Best 10x42mm Binoculars – The Gold Standard of Optics
Binoculars, also referred to as field glasses, are two telescopes mounted next to each other and adjusted to point in a similar way, permitting you to utilize both your eyes when seeing objects that are at a distance. Most are designed for you to hold using both hands, with the sizes ranging generally from drama glasses to enormous platform mounted military type designs. In contrast to a (monocular) telescope, binoculars give you a 3-dimensional picture, whereby the two views you see for objects in close proximity produce slightly different views which are combined to give you a feel of depth.
Binoculars are very fascinating and highly popular in various settings in our society today. These range from outdoor activities like hunting, hiking, viewing birds and wildlife to live events like sports, theater (music, opera, movies, drama), tactical activities involving police and military operations as well as unconventional activities like spotting planes and water vessels, astronomy and thrill for kids. Considering the broad selection of binoculars on the market, you may find it a major challenge to decide on which model to buy. The main factors for your consideration in determining which design to purchase are: the purpose for which you require it; the magnification and lens diameter suiting your specifications; and the price that is compatible with your budget. In this review, we shall be looking at a selection of the best binoculars of the specification 10 x 42 that are available. It boasts some of the reputable name brands on the market such as Upland Optics, Celestron, Steiner, Vortex, Nikon, Leica, Canon, Swarovski and Bushnell. 10x42mm is the most common size/zoom combo on the market because it is perfect for most outdoor activies.
Upland is a very specialized brand that focused almost exclusively on providing 10x42mm binoculars for hunters. They know that most hunters will get the best performance with this category of binos and will appreciate how easy they are to carry around. Their Perception model is targeted at the mainstream, being affordable enough for most hunters while still offering very high end glass. Their direct to consumer model allows them to use higher end components than many of their competitors at the same price. The Perception binos are fully multicoated, have ED glass, and provide incredible image quality. Upland also stands behind them with a lifetime warranty. They are the first binos we recommend in our overall buying guide, so they were a shoe in for the top spot under the hunting category of 10×42 binos.
These rangefinder built binoculars come with optics equipped with a waterproof and fog-proof glass that make it a suitable fit for rifle hunting and shooting in outdoor events. The design is equipped to automatically adjust to address changes in the lighting conditions whenever the need arises. The weight of 34 ounces makes it rather heavy and slightly cumbersome. It is totally submersible, making it the perfect fit for hunting terrain – rugged landscapes with adverse climate conditions. It also affords you ballistic functions which can be adjusted as needed for precision when aiming your hunting weapon. The optical configuration you get and the viewing results are amazing and stand out for this design, but it is rather expensive.
At a weight of 25 ounces, this design incorporates high powered magnification and sharp focus with optics that are fully multi-coated to deliver for the viewer ultra-bright images that are razor-sharp. It is built with a fast focus system and its lenses come with flip covers for protection. It has a durable easy-to-grip housing with a rubber protective covering and affords you thumb grips with soft-touch. The optics are built to be durable, with waterproof and fog-proof properties which make the design the perfect fit for extreme climate conditions and ever changing conditions in the outdoor setting.
This is one of the best designs in the Nikon name brand with a roof prism design of silver-alloy coating and optics with multi-coating to eliminate reflection. With these features and its waterproof and fog-proof properties, you will enjoy visuals which are clear, bright and in natural colors. The eye-cups are made of rubber. They are multi-click, with turn-and-slide properties. It affords you a much wider view than other designs because of its superior capability to gather light. This feature in addition to its lightweight at just 1.75 lbs, which makes it very portable, qualifies it as a perfect option for outdoor activities like hiking. While viewing through it, you hardly miss out on anything and you are able to focus on objects of interest with ease because of its apparent wide viewing angle of 63 degrees.
This design affords you high quality optics, with a field of view of about 307 feet (1000 yard), which makes them a great option for you to take along when hiking. With its 18 mm blue film eyepiece, you will enjoy images in your view that are clearer, crisper and brighter. With its rubber build, it can handle all temperature and weather conditions while having the ability to absorb shocks for its enhanced protection. For a plus, it comes with accessories such as a case for carrying it, rubber covers for the lens, a neck strap and special cleaning cloth for the optical components. Another plus for this design is that it is smartphone compatible, with a smartphone mount – Gosky 2017 that can be attached to most mobile phones such as the brands Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony.
3. Viewing Birds and Wildlife
This design has been popular in the community of wildlife guides for years. The chassis has a wraparound grip which makes it possible for you to use with one hand. Its field of view is 330 feet at 1,000 yards and it is submersible in water for up to 13 feet. Its components – the chassis, lenses and the prism set up are made to exceptionally high standards. This explains why it produces for the viewer images that are bright and crystal clear. Its performance is excellent in poor light conditions and in rough weather. Because of the exceptional properties aforementioned, the Swarovski Optik EL 10×42 is described as the perfect pair binoculars for your wildlife adventures. It is without argument among the best binoculars to use for observing wildlife, especially for animals and birds at a large distance away from you and wildlife located in wide open habitats such as safari game parks. Upon purchase, make sure that you use them to their full potential to justify your decision to making the purchase because they are expensive.
The Hawke Frontier HD X 10×42 binoculars are a robust rubber-coated magnesium alloy built design with versatility and suitability for use in extreme temperature conditions. The optics produce amazing and incredibly colorful images of the objects in your view. It is waterproof and usable in rainy conditions while also boasting fog-proof capabilities. With its ability to maintain clear vision in very hot or very cold temperatures, this pair of binoculars are a perfect fit for bird watching outdoors in the summer and in the early spring. It weights at 705 g.
This design thrives in the roof-prism set up, which streamlines it thereby making it portable. It is fully waterproof and boasts high-end features at a very affordable price. It will suit you well for outdoor activities such as watching birds or spotting whales from the seashore as they spout. Its multi-coated objective lenses coupled with its BAK-4 roof prisms of high quality produce for you vivid views. The optics are built into a polycarbonate housing capable of withstanding shock and has a rubber armor which affords it durability while rendering it easy to get a grip on.
4. Live Events
This design comes with the much sought for combination of powerful magnification and sharp focus, suiting it for outdoor sports activities such as watching the football game from the stands or watching a golf tournament at the golf course. The eye piece makes it a great option if you wear eyeglasses because its eye relief feature is conveniently set in the configuration of 15 mm. At 21.4 ounces, it is lightweight, making it easy to carry for all your outdoor sports events. With its linear field view of 330 feet/1000 yards, you will enjoy ultra-wide views of the best quality possible. The fog-proof properties of its optics along with its waterproof properties make them compatible for use in adverse weather such as during a heavy downpour. Its rubber armor makes it shock-proof and compatible with rough terrain. You can use it with a tripod, the eye caps are adjustable, it has a center focus wheel and dielectric coating.
It has excellent lenses designed to afford you the best magnification and color combination. This design is built to be durable and well-armored. The rugged exterior ensures that it can handle all conditions of weather while giving you a firm, non-slip gripping surface and it is submersible, with fog-proof lenses. The very lightweight makes it easy to carry and the optics provide crystal clear images, but the quality deteriorates with low light environments such that it does not do a great job night time. These binoculars are a perfect fit for live outdoor events such as watching football, soccer, baseball; attending a music concert; and watching golf at a golf course. It comes with large focus knobs which afford the user easy and precision in focusing. Its twist-up eye-cups permit you quick adjustment for eye relief to get a broad field of view. The eye-cups can be easily adjusted for use with or without eye-wear.
5. Tactical activities
This design has a construct which is 100% waterproof, rugged and capable of handling harsh conditions. It has imaging capabilities that are far superior to those of its rivals in the business; properties that make it your must-have for police or military tactical operations. It is a tough and dependable piece of equipment for such functions. With this pair of binoculars, you are placed in the thick of what is going on courtesy of its wide field of view which affords you greater awareness of the situation unfolding before you. Its totally multi-coated lenses give you images which are bright and crisp without causing you much eye fatigue. This design will serve you well whether it is for tactical operations or conducting surveillance in border areas. It comes with a neck strap and a padded case for carriage.
This design is very pricey because the combination of its powerful magnification and its focal lenses produce nice, big and bright images of distant objects. Furthermore, the lens coatings create crisp contrast of images in clear colors, capturing all the details you are looking for. In addition, it comes with a lengthy 19 mm eye relief that suits it for law enforcement, rescue and military operations. In these environments, it affords the ability to see objects quickly with clarity in all types of environments.
6. Spotting Planes and Water Vessels
With these binoculars, you get a wide field of view and the magnification. If you are on board a moving ship, You will actually need a wider field of view to reduce the shaking of images you are trying to view, even though the shake does not significantly impair the magnification. This design does a great job in providing the right balance between your magnification and your field of view, thereby suiting it for spotting water vessels such as boats and ships. They are also fog-proof and water-proof, which further suits it for use at sea or along the shoreline. It is build consisting of rubber coating and costly materials affords it a good grip. At 25.8 ounces, they weight on the heavier side and will get you tired holding them by hand. It is a great idea to acquire for it a tripod as an accessory. The optics are made of ED glass which reduces the dispersion of color to to enhance the resolution of image colors while conferring clarity to your view. Its elaborate lens coatings increase light transmission even in poor lighting.
At 550 grams, this lightweight design is stylish and waterproof with multi-coated optics that produce razor sharp images which are bright for your viewing. You are able to view with it with your glasses on or without. It is made to be fog-proof while affording you a comfortable grip so that it does not slip out of your hands. For accessories, the eyepiece and objective lens covers are attached to its body and it also comes with a carry case which has a belt loop, a neck strap and special cleaning cloth for its maintenance. Because of its great combination of good magnification and light weight, it is highly recommended for plane spotting. It is the perfect fit for viewing airshows, spotting planes flying at low altitude as well as planes flying at higher altitudes.
This design will take you to a whole new level altogether in your stargazing experience. It has a magnesium alloy construct and is lightweight, with a durable body work affording its longevity. The performance of its optics is superb, courtesy of its lens being fully multi-coated and complemented with BaK4 prisms. These binoculars offer you a wide field of view well suited for stargazing into the sky at night. This design is both waterproof and fog proof, with the stability of the images that it captures being of high quality. It comes with accessories for its maintenance such as caps for its lens, rain guard for its eyepiece, neck strap and cloth for cleaning the lens.
This design gives you greater magnification, produces brighter images and a wide-angled view of objects you are seeing. It is usable under extreme conditions. Its optics afford you crisp, sharp and clear images with life-like colors; making it well suited for stargazing, viewing into the night sky. The build is waterproof and the optics are made to be fog resistant. At a weight of 2.3 lbs (1.2 kg), it is rather heavy for hand holding to look into the night sky. You could do with purchasing along a tripod as an accessory for easier handling.
8. Thrill for Kids
Binoculars for kids are a great way to nurture their instincts for exploration and adventure. They can help inspire their imaginations and desire to know more about the world. The designs are typically smaller, to suit their needs. Options of the 10×46 specification suited for them include the following.
This design would make a great gift for your teens for bird viewing and hunting. It comes with an optical system made from Eco-glass which enables it to produce bright images with high-contrast and true color. It has a durable reinforced build with a protective rubber-like skin while boasting waterproof and fog-proof properties. You can use its rubber eye-cups that can be twisted up and down with or without eye-ware on. It is light weight and has a raised eye-point which affords you long eye relief without reducing the brightness of the borders of the image in your view in contrast to the center, regardless to whether you are wearing eyeglasses or not. The bodywork is also textured, affording you a non-slip grip.
This design suits kids along with adults. It is compact with high power HD (high definition) lenses with a large eyepiece which makes its field of view extra-wide. This makes it well suited for scanning wide terrain in activities such as bird watching, sightseeing, trekking and hunting. It is also suitable for live events like football games, music concerts and plays on a large stage. It is made of rubber-like material of high quality with a lightweight feel and has an anti-slip grip which secures it from accidental drops. It is waterproof as well as fog proof, enabling it to handle heavy downpours in the outdoors.
Once you have determined the purpose for which you require binoculars and the amount of money you are willing to spend, you are ready to make your pick! For example, a pair of binoculars meant for hunting should be a design with durability and water resistance suited for harsh weather and rugged terrain that fits your budget. Last but not least, it is highly recommended that you also purchase accessories for your binoculars to ensure that you maintain them well to serve you well for a good while. These range from neck-straps to ensure that you avoid any accidental drops, special cloths and wipes with cleaning solutions to keep the telescopic and optical elements clean and carry bags for storage away from heat, moisture and direct sunlight.