Sitka Gear
New Binoculars
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
Scout 01-Dec-23
RonP 01-Dec-23
Arrowbuster 01-Dec-23
DanaC 01-Dec-23
Scout 01-Dec-23
butcherboy 01-Dec-23
DanaC 01-Dec-23
scentman 01-Dec-23
Dale06 01-Dec-23
Glunt@work 01-Dec-23
RJ Hunt 01-Dec-23
JohnMC 01-Dec-23
LBshooter 01-Dec-23
RonP 01-Dec-23
Glunt@work 01-Dec-23
carcus 01-Dec-23
Buckiller 01-Dec-23
WV Mountaineer 01-Dec-23
Guardian hunter 01-Dec-23
Recurve Man 01-Dec-23
Beendare 01-Dec-23
Timex? 02-Dec-23
Pop-r 02-Dec-23
fuzzy 02-Dec-23
Timex? 02-Dec-23
caribou77 02-Dec-23
Ironbow 02-Dec-23
Kingntuff 02-Dec-23
Stoneman 02-Dec-23
Thornton 03-Dec-23
wytex 03-Dec-23
JTreeman 03-Dec-23
c5ken 03-Dec-23
Mule Power 03-Dec-23
ND String Puller 03-Dec-23
Bill in MI 04-Dec-23
Ace 04-Dec-23
CBFROMND 04-Dec-23
Painless 04-Dec-23
WYOelker 04-Dec-23
X-Master 04-Dec-23
Buckdeer 04-Dec-23
Bill in MI 04-Dec-23
WV Mountaineer 04-Dec-23
East/West Coast 07-Dec-23
Timex? 07-Dec-23
RonP 07-Dec-23
DeerBadge 08-Dec-23
DeerBadge 08-Dec-23
From: Scout
01-Dec-23
What is a good compact set of binoculars for hunting?

From: RonP
01-Dec-23
what is your budget? do you wear glass when using binos? where are you primarily using them - east, mid-west, or wide-open western plains? is glassing at first light or just before dark important to you?

there is some darn good $500-$1000 binos available. someone will post "buy once cry once" in reference to spending a $2K-$3K or more on binos. i prefer not to cry at all no matter what i buy.

depending on the answers to the questions above, you may be fine with $100 binos.

01-Dec-23
Hard to beat Zeiss Conquest 8x32 for the money. Very good glass.

From: DanaC
01-Dec-23
Figure what you're willing to spend, then google 'best binoculars under $xxx'.

From: Scout
01-Dec-23
I live in the north east. I would like to glass at first light and last light. I primarily hunt white tail, turkeys, and bears. I would like to keep it around $500.

From: butcherboy
01-Dec-23
Vortex, leupold, sig, Nikon, maven, bushnell, etc.

From: DanaC
01-Dec-23
For low light, forget 'compact'. You're looking for 8x42 up to 10x50. Some decent ones are not too heavy.

From: scentman
01-Dec-23
Lee an Tiffany use Nikon Team Real Tree binoculars. Hope that helps.

From: Dale06
01-Dec-23
I suspect that Lee and Tiffany use a Nikon cause they’re paid to do so. Nothing wrong with that, but that doesn’t necessarily make them the best in that price level of binocs. And whether you are looking at top, middle or lower tier, there’s personal preference. Best go to a store and look through as many as possible, to help you decide. Good luck on your decision.

From: Glunt@work
01-Dec-23
To me compact means under 42mm. My favorite under $500 are preLeica Leitz 8x32. Often on Ebay. Amazing clarity for a compact.

As stated above, you want at least 42mm for low light especially in low-medium price optics.

From: RJ Hunt
01-Dec-23
I have a set of 8x42 vortex razor hd binos that perform very well. Think you can find them on sale for around $700-$1000.

From: JohnMC
01-Dec-23
Some good deals if you're patient on used glass. Likely can get more for your money that way.

My Swarovskis are absolutely worth it for what I consider western hunting, elk, sheep, goat, and other high country type hunts. Not sure I would consider them worth it for treestand hunting the woods for whitetails were I am spending considerable less time looking through them. But they a certainly nice for that as well.

Also I don't consider 50mm objectives compact. But I don't find them bulky or heavy enough for the trade of a compacts.

From: LBshooter
01-Dec-23
Nikon makes a good pair if you want to spend mad money, Zeiss, Swarovski or Leica. Just think about what your willing to loose when you end up leaving them out in the field. Lol

From: RonP
01-Dec-23
do not get 10x regardless of the size of the objective lens.

with your budget and what you intend to use them for, i'd recommend trying the vortex diamondback hd or vortex viper hd in 8x42. there are many other options in your price range and what works for one person may not work for others.

a good source to check out various options and specs is bhphotovideo.com

From: Glunt@work
01-Dec-23
Another good used set in regular roof prism size is the Pentax DCF WP. They are about 20 years old now but they have glass well above where they fit in the market price wise.

From: carcus
01-Dec-23
Love my new vortex diamondback 8x32 hd,

From: Buckiller
01-Dec-23
Vortex diamondback hd 10x42.

01-Dec-23
In that price range, leupold bx4’s. I own the 10x50’s and the 8x42’s both. Great glass. I’ve used them for spotting deer at 3-4 miles in brushy fields. For long periods of time this year. They did great. No eye fatigue at all.

01-Dec-23
GPO 10 x 42 is a nice bino. I have their rangefinder as well. Very pleased.

From: Recurve Man
01-Dec-23
I’ve owned two pair of Leupold Acadia’s 8x42. Bought my son a pair of Vortex last year for Christmas gift. After using his Vortex one hunt I’ll stick to my Leupold. Good all around binoculars for the price of less than 300 bucks. I use them whitetail and elk hunting. They serve my purpose.

Shane

From: Beendare
01-Dec-23
Binos are all about; 1) Intended use 2) Budget

Then you compare the models that fit your criteria.

That said, I’m not a big fan of the super compact binoculars, but they do have their place in a very small set of circumstances.

From: Timex?
02-Dec-23
I have been very satisfied with Hawke optics. Have 3 scopes & a pair of 10x50 bino's. I know the op asked about compact, just saying when field hunting with 10x50's the light gathering after sunset is very impressive for what I'd consider a middle of the road price point optics.

From: Pop-r
02-Dec-23
LB when you run all of your sentences together without punctuation it can totally change the meaning of what you have to say.

From: fuzzy
02-Dec-23
Pop-r the number of " O "s, can turn "lose" loose as well ;)

From: Timex?
02-Dec-23

Timex?'s embedded Photo
Timex?'s embedded Photo
As I previously said im 100% satisfied with Hawke optics I have. I use Bushnell 8x42 for woods hunting, if I ever decide to upgrade the one's pictured are without question what I'd buy. The price is msrp. I get about 20% off that from the gun store I deal with.

From: caribou77
02-Dec-23
I have a pair of meopta hd 10x42 that I love but I’ll tell you I have an old pair of vortex diamond back 7x36 that I wouldn’t trade the world for. Best little glass for whitetails. Just looked at their 6x32 crossfires at scheels. For $60 I was really impressed.

From: Ironbow
02-Dec-23
I bought Zeiss 10 x 40’s in 1990. I think now they are called Classics. Don’t think they are made anymore. They were retailing for $1000, 33 years ago. I found a guy that had a very lightly used pair for $500. That seemed like a lot of money back then, but I sold some stuff and bought them. Still use them to this day. Best hunting purchase I have ever made.

From: Kingntuff
02-Dec-23
Stiener and dont look back. Last for ever!

From: Stoneman
02-Dec-23
Similar to Ironbow, I bought a used pair of 10x40 leitz in 2001 for my sheep hunt. Still very good binoculars and they certainly helped me fill that tag. If you can find a good pair of used high end glasses you may be better off than buying new. Lot of good suggestions on this thread.

From: Thornton
03-Dec-23
The Vortex Diamondback HD are $250 and actually have a brighter, crisper clarity than my $1200 Sig Saur rangefinding binocs.

From: wytex
03-Dec-23
Maven

From: JTreeman
03-Dec-23
When someone says “compact binoculars” I assume they mean 8x (or10x) x 30mm. I generally consider 42mm and up “full size”.

I think there are a few decent choices in the $500 range for compact binos. I think generally Vortex are decent for the money, as long as you don’t mind having to use their very generous warranty. I think Maven is pretty dang good for the $ too. And of course Nikon has a long reputation for good mid-grade glass. Leupold is also worth a look. For my compacts I spent a little more than your budget, but am very pleased with my 8x30 Swaro CL’s.

Stepping up to 10x42 for a “do it all bino” would be a different conversation, and would generally recommend a higher price point, but for an eastern guy mainly hunting deer from stands I think 8x30 in the $500 range are a great choice.

—Jim

From: c5ken
03-Dec-23
Leica Geovid 10x42 range-finder binos. Bomb proof...

From: Mule Power
03-Dec-23
Swaro, Leica, and for less money I like Steiner glass.

03-Dec-23

ND String Puller's embedded Photo
ND String Puller's embedded Photo
I bought a couple pairs of Diamondback 8x42’s one for my daughter and one that stays in the truck. Honestly, they are impressive for the price. They’re also lightweight and are only 5.75”tall. I’ve never used them for extended glassing hunts, but for whitetail hunting they’d work fine. The Vipers are the next step up at $450 but you could check them both out and see what works for you.

I’ve always liked the 8x42 for bowhunting ranges they are easier to hold still, and gather more light than the 10x42. Good luck

From: Bill in MI
04-Dec-23
I second talking to the people at bhphotovideo.com. Zeiss Conquests 8x42 for Midwest everything.

From: Ace
04-Dec-23
You're getting A LOT of advice here, most of it useful , but in aggregate maybe it's even more confusing than helpful. It's VERY hard to tell much by looking through glass in the store.

The best advice I can offer is to ask your hunting buddies, and then borrow what they have for a few hours, see what you think. I settled on Leica 10x42, (Ultravid), not super compact, but not at all huge. The clarity blew me away and while they certainly weren't cheap, I love them, and I figure they'll last as long as I take care of them. Some people look through $250 glass and can't see a bit of difference from a $2500 bino. This is not the place to buy what someone else thinks is great, try a bunch of them decide for yourself. And then you'll have the fun of deciding which bino case or carrying system is best. YMMV

From: CBFROMND
04-Dec-23
If a 10x42 is what you end up looking for take a look at Scheel's All Sports and they offer the Scheels version of the Vortex Viper... It's called the Vortex Rage.. They put them on sale for $100.00 off now and then.. Scheels is also outstanding on return policy.

From: Painless
04-Dec-23
I have Zeiss bino's and spotting scope. Bought the binos back when Cabela's had a sale on the older ones when the Victory model came out. Best $600 I ever spent. There are a few of these old models for sale now in the $600-700 range on Ebay now.

From: WYOelker
04-Dec-23
Mavens

From: X-Master
04-Dec-23
Another vote for Vortex Diamondback HD 8 X 32. Pretty tough to beat for bowhunting. Light weight. Super clear and lifetime unconditional warranty and they don't break the bank!!!. Make sure you get the HD - Gen2 though as the glass is another grade clearer than the Gen 1.

From: Buckdeer
04-Dec-23
I have Swarovskis and they are at home while the vortex are getting carried every day.I wear glasses and will send in the Swarovskis this year to see if theres something wrong as I can't focus to get clear.

From: Bill in MI
04-Dec-23
I second talking to the people at bhphotovideo.com. Zeiss Conquests 8x42 for Midwest everything.

04-Dec-23
Cameraland NY will have the best deal. Google them up. Great guys to deal with no matter your choice of brand.

07-Dec-23

East/West Coast's embedded Photo
My 6x6 Bull Elk
East/West Coast's embedded Photo
My 6x6 Bull Elk
Love my Vortex diamondback hd 10x42! Have glassed up Moose and Elk with these gems along with 3D archery events. A great compliment is my Vortex Diamondback HD Spotting Scope (20-60x85). Terrific for glassing up those Moose and Elk I have been fortunate to harvest over the last 3 Years!

From: Timex?
07-Dec-23
Mavens........????? Guess I've been living under a rock. Until this thread iv never heard of em.

From: RonP
07-Dec-23
not to hijack this thread but i am going to compare the vortex razor hd 10x50 and maven b6 10x50 within the next week. i have one in possession and the other on the way. i'll start another thread with my thoughts.

From: DeerBadge
08-Dec-23
Maven has the greatest customer service I have experienced in a long time. I dropped my Maven B6 and caused the lens retaining ring to crack and damage the objective. I sent it back to them and within a week they had it fixed and on its way back to me. The cost to me was shipping it back to them. In regards to quality of the B6's I would put them up against my Swarovski EL 10x 42 any day. I know most people will not believe me, but I have tested them out side by side and really have a hard time picking as winner between them. Just my 2 cents worth on the topic.

From: DeerBadge
08-Dec-23
Double post, sorry.

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