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A good pair of binoculars is one of the most essential pieces of gear that a hunter can have. These amazing tools allow you to see animals and terrain from a distance to better strategize your next moves. But when it comes to buying yourself a new pair of binoculars, many people often wonder just how much binoculars really cost:
An optimal price for hunting binoculars is somewhere between $50 and $200, with the more advanced and suitable options going from $200 to $500.
However, it is important to note that binoculars can be found anywhere from less than $50 on the cheap end all the way up to thousands of dollars on the high end. The price that you will pay for a specific pair of binos will largely depend on their size, magnification, objective lens, overall quality, durability, and additional features. This is why it's so important to know what you need and establish how much you’re willing to spend to get it.
Let’s get a better idea of what exactly you can expect from your binoculars depending on how much you are paying. You might be surprised at the major differences that you will start to see as you view options in different pricing categories. Here are a few of the different price ranges that you will see when shopping for binoculars and the type of product you should receive for the money.
This category will have the cheapest binoculars out there. They will not be very durable and optical quality will be very hit or miss. Still, if you only need a pair of binoculars for a short hike, sporting events, or that one hunting trip a year, this might be a good option in order to save some money.
Expect to see binoculars with magnification powers of 8x or 10x and objective lens diameters of 20-42mm. Be warned, however, as these binoculars are not known to be super durable and can break in the middle of your hunt or outdoor activity.
I personally recommend to everyone, regardless of how you intend to use your binos, to never go lower than this category. By spending an extra $50 to $100, the binos that you can find in this price range will be leaps and bounds better than those under $50.
Expect to see similar magnification powers and objective lens diameters, but the overall build and glass quality will be significantly better. These binos can be used multiple times and for any type of hunt or event that you need them for.
At this price range, the binoculars you’ll find will come with many more advanced features to make them longer lasting, including things such as waterproof and fog-proof seals, anti-refelctive glass coatings, and overall better glass quality for a clearer image. This is one of the most popular price ranges for binoculars that are used for general hunting purposes.
Both beginners and serious outdoorsmen will benefit from the higher quality found in this price range and the versatility of the 8x, 10x, 12x and occasional 15x magnification powers found here.
In this price range, you will find most high-end small to medium power binoculars. These provide the best optics, construction, and performance. You’ll again see magnification powers of 8x, 10x, and 12x with many more 15x, 18x, and 20x options as well.
From long range glassing to casual hunts in the woods, these binoculars will better withstand the use and abuse of hunting and should last you for many years (as well as providing a clearer and brighter image from the better glass quality). You can also expect to see the same improved features such as various seals against moisture and added coatings on the glass for clarity and durability.
Last but not least, there are plenty of binoculars out there that run over the $1000 mark, some costing upwards of $4000 depending on the size and binocular brand. Why do these cost so much?
In this category, you are paying for the absolute best in performance. No expense is spared for these models, and you will experience the highest quality of image clarity, brightness, and detail. Magnification powers can be found from 8x all the way up to 25x and all of them are built to last a lifetime.
With binoculars coming in so many different price ranges, it can be a little challenging to know where to start. If money isn’t an issue, the obvious answer is to buy the most expensive binoculars to get the best of the best. After all, these are the best of the best. Unfortunately, this is not always possible for all of us. So what do you do?
The best way to narrow down your search is to figure out how much you can comfortably spend on a new pair of binoculars. Once you have a budget in mind, you can begin your search. Ideally it is best to spend as much as possible on your binoculars as they will typically last you for many years and the higher the price tag, the better the quality. Many of these higher-priced options will also include company warranties, which can help bring you confidence in buying should you ever need to get them repaired or fixed down the road.
It’s also important to consider your intended uses. Do you really need a pair of $1000 binoculars for a single hunt every year? On the flip side, do you think that a cheap pair of $50 binoculars will hold up an entire hunting season for a serious hunter or guide? Think about how often you will realistically be using your binos and try to buy accordingly.
Not everyone needs to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars in order to purchase a quality pair of binoculars. Depending on what you are looking for, there are plenty of binos out there that will fit every budget and situation. Finding the perfect blend of price, features, and quality when figuring how to choose binoculars for hunting may take a little bit of time, but the effort is well worth it to find the perfect pair of binoculars without overpaying!
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