Different types of optic devices are designed to suit specific purposes. Right from bird watching to hunting, it is vital to use the appropriate type of optical device to optimize the user experience. One of the most useful optical devices for all hunters regardless of their hunting experience is the hunting binocular. The choice of a hunting binocular can either make or break your hunting experience overall. Whether hunters use snares, live ammunition, or are stealthier, they can benefit from a pair of high-quality hunting binocular carried around their necks.

In addition to simply magnifying distant objects, the hunting binoculars are equipped with a myriad of advanced features and settings to make your hunting pursuit successful. You must consider the type of hunting, your budget, and your anticipated features before buying one. Well, the following selection of best ones aids you in easily picking the best hunting binocular under $500.

List of The Best Hunting Binocular Under $500

Check out the thorough reviews of the best hunting binocular under $500 below.

1. Steiner Marine 7×50 Hunting Binocular for Adults and Kids

Steiner Marine 7x50 Hunting Binocular for Adults and Kids

This Steiner Marine 7×50 binocular is the ideal choice for hunting, bird watching, wildlife tourism, outdoor sports, and concerts. In our list, it is the best hunting binocular under $500 in terms of construction, light-gathering capability, optical clarity, and focus mechanism.

Floating prism system of the binocular uses flexible silicone lens mounts to withstand intense impact, shock, and abuse without damage. The rubber-armored construction is waterproof and fog-proof. It indicates Steiner binocular’s high durability. So, it works well in wet conditions. Furthermore, the pads and ergonomic edges offer a secure, comfortable grip. The pack comprises a neck strap, a carry case, a lens protection cap, and objective lens covers.

Key Features

  • The high-contrast optics conveys vivid, high-contrast images with true-to-life color reproduction.
  • The 7x magnification provides a broad field of view (at 1000 yards).
  • The 50 mm objective lenses efficiently gather light during both daytime and nighttime.
  • The sports autofocus conveys sharp, bright 3D images from 20 yards to infinity. No refocusing is needed.
  • The robust, shock-absorbing rubber offers a non-slip grip that is neither soft nor sticky.
  • Porro prism design is devoid of moving parts. Hence, it conveys high durability and excellent optical clarity.
  • The Steiner’s cutting-edge lens coatings improve light. Hence, your eyes observe more contrast and bright detail in both bright and low-light conditions.
  • Dimensions and weight: ‎9.4 x 7.5 x 5.6 inches; 1 kg.

Pros And Cons

  • Incredibly bright and sharp image
  • Made in Germany
  • Very high quality construction
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Good eye clearance
  • Nice carrying case included
  • High durability and waterproof
  • Heavy – over two pounds (for some it might be a factor)
  • Pretty large

2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 12×50 Hunting Binocular

Vortex Optics Diamondback 12x50 Hunting Binocular

You can rely on this Vortex Diamondback HD binocular for hiking and outdoor activities. It is optimized using select glass elements to provide outstanding resolution, color fidelity, light transmission, and sharpness. The image quality is further honed by a reduction in chromatic aberration.

The rubber armor structure offers a non-slip and secure grip. The structure offers durable external protection. Moreover, the rugged construction sustains impact and recoil. Since these Vortex binoculars are tripod adaptable, you can use them on a car window mount or a tripod. The O-ring seals and argon purging offer fog-proof and waterproof protection in all weather conditions. GlassPak harness is included in the pack.

Key Features

  • It features 12x magnification and 50mm objective lenses.
  • The fully multi-coated lenses are equipped with anti-reflective coatings on each air-to-glass surface. They boost the light transmission capability.
  • The dielectric coating offers clear, bright, and color-accurate images.
  • Armortek coating defends exterior lenses against dirt, scratches, and oil marks.
  • The adjustable eyecups rotate up and down for comfortable viewing (with or without eyeglasses).
  • The central focus wheel simultaneously adapts the focus of both binocular barrels.
  • The diopter is situated on the right eyepiece. It balances the differences in a user’s eyes.
  • Dimensions and weight: ‎9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches; 28.9 ounces.

Pros And Cons

  • Razor-sharp optics
  • Compact design for easy carrying around
  • Efficient light transmission
  • Affordable price for the features
  • The included bino harness feels cheap

3. Steiner Predator Series 8×42 Hunting Binocular

Steiner Predator Series 8x42 Hunting Binocular

If you prioritize a large field of view and image clarity then this Steiner 8×42 binocular can be one of your best hunting binoculars under $500. Its 8x magnification provides a large field of view and a vivid, high-definition image. Hence, these binoculars are perfect for detecting and following games via dense timber, specifically in low-light situations. Moreover, these Steiner binoculars boast a lightweight, compact design and durable construction.

Key Features

  • The diameter of the objective lens is 42 mm.
  • The maximum magnification is 8x.
  • Predator Diamond Coating is implemented on the HD glass. It produces excellent light transmission, high-definition imaging, and high contrast.
  • Fast-Close-Focus technology utilizes a central focusing wheel. You simply need to rotate it slightly for rapid absolute sharpness from zoom to infinity.
  • The available modes are standard mode, short-distance mode, long-distance mode, rain mode, and continuous scan mode (to rapidly learn a landscape).
  • The impact resistance of the aluminum housing is up to 11G.
  • The Steiner nitrogen filling uses the two-way-valve system to avoid fogging of the optics. It completely seals the binoculars to always ensure a crystal-clear view.
  • Dimensions and weight:  ‎9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches; 1 pound.

Pros And Cons

  • CAT vision brings out great clarity, making the prey stand out from its foreground/background through the increase of contrast
  • One-handed usage, the body texture offers a nice grip
  • Solid, durable aluminum housing for protection
  • Large light-gathering capacity
  • Relatively light weight
  • Lens caps fall off easily

4. Athlon Optics Midas G2 UHD Hunting Binocular

Athlon Optics Midas Hunting Binocular for Adults and Kids

This Midas G2 10×42 binocular is one of the best hunting binoculars under $500 from Athlon Optics owing to their versatility. You can use these binoculars for bird watching, hunting, stargazing, or as travel accessories. These UHD binoculars boast outstanding edge-to-edge clarity, true color representation, ultra-clear brightness, and argon purging.

With cutting-edge fully multi-coated optics, superior-quality prisms, and UHF glass lenses, the Athlon Optics binocular can collect maximum light and generate great color fidelity. The magnesium chassis is as durable as a metal chassis but also keeps the design lightweight.

Key Features

  • The diameter of the objective lens is 42 mm.
  • The maximum magnification is 10x.
  • The eye relief is 15.2 mm.
  • The close focus is 2.5 mm.
  • The field of view at 1000 yards is 341 feet.
  • The interpupillary distance ranges from 57 – 74 mm.
  • Precise color reproduction is possible with ED glass, superior quality BaK-4 prisms, phase coating, and an ESP dielectric coating.
  • The tough XPL lens coating avoids dirt accumulation and scratches.
  • A lifetime warranty is included.
  • Dimensions and weight: ‎9 x 7 x 4 inches; 23.3 oz.

Pros And Cons

  • Rubber armor provides a stable and soft grip
  • Fast and clear capturing of the target
  • Uses quality glass for excellent optical clarity
  • The lightweight and durable chassis offers portability
  • Someone receives product with flimsy focus knobs

5. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Hunting Binocular

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Hunting Binocular

Are you on the lookout for the best hunting binocular under $500 that are lightweight yet durable? If yes then you can use the Bushnell 10×42 roof prism binoculars. Their lightweight magnesium chassis and soft touch grips help you to conveniently use them anywhere. The ultra-wide field-of-view (includes long eye relief) help you to easily view moving objects or animals.

The list of accessories includes lens caps with keeper loops to avoid optical loss, a soft case, a padded carrying strap, a large semi-rigid case, and a binocular harness.

Key Features

  • The diameter of the objective lens is 42 mm.
  • The maximum magnification is 10x.
  • The close focus is 1.9.
  • The binoculars’ body is 100% waterproof and fog-proof.
  • The binoculars are O-ring sealed for moisture protection. Moreover, they are nitrogen purged to discard all internal moisture and avoid fogging.
  • Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) Prime fluorite glass offers an outstanding color resolution. It discards color-fringing and chromatic aberration to present the most unique details.
  • The locking diopter ring permits a +/- right-eye adjustment (when required).
  • Dimensions and weight: ‎5.39 x 4.02 x 6.89 inches; 0.71 kg.

Pros And Cons

  • Excellent optical clarity in any light conditions
  • Focus wheel is super smooth and responsive
  • Quick to connect and disconnect the neck strap
  • All essential accessories included
  • Durable magnesium alloy construction
  • Shallow depth of field
  • Noticeable field curvature

6. VABSCE Digital Night Vision Hunting Binocular

VABSCE Digital Night Vision Hunting Binocular

VABSCE night vision binoculars contain an all-optical binocular system and a no-glow infrared illuminator. These aspects help you to view plants, animals, and other distant objects even in complete darkness or dim light.

Three modes are available to capture photos, record a video, and playback. Hence, you can capture HD photos & videos with excellent optical clarity in the daytime, nighttime, and low light conditions. The packed accessories are a protective case, a USB cable, an AV output cable, a cleaning cloth, a power bank band, a neck strap, and an instruction manual.

Key Features

  • The features like 3x digital zoom, 2x IR zoom, 31 mm objective aperture, and 3x-10x magnification help you to realize FHD photos and videos. These features equip the binoculars with the efficient zooming capability to brighten distant objects.
  • The detection range is up to 980 feet even in full darkness.
  • IR brightness is adjustable in 5 levels. It offers optimal visibility at night.
  • You need to insert 8 external AA batteries that will provide a run time of up to 10 hours.
  • A 64 GB card is included. The binoculars support 8 GB to 128 GB cards.
  • Dimensions and weight: 9.64 x 8.07 x 3.74 inches; 1.43 pounds.

Pros And Cons

  • High image clarity at higher-level IR
  • The ability and image quality of photos and video is fantastic and fairly clear even when zoomed
  • Large storage capacity
  • Takes batteries but can also use with an external power source
  • Hard carrying case is great for storing
  • No lens covers, for fear of scratching a lens
  • Its a little heavy to hold, but can be used with tripod

7. Zeiss Terra ED 10×42 Binocular

Zeiss Terra ED 10x42 Binocular

Zeiss Terra ED 10×42 binoculars are compact all-around sets. The reason is they boast compact and appealing design, perfect ergonomics, and durable casing. They are perfect for hunting, bird watching, traveling, nature observation, and other outdoor activities.

Their compact design and huge lens diameter prove quite beneficial for hunting in forests and fields. The high optical precision and the hydrophobic multicasting present detailed and bright images. The waterproof body makes this Zeiss binocular a reliable companion even in extreme weather conditions.

Key Features

  • The maximum magnification is 10x.
  • The field of view is 110 m at 1000m. The apparent field of view is 60°.
  • The effective lens diameter is 42 mm.
  • The exit pupil diameter is 4.2 mm.
  • The operating temperature ranges from 24°F to 140°F.
  • Dimensions and weight: 8.9 x 9.5 x 3.1 inches; 3.15 lbs.

Pros And Cons

  • Good size, easy to hold
  • Comfortable and fast focusing
  • Sleek and compact design
  • Convey bright and crisp images
  • Good build quality
  • For the price, the sharpness needs improvement

How To Pick The Best Hunting Binocular Under $500?

All binoculars are not suitable for a successful hunt. So, it becomes challenging to choose the appropriate pair of hunting binoculars. You can consider the following factors to simplify your buying hassles and choose the best hunting binocular under $500.

1. Focus

Hunting binoculars with a central focus is desirable. They involve the rotation of a central focusing wheel to collectively adjust both tubes. Moreover, you can further adjust one of the two eyepieces to compensate for the variances between the viewer’s eyes. Usually, you can adjust an eyepiece by rotating it within its mount.

Many contemporary hunting binoculars are equipped with sports autofocus. They convey bright and sharp 3D images from 20 yards to infinity without refocusing.

2. Magnification

It denotes the ability of the hunting binocular to magnify distant objects. Usually, it is better to choose a hunting binocular with magnification in the range of 7x to 10x. A hunting binocular with 8x magnification means that it can display an object 8 times closer than what it actually is. It is the first number specified in a binocular description. For example, 7X42 binoculars mean that the image is magnified 7X.

3. Objective lens

The objective lens is equipped at the front of the hunting binoculars. It is the second number specified in a binocular description. For example, 7X42 binoculars suggest that the diameter of the objective lens is 42 mm.  The bigger the lens, the more light it will allow inside. Keep in mind that as the lens size increases, the binocular becomes heavy and expensive.

You can choose a hunting binocular with a 42 mm lens that allows enough light penetration while also ensuring a lightweight design. A hunting binocular with a 50 mm objective lens efficiently gathers light during both daytime and nighttime.

4. Field of view

When you look at a target, you usually have a 180° field of view. But when using a binocular, your field of view is limited. In all binoculars including hunting binoculars, the field of view is expressed by how broad the view is at 1,000 yards.

The higher magnification leads to a decrease in your field of view. Hence, you must find a proper balance. Generally, you need a higher field of view if you are hunting in broad open areas. Usually, in a 10×42 hunting binocular, the field of view is 280 – 360 feet.

5. Optical coatings

The manufacturers of hunting binoculars use different optical coatings to decrease the amount of light reflected and generate a clear image. The common types of optical coatings found in hunting binoculars are coated optics, fully coated optics, multi-coated optics, and fully multi-coated optics. Examples of optical coatings include anti-reflective coating, anti-scratch coating, water-repellant coating, metallic mirror coating, and phase correction coating.

6. Exit pupil

It is a number that indicates how well you can see through your hunting binoculars in dim light conditions. It is measured by dividing the objective lens number by the magnification. For example, in a 10X42 binocular, you will divide 42 by 10. Hence, the exit pupil is 4.2. The exit pupil in the range of 4 and 5.5 will perform efficiently in low light conditions.

7. Prism type

The prisms in hunting binoculars allow you to view your images right side up rather than upside down.  Two well-known prism types for these binoculars are roof prism and porro prism. The roof prisms are the industry standard prisms. They are more compact and rugged. The porro prism conveys a brighter image. However, when using a binocular with a roof prism, you can obtain the same image quality as that in a porro prism but you need to add the coatings.

FAQs When Picking The Best Hunting Binocular Under $500

1. What do numbers indicate for hunting binoculars?

You may have wondered what the set of numbers indicates in the best hunting binoculars. The first number shows the binoculars’ magnification power. The second number denotes the size of your optics’ objective lens (measured in mm).

2. How does a good night vision hunting binocular benefit you?

A good night vision hunting binocular is equipped with a huge objective lens to amplify 100% of the incident light. Consequently, it provides you with an image output although you are hunting in darkness. Moreover, you can buy a night vision binocular equipped with an infrared illuminator that offers additional light while hunting in pitch-dark settings.

3. What are the essential accessories your chosen hunting binocular should have?

You must check for some essential accessories before buying your hunting binocular. The list includes a binocular harness, tripod adapters, specialty cases, tethered objective lens covers, sun shades, neck strap, lens protection cap and carry case.

Final Thoughts

A high-quality hunting binocular is a significant and cost-effective investment for an avid hunter. When you head out for hunting, accurate shooting skills are inevitable but they are not adequate. You should own a pair of feature-rich hunting binoculars to ensure a successful hunting experience. The accurate focus, large magnification power, huge objective lens, broad field of view, quality lens coating, portability, and ease of use are some of the key traits of the best hunting binocular under $500.

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