The 6 Best Hunting Binoculars of 2022 – Tested and Reviewed!

Written By Annalena Wood is reader supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

If you want to give yourself the greatest chance of bagging a trophy animal next time you are out in the field, you should unquestionably grab one of the best sets of hunting binoculars currently available. For me, the best overall product is the ATN BinoX 4T 640 2.5-25x 50mm, but that may not be the case for everybody. This is why I have gone to the trouble of reviewing the top 6 hunting binoculars! 

What makes a great set of hunting binoculars?

The Top Hunting Binoculars Reviewed

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ATN BinoX 4T 640 2.5-25x 50mm – Best Overall Thermal Hunting Binoculars

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Launched in 2019, the unbelievable ATN BinoX 4T 640 2.5-25x 50mm are (without a shadow of a doubt) the best overall hunting binoculars that incorporate the use of a thermal sensor. Now, these are not for the faint-hearted (or the budget-conscious) among us. These are premium products, and they come with a premium price tag to match!

But, if you have some money to burn and want the best a hunter can get, then I simply can not recommend these more highly!


  • Thermal Sensor: 4th Gen 640 x 480 Microbolometer
  • Magnification Range: 2.5 – 20 x
  • Display Resolution: 1280 x 720 x 2 px
  • Frame Refresh Rate 60 Hz
  • Objective Lens Size: 50mm
  • Close Focus: 3.3 meters / 10 feet
  • Battery type: Internal Rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Battery life: Over 16 Hours
  • Polarity Viewing Modes: Color/ Black & White
  • Weight: 1.13 kg / 2.5 lbs 
  • Detection Range: 1950 meters / 2133 yards
  • Recognition Range: 800 meters / 874 yards
  • Identification Range: 475 meters / 520 yards

The list of in-built features on these bad boys is spectacular and about as comprehensive as anyone could hope for! The laser rangefinder works perfectly day or night, and has a reach of 1000 meters.

The ultra-sensitive next gen sensor offers 640 x 480 resolution at 60Hz. This allows for highly detailed and exceedingly smooth sight vision. Coupled with the huge 2.5 – 20 x magnification range, the ATN BinoX 4T 640 2.5-25x allows for thermal detection reaching to 1950 meters / 2133 yards.

Then we have the BIX (Ballistic Information Exchange). Controlled through the ATN app, this great bit of software allows you to share any and all ballistic info from your binos to your ATN smart scope. The scope will then automatically adjust the reticle to best suit the target distance within 2 seconds. Livin’ in the future, man.

There’s also a built-in IR illuminator , dual stream video, ATN social radar, 10mm of interpupillary adjustment, and the class-topping rechargeable internal Li-Ion battery. 

That really depends on what sort of hunting you’re into. For an in-depth look into all the most important aspects check out the buyers guide near the end of this article. But, for now, let’s take an in-depth exploration into the top 6 deer and general hunting binocular reviews.

This battery assembly offers over 16 hours of continuous run time, and should you want even more juice there’s a convenient “ATN Extended Life Battery Kit” which offer 15 more hours use and doubles as a comfortable neckstrap

Try to find a better set of thermal hunting binoculars, I’ll wait!


  • Class topping specs across the board.
  • Amazing build quality.
  • Massive battery life.
  • All the bells and whistles.
  • Super sensitive thermal sensor.
  • The best thermal imaging binoculars currently available.


  • The price point is restrictive.

ATN Binox 4T 384 1.25-5 x 19mm – Best Budget Thermal Hunting Binoculars

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What do we have here? Another set from the ATN Binox range?

Yes indeed, the ATN Binox 4T 384 1.25-5 x 19mm are my absolute top pick when it comes to budget thermal hunting binos. So let’s see where they differ from their bigger (much more expensive) siblings, and why you should consider grabbing a set. 


  • Thermal Sensor: 4th Gen 384 x 288 Microbolometer
  • Magnification Range: 1.25 – 5 x
  • Display Resolution: 1280 x 720
  • Frame Refresh Rate 60 Hz
  • Objective Lens Size: 19 mm
  • Close Focus: 3.3 meters / 10 feet
  • Battery type: Internal Rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Battery life: Over 16 Hours
  • Polarity Viewing Modes: Color/ Black & White
  • Weight: 0.78 kg / 1.75 lb
  • Detection Range: 750 meters
  • Recognition Range: 335 meters
  • Identification Range: 205 meters 

Does it include all the same features as the ATN BinoX 4T 640 2.5-25x 50mm? They sure do!

The only glaring differences are the sensor resolution, the objective lens size, and the overall dimensions – This set is noticeably smaller and lighter.

You still get the top-shelf laser range finder that is capable of instantly ranging your target with absolute accuracy all the out to 1000 meters. The BIX (Ballistic Information Exchange) offers instantaneous information sharing between the binos and ATN smart scopes, there’s dual video stream and record, the inbuilt IR illuminator, and 10mm of interpupillary adjustment.

One feature I forgot to mention in the previous review is the super handy tripod attachment point. This is an extra that a lot of binoculars skip out on. Thankfully ATN hasn’t, as the option to clip onto a tripod can be a life saver.

Another thing I breezed past was the “ATN Radar”. This detail is easy to overlook, but it’s really useful if hunting with friends. Think of this kinda like a HUD from a video game shooter. Anything you like (game, waypoints, etc.) can be easily tagged with the rangefinder. The tagged area or target will then show up on a map which also integrates a mini radar to show directional information. You can also see the location of everyone else using the app.

The battery assembly is also the exact same as in the 640 2.5-25x 50mm, with over 16 hours of continuous use available from the fast recharging Li-ion setup. Not much else to say here, just a fantastic set of thermal binos!


  • Completely water-resistant and very durable.
  • GPS enabled for geotagging and social hunting.
  • Includes all the same great features as the rest of the Binox line.
  • Best in class battery assembly.
  • Lighter and smaller than the higher-priced options.
  • Priced to please.


  • Not much to complain about here.

Vortex Razor UHD 10x42mm Roof Prism Binoculars – Best Traditional Hunting Binoculars

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For the last 15 years or so, Vortex Optics has been enjoying a rapid rise up their reputation, and are now thought of as one of the most trustworthy optics manufacturers worldwide. 

Seated atop their outstanding range is the Razor series which has a few different options available. In my opinion, the best of this series are the Vortex Razor UHD 10 x 42mm Roof Prism Binoculars. 

They offer the perfect balance for hunters with their huge field of view, absolute top-shelf image quality, use and implementation of high level components throughout the build, close focus ability, and included “GlassPak”case that doubles as an extremely comfortable harness.


  • Objective Lens Size: 42 mm
  • Magnification: 10 x
  • Close Focus DIstance: 3.3 ft / 1.1 m
  • Angle of View: 6.6° (Actual)
  • Field of View: 346 ft at 1000 yd / 114.87 m at 1000 m
  • Interpupillary Adjustment Range: 56 to 76 mm / 2.2 to 3 inches
  • Eye Relief: 16.7 mm
  • Weight : 32.2 oz / 913 g
  • Length: 7 inches / 17.78 cms
  • Prism System: Abbe Koenig Roof Prism
  • Fogproof: Argon Purged
  • Water Resistance: Fully Waterproof

Lets talk about the Abbe Koenig Roof Prism system quickly…

This type of optical system is able to achieve 100% internal reflection without the need of highly reflective mirror coatings. This is a huge plus over other prism systems, and when coupled with the other optical features of this set the resulting image quality is stunning. 

These other optical features include both the “Plasma Tech’ full multi-coated anti-reflective coatings and the ”ArmorTek” protective coating, ED (extra low dispersion) glass element, and the use of apochromatic lenses for much easier fine focusing. 

The image quality that the Vortex Razor UHD 10 x 42mm offers is truly one of the most impressive of any set currently available for purchase. The image brightness is comparable with sets double or triple the price, the color reproduction and contrast are vivid and true to life, with almost zero signs of any distortion or fringe blurring.

The field of view (346 ft at 1000 yd / 114.87 m at 1000 m) make this set one of the widest FOV currently available, which makes for easier target acquisition and tracking, and allows for a much better overall view. 

The super generous eye relief (16.7mm) makes this set perfect for anyone that wears eye-glasses or sun-glasses while out hunting. While wearing my sunglasses I am still able to see the entire FOV without any view cutoff.

And with Vortex’s outstanding VIP Warranty as standard you never ever have to worry about breaking them!


  • Supreme optical quality.
  • Built to last a lifetime and backed by the best warranty available.
  • Huge field of view and eye relief.
  • Abbe Koenig roof prism system.
  • Awesome bino harness / protective carry case.
  • Fully multi-coated with protective and anti-reflective coatings.


  • Not the smallest or lightest set.

Steiner Predator AF 8×30 Binoculars – Best Compact Lightweight Hunting Binoculars

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When I’m going on a hunt that requires me to pack light then my first choice of binos are the Steiner Predator AF 8×30 Binoculars. They have been made with hunting specifically in mind, and are jam packed with features that every hunter will love. 

The “Always In Focus” works perfectly, adjustments are super easy to make and can be made to each eye piece separately, and the specialised lens coatings help the user to pick out the browns and reds that target game often display against similarly colored backgrounds.


  • Objective Lens Size: 30 mm
  • Magnification: 8 x
  • Close Focus DIstance: 20 yds / 18.2 m
  • Field of View: 120 m at 1000 m
  • Interpupillary Adjustment Range: 56 to 72 mm 
  • Finish: NBR Long Life Rubber Armoring
  • Weight : 19 oz  / 538 g
  • Length: 4.7 inches / 11.9 cms
  • Prism System: Porro
  • Prism Material: BAK4
  • Fogproof: Nitrogen Purged
  • Water Resistance:  IPX-4

The AF system is a big selling point. If you are used to camera AF systems this may seem a little misleading, but it works brilliantly once setup. Essentially all you have to do is set up the diopters on each eyecup to work for your unique vision and bam, everything from 20 yards to infinity will be sharp and totally in focus. 

Now, this does come with one obvious downside. The close focus point is pretty large, thus making this set of binos not perfect for close range viewing. But, if you are using these for hunting the pros far outweigh the cons. 

In terms of optical coatings, all Steiner Predator binoculars come with “ CAT™ Color Adjusted Transmission” which emphasizes browns over greens. Although this is a subtle change, I was honestly pretty surprised at how much it helped me pick out targets through dense scrub and bush. There is also fully multi-coating with anti reflective material.

The FOV is above average as is the eye relief, and the image quality is certainly up there with much higher priced units and one of the true highlights of this set! The low light representation is surprisingly good, and in recent months I have found myself using these binos more and more, even on hunts that dont call for a compact set.


  • Designed and produced in Germany.
  • This set is extremely comfortable to use, especially for long periods.
  • Top-self image quality.
  • Well priced.
  • Lightweight and compact, perfect for long hunts with a lot of trekking.
  • Steiner CAT™ game-detecting lens coatings.
  • Steiner Heritage™ Warranty – full unlimited warranty


  • Not the easiest to tripod mount
  • Long minimum close focus distance.

Nikon LaserForce 10x42mm Rangefinding Binoculars – Best Traditional Range Finding Binoculars

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Rangefinding binoculars are a great addition to anyone’s hunt kit, but are also the type of item that manufacturers rarely get totally right. Almost every set I’ve either owned or tested has had at least one major flaw (if not a whole list), and they usually cost more than a small second hand car!

Thankfully, the Nikon LaserForce 10x42mm Rangefinding Binoculars have recently been introduced. Not only are they considerably cheaper than other options, they are probably the best rangefinder binos I have ever tested!


  • Objective Lens Size: 42 mm
  • Magnification: 10 x
  • Laser Rangefinder Range: 10 – 1900 yards / 9.1 – 1737 meters
  • Close Focus DIstance: 23 ft  / 7 m
  • Field of View: 320 ft at 1000 yd / 106.24 m at 1000 m
  • Interpupillary Adjustment Range: 58 to 72 mm 
  • Weight : 30.9 oz / 876.0 g
  • Length: 5.8 inches / 14.7 cms
  • Prism System: Roof
  • Fogproof: Nitrogen Purged
  • Water Resistance:  Waterproof
  • Battery Type: CR2 Lithium

One of the major downfalls of rangefinder binos of the past was their inability to handle inclines or declines. Not the case here, with Nikon’s advanced “ID Technology” you can range at almost any angle ( +/- 89 degrees – almost vertical up or down).

The highly rugged build quality offers great protection against the everyday knocks and bumps that are to be expected on a hunt, and the whole thing is fully waterproof. Nitrogen purging ensures zero fogging issues no matter the conditions.

The included CR2 Lithium battery will power the unit for a whole season, and it comes tripod ready (although you will have to pick up a tripod separately).

Nikon has a long held reputation for producing some of the best optical glass elements available, and it’s no different here. This set handles low light conditions as well as any set I have tested, and the rangefinder readings are displayed with easy-to-read red characters. The control buttons are also laid out in a foolproof manner. 

Eye relief is ample even for eyeglass wearers ensuring a clear field of view – which at 320 ft at 1000 yd is sizable. 

How about the warranty? Nothing to worry about at all, with Nikon offering a full lifetime warranty for any and all material and workmanship defects.


  • Inbuilt rangefinder with 10 – 1900 yard range.
  • About half the price of competing units.
  • ED glass elements with full multi-coating.
  • “ID Tech” for incline/decline ranging.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Rugged, waterproof build.
  • Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) optics.


  • Heavier than standard binoculars

Vortex Diamondback 10x42mm Binoculars – Best Budget Hunting Binoculars

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Ok, the Vortex Diamondback 10x42mm Binoculars may not be the cheapest hunting binos available. And yes, they do still cost more than some people may be wanting to spend on a hunting accessory (although there are a bunch of great deals available right now).

But, if you are trying to find a great set of binos to take hunting that won’t prompt a from you bank branch manager, then take a good hard look at these right here!

For the price they offer superb optical quality, a tough and versatile build, and quick focus ability all in a lightweight package!


  • Objective Lens Size: 42 mm
  • Magnification: 10 x
  • Eye Relief: 16 mm
  • Close Focus DIstance: 5 ft / 1.5 m
  • Field of View: 393 ft at 1000 yd / 119 m at 1000 m
  • Interpupillary Adjustment Range: 57 to 72 mm 
  • Weight : 24.5 oz / 720 g
  • Length: 5.7 inches / 14.5 cms
  • Prism System: Roof
  • Fogproof: Argon Purged
  • Water Resistance:  Waterproof

I was first introduced to the Vortex Diamondback 10x42mm when a close friend bought a set as a backup option. He pretty quickly started using the Diamondbacks more often than his main set, for a couple of reasons.

First up, his old set was heavy and had some surface scratches on both of the objective lenses. But it wasn’t just defects that pushed him towards this newer set. They just feel like a more expensive set. Everything works, and works well!

I know I have said this about every single set in this article (because it’s true), but the optical quality is truly second to none. Featuring fully multi-coated optics and phase-corrected prisms, this set performs beautifully in low light conditions, and shows almost zero signs of any distortion or aberrations. 

There is no better set available for less than $250 (even cheaper on some websites so check out both the links to find the best deal!) and better yet it’s covered by Vortex’s VIP lifetime warranty.


  • Super affordable.
  • Outperforms many higher proceed units.
  • Fully multi-coated glass elements.
  • Phase corrected prisms for enhanced resolution and contrast.
  • Multi position eyecups.
  • Water, fog, dust, and shock proof.


  • It’s hard to find anything wrong with this set.

How to find the best hunting binoculars for you!

The best binoculars for birdwatching or general use may not be the best for hunters. Hunting comes with its own specific set of optical requirements, and as such it’s best to find a set that can fill the tick sheet. 

So, how do you find the right set of hunting binoculars? The set that will ensure the greatest chance of a successful hunt?

This buyer’s guide is here to help you understand all the finer points and important features for finding the best hunting binoculars for your particular circumstances. Have a quick read through to make sure you have a good understanding before you go out and make a purchase!

Magnification and How It Impacts FOV

One of the most common misconceptions when discussing hunting optics is that more magnification is better. This could not be further from the truth!

The higher the magnification, the smaller the field of view it displays and the more susceptible to shaking it is. Of course, there are situations where you would want a high-powered set, but on this list, I have kept it to sets with a wider range of applications. 

For most hunters, a magnification power of 8 to 12 x will suit well and show a nice wide FOV.

Objective Lens Size

A lot of the best hunting happens during dawn or dusk (or at night). Typically, the bigger the objective lens the more light is able to capture. Obviously, there are other factors that will also directly affect this but it’s a good way to quickly gauge a set of binos.

Many hunters refuse to use a set with an objective lens less than 42 mm, but in my opinion that is being too picky. So, what is the best binocular size for hunting? There are a bunch of great sets at 30 mm or even smaller. It’s all about that balance between performance and business. 

If you want a set that can see games and targets in absolutely zero light, grab one of the best sets of thermal binos here or here.

Build Quality

There’s no way around it. If you like to hunt then you are going to have to be ok with being outdoors in any and all weather conditions. That’s why I have only featured sets that are up to standard when it comes to water, weather, for, dust, and shockproofing. 

Always look for models with a strong protective rubber sleeve, O-rings, either nitrogen or argon purged, and with a camo or dark finish. The finish and rubber sleeve help with stealth by providing some noise deadening and cutting reflections that may be spotted by prey.

Eye Relief 

This is often overlooked, but hugely important (especially if you are a glasses wearer). The eye relief refers to the maximum distance between the tip of your eye and the ocular (rear) lens. I always look for sets that offer at least 15mm.


What are the best binocular brands for hunting?

There are many reputable sporting optic brands, but in my opinion it’s hard to beat the likes of Vortex, Nikon, ATN, Steiner, and Leupold.

Should I buy a thermal or traditional set of hunting binoculars?

That really depends on how and what you like to hunt. If you hunt exclusively at night then you should definitely consider buying a thermal set. Even if you hunt in the full brightness of day a thermal set will come in handy, but they are not 100% necessary. 

Should I buy a hunting binocular harness?

Absolutely. If the set binos you settle on do not come with a harness included then I certainly recommend you invest in one. Hunting is usually a war of attrition, so you should give yourself every possible advantage. Not only does a harness do a far better job of securing your binoculars when not in use, they also offer attachment points for a bunch of other accessories.

Why shouldn’t I choose a hunting monocular over a set of binoculars?

Again, this really comes down to personal preference. Although monoculars do have their own set of upsides – lighter, more compact, easier to adjust – they offer a much smaller FOV, cause more eye fatigue, and the whole one eye viewing feels much less natural.

The Wrap Up 

If you can afford a set of thermal hunting binoculars then that’s what you should get, no doubt about it. They offer so much more versatility than a traditional set, and although they may not be for absolutely everyone, they should not be easily or quickly overlooked. The best thermal hunting binos can be found right here.

If thermal imaging isn’t your thing, then I simply can’t go past this set. They just do everything so well, and at a pretty reasonable price to boot! 

About Annalena Wood

Annalena is carrying her rifle with passion and pride for her love of the outdoors and the experience of hunting. Her most memorable hunting season was back in 2015 when she and her dad were drawn for special elk tags. That allowed them the chance to fill their tags with an actual bull elk rather than a spike. That year both her and her dad came home with their first trophy elks, with hers a 6 by 6 pointer and her dad’s a 6 by 5.