How to Choose the Best Hunting Binocular
Choosing the best hunting binocular is not always an easy task. Behind eyeglasses, a binocular is the most popular optical system on the planet and serve in a variety of ways. From hunting and marine use to birdwatching and sports, the right binocular is essential to a good experience.
Obviously this is going to be the number one consideration for most of us when considering the purchase of anything. Hunting boots, good optics, even health and property insurance. We shop until the price is right. That’s why at TRACT we’ve completely cut out the middleman, allowing us to sell quality binoculars at 30-40 percent less than comparable products from high-end manufacturers.
Often times, less is more. This is especially true when deer hunting is your number one outdoor pursuit. Deer hunters don’t necessarily need to see for miles unless of course the hunt is in Big Sky country. Typically, in wooded terrain, your visibility is limited to a greater extent therefore the wider field of view from an 8x binocular (eight times your normal vision) is the best option. You can not only cover more ground, but also be able to see better in low-light conditions. The TORIC 8x has a field of view of 377 feet at 1,000 yards and the TEKOA 8x is 341 feet.
Elk, moose, caribou and other big game hunters are going to fare better with a 10x (ten times your normal vision) binocular. The pursuit of these species happens in the vastness of western North America where the horizon seems like it might take you to the edge of the world. Higher magnification is crucial when most of your time is spent sitting on mountain tops surveying the surrounding landscape. These spot-and-stalk hunts require durability and versatility from you and your equipment in any kind of weather.
SIZE AND WEIGHT
Binoculars you’ll use for the key times of dawn and dusk should be full size. They’re usually no more than six inches wide or tall and take up minimal space in your pack or on your chest where they’re fastened by a harness. And most quality hunting binoculars don’t weigh more than 30 ounces.
High quality glass is heavier by nature, so finding the right balance is extremely important in the design of the binocular. That is where our binoculars shine. The TORIC features a magnesium alloy chassis construction and has a maximum weight of just 27.2 ounces. The TEKOA features a polycarbonate chassis that is reinforced with fiberglass for an extremely light balanced feel.
If you’re hunting more from a stationary position, a heavier model might work fine, but if you’re a mobile hunter, every ounce may count.
Considering that hunters do most of their glassing at dawn and dusk, the primary times when game moves, brightness is especially important. The lens coating, magnification and the exit pupil all play a part in brightness. The exit pupil is the bright circle that can be seen in the middle of each eyepiece when you hold the binocular out at arm’s length. Their size is determined by the magnification and the objective diameter of the front lens of the binocular (higher magnification produces smaller exit pupils if the objective diameter is the same). To figure this out, just use basic math by dividing the objective size (aperture) by the magnification. For example, if you’re using 10x42 binos, they will have a 4.2 millimeter exit pupil (42 / 10 = 4.2). Since your pupil dilates to around 4-5mm in low-light conditions, you need to choose a binocular with an exit pupil that matches your eye’s entrance pupil. That’s why a 10x25 compact with an exit pupil of 2.5 will not work well in those key dawn and dusk situations because the binocular design is not letting enough light get to your pupils. Binoculars with exit pupils of 4-5mm are essential to low light performance like an 8x42 with an exit pupil of 5.2 or as stated a 10x42 with an exit pupil of 4.2
Every lens in a TRACT binocular is precisely ground, polished and coated to provide excellent clarity and definition even at the extreme outer edges of the field of view.
Sharpness, also called definition or resolution, is maximized by the Ultra High Definition lens system contained in all TRACT binoculars. The fully multicoated lens system, ED objective lenses, Dielectric and Phase Correction Coated prisms work hand in hand to provide incredible detail. The larger ocular lenses of the TORIC binocular provide a larger “sweet spot” allowing for enhanced detail resolution.
When durability and ruggedness are key in rough terrain and unpredictable weather, you’re going to want a binocular that is tough both outside and in. The exterior of the TORIC and TEKOA binoculars are built using Magnesium Alloy and Fiberglass Reinforced Polycarbonate, respectively. Both are equipped with a super-tough rubber body armor that can withstand even the most rugged terrain. The exterior design is strategically textured in just the right places to provide a comfortable but firm grip in virtually any conditions.
The Argon filled body and O-ring sealed system provide total waterproof and fogproof performance.
The trend of modern binoculars definitely favors the roof prism design. Although more difficult to manufacture the TRACT roof prism design is sleeker and more compact than the older porro prism design.
Porro prism binoculars are heavy and clunky while the roof prism is usually more streamlined and lighter weight. Named for the roof-like appearance of the prisms, roof prism binoculars have the eyepieces and objective lenses positioned in a straight line. Roof prism binoculars are known globally for their shape and durability.