Hunting essentials are not only limited to your rifle and boots. Not having a binocular with you makes it much harder to find and identify a target. Without a doubt, a pair of binos is as important to a good hunt as your other paraphernalia. Thus, in order to ensure that you will not go home empty-handed, you need to equip yourself with quality binoculars for hunting.
Generally speaking, 10X42 binoculars are perfect for hunting purposes. They have just about the right combination of magnification and lens size for most hunters and purposes. However, which among the myriads of 10x42mm binoculars will you need to buy? If you have no idea what to purchase, this article is for you. We will help you sort out and review the options currently on the market.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of comparing various products, you may want to consider buying the Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars. If you check the Amazon page (link above), you’ll see they come in several sizes, but we’re most interested in 10 x 42. Considered to be a solid mid-to-high-end product, it enjoys a fantastic user rating on Amazon, and that means a lot. It is built with all the things that you will ever need in hunting optics. Its rugged design will easily match your other hunting gear and accessories. It is also built to last. Purged with argon and sealed with O-rings, it’s water and fog proof. Aside from the aesthetics, here are just some of the reasons why the Viper HD is so popular among hunters:
- Superb optical system – the Viper HD has you covered when it comes to viewing quality. It is packed with an advanced high density glass optical system that allows you to enjoy images with excellent clarity. Spotting your target will now be easy before they can spot you.
- Dielectric Multi-layer Prism – Hunting is not always done in broad daylight. For low light conditions, the dielectric multi-layer prism offers bright images in high resolution and contrast. Now, hunting from dusk until dawn will never be a problem.
- Wide Field of View – Wouldn’t it be good if you can spot several targets in a single, wide frame? That is possible with the Viper. With its 319ft at 1000 yards field of view, observing your prey will be a lot easier.
- Excellent Eye Relief – With an eye relief of 16.5 mm, your eyes will feel comfortable even in extended hunting hours. Also, people wearing eyeglasses will never have a hard time using this bino.
- Light and Portable – Hunting gear can be heavy but not this bino. Vortex Viper HD is light and very portable – a little over 24 ounces.
No matter how popular and well-liked the Vortex Viper HD is, it is not a perfect product. Below are some of the downsides of this product that you may need to consider:
- Price – Be ready to spend an extra buck for this beauty. Though its features are top of the line for the price, it is quite hefty for those with a tight budget.
- Manufacture Location – Some customers are concerned as to where the product was manufactured. Though the company is based in the US, the product is assembled and manufactured in either Japan or China. This of course, doesn’t affect quality, but it’s something you may want to know.
What to Look for in a 10X42 Hunting Binocular
With tons of choices on the market, it is quite difficult to categorize which are quality products and which are not. If you are having issues with the selection process, we suggest starting with the basics. First, try to go over the products that you think will be good for you. Second, compare the specification of these products and highlight each pros and cons. Some products will have an edge over its competitors in one aspect and could be inferior in another. Choose which feature you would like to prioritize. Lastly, take time to read customer reviews. Legit customers are willing to share their experience with the product and this is an excellent source of first-hand information.
While you are doing the steps mentioned above, be sure to be aware of the following factors as well:
Not all binos of the same setup weigh the same. Some may add more features making the product heavier compared to other brands. As a hunter, I bet you would like as little weight as possible. Hence, always check the weight of the binocular and ensure that this is something that is okay with you.
Although all 10×42 binoculars have the same magnification and objective lens diameter, they differ in the quality of the image projected. To ensure that you are getting a superior product, choose something with multi-layered or multi-coated lenses. These lenses let more light through and give more natural colors even in low light conditions. Price is often representative of the optical quality.
Binoculars have two main types of prisms. Prisms are the part of the binocular that turns the image upright. For a smaller size and more comfort, the roof prism is widely preferred by hunters. The downside of this type of prism is that it costs more than Porro prisms.
This is a major consideration for hunters who wear glasses. Eye relief is the effective distance from your eyes to the eyepiece at which you will be able to see the image fully. High eye relief numbers give your eyes more room while using the binos.
Nobody does hunting indoors. Hence, weather and extreme conditions must always be a consideration in selecting your optics. To ensure that you can use the binoculars effectively regardless of the weather, look for products that are purged with inert gases and sealed with O-rings. In addition, seals play a crucial role in ensuring that the product is not only waterproof but fog proof as well.
Reviews of Great Hunting Binos on the Market
If you are still undecided which product to purchase, we have listed another three of the best options on the market. These products satisfy all the requirements and specifications necessary for you to have a great outing.
If you are looking for a mid-range 10×42 binocular, but with optics that surpass what you might expect for the price, this could be the right one for you. Maven is a relatively new player in the optics arena, and is not a widely known brand, but manufactures premium products at reasonable prices (thanks to their direct to buyer business model). The Maven C1 boasts of a Schmidt-Pechan Roof Prism technology creating vivid and stunning views regardless of the time of the day. True color transmission is also possible thanks to its ED Glass that allows maximum brightness. When it comes to portability, these products are easy to carry no matter where you hunt.
- Very light, weighing only 1.54 pounds
- Crystal clear viewing with its ED Glass
- Dielectric coated prism
- More affordable compared to other similar models
- Lesser known brand
- The design is not for everyone’s taste
This top-notch and very affordable product from Celestron will surely become your hunting buddy in no time. It is perfect or people looking for durable products with less weight. Made with a magnesium alloy body, it weighs less than 1.5 pounds. One of the best features of this product is its Phase and Dielectric-coated BaK4 prism. You are getting superb quality images with realistic colors. In addition, its wide field of view allows you to spot your prey easily in one frame. Finally, its multi-coated lens dramatically increases the amount of light transmitted. As a result, you are getting crisp and clear images even in the scarcity of light.
- Ultra-light body made of magnesium alloy
- Fully multicoated lens
- Water and Fog proof
- Tripod adaptable
- Huge eye relief makes it eyeglasses friendly
- Wide FOV for the magnification
- Very affordable
- Made in China or Japan making some users question its quality
Another good choice for a hunting bino is the Nikon MONARCH 5 10×42. Nikon is a world renowned brand in optics and their binos are very popular with birders as well as hunters. As part of the Monarch series, this model uses Extra Low Dispersion glass giving you a clear and vibrant view. You can also use this product even in low light conditions since it is built with a fully coated eco-glass lens. Finally, you will surely love how handy this product is. Weighing only 1.35 pounds, it is one of the lightest 10X42 on the market today.
- ED Glass technology
- Extra light and handy
- Fully coated lens
- Some minor build issues, like a squeaky focus knob
Now that we have narrowed down your options, we hope that you will be able to decide which among the products suit your needs best. Frankly, it’s hard to pinpoint the single best 10X42 binocular for hunting, and if you choose any of the above, it’s unlikely you’re going to regret the decision – they’re all amazing products. Choosing binoculars for hunting may be complicated at first. However, once you have determined what you need and the features that you want, the process will be a whole lot easier.