hunter holding compact binoculars

5 Best Compact Binoculars for Hunting

When shopping for the best compact binoculars for hunting, choosing the right ones is important. Learn the key features and how to find the right pair of binos in our in-depth binocular buying guide. If you have already decided what features are important to you and are ready to find the best pair of small/compact binoculars for hunting, then you are in the right place.

Why Buy Compact binoculars

While some outdoor enthusiasts think that binoculars are just binoculars, they couldn’t be more wrong.

 A good pair of compact hunting binoculars are an extension of our vision as hunters. They allow us to keep a mindful distance while watching, scouting, or mountaineering the backcountry. 

Technology today gives hunters a huge advantage when stalking prey. Cheap binoculars are made with cheap parts. Plastic components, low-grade glass, and poor O-rings make a recipe for failure. Lenses are scratched after one trip due to improper storage. Any moisture in the air will fog the lens, rendering them useless. 

To my point, invest in yourself and your pursuit of wild game. Buying the cheapest binoculars is a plain bad idea. Spend up slightly and buy quality craftsmanship. The following binoculars are the best compact binoculars for hunting and shooting

5 Best Compact Hunting Binoculars

We have used or reviewed tons of hunting binoculars, looking for the 5 best compact binoculars for hunting. We concluded with these results based on specifications, features, warranty, customer reviews, and personal experience. You can rest assured that any binoculars on this list will meet or surpass your expectations. Here are the results in no particular order.

Leupold BX-1 Rogue Binocular

Leupold hunting binoculars

Leupold Key Features

  • Twist Up Eye Cups
  • Multi-Coated Lens
  • Waterproof/Fogproof
  • 10x Magnification
Model Name59225
Color10x25mm (59225)
Water Resistance LevelWaterproof

What We Like

  • Under 5″ in Length
  • Carry Case Included
  • Crystal Clear Vision
  • Long Lifespan
  • Aluminum Framework
  • Lifetime Warranty

What We Don’t LIke

  • Adjustment Sometimes Difficult
  • Shoulder Strap is Poor Quality
  • Carry Case is Bulky

Leupold has been a hunting industry leader for many years. Their optics are second to few, in our opinion. These binoculars are very affordable and, in our experience, very undervalued. The Rogue series is one of three in the line of compact Leupold binoculars.

These binoculars fit conveniently in a chest harness, glove box, or center console. A great pair of compact binoculars for hunting for the money!

Bushnell H2O Binoculars

Bushnell H2O Binoculars

Bushnell H2O Key Features

  • Comfortable Eye Cups
  • 8x Magnification
  • Multi-Coated Lenses
  • Large Focus Center Knob
  • Small Lightweight
  • Waterproof/Fogproof

The Bushnell H2O compact binoculars are a popular brand for a multitude of uses. Bushnell is no stranger to optics and is another industry leader in more than one category. The Bushnell H2O binoculars are popular among consumers, with an average rating of 4.5/5 stars. Fully waterproof and fog proof is standard for Bushnell optics.

  • Magnification x Objective: 8 x 25 millimeter
  • BaK 4 prisms for bright, clear, crisp viewing
  • Multi-coated optics for perfect light transmission
  • 100 percent waterproof: O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged
  • Non-slip rubber coating absorbs shock
  • 100 percent waterproof, fog free performance
  • 12-millimeter eye relief
  • Large center focus knob for easy adjustments

What We Like

  • Large – Easy Ficus Knob
  • Waterproof/Fogproof
  • 25mm Objective
  • Nitrogen Purged
  • Non-Slip Rubber Coating
  • Price

What We Don’t Like

  • Not Glasses Friendly
  • No Adjustable Eye Relief
  • Quality Control Sometimes Lacks Attention to Detail.

Vortex Optics Crossfire

vortex crossfire compact binoculars

Vortex Optics Key Features

  • Adjustable Eye-Cups
  • HD Clarity
  • Multi-Coated Lens
  • Waterproof/Fogproof
  • 8x-12x Magnification
  • Exceptional Quality
  • Weighs 23.8-29.5 Ounces
Model NameCF-4312
Water Resistance LevelWaterproof

What We Like

  • VIP Warranty for Life
  • 8-12x Magnification
  • 42mm Objective Lens
  • Great Light Transmission
  • Adjustable Eye-Cups
  • Rubber No-Slip Grip
  • Nitrogen Purged
  • Waterproof/Fogproof

What We Don’t Like

  • Very Sensitive Focus
  • Longer Than Other 42mm Binoculars

Vortex is a name that is well recognized in the optics game. They specialize in fine optics that consumers tend to love. When researching these optics, negative reviews stated they were not good for really narrow faces. Others love the comfort they experience. In all, it was hard to find true negatives with these binoculars. The overall length of the 12x binos is 6.6 inches, and the 8x measures 6.3 inches.

The Big kicker with Vortex Optics is the VIP warranty which stands for the very important promise. They claim to ask no questions, no matter where you bought them or how they broke. For a little bit more money than your average pair of binoculars, this makes it well worth it.

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Binoculars

Bushnell compact hunting binoculars

Bushnell Legend Key Features

  • Lightweight Magnesium Chassis
  • Locking Diopter
  • 10x Magnification
  • 42mm Objective Lens
  • Waterproof/Fogproof
  • Premium Glass
MaterialLens, Magnesium
Water Resistance LevelWaterproof
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last
  • Exceptional optics with ED Prime Glass
  • Ultra wide field-of-view
  • Includes soft case and neck strap
  • Realtree AP Camo

What We Like

  • 10x Magnification
  • 42mm Objective lens
  • Locking Diopter
  • Comfortable
  • Camo Option Available
  • Image Clarity
  • Good Warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • Slightly Heavier Than Competitors
  • Price
  • Occasionally Bad Customer Service

Bushnell has been making optics since the 1940s and has been setting the mark every since. These binos come with a case, lanyard, and eyepiece protectors, although some consumers claim this is their biggest complaint. Items show up without said components once in a while. We see this not as Bushnell’s fault but the merchants that are actually selling the binoculars. It would be unfair to lump Bushnell into bad customer service because of this.

Bushnell has a standard warranty on their binoculars. They will replace or repair damage due to defects or craftsmanship issues. They are bigger than just binoculars, though, Bushnell is a leader in the hunting industry for a reason.

Nikon Prostaff 3s Binocular

Compact hunting Binoculars

Prostaff 3s Key Features

  • 10x Magnification
  • 42mm Objective Lens
  • Multilayer-Coated Lenses
  • Multi-Click Eye Cups
  • 20 Ounces / 5.1 Inches
Angular field of view (Real/degree)7.0
Angular field of view (Apparent/degree)62.9
Field of view at 1,000m (m)122
Field of view at 1,000yd. (ft.)367
Exit pupil (mm)4.2
Relative brightness17.6
Eye relief (mm)15.7
Close focusing distance (m/ft.)3/9.8

What We Like

  • Great Field of View
  • Very Compact
  • Waterproof/Fogproof
  • Silver Alloy Mirror Coated Lenses
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable

What We Don’t Like

  • Some Users Had Trouble in Cold Weather
  • Not as Clear as Other Binoculars Listed

Surely we have all heard of the Nikon brand. I wouldn’t let the Cons fool you listed above. These are good binoculars, and it’s apparent by over 1,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. Nikon knows optics and lenses, and that’s no different in this case.

These compact hunting binoculars can also be used for bird watching, wildlife watching, and star gazing. Ultimately these sleek-looking binoculars are worth your consideration.

Best Compact Binoculars for Hunting

Above are the five best compact binoculars for hunting based on our experiences here at Hunting California. Still not sure what hunting binoculars you want? Our guide to buying hunting binoculars may explain the different options available in a good set of binos.

Additionally, you may consider a spotting scope for hunting as well. You can learn if spotting scopes are right for you by checking out our guide on how to choose a spotting scope for hunting.