Finding the best binoculars for hunting might seem like a daunting task. But it becomes much easier when you know exactly what you are looking for.
And that is, first and foremost, compact size. Hunting binoculars absolutely should be small in their dimensions – remember, you will already have all sorts of equipment on you, plus, you are likely to move a lot, so carrying a chunky device certainly isn’t an appealing option.
At Yukon, we take pride in our Sideview hunting binoculars. Compact, powerful, and designed to withstand constant use, they are certainly among the top binoculars for hunting.
They come in two models: Sideview 10×21 and Sideview 8×21. Very similar, they differ in magnification – the first model has a 10x, and the second – an 8x. This also brings differences in the field of view and eye relief, but we’ll get to that later.
Now, let’s discuss other features that make them the best binoculars for hunting.
Any good binoculars for hunting will also have certain design features that make them exceptional. These include not only the compactness and previously discussed ease of use but also things like the soft-touch coating that is featured in Sideview. This is a particular type of coating that feels pleasant in your hand, is non-slippery, and very easy to clean.
We find that skewed eyeshade is also very important for good hunting binoculars, as it protects against side backgrounds and makes the overall observation experience much smoother.
When choosing the best hunting binoculars, you should also take notes of eye relief. Simply put, eye relief is the minimum distance between your eye and the eyepiece that is required in order to see the full image.
When it comes to picking binoculars for hunting, the longer eye relief is usually the better, as it provides increased comfort. However, shorter eye relief will typically have a wider field of view, so you need to figure out your priorities. That being said, if you wear glasses, definitely go for longer, as you won’t be able to see the whole view with shorter eye relief. Unless, of course, your glasses are less than +/-5 diopters, in which case you will be able to take them off completely and use the binoculars’ diopter adjustment to correct your vision.
In the case of Yukon Sideview, some rules are broken, and the 8×21 model has a longer eye relief (10 mm) and a wider FoV (7 degrees), making them good binoculars for hunting in almost any situation.
We have already mentioned that when hunting, binocular vision is indispensable, so let’s expand on this a little. Because we have two eyes, the human brain is preconditioned to receive visual signals from two sources. If you are observing your surroundings with a monocular, your brain gets tired sooner (although we usually feel this as eye fatigue). Meanwhile, if you are observing through binoculars, hunting becomes less tiring for your eyes and brain.
You might, however, worry that binoculars may be less comfortable because some of them require two hands to operate them. But that’s not the case with top hunting binoculars like Yukon Sideview. To aim the device at a distant object, all you need to do is rotate the centrally-placed focusing wheel. And to achieve a crisp image, you will need to rotate the diopter adjustment levers. Once you set them for your vision, you won’t need to repeat the process unless you accidentally move them again.
So, to summarize, let’s see what features the best hunting binoculars should have:
Of course, there is more, but these are, in our opinion, the most important ones. And we are pleased to report that Yukon Sideview has them all. To pick a particular model, we suggest visiting your local distributor and trying them out in real life – this way, you will be able to feel the peculiar differences between eye relief, magnification, and field of view better.