Top 5 Hunting Binoculars under $300 in 2019

Hunting binoculars are designed to give you a crisp and clear image of the target as if you are right in front of it. Every hunter desires that kind of clarity, however, with a plethora of models, it is difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. If you are looking for hunting binoculars, you will first need to first identify and define your needs. 

Product

Name

Magnification & OL

FOV

Price

Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars

Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars

3x4

MOA 

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular

3x4

MOA 

Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular

Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular

3x4

MOA 

Carson 3D Series High Definition Waterproof Binoculars with ED Glass

Carson 3D Series High Definition Waterproof Binoculars with ED Glass

3x4

MOA 

Occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars with Low Light Night Vision

Occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars with Low Light Night Vision

3x4

MOA 

To make your task easier, we have compiled a list of top 5 hunting binoculars under $300. Go through each product’s pros and cons created for your consideration. But, before that take a look at a few things you need to consider before buying hunting binoculars.

  • Magnification: While you may be tempted to believe that bigger is better, it is not always true in case of hunting binoculars. Although you will find magnification up to 20x and beyond when looking for binoculars in the market, 7x to 10x is more than enough. A higher level of magnification results in lower image steadiness.
  • Objective size: This is another important aspect to consider, and a 40 or 42mm objective size can virtually work for any type of hunting binoculars. With a larger objective, you can get more clarity and detailed images. The 50 mm lenses are more expensive than the 40mm ones, but they deliver an amazing performance at night. Furthermore, larger lenses will mean the product will be heavier so if you want portability, choose accordingly.
  • Field of View: This is a unit often expressed as FOV and refers to the area you can view at 1000 yards. If the FOV is small, this means the visual area is less or narrower. If the FOV is higher, it means you have a wider visual area. When you use magnification, the image, as well as the field of view, will get smaller in size.
  • Exit pupil: Both the magnification and objective size determine the exit pupil whose main role is to let light pass through the eye. If the exit pupil is higher, you will be able to see a brighter image. As it is difficult to get the right magnification, objective diameter, exit pupil, and field of view, all at once, it might be a good idea to measure the size of the human pupil.
  • Prism type: The prism used in hunting binoculars is of two types - Porro prisms and roof prisms. The roof designs are more usable than the second version, as they are lightweight and have a slimmer dimension. The prism reflects light up to five times. Although slightly more expensive than Porro prisms, the roof prisms are sought after for great performance.
  • Eye relief: The ‘eye relief’ is a critical aspect for people who use sunglasses or eyeglasses. It is defined as the distance at which a shooter holds the binoculars from the eyes. If you wear glasses, I would recommend that you look for products that measure at least 14-15mm.
  • Image quality: Please bear in mind that although image clarity is essential, excellent quality is useful only when you use the binoculars for several hours at a stretch. If you plan to use it occasionally to be able to tell whether what you see is a rock or a deer, mediocre image quality is enough.

Some of the other factors to consider include size, cost, optical coatings, water resistance, rubber coatings, and accessories.

Let’s take a look at some of the top 6 hunting binoculars under $300 in 2019.

#1. Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars

Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars

The Diamondback binocular from the house of Vortex sets the example for a perfect balance between price and performance. This is a highly efficient optical system capable of delivering an extraordinary performance with fully multi-coated lenses. It can give you impressive views even in low light conditions. With 10x magnification, 42mm objective lens, 15mm eye relief, and an ultra-wide field of view, you can cover far-ranging subjects with ease.

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons.

PROS
  • The construction is solid and sturdy with easy adjustment settings. It comes with a nice case made from semi-hard neoprene foam
  • Image quality is very rich, crisp, and clear. Some customers experienced mild distortion towards the edges but this can be corrected with focus and adjust
  • Customer support is extremely responsive and helpful. Each product comes with a VIP product warranty so any damage or issue is immediately fixed
  • It is excellent for bird watching as you can adjust with one finger and hold on to the adjustment without slipping. The grooves are nice and they help to get a good grip. 
  • You get incredible quality performance at a reasonable price. If you are a beginner or a part-time hunter, it offers good value for money
CONS
  • Some customers have commented that they get fishbowl effect when panning while viewing. If you plan to use the binoculars for several hours, this could be a nuisance
  • The outer edges of the field of view are not as crisp as the center. If you are a casual user who just wants to locate beautiful birds, this will not be an issue
Summary

The Vortex Optics Diamondback is well-designed hunting binoculars at this price. It not only provides crisp and clear images but also gives you good eye relief. As the model is lightweight and compact, you can easily carry it with you in your bag. Overall, a good performing pair of binoculars that is well worth the price.


Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular

If you can’t stay away from the woods for too long, you need a companion like the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Roof Prism Binocular. This device has been thoughtfully designed to deliver high-definition and sharp viewing experience with true color details. It comes equipped with RainGuard HD anti-fog technology to ensure that the binoculars perform well in all weather conditions. Furthermore, it features anti-reflective lens coating to deliver superior light transmission.

PROS
  • These binoculars are not too heavy, hence easy to use. The visuals are excellent in normal daylight or dark twilight conditions
  • As the device is lightweight and compact, you can conveniently carry them on long hikes. The carrying case is an added advantage that lets you carry the device in style
  • The focus knob has a nice rubberized coating that gives you a good grip on the binoculars. The knob can be adjusted with just the index finger to get good focus
  • Users get good eye relief with an ultra-wide field of view. They perform well in low light conditions and allow you to get a good view even if you wear glasses
  • The water repellant lens coating works great so you can use them in foggy weather. But, make sure to not let any debris get inside the lens covers
CONS
  • The protective covers used with the objective lens is not attached firmly in case of Bushnell. They tend to slip off easily unnoticed
  • Even though Bushnell offers a good warranty, one customer complained that he had focusing issues but the company refused warranty sighting that they do not cover damages due to impact
Summary

We compared Bushnell with several other models in its category, the device turned out to be superior to competitors in various aspects. The product scores high marks for design, aesthetics, and performance. If we take into account the ease of use and picture quality in different light conditions, we would definitely recommend Bushnell Legend.


Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular

This Fogproof Prism Binocular is yet another premium product from the house of industry leader Bushnell. The company has been producing high-performance optics for over 65 years, and these waterproof binoculars is an amazing example of their credibility. Every product that comes from the Bushnell factory is tested to give you a good performance and is backed with outstanding customer service. If you are an ardent outdoor enthusiast, you need optics that are sturdy, portable, reliable, and water resistant, and Bushnell promises to deliver spot on.

PROS
  • Both 8x and 10x magnification delivers high-quality optics with stunning high definition clarity. It works for amateurs as well as professionals.
  • The external framework is sturdy and made from 100% quality materials. It sports a beautiful design and durability built to last for long
  • The device is fully-waterproof with an O-ring seal and nitrogen-purged for fog-free performance. You can rely on its performance even in adverse weather conditions
  • There’s a large center-focus knob ergonomically designed to help you adjust with just one finger. The twist-up eyecups are capable of providing good eye relief
  • The box comes with a well-designed case and straps. It has all the accessories you need for enjoyable bird watching or wildlife hunting
CONS
  • The biggest disadvantage is that these binos have multi-coating on the roof. They are not completely coated or phase coated
  • The vision may appear slightly distorted around the edges. The 10x magnification has more distortion compared to 8x
Summary

The Bushnell H2O Waterproof is a high-quality optics that is capable of delivering stunning optics in adverse weather and light conditions. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, you are sure to find the performance impressive. The limited lifetime warranty is a letdown at this price, but if you are looking for a 100% waterproof optics, this Bushnell unit is a good choice.


Carson 3D Series High Definition Waterproof Binoculars with ED Glass

Carson is a well-known name in the industry of quality optics and the company has been producing high-definition waterproof binoculars for a long time. The 3D Series comes with enhanced features and capabilities to deliver an outstanding performance. It comes with ED glass to improve the picture quality and phase corrected prisms for better contrast, color, and resolution. With O-ring seal and nitrogen-purged body, these binoculars are 100% waterproof. If you are looking for reasons why you should get a Carson 3D Series, check out the pros.

PROS
  • The thumb grooves provide good texture and grip to the binoculars. It adds to the lightweight ergonomics of the device
  • The twist-down eyecups design provides extra long eye relief, making these binoculars an ideal choice for glass wearers
  • Ease of use makes this device a great choice. It can be mounted easily on a tripod for better viewing
  • The box comes with additional accessories such as lens cover, harness, deluxe case, neck strap, and lens cloth to keep your binoculars safe
  • Carson stands behind its product and offers a no-hassle and no-fault warranty. They have a good customer support team that will repair and replace the products when needed
CONS
  • ome users commented that the shoulder harness gets tangled with the quick clips, making it harder to get the harness on and off with ease
  • The bino case comes with two magnetic closures, however one works great while the other does not work so well
  • There are no instructions on how to attach the shoulder straps. Although a small issue, this could be a problem for the beginners
Summary

For the beginners and amateurs, this binocular is a great match with sharp details and clear picture quality even under low light conditions. The ease of use and portability of the device is amazing. If you have used binoculars before, you will be able to set it up on a tripod within minutes and start viewing. Overall, we feel the Carson 3D is a good bargain at this price!


Occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars with Low Light Night Vision

The Occer Compact Binoculars with 12x magnification and the 25mm objective lens is designed in a way to give you a wide view with sharp details. This compact device can easily fit into your pocket so you can carry it anywhere you like with ease. As the binocular is made of high-quality rubberized armor, it feels soft and comfortable to touch. The device is shockproof and waterproof, with a neck strap that makes it convenient for kids and adults to carry. They comprise two adjustable rotating eye goggles that can help you focus on the view and be a suitable fit for the glasses wearer.

PROS
  • As the binoculars are good for low light conditions, they are suitable for bird watching, hunting, football games, traveling, exploring, viewing, hiking, opera, and outdoor sports
  • The non-slip rubber exterior and neck strap make it easier to carry the binoculars with you wherever you go. It comes with a nice carry case for portability
  • The image clarity, sharpness, color acuity of these binoculars are well within what a user can expect at this price, given the build and design limitations
  • The lenses are good quality and you can see your images clearly by adjusting the focus knob located between the two lenses
  • f your main purpose is bird watching, you will be impressed because the device lets you change focus quickly and easily
CONS
  • There are no lens covers in the box, which is a letdown. While not a performance issue, lack of lens covers makes them vulnerable to dust
  • It comes with a cheap looking elastic band to hold the device in place inside the case. We wish they had a better quality two-sided Velcro strap
Summary

Even though many users have labeled this product as a toy, we think it has the capacity to be good hunting binoculars for the outdoor enthusiasts. This is an excellent device for bird watching, animal spotting, sports, and concerts. With good quality images, sharpness, ergonomic design, and better grip, the Occer top the chart as one of the most sought after hunting binoculars under $300.


The Final Words

The hunting binoculars of today have highly evolved from what they used to be 10 years from now. With advanced features and improved design, you can expect to accomplish more. Whether you are a casual bird watcher or you wish to locate your target for hunting, picture resolution, sharpness, and clarity play a major role. Most importantly, you need to define your purpose and budget before you start looking at the different hunting binoculars available. 

Article featured image: MyFWCmedia "Bowhunting from a Treestand"

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Andrew Garfield
 

Andrew is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He has years of experience in hunting with expert knowledge in hunting tactics, rifle scopes and all types of hunting gear.

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