The modern binoculars are offered the shooter in many configurations. The hunter that is glassing from one mountain to another needs a type of binoculars that are setup for ultra long range work, while the woodland hunter checking out a creek bank 200 yard below him from a ridge top will require still another level of binocular design.
- The Compact Binoculars
- Hunting Binoculars
- Night Vision Systems
- Long Range Binoculars
- Pocket Binoculars
The Compact Binoculars
1. Bushnell H20 Xtreme 10×42 Compact Binoculars
This style of binocular is well known among hunters that want a pocket-size glass system that is workable for most general purpose field applications that demand a reduction in size and weight.
These binoculars retain good quality glass for the price range and size. The glasses use BaK-4 prisms and are an upgrade from previous offerings. Multi-coated allow for advanced light control and retain protective coatings to fight off scratching and other issue found in the field when glass is the subject at hand.
The binoculars are coated for had carry using a soft surface grip application, and they are non-slip and retain the best operational effect when required in wet weather.
These binoculars are the perfect size for backpacking, and or hiking. Also by example, as used when covering rough mountain type ground when long range optics are not required.
2. Steiner Safari UltraSharp Binoculars Compact
Steiner binoculars are among some of the best I have ever taken afield. The edges are so sharp it makes things look far better than what they are in the real world. I am not kidding at all about that comment.
These binoculars are a 10×26 high contract coated lens system. The lens will return a very sharp clean image from 11 feet to 1000 yards or more. The field of view at 1000 yards is 302 feet making them very workable for big game spotting, or following moving targets a very long way off.
Waterproof and rugged armor coatings make these a good choice for rough hunting conditions. These are small binoculars but return the effective range of much larger systems.
Steiner is warrantied for the life of the owner.
3. Zeiss Terra ED
These binoculars are again in the upper end of performance standards for a compact unit. They retain 88% light transmission ability, SCHOTT-D glass with hydrophobic multi-coating, and as such provides a high level of clear image tracing.
The binoculars are easy to use, comfortable, and make use of a larger focus wheel that is designed so as to allow your hands on it at all times when viewing.
The compact design but still housed in a robust frame that is totally waterproof. The binoculars fit into a small pack or side pocket and are a good match for the hunter that wants positive viewing even tong range but can’t take on the extra weight in the field.
Remember even 3 degrees of elevated angle up hill can increase the weight of the binoculars by a factor five. This means even a small pocket knife will weigh down like a brush cutting short axe on the level ground when walking.
The value of this binocular system is that it is small but very effective against larger units of less quality. The Terra ED is so good I have seen guides hang them around their neck right after morning tea and never remove them all day long.
4. Athlon Optics Neos G2 binoculars
Built with bak4 glass prisms that reflect more light to your eyes which transfers to a brighter sharper image these budget-priced units are workable for general purpose hunting situations out to 300 through 400 yards.
I have indicated this range limit because with pricing comes range performance in most cases. Just like in spotting scopes and rifle scopes the standard grade binoculars have an effective range limit and this level of glass meets the average needs of many flat land hunters that don’t require one-mile spotting capabilities.
At 10x42mm the working field is wide as should be expected in a full size pair of hunting binoculars. The lens glass is coated and waterproof so as to fight off the effects of rough field use.
These are a slimline design and easy to pack and get into service quickly. The twist-up eyecups allow you to set them for your individual sighting requirements. The eye relief is long on the binoculars and that makes for better adjusting when the user is wearing glasses by example.
Glass in this sizing will require some attention to the ability to pack them in when hunting, as they are larger than any compact model previously reviewed here. These are a great choice for the occasional user being general purpose or hunting directed.
5. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism system
The HD series on rifle scopes is what I use for some 338 Lapua one-mile work. If that can be done with this level of glass the HD binoculars are right in line for hard nosed big game hunting in the high country of the American West.
The Bushnell HD series retains the well-known rain guard protection so common with this brand in glass sights and spotting equipment. The housing on the glasses is made of lightweight magnesium for both carry weight and the ability to hold them in position for long periods of time. The glass retains a 10x magnification and the objective end of the binoculars measure 42mm
Center-mounted focus adjustment wheel. Good balance when in position to glass a subject or area, and the binoculars retain a good overall feel.
These are lower mid-range priced binoculars and will fill the needs of most general purpose hunters and some longer range open country shooters alike.
6. Zeiss Conquest HD with LotuTec Protective Coatings
The Conquest line of glass from Zeiss is of a high standard, and it is getting into the level of the professional hunter, law enforcement, and military requirements in binoculars.
The glass lens system will produce a 90% light transmission level to the human eye, retains outstanding low light abilities to view early and late in the day, and will produce outstanding sharp target resolution all across the ranging requirements of the shooter.
Magnification and total settings are 8X32mm in size. German designed and built for the style of hunting fond in Europe the glasses are outstanding low light viewing systems.
Again like some others, I shoot Zeiss optics on both long range heavy target rifles and carbine size hunting rifles as well. The binocular glass is able to allow me to maintain low light control of a whole valley without losing my target image in early or late in the day shadows. The optics systems internals are designed as a roof prism system.
Night Vision Systems
7. ATN BinoX 4K 4-16X
Night vision shooting is among the hottest games in town of late. Everyone wants to see in the dark and the industry has obliged shooters at every level with the chance to do just that.
For the most part, ranging binoculars are somewhat on the higher end of the market scale. Now, tack on the ability to see in the dark and your wallet had better be more than half full.
This ATN set of binoculars will live stream as well as video record. Using the multi purpose ranging system the ranged target is acquired in a blink of the eye by way of one central control button.
ATN system will remain active for up o 18 or more hours. The binoculars use a special engineered design that save power even when the system is hot.
The binoculars also display the ability to function with WIFi, smooth zoom, and smartphone controlling thru iOS or Android apps. The whole unit is state of the art and about the same system that is also applied to this companies night vision rifle scopes.
The 4X16 power unit is more than enough to cover long-range targets during the use of the daylight hunting mode.
8. Creative XP Elite Digital Night Vision Binoculars
This unit is an infrared design and si workable as a binocular or a vision goggle setup.
The illuminator is designed for use in 100% darkness and will work through QHD-photos and videos.
Body material is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, and the unit is water-resistant. For use in 100% total black conditions, the 850 NM infrared illuminator functions in total darkness, No exceptions in this case.
The unit retains ab 18650 rechargeable power cell of 3.7V 2200 Mah which is included.
Memory card ability to photograph in real time any and all covering through the lens of the night vision system.
Pricing is affordable are grading the total unit and the business building the unit is American owned and based.
9. Vabsce 2021 Night Vision Binoculars
These binoculars offer a 1640 ft viewing range, and high end 5W infrared with a high sensitivity COMS Sensor.
These gobble binoculars are built for night hunters and general surveillance and come with a 64GB Micro Card.
The system allows photos by way of videos and still photos. The 4 inches wide viewing screen retains 0-15 levels of viewing brightness.
Battery life is up to 10 hours and the power pack is produced by way of 8 common AA batteries. The system can be connected to a power back outside the unit. This means power when taken from a major source (vehicle) is not an issue in the field.
This unit is as much a video production system as it is a viewing night vision system.
The unit can take and store up to 80.000 photos which can then be transferred to your computer or backup system.
Long Range Binoculars
10. Leica Geovid 3200 COM Range /Range Finding
Today some of the best binocular systems also carry long range systems as well.
Range to 1000 yards and you covered in terms of just about any field application a hunter would encounter. Leica is a brand I have worked with during product review over the years and this unit has been a part of some of my industry events as well as self generated hunting experiences. This unit is among one of the best built today Very high-end core elements, built like a tank hull, and uses the patented Perger-Porro prism system.
With state-of-the-art glass, this binocular unit is always able to deliver a clear sharp image. When moving to the outer edge of ranging and viewing possibilities all the components in the binoculars moves way up the ladder in terms of quality materials.
Now target fade just like in rifle scopes comes into play. Image production needs to be letter sharp as a tack, and when the world looks better than it actually is through the binoculars you’re on track in terms of an effective long range binocular system.
The binoculars will measure ( ranging ) distances up to 3,200 yards, this makes it a competition long range steel target optic as well as a hunters tool.
AquaDura lens coatings make the glass indestructible. Bluetooth-installed systems will make ballistics calculations for bullet drop on the fly. The binoculars do it all less pull the trigger for the shooter. Also, be advised when the ranging system is over a mile so is the viewing ability of the optical system. The unit is professional grade, and military applied.
11. Leica Ultravid HD Plus 12X50
Staying with Leica and that is a bit different in terms of my reviews I can’t get away from the fact that this system is still in the ballpark of long range perfection. This is NOT a ranging system, but a straight forward binocular system for field applications. This set of glasses uses the SCHOTT-HT glass with its prisms and a system of glass baffles that control excess light transmission.
Rubber armored and built army tank tough thee are a hunter glass system for use in the high country during heavy weather. The objectives on these glasses measure 10X42, but at a higher price they can be obtained in a 50mm objective as well.
With this quality level in glass covering mountainside a mile or more away is not an issue for the system to handle.
12. Swarovski 10X42 NL
These are very versatile in terms of viewing distance a detailed clarity up close as well.
The line of binocular glass has always been known to hold an edge over many others in the industry. Over several hunting seasons, I was lucky enough to hands-on review for up to a year of different binocular designs from Swarovski. The unit will feedback a full 399 feet at 1000 yards and as almost unlimited viewing range. If it is out there the glass system will allow the viewer to see it.
I have found with again hands-on testing that the binoculars illustrated here will eliminate fringe fog or target fade, maintain clear sharp images to very extended ranges 1 ½ miles by example, and stay fog free and workable even very some very harsh environments. These glasses are military grade and also designed for the professional hunter that is searching out a true trophy for a client on some distant mountain top.
13. Zeiss Victory Pocket 10X25
There are times when viewing and size/weight get in the way of success. I have at times carried the ultra small pocket binoculars because the situation demanded it. Gator hunting in the swamps of the American deep south by way of example can at times drive the hunter down to just the basics in equipment. This is because everything is getting wet, covered with mud, and just be in the way of getting the job done. Believe me, baiting and hunting gators in the middle of the night is a messy dangerous business, and some big bulky $2000.00 and change binoculars hanging around your neck just won’t do the deal.
These Zeiss binoculars are built just like the big boys in the business, but the size is cut down to a workable figure of 11.8×7.6×4.1 inches. Heavy multi layer coatings keep the lens glass in good condition even when the real time conditions are not so great.
The field of view at 1000 yards is 14.1feet. These binoculars are ultra-light at 2.4 lbs in weight but do not lack anything in strength by way of construction designing.
14. Swarovski 10×25 CL
Here again a top of the line binoculars, but in the super reduced sized glass that are pocket friendly when afield.
Lens glass is some of the best made in the world and as a result of that, the binoculars are able to produce better results than some that are much larger and even carry more power.
The 10mm magnification and 25mm objective lens will produce a 294-foot viewing print at 1000 yards. Eyecups are fully adjustable individually, and the binoculars are set for stress free use over long periods of time.
15. OCCER 12×25 Compact
These binoculars are pocket class glasses and at a budget price are workable for light duty work in the field. As the cost drops so will performance and to expect great things for general purpose around the house glasses is asking for too much to be sure.
These binoculars will work for general use when hunting or shooting. The binoculars have the soft rubber eyepiece to allow the use of glasses with the system as well as without. The glasses are coated for protection, and the glass has a special green coating to fight off scratching and grit.
The compact design allow for one hand use, and are great for sporting events and general use.
I have been writing firearms and outdoor material of over 50 years to date. I have hunted across the world including Russia and a great deal of time professional hunting in Australia. I currently live in the American west and hunt all across the Black Hills of South Dakota, and the Big Horn mountains. I have specialized much of my work as a load developer in shotguns and rifles. I have run a small company that builds suppressor barrels of my design, and load tests for writing purposes and consulting. My commercial names include Ballistics Research & Development / Metro Gun Systems.TM.