Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the best Leupold hunting scopes available in the market! As avid hunters know, having the right optics can make all the difference in the field. Leupold, a renowned name in the optics industry, stands tall with a range of scopes tailored to diverse hunting needs.

In this guide, we'll delve into the top Leupold scopes, dissecting their features, magnification capabilities, reticle options, durability, and overall performance. Whether you're a seasoned hunter seeking precision in challenging terrains or a beginner looking for the perfect scope, this breakdown will help you navigate the array of Leupold offerings, ensuring you find the ideal optic to elevate your hunting experience.

Join us as we explore the world of Leupold hunting scopes, unlocking the best choices to match your hunting style and preferences.

The top Leupold hunting scopes are here!

The Quick Summary
Overall, the Best Leupold Hunting Scope is the Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10X40 CDS-ZL DUPLEX!
Below you can check out other top scope options including the... 
- Best Long Range Leupold Hunting Scope: Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44mm M5C3 FFP
- Best Close Range Leupold Hunting Scope: Leupold VX-6HD 2-12X42 CDS-ZL2 Illum Firedot Duplex
- Best Budget Leupold Hunting Scope: Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Hunt-Plex
And scroll down to find out the one thing to remember before buying your next Leupold scope!

Like most hunters, I started off with a Tasco or Bushnell hunting scope, but the temptation of buying that "gold ring" scope just becomes too much.

I've hunted with quite a few Leupold hunting scopes on my 7mm mag, going after whitetail in the Appalachian mountains.

Of course, I'm not out there knocking down deer or elk at 500 plus yards, but if I was, I would still choose this brand. From my experience, you just can't beat the toughness of these scopes!

    Trivia Question: When did Leupold start? (See Answer).

    Full Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and end up making a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  

    VX-3HD 3.5-10X40 CDS-ZL Duplex Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44mm M5C3 FFP VX-6HD 2-12X42 CDS-ZL2 VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Hunt-Plex
    Highlight Best Overall Best Long Range Best Close Range Best Budget
    Image Best Leupold Hunting Scope - Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10X40 CDS-ZL DUPLEX Best Beginner Compound Bow For Youth - Genesis Compound Bow Kit Best Close Range Leupold Hunting Scope - Leupold VX-6HD 2-12X42 CDS-ZL2 Illum Firedot Duplex Best Budget Leupold Hunting Scope - Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Hunt-Plex
    Magnification 3.5-10 3.6-18 2-12 3-9
    Objective Lens 40 mm 44 mm 42 mm 40 mm
    Weight 13.1 oz
    26 oz
    19.9 oz 12.2 oz
    Price Around $400 Around $2,000 Around $1,800 Around $300
    Best Price Learn More Learn More Learn More Learn More


    Best Overall Leupold Hunting Scope

    Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10X40 CDS-ZL Duplex

    The VX-3HD 3.5-10x40mm scope is renowned for its exceptional performance and clarity while maintaining a durable and lightweight design. Its adaptable magnification range makes it suitable for various scenarios.

    Leupold VX-3HD Reticle

    This scope excels in low-light conditions, thanks to Leupold’s Elite Optical System. It ensures superior light transmission from dawn to dusk, providing a clear and bright image when visibility is crucial. Additionally, it minimizes glare in intense light conditions, offering the resolution and precision that dedicated hunters and shooters require. The VX-3HD also boasts match-grade repeatability and user-friendly controls, even accommodating glove use. It stands as the top lightweight, low-light hunting scope in its category. Its low-profile, one-revolution CDS® ZeroLock® dial enhances confidence by ensuring dial movement only occurs at your command. Simply unlock it by pressing the button, make adjustments, and return it to zero to secure its position. It’s an intuitive process.

    Every element in the VX-3HD is purposefully included to aid hunters in achieving success. Similar to all Leupold riflescopes, it’s meticulously crafted, machined, and assembled in the USA, backed by a lifetime guarantee.

    This scope’s robust features and craftsmanship are tailored to elevate your hunting experience, providing reliability and clarity when it matters most.

    What We Like

    • Leupold's Highest Reviewed Scope
    • Custom Dial System
    • Elite Level Glare Reduction
    • Relatively Lightweight

    What We Dislike

    • Above Average Price
    • No Side Focus

    For latest prices, and more information about the Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10X40 CDS-ZL Duplex, take a look below!

    Our Pick
    Best Leupold Hunting Scope - Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10X40 CDS-ZL DUPLEX
    Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10X40 CDS-ZL Duplex
    The Best Overall Hunting Scope
    The Leupold VX-3HD is best overall hunting scope because this waterproof, fogproof, shockproof option combines many top features at a reasonable price.

    Best Long Range Leupold Hunting Scope

    Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44mm M5C3 FFP

    The Mark 5HD is engineered around Leupold’s Professional-Grade Optical System, delivering unparalleled light transmission optimized for the most challenging lighting environments.

    Its industry-leading glare reduction ensures a crisp image even in direct, harsh light. The resolution and clarity of this scope meet the rigorous demands of professional guides and users alike. Designed with ergonomics in mind, it features tactile and audible click adjustments, larger numbers for easier reading, and a high-speed throw lever, facilitating quick and accurate target acquisition.

    This scope's unique combination of durability and professional-grade optical performance guarantees its capability to tackle any challenge you encounter. It's fully waterproof, fogproof, and, like all Leupold riflescopes, meticulously designed, machined, and assembled in the USA, backed by a lifetime performance guarantee.

    Here are some specific details about the Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44mm scope:

    M5C3 Turrets: These Low Profile 1/10 Mil per click dials provide 30 Mils of adjustment in 3 revolutions. Visual and tactile revolution indicators prevent confusion during adjustments.

    First Focal Plane (FFP): The reticle magnifies in conjunction with the image, allowing range estimation at all magnification settings.

    Scratch-Resistant Lenses: The lenses boast extreme military-standard scratch resistance, ensuring added protection against damage.

    Made in the USA: Designed, machined, and assembled in the USA, this scope is 100% waterproof, fogproof, shockproof, and supported by Leupold's renowned customer care.

    The Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44mm rifle scope is a high-performance optic designed to deliver exceptional clarity, durability, and functionality, meeting the needs of professionals and enthusiasts in various shooting scenarios.

    What We Like

    • Large Magnification Range
    • 20 oz Lighter Than Comparable Scopes
    • Easy To Estimate Ranges
    • Military-Standard Scratch Resistance

    What We Dislike

    • High Price Point
    • Relatively New Model
    • Difficult To Break-In

    For latest prices, and more information on the Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44mm M5C3 FFP, take a look below!

    Our Pick
    Best Long Range Leupold Hunting Scope - Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44mm M5C3 FFP
    Leupold Mark 5HD 3.6-18x44mm M5C3 FFP
    The Best Long Range Hunting Scope
    The Leupold Mark 5HD is the best long range hunting scope because of the superior reticle and quick adjustment options equipped with this model.

    Best Close Range Leupold Hunting Scope

    Leupold VX-6HD 2-12X42 CDS-ZL2 Illum Firedot Duplex

    The VX-6HD 2-12x42mm riflescope is designed to offer exceptional versatility, providing an impressively wide field of view along with the necessary magnification for mid to long-range shots. Its robust yet lightweight construction has made it a preferred choice for hunters who refuse to compromise on performance or weight. This scope is crafted to excel in diverse scenarios, including your most adventurous pursuits.

    Based on Leupold’s Professional-Grade Optical System, the VX-6HD 2-12x42mm scope ensures unparalleled light transmission, surpassing expectations in challenging lighting conditions. Its cutting-edge glare reduction technology ensures a clear image even in harsh, direct light, while delivering the resolution and clarity demanded by professional guides and shooters in the field. The broad zoom range, along with integrated features like an in-scope electronic reticle level, CDS-ZL2 ZeroLock® elevation dial, and a removable throw lever, makes the VX-6HD the most versatile riflescope in Leupold’s lineup.

    This scope is engineered to handle challenges where others might falter. Its unique blend of features, durability, and professional-grade optical performance ensures its capability to tackle any situation. It's fully waterproof and fogproof, adhering to Leupold's standard of excellence. Like all Leupold riflescopes, it's designed, machined, and assembled in the USA, backed by a lifetime performance guarantee.

    What We Like

    • Great Low Light Performance
    • Wide Field Of View
    • Custom Dial System
    • FireDot Reticle

    What We Dislike

    • Moderately Heavy
    • Expensive Price Point

    For latest prices, and more information on the Leupold VX-6HD 2-12X42 CDS-ZL2 Illum Firedot Duplex, we have that as well!

    Best Budget Leupold Hunting Scope

    Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Hunt-Plex

    The VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm riflescope offers the renowned performance and reliability that define Leupold optics, catering to hunters and shooters within one of the most popular magnification ranges. Its sturdy yet lightweight build makes it a versatile choice for use with various rifles in your collection.

    Constructed around Leupold's Advanced Optical System, the VX-Freedom ensures consistent light transmission, excelling in delivering optimal performance even in challenging lighting conditions. It boasts best-in-class glare reduction in harsh light scenarios and provides the resolution and clarity sought after by recreational sportsmen and sportswomen.

    This riflescope is built to withstand the elements, being 100% waterproof and fogproof, ensuring consistent performance regardless of weather conditions.

    What We Like

    • Valued Price
    • Top-Rated Option
    • Very Lightweight
    • Great Eye Relief

    What We Dislike

    • Minimalistic Reticle
    • No Custom Dial System

    For latest prices, and more information on the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm, we have that as well!

    Best Budget Leupold Hunting Scope - Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Hunt-Plex

    Things To Consider When Choosing A Leupold Hunting Scope


    Leupold offers a wide range of magnification options across their scopes. Decide based on your hunting environment and target distances. Leupold's VX-3i series, for instance, offers versatile magnification ranges suitable for various hunting scenarios.

    Objective Lens

    Leupold scopes feature varying objective lens sizes. The larger objectives, like in the VX-5HD or VX-6HD series, provide excellent light transmission for low-light conditions without compromising clarity.


    If you're looking for a variety of reticle options Leupold has it! This includes the Duplex, Boone and Crockett, Impact-29, T-MOA, and more. Each serves different purposes, so choose one that fits your shooting style and hunting needs.

    Pro Tip: You can use a small amount of dish soap to prevent your scope from fogging.


    These scopes are renowned for their durability. They use high-quality materials, employ fog-proofing, waterproofing, and are shock-resistant to withstand rough hunting conditions. Models like the VX-6HD are known for their ruggedness and reliability.


    Leupold scopes cover a wide price range, from more budget-friendly options like the VX-Freedom series to higher-end models like the VX-6HD. Consider your budget while balancing features and quality, knowing that Leupold maintains a reputation for producing reliable optics across their price spectrum.

    Benefits Of Having A Leupold Scope

    Waterproof & Fogproof

    Leupold scopes are known for their exceptional fog resistance, primarily due to the dry nitrogen gas that fills their internal space. This gas prevents moisture from condensing on the lenses, even in extreme temperature fluctuations.

    While external fogging or condensation on the outer lens surfaces can still occur, Leupold's Guard-Ion lens coating significantly reduces this phenomenon. This hydrophobic coating repels water and prevents it from forming droplets on the lens, ensuring clearer views in humid environments.

    Here's a breakdown of the key points regarding Leupold scopes and fog prevention:

    Internal Fogging:

    1. Prevented by: Dry nitrogen gas filling

    2. Effective in: All Leupold scopes

    3. Benefits: Clear vision even in extreme cold and temperature changes

    External Fogging:

    1. Reduced by: Guard-Ion lens coating

    2. Not completely eliminated: Humidity and extreme temperature changes can still cause external fog

    3. Benefits: Clearer vision in humid environments and reduced need for wiping lenses

    Impact Tested

    Leupold hunting scopes undergo rigorous impact testing as part of their quality control process. They are designed to withstand various impacts and environmental conditions to ensure durability and reliable performance in hunting situations.

    Testing involves simulations of different scenarios to assess the scope's resilience against shocks, drops, and recoil forces typically experienced during hunting activities.

    Climate Tested

    Leupold hunting scopes are subjected to climate testing to ensure their performance in diverse environmental conditions. They undergo testing to assess their resistance to moisture, temperature changes, humidity, and other environmental factors that hunters might encounter in different climates.

    This testing helps ensure that the scopes maintain their functionality and reliability across various weather conditions.

    Leupold Hunting Scope FAQs

    1. Is Leupold Better Than Vortex?

    When it comes to Leupold vs. Vortex, you're going to find that Leupold is a higher quality of scope, but Vortex has several benefits, espeically for those hunters looking for high-value options.

    Here's a quick table summarizing a few characteristics:

    Feature Leupold Vortex 
    Glass Clarity Super Good
    Build Quality Excellent Very Good
    Controls Simple/Intuitive Complex
    Price High Value/Moderate
    Warranty Lifetime VIP Warranty

    2. Is Leupold Worth The Money?

    Leupold is most definitely worth the money, especially for their VX-Freedom and VX-3HD hunting series. 

    Leupold is one of the best companies at field testing their scopes, so you know that you're getting high-quality, proven tools for these above average prices. 

    3. How Much Is One Click On A Leupold Scope?

    One click on a Leupold scope will adjust the reticle depending on the distance and MOA. If you're sighting you're scope in at 50-100 yards, and you have a MOA of one, this will move the aiming points by one inch depending on the direction you choose.

    For additional example, if you're at the same distance and you have an MOA of 1/4, this will move the aiming point by 1/4 of an inch either direction.

    4. Does Leupold Have A Lifetime Warranty?

    Leupold has two different aspects to their warranty description. 

    For electronics, Leupold offers a two-year warranty.

    However, for "performance eyewear", they guarantee their products to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a lifetime.

    Of course, you need proof of purchase to qualify for their warranty.

    5. Does The US Military Use Leupold Scopes?

    Yes, United States military, law enforcement, and government agencies use Leupold optics.

    Answer: Leupold began in 1907 in Portland, OR.

    For a blog about the Best Hunting Rangefinders, take a look today!