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If you are a bowhunter, you already know all the difficulties of the activity. It is a test of patience that can be thrown off by even the rustle of a leaf. As such, you need all the help you can get.
While game might have an advantage in area knowledge, you can get yourself an advantage in area view. But you’ll need the best possible binoculars for bowhunting.
In these reviews, we’ll take a peek at the industry leaders, as well as companies new to the game, but they all have one goal: giving you the best chance when camped out in the cold. Not every pair of binoculars can be good for bowhunting, and in fact, there are specific features you’ll want to look for.
So, let’s get focused and zoom in on the best binoculars for bowhunting. On to the reviews!
|Best Overall||Upland Optics Perception||
|Best Value||Adorrgon 889268||
|Premium Choice||Vortex Viper||
Weather conditions of all types can strike when you are out hunting, so you will need to be prepared. With these binoculars from Upland, the last thing you’ll have to worry about is how they will react in inclement weather. Made of rugged materials, these binoculars have rubber-coated armor that allow for an easy grip, and the included neck strap lets you keep them close. With lenses made out of ED glass (Extra-low Dispersion), you will get a crystal-clear image every time you use them. They are also waterproof and fog-proof. The ED glass lens are 42mm and offer a stunningly clear 10x magnification. These binoculars have been compared to some of the best binoculars on the market, which is why they are our clear overall top pick.
The only thing negative that we could find people saying was that they were not quite as good as Zeiss.
With these binoculars from Adorrgon, you can have them rest nicely around your neck, as they only weigh 1.1 pounds. For being so light, they sure pack quite a wallop! Able to magnify up to 12x, the 42mm lens can give you a great image from about 1,000 yards away and a clear face shot from up to 650 yards away. The eyepieces themselves are bigger, which allows for a wider range of view. This can be important if you think you’re losing your target for a second.
The larger image doesn’t take away from clarity, though; in fact, it might even help it out. This isn’t too surprising, as these are made with the classic BaK-4 prism, view in HD, and offer an industry-leading clear image. Because of the way the BaK-4 prism takes in light, you will be able to get surprisingly good looks even in low-light situations. Made to be waterproof and fog-proof, this is a rugged pair of binoculars that can stand a drop or 10, but you probably won’t even drop them because of their rubber grip construction.
If there is anything to complain about, it’s that these are arguably too light. It makes them feel like a toy. Of course, many are delighted by the feathery feel of these Adorrgon binoculars. Considering the capability and price point, these are a no-brainer as the best bowhunting binoculars for the money.
Vortex went all out with their Viper line, and it shows. The image you get from these binoculars is quite impressive. Considering all the technology put into them, it shouldn’t be too surprising. Made with a dielectric multilayer prism coating, the 42mm objective lens will give you images that are striking in their clarity, color, contrast, and consistency. Able to magnify up to 10x, you will experience no quality drop-off at higher magnifications. This is perfect for hunting because you will often find yourself targeting things very far away. Made with a heavy-duty rubber armor and waterproof and fog-proof, these binoculars do their best to blend in, just like you do when in the woods. Argon is purged from the device, and they are O-ring sealed to ensure that they never fog up. They feel sturdy but are small enough that you can easily put them in your pants pocket or hang from a neck strap when the time comes. The eyecups are adjustable, so you won’t have to worry about discomfort while viewing.
Production of Vortex products moved from the U.S.A. to China in late 2017. While the quality of the item has not gone down at all, it has made for longer waits and more frustrating interactions with customer service. Some users have complained that their warranties have been flat out rejected.
From one price point extreme to another, we found ourselves on the more affordable end with these binoculars from SkyGenius. Made with 10x magnification, you will be able to get decent imaging up to 1,000 yards. The field of view is rather large, so these are especially useful for targeting. The lenses here are multi-coated, which allows for above-average light transfer. Made with a durable rubber armor, the non-slip grip will let you hold these in confidence. The eyepieces are adjustable, which is wonderful for your comfort. The focusing on this product is nice and simple, with a diopter on each eye and a tuning knob in the middle.
Of course, at the price point, there have to be flaws. First of all, sometimes they suffer the fate of double vision, which is a calibration issue, but it’s still an issue that you have to send them back to the manufacturer for. The other problem is that they can just break! We think that you get more than you pay for with these binoculars, but expect your love affair with the SkyGenius to be over in a flash.
We’re going to stick with the value buys with these compact binoculars from Occer. Made with the BaK-4 prism and coated with FMC broadband technology, the 25mm objective lens offers up to 12x of magnification, with a crisp and wide image. The eyecups are adjustable for your comfort. The small design makes these perfect for hunting; they are small enough that they can fit in your pocket. Made of durable plastic, these binoculars are constructed to be waterproof and fog-proof, though they actually are not. They also have serious durability concerns. The imaging is fine if you can find just the right spot to look through.
These are probably better used as kid binoculars.
Made with a BaK-4 prism, the aspherical lens provide good light transfer and crisp, clear images. These binoculars are made with rubber-coated armor, designed to not only be rugged but also waterproof. With a classic binocular design, focusing is meant to be easy. They’re also tripod compatible. The manufacturer claims that these magnify up to 20x and that purchase is risk free.
However, these do not magnify up to 20x. We can’t really tell how far they go, but our guess is around 8-10x. Images from those distances are surprisingly good, but the eye alignment is tough to get down. Focusing isn’t easy either. If you do get to a point where these are perfectly set up, you’re bound to be disappointed, as they have hardly any durability.
It is no surprise that Bushnell made it on this list, but you might be surprised at how low they are. This model is okay for hunting, but we think of Bushnell as more a ballgame and bird-watching binocular. These are certainly capable, though! Made with the industry-standard BaK-4 prism, they are mostly waterproof and offer good images. They are a bit bulky and can be cumbersome to carry around, but that isn’t the biggest issue. Bushnell has an Achilles heel, and that is focusing. The focus system on these binoculars is awkward, and you have to pull the binoculars away from your face to do it. This could happen at a bad time if you are out hunting and only have a split second to get a view on your target.
That being said, these are decent binoculars, as Bushnell makes a solid product. They just aren’t good for hunting, and at this price point, we would advise you to look elsewhere.
Celestron is known for their telescopes but enters our list with this product. These are similar to the Bushnell binoculars but come with the neat perk of being able to hook up to your smartphone! Another BaK-4 prism pair of binoculars, these offer crisp images in low light and other settings. Made with a coat of rubber armor, these binoculars are constructed to be waterproof and fog-proof. The eyecups double as diopters — a few quick twists and you’re all adjusted! The 42mm lens allow in plenty of light and are able to magnify up to 8x. You can add on a protection plan of your choosing upon purchase, which will connect you to Celestron’s customer service team.
Sadly, you’ll probably have to speak with them frequently, as there are many issues with these binoculars. Double vision seems to be common, as well as the inability to focus. There’s also the problem of how wide they are. If these were half the price, we would be more thrilled to get them.
This is a decent pair of binoculars, which isn’t surprising considering they’re made by Nikon. They are on the heavy side and don’t react well to elements. These are wonderful for relaxing days at the ballpark or out watching birds, but maybe not the best for hunting. Because of the price point and since this is a review for bowhunting binoculars, we can’t place this anywhere but at the end of the list.
When out on the range, you need to be able to think fast and act even faster. This makes finding a good pair of bowhunting binoculars pretty tough. Here are a few things to consider.
How quickly and how well do the binoculars focus? This is important because a big part of hunting is ranging animals from far away, so you don’t want have focus issues when you’re doing your best to keep track of your target. There’s also the ease with which you can focus. In this regard, no two binoculars are built the same. You will want to find a pair that you can adjust to easily and quickly.
If you are out bowhunting, chances are that you are also out in the elements, probably in the cold. Make sure the binoculars you choose can handle whatever weather you might find yourself in. While many companies boast a waterproof product, the reality is that most are merely water-resistant. You will also want to look for fog proofing. A great sign that a product is actually fog-proof is if it has an argon or nitrogen purging mechanism.
When out hunting, you’re going to need a wide range of view. Sometimes when a pair of binoculars offers this, it takes away from the quality of the image. You’ll have to ask yourself if that is a compromise you are willing to make.
We recommend a warranty for all purchases, but especially purchases like this, which can get quite pricey. You might also want to look into the customer service team of the brand you are researching. This can make a difference if something were to go wrong with your binoculars.
Now that you’ve read these reviews, how has your idea of the buying process changed? Buying the right binoculars for bowhunting certainly isn’t easy, but if you pay careful attention to features you want, then you can find yourself a dream pair in no time.
What caught your eye? It’s hard to underestimate the binoculars from Upland. They were our top pick, after all. You could also choose the binoculars from Adorrgon. They are our value pick for a reason, and you won’t be disappointed. Whatever you decide, we are happy to provide this resource and wish you well in your next endeavors.
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Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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