Anyone who thinks about spotting birds and other wildlife 365/24/7 has the same dilemma: You want to have a binocular with you at all times if there’s a chance of seeing deer – even on your way to grandmother’s house – but you don’t want to risk losing or damaging your best optic, or having it stolen from a parked vehicle when you’re at work, shopping, etc.

You take good care of your best binocular during a hike or hunt, but taking a $1,000 optic to your son’s or daughter’s soccer match might not be a good idea, especially if another parent (the guys who breaks everything) asks to borrow your bino for the second half.

The solution is a three-bino system; think good, better and best.

Keep your best bino (probably the most expensive one) for bird watching hikes, serious deer scouting and actual hunting trips. It leaves home only when you can control the optic 100 percent of the time. If it isn’t attached to a bino harness as you hike and/or hunt, then it’s in your pack on the way to and from your destination.

Purchase a second bino of moderate price ($200-$250) for outdoor adventures where you might loan them to somebody else for a half day, or for those other sporting events (i.e. watching team sports from the sideline), where you want decent glass but don’t need the best that money can buy.

Buy a third bino and leave it in your truck or car 365 days a year. This one should work well enough to take a quick look at a bald eagle or big buck that suddenly appears next to the small woodlot by the football field, but because of its low price ($100 or less), you won’t worry for a second about leaving it in the glove box or under the car seat.

Check out the following three bino options meeting the standards of good, better and best. By owning all three and using them wisely, you’ll always be prepared and won’t have to worry about loss, damage or theft.

Bushnell bino 6-2-16

Good: Bushnell Trophy XLT 8X32 Binocular – $64.88

This lightweight bino features DuraGrip rubber armoring and high-quality EF glass to maximize light retention and clarity. Convenient flip-up objective covers protect lenses from dust and moisture. Because of the bino’s low price, you can buy two and leave one in the truck and one in the car!

Cabela's Guide Series bino 6-2-16

Better: Cabela’s Guide Series 8X32 Binocular – $249.99

Guide Series Binoculars are waterproof, fog-proof and provide superior light-gathering power and optical clarity at an outstanding price. Crafted for maximum reflectivity, the 58-layer mirror-coated roof prisms optimize image brightness. Solid-aluminum internal housing keeps components rock solid and protected, and the fully multicoated lenses enhance light transmission for spotting game – or winning goals – after sunset.

Swarovski bino 6-2-16

Best: Swarovski CL 8X30 Binocular – $1,029

When it comes to high-end optical performance in a lightweight, compact and waterproof package, check out the Swarovski CL 8×30. Covered in shock-absorbing rubber armor, this bino handles beautifully and the nonslip focusing wheel is easily adjustable. Swarobright, Swarodur and Swarotop optimized coatings ensure exceptional light transmission, bright high-contrast images and lifelike color. The shortest focus distance is 9.8 feet, so this bino is perfect for birds on a back porch feeder, as well as whitetails on the other side of an alfalfa field.

This article was produced in cooperation with Cabela’s.

Top image courtesy of Swarovski Optik; product images courtesy of Cabela's

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2 thoughts on “3 Great Binos for Watching Wildlife

  1. That is exactly what I have always done. Good advice! I have always been puzzled by the number of otherwise decent hunters I have known who NEVER carry binoculars while hunting, even ‘though they own a pair. Just crazy! I would sooner leave my boots home than my binoculars.

  2. Vortex Optics – A great value at any price point + their warranty is the best in the industry. (seriously, its great) Its still valid even if you buy them used. I’ve owned a few pairs now and have also purchased one of their higher end scopes. If quoted by the Chewbacca lady. They are “WORTH EVERY PENNY!” 🙂

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