnification with a 340-foot FOV at 1,000 yards. With a 42mm objective size in addition to multicoated lenses, the image is quite clear and great for tracking game.

Meanwhile, they’re constructed of an aluminum alloy that’s lightweight, and they’re even IPX7 fog- and waterproof for hunting in inclement weather. And they have rubber armor to protect them in case of impacts.

What we liked:

  • Advanced rangefinder with scan mode
  • Smooth and precise focus knob
  • Large FOV
  • Multicoated lenses
  • IPX7 fog- and waterproof
  • Rubber armor

What we didn’t:

  • Only 1 magnification option 

What to Look for in Hunting Binoculars


When checking out listings for binoculars—and even reading my reviews—you may see a lot of numbers and specs that don’t make a whole lot of sense if you’ve never bought binoculars before. To prepare you, these are the specs to pay attention to and why.


A set of binoculars’ magnification is somewhat straightforward. 10x magnification makes whatever you’re looking at 10 times larger.

It may seem like the more magnification the better, but this isn’t necessarily the case. If you’re bowhunting from a tree stand and only need to view objects and animals out to 40 yards or so, too much magnification may make your quarry too big to tell what it’s doing. 

Plus, magnification is generally a tradeoff with “field of view,” or FOV, which I’ll get into now.

Field of View (FOV)

Field of view (FOV) refers to the width of the area you can see through the binoculars when they are held at arm’s length. For example, an FOV of 340 feet at 1,000 yards, means that you will be able to see a piece of the terrain 340 feet wide 1,000 yards away. 

A wider field of view can be helpful when tracking moving targets, especially those that are far away over large open expanses. You may more easily be able to note a quarry coming into range and track its movements. 

However, since a higher field of view usually means less magnification, you not be able to see the quarry in as high of definition and note certain features, say antler points. Therefore, you need to consider what kind of hunting you’ll do and weigh these two features against each other

If you hunt out west, particularly elk that must be tracked over wide plains and valleys, a large field of view is necessary. On the other hand, if you hunt in the woods from a tree stand, it might not be as important.

Objective Lens Size

The objective lens size is the diameter of the binoculars’ lenses. A larger objective lens will allow more light to enter the binoculars, providing a brighter and clearer image.

You often see objective lens size listed alone. 46mm, for instance. Sometimes, though, you may see it listed with magnification. 8x32mm means 8x magnification with a 32mm objective lens size.

Eye Relief

Eye relief refers to the distance between the eyepiece and your eye that still allows you to see the full field of view. In general, longer eye relief is better for a number of reasons.

First of all, it’s good for those who wear glasses because it allows them to see the full field of view without having to press the binoculars against their eyes. 

Additionally, it’s good for quickly spotting targets or quarries because you can swiftly raise the binoculars to your eyes without having to press them in closely. This makes it good for hunting.

Lastly, a longer eye relief is just more comfortable. This is because you don’t have to constantly adjust the distance between the eyepiece and your eyes, which could strain them over time.


Hunting is one of the more extreme activities people use binoculars for. They’re bound to experience some rough treatment, whether it’s getting wet and muddy or falling for a 20-foot tree stand. Consequently, you want a pair of binoculars with the following features that improve durability.

Casing and Construction

The first thing to take note of is the casing. Good binoculars are usually equipped with some kind of armor, usually made of rubber, that protects them in case of a fall. 

Lens Coating

Lenses are delicate. Just a piece of sand or dirt can scratch them if it’s rubbed against the glass the wrong way. That’s why good binocular manufacturers coat the lenses with a protective layer that helps prevent scratches and damage.

Fog- and Waterproofing

Imagine if water got inside your binoculars between the eyepiece and the lens. It would totally blur and obscure the image. Similarly, if the lenses fog up, you won’t be able to see very well.

For hunting, especially whitetail hunting which happens primarily in the fall and winter when weather is rougher, you want binoculars that are sealed against water and fogproof. 

Waterproofing usually involves sealing the binoculars, sometimes with a gas, so that water can’t get in. Fogproofing usually involves a lens coating that doesn’t allow water to condense on them.

Carrying and Storage

An important thing to remember about hunting binoculars is that you’re going to have to carry them around a lot. You have to take them out into the field with you, walk to the tree stand with them, and even climb up the tree stand ladder with them.

It really helps with carrying if the binoculars are lightweight. Whether around your neck or in your rucksack, it will add less to your overall burden so you don’t tire out as easily.

Check for accessories too. A neck strap helps because then you don’t have to stuff it in with the rest of your kit. Plus, you can keep it within reach while you’re in the tree stand or just hiking around.

A carrying case is another good accessory and helps ensure that the binoculars stay safe while you’re transporting them. Moreover, it’s a good option for storing them that keeps them a lot safer in the offseason. 

Lastly, don’t forget about lens covers. Even with the protective coatings that manufacturers put on the lenses these days, they’re sensitive, so you want to both transport and store the binoculars with lens covers. 


When you use binoculars, you have to use a knob to focus on particular objects, usually located in the center between the two lenses. A good focus knob should be smooth and precise. It should allow for easy and quick adjustments so that you can quickly focus on your quarry. The knob should also be easy to grip and turn, even with hunting gloves on.

A really good feature to look for is a focus knob with a locking mechanism. This prevents you from accidentally adjusting the focus. 


A rangefinder is an important piece of hunting equipment, especially for bowhunting since you need to know the distance of the target to aim appropriately. If you also want binoculars, it can be a convenient and strategic option to get a pair of binoculars with a rangefinder built in.

Naturally, since a rangefinder is an electronic device, it usually requires batteries that may increase the weight of the binoculars. And they almost always increase the cost. Nevertheless, it’s a feature that I would highly recommend for bowhunters.

Other Electronic Features

Advanced binocular models may also include other electronic devices besides a rangefinder, such as:

  • GPS tracking
  • Automatic adjustment
  • Bluetooth and wifi connectivity
  • Camera
  • Night vision
  • Image stabilization
  • Ballistics calculations

These features can all help you when hunting or allow you to use the binoculars for other applications as well, like birdwatching. However, they definitely increase the cost, so consider whether you’ll really need them or not.

Stay Focused

I want to say one last thing before you go. Binoculars are one of the best hunting tools you can use, and they’re also a lot of fun. That said, there’s also a learning curve, especially if you have an advanced model with a lot of features. Stick with your binoculars and practice using them while hunting. You’ll be amazed what you can get out of them.


I'm an avid hunter, archer and outdoorsman. I was born and raised in the Ozarks, my aunt taught me to hunt and I've been shooting bows since I was a kid.

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