Best Hunting Binoculars For The Money – 2017 Top 5 Ranking

It doesn’t matter if you are scouting a new hunting spot or trying to get an up-close image of a sporting event, a quality pair of binoculars is a fantastic investment. To get the most out of that investment, though, it is vital that you do your due diligence and research all of the available choices, rather than just snapping up the first pair of binoculars you see in your sporting goods store. Here at HuntingOptics.net, we handle much of that research for you, giving you comprehensive reviews that examine all of the most important characteristics of each model of binoculars. This page will help you understand what to look for in binoculars, but first we’ll take a look at our picks: the best binoculars for the money in 2017.

Top 5 Binoculars:

ModelMagnificationObjective DiameterField of ViewEye Relief
Swarovski EL 10x32 Traveler Swarovision

Swarovski EL 10x32 Traveler Swarovision

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10x32mm360 feet @ 1000 yards

Our Review
20mm
Vanguard Endeavor ED 8x42

Vanguard Endeavor ED 8x42 Binoculars

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8x42mm400 feet @ 1000 yards

Our Review
19mm
Celestron 71400 TrailSeeker 8×32

Celestron 71400 TrailSeeker 8×32 Review

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8x32mm409 feet @ 1000 yards

Our Review
15.6mm
Eagle Optics Ranger ED 10x42

Eagle Optics Ranger ED 10x42 Review

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10x42mm315 feet @ 1000 yards

Our Review
16mm
Celestron SkyMaster 15×70

Celestron SkyMaster 15×70 Review

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15x70mm231 feet @ 1000 yards

Our Review
18mm

Best Budget Hunting Binoculars:

If money matters and you don’t want to spend a lot of it on a good pair of binoculars, the Best Budget Model I’ve seen is the Celestron SkyMaster 15×70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter. Celestron has built these binoculars to be great for stargazing or wildlife spotting, with an excellent field of view and great optics. The only real drawbacks here are a drifting focusing mechanism and the fact that the binoculars sometimes arrive out of collimation.

Best High-End Hunting Binoculars:

On the other hand, if money is no object, you should check out the Swarovski EL 10×32 Traveler Binoculars. Swarovski is one of the top names in optics, and the Traveler features best-in-class optics and image with a wide field of view and the best eye relief I’ve ever seen. The only real drawbacks to the Traveler are the price. This is our most often recommended model for anyone interested in going bird watching or hunting. We particularly recommend them to anyone planning an Africa hunting excursion, as the extremely sturdy casing and perfectly polished optics will withstand the toughest temperatures and travel conditions, not to mention the wide field of view will be excellent for all the long range scouting you’ll be doing.

With that out of the way, let’s examine what makes for a great set of binoculars. Each binocular review we write examines the most crucial characteristics of the optics, so keep reading to find out what we take into account when choosing our Top 5 list of binoculars.

What Do I Get in the Box?

While it might not be the most important factor to consider in buying a pair of binoculars, it is still vital to know what you’re going to get for your money. There are a number of accessories available for nearly every model of binoculars, both from the manufacturer and from third parties. A handful of these accessories are essential to have right from the start, so you want to make sure they’re included and they’re decent quality. If the binoculars don’t come with a good carrying case, comfortable neck strap, and easy-to-use objective lens and eyepiece covers, you might want to keep looking. If the binoculars comes with all of these, that’s good. If it includes things like a rain guard or camera adapter, that’s even better.

What’s the Magnification?

This is probably the first thing people ask about a pair of binoculars, but the raw magnification number doesn’t tell the whole story. After all, a 10X pair of binoculars aren’t much good if the image is grainy or fuzzy, or if the color is off. That’s why, when we’re evaluating the magnification of a pair of binoculars, we also look at the image clarity and resolution. We also look at the field of view and close focus distance, so you know the full capabilities of the binoculars.

How Good Are the Optics in the Binoculars?

If you want to have a terrific image through your binoculars, you need to have high quality optics inside the housing. We dig deep to find out what kind of glass is used for the lenses and prisms, as well as what type of prism design is used for the binoculars. We also discuss the optical coatings, which help reduce glare and reflection while also improving the light transmission and image quality. Next, we look at how well the focusing mechanism works, letting you know how difficult or easy it is to focus the binoculars.

What’s the Body Like On the Binoculars?

The housing of the binoculars is important, because it is really the only thing you have to hold onto when you are using the binoculars. Also, binoculars tend to take a bit of a beating, bouncing around on your chest or off rocks when you’re hiking. We evaluate what the housing is made from, when that information is available, as well as any rubber armor or polycarbonate coating that might be added for additional protection and grip. Texture and stippling are key to getting a solid grip on binoculars, so we closely examine the body to see just how “grippy” it is.

How Durable Are the Binoculars?

This is where the rubber meets the road: how well do the binoculars handle a bit of abuse? In this section, we discuss how effective the rubber armor is at absorbing shocks, as well as whether the binoculars are waterproof and fog-resistant. Typically, we won’t recommend a pair of binoculars that fog up easily, because fogging can be a real challenge in cold or damp weather.

Summary

If you don’t read anything else in the body of our reviews, you should definitely read the summary at the end of each one. We’ll give you a brief synopsis of what we loved and hated about the binoculars, as well as our final recommendation.