Charles holds a Master’s degree in Physics Engineering (optics and photonics specialization), has been teaching physics at school for almost 15 years and recently has star read more
Last updated: November 14, 2022
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Are you looking for higher reliability and image clarity in the next pair of binoculars? Or is it your first purchase? Bushnell has an excellent range of models that suit many activities, from hunting and backpacking to sports and birdwatching. With so much choice out there, it can be hard to find the best Bushnell binoculars for you. That’s where we can help with our comprehensive research.
What makes the best Bushnell binoculars? We looked closely at the key specifications such as objective lens diameter, magnification, and field of view so that the particular model matches the area of use. Along with that, we checked other parameters, such as eye relief, to ensure that eyeglass wearers can use it, exit pupil, and weight. The latter is crucial if you are planning longer trips. Are you ready to learn more? All you need to do is to read on to find the best pair for you! Let’s get started!
More features: multi-coated optic system, BaK-4 roof prism, O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, twist-up eyecups
We think these are the best Bushnell binoculars available today for anyone who’s looking for all-around outstanding performance. They have an objective lens diameter of 42mm with a magnification of 10x, which is common for binoculars as it gives you terrific versatility. With a 4.2mm exit pupil, they’ll also let plenty of light enter into the lenses.
The Bushnell binoculars have a multi-coated optic system that allows you to view distant objects with a high level of clarity. The eye relief is generous, with a decent weight of 25oz. As you’d expect with Bushnell, they are O-ring sealed and have nitrogen purging to give you excellent fog proofing and weather protection.
What makes it special? As soon as you get these Bushnell binoculars, you’ll see why they are so highly rated. They focus very quickly, and you’ll love the clear optics. For powerful binoculars, they are quite light, and you know that they’ve been built to last. They tick all the boxes on what makes brilliant binoculars.
What cons did we find? One thing we did notice is that there isn’t any tripod socket. This is going to be a little annoying if you want the highest levels of stabilization.
More features: Porro prism, 25-foot close focusing distance, roll-down eyecups, rubberized armor
If you want a model with a wide objective diameter, then these Bushnell binoculars 10×50 are going to be perfect. Those specifications give you a great level of power and allow you to have a field of view of 300 feet at a distance of 1000 yards. They also let in a lot of light for excellent dawn and dusk performance.
A unique feature of these binoculars is that they have a 25-foot focusing distance, which makes them great to use close up. To compliment that, you also get a good long-distance performance here. The eye relief is fairly short, but hopefully, that’s not going to be an issue for you.
Why are we impressed? What we loved most here was the incredibly affordable price. You get a lot of quality, and it also comes with a range of useful accessories. The magnification is very high for a model on the budget end of the scale, and they remain easy to use.
What negatives must you be aware of? What you do notice here is that the build quality isn’t quite as high as with other Bushnell binoculars. That’s to be expected with the lower price, but they are still quite well made and are sure to last several years.
If you want the highest levels of quality, then these binoculars would be a fantastic investment. The objective lens diameter, along with the exit pupil of 5mm, lets in plenty of light and makes the image you see very bright and crisp. These features also make them fantastic in all conditions.
The magnification of these binoculars is simply incredible, with the potential to go up to 22x, which lets you spot anything at an incredible distance. That does mean that the field of view does suffer a bit. Still, this model is also exceptionally easy to use with the twist-up eyecups and the large center-focus knob.
What do we love it for? There are two special aspects of these binoculars, with one of them being the exceptional level of quality throughout and the second being the high-powered magnification. They are fun to use and are built to last for many years.
What were we disappointed with? All that quality comes at a price of them being fairly heavy, and it’s good to bear this in mind before you get them. They aren’t suitable for lightweight backpacking or those looking for something compact.
More features: fully multi-coated optics, twist-up eyecups, large center-focus knob, non-slip rubber armor, diopter adjustment
These Bushnell Trophy binoculars are another impressive model. We think they are the best Bushnell binoculars for hunting due to them being fairly compact and having great specs while also featuring the rugged construction you can see from its non-slip rubber armor.
This has the common specifications of a 42mm objective lens diameter along with 10x magnification. That gives you excellent viewing power while still maintaining a good field of view. Next, the multi-coated optics are magnificent, and the placement of all the adjustments feels intuitive, allowing you to focus on your target.
Why is it special? We thought these were great Bushnell hunting binoculars that could also be used for a wide range of different activities. They are lightweight and portable while still giving you a clear view. Additionally, they are easy to set up and don’t cause you any frustration.
What are the flaws? For such a high-quality pair of binoculars, we were surprised by just how poorly the lens caps fitted. It’s a shame as everything else on these binoculars is great.
More features: rain guard HD lens coating, comes with carrying case, microfiber cloth, and neck strap
For those who like to use their binoculars on the go, these may be the perfect pair for you. They come with a high-quality carrying case, and you also get a microfiber cloth and a neck strap. You don’t need to worry about them getting wet either, as they have a rain guard lens coating.
We see those 10×42 specs again, and they have an impressive field of view of 340 feet at 1000 yards. The eye relief is quite good, and they aren’t too heavy. Along with those features, they have the level of build quality you’d expect from Bushnell.
What are its best features? The binoculars have a good level of power while still being fairly compact, which makes them great to travel with. Focusing on them is very quick, and you’ll enjoy the level of clarity that you get through the lenses.
What could be improved? While there was plenty to love about these binoculars, they are on the higher end of the price scale. Do you think that they are perfect for your needs? If so, then we’d say they are worth the investment as they are fantastic.
More features: fully coated optics, contemporary design, non-slip rubber armor, roof prism system
If you wanted Bushnell compact binoculars, then look no further. These are fantastic while only weighing just 7oz. That makes them perfect for backpacking or in any situation where you want to pack light. Despite that small size, they are very durable with their non-slip rubber armor.
With that compact size, certain sacrifices need to be made, which is why we see a 21mm objective lens diameter here. You still get those fully coated optics, and the clarity is aided by the roof prism system. It makes these the perfect accompaniment for anyone wanting high-quality binoculars in a small package.
What stands out? We were shocked by just how light these binoculars were. It makes them exceptionally easy to carry wherever you go. Apart from that, the optics are also clear and detailed. It all adds up to great value for money, considering these are on the cheaper end of the spectrum.
What cons did we manage to find? The smaller objective lens diameter means that the image isn’t going to be as bright. The negatively affects its low light performance, and it doesn’t perform as well there as some of its larger rivals.
More features: roof prisms with dielectric coating, all-metal chassis, IPX7 waterproof rated EXO Barrier, ED prime glass
These Bushnell binoculars with 10×42 specs show a great balance, such as seen with previous models. This pair has roof prisms with a dielectric coating and ED prime glass to give you the greatest image clarity.
Build quality is also exceptionally high here, which is why we thought these were the best Bushnell waterproof binoculars. They have an IPX7 rating, which means they can be submerged. Along with the all-metal chassis, this feature means you’re never going to worry about these binoculars because they can cope with challenging environment effortlessly.
What are our favorite features? They don’t have the widest lenses in this list, but we found their low light performance to be very impressive. You also get a nice field of view, and that is great for scanning landscapes. When you add this to the razor-sharp imaging, you get a fantastic pair of binoculars.
What could be better? It states that the eye relief on this model was 18mm, but it feels a bit shorter than that. It’s perhaps one to avoid if you’re wearing eyeglasses.
More features: BaK-4 prisms, multi-coated optics, O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, non-slip rubber armor, twist-up eyecups, large center-focus knob
Bushnell has made these compact binoculars that are another great option for those on the go. They weigh a little over 10oz and have twist-up eyecups that are easy to pack away. As you’d expect, the binoculars are nitrogen purged to prevent any fogging.
The objective lens is 25mm, which you’d expect from a more compact device, but the magnification is 10x, and that is quite impressive for its size. The eye relief is 13.5mm, and the field of view is quite good at 341 feet at 1000 yards.
Why did it make our list? If you’re likely to be out in bad weather, then you’ll really appreciate the high grip on the rubber armor. The build quality is high, and so is the clarity of the optics. You can throw these in your backpack and have them ready whenever they are needed.
What is not ideal about it? For a compact and durable model, we found it strange that they didn’t come with lens covers. That can be a little annoying at times, and it does make them more prone to scratches, so this needs a little extra care.
If you wanted to have a high level of magnification, then these binoculars are going to be perfect. At 12x, you’ll have phenomenal viewing power, and that’s aided by the high light capture that comes from the 50mm lenses. Despite this power, this model isn’t quite as heavy as some of its rivals.
The level of quality throughout is very good, and that is shown by the multi-coated optics, which make the most of the light it gets. For using a Porro prism system, they remain quite compact while still having a high level of durability with the non-slip rubber armor.
What are our favorite features? As you’d expect from all Bushnell binoculars, the optics are crystal clear and allow you to pick out the finest details in whatever you’re looking at. Along with the great specs, the binoculars are also very simple to adjust, which rates them very highly in terms of usability.
What could be better? We talk about the trade-off quite a lot with binoculars, with the most obvious being that for high magnification, you get a smaller field of view.
In our opinion, these are the best Bushnell binoculars for birding. They have a magnification of 8x with a very wide field of view of 393 feet at 1,000 yards. On top of that, the multi-coated lenses let in plenty of light, and the product features Bak-4 Porro prisms.
These binoculars are very easy to use, and the textured focus knob and the non-slip rubber armor aid that. Also, the eye relief is 17.5mm, and the twist-up eyecups help to make them nice and compact. Along with these features, the exit pupil of 6mm improves the image you get.
What are its best features? The wide field of view on this model makes it very easy to scan the landscape while looking for birds. They may be smaller, but they are still very powerful and represent high value for money. Also, it’s easy to be impressed by the optics, which are clear and bright.
What could be improved? Considering that they are compact binoculars, these are quite heavy. They still aren’t as heavy as the largest models, but it’s important to keep that in mind if you were looking for something lightweight and easy to carry.
These Bushnell PermaFocus binoculars are very impressive – you can get models with either 10 or 12x magnification with an objective diameter of 50mm. That diameter, along with the exit pupil of 5mm, helps to make these binoculars have very clear optics.
There are plenty of other good specifications on this model. As such, the field of view is fairly wide at 341 feet, and the eye relief is decent at 15mm. The technology inside the binoculars is also very good with the likes of high-quality prisms and nitrogen purging.
What stands out? The amount of light these binoculars capture is fantastic, which leads to a very high level of performance. The power is excellent throughout the model, and you get a very bright and detailed image. Additionally, they are also easy to use.
What cons did we manage to find? We couldn’t really find fault with the binoculars, but the case to store and carry them could be a bit better.
More features: BaK-4 Porro prisms, fully multi-coated optics, O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, highly resistant to saltwater corrosion, non-slip rubber armor, hermetically sealed, fold-down eyecups
These Bushnell marine binoculars are perfect for use around saltwater or anywhere with a high humidity level. Their durability is exceptional, and they give you a clear and bright image in any situation with their Bak-4 Porro prisms.
A part of the reason for that bright image is the 50mm lens diameter and 7.1mm exit pupil. That lets in a huge amount of light and makes them ideal for all conditions. Also, the magnification is 7x so that it gives you a very wide field of view at 100 yards of 380 feet. The eye relief is generous at 18mm.
Why is it special? The two main aspects we loved with these binoculars were the amount of light that they let in and the high level of durability. Additionally, the thick hand grips make it very easy to hold, even when you have gloves on.
What are the flaws? There’s one specification here that isn’t great, and that’s the weight at 36oz. That’s hardly surprising as that’s always the trade-off when you have large lenses, so it’s to be expected.
More features: PC-3 phase coating, BaK-4 roof prisms, fully multi-coated optics, lockable center focus knob, soft-touch thumb grip
While these are the last binoculars on our list, but they still have an immense amount of quality. They have a field of view of 341 feet at 1000 yards, which gives you great viewing power over vast landscapes, and the 15.5mm eye relief is decent.
The binoculars have excellent coatings on the lenses along with the highest quality prisms for excellent optics. Comfort is also very high here with the soft-touch thumb grips along with the coating on the chassis, which makes them easy to hold. On top of that, it has a lockable center knob, so you don’t need to worry about knocking them out of focus.
Why are we impressed? The specs are great here, and it has a fairly compact design, which makes it easy to travel with. That’s aided by their rugged design that will take plenty of punishment. Also, the versatility is very high here, as you’ll be able to use these binoculars anywhere you want.
What negatives must you be aware of? Unfortunately, these are another pair of binoculars where the lens caps don’t seem to have the greatest fit. They can be a little bit too hard to put on at times.
Things to Consider
All binoculars have their slight differences, and you must get one that matches your needs. To do that, you need to know what the key features mean and how they relate to you. That’s what we want to look at here. As well as looking in-depth at different parameters, we’ll also answer some FAQs.
Advantages of Bushnell binoculars
Bushnell is one of the biggest names in the world of binoculars. The reason they’ve become so well-known is due to their commitment to quality. As such, they are built to cope with plenty of punishment and are able to last for a large number of years.
While you know you’ll be getting high quality, Bushnell also appreciates that not everyone can pay hundreds of dollars for a new pair. Due to that, the company offers a wide range of binoculars that suit everyone, and you’ll find a great pair of binoculars, regardless of how much you spend.
The optical quality of these binoculars is also high, with excellent prisms and lenses. Whatever activity you want to complete with your binoculars, Bushnell will have a pair that is suitable. Many of their models have the amount of reliability you’ll always want from a pair.
How to find the best Bushnell binoculars?
We’ve established that Bushnell binoculars are great, but that doesn’t mean that any pair is going to be suitable for the activity you’re doing. Some of these models are designed for the likes of backpacking, while others are great for sports or birdwatching. As we go through the key features, it’s the best idea to make a note about how much it relates to what you’re looking for. By the end, you should have a clear idea of what you need.
Objective lens diameter
The objective lens is the one that’s furthest from your eyes and the one the light hits first. This determines the amount of light that is going to enter into the binoculars. With more light, you get a brighter image.
The magnification on binoculars is often the headline feature, but there’s a lot more to it than just the highest figure being the best.
Over around 10x zoom, image stability becomes difficult to achieve, and what you are seeing will be very small with a very limited field of view.
The likes of the 22x magnification of the Bushnell Legacy WP Binoculars are epic but probably need a tripod to keep that image stable. The 8x of the Bushnell NatureView Binoculars may seem lower than some, but for the majority of users, this is all they’ll ever need as it makes it easier to scan along the landscape with the wider field of view.
Field of view
The field of view is the width of the image that you get when looking through the lens. This can often be shown as an angle, or it can be easier to think of it as a width amount in feet at 1000 yards.
The FoV of the Bushnell NatureView Binoculars at 393 feet from 1000 yards is perfect and gives you a very good view of the landscape. As mentioned in the magnification section, a wider field of view means lower magnification, so you need to decide which one is more important for what you’re doing.
The eye relief is how far back your eye can be from the eyepiece while still being able to see the full image. For those who don’t wear glasses, this isn’t really an issue as you’ll be able to get as close to the eyecups as you want.
For those who wear glasses, you want enough eye relief that you can view through the binoculars without taking your glasses off. Around 14mm is the figure that makes this possible.
The exit pupil is how much light is going to enter into eyes. This directly correlates to magnification and objective lens diameter because the exit pupil is worked out by dividing the objective lens diameter by the magnification. Thus, the exit pupil of a 10×42 pair of binoculars would be 4.2mm (42/10 =4.2).
Your pupils only open 2-4mm in the daytime, so if you’re only using your binoculars when it’s light, you won’t need more than that. When it’s dark, they open up to about 7mm, which is why the 7.1mm of the Bushnell Marine 7×50 Binoculars make them perfect for viewing in darker conditions. If you are be using binoculars in poor light, look for a high exit pupil.
Two types of prisms systems are generally used in binoculars – Porro or roof. Historically, Porro prisms have given better contrast, but now, there is very little between the two, with roof prisms being popular as they enable the binoculars to be more compact.
Roof prisms have a design that allows the eyepiece lens and objective lens to be aligned, making it look as if the light goes straight through the lenses. In truth, roof prisms are actually more complicated than Porro prisms but allow the binoculars to be more compact and portable.
Due to their simpler design, Porro prisms are cheaper to make but bulkier. There isn’t a right or wrong here, and it generally comes down to which design you prefer as other factors can affect the price, such as the quality of the glass used.
When you shine a light onto glass, not all of the light goes through as some of it is reflected back. This loss of light is a problem for binoculars, especially considering that they have up to 16 glass surfaces throughout them. It will make the image dimmer and lose its sharpness.
This is where magnesium fluoride comes in. With an incredibly thin coating, it was found that the light loss can be reduced from around 5% all the way down to 0.25% in the best binoculars. The best binoculars have multiple layers of coating that ensure the image is sharp and bright.
All of the factors that we’ve looked at already all add up to what makes the image clear. Having the highest quality prisms, lens coatings, and glass all cost money. Binoculars on the budget end of the scale don’t have the same quality of internal components, which is why they are cheaper and don’t quite have the same level of clarity.
What’s remarkable about Bushnell binoculars is that even their cheaper models have a very good level of image clarity in all conditions. If you are looking for the very best, however, then a pair such as the Bushnell H2O Binoculars would be a great bet.
Your binoculars should have a diopter adjustment, which allows both of your eyes to focus on the same object simultaneously. This is a control that is usually on the right eyepiece, and once it has been set, it means you’ll only need the central knob to focus on your target.
Setting this is fairly easy as you can focus each eye independently before you get an image that is perfectly focused for both eyes. Many novices don’t know what the diopter adjustment is for and just think something may be wrong with their binoculars.
Water, fog, and shock resistance
It’s vital for all binoculars to have at least some resistance to these three factors. Water getting inside your binoculars will ruin them, and models that are splash-proof can easily handle rain. If you wanted extreme protection, then the Bushnell Engage Binoculars can even be submerged.
Shockproofing tends to come from a rubber-armored coating that many models have. Fogging up of glass comes from condensation inside them. This can be prevented by removing air from inside the binoculars and replacing it with nitrogen.
The problem with compact binoculars is that the lenses are smaller, so they don’t let in as much light. This is why the highest-powered binoculars are a little heavier.
Bushnell binoculars can vary quite a lot in price. If you want the highest level of quality, then you can look at the likes of the Bushnell Trophy Roof Binoculars, which are around $150.
You can also get high-quality binocular for around half that, and the great example here is the Bushnell NatureView for around $100. These have great qualities and may be more suited to your needs than the most powerful and expensive options.
Brilliant binoculars can still be found below $50, as can be shown by our best value pick from above.
One of the best aspects of Bushnell binoculars is their build quality. They are solidly made to last you for many years of repeated use. This includes being resistant to bad weather conditions and drops. That being said, some are made to be more durable than others. If you are going to be in challenging conditions, then you’ll need the highest levels of waterproofing and rubber armor. The Bushnell Marine 7×50 Binoculars are a great example of a model that would be able to take a lot of punishment. While these have exceptional strength, all Bushnell models are well made.
The answer to this question will depend on what binoculars you’re using. The key figure to look at here is the eye relief. This shows you how far away your eye can be from the eyepiece while still being able to see the full field of view. Anything below 14mm is going to be hard to see through while wearing glasses, and anything over this figure should be okay. In Bushnell’s range, there are plenty of models that are on either side of this figure. It’s always best to double-check this before you buy your binoculars, as otherwise, you may waste your money.
Whenever you’re cleaning your binoculars, you need to be very careful. Many people will breathe on their lens and then wipe it with their shirt or something similar. This is a bad idea as you’ll just rub in any dust on the lens, which will most likely scratch it. Instead, you should start with a soft lens brush that will clear away any dirt. After this, you can use a little water to clean the lens. If you’re going to use a solution, make sure it’s one that has been specifically made from binoculars as eyeglass cleaners can wear away the coating. Finally, you can clean them with a lens cloth/tissue, which will give you a very clear lens.
We loved all the binoculars we looked at here. If we had to make a top pick, it would be the Bushnell H2O Binoculars. They have an exceptional level of versatility with quality throughout. There’s nothing to dislike about them.
While they are great, others may be more suited to you. Are you looking for a budget option? If so, the Bushnell Falcon 10×50 Binoculars would be perfect. It could be that you need the very highest magnification. If that sounds like you, then the Bushnell Legacy WP Binoculars would be ideal while also having incredible durability.
We may have highlighted three here, but any of the other seven could have been mentioned. As we said, it’s vital that you pick binoculars that are suited for the activity you want them for. All that’s left for you to do now is pick the best Bushnell binoculars for you.