Best 8x42 Binoculars

Best 8X42 Binoculars of 2021 (Buyer’s Guide & Review)

Almost everyone who does outdoor activities needs a good pair of binoculars. 

By bringing nature closer to us, binoculars drastically increase the beauty we observe. However, a bad pair of binoculars is as good as dirt… you need the best you can get, and since you’re reading this article I assume you need the best 8×42 binoculars you can get!

I was quite an adventurous young man, and I became interested in hiking at around the age of 12. After going on my first hike and realizing I needed to see things closer to get the full experience, I carried my dad’s heavy, old, and cheap 10×42’s. At the time, I didn’t realize the poor quality of the optics, so I just labeled binoculars in general “useless”. However, I used a friend’s pair of expensive binoculars about a year later, and I realized that I was absolutely wrong. His binoculars completely changed my perspective, and I still carry binoculars with me to this day!

Don’t wait years to realize that you need a good pair of binoculars. Get your hands on some now. You will not regret it.

8×42 binoculars are a great, basic option to use. They are used by complete beginners all the way up to experienced professionals.

The Best 8x42 Binoculars:

1. Bushnell H2O 8x42 Binoculars

Best budget 8x42 binoculars (best value for beginners/casuals).

Our Ratings:

  • Hunting- 3/6; These are a great budget option for hunting. They’re lightweight and work well in low-light situations. They’re also waterproof.
  • Birding- 2/6; These binoculars are a great choice for a beginner who is looking to get into birding, but more experienced birders should look at a pricier option.
  • Viewing Wildlife- 3/6; These binoculars will give a casual wildlife viewer just what they’re looking for, but more advanced users should look onward.

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Fogproof
  • Large center-focus knob

Specs:

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Exit Pupil:  5.25
  • Eye Relief: 17mm  
  • Height: 7.76 in
  • Width: 5.91 in
  • Weight: 1.56 lbs
  • Type of Prism: Roof

Cons:

  • Image quality does not compete with higher end binoculars

The first pair of binoculars on our list is the Bushnell H20. I love these binoculars for many reasons.

First, I love the affordable price and the features that you receive for such a low price. Some of these features include being 100% waterproof and fogproof. Beyond this, the BaK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics provide a very good quality image. The non-slip rubber armor and soft texture grip absorbs shock and will be useful on longer hikes or extended viewing. The large center-focus knob makes these binoculars very easy to use. Best of all these come with a limited lifetime warranty and a free carrying case.

Second, I like that, even with a price this low, the binoculars still produce a quality image. Given, the image isn’t as good as that of higher quality binoculars. There are a few things I dislike about these binoculars, such as the fact that, for my brother, the binocular’s waterproof technology failed after being exposed to the rain. Lesson learned; If you know you will be using these in the rain a lot, it may be worth paying for a better model…

Since the Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binoculars (See them at Amazon) are affordable, decent-functioning, and come with a lot of great features, I highly recommend them.

2. Celestron Nature DX 8x42 Binoculars

Best overall 8x42 binoculars (best value for the average user).

Our Ratings:

  • Hunting- 3/6; These binoculars are good for hunting, but the Bushnell’s listed above are pretty much just as good for a lower price.
  • Birding- 3/6; These binoculars are fantastic for the average birder, with just the right amount of every quality to not disappoint.
  • Viewing Wildlife- 4/6; These binoculars provide a beautiful image that is sure to amaze most users.

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Fogproof
  • Multiple Accessories Included

Specs:

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Exit Pupil:  5.25
  • Eye Relief: 18 mm
  • Linear Field of View: 388 ft /1,000 yrds
  • Angular Field of View: 7.4°   
  • Height: 5.3 in
  • Width: 4.9 in
  • Weight: 1.75 lbs

Cons:

  • None for the price

When looking for 8×42 binoculars in this price range, one might become overwhelmed with the number of quality choices that are available. Researching the details in each product may take hours, but lucky for you, I have done most of the difficult work and narrowed the field to just one; the Celestron 71332 Nature DX.

The reason for this selection is simple. They provide great image quality, have many useful features, and have a few added bonuses that set them apart from the rest. These were built with the outdoor enthusiast in mind, so you know you’ll get easy to use, durable, made-with-care binoculars if you purchase them.

These binoculars are waterproof, fogproof, and have a full rubber coating that is easy to grip and handle. The fully multi-coated optics provide bright images which means you will be able to see clear and beautiful images even in low-light periods. The twist-up eyecups and long eye relief will allow all users, including eyeglass wearers, to use them comfortably. These are tripod adaptable and come with an objective lens caps, an eyepiece rainguard, a neck strap, a carrying case, lens cloth, and an instruction manual.

The Celestron 71332 Nature DX 8×42 Binocular (See it at Amazon) is a classic amongst bird watchers and general nature viewers alike, plus they’re good for hunting and pretty much anything else. Overall, I’m positive they’re one of 2020’s best 8×42 binoculars because of their amazing build quality and glass clarity for the price.

 ALSO READ: “The 4 Best Binoculars for Wildlife Viewing

3. Nikon Monarch 7 8x42 Binoculars

Best high-tier 8x42 binoculars (best value for advanced users).

Our Ratings:

  • Hunting- 5/6; These binoculars are perfect for hunting (which isn’t a surprise since they’re made by Nikon); they’re crystal clear, lightweight, easy to handle, comfortable, great in low lighting, durable, etc.
  • Birding- 4/6; These binoculars are great for advanced birders that want a very high-quality image and easy tracking of birds. They’re well worth the extra money if you’re serious about birding.
  • Viewing Wildlife- 5/6; These binoculars provide a beautiful image that will impress almost anyone that looks through them.

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Fogproof
  • Multiple Accessories Included

Specs:

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Exit Pupil:  5.25
  • Eye Relief:  custom
  • Linear Field of View: 351 ft /1,000 yrds
  • Angular Field of View: 6.7°
  • Height: 5.7 in
  • Width: 5.1 in
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs
  • Type of Prism: Roof

Cons:

  • Some owners had difficulty using the warranty

The Monarch 7 is a very well known binocular in the hunting and wildlife watching scene. In fact, If you go to your local outdoors store the salesmen will probably recommend the pair.

These binoculars are a jump in price from the Celestron 71332 Nature DX mentioned earlier, but for the extra cost, you are getting notably better image quality, and just an all-around better optic device. Here’s a testament to their quality: During production, all lenses are applied with dielectric high-reflective multi-layer prism coatings to provide high-contrast images and accurate color reproduction. It’s quite a tedious process for such small pieces of glass, huh? In addition to the phase-correction, roof prism creates a fantastic, stable image of whatever you’re peering at.

To continue talking about these binocular’s great features, they have a durable rubber-armored coating and a sturdy weather-proof and fogproof outer-shell. If you plan to get rough with your binoculars, this is the pair for you. 

Despite their firm build, the binoculars are easy to handle. They weigh in at about one pound, which is good because it means you should be able to carry/use them for long periods of time.

All of my four friends that have taken the leap and bought the Nikon 7548 MONARCH 7 (See them at Amazon) have been enthralled with their purchase. In fact, they love the Monarch 7 so much that they refuse to use any pair unless it’s a pair that costs around two times as much!

4. Vortex Optics Viper HD 8x42 Binoculars

Best top-of-the-line 8x42 binoculars (best value for expert users).

Our Ratings:

  • Hunting- 5/6; These binoculars are perfect for hunting, but not worth the extra penny over the Nikons if they’re only going to be used for hunting. 
  • Birding- 6/6; Any birder in the world would break a leg to own these optics. 
  • Viewing Wildlife- 6/6; For viewing wildlife, these binoculars could only be outmatched by binoculars two times the price! They are well-worth the price if you are going to be using them very often.

Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Fogproof
  • Amazing image quality
  • Durable

Specs:

  • Magnification: 8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42 mm
  • Exit Pupil:  5.25
  • Eye Relief: 20mm
  • Linear Field of View: 347 ft/1000 yd
  • Angular Field of View: 6.6°
  • Height: 5.8 in
  • Width: 5.4 in
  • Weight: 1.51 lbs
  • Type of Prism: Roof

Cons:

  • Expensive

The final product on this list is the Vortex Optics Viper. This product comes in many different sizes, so it is possible you already own the Vortex Viper in another size and love it. If you don’t already own a pair and are looking for a top of the line pair of binoculars, then these won’t disappoint.

At this price point, you are paying for the advanced high-density optical system with enhanced anti-reflective lens coating which creates incredible images in all light settings. These also provide the most eye relief out of any of the binoculars on this list providing a comfortable viewing experience for all users.

In addition to the amazing image quality, you are paying for a compact and durable pair of binoculars. They are lightweight, waterproof, fogproof, and can handle any indoor and outdoor experience. They also come with a rainguard eyepiece cover, tethered objective lens covers, comfort neck strap, and a deluxe padded carry case.

You will not regret buying the Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars (See them at Amazon), as they’ll provide you with a lifetime of clear, vibrant images.

Conclusion

That wraps it up for my list of the best 8×42 binoculars. By choosing one of these binoculars on the list, you ensure that you’re getting the best value binoculars for the price you pay.

I hope you found this article helpful, and as always, make sure to share this with your friends and family!

Here are some related articles you may also enjoy:

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Best 10×42 Binoculars
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