Good Hunting Binoculars on a Budget: How to Find Great and Cheap Hunting Binoculars
When it comes to hunting, you’re not going to want to try to cut costs on the most important gear such as your weapon, ammunition, outdoor gear, and even your binoculars.
However, it’s relatively impossible to assume that every outdoorsman is interested in spending hundreds of dollars on a high-end pair of binoculars.
Luckily, there are many models on the market that excel in performance but are available at a fraction of the cost.
If you’re searching for good hunting binoculars on a budget, you first need to know what specifications to look for in order to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Choose the Magnification
When it comes to hunting, many people believe that the higher the magnification of the binoculars, the better it is, but that’s not always the case.
It depends on the type of hunting you are doing, as some people might be able to get away with 10x magnification, whereas others might require nothing less than 12x.
The most important thing to know about magnification is that the higher it is, the less steady the binoculars will be when you’re holding them by hand. This means that if you have a magnification of 12x or greater, you might need to buy additional equipment such as a tripod.
For hunting, your ideal magnification should fall between 7 and 10, otherwise, you either won’t be able to see far enough or you won’t be able to keep your eyes steady when focusing on faraway targets.
Choose the Objective Lens Size
If you’ve ever watched an animal documentary, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that animals that hunt at night and are nocturnal will have far larger eyes than animals that hunt during the day. This is because the larger their eyes are, the more light they let in which helps them to see at night, and this same principle applies to your binoculars.
The objective lens size is the second number when you see a marking on binoculars such as 10x42. The 42 stands for 42mm, which is the width of the objective lens and the larger you go, the more detail you’ll be able to see, but also the better you’ll be able to see at night.
Choosing a larger objective lens could be a preferable option as it will give you access to better night vision without having to invest in high-quality binoculars with integrated infrared or night vision.
However, choosing an objective lens size of anything less than 30mm is going to be unsatisfactory for any type of hunting as you won’t be able to see enough detail about your targets.
Choose the Prism Type
Another common feature you’ll come across when you research good hunting binoculars on a budget is the type of prism integrated into the design.
There are two main types of prisms that you’ll find in hunting binoculars known as porro and roof. Depending on your personal preferences and your hunting style, you might prefer one over the other.
Roof prisms are exceptionally lightweight and are designed to fall straight in line with the eyepieces, plus it offers a 5x light reflection. With that being said, it is also the more expensive of the two and can substantially affect the price of binoculars.
Porro prisms reflect light up to 4x and come with a larger body, and they are designed to fall just above the eyepiece. They might not offer as much accuracy as roof prism binoculars, but they are the far more affordable option.
Think About the Field of View
As one of the first specifications typically advertised when it comes to binoculars, your field of view explains everything that you will be able to see at a specific distance. The vast majority of manufacturers explain the field of view as a number at 1,000 yards and the higher the number, the more area you’re going to be able to see.
For example, a pair that offers 300 feet at 1,000 yards compared to 200 feet at 1,000 yards will allow you to see 100 feet more.
Unlike the other tips on this list, there isn’t a specific rule for when it comes to choosing the right field of view, but there are ways that you can get an idea of what the best option would be.
Those who intend to hunt in more open areas, such as fields, will want to choose a pair that offers a high field of view. However, hunters who are tracking faster moving targets will want a smaller field of view, as it can allow you to keep an eye on your targets easier.
Weather Resistant Features
If there’s one thing that can surely be said about hunting binoculars it’s that, they experience an array of weather conditions and the last thing you’ll want is to buy an affordable pair of binoculars only to have them become damaged because of rain or humidity.
Ideally, you’re going to need to find hunting binoculars that are not only waterproof, but fog proof as well, as this can determine the quality of the optics. When you’re looking at product descriptions, pick a pair that states they are sealed, as this helps to keep dust, debris, and water out of the essential components inside of the binoculars.
Another important feature is nitrogen, as it is typically blown into the lenses to prevent the inside from fogging caused by condensation because of fluctuations in temperatures.
Good Hunting Binoculars on a Budget: Where to Find the Right Pair
There are many different places where you can find the perfect pair of hunting binoculars ranging from sportsmen stores to online boutiques, but not every pair is made the same.
Although binoculars may come with an agreeable price tag, it is essential to take the above tips into consideration to make sure you’re buying the right pair that will last a long time and allow you to make hunting more enjoyable.