How to Choose The Best Binoculars For Hunting

A good set of binoculars is an important piece of equipment for hunters that want to see more game, but choosing the right ones can be difficult. Let’s take a look at all of the factors that you need to consider when choosing the best binoculars for hunting.

What Do The Numbers Mean?

All binoculars are defined by 2 numbers, such as 8X42, 10X42, or 10X50 and many more, but what do these numbers mean?


The first number is the magnification of the binoculars. For instance, with the 8X42, the magnification is 8X or 8 times and with the 10X42, the magnification is 10X or 10 times.

This means that the object that you see through the binoculars is magnified 8 times or 10 times.

In the case of 10X, the object will appear 10 times larger than with the naked eye.

Objective Lens

The second number is the size of the objective lens in millimeters. The objective lens is the one on the front of the binoculars.

A larger objective lens will let in more light, but it will also add weight and expense to the binoculars.

Hunters have to find a happy compromise between light gathering capability and weight. This usually results in a 42 or 50 millimeter lens being optimal for most hunting situations.

So an 8X42 set of binoculars has a 42 millimeter objective lens and an 10X50 set has a 50 millimeter objective lens.

Other Things To Consider When Choosing Binoculars


 It used to be that in order to buy a really high quality set of binoculars, you had to spend a lot of money, but that is not true today.

While you still can spend $1,000 for good binoculars, it is not really necessary. You can buy a very high quality set of hunting binoculars for under $200 today, with a lot of the features that used to be reserved for much more expensive optics.

Field Of View

 Field of view defines how much you can see when looking through the binoculars and it is measured by how wide the field of view is at 1000 yards.

Typically, you would want a wider field of view for hunting in more open areas or if you are trying to view a moving target. A running deer would be much easier to find with your binoculars if they had a wide field of view.

A typical field of view in hunting binoculars would range from 250 to 400 feet at 1000 yards.

Optical Coatings

 All binoculars will have optical coatings, but the best binoculars will have fully multi-coated glass.

 Fully multi-coated glass will give you 90 – 95% light transmission, which is the best that you can get from binoculars.

Waterproof and Fog Proof

 The best binoculars will be 100% waterproof and fog proof. This is accomplished by being purged with nitrogen and sealed with rubber o-rings.

Make sure that the binoculars you are considering are waterproof and fog proof.


 Hunting binoculars need to be rugged and durable in order to survive in the harsh hunting environments.

There will undoubtably be times when you bang them on things, drop them, get them wet and more.

High quality hunting binoculars need to be rubber armor coated with a comfortable non-slip grip in order to withstand tough conditions.

 Final Thoughts

 There are plenty of high quality binoculars for hunters to choose from today that won’t break the bank.

Now that you have an understanding of the terminology and what it all means, you have the knowledge to confidently begin your search.

Make sure that you do your homework and use the considerations above to find the right binoculars for you.


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