Best Hunting Binoculars Under $200
Purchasing a pair of high quality hunting binoculars can completely transform the way you hunt. You will be able to identify and track your prey much more effectively. The ranges at which you hunt will also increase and you will have much greater success in the field.
However, finding the perfect pair of hunting binoculars is not easy. There are dozens of models on offer with some very advanced features. It is easy to become confused about which model is best for your requirements. This buying guide will share some tips on choosing the best binoculars for hunting. After that, we will showcase five of the best binoculars for hunting under $200. Let’s get started!
Hunting binocular buying guide
Here are the main considerations to keep in mind when comparing hunting binoculars:
Binocular Magnification levels
The magnification level refers to how much a pair of binoculars can “zoom in” towards the target. You might assume that powerful binoculars with a 20x or 30x magnification level might be best for hunting, but that is not the case.
It can become difficult to track a moving target with very high magnification levels when you are holding the binoculars with your hands. Higher magnification levels also give you a narrower field of view, which can decrease your situational awareness.
Most hunters use binoculars with a 10x magnification level. This level of magnification gives you a clear view of your prey and you won’t have to use a tripod to keep your optics steady.
The objective diameter is the measurement of the objective lens, which is found on the front of the binoculars. A larger objective diameter means more light can enter the binoculars, making the image brighter. The downside of using binoculars with a large objective lens is that the binoculars will be larger in size and can become difficult to use.
Most binoculars have the magnification levels and objective size written on the outside of the device. The first number refers to magnification and the second refers to objective size. For example, a pair of binoculars that is 8 x 50 will have an 8 times magnification and 50 millimeter objective size.
Exit pupil size and brightness index
The exit pupil size refers to the size of the light beam that leaves the binoculars and enters your eye. The amount of light is described using a number called the brightness index. This figure is calculated by dividing the size of the binocular’s objective lens by its magnification. So, a pair of 8 x 50 binoculars would have a brightness index of 6.25 (50/8). If you often hunt in low light conditions, you may prefer a pair of binoculars with a high brightness index.
Field of view
The field of view is the width of the viewing angle that the binoculars provide. Having a wide field of view means you can see far to the left and right of your target. This can make tracking moving targets easier and it can help to improve your situational awareness. If you use binoculars with a small field of view, you will have to move side to side more often to track your target.
The higher the magnification you use on your binoculars, the lower your field of view will be. Binoculars with a smaller objective lens will also have a narrower field of view. You will have to compromise between the field of view that each pair of binoculars offer, their magnification, and the size of their objective lens.
The focus setting on your binoculars allows to choose a focal point. There are three methods for setting this focal point:
- Center focus
This is the most common form of binocular focus. You simply manipulate a dial to focus both telescopes at the same time.
- Individual focus
This configuration uses two separate dials, to control the telescope’s independently.
- Focus free
These binoculars have been fixed at a very long depth of field setting, which means most of what you see will be in focus. However, they do not focus well on objects that are close to you are very far away.
Most hunters opt for center focus binoculars because they can be used for longer distances and focussed with one hand. However, focus free binoculars are also becoming popular. Because there are less moving parts in focus free binoculars, they are less likely to break.
Optical prisms are often used to redirect the light coming through the objective lens to the eyepiece. The two most commonly used prisms are:
- Porro prism
These binoculars use a Z-shape configuration to flip the image going from the front lens to the eyepiece.
- Roof prisms
This configuration uses a V ship to flip incoming light.
Both configurations will deliver excellent visual quality. However, roof prisms tend to be less fragile and can be used in smaller binoculars.
Modern hunting binoculars use a variety of lens coatings to improve the clarity of their images. The most common coatings include:
- Anti-scratch coatings
An anti-scratch coating will protect the glass against scratches from dirt particles that might damage the lens.
- Phase correction coatings
These coatings are used on binoculars with optical prisms, to improve image quality.
- Anti-reflective coatings
These coatings reduce the amount of glare coming into the binoculars.
- Metallic mirror coatings
These coatings use aluminum or silver and can increase the amount of light reflection, making for a brighter image.
Five of the best binoculars for hunting under $200
Here are five pairs of binoculars that are perfect for hunting! They are durable, easy to handle, and very practical. You will be amazed by how much easier it is to locate and track your prey with these incredible optics.
Bushnell Legend L-Series 10x42mm Binoculars
The Legend L-Series 10x42mm binoculars have a lightweight magnesium chassis that will handle the most rugged of conditions. This chassis weighs 23.5 ounces, which makes it ideal for mobile hunters.
These binoculars use ED Prime Extra-Low Dispersion fluorite glass, which offers excellent contrast and color resolution. This glass works well in low-light conditions. Other features include anti-reflection coating, rainguard HD lens protection, and dielectric prism coating. This is a great choice for hunters looking for a product with a great build quality for a reasonable price.
Celestron 71406 TrailSeeker 10×42 Binoculars
Celestron is a well known optics maker that make telescopes, spotting scopes, outdoor electronics, microscopes, binoculars, and much more. Their Trailseeker binoculars are designer for hunters, hikers, and birdwatchers.
They are compact and lightweight binoculars with a durable magnesium alloy body. They use Bak-4 prisms with both phase and dielectric coatings to deliver a very bright image with excellent contrast. The field of view is also quite wide on these binoculars.
They come with adjustable metal eyecups, which are designed to give you years of use (unlike rubber eyecups which can deteriorate). The ergonomic design is easy to handle one-handed, which makes it perfect for hunting. Celestron make excellent products and these binoculars are no exception.
Bushnell Trophy Binocular
This is a great pair of binoculars with the same build quality as the Legend L-Series. They are perfectly designed for hunters, with a compact BaK-4 roof prism and durable alloy body for easy handling.
The optics are fully multicoated and made from environmentally-friendly lead-free glass. The 62 degree field of view makes it easy to track moving targets and the large objective lens makes targets crystal clear. This model is nitrogen filled to make it fog proof. The dura-grip rubber coating makes it easy to handle even in wet conditions. A really great product that is suitable for any kind of hunter.
USCAMEL 10×50 Binoculars
They use a BaK4 prism with a multi-layer film that reduces reflection and light refraction. The images produced by these binoculars are superb and perfect for identifying targets in dense foliage or low light conditions.
These binoculars contain nitrogen to reduce the likelihood of the lenses fogging up. They are also waterproof and can float, which is useful for hunters who spend time near the water. The built-in compass is another very handy feature and the construction is very solid. Although slightly more expensive than the other models reviewed, the build quality and features are excellent.
HUTACT Military Binoculars 10×50
This pair of HUTACT binoculars are designed to military specifications and include some very advanced features. Those features include a built-in compass, built-in ranging unit, and real-time direction indicator.
It contains FMC multi-coated optical lenses which deliver a very bright and vivid image. The large 50 millimeter objective diameter makes these binoculars perfect for low light conditions. The sharpness of the image can be adjusted for the left or right eye, which is useful for people who have weaker vision in one eye. These binoculars use rubber eye pieces that can be pushed down to accommodate users with glasses.
Thanks for reading Best Binoculars for hunting under $200. Make sure you check out the best rangefinders for hunting as well. For more reviews of hunting gear and equipment, subscribe to the blog or follow us on social media!