7 of the Best Compact Hunting Binoculars

best compact hunting binoculars

When hunting, having small and lightweight binoculars is optimal so you don’t have to compromise your field of view. Ensuring you get the best compact hunting binoculars so you never miss your mark is no easy task as there are countless pairs of binoculars available. 

For our money, the Swarovski CL Compact binoculars 8×30 are the way to go. However, depending on your needs, this list will show you what’s best.

You’ll learn about:

Best Compact Hunting Binoculars – Swarovski CL Companion Binoculars 8×30

Specs

When you’re searching for the best compact binoculars for hunting, Swarovski CL Companion 8×30 Binoculars are the top of the line. They’re compact and waterproof. The durable body provides shock resistance without weighing you down. The lenses offer 8x magnification with a 30mm diameter. The 16mm eye relief is ideal for hunters with or without glasses.

The Verdict

The high-quality glass in these binoculars ensures your image is always clear. You have a close focusing distance of 9.8 feet and a field of view of 396 feet. This gives you a better visual of what’s going on around your target with no blurriness at the edges.

The lenses have a multi-layer coating that reduces reflection so you’re seeing only what’s in your field of vision. The superiority of the lenses increases your vision in low-light situations, as well. You get peak contrast and clarity.

In Summary

These might be the best compact hunting binoculars, but the lens quality and field of vision make them among the best for various uses. If you can afford the price tag associated with the Swarovski CL Companion Binoculars, you won’t regret the investment. You’ll use this pair for years.

Availability

Swarovski CL Companion Binoculars should be available from the following stores:

Alternative: Kowa Genesis 8×33

Kowa Genesis 8×33 is a decent alternative to the Swarovski CL Companion Binoculars. They’re slightly more affordable but offer the same key qualities. They have 8x magnification, just like Swarovski. The lenses even have a special coating to give more light and brighter colors. They’re a bit heavier than Swarovski, but they’re just as compact.

You should be able to pick up a pair from the following stores:

Nikon Monarch 7 8×30 – Best Value Compact Hunting Binoculars

Specs

Nikon makes some of the best compact hunting binoculars, and the Monarch 7 Roof Prism Binoculars are no exception. The 8×42 lenses provide an expansive field of view, and the coating delivers images with high contrast and bright colors. The compact body has grips that make it easy to carry these binoculars while you’re on the move.

The Verdict

With these Nikon lenses, you have a 60-degree range of view with things as far away as 475 feet looking crystal clear. The nitrogen inside the binoculars prevents fog so you can use them in various climates and types of weather without a problem. You can adjust the eyecups for more comfort, but the eye relief is just 15.1mm, so it’s not ideal for people who wear glasses.

These binoculars are so compact they can fit in your pocket, but the grips will make you forget you even have them in your hand. It’s easy to hold them and run with them without feeling weighed down or bulky. Plus, the body is durable so you don’t have to be afraid of ruining them if you drop them. 

In Summary

If you’re looking to spend less than Swarovski and Kowa prices but still want to invest in quality binoculars, Nikon is your brand. These are some of the best compact hunting binoculars that won’t break the bank.

Availability

You should be able to pick up a pair of Monarch 7 8×30 from the following stores:

Alternative: ZEISS Terra ED 8×32

The ZEISS Terra ED 8×32 is comparable to the Nikon Monarch 7 at a slightly cheaper price. They even look similar to Nikon’s offering, though the textured rubber grips on ZEISS Terra ED make it even easier to handle. If you’re not ready to commit to prices at Nikon’s range or above, ZEISS provides quality with their 8×32 company hunting binoculars. You should be able to pick up a pair from Optic’s Planet >>

Kowa BD II XD 6.5×32 – Best Compact Binoculars for Hunting in the Woods

Specs

Kowa was previously mentioned as an alternative to Swarovski, but the Kowa BD II XD 6.5×32 stands on its own as the best compact hunting binoculars for trekking through the woods. You want a durable binocular body for that type of surroundings, which Kowa delivers with a magnesium alloy body. The lenses have a coating to prevent dirt from blocking your vision.

The Verdict

Magnification of 6.5x is rare but necessary in binoculars, and when you’re in the woods, it’s more about clarity than distance. Using the Kowa BD II XD gives you crisp visuals without overwhelming you with an unnecessarily wide range of views. The KR coating on the glass repels dirt and water so you don’t have to waste a second cleaning the lenses.

The magnesium alloy body is as strong as metal but remains lightweight. They can take a beating without decreasing the visual quality. The size and weight of these binoculars make them your go-to pair for when you’re on the move. 

In Summary

If you’re looking for a durable pair of binoculars that aren’t the standard 8x magnification, Kowa has you covered. The unique magnification makes these ideal not only for hunting in the woods but also for bird watching and nature walks. They’re light enough that all ages can carry them without stress.

Availability

You should be able to pick up a pair of Kowa BD II XD 6.5×32 from the following stores:

Alternative: Vortex Diamondback 8×28

If you like the size of Kowa BD II XD but want the 8x magnification, Vortex Diamondback 8×28 are a solid alternative (and also much cheaper). Vortex makes some of the best mid-range binoculars for hunting and this aluminum option is lightweight, compact and durable. You should be able to buy a pair from OpticsPlanet or Black Ovis >>

Leica Ultravid 8×20 BR – Best Lightweight Binoculars for Hunting

Specs

When looking for the best compact hunting binoculars, you might forget to also search for the best lightweight option. Leica Ultravid 8×20 BR binoculars are not only compact, at less than four inches long, but also lightweight, at 8.5 ounces. You might worry that these binoculars are too small to handle the rough conditions of hunting, but they’ll surprise you.

The Verdict

Though these binoculars are tiny, the visuals they provide are impeccable. The 8x magnification is standard, and the 20mm diameter allows in just enough light to let you focus on your target without getting distracted by the brightness.

The lenses have AquaDura coating to repel dirt and water while preventing scratches. The body is likewise durable, covered in water-resistant rubber for shock resistance. You already know these binoculars will feel great in your hand due to their small size, but the rubber helps you keep your grip even in wet conditions.

In Summary

If you want something compact and light, you’re not going to find anything better than Leica Ultravid 8×20 BR. These small binoculars pack a punch in terms of durability and visibility. They’re not only great for hunting but also are comfortable enough for people of all ages to use for outdoor recreation.

Availability

You should be able to pick up a pair of Leica Ultravid 8×20 BR from the following stores:

Alternative: Rudolph Optics 8×32 HD

Rudolph Optics 8×32 HD Binoculars are a decent alternative to this Leica option. They’re 5.5 inches long, compared to Leica’s four, and weigh almost twice as much. But they’re built in a similar style so they’re comfortable to hold. Check them out at OpticsPlanet >>

Swarovski CL Pocket 8×25 – Best Pocket Binoculars for Hunting

Specs

Swarovski CL Pocket 8×25 binos are not only compact, but they fold up to fit in your pocket. They weigh one pound, so you won’t feel added heft while you’re on the move. The lenses offer 8x magnification with a 25mm objective lens, giving you a field of view beyond 350 feet. Though they’re small, they don’t sacrifice visuals or comfort.

The Verdict

Another Swarovski on the list of best compact hunting binoculars tells you a lot about this brand’s reputation. The innovative folding design ensures these binoculars aren’t just compact when you’re holding them in your hand, but give you the chance to fold them even smaller and stow them away when you don’t need them.

As with the other Swarovski option, the lenses on this pair have eye relief that’s comfortable for people who wear glasses. You can adjust the eyecups individually for maximum visibility. The glass coating repels dust and fog, so you know you’ll get Swarovski quality from this pair.

In Summary

If you want something small that you can take anywhere, the Swarovski CL Pocket 8×25 is the best you’ll find. The folding design means you’re more likely to take them with you even if you don’t think you’ll need them. When you’re hunting, it’s always ideal to have binoculars with you, so this choice from Swarovski has you covered.

Availability

You should be able to pick up a pair of Swarovski CL Pocket 8×25 from the following stores:

Alternative: ZEISS Terra ED Pocket 8×25

ZEISS makes some of the best compact binoculars for hunting, including the ZEISS Terra ED Pocket 8×25. This is a worthy alternative to the Swarovski CL Pocket 8×25 because the magnification and diameter are the same. They’re not quite as pocket-sized as the Swaros, but they are significantly cheaper and are still one of the smallest pairs of binoculars on this list. You should be able to find them on Amazon or at OpticsPlanet >>

Vortex Diamondback HD 10×42 – Best Compact 10×42 Binoculars for Hunting

Specs

Vortex Diamondback HD Roof Prism Binoculars are the best 10×42 pair on the market. They give 10x magnification with 42mm objective lenses. The compact design fits perfectly in your hand, with a hinge design and thumb indentation for a confident grip. You can angle the eyecups into various positions for maximum comfort.

The Verdict

Vortex has always manufactured high-quality entry-level binoculars, but the Diamondback HD is a major upgrade. The HD lenses have a scratch-resistant coating for durability. The 42mm diameter lets in plenty of light so you’ll always have bright, crisp images. The expansive field of view gives you a view of your target and the surrounding perimeter. 

The body has a central hinge and focus knob so you don’t have to fumble to get them into position. You can also angle the eyecups up for a more comfortable view. You can change them independently of each other to account for focal differences between your eyes.

In Summary

If you’re worried about damaging your binoculars while you’re hunting, this pair is for you. The build of the binocular’s body is also sturdy and compact. You can hold them in one hand without worrying about dropping them. They’re lightweight, but also have innovative thumb positions for a comfortable hold.

Availability

You should be able to pick up a pair of Vortex Diamondback HD 10×42 from the following stores:

Bushnell H2O – Best Compact Binoculars for Hunting Under 100

Specs

Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Porro Prism Binoculars are the best budget hunting binoculars you can find. The Porro prism binoculars have an O-ring sealing the lenses to make these binoculars waterproof and fogproof. They have 8x magnification and 42mm objective diameter. The grips are non-slip rubber to absorb shock and prevent dropping.

The Verdict

Bushnell is a quality brand, so even if you’re spending less than $100, you’re getting a great pair of binoculars. The Porro prism lenses have a coating to make the visuals crisp and clear. With the 8x magnification, you have an 18-foot close focus distance. The 42mm diameter lets more light in so you have brighter views.

The non-slip rubber grip ensures these binoculars can handle hunting conditions. The grip absorbs shock when you’re in motion. If you’re hunting on a rainy day or in wet environments, you’ll appreciate the texture of the rubber that prevents you from losing your grip.

In Summary

If you’re looking for a budget option, these are the best company hunting binoculars on the market. They’re compact, easy to hold, and give a clear visual. The waterproof and fogproof elements ensure they’re durable and can handle the rough conditions of a hunt.

Availability

You should be able to pick up a pair of Bushnell H2O from the following stores:

Buying Guide

These best compact hunting binoculars listed above give you a great idea of specific models and brands to buy from. In case you want something else, you need to know what’s available. These features help you understand what to look for in compact hunting binoculars.

Magnification

A higher magnification reduces the distance between where you’re standing and your target. This doesn’t always mean the visual is clearer because other factors help with visibility. But if you’re hunting at long distances, you’ll want 8x or 10x magnification.

Objective Lens Diameter

The objective lens is the one at the end of the binoculars, not where you look through. It can affect the size and bulk of your binoculars, but a bigger objective lens diameter also means more light gets in. This makes your visuals clearer so your aim is truer.

Field of View

The field of view determines how much you can see around your target. Binoculars bring everything closer, beyond just zooming in on your target. A large field of view, expressed in degrees, means you can see more of your surroundings.

Size (compactness)

The best compact hunting binoculars are small enough that they’re easy to carry around without being so tiny that you can’t comfortably see through them. There is a lot of variety on this list in terms of body size, ranging from handheld to the folding option that fits in your pocket.

Weight

The whole point of buying compact hunting binoculars is finding something lightweight. You’re already carrying so much gear that heavy binoculars might be the item that breaks your back. You also want a pair that is light so you can hold them for long periods without shaking or having to take breaks.

Warranty

Most reputable companies back their products with limited lifetime warranties. This gives you peace of mind when buying from them because you know they’ll replace a defective product. If you beat up your binoculars over time, though, the warranty doesn’t cover anything.

Waterproofing

You use compact hunting binoculars outside, of course, so waterproofing is crucial. Most binoculars have this since they have rubber coating. You can use them in rain or as you traverse streams, but they might get damaged if they’re submerged for long. If you need binoculars that work underwater for extended periods, there are high-end models available.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is important when you’re buying binoculars, especially if you wear glasses. While an eye relief of 15mm is comfortable enough for the average hunter, it’s not the same for people who wear glasses. It’s recommended to have an eye relief of at least 16mm. Binoculars with adjustable eyecups ensure you don’t strain your eyes when you use them for a long time.

Roof Prism vs Porro Prism

Internal prisms flip the image in the binoculars so what you see isn’t upside down. Roof prisms have a pitch like the roof of a house. This shape allows them to work in more compact binocular bodies. Porro prisms are an older design that takes up more space inside the binocular body but is more affordable than roof prisms.

Conclusion

Binoculars are important for hunting safety, so you want to get something that increases your vision clearly. The Swarovski CL Companion Binoculars 8×30 is the best compact hunting binoculars available. They’re comfortable and lightweight to use over extended periods and deliver stunning visuals. 

If you can’t afford that much, the Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Porro Prism Binoculars are a great runner-up. They’re a budget choice, but don’t cut corners in terms of visual quality. You need clarity when you’re hunting, and any of these options will help you step up your hunting game.