best hunting binoculars under 500

Vortex Viper HD

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Best Hunting Binoculars Under $500 and $600

If you can afford to invest a more significant amount of money on binoculars, you will have the opportunity to get hunting optics with brighter, lighter, and sharper optical performance. This can make a significant difference when you think about having to hold and scan fields with them for long hours.

To get this increase in performance, the best hunting binoculars under 500 bucks will have higher quality glass, prisms, lens coatings, and frame materials. The better glass and coatings provide brighter viewing, especially in low light, as well as experiencing far less glare in high light situations.

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Comparison Chart of Top Binoculars

Binoculars:Editor’s Choice

Model:1. Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide HD2. Vortex Viper HD3. Steiner Predator4. Nikon Monarch 7 AT5. Zeiss Terra EDMagnification:10 x 4210 x 4210 x 428 x 428 x 42Length:5.6 in5.8 in6.9 in5.6 in5.6 inWeight:24.0 oz24.6 oz27.2 oz22.9 oz25.6 ozFOV:368 ft341 ft328 ft351 ft375 ftCheck Price at:AmazonAmazonAmazonAmazonAmazonCheck Price at:Optics PlanetCabela’sOptics PlanetCabela’sOptics Planet

*Last updated 2022-02-23 at 04:19 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Features of $500-600 Binoculars

In the table above, you can compare the important specs of each binocular model. All of these models are waterproof, fog-proof, have ED Glass lenses, and come in both 10×42 and 8×42 sizes. For ease of comparison, the chart and reviews only cover the specs for their respective 10×42 versions.  Here are some other important specifications to know:

  • Multiple Lens Coatings – The goal of specialized lens coatings is to maximize the amount of light transmitted to your eyes. At the Under $500 price range, you will be getting lenses with multiple coatings that greatly reduce glare and increase the image clarity.
  • FOV – Field of View is typically measured at a distance of 1,000 yards. The larger the number, the wider an area is visible in the eyepiece. You will have a wider FOV with an 8×42 binocular, but see less than you would with a 10×42 model.
  • Eye Relief – This is simply the distance from the eyepiece at which you will be able to still see the entire FOV. Binocular manufacturers make this easy for people with and without eyeglasses by using pop-up and twist-up rubber eyecups.
  • Close Focus – This is the minimum distance to which the binoculars can focus.  A close focus of 10 feet means that the model cannot focus on anything closer than 10 feet.

Best Hunting Binoculars Under $600

1. Leupold BX-4 Pro Guide HD 10×42

DetailsAmazon

Leupold has been around for over 100 years and boasts a rich history of innovation and quality. The Mojave Pro Guide HD binoculars will not disappoint when compared to that standard. The Pro Guide HD are the 2nd lightest 8×42 model on my list, weighing just 23.4 ounces, and are a compact 5.6 inches tall.

The Pro Guide HD’s are constructed with an open bridge design that makes them light and comfortable to hold while maintaining a solid optical structure. Like other high-end binoculars, the focus wheel is silky smooth and has a locking diopter mechanism.

Optically, the Mojave BX-4 Pro Guide are known to be bright and crisp all the way to the edges of the FOV, where lesser binoculars tend to falter. The lenses and BAK-4 prisms are treated with a proprietary “L-Coat” for clear image transmission.


2. Vortex Viper HD 10×42

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I will admit the Vipers could cost you more than $500, but not by that much, and they are simply too good to leave off this list. In fact, many Viper owners say they hold their own against binoculars that cost 3-4 times as much.

Viper HD’s are built in Japan, and you can expect premium build quality as a result. The optics are very bright and clear, making them ideal for open range deer and elk hunting where long hours of glassing is a requirement.

While the optics and build quality are high, Vortex may have cut corners slightly in a few areas in order to hit the price point. The strap, case, and eyepiece covers are the most commonly cited downsides to the Viper HD’s. These can all be addressed by buying some good accessories.

Like other high-end Vortex binoculars, the housings are rugged and can withstand some abuse. One final feature that you won’t find in lower cost binocs, is the locking diopter focus that eliminates the need to constantly refocus as the day goes on.


Best Hunting Binoculars Under $500

3. Steiner Predator 10×42

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The Steiner-Optik company originated in Germany shortly after World War II, and quickly became a world leader in binoculars and rifle scope designs. In 2008 they were bought by the Berreta Group, and still maintain manufacturing in Germany.

Steiner customers are very loyal, and the Predator binoculars are no exception to all that history and reputation. While they are the tallest and heaviest binos on the list, they make up for it with ruggedness and durability. The housing is built with a special polycarbonate blend they call Makrolon™, is covered in a full NBR rubber armor coating, and can supposedly withstand shock impacts up to 11 G’s.

The Predators optic system is known to be an excellent performer. The tubes are nitrogen injected for clear, fog proof viewing. The optics are treated with a “CAT” coating (color adjusted transmission) that is designed to amplify the sensitivity of your vision to help you pick out animals from the landscape.


4. Nikon Monarch 7 ATB 8×42

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Nikon is obviously a big player in the camera and optics markets, but it’s for good reason. Nikon has a solid and longstanding reputation for real optical quality as well as build quality. The “ATB” stands for All Terrain Binoculars, making all the Monarch models great choices for hunters, you just need to choose which series meets your needs and budget.

At 23.6 ounces, and 5.6 inches tall, the Monarch 7’s are one of the more compact and lightweight choices. While compact, the 7 series claims the widest field of view out of all the binoculars in this list. On the downside, Nikon is like other binocular manufactures, in that the optics are great but the straps, cases, and lens covers are an afterthought.

Optically, the Monarch 7 is nearly universally praised by their owners for high contrast imagery and accurate colors. This can be attributed to the prisms treated with multi-layer dielectric coatings that are highly reflective.


5. Zeiss Terra ED 8×42

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For some affordable high-quality German optics, look no further than the Zeiss Terra ED. The 8×42 model is short at 5.6 inches, and has a generously wide 375-foot field of view, making them perfect for bowhunting.

The Terra ED feature Schott ED glass lenses finished with Zeiss MC hydrophobic coatings. Schott glass is known as some of the clearest, sharpest glass in the optics market.

The close focus range of 5-1/4 feet is unique, providing precision viewing and focus when scanning fields and treelines for animals. When it’s all put together the Terra ED will help you distinguish animals from the brush.

What’s the best thing about this price range?

Every hunter will find a pair of binoculars that more than fits their needs – it’s the number one attraction of this budget category.

Forget the overpriced costs, exacting preciseness, and trumped-up marketing gimmicks. All you want is dependability, high quality, and durability for the field.

This price range can literally dish it all!

QUICK LIST: 8 Best Binoculars Under $500 In 2022
Monarch 5 10×42
Maven C.1 8×42
Vortex Viper HD 10×42
Nikon Monarch 7 8×42 ATB
Leica Trinovid BCA 8×20
Maven C.3 12×50
Zeiss Terra ED 10×42
Steiner Predator 10×42
Top Binoculars Less Than $500
This is the price range that the majority of hunters will shop in, and sometimes, no more than this is needed.

Entry level hunters who want to start out with a dependable binocular will typically be attracted to this budget range. Even experienced binocular users often find that they don’t need the trappings that the expensive one’s tout. This is going to be a category that pleases all hunters of all skill levels.

And, for $300 to $500, you’re going to see an upgrade in quality compared to lower budget binoculars. Specifically, image, build, and coating quality.

Unless you have fastidious taste, you’d be hard-pressed not to find a set of binoculars to suit your needs right here.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
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Monarch 5 10X42
PRISM TYPE: Roof Prism
GLASS: BaK-4
EYE RELIEF / EXIT PUPIL: 18.4 / 4.2mm
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Maven C.1 8×42
PRISM TYPE: Schmidt-Pechan Prism
GLASS: BaK-4 ED
EYE RELIEF / EXIT PUPIL: 19.5 / 5.25 mm
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Vortex Viper HD 10X42
PRISM TYPE: Roof Prism
GLASS: BaK-4
EYE RELIEF / EXIT PUPIL: 16.5 / 4.2mm
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Nikon Monarch 7 8X42 ATB
PRISM TYPE: Roof Prism
GLASS: BaK-4
EYE RELIEF / EXIT PUPIL: 17.1 / 5.3mm
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Leica Trinovid BCA 8X20
PRISM TYPE: Roof Prism
GLASS: Unspecified
EYE RELIEF / EXIT PUPIL: 14mm / 2.5mm
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Maven C.3 12×50
PRISM TYPE: Schmidt-Pechan Prism
GLASS: BaK-4 ED
EYE RELIEF / EXIT PUPIL: 15 mm / 4.2 mm
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Zeiss Terra ED 10X42
PRISM TYPE: Schmidt-Pechan Prism
GLASS: Schott ED
EYE RELIEF / EXIT PUPIL: 14 / 4.2mm
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Steiner Predator 10X42
PRISM TYPE: Roof Prism
GLASS: BaK-4
EYE RELIEF / EXIT PUPIL: NA / 4.2mm
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Our 8 Best Binoculars Under $500

  1. Nikon Monarch 5 10X42 Binocular
    Monarch 5 10X42
    Image Credit: Nikon
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    Nikon is well-known as one of the best binocular brands and saying that this Nikon Monarch 5 10X42 is a favorite among hunters, still wouldn’t do this binocular any justice.

At around $300, you’re getting a heck of a lot of upgrades… ED Glass, Eco-Glass, Dielectric coatings, HighPoint design…

Just with this one sentence, it’s already met the criteria to make the top hunting binoculars in this price range, and still there’s more! If you’re shopping for value, you’re going to get the best bang for your buck with the ever-reliable Nikon binocular.

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  1. Maven C.1 8×42
    Maven C1 8×42 Review
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    Not all binoculars at this price point need to be big. Sometimes, a compact 8x bino can deliver the same or better quality and performance than its larger counterparts.

Pros:

All-purpose
ED glass
Dielectric coatings
Wide FOV
Compact
Cons:

Stiff diopter
The 8×42 is a mid-size binocular but during my hands on review, I discovered that it has the power of quality that puts it up with the champs in this price camp. With ED glass, SP (Schmidt-Pechan) prisms, and dielectric coatings, it has the optical potential to wipe out its competition with color fidelity, high contrast, and sharp resolution.

YouTube video
Because of its “smaller” specs, it offers a wide FOV, has higher light transmission, and a brighter image. Hunting anyone? It would be great for use in the forests and thick woodlands. My field testing of the C.1 revealed that it’s also a winning binocular for bird watching and waterfowl hunting. Really though, it’s a star performer for all uses where mid-distance, moving objects, and close-focus matters. The weather can’t get in its way because it’s completely weatherproof.

Yes, it has Maven’s iconic stiff diopter – whether they do this on purpose or not, at least you’re not paying extra for a ‘locking’ feature as it’s inherently difficult to move out of place unintentionally. With all that under its belt, this daily user is just as good its larger competitors.

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  1. Vortex Viper HD 10X42 Binocular – Best For Hunting
    Vortex Viper HD 10X42
    Image Credit: Vortex
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    If you’re easily impressed by ratings, then this $500 Vortex Viper HD 10X42 will blow you away! But, don’t expect me to give up that info so easily… you’re going to have read our full review of the binocular to find out how it did with other hunters.

As a teaser, this Viper deserves its spot for meeting every criteria of the standard we had in place for high budget binoculars. It has the HD Lens Elements, XR Fully Multi-Coated, Dielectric prism coatings, and phase correction coatings that hand over unbeatable image quality on a silver platter.

But, it also has a locking diopter piece! No more accidental shifts and bumping out of focus. Since this isn’t something we see very often, even on high budget binoculars, this is the one thing that just had me tickled into giving it a spot to be featured.

This is one of the best hunting binoculars under $500 on the market.

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  1. Nikon Monarch 7 8X42 ATB Roof Prism Binocular
    Nikon Monarch 7 8X42 ATB
    Image Credit: Nikon
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    If you are willing to spend less than $100 more, the Nikon Monarch 7 8X42 ATB (All-Terrain Binocular) has everything the Monarch 5 above has, plus some! With multi-setting click stop rubber eyecups, an extremely wide field of view, and the ATB designation, this Nikon is irresistible.

Nikon shines in the under $500 price range so to get the scoop on what bino could suit your hunting style, you might want to check out some of the other binoculars in their line-up before you make your final decision.

But, if you have 500 clams to spend you can’t go wrong with the Monarch 7 – and as a bonus, you will even get some change!

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  1. Leica Trinovid BCA 8X20
    Leica Trinovid BCA 8X20
    Image Credit: Leica
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    Yes, you’re seeing this binocular in the right price class – it really is under $500. The Trinovid BCA may be small, but it’s a Leica.

Pros:

Price
Compact
Collapsible
Lightweight
Wide IPD
Cons:

Short eye relief
The Trinovid BCA is a compact binocular inspired by the larger Trinovid series of binos. It’s 3.6 x 4.1 inches by length and width, and it only weighs 8.3 ounces. The small 20 mm objective lenses helps to keep the BCA bino small and portable.

But, you may be tempted to think the BCA is overpriced for its mini size – it’s not. Yes, you can afford full-size binos with this budget, but it won’t have Leica quality behind it.

With their world-class glass, proprietary coatings, and top-secret glass elements, sight picture quality is well above what inferior brands can provide on even their high-end and larger binoculars.

With a double hinge frame, the Trinovid tubes are collapsible to “fold” inwards for an even more compact fit in your pocket or a case. Speaking of cases, Leica does not provide one for the mini binoculars, not even a generic nylon case. You’ll have to budget a few more bucks to keep them protected or in storage.

The Leica bino has an extremely wide IPD range of 32-83 mm to fit users of all ages – just because they’re small it doesn’t mean they’re made for kids. The eyecups have a twist up design with 5 positions that stay in place even with brows pressed up against them.

They very well might be pressed up against the brows since it has short eye relief of 14 mm.

Interestingly, the diopter is located on the objective bell of the right tube. It works to focus your right eye just the same as if it was in the traditional position on the eyepiece.

Never underestimate quality from a brand such as Leica even if it comes in a small package. After all, it’s designed to be ultra compact for your birdwatching, wildlife observing, and sightseeing needs.

  1. Maven C.3 12×50
    Maven C3 12×50 Binocular Review
    Maven Price
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    The Maven C.3 binoculars are a champ in the hunting field and proved to be a great observational tool for people-watching at night. With a price point that is sure to attract, the C.3’s mid-range quality will not disappoint.

Pros:

ED glass
Schmidt-Pechan prisms
Dielectric coatings
Compact
Weatherproof
Cons:

Tripod mounting
The C.3 12×50 binoculars are tripod mountable, but the catch is that the objective bells are close together making it difficult to attach the adapter. Given that it’s a binocular that is best used when mounted, it’s a legitimate drawback.

But if you have an appropriate tripod adapter, you can look forward to a rewarding experience while birdwatching, hunting, and observing wildlife, people, and the moon. It has a narrow FOV for birding, but the extra power and compact size may make up for it.

With Schmidt-Pechan prisms that have been layered with dielectric coatings and made with ED glass elements, the optical experience is far beyond what you would expect for its price point.

YouTube video
I field tested the C3s in twilight conditions and could still see elk at 800 yards. During the early evening, spotting elk at 1400 yards and beyond was thrilling, especially so if you’re making the most of the last few minutes of your hunt.

The Maven B.6 also offers 50 mm apertures, and it is premium-grade and much more expensive than the C3s. It’s worth checking out, but for the cost-conscious buyer looking to spend minimal without compromising on anything less than mid-range performance, the C3 12×50 wins the race.

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  1. Zeiss Terra ED 10X42
    Zeiss Terra ED 10X42
    Image Credit: Zeiss
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    The Zeiss Terra ED 10X42 deserves a spot for its Schmidt-Pechan prism assembly with ED glass and excellent close focus distance. It’s also worth mentioning that it comes in well under price, in fact this sweet bino is closer to the $300 price range – for a Zeiss!

For a fully waterproof and fog-proof binocular housed in durable rubber armor, and from a renowned optics brand such as Zeiss this is an absolute steal… But, there is a reason the Terra is so affordable – it’s made in China.

So, does that affect the quality and should it influence your decision of whether or not to invest in this optic? You will have to check out our detailed review to find out.

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  1. Steiner Predator 10×42
    Steiner Predator 10X42
    Image Credit: Steiner
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    The Steiner Predator 10X42 just barely earned a spot, but it deserves a mention for its CAT coatings, fully multi-coated lenses, and N2 Injection System technologies.

It also features an integrated Fast-Close-Focus center wheel on a Makrolon housing chassis.

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What to Look for in a Binocular in This Price Range?
You’re still playing around with a lot of money when you’re shopping around and below 500 bucks. The key to choosing the right binocular is being able to discern the right pick of the litter. Some binoculars will offer it all, and others, not so much.

Some manufacturers will focus in on one quality feature, where others will spread the quality around with several features.

For instance, you may have a feature-basic unit, but it’s been constructed with the best glass there is. Another binocular may offer a fancy gadget here and a fancy feature there, but there’s not really anything “high quality” about it as a whole.

Let’s take a peek at what you want to look for when shopping this price range.

Glass: The higher the quality, the better.
Coatings: The more, the better. Additional prism-specific coatings should also be expected in this price range.
High power 10X42: You want to make sure you get accurate distances with these binoculars by being brand-specific. Going higher-powered in this price range may result in poorer image quality.
Eye relief 13-18 mm: Ensure your investment is comfortable to glass with.
Exit pupil 3-5 mm: Smaller than 3 mm? Expect to lose out on a lot of light-gathering potential.
Quality Warranty: If you’re spending the best of what you can afford, ensure you have a warranty to match the quality of your investment.
Binocular Power Prism Type Glass
Nikon Monarch 5 10×42 Roof Prism Bak-4
Maven C.1 8×42 Schmidt-Pechan Prism ED Glass
Vortex Viper HD 10×42 Roof Prism Bak-4
Nikon Monarch ATB 8×42 Roof Prism Bak-4
Leica Trinovid BCA 8×20 Roof Prism Unspecified
Maven C.3 12×50 Schmidt-Pechan Prism Bak-4 ED
Zeiss Terra ED 10×42 Schmidt-Pechan Prism Schott ED
Steiner Predator 10×42 Roof Prism Bak-4
Power, Prism Type & Glass Type Comparisons
Binocular Power Eye Relief Exit Pupil
Nikon Monarch 5 10×42 18.4 mm 4.2 mm
Maven C.1 8×42 19.5 mm 5.25 mm
Vortex Viper HD 10×42 16.5 mm 4.2 mm
Nikon Monarch ATB 8×42 17.1 mm 5.3 mm
Leica Trinovid BCA 8×20 14 mm 2.5 mm
Maven C.3 12×50 15 mm 4.2 mm
Zeiss Terra ED 10×42 14 mm 4.2 mm
Steiner Predator 10×42 Unspecified 4.2 mm
Power, Eye Relief & Exit Pupil Comparisons

Being one of the largest manufacturers of binoculars, we offer many varieties of best hunting binoculars under 500 designs. Our goal at Solaroid is to provide you with the most luxurious and stylish binocular that you will ever find. We handpick the binoculars on Solaroid, doing extensive research to find the most beautiful and unique models. Unique binoculars we have in our collection include the best hunting binoculars under 2000, best binoculars under 1000, and best binoculars under 500 rupees.

We offer the best rangefinder binoculars under 500 anywhere in the world, thanks to our high-quality designs, values, and styles.  For binoculars, there are many different designs available. Shop at the Solaroid official website for the best hunting binoculars under 300. It is no surprise that our binoculars are among the most popular on the market. For the best 12×50 binoculars under 500, please visit our site. You’ll find a variety of choices for binoculars today. Make your choice now!

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