Any true big game hunter knows that binoculars are not just a game changer, they’re a necessity when it comes to having the advantage over your prey. To be able to see your prey from afar is a gift that is not naturally afforded to humans, but rather to birds of prey that stalk their quarry from the sky. It sure would be nice to have eyesight like that, but it just isn’t how we’re built. This is exactly where your binos come into play. Evening up the odds and providing you the ability to see the animals you want to harvest from great distances, the binoculars you choose to pack into the field with you are a vital piece of equipment. The only setback when it comes to binos is the price tag. Aside from rifle scopes, binos can be one of the most expensive pieces of hardware you have in your kit. But that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank in order to get your hands on premium optics. There are plenty of great, budget binos out there for the working man. Here are our top picks.
Leupold Rogue 10 x 50
When it comes to maximizing the ability to see clear images of distant targets, while minimizing damage to your personal finances, the Leupold Rogue 10 x 50 platform is absolutely incredible. The 10 x 50s are not small, but they are also not terribly bulky. They pack nicely in your kit, are 7 inches in length and weigh 33 ounces. They are also durable. These are binos that can take anything you throw at them. O-ring sealed, fog proof and waterproof, the Rogue lives up to the rugged Oregon wilderness it is named after, and then some. Coming in at a modest $150, and Leupold’s lifetime warranty, anyone who chases elk or bear in far off canyons can’t go wrong with this set of binos.
Nikon 8 x 42 Aculon A211
Nikon is a company well known for its quality optics. For the money, the Aculon A211 is no exception. Nikon’s budget-level binos boast a rugged rubber-armored body, aspherical lenses and a nice wide field of view. This is an excellent all-purpose set of binos that can get the job done without any fancy frills. The BaK-4 prism glass with a 42mm objective diameter is more than enough for the average deer hunter prowling the corn fields or chaparral for four-legged forms of dinner. The only drawback we see with these binos is that they are not waterproof or fog proof, so hunters going after game in more extreme weather conditions may elect to choose a different platform. But with an MSRP of about $90, the Aculon definitely won’t bust your budget.