When it comes to hunting binoculars there is no one-size-fits-all set of rules. The specifications you need to look for in a pair of binoculars will change depending on the game you’re after and the type of terrain you are in. We’re going to lay out some general guidelines to help you get started in the right direction and you can alter these suggestions to suit your own personal preferences.
On every pair of binoculars you will see a set of numbers that might look something like 8×40. The first number, 8x refers to the magnification and the second number, 40 refers to the diameter of the objective lens in millimeters. Both of these numbers are important when selecting a pair of hunting binoculars. Magnification of 7x to 10x is ideal for most hunters. Anything less than 7x may not provide enough magnification but increasing the magnification too much presents its own set of problems. With higher magnification it is harder to keep your subject steady. If you need greater magnification you may want to consider investing in a spotting scope. A spotting scope can help you find targets at a great distance and they offer very powerful magnification but they may also require the use of a tripod for better stability.
Objective Lens Diameter
As mentioned a moment ago, the diameter of the objective lens is also an important consideration. A larger objective lens will allow more light to come into the binoculars which is ideal in low light situations. Because a lot of animals are most active at dawn and dusk, superior image quality in low light conditions is very important. Going too large with the objective lens however adds weight and if you are going to be carrying these around with you all day you don’t want something that’s going to be too heavy.
Another very important consideration when selecting a pair of hunting binoculars is to find something that is able to stand up to the elements. A lot of binoculars are labeled as water resistant, weatherproof or rainproof but you really want to look for something that specifically says waterproof. Waterproof binoculars will not allow any moisture to penetrate your binoculars which would cause them to fog up on the inside. If a pair of binoculars is able to keep out water it will also be able to keep out dust and dirt. You may also want to look for a pair that has a rugged outer casing so if they get dropped or banged up they will not be damaged.
There are dozens of makes and models of binoculars on the market that are specifically designed for hunters. There are many features that may or may not be important to you but all of the items discussed above are extremely important and should be among the first things you think about before looking at other features or being swayed by various bells and whistles. A pair of hunting binoculars is an investment and is something that should stay with you for a long time. Take your time, do your research and make sure you are getting the best pair for your money.