Rangefinders Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals 2019

If you’re in the market for a new rangefinder, or are looking for a great gift, this Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a great time to pick one up.

Here are some range finders to look for this holiday season.

Top Pick: Upland Optics Perception 1000 Laser Rangefinder

While it was just released and unlikely to be discounted so soon, Upland Optics’ new rangefinder is worth a look. We’re big fans of their binoculars, so we expect great things from this new product. With 1000 yard accuracy and weather resistance, this would make a fantastic gift for the sportsman on your holiday shopping list (or even for yourself!). Be the first to own this excellent rangefinder.

Under $100: Simmons Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder

This under $100 rangefinder offers in-view LCD and 10 to 600 yard accuracy. If you want a budget pick that will still get the job done, the Simmons rangefinder is a good option. This is a popular rangefinder for bowhunters.

Nikon Aculon Laser Rangefinder Currently $20 off

The Nikon Aculon is a solid rangefinder at a good price. It’s compact and lightweight, and it is optimized for 6 to 550 yards. This is a great option for bowhunters and golfers as it has great optics and is easy to carry around.

Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 with Horizontal Component Distance Rangefinder 

A little pricey, this rangefinder has excellent optics and great grips. It’s designed for the elements, so it’s weatherproof and lightweight. It features the well-known Vortex design and offers accuracy for 10 to 1000 yards.

 

Give the Gift of a Rangefinder

Many hunters and golfers want a rangefinder, but it’s often at the bottom of their “must-buy” list. That’s why a rangefinder makes a great gift for your loved ones this holiday season. Keep an eye out for sales and deals this Black Friday and Cyber Monday and into the month of December.

 

 

 

 

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Telescopes Sales & Deals of 2019

Telescopes open the way to the stars for us. They’re not the most common gift that comes on a birthday or in a stocking but they are definitely worth it. Telescopes come in a variety of sizes and powers, so it’s important to do your research beforehand.

If you’ve ever wanted to glimpse the stars, planets, nebulas, and just about everything else space has to offer, you should consider our picks for the best telescopes of 2019. Telescopes are not just for the experienced professional. Nowadays, they are becoming a lot more user and family friendly, so you can have yours set up in only a couple of hours or so.

Click here to see all Cyber Monday deals on telescopes

 

Telescopes Current & Expired Deals

As you can see, Celestron dominates a large part of the telescope market with their wide range of telescopes. If none of these telescopes appeal to you, keep in mind there are still plenty of manufacturers that produce telescopes of varying power levels and difficulty ratings.

Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker

Celestron 70mm Travel Scope

Celestron NexStar 130

Celestron NexStar 8

Gskyer Kid’s GT Telescope

Meade Instruments Infinity 70mm

 

Telescopes to Watch For

Gskyer German Technology Telescope

 

Do Telescopes Make Great Gifts?

While not exactly cheap, telescopes help us see the wonders of the universe. Not everyone can be an astronaut, but we all have chances to get unparalleled glimpses of space. A telescope makes a great gift for the budding explorer and anyone with an unquenchable curiosity.

Nowadays, some telescopes have astrophotography capabilities. Astrophotography is exactly how the name sounds. Not only will you see the uncountable number of objects in the sky, you’ll be able to save pictures of them so you can look back on them.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals and Sales for Rifle Scopes 2019

Rifle scopes are a must have for every long-range hunter. There a multitude of scopes on the market that come with different attachments and capabilities. Some are good for short range and others for long range. Check out our list of the best rifle scopes of 2019.

These tools are intricate pieces of hunting tech and require the utmost precision to maintain and use properly. We can understand why their price is so high, but this Black Friday/Cyber Monday, you can expect scopes to be on sale as hunting seasons continue and conclude around the country.

Rifle scopes make great gifts because, with proper maintenance and care, they can last you a long time. Compared to other tools and gear that a hunter uses, a rifle is one thing that you won’t have to replace every season or so. If you don’t see a rifle scope on here that you like, check out the general listing page for a complete look at the best selling available scopes.

Click here to see all scopes on sale right now!

 

Rifle Scopes: Current & Expired Deals

ATN X-Sight II 5-20x/85mm

CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 6-24×50

UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster

Nikon ProStaff 4-12 x 40

 

Rifle Scopes to Watch For

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn

VX-1 3-9X40Mm Duplex Matte

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24×50

 

Why Rifle Scopes Are a Good Decision

Hunting seasons open and close year round. A rifle scope makes a great gift, especially during Black Friday/Cyber Monday when they are at their cheapest. The maintenance doesn’t just begin and end with keeping it clean. Since your scope will be tuned to your preference, consistent checking on the accuracy and measurements will ensure that its always ready for your next excursion.

You should also consider the type of railing that comes with your rifle and make sure it is the type that will fit your new rifle scope.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals and Sales for Spotting Scopes 2019

Spotting scopes are the next step in long-range optics after binoculars. For the hardcore birder or hunter, a spotting scope is going to give you pristine images at a much longer range than even your quality binoculars. Check out our top picks for the best spotting scopes of 2019.

Most spotting scopes are large and will take up a sizable portion of your carrying weight should you choose to bring them to your next excursion. These high-quality optics will make the perfect gift for you or the outdoor enthusiast this upcoming holiday season. You can bet that a majority of them will be on sale even as hunting seasons conclude (and some areas, open up) around the country.

Click here to see all scopes on sale right now!

Current & Expired Sales

Gosky 20-60X 80 Porro Prism

Celestron TrailSeeker 100

Vortex 20-60 x 85 Razor HD

 

Spotting Scopes We’re Watching

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme

Emarth 20-60x60SE

Roxtant Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope

Vortex Optics Diamondback Spotting Scope

Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm

 

Importance of Spotting Scopes

You’re probably thinking that you’re high-quality sporting binoculars are enough to get you through the hunting or birding season. However, it really depends on the type of animal or object you’re tracking and how well you want to see it. Spotting scopes can zoom in at a much farther range than binoculars and deliver better quality.

If you’re tracking animals well camouflaged in the wild, a spotting scope is going to be one of your best bets at catching movement where other outdoorsmen/women might not see. These optics will usually cost a pretty penny, but Black Friday/Cyber Monday are some of the holidays where you can catch them a sizable portion off of their original price.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Binoculars Sales & Deals 2019

Whether you’re a hunter, birdwatcher, opera enthusiast, or just like seeing long distances in general, be sure to pick up your favorite pair of binoculars this Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2019. No doubt you’re probably on the hunt for Upland Optics, Nikon, Bushnell, or Diamondback series binos, as those are the most mainstream and popular.

Click here to see all Cyber Monday sales on binoculars

However, there are a number of smaller brands whose products are already on sale (click here to see bestsellers). They may not be the type of binos you’ll see in the field but there a variety of uses for binoculars beyond hunting. Some brands have specialized their binos for birdwatching, observation, and even opera and plays.

Lightweight and handheld binoculars are going to be your preferable birdwatching and observation optics while larger and heavier optics from Nikon, Bushnell, or Vortex are going to be your mainline hunting and sporting optics.

Click here to see our top picks for binoculars to find low cost and affordable binoculars for your next excursion. Unfortunately Upland Optics, our highest recommended brand, doesn’t do discounts, but they are also worth considering if you’re looking for a pair.

 

Current & Expired Deals on Binoculars

Bushnell Legend L-Series 10x42mm Binoculars

Celestron 10x42mm Binoculars

Celestron 8x42mm Binocular

 

Binoculars to Watch For

Bushnell 10x42mm H2O

Nikon Monarch 5 8x42mm Binoculars

Vortex Diamondback 10x42mm Binoculars

 

Why Binoculars Make Great Gifts

Binoculars make great gifts for all things sightseeing. If you want to make sure you don’t miss those once in a lifetime shots, binoculars are going to come in real handy.

Most people assume that binoculars are only good for hunting since the market in that area is huge. The simple truth is that you can use binoculars for just about any long-range sighting activity you can think of. Don’t assume that just because you have hunting or birding binoculars that you have to remain faithful to those activities with those specific binoculars.

Some optics can be just as good in other activities as they are in the category they were made for. Keep in mind that the reason that specialized binoculars exist is to make objects and sights stand out through color and appropriate light distribution.

The Best Trail Cameras of 2019

With the advent of modern technology, the trail camera has become a must-have tool for hunting, hiking, and surveying. Also known as game cameras, trail cameras have become so technologically advanced that even outdoor photographers, landscapers, and security-savvy homeowners have begun to invest in these invaluable optical tools. With a host of trail camera options available, however, pinpointing just the right camera is easier said than done. A look at the complete guide to trail cameras can help you select the right device for your outdoor needs.

The Top 10 Best Trail Cameras

1. Browning Strike Force Pro XD Trail Camera

Features and Benefits: The Browning camera is the brainchild of a company that originally specialized in manufacturing firearms, scouting equipment, and hunting tools. With over a century of experience in the hunting business, this company has insider knowledge of what makes a good trail camera. The top features of the Strike Force Trail Camera are the built-in dual lenses. These two camera lenses work together to produce high-quality images 24MP in size. Trigger speed for this camera averages around 0.19 seconds, and it has a power-conservation feature that results in a battery life of approximately 10 months for six lithium batteries.

Browning Strike Force Trail CameraSpecs:

  • Photo Resolution – 24MP
  • Video – 1080p HD video with audio
  • Trigger Speed – Between 0.15 and 0.22 seconds
  • Detection Range – 80 feet
  • Flash – Red-Glow Infrared
  • Stand-Out Feature – Dual Lenses

Pros:

  • Dual Lenses produce stellar picture quality
  • High-definition video
  • Long battery life
  • Fast trigger speed

Cons:

  • Short video duration (20 seconds or less)
  • Very small camera screen display
  • Time and date may be difficult to read due to small display

2. Campark T45 Trail Camera

Features and Benefits: Campark trail cameras are among the most well-known game cameras on the market. Instead of using one passive infrared sensor, this camera uses three. This triple-action capability increases motion sensitivity and results in a trigger speed of 0.3 seconds. It also lessens the amount of battery power needed to activity the camera. The camera takes high-definition video and can also film game at night without scaring off camera-shy species like deer. (Since humans can usually detect the LED lighting, however, this camera may not be suitable for discreet home security.) The camera is compatible with a microSD and has a color display screen.

Campark Trail Game CameraSpecs:

  • Photo Resolution – 14MP
  • Video – 1080p HD video
  • Trigger Speed – 0.3 seconds
  • Detection Range – 65 feet
  • Flash – 42 Low-Glow Infrared LEDs
  • Stand-Out Feature – Three PIR sensors

Pros:

  • Three passive-infrared sensors
  • Takes good-quality daytime and nighttime photos
  • Attractive camouflage color options
  • Waterproof casing

Cons:

  • Initial setup may be challenging for beginners

3. Stealth Cam G30 Trail Camera

Features and Benefits: The Stealth Cam with GPS is a no-nonsense device perfect for everyone from beginners to seasoned professional scouts. It has a matrix-blur reduction feature that ensures each 8MP photograph comes out crisp (regardless of angle). Boasting a multi-zone detection feature, this trail camera accurately responds to movement at a trigger speed ranging from 0.5 to 0.75 seconds. The camera’s 30 infrared LEDs provide superb illumination for up to 80 feet in the dark, making this tool perfect for taking nighttime pictures. In addition, another excellent scouting feature is the game camera’s smart GPS capability. The GPS records the exact location of the snapped photograph and it can also notate the location of the camera itself. This way, you can use a handheld hunting GPS if you suspect the camera has been lost or stolen.

Stealth Cam G30 Stealth IR STC-G30Specs:

  • Photo Resolution – 8MP
  • Video – HD with Audio
  • Trigger Speed – 0.75 seconds
  • Detection Range – 80 feet
  • Flash – 30 IR LEDs
  • Stand-Out Feature – GPS capabilities, matrix-blur reduction, multi-zone detection

Pros:

  • Multi-zone, motion-sensor detection
  • Matrix-blur reduction
  • Pre-configuration settings for beginners
  • Clear nighttime photos
  • Records HD video with audio
  • GPS tagging included

Cons:

  • Glowing LED lights may be visible to nearby wildlife
  • Slower trigger speed than some models

4. Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Trail Camera

Features and Benefits: At first glance, some of the specs for the Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X may seem unusual. Why does an upscale camera have 3MP resolution and 720p video? The reasons for the non-standard specs is that this is not your average camera. Because instead of the usual 32GB to 64GB SD Card storage compatibility, this trail camera can hold an SD card of up to a whopping 512GB in size. The camera also accepts 12 AA batteries that can last up to two years. Given the massive storage capacity and extremely long battery life, the Reconyx is the perfect “set up and go” device. Photos taken with this camera feature excellent visual contrast and sharpness relative to its sharp resolution, allowing you to collect years’ worth of high-quality images with minimal effort. In addition to the excellent storage and setup features, the trail camera uses no-glow, high-output infrared illumination technology. This means that you can capture images up to 150 feet away during the nighttime without any LED brightness scaring away the wildlife away.

Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert IR CameraSpecs:

  • Photo Resolution – 3MP
  • Video – 720p with Audio
  • Trigger Speed – 0.2 seconds
  • Detection Range – 150 feet
  • Flash – No-Glow High Output-Covert IR
  • Stand-Out Feature – Buckview Advanced Software

Pros:

  • Extreme storage capacity
  • Extra-long battery life
  • Very fast trigger speed
  • Superior image quality
  • Easy to “set up and go”
  • No-glow ifrared illumination for nighttime recording
  • Five-year warranty

Cons:

  • Video duration maxes out after 10 seconds

5. Foxelli Trail Camera

Features and Benefits: The Foxelli trail camera is a super stealthy device that takes equally high-quality photos during both daytime and nighttime. Like a sly fox, this game camera can swipe desired information without detection from prey. It features natural camouflage that blends in with tree bark, and its lens snaps high-resolution 14MP pictures. And Foxelli’s video feature is among the most impressive as it can record high-definition 1080p videos of up to 10 minutes long. Because of the lengthy video capacity, the Foxelli trail camera is the go-to device for holistic study of game behavior. The camera also has 42 low-glow LED lights for discreet nighttime recording and crisp daylight photos and video.

Specs:

  • Photo Resolution – 14MP
  • Video – 1080p
  • Trigger Speed – 0.5 seconds
  • Detection Range – 65 feet
  • Flash – 42 low-glow IR LEDs
  • Stand-Out Feature – Super fast PIR motion sensor, excellent night lighting

Pros:

  • Can record 1080p HD videos of up to 10 minutes long
  • Low-glow infrared illumination technology for steathy day and night recording
  • Fast motion sensors
  • Excellent natural camo and easy mounting

Cons:

  • Display screen is difficult to see under certain lighting
  • Keypad is not the easiest to use

6. Victure HC300 Trail Camera

Features and Benefits: The Victure HC300 has an innovative design that is sure to make you feel victorious in hunting, gaming, or scouting. It snaps high-quality photos with excellent color contrast, and the camera casing is completely weatherproof. The trail camera also contains 38 no-glow LEDs, making it perfect for capture nighttime photos and videos on your property or on the field.

Specs:

  • Photo Resolution – 16MP
  • Video – 1080p
  • Trigger Speed – 0.5 seconds
  • Flash – 38 No-Glow IR LEDs
  • Stand-Out Feature – Completely stealth nighttime illumination

Pros:

  • Excellent image quality
  • No-Glow infrared technology
  • HD video quality
  • Weatherproof

Cons:

  • Fewer frames per second (fps)
  • Must open camera cover to access control panel and display screen

7. Moultrie A-40i Trail Camera

Features and Benefits: Moultrie is another highly recognizable brand name in the game camera world. Famous for the production of hunting-specific products like deer bait and squirrel traps, Moutlrie knows exactly what it takes to create a successful trail camera. The Moultrie camera features no-glow, motion-activated LED lights that make it perfect for capturing images and video in the dark. Moultrie devices are also compatible with wireless modems to transfer images or videos across connected networks.

Specs:

  • Photo Resolution – 14MP
  • Video – 720p with audio
  • Trigger Speed – 0.7 seconds
  • Detection Range – 60 feet
  • Flash – iNVISIBLE IR LED technology
  • Stand-Out Feature – Mobile device integration

Pros:

  • One of the very best nighttime trail cameras
  • Mobile integration available
  • Video includes audio
  • No-glow and motion-activated LEDs preserve battery life

Cons:

  • Requires older-model SD memory card

8. TOGUARD Trail Camera

Features and Benefits: TOGUARD specializes in economical hunting cameras and home security devices. This camera snaps pictures ranging from 1MP to 14MP in resolution. In addition, the device can film videos up to 60 seconds in duration and up to 1080p in high-definition quality. With motion detection up to 75 feet in depth and 120 degrees in width, it is suitable for wide-range scanning or near-panoramic security views. With 42 low-glow LEDs, the trail camera also provides excellent nighttime recording.

Specs:

  • Photo Resolution – 14MP
  • Video – 1080p
  • Trigger Speed – 0.5 seconds
  • Detection Range – 75 feet
  • Flash – 42 low-glow IR LEDs
  • Stand-Out Feature – Detection width of 120 degrees

Pros:

  • Economical
  • Durable
  • Long battery life
  • Great detection range and field of view
  • Low-glow LEDs for nighttime illumination

Cons:

  • Videos playback is double-speed unless using a VLC media player

9. BlazeVideo Trail Camera

Features and Benefits: BlazeVideo provides high-quality images and video in even the harshest climates and environments. Capable of functioning in everything from below freezing temperatures to sweltering heat, it is perfect for year-round field use. The camera takes eight AA batteries that perform efficiently for at least six months. With its theft-proof mounting, you can use this device to monitor game, fowl, or the exterior of your home.

Specs:

  • Photo Resolution – 16MP
  • Video – 1080p
  • Trigger Speed – 0.6 seconds
  • Detection Range – 65 feet
  • Flash – No-glow IR
  • Stand-Out Feature – Weather-resistant, long-batery life

Pros:

  • High-quality images
  • Long battery life
  • Climate-resistant
  • No-glow illumination

Cons:

  • Shorter detection range

10. FHDCAM Trail Camera

Features and Benefits: FHDCAM is a motion-activated trail camera with a field of view that is 120 degrees in width. Combined with a fast trigger time, this feature enables the camera to snap excellent daytime photos. And at night, 42 no-glow LEDs provide picture-perfect viewing without scaring the animals away. With a built-in screen for photo and video review, this camera is a pratical resource for the field and home.

Specs:

  • Photo Resolution – 12MP
  • Video – 1080p
  • Trigger Speed – 0.4 seconds
  • Detection Range – 45 feet
  • Flash – 42 No-glow IR LEDs
  • Stand-Out Feature – Motion-activated detection width of 120 degrees

Pros:

  • Durable mounting
  • High-quality video
  • Fast trigger time
  • No-glow LEDs for night vision

Cons:

  • Shorter detection range than other models

What is a Trail Camera?

A trail camera is a field-based recording device capable of capturing pictures or video regardless of whether the photographer is available to snap the shutter. Sometimes referred to as a remote camera or game camera, this specialized camera is a valuable resource for capturing photographs in limited-access areas or tight spaces. The trail camera is the perfect equipment for working in outdoor conditions that make high-quality conditions difficult to achieve with a regular camera.

Suggested uses for trail cameras include the following:

Scouting Activities

Trail cameras have changed the game for hunters and wildlife watchers. These game cameras provide precise detail on the size, quantity, gender, species, and trophy quality of animals that frequent a hunting area. A good trail camera can provide insight on everything from pattern movement to shed collection.

Scouts can choose from among weatherproof features and motion-activated snapshots to monitor wildlife throughout the season. There are also long-range and wireless options that can snap distance photos and download the images directly to your smartphone.

Home Security

Trail cameras can provide excellent safety information about your home or business property. Placing a camera in the right area can provide a bird’s eye view of your property complete with date and time stamps. Trail cameras also offer excellent night-vision and can help mitigate the fear of everything from burglars to nocturnal animals.

Sporting Events

Trail cameras are also practical for team, club, intramural, or collegiate sports. Suggested applications include behind a scoreboard during a court-based game or overhead in of a sports arena.

How Does a Trail Camera Work?

Before strapping your trail camera against timber to zoom in on the nearest whitetail buck, it is wise to have a basic understanding of how these cameras work.

1. Camera Range

The first step to understanding any remote camera is becoming knowledgeable about range. There are two main types of trail camera range: detection range and flash range. Detection range is the span at which the camera can detect and photograph game during the daytime. Flash range span at which the camera can detect and record game at night (since nighttime photos require a flash for visible recording). Camera traits like high resolution, fast trigger speed, and quick recovery time can all enhance the information provided when a camera saps a photograph within its range.

While detection range and flash range involve depth and lighting, you may also need to consider field of vision. This refers to the scope (e.g. side angle and peripheral) that the lens can accommodate. For example, you may want a panoramic view to study herd activity in an enclosed space or for security monitoring purposes. If you find this setting irrelevant for night recording or trophy hunting, however, you may choose to bypass this setting completely in favor of a better depth of view.

2. Flash Type

Flash type describes how well the trail camera can illuminate passing game during the nighttime. There are three flash categories: white flash, no-flash infrared, and infrared trail cameras (IR cams).

  • White-Flash Cameras – These cameras snap color photographs at night, making them great for identifying species and studying game behavior. One possible disadvantage is that the flash may be bright enough to scare off game in certain areas.
  • No-Flash Infrared Cameras – These cameras take black-and-white nighttime photos. Animals are unlikely to notice this camera because there is no flash, but no-flash also means the pictures may be grainy and will not include color.
  • Infrared Trail Cameras – IR cams include no-glow (black flash) cameras and low-glow cameras. These cameras have infrared emitters that produce a minuscule to faint illumination when motion-triggered, offering a compromise between white-flash and no-flash types.

3. Detection Circuits

In addition to range and flash types, the camera also includes detection circuits that detect movement or game activity. Two important operations aspects of the detection circuit are trigger speed and recovery time.

  • Trigger Speed – The time it takes for the camera to detect movement and capture a photo. The total elapsed time is the trigger speed.
  • Recovery Time– The time it takes for the camera to reset itself after taking a photo. If the camera has a sleep or power-conserve setting, the wake-up time after an inactive session is also important.

Fast wake-up time, trigger speed, and recovery time are important for active trails on which game may be visible for only a few seconds. However, slower trigger speeds and recovery times may work just fine near food sources or grazing areas in which game may remain for an extended period of time.

4. Battery Unit

Batteries help determine how long the camera will last out on the trail, and long battery-life may prove more economical over the life of the camera. A trail camera typically includes eight sockets for AA batteries. Battery-powered options include lithium batteries, rechargeable batteries, and solar panels. Lithium batteries are non-alkaline batteries that offer 100-percent consistent power over the lifetime of the battery. Rechargeable batteries are practical in colder regions and help prevent environmental waste. Solar panels work well in sunny regions and can operate indefinitely, but this energy source also requires an external power port that may be more noticeable to passing game.

5. Viewing Screen

A trail camera may also include a screen or input setting to view captured photos or video.

  • Integrated Viewing Screen – Trail cameras with built-in viewing screens allow you to scroll through footage on-site (similar to looking at photos saved on a digital camera or smartphone). These on-board screens are small and provide a good idea of the images captured, but you may still need to download them to a larger screen to view specific details.
  • No Screen – Some brands find the viewing screen unnecessary for a rugged trail camera, so they do not include it. This may help lower the overall cost of the camera and eliminate any anxiety over the risk of LCD screen damage on the field. However, this also means that you have to remove the SD card to view images on your laptop or computer. In some cases, you can also use an adapter to view the images directly on a smartphone.
  • Wireless Download – There are also advanced camera models that let you download images remotely as well as text or email the photos. You may also be able to use a trail-camera network to connect all cameras and computing devices.

Cellular Cameras vs. Wireless Cameras

When it comes to viewing photos, some brands may label trail cameras either cellular or wireless. Cellular cameras record pictures and then transmit them to your phone via an internet connection. The camera includes a SIM card just like the one that stores photos on a cell phone. And like a cell phone, you may need to purchase a data package to store and send photos. Wireless cameras have built-in transmitters that transfer photos using a WiFi network. You can then download and view the photos from a device in the network.

Trail Camera Storage Capabilities

Nearly all game cameras use removable SD cards to store photos or video. SD cards vary widely in memory (storage capacity). Depending on how large the storage capacity, an SD card can hold anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of images.

1. SD Card Storage Space

Available storage space within an SD card can also depend upon picture quality. High-megapixel images use up much more storage space. For instance, an SD card with 32MB of storage space can save up to 11,000 pictures of 8-megapixel quality. However, the same SD card can store only half that amount if the megapixel quality is 22MP or higher. Simply put, you will need an SD card with plenty of storage space if you plan to take any high-definition pictures.

Certain settings may also require a spacious SD memory card. If you frequently use the automatic, time-lapse, or burst-mode setting, you will need more storage space to save high quantity or unexpected images. Large storage space is also essential for scouts unable to check the trail camera very often. Plenty of space will ensure that you never miss any images until you are ready to check the device again.

As a last rule of thumb, always make sure the trail camera is compatible with large-storage SD card. Most cameras will note the SD-card capacity that it will accept. If a trail camera notes it is compatible with SD cards of up to 32MB, for example, it will not be able to recognize a large-capacity SD card such as 64MB.

2. SD Card Speed Class

Most trail camera brands recommend that you select Class 10 SD cards. This is a designation that ensures continuous recording of images or videos with less likelihood of corruption. If you have problems with a camera, the first troubleshooting step is to replace the corrupted SD card. Slower speed classes (such as 6, 4, and 2) are inefficient for trail cameras, so always be sure that the SD card has a Class 10 speed label to enable your game camera to function properly.

Trail Camera Setup and Placement

Most experts would recommend setting up the trail camera with the same consideration you would for hunting, scouting, or shed tracking. The most notable setup factors include timing, sense of direction, scout path of entry and exit, and adequately stocked equipment.

Tips for Trail Camera Setup and Checkups:

  • Try to set up the trail camera at midday when the sun is at its apex. If possible, setting the camera up just after a light rain can help disguise human scent.
  • Ensure that the motion sensor points in the direction you believe that the game will travel. If hunting a specific species (e.g. deer, elk, moose, boar, turkey, or bear), be sure to adjust for height so that the motion-sensor can detect any movement.
  • Camera lens should point in the northern or southern direction (to avoid false positives of shadows as the sun moves from east to west).
  • Ensure the camera has fresh batteries the first day of setup.
  • Plan to check the SD card every 10 to 14 days.

Tips for Trail Camera Placement Depending on the Season

  • Spring – Early in the year, animals tend to be social animals. They may frequent the same feeding areas or follow daily routines. This is a good time of year to take an inventory of probable game availability before peak hunting season arrives. Camera setup should focus on food sources, field edges, and (if legal) mineral licks. Fawns, farrow, cubs also tend to arrive in the spring.
  • Summer – Hot summer months are great for catching activity at the water hole. Set up the camera in a flat or low-impact location.
  • Late Summer – Young breeder males begin to shed, and travel patterns include heavy-tread trails and bedding areas. Set the camera up near staging areas, pinch points, and well-traveled terrain.
  • Early Fall – This is early hunting and breeding season that tends to separate bachelors from bucks. Place the camera near (meaning 20-30 yards) scrapes – the pawed ground beneath tree branches that is a popular resting spot for male game.
  • Peak Season Fall – Known as “rut,” this is the best season to get daytime photos. Set up the trail camera near high-traffic areas, funnels, and rub lines.

What Brands Make Trail Cameras?

Popular brands include the following:

  • Browning – American hunting brand famous for high-functionality trail cameras
  • Campark – Notable trail camera brand designed for scouting and field work
  • Foxelli – A product line of stealthy, camo-inspired trail cameras
  • Moultrie – Trusted brand of hunting-specific trail cameras and products
  • Reconyx – A line of innovative “set it and forget it” trail cameras
  • Stealth Cam – Practical, no-nonsense trail cameras for beginners and veterans alike
  • Victure – Excellent trail cameras for daytime and nighttime recording
  • TOGUARD – An innovative line of trail cameras and home security products
  • BlazeVideo – Top-selling brand of low-glow trail cameras
  • FHDCAM – Rugged and technologically advanced line of trail cameras for hunting and protecting the home

Important Features to Consider

Understanding camera basics already provides an idea of features to look for when selecting your device. For example, you may have already deduced that fast trigger speed and quick recovery time are both desirable traits in a game camera. The ability to access your files (either through an LCD screen, cellular, or wireless download) and compatibility with a large enough SD card are also desirable features. The other key features to look for in a trail camera specifically refer to the quality of photo and video.

Important Photo Features

  • Megapixels (MP) – Megapixels are the building blocks of any photograph. The higher the megapixels, the sharper the photograph. High megapixels are important for outdoor photography, but this feature may not be as much of a priority for general scouting or a basic home-security camera.
  • Burst Mode – A setting that enables the trail camera to snap a sequence of images very quickly. This is a great way to look at fast animals, but you will also need plenty of storage space.
  • Time-Lapse Mode – This setting automatically takes pictures on a set timer (for example, at intervals of every 10 minutes). It is ideal for daytime and also requires sufficient storage space.
  • Time-and-Date Stamps – A setting that records calendar data against each photo. Data may include time, date, temperature, location, and even moon phase. This feature is important for perfect hunting technique and is a critical feature if the trail camera is meant for home security.

Important Video Features

If the purpose of your trail camera is to take video footage, consider the following features:

  • Resolution – Generally speaking, the higher the resolution, the sharper the video feed. Standard resolution is 640x480p, but you may also find high-definition resolution in 720p or 1080p. Some high-end cameras offer up to 4K resolution
  • Duration – For trail cameras, video length can range from three seconds to over five minutes per video.
  • Audio – Many newer models enable audio. While audio may not be necessary for tracking game, but you may wish to have it for scouting large-game birds or when using the camera for home security.
  • Time-Lapse Video Mode – This setting can record video clips at set intervals (such as once every two hours). Keep in mind that time-lapse image mode is not the same as time-lapse video; a camera MUST have video recording to perform the second option.
  • Hybrid Mode – This high-end option can record a picture and short video clip simultaneously.
  • Night Video – This option using LED lighting to record videos in the dark, but it may require extensive battery power to sustain.

The Bottom Line

Whether hunting, scouting, sporting, or interested in home security, a trail camera is an integral part of your equipment arsenal. Be sure to maintain your camera periodically with compatible glass or plastic cleanser for the lenses, consistent battery recharging, and SD card replacement if needed. If storing the trail camera during off-season, remove batteries and double-check seals and gaskets against any wear and tear. By choosing the right trail camera and following basic maintenance techniques, any outdoor enthusiast can make the most of this device.

Reviews of the Best Binoculars of 2019

The Best BinocularsIt may seem like a strange notion to those who have never done it before, but buying a great pair of binoculars takes quite a bit of research and knowledge. Just like anything else, a quality pair of binoculars will provide you with a lot better images than buying a cheap pair from a discount store. As technology has improved, binoculars have become more modern and have improved in quality. Nevertheless, there are still some basic features that you should look for in a pair of binoculars, and this is what we will explain first. We hope that this guide is useful to you in finding the perfect pair of binoculars for your needs.

My #1 Recommendation

Choosing just one pair of binoculars to crown as our number one pick is a difficult thing to do. But if we had to, we would choose the Upland Optics Perception HD 10x42mm. These binoculars are tough as nails and give an excellent picture quality. They have the perfect magnification and field of view for a general pair of binoculars and can be used for everything from hunting to bird watching. Our partner company Upland Optics does an amazing job, these binoculars are first class! Click here to see their price.

 

 

 

What to Look For in a Pair of Binoculars

Specifications

Magnification and Objective Lens Diameter

One of the most important features in a pair of binoculars is the magnification and objective lens diameter, which is typically included in model information. For example, in the Upland Optics Perception HD 10×42 mm – “10×42” is the magnification x objective lens diameter.

The magnification will usually appear as 8X, 10X, or even higher. When a pair of binoculars has a magnification of 10X, it means that you will be able to see a distant object 10 times larger than you would if you were not using binoculars. For instance, if you are viewing something that is 500 yards away, it will appear as if it were only 50 yards away. Magnification is often the most important thing that a buyer will look for in a pair of binoculars.

In the example above, 10 is the magnification, while the 42 means that the objective lens diameter is 42 millimeters. Lens objective size is very important, as larger lenses collect more light than smaller lenses. This means that objects will appear brighter in binoculars that have larger lenses. Furthermore, the size of the objective lens will greatly affect the field of view you will have, which we will discuss next.

Field of View

The next feature to understand is field of view. This is simply the amount of area that you are able to see when you are looking through your binoculars. The magnification of your binoculars, as well as the diameter size of your objective lens, will affect your field of view. There are a few ways to understand field of view:

  • Higher magnifications – smaller field of view
  • Larger lenses – larger field of view

reviews of binoculars

So, if you are comparing binoculars and they have the same magnification, the lens size will determine the field of view.

Actual and Apparent Field of View

The units of measurement that you may see when looking at field of view statistics are degrees and feet. When you see degrees, you will often see two numbers, and these will represent the degrees in the actual field of view and the degrees in the apparent field of view. The actual field of view is the number that matters. The apparent field of view is calculated from the actual field of view.

The actual field of view is the angle of your viewing window at the point after the binocular lenses. If you have a pair of 10X binoculars, and your actual field of view is 5 degrees, then your apparent field of view will be 50 degrees. You simply multiply the actual field of view measurement by the magnification of your binoculars in order to get the apparent field of view.

When the field of view is measured in feet, it is a bit less complicated. If you see a field of view of 300 feet, it means that you are able to see 300 feet at 1,000 yards. This means that if there were a 300-foot building off in the distance, you can get as close as 1,000 yards and still be able to see it in its entirety through your binoculars.

Eye Relief

For people who wear eyeglasses, eye relief is an important specification. Eye relief is closely related to field of view, as it is the distance that you can hold the binoculars away from your is a good rule of thumb for people with eyeglasses. With sufficient eye relief, a person that wears glasses is able to enjoy the same field of view as everyone else.

Exit Pupil Diameter

The exit pupil diameter relates to the brightness your binoculars provide. It is the measurement of the size of the ray of light that will hit your eyes after it travels through the lens. The exit pupil diameter is determined through dividing the lens size by the magnification. The larger the number that is obtained, the brighter the images will appear when viewing through the respective binoculars. Matching a higher magnification with a larger lens size ensures that you will not sacrifice on the brightness of your image.

Additional Binocular Features

Aside from those key specifications that were discussed above, you may be interested in some other features that are common in binoculars.

Compact Size

Many people find that having compact sized binoculars is an advantage when traveling through rough terrains or carrying lots of equipment. New technology is constantly improving on the size and weight of these binoculars. Currently, you can find models that weigh half a pound and are of very high quality. In the future, compact sized binoculars may even be the norm. Today, however, many are not as powerful as their full-sized counterparts.

Weatherproof Binoculars

Many environments where binoculars are used are treacherous, and binoculars are constantly exposed to the elements. Water can damage the equipment that we carry, so developers have started to design water resistant and waterproof binoculars. Many also include fogproof design. While the degree of water protection may vary, this is a good feature that will prevent your binoculars from fogging up or getting water damage. Some binoculars may even be able to submerge in water for a short time, but make sure that you have checked your manual before attempting that.

Lens Coating

Lens coating is often what differentiates cheap binoculars from high quality binoculars. Binoculars that are worth buying often have at least one coat over the lenses that improves clarity and protects them from scratches. This makes them more durable, and they will produce higher quality images for a longer period of time.

Basic Uses and Recommendations

General

If you are looking for binoculars for general sport use, marine use, or for the theatre, you will want at least a pair of 7 x 25 lenses. This will ensure that you have enough magnification, but not too much where your field of view will be impaired. The field of view should be between 300-350 feet, with the higher end being for marine use. You may also want to consider waterproof binoculars for marine use.

Bird Watching and Hunting

For bird watching and hunting, you will want a pair of 8 X 30 lenses. Waterproof is always a good idea for these purposes. The field of view should be at least 350 feet. You may want to consider more powerful binoculars if you are looking at far away animals, or maybe even a spotting scope to complement your field binoculars.

Golfing

If you want binoculars for golfing, either as a player or a spectator, a pair of 6 X 17 should suffice. In golf, you are looking at stationary objects that are not terribly far away, so you do not need very high powered lenses. A range finder may be useful if you are using them for golf in order to know the distance between you and the hole or other obstacles such as bunkers and bodies of water.

Stargazing

Stargazing presents a special set of circumstances, as you are viewing stationary objects that are very far away. To make it more complicated, the environment will have minimal light available. 10X 40 binoculars are typically recommended for this purpose. You can afford higher magnifications because you will not be moving the binoculars much, and to make up for the diminished field of vision and darker images that this will present, you have the large lens diameter. See our full guide to the best binoculars for stargazing here.

Best Binoculars for Hunting

When hunting big game, binoculars are one of the most important pieces of gear you will need. They will allow you to scan for animals that you cannot see with your naked eye. This makes them an indispensable tool in the field.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when choosing a pair of binoculars for hunting. First off, remember that you’ll often be looking for animals in low light conditions, so light transmission is crucial. Also, you’ll be lugging them around difficult terrain, so buy a quality pair that will be able to take a few bumps without any major problems. 10×42 is the most common size of binoculars to carry while hunting, although you may want a larger pair if you are doing long range spotting.

Here are four five that are extremely highly rated and are worth checking out:

Upland Optics Venator

Upland Optics Venator BinocularsThe upgraded version of our #1 recommendation above, the Venator are the pair to get if you are a hunter looking for the best glass possible. With excellent light transmission and lens coatings, they deliver top grade optical performance while also being durable enough to survive hunting in the toughest of environments.

Nikon Monarch Binoculars

Nikon Monarch binoculars come in three sizes: 8X42, 10X42, and 12X42, so you have many choices at your disposal. The standard 10X42 have a 288 ft. field of view, and 18.4mm eye relief. Also, these binoculars are waterproof, fog proof, and have coated lenses. They weigh around 21.9 ounces.

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD

These are Bushnell’s most critically acclaimed binoculars, and it is no surprise that they are some of the best binoculars for hunting out there. They come in 4 sizes: 8X36, 8X42, 10X36, and 10X42. The 10X42 variety have a 340 ft. field of view, and 15.2 mm eye relief. Like the Nikon pair, Bushnell Legend Ultra binoculars are waterproof, fog proof and have coated lenses. They weigh in at 24.7 ounces.

Vortex Diamondback

Vortex Diamondback binoculars are of very high quality, and although the company is not as big as its competitors, it can deliver a great product. Diamondbacks come in 4 sizes: 8X28, 8X42, 10X42, and 12X50. The 10X42 pair have a 345 ft. field of view and 16 mm eye relief. These binoculars are waterproof, fog proof and have coated lenses. They weigh 24.4 ounces.

 

Best Binoculars for Birding

If birding is your hobby, the following are some binoculars that you should definitely consider purchasing in order to have the best viewing experience. Because birding is more about the picture quality and feel, picking a pair of binoculars without trying them first is very difficult.

Athlon Cronus 10×42

If your main priority is high quality glass and you don’t want to spend a fortune, the Cronus might be the perfect fit for you. High quality glass and ESP Dielectric coating give these binoculars excellent clarity and light transmission, making them perfect for bird watchers who want to see every detail.

Zeiss Victory Best Birding Binoculars

Zeiss Victory TFL 8X32

These are a smaller version of the THT binoculars, but they still have all of the benefits of a top-of-the-line pair of binoculars. If you can afford these, you cannot go wrong with them. Zeiss also has midrange priced binoculars, Zeiss Conquest HD, which are of excellent quality and a great alternative to the Victory line.

Nikon Monarch 7

These are ¼ of the price of binoculars like the Zeiss Victory, but they deliver exceptional quality and image. The Monarch line has been very popular among birders for years, and it continues to deliver.

Leica Trinovid

The Trinovid line has been around for a long time, and experienced birders will likely recognize it. The new Trinovid line offers exceptional quality and a bright, clear image.

Best Compact Binoculars

If you are looking for compact binoculars that you can take with you comfortably everywhere, here is a list that will give you an idea of where to start looking. The following are widely considered some of the best compact binoculars on the market.

Swarovski CL Pocket 8X25 Binoculars

These are very high quality compact binoculars that fold up easily and can fit in your pocket. Furthermore, they are waterproof and fog proof. They are made by Swarovski, so you know you are getting some of the best binoculars on the market with these.

Vanguard Orros 10X25 Binoculars

These binoculars feel great in your hands, as they have a very lightweight rubberized body. The shape is very compact, and they can fold down to store anywhere. Furthermore, these binoculars are very affordable.

Pentax 9X28 DCF LV Binoculars

Unlike many compact counterparts, these binoculars offer a 9X magnification without sacrificing too much field of view. They are waterproof and fog proof, and while they are mid-priced binoculars, they offer exceptional optical quality. They also have a great design and feel great in your hands.

Best Astronomy and Stargazing Binoculars

Many stargazers and astronomers prefer to use binoculars instead of telescopes to look at the stars. If you want to get into stargazing, or are already an avid stargazer and are looking for binoculars, the following are a few binoculars that are definitely worth your consideration.

Celestron Echelon 20X70 Binoculars

Since you are stargazing, you want a higher magnification along with a bigger lens. These are very high quality binoculars that are tripod adaptable in order to allow for long stargazing periods. They are not too heavy that you cannot pick them up and use them with your hands for added flexibility.

Celestron 15X70 SkyMaster Binoculars

These offer exceptional performance and come at a great price for viewing the night sky. The lenses are multicoated, which makes your image of the stars much clearer. Aside from stargazing, these have other great uses including bird watching as well.

Best Binoculars for Safaris

If you enjoy viewing wildlife, specifically wildlife on safaris, there are a few binoculars that you should research and test before looking at any others. Consider these as you embark on your safari trip.

Celestron Granite 9X33 Binoculars

These binoculars have a wide field of view, which is excellent for safaris. Since they are 9X, you get a little more detail of the object you are looking at. The lenses are very high quality, and with these you will get a very crisp image.

Swarovski EL W B Traveler 8X32

These are top-of-the-line midsized binoculars that offer impeccable optical quality. They are optimal for taking on safaris, and their open bridge design makes them comfortable to hold with one hand. Furthermore, they offer a digital camera adapter so that you can take high quality photos through them. Swarovski produces some of the best imaging products in the world, and this is no exception.

Best Binoculars for Kids

When engaging children in nature activities, the right set of binoculars can go a long way towards getting them excited about their surroundings. Certain binocular features are more important than others when it comes to children’s binoculars, such as the maximum magnification level. The recommended maximum is 8x, as this gives children a wide enough view to keep their eyes on the interesting sight even if their hands are shaky.

The size and weight of the binoculars is also important, as bulky binoculars may be difficult for children to hold on to. With these factors in mind, consider both of the following highly rated binoculars for kids:

Bresser 6×21 Junior Compact Binoculars

With a colorful casing guaranteed to catch your child’s eye, the Bresser 6×21 is a compact binocular with a maximum 6x magnification that is perfect first binocular for children of any age. The state-of-the-art optical system delivers clear images, while the rubber armored body is built to endure all types of damage. Affordably priced, the Bresser 6×21 also comes with a five year guarantee.

Opticron Discovery WP PC 8×32 Binoculars

Built for the older child, the Opticron Discovery is both compact and lightweight enough to deliver comfort regardless of how long the nature walk lasts. An 8x optical system also delivers clear images from a distance, while the affordable prices guarantees a great return on the investment. With a durable design built to last through years of wear and tear, the Opticron Discovery remains one of the best children’s binoculars on the market.

Best Binoculars with Built in Camera

For the professional photographer or birdwatcher, a quality sighting through a pair of binoculars is only worthwhile if the image can be captured. Luckily, modern technology has intersected with current demands to yield a new generation of binoculars with built in cameras. Some of the best digital camera binoculars on the market today are both inexpensive and easy-to-setup. Learn more about two of the industry leaders below:

Vivitar 10×25 DigiCam Binoculars

Though the slightly heavy design may seem inconvenient at first, the Vivitar Digicam Binoculars are well worth the effort with a 640X480 resolution on the attached camera. Add to that the 16 megabytes of internal storage and these camera binoculars become perfect for both long and short sightseeing events, from sports games to nature walks and more. Designed for comfort and precision, the Vivitar 10×25 carries a long battery life as well to ensure long-term use on almost any outing.

Eoncore 2″ LCD Display Digital Camera Binoculars 12×32 

For a highly affordable set of binos with a built-in digital camera and video camera, look no further than this Amazon bestseller that averages 4 stars from customers. These are very popular with avid birdwatchers, making it simple to capture quality images of the birds in the wild for identification or saving for later. There are many things you can do with this device, so it’s highly versatile and easy to customize.

 

Best Rangefinder Binoculars

Open ranges can be a thing of beauty all on their own. However, there are few ranges that cannot be enhanced by a great pair of rangefinder binoculars. Regardless of the type of rangefinder binoculars you plan on purchasing (golf, hunting, digital, etc.), the goal is to improve aim while also allowing for a wide field of view regardless of the terrain. If you want this feature in a separate device, you can always get a stand alone laser rangefinder.

Learn more about two of the best rangefinder binoculars on the market below:

Leica Geovid HD-B Binocular

Though pricier than other brands of binoculars, the reward is well worth the cost as the Leica Geovid is one of the most accurate rangefinder binoculars on the market. Featuring state-of-the-art optics and a field of view exceeding 1,000 yards, these industry-leading Leica binoculars offer everything from automatic adjustments of the visual settings to an ergonomic design that ensures comfort regardless of how long they are held.

Zeiss Victory RF Binocular

Fluoride glass is one of the secrets to the Zeiss Victory’s premium imagery, ensuring that every sight seen through these lens is of the best quality possible. A 45 millimeter objective lens adds to sight quality while the field of view remains one of the best in its class. Though slightly heavier than other comparable binoculars, the Zeiss Victory makes up for it with convenient button placement for added comfort.

The Best Binoculars for the Money

After all of the binoculars that have been listed so far, you may be wondering, “Which ones provide me with the best value?” The following binoculars are widely thought to give buyers the best bang for the buck.

Swarovski CL Pocket 8X25 Binoculars

Although they may seem pricey, these binoculars are cheap compared to the other $1200+ priced binoculars that Swarovski offers. Furthermore, they are better than almost anything else on the market.

Upland Optics Perception HD 10×42 Binoculars

These are some of the best binoculars out there at any price point, and they are under $300 dollars! They offer exceptional optics, water repellant lens coating, a light weight chassis, and unparalleled image quality.

Celestron Nature DX 8X42 Binoculars

These will appeal to those on a tight budget, but also to those looking for a great value and optical quality. These are fully sealed waterproof and fog proof binoculars that deliver a great image, and the price will make you very happy.

Best Binoculars for Under $100

If you are on a tight budget and can only spend $100 or less, you can still get quality binoculars. The following binoculars will offer great quality for their price.

Nikon 8245 Aculon Binoculars

These binoculars are so good that you may find some vendors selling them for $200 due to demand, but if you look in the right place, mainly online, you can find them for under $100 dollars. They provide a quick central focus system and a 420 foot field of view. One downside to these is that they are not waterproof.

Celestron 20X80 Skymaster Binoculars

Celestron simply makes great quality products at a great price. These are great for stargazing and many other uses, and they have a water-resistant, not waterproof body.

Best Binoculars for Under $200

If you have a little more to spend, these are some binoculars you should consider that are under $200 dollars.

Vanguard 10X42 Spirit XF Binoculars

These binoculars offer a wide field of view, multi coated lenses, and high quality images. If you are a causal binocular user, you simply cannot go wrong with these.

Hawk Nature-Trek 8X42 Binoculars

If you want high quality, low weight binoculars, then you have found them. These are fully waterproof and fog proof, and they provide a relatively good field of view and close focus. These are a great choice for the budget conscious buyer.

The Best Binoculars on the Market

If you want the best-of-the-best, and you are fortunate enough to have no price limitations on the binoculars that you are looking for, then the following is a list of the best binoculars that money can buy.

Upland Optics Perception HD 10×42 Binoculars

See description in the Best Value section.

Zeiss 10X42 Victory HT Binocular

These are often listed as the best binoculars that money can buy, period. They offer a viewing experience like no other binoculars, and you can see even the finest details of your object in dimming light. They are very robust, and offer a staggering 95% light transmission. If you want the best-of-the-best, then these are the binoculars for you.

The Best Binocular Brands

Bushnell

Bushnell is a giant in imaging products in the United States, and it makes everything from high quality rifle scopes, microscopes, telescopes, and of course, binoculars. The company was founded in Japan by David P. Bushnell when it was occupied by Allied forces during WWII in 1948. Bushnell’s binoculars have won multiple awards for their quality, and most recently, the Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10X42 binoculars were awarded binocular of the year by binoculars.com.

Zeiss

Zeiss is one of the oldest, most reputable optics and imaging companies in the world, and it makes very high quality binoculars. Not only does it deal in sporting optics like Bushnell, but it also makes optic devices for medical use and even space telescopes. It was founded in Germany in 1846, and it has become a leader in the industry since then. One of the most popular binoculars it has on the market right now are the Zeiss 10X42 Victory HT binoculars.

Nikon

Known for its digital cameras, Nikon also makes stellar binoculars. Nikon is now a huge company that was founded in Japan in 1917. It specializes in lenses, binoculars and other advanced imaging technology. Their best-selling binoculars have historically been from the Monarch line. Today, the 8X42 Monarch 5 take that distinction.

Steiner

Steiner has a rich history in the optics industry, and it has arguably one of the most advanced optics laboratories in the world. Every lens and pair of binoculars that Steiner produces is field tested extensively to ensure that it is a very high quality product. This German company prides itself in producing binoculars that will be serviceable for multiple lifetimes. You can be sure that if you buy Steiner binoculars like the Safari Ultrasharp 8X22, you will have a product that you are satisfied with for life.

Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list, and there are many more manufacturers that make outstanding binoculars. If you are in the market for a pair of high quality pair of binoculars, you should not limit yourself to these brands.

Conclusion

The world of binoculars is huge, and it will take many years for the beginner to explore and learn. With time, you will be able to appreciate minor differences between binoculars, and you will develop a taste of your own. I hope that this guide will provide you with sufficient information to begin your exciting journey into the world of binoculars.

The Best Rangefinders of 2019

Upland Optics Best Selling Rangefinder

The Upland Optics Perception 1000 is our favorite rangefinder. Click the picture above to learn more.

Rangefinders belong to an innovative class of technology that has been evolving over the last century. These handheld gadgets are useful in a variety of situations. The system itself arose almost one hundred years ago, primarily adapted alongside cameras. In recent decades, these helpful tools have been utilized for solo performance in a variety of fields. They offer great benefits for hunting, archery, and golf.

This technical guide explores the vital specifications of these revolutionary devices. Before detailing the essential characteristics of a sound rangefinder, we will present the best ones available on the current market. While the functional mechanics remain relatively identical, minor modifications allow these machines to be employed for a variety of different purposes.

The Best Rangefinders for Hunting

Hunters use rangefinders to gauge the distance between themselves and their prey. Once they know how far away the prey is, they can make a more accurate shot. A rangefinder works exceptionally well when paired with a rifle scope. Here are the best gadgets for an accurate shot:

1. Upland Optics Perception 1000 Laser Rangefinder

Upland Optics is the brand we recommend the most for hunters, and their all-new rangefinder is a perfect example of why. Simple and effective, this device is built to be rugged enough to handle the extreme conditions that hunters often face.

Upland Rangefinder

With an effective range of 1000 yards, this rangefinder will be dialed in on distances well outside the effective range of most hunters. You will always know exactly how far of a shot you are taking or how much distance you have to cover to get within range.

Lightweight and portable, the device isn’t even noticeable when added to your other heavy gear. I personally carry it on my chest attached to my binocular harness, making it very easy to access quickly. Click here to see the current price.

2. Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition 4x 21mm Laser Rangefinder

For an authentic hunting experience, experts recommend this rugged rangefinder. Bushnell machines always carry a proud legacy, but this Collector’s Edition release is especially unique. The camouflage exterior lends itself to a gritty outdoor lifestyle. This tough appeal is not just for show, either; in fact, this boisterous device is meant to handle extreme environmental conditions. One of the special attributes of this model is its rainproof shell. The compact design also makes it extra portable.

This gadget simplifies the hunting experience more than any other machine. All functions have been condensed to a single-button operation. With a magnification versus objective lens ratio of 4X21mm, this viewer can spot anything between 10 and 600 yards. Accuracy is always within three feet.

The primary asset of this rangefinder comes in the form of advanced low light abilities. It is known to deliver unprecedented levels of bright crystalline optics in near darkness. Click here to see the current price.

The Best Rangefinders for Archery

Archers use rangefinders to hone their accuracy while developing an understanding for environmental factors. To make every arrow count, look into one of the following machines:

1. Nikon Arrow ID 3000 Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder

Archery aficionados swear by this premiere rangefinder from Nikon. All measurements are very specific. The increments are given for every 0.1 yards or meters. The gadget comes with First Target Priority Mode. This is the main selling point, mainly because it can be used to aim onto really small objects. It is designed to read thin fence posts 100 yards away. The mapping interface also does not falter with close range distances down to 5 yards. The objective diameter is an ideal 21mm.

This machine is durably suited for tough conditions including fog and rain. The 89 degree angular range is truly impressive, and it enables straight shots up and down. An 18.3mm eye relief zone enshrines true comfort. The CR2 lithium battery promises reliable use for extended periods of time. It is water resistant and rainproof, so you don’t have to worry about the elements. Click here to see the current price.

2. Bushnell G-Force 1300 ARC Laser Rangefinder

To launch arrows a greater distance than the usual hundred yards, archers flock to this notorious Bushnell creation. This is probably the most accurate design currently available in the field. It extends its reach up to 1,300 yards, and the precision is on the dot. The units are given for every 1/10 yards. For the nearest 475 feet, shots are guaranteed to land within 1/2 yard without human adjustments. Everything beyond that marker still promises a single yard range of accuracy.

The legendary 6x optics are brilliantly enlivened by Vivid Display Technology. This approach severely boosts clarity and contrast. Another specialized feature that has been built into this machine is Variable Sight-In (VSI).

There are three different modes available for the bow and arrow, and each one is sincerely advantageous. Bulls-Eye mode emphasizes sharpshooting, while Brush and Scan focus on panoramic aiming practices. Finally, the machine possesses a powerful protocol known as “Extreme. Speed. Precision.” This software is the most renowned rangefinder mainframe being offered to casual customers today. This stylish piece of machinery can be further enhanced by a tripod, which can be linked into its factory-installed mounting chamber. Click here to see the current price.

3. Simmons LRF 600 Laser Rangefinder

For archers just getting acquainted with the sport, it is impossible to go wrong with this Simmons model. It combines all of the basics at an astonishingly affordable price.

This release earns rave reviews non-stop, especially since this rangefinder brand has a name for swift precision. The magnification of 4x is more than enough for beginners. A tightly compacted vertical layout makes this gadget a breeze to bring anywhere.

With a capacity in between 5 and 600 yards, this bold device contains LCD visuals within the view itself. The optics are exceptionally bright and crystal clear, which is surprising for this price range. It is also housed with a superior casing that is resistant to harsh weather situations. Overall, this machine boasts accessibility and efficiency. Click here to check the current price.

The Best Rangefinders for Bow Hunting

When archery is applied in the field, the stakes are raised even higher. A dependable rangefinder must be on-hand to guarantee a successful experience. This surveillance equipment instills safety through awareness, and it allows perfect opportunities for exact kills. Here are the most trustworthy tools for these rigorous hunters:

1. Bushnell G-Force DX ARC 6x 21mm Laser Rangefinder

For something a little more powerful than the previous entry, check out this upgrade, which is also from Bushnell. Angle displays are fully tackled by an automated inclinometer. The magnification reaches a whopping 6x, and MOA is fully integrated.

This release also contains Bulls-eye, Scan, and Brush, but all specifications are extra detailed. The exterior also boasts the benefit of being handsomely decorated with symmetrical layouts, anti-slip grips and an iconic logo. A lithium ion battery is included, so this product can be used immediately. It is economically savvy and ergonomically sound.

This specific model also conveniently includes a dual purpose interface that properly accommodates most guns. Click here to check the current price.

2. Bushnell Elite 1600 Arc Rangefinder 7×26

Here is perhaps the most extraordinary tool bow hunters have available. Once again, this rangefinder ditches the traditional monocular approach to enshrine more accuracy, focus and distance. These benevolent binoculars can detect activity up to 1,760 feet away.

The rangefinder itself is an Angle Range Compensation (ARC). This revolutionary piece is attached alongside a 96×48 Pixel Matrix Display. Aesthetics blend with functionality, and the PC-3 Phase Corrective Coating is dazzling on both counts. This machine also contains state of the art BaK-4 Prisms to instill total sharpness and crispness for images.

Because the conjoined reader retains a minimum of 80% light, it can be used in several dim environments. This light retention rate leads the entire rangefinder industry! Click here to check the current price.

The Best Rangefinders for Golf

To pick the right golf club before every stroke, wise players must take several conditions into account. Luckily, a rangefinder can do most of the measuring work! Here are our top recommendations:

1. Bushnell Tour V4 Jolt Golf Laser Rangefinder

For a truly well-rounded golfing experience, it is hard to top the state-of-the-art equipment that is featured in this mainstay from Bushnell. This is the most popular tool of choice for golfers around the world. Its stylish contour is outfitted with a stellar 24mm objective alongside 5x magnification.

This device can precisely calculate ranges up to 1,000 yards, and its minimum distance is a mere 10 yards. With the combo of PinSeeker with Jolt, players can estimate flags within a single yard of accuracy up to a total of 300.

The laser is top-notch and completely safe. A sturdy carrying case is provided, and the 3-Volt battery is a standard inclusion. This design features an ergonomic structure that has one of the most stable grips available. A generous two year warranty is granted, and it is legal for official tournaments. Click here to check the current price.

2. Leupold GX-3i2 Series Digital Rangefinder

If accuracy is your top concern, then check out Leupold’s signature rangefinder. With Prism Lock, it is possible to precisely locate any pin from a distance. Quickness is also a prominent feature of this brand. They often deliver measurements after the very first target return.

Anyone who plays golf in adverse environmental conditions will want to consider this rangefinder based on its trademark Fog Mode. This feature detects all vital surroundings regardless of environmental conditions or changes in topography.

This sleek device boasts refined technical specifications, and its interface is astonishingly accessible. The commands are all very intuitive; plus, it automatically beeps and freezes upon recognizing a properly outfitted flag stick. The grip is suited for intense conditions and the laser is truly beyond comparison. It comes housed in a fine bag that is complete with a protective strap. Click here to check the current price.

3. TecTecTec! VPRO1 Rangefinder

For a dynamic approach to golfing, it is difficult to beat the simplified technology of TecTecTec!. Crystal clear imagery is a focal point of this gadget, and it is embedded with 6x magnification. Every shot will be within a one-yard accuracy zone up to 540 yards.

This tool can completely replace binoculars. Its optic system is a stand-out in today’s industry, especially since it showcases the most evolved digital circuit design currently possible. For golf amateurs, this may be the prime choice.

The key to this item’s innovative success lies in its three unique modes. The First Target Priority Mode simply measures distance in regards to the nearest object. Distant Target Priority does the opposite by seeking the farthest object. All of the essential visual data is streamlined immensely, and the view makes it possible to gauge exactly where all hazards are lurking with Scan Mode.

Once you have picked out a rangefinder to take with you on the golf course, check out this awesome tutorial on how to use it effectively:

The Best Rangefinders for the Money

On a financial scale, rangefinders can be costly. Luckily, their powers are available in several affordable variations. For the penny pinchers, this list of inexpensive devices will be invaluable:

1. Redfield Raider 650

Here is a nifty device that is the perfect mix of functional and affordable. It looks prototypical, but it is actually capable of viewing up to 1,000 yards. It has a field of view that cuts off at 325ft, however, the viewing angle is limited to 6 degrees.

This is a laser intended for use primarily by hunters. It aims to capture mobility with refined accuracy. At a mere 5 ounces, it is also one of the lightest rangefinders in production. It is also outfitted with single-button mechanics for immediate comprehension and use. In terms of objective lens diameter, buyers can look forward to a respectable ratio of 23 mm / 0.91″.

On a side note, the cubic shape is exclusive to the Redfield line. These futuristic devices disguise themselves with retro appeal. Click here to check the current price.

2. Leica Rangemaster CRF 2000

So, how did a $700 rangefinder end up on this list of economically oriented selections? Well, it is because the value is still out of this world. With limitless potential in a 2,00 yard range, this model receives flawless reviews from plenty of customers and critics alike.

The plastic exterior is reinforced with an advanced carbon treatment to ingrain as well as an indestructible surface. The bold black finish is simultaneously suave and purposeful. It also comes with special lenses that received a rare AquaDura treatment. This product comes with several effective ballistic modes and it can be applied in endless fields.

If you are still not convinced, you may just have to check it out for yourself. Afterwards, there will be no turning back. These are the kind of clear optics for which you typically would have to spend thousands of dollars. Click here to check the current price.

The Best Rangefinders for Under $200

Here are some more affordable rangefinders. These products condense all of the vital elements into a compact product that can be mass produced. The rangefinders listed here are suitable for curious hunters and first-timers.

1. Simmons LRF 600 Tilt Intelligence laser Rangefinder

For being sold at such a low price, this model is still a step up from the standard version. Priced under $150, this grand device flaunts intuitive Tilt Intelligence. This interface rapidly calculates True Horizontal Distance.

All modes of use can be simplified to one button. The carrying case is surprisingly slick for being an automatic add-on accessory. With 4x magnification and 600 yards of range, the LCD in-view picture is stunningly clear every time. It has the welcome bonus of being bright and weather-resistant.

While this model is ideal for golf, it can also be useful for archers and bow hunters. Those who need extra ballistic controls may need to look elsewhere. Click here to check the current price.

2. SA Sports 7.26 Dragon Eyez 1500 Yard Rangefinder

This stellar Dragon Eyez release is currently being offered at $187. This price is unbelievable, especially considering the maximum range of 1,500 yards. Of course, this is with the implementation of an exclusive reflective surface, which can be subject to shutter speeds. Luckily, it also has an uninterruptible standard field of view that extends to an even 1,000 yards.

Rifle owners will fall in love with this mighty machine. Its astute measurements can be used to line up the perfect shot time and time again. Prize caribou will have no chance escaping the hunter that confidently utilizes this tool.

The 25mm lens is pretty big, and it comes with a fine cloth for long-term preservation. A lanyard and case are also provided for customer convenience. Finally, the LCD display is cutting-edge! Click here to check the current price.

The Best Rangefinders for Under $500

For a little more cash, you can get some serious bells and whistles. Here are some of the best rangefinders available within a more reasonable price limit:

1. Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 with Horizontal Component Distance Rangefinder RRF-101

This is one superb piece of technology right here! Vortex has crammed a ton of special amenities into this $380 model. It has a regal rubber exterior that protects from heavy impact while simultaneously allowing for a seriously unrelenting grip. Each one of the lenses is coated to enshrine anti-reflective powers, which leads to a wonderfully high level of brightness during use.

The O-ring instills one of the best moisture prevention methods possible. This tight seal completely combats all interference from dust and debris. It is also programmed to fully prevent moisture contamination. These machines are known to emphasize a streamlined diopter, which refers to the curvature of its interior mirroring. Thus, focus is crystal clear no matter the occasion. Click here to check the current price.

2. Nikon 8381 Laser Forestry Pro Rangefinder

This is the rangefinder that professionals demand! At just under $400, it factors in every possible measurement of distance. It can keep track of complex elements including vertical separation, horizontal distance, angulations, and elevation.

It has two distinct modes to toggle between priority detections. The striking yellow surface represents true industry savvy. The module contains three separate units and users can freely switch between yards, meters, and feet. In the end, this release trades extra calculations for a shorter overall range. The 6x magnification lends itself to an ample 999ft field. Click here to see the current price.

History of Rangefinder Use

Rangefinder equipment for cameras originated in 1916. They were an exceedingly prevalent means of photography for several decades, but single lens reflex (SLR) cameras rendered them somewhat obsolete. Fortunately, the technology lingered on outside of the picture taking field.

Today, the rangefinder industry covers a lot of different ground. They are regularly used for land surveying purposes. Many navigation systems rely on them as well. Digital cameras still sometimes use rangefinder technology to instill proper focus for their images. The military is also presumed to use high-tech variations of this hardware, but this information is presently classified.

The Components of Conventional Rangefinders

Most modern rangefinders involve some variation of an electronically outfitted monocular. The techniques they use to estimate space can vary widely. Laser rangefinders are becoming increasingly prominent, but other approaches include ultrasonic, radar, and simple trigonometry.

Most of these machines are meant to be held, but they can be attached to tripods for maximum stability (similar to a spotting scope). Angular mounts can be applied to uncover exact measurements of elevation. Spherical coordinates may be precisely deduced as well; for the non-layman, a proper term for these rounded measurements is “azimuth.”

Lasers work by calculating the exact time of flight for each burst of light. Their mathematical determinations are rapid and exact! Meanwhile, radar applies pre-determined numerical figures for quick estimations. For the most accuracy, rangefinder connoisseurs stick with the traditional means of triangulation. With the mere power of sine, cosine, and tangent, this type of standard model can still trump all of its fancier competitors.

To convey useful data, a screen is usually mandated. These monitors can come in a variety of forms, but their most common incarnation is liquid crystal display (LCD). Lately, this high-tech inclusion has been structured into the viewing apparatus itself.

Why Rangefinders are Useful

These visual aids can be used to measure vast distances. The most advanced versions are equipped to detect distant objects. This prioritization over close objects commonly sets hunting rangefinders apart from their golfing counterparts.

These devices are equipped with ultra powerful lenses that can accurately capture an entire panorama at once. Sharpshooters often utilize these gadgets to figure out ideal ballistics before firing. This enshrines the zenith of accuracy for every shot. The same is true for archers and bow hunters. Basically, rangefinders are divine accessories for anyone who desires a fuller comprehension of their visual field.

Final Word

This list may be detailed and comprehensive, but it is by no means complete. The truth is that everybody should conduct their own research to ensure that their rangefinder needs are met. Hopefully, this guide is able to help you make a decision in regards to your next rangefinder purchase!

The Best Spotting Scopes for 2019

If you’re a hunter, bird watcher, target shooter, or engaged in any activity where enhanced vision is an asset, a spotting scope is a fantastic investment. Spotting scopes are designed to be used with a tripod, and are less portable than a pair of binoculars. However, they offer the best magnification and clarity of any type of sporting optic, making them ideal for spotting animals from long distances. This article will review what to look for when making an investment in a spotting scope to help you choose the best scope for your needs.

The #1 Spotting Scope On the Market Today

It is incredibly difficult to name a single spotting scope as the best available. But if you’re looking for a general use scope that can be used for a variety of activities, has good features, and is priced within the realm of reason for most outdoorsmen, you should really consider the Upland Optics Perception HD.

The Upland Optics Perception HD is our #1 pick.

A 20-60x60mm scope, it has the ideal amount of magnification for spotting, and the large objective lens lets in plenty of light without being excessively heavy. Its extra low dispersion glass gives it unbeatable image quality that you won’t get with very many other scopes, especially in that price range. Our partner company Upland Optics does a great job, and we feel like they are the company to beat in the optics world right now.

Shop now for the Perception HD Spotting Scope.

Typical Spotting Scope Uses

A guide to the best spotting scope for hunting, birding, and more.Spotting scopes can be used in a variety of contexts, but they are generally used to provide greater magnification than a pair of binoculars. These scopes are often used for hunting, archery, birding, and spotting wildlife. They can also be used to magnify a beautiful scenic mountain range. A spotting scope can be attached to a camera to take a long ranged pictures of a majestic animal without disturbing them or putting yourself in danger. Some people who use spotting scopes use them in conjunction with guns. This allows the person that is hunting to get a better view of the actual target before taking a shot. Spotting scopes are also used during target shooting to view the target hit at greater distances.

Features to Consider When Buying a Scope

Body Style

There are two types of spotting scopes: an angled body spotting scope, and a straight body spotting scope. Both work well in most situations, but one may be preferred over the other in certain viewing circumstances. An angled body scope is great for looking either up at your target or across flat ground. This type of scope is also perfect for viewing from the window of a vehicle. A straight body scope is best for viewing from a higher position, like from an elevated point on a mountain to catch a glimpse into the valley below.

Objective Lens

The absolute best option for a spotting scope is a high quality objective lens that is comprised of high performance glass. Always go for lens quality over size if you have to choose, as a larger lens of poor quality will result in a mediocre view when compared to a smaller lens of optimal quality. A larger lens will always produce a superior image at higher magnifications than a smaller lens of the same quality. Objective lens size can make a massive difference in price; expect to pay more for a larger scope.

Magnification

The magnification of a spotting scope is designed for viewing at ad distance where conventional binoculars no longer function. Most observation done with a spotting scope requires a magnification of 30x – 40x, which assures that most scopes are capable of producing reasonable images. As the lens quality goes up, the quality of the image increases as well. A bit of quality will always be lost at higher magnifications, but a higher quality scope will reduce the image drop-off quality.

The atmosphere also plays a big factor in the quality of the image being viewed. Humidity, glare, wind, and dust can all lower the quality of the image. High altitudes with dry climates are bound to produce higher quality images at high magnifications. Low altitude areas that are wet and humid may require a low magnification for a clear image. Many spotting scopes do not go higher than 60x due to the limitations set by the atmosphere for magnified viewing in the daylight.

Lens Coating

Lens coating is an important feature of a spotting scope, especially for viewing images at high magnifications. The lens can be fully coated, multi-coated, or fully multi-coated. Each lens coating improves the light transmitting into the lens, but the quality depends on the coating chosen for the specific scope. Premium spotting scopes all tend to be fully multi-coated to produce the optimal viewing experience.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is the distance the viewer’s eye can be from the eyepiece without losing any of field of view. This feature is especially necessary for people who wear glasses. With a big enough eye relief, even people who wear glasses with thick lenses will be able to see the full image without an issue. For those who require glasses to see, it is recommended to have at least 14mm of eye relief on a spotting scope.

Prism Type

Most spotting scopes are refractors that use prisms inside the scope to flip the image right side up and left to right. There are two different types of prisms used in spotting scopes: a roof prism and a porro prism. The roof prism spotting scope is slim and compact, but it tends to lack some key features like interchangeable eyepieces. It is an extremely portable scope that is perfect for someone who is always on the go. The porro prism spotting scope is the most efficient and the least expensive prism to produce, which makes it the most common.

Eyepieces

When purchasing a spotting scope, be aware that sometimes the eyepiece is not included in the price of the scope. If the eyepiece is included in the price, the eyepiece may not be removable. Higher end spotting scopes have removable eyepieces that often do not come included with the price of the scope, to give the buyer a chance to choose from the different options available. A single powered eyepiece has some optical advantages, but most people who use spotting scopes prefer the convenience of a zoom eyepiece. With this type of eyepiece, the magnification can be changed easily in a situation where the atmospheric conditions are not stable. A zoom eyepiece that is high quality will have a great eye relief as well as produce exceptional image quality.

Close Focus

A close focus is the nearest distance a spotting scope can view. Most spotting scopes do not have a close focus of less than 20 feet, so make sure the image being viewed is an adequate distance away. This feature is perfect for viewing birds and seeing intricate details on their feathers.

Waterproofing and Fogproofing

Waterproofing and fogproofing are not absolute necessities, but they are features that protect the spotting scope from atmospheric conditions. The seals that are produced to keep moisture out will also keep dust and debris from the scope, which will keep the spotting scope in good condition for a longer period of time.

Tripods

Due to the magnification levels of a spotting scope, a tripod or some support is needed to keep it steady during the viewing process. A car mount works well if viewing from a vehicle, but in most situations a tripod is required. All spotting scopes are threaded like a traditional camera, so there is no need for a specialized tripod. The tripod needs to support the scope, so if the spotting scope is heavy, the tripod needs to be heavy as well. For anyone using a spotting scope while hiking or traveling, make sure to consider the weight of the scope and the tripod before you commit to a long haul.

You can read our guide to the best tripods for spotting scopes to get some ideas for great tripods to use with your new optic.

Camera Adapters

Most spotting scopes can adapt to a camera to take long distance pictures. This process is often referred to as “digiscoping.” Make sure the scope and camera are compatible to assure a great picture from the mountain top. To properly “digiscope,” specific adaptors may be required for the camera to produce vibrant, razor sharp images that are of exceptional quality.

To learn more about the basics of spotting scopes, check out this awesome video:

Best Spotting Scopes for Hunting

For an avid hunter, the scope used to identify a target can mean the difference between a prized catch and the one that got away. A spotting scope will allow a hunter to get a better look at an elusive deer before taking a shot. It can offer a chance to pick an animal from a herd with enough magnification. Hunting spotting scopes all differ slightly, but they can be a tremendous help when using a rifle or a bow and arrow. Here are some of the most reliable spotting scopes for hunting:

Swarovski 80 mm STS HD Straight Spotting Scope

 

This 80 mm scope is a straight scope design that is perfect for hunting in the great outdoors. The scope features high density glass and a fully multi-coated lens to produce a razor sharp image. A rotating tripod ring gives the hunter some much appreciated positioning flexibility. With a close focus of 16 feet, wildlife near or far can be viewed with great results. The aluminum alloy body is a lightweight, sturdy solution for trekking through the woods, and the scope is coated with a Swaroclean Coating for extra protection from the elements. This water and fogproof scope also features a sunshade to help reduce the glare and shield the objective lens. With this model, the eyepiece is sold separately.

Vortex Razor HD 20-60×85 Angled Spotting Scope

This angled spotting scope comes at 85 mm. It has a close focus of 16 feet and produces crisp enhanced images through its sophisticated triplet apochromatic lens system. The compact, lightweight magnesium alloy body is equipped with an adjustable eyecup as well as a duel focus feature that allows for fine adjustments to image clarity. The Vortex Razor spotting scope is coated with an ArmorTek Lens Coating to repel oil from the lens. The scope is a model that has been weatherproofed against rain, snow, and fog suitable for any hunting expedition. A 20x – 60x magnification eyepiece is included with the purchase of this spotting scope as well as a rotating tripod ring to allow for more flexibility when positioning the scope.

Upland Optics Perception HD 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope

Mentioned above as our overall favorite spotting scope, hunting is where the Perception HD really shines. Upland is a company that focuses exclusively on hunters, and this scope is a fine example of that. Weighing just 2.5 pounds, you can actually carry this scope with you into the field if you wanted to instead of just leaving it in the truck at the base of the hill. Should anything happen to it on your adventures, it is covered by a lifetime warranty. And perhaps most appealing to many hunters is its price, which rings in literally thousands of dollars cheaper than options from other top brands.

 

Best Spotting Scopes for Target Shooting

In regards to target shooting, the distance for magnification may vary. Rain may not be an issue in this scenario, but it is important to remember that other atmospheric conditions such as humidity, air turbulence, and dust can affect the performance of the spotting scope. A few of the more dependable spotting scopes for target shooting are listed below.

• Leupold SX-1 Ventana 2 20-60x80mm

The SX-1 Ventana 2 features a sleek design and excellent optical quality. It delivers high contrast, bright visual, and has a good (and expansive) field of view. The angled eyepiece is comfortable and twist up eyecups and smooth focusing enhance the experience. It has fully multi-coated lens coating, is fog- and waterproof, and is less expensive than many of the other premium scopes it competes with.

Swarovski ATX 30-70×95 Angled Spotting Scope and separate ATX Eyepiece

The Swarovski ATX is a high-powered, angled scope that uses cutting edge lens technology to take the viewer to their spotting destination. The 30x – 70x magnification range will define a razor sharp image anywhere within the range that is free of distortion. The focus wheel and the zoom wheel are within easy reach to allow for a quick zoom with little to no adjustment. The high density, fully multi-coated lens produces a brilliant optical image, even in low-light situations. This scope is a bit on the heavy side, but the rotating tripod ring minimizes the need to move the scope once it is positioned.

Best Spotting Scopes for Birding

Birding has been revolutionized by spotting scopes, especially angled body scopes that are perfect for viewing an area where birds might be observed. A good quality spotting scope can be used to enhance images of a bird’s plumage in both short and far distances. A high magnification lens will bring to light the finest detail on a bird’s feathers, which will allow for species identification from greater distances. You can also combine your scope with a camera using digiscoping techniques to capture amazing pictures. Here are a few of the more popular spotting scopes available for bird watching:

Kowa TSN 883 Angled 88mm Prominar Spotting Scope

The Kowa TSN is a spotting scope that is perfect for birding because the lens and optical features are included. The dual focus, fluorite crystal lens provides superb images with enhanced features, such as color, contrast, and resolution. The fully multi-coated lens and the porro prism allow for a viewing experience that has exquisite light intake, even in low-light settings. Viewing birds at long distances results in a sharp, undistorted image, and higher magnification levels maintain an impeccable image quality. A lens of this quality is a bit heavy, so the body of the scope is made of a corrosion resistant, magnesium alloy material to help offset the weight. Eyepieces for this model are sold separately, but the design includes a locking mechanism to lock the removable eyepiece in place.

Leica Televid APO 82mm Angled Spotting Scope

The Leica Televid APO is an excellent angled spotting scope for bird watching. Compared to previous models, this scope has a six percent light yield increase that makes the image resolution even more distinct in any lighting. The fluoride glass brings vibrant color and detailed contrast to the table without sacrificing any range of view. This scope comes with a fog and water proof seal as well as a AquaDura Lens Coating that will repel water and moisture. These protective layers assure quality images are not obscured by dirt or fingerprints. The 12 feet close focus on this spotting scope is designed for bird watching. An avid bird watcher can use this scope to identify a bird from across the lawn to across the lake.

Best Compact Spotting Scopes

A compact spotting scope is a great tool for hunters and wildlife observers who are always on the move. Having a lightweight scope that can easily be managed on trails or in dense foliage will make a wildlife expedition easier and more exciting. Some of the best compact spotting scopes available on the market are listed below.

Bushnell Sentry 12-36x50mm 789332 Ultra Compact Spotting x 40mm

Another great compact scope for those on the go is the Bushnell Legend in 12-36x50mm. This scope is a lightweight instrument perfect for hiking and other modes of travel. The fully multi-coated lens and the extra low dispersion glass give the scope a high-quality image with excellent light transmission. Make sure the image is pristine with the dual focus feature. Unfavorable weather is not a threat for the weatherproof protection.

Best Spotting Scope for the Money

When deciding which spotting scope to purchase, one should consider the features of the scopes as well as its performance. A great scope will be one that has most of the optimal features, but is offered at a lower price than competing scopes. After careful consideration, a few of the best buys for spotting scopes are:

Vortex Razor HD 16-48×65 Angled Spotting Scope

The Vortex Razor HD exceeds the quality level of many spotting scopes with heftier price tags. The top of the line lens features high density glass that is implemented to produce impeccable images free of imperfections. The high resolution and astounding sharpness can be seen throughout the entire field of view; it is even evident at full magnification. The angled body scope has a close focus of 11 feet, so wildlife that is nearby can be viewed without difficulty. In addition, a 16x – 48x magnification eyepiece is included with the purchase of the Vortex Razor. This specific spotting scope is protected from most atmospheric conditions, including rain, fog, snow, wind, and humidity. The protective layers also safeguard against dust, debris, and unwanted fingerprints.

Celestron Regal M2 16-48×65 ED Angled Spotting Scope

The Celestron Regal M2 is another great buy. This spotting scope produces exceptional images without distortion. The extra low dispersion glass enhances the image with a crisp resolution as well as vibrant colors. The edges of the viewing area are never out of focus, even at increased magnifications. Fine adjustments can be made with the dual focus feature. This light weight scope has a magnesium alloy body to prevent corrosion, and the optics are fully protected from the elements. A 16x – 48x magnification removable eyepiece is included with the purchase of the Celestron Regal M2 as well as a photo adapter that helps get the scope ready for “digiscoping” in the great outdoors. The scope is also equipped with a rotating tripod ring for greater flexibility while viewing and a sunshade to reduce the glare on the pictures taken.

Best Spotting Scopes under $200

Some situations call for products that don’t break the bank. Here are a few suggestions for quality spotting scopes under $200:

Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope

The Redfield Rampage is a great selection for anyone looking for a spotting scope in a low price range. In addition to a 20x – 60x magnification range, this spotting scope offers many features that are commonly seen in more expensive models. This lightweight scope will give you a clear image, especially at the mid range magnification levels. The fully multi-coated lens increases light transmission, giving the viewer a sharper image. The Redfield Rampage is designed to be rugged; the scope features weatherproof qualities to protect from the rain and fog.

Barska 30-90×90 Colorado Spotting Scope

Another great spotting scope under $200 is the Barska. This spotting scope features a straight body model that has a high magnification range of 30x – 90x, which is exceptional for this class of spotting scope. A fully coated porro prism helps increase the optics, giving the viewer a bright, high quality image. The Barka maintains noteworthy image quality and clarity in low light situations and at higher magnification levels.

Best Spotting Scopes under $500

Mid-ranged spotting scopes can still exhibit exceptional features. After some careful consideration, here are some great selections below the $500 price point:

Vortex Diamondback 20-60×80 Straight Spotting Scope

The Vortex Diamondback is an excellent mid-rang spotting scope. The great value is matched by a great performance that has a reputation for being on par with spotting scopes that cost twice as much. The fully multi-coated lens is coupled with a dielectric prism coating that optimizes light transmission, which gives the viewer an image that stays true to the bright colors seen in nature. The classic straight body design also features fog and water resistant seals that will protect the scope from moisture or debris. The Vortex Diamondback is a very sturdy scope that is great for “digiscoping.” A sunshade is included to help reduce the glare in the field of view.

Vanguard Endeavor HD 15-45×65 Angled Spotting Scope

A spotting scope with a top of the line reputation at a reasonable price is the Vanguard Endeavor. Vivid colors and sharp details are the result of an extra low dispersion glass and a fully multi-coated lens. This scope features a close focus of 14 feet and a magnification range of 15x – 45x to produce picture perfect, distortion-free images. Small adjustments can be made with the dual focus feature. This scope design also features weatherproofing as well as rubber armoring that are meant to protect the scope from damage. The Vanguard Endeavor is a scope that has an extended eye relief for more comfortable observation in the impressive field of view.

Best Spotting Scopes under $1000

Most people are willing to pay a little extra money to get the spotting scope features and the magnification levels they desire. A few of the choice spotting scopes under $1000 are listed below.

Vortex Viper HD 20-60×80 Angled Spotting Scope

The Vortex Viper is an angled body HD spotting scope that sports all of the top of the line features that are often seen in high end scopes. The optics on the Vortex Viper produce exceptional high resolution images that remain vivid in color and contrast. The lightweight design also features a rotating tripod ring and an adjustable eyecup for more comfortable viewing. It also has a dual focus feature that allows for coarse, fine adjustments to the image. The design is waterproof and fogproof with some added protection to keep any oil and debris from the lens. This model does include a 20x – 60x magnification eyepiece, which makes the overall value even better.

Pentax PF ED II 65mm ST Spotting Scope

The Pentax PF ED is a popular straight body spotting scope that offers extremely high performance at an affordable price. The lightweight scope has a magnesium alloy body that is easily portable for the spotter on the go. The extra low dispersion glass and the fully multi-coated lens give the scope an optical excellence characteristic of high end scopes. This model includes a 20x – 60x magnification lens that is combined with a sunshade to reduce glare. Images that are fully magnified maintain the clarity and vibrant detail seen at low magnifications. This scope can also be fit to a variety of astronomical eyepieces that create possibilities for the spotter to have a view into the galaxy.

There are a lot of different spotting scopes available on the market today, but not all scopes are created equally. This article was designed to introduce someone who is new to birding or other recreational activities where a spotting scope is useful to the different features that are available. Once a spotter is sure of the magnification they need, it comes down to knowing the price restraints for purchasing the scope and determining which extra features should be included in the price. If “digiscoping” is an ambition, make sure the spotting scope selected can accommodate. Hopefully, this article will help a new spotter determine which scope is best suited for them. Make sure to consider the suggestions made above, but also do additional research so your spotting scope lasts generations to come.

The Best Red Dot Sights of 2019

Anyone who uses a gun for target practice or hunting will agree that having a sight is essential for being able to accurately hit a target. Traditional iron sights can be used to achieve this desired accuracy; however, red dot sights provide a faster way to aim and shoot without missing. While these sights were typically used by the military, they are now often employed for recreational means, including hunting and paintball. Red dot sights are popular to use for aiming at moving targets, especially since this type of sight allows you to line up the target and take a shot at a quick rate of speed. Let’s take a look at some of the best red dot sights on the market, and then we will cover key features to look for and evaluate when purchasing a red dot sight.

What is a Red Dot Sight?

If you are unsure of what a red dot sight is or how it differs from other types of sights, here are some additional details to go over before exploring the following options: Any non-magnified, illuminated sight that can be equipped to a shotgun, a rifle, or a handgun is considered a red dot sight. The reticle or “red dot” is created by an LED or a laser diode light that is reflected or projected into the field of view. This “red dot” is aimed directly in your line of sight to become the aiming mechanism that lines up the gun with the targets to make the perfect shot.

The Best Red Dot Sights on the Market

1. Vortex SPARC 2 Red Dot Sight (Our top pick)

The Vortex SPARC 2 is a well built, extremely sturdy sight that provides great features at a really reasonable price. An upgrade to Vortex’s original SPARC, the light weight sight is built to impress, and many reviewers have not had problems with it standing up to the tests of time at all. The battery life of this sight at minimum brightness can last up to an incredible 5,000 hours. A six hour auto shut down feature is also present to help preserve battery life. A simple button press makes it easy to adapt the color, shape, and illumination of the reticle. This sight also features a fully multi-coated lens as well as waterproof optics to keep moisture, dust, and debris away from the lens. It is also parallax free, which allows for more rapid shooting while you have both eyes open. Click here to see the current price.

2. Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic

The Aimpoint PRO is a great sight that has new, never-before-seen features incorporated into its’ design that maximizes the performance and battery life of the device. The sight can be turned on and left on for at least three years before a new battery will be required. The service date and battery change reminders are perfect for tracking and making sure that you never let your batteries die while you are out on a hunt. The front lens of this sight also features a band-pass coating, which enables compatibility with most types of night vision devices. Both the front and the rear lens are set back from the edge to cushion the sight from impact devastation and safeguard it from scratches and fingerprints. The Aimpoint PRO also has a mount with a removable spacer as well as a torque limiting twist knob that optimizes the pressure places on the rail. Click here to see the current price.

3. Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec Sight NV QD 

The Sightmark Ultra Shot Pro Spec Sight NV QD is ideal for someone looking to purchase a high quality, cost-effective sight. The double pane lens helps to eliminate parallax, which is a very helpful and common feature among red dot scopes, and the sight has four different reticle patterns to allow for maximal customization. You will also have the unique ability to mount the sight in front of a night vision monocular to create a co-witnessed sight setup. Furthermore, if you are in pursuit of a fast target, this sight is equipped with a quick detachable rail mounting system and an internal interlocking system that holds zero extremely well; therefore, you won’t have to worry about frequently readjusting this sight in the field. Finally, you can be sure that this scope will hold up in multiple types of environments and situations due to its durable aluminum frame and metal shield. Click to see the current price.

4. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight Rifle Sight

The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is a great, durable, lightweight sight that does not lack in quality. The multi-coated lens has an amber bright, high contrast coating that is designed to help you quickly distinguish where your target is in any lighting. The parallax free design adjusts to your eyes, which allow rapid shooting with both eyes open. The sight has the ability to adjust the size and the illumination of the reticle to three different levels and preserve the battery life. An additional feature that is useful for shooting excursions in the great outdoors is the waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof construction. Click here to check the current price.

5. Burris FastFire III with Picatinny Mount

The Burris FastFire III is a very versatile sight that was built to stand up to rugged outdoor life for long periods of time. Windage and elevation adjustment upgrades are available with this sight. This Picatinny mounted sight has a 3 MOA dot reticle that can be adjusted to three brightness settings, and it also sports an automatic brightness setting that adjusts to the current lighting conditions. Battery access is conveniently located on the top so the sight so that it does not need to be removed when the battery needs replacing, and the low battery indicator will help you best prepare to have a fully powered sight for your next adventure. This Burris FastFire III also comes with waterproof and shockproof features.

Choosing the right sight is imperative for any hunter or marksman. Whether you are shooting for the fun of the sport or for the competition of it, it is best to find a sight that you are comfortable using. The key is to be able to make an accurate shot without spending a long time lining up the shot, especially if you are aiming at a moving target. Red dot sights are a great option for accomplishing that, but make sure you are aware of the important features to consider when purchasing one. Remember, expense does not always equal quality. The five sights listed are all excellent choices, but continue reading the content below before deciding which red dot sight is best for you. Click here to see the current price.

Benefits of a Red Dot Sight

• Faster Targeting Capabilities

Once a target is acquired, it is easy to quickly center the reticle on the target and fire the gun. There is no need to align the sights and take time to aim. This type of sight gives a much greater accuracy rate when taking aim at a moving target.

• Greater Field of View

Red dot sights have a wider field of view than most tube style sights. Having a wider field of view allows for a shot from a greater distance, but the sight is still not magnified so being reasonably close is still recommended.

• Unrestricted Eye Relief

For most sights, it matters how far away the shooter’s eye is from the sight, but with a red sight, the eye relief is unlimited. This feature allows for faster targeting, because it takes away part of the restraint placed upon someone who is aiming with another type of sight.

• Works Well with Low Light

Red dot sights are easy to aim in the dark of night. The cross hairs of most sights become invisible in the dark, but the red dot is even visible in the darkest environments.

Features to Consider when Purchasing a Red Dot Sight

• Housing Configuration

A red dot sight can come in either a tube style or an open style. The tube style is closer to a traditional sight in appearance. This type of housing allows the shooter to apply filters and protective covers to the lens, which could make the “red dot” easier to see in bright sunlight. Open sights do not have the classic tube style. These types of sights consist of only the bare basics, and objective window to see through and a source of illumination. Since an open housing configuration has less room for flair, filters cannot be used to enhance the viewing experience.

• Type of Projection

Red dot sights include both holographic and reflex sights. With a holographic projection, the sight is illuminated from the front of the lens and a laser diode light is projected onto the viewing window to create a holographic red dot to assist with aiming at a target. Reflex sight projections are much more common in red dot sights that are used for recreation. A reflex sight reflects an LED light that is positioned behind the lens into your line of sight.

• Style of the Reticle

The reticle is effectively the “red dot” that is used to bring the gun in line with the target. All Reticles are designed to be illuminated to make it easier to shoot in low lighting conditions, but they are not required to be red or to be a simple dot. The color and patterns of red dot sights vary, so it is best to find one that allows comfortable shooting. Styles range from a single dot, to cross hairs, or even bullseye patterns that can be displayed in a red or green color. A good sight will be able to utilize multiple patterns and adjust to the desired color. The size of the reticle can also often be adjusted. A bigger dot typically means that targeting is faster. Make sure to avoid fancy styles; it is important to naturally align your eye to the center of the reticle for faster target finding.

• Battery Life of the Sight

The battery life of any red dot sight is extremely important. You need to know that the reticle will be there when it is needed, and a sight that has a short battery life presents the chance of the light going out when you are getting ready to aim for a target. Without the reticle, targeting becomes more complicated and accuracy can suffer. Reflex sights that use LED’s to create the “red dot” consume much less energy than holographic options. A good sight should be able to get roughly a thousand hours of usage before the battery life diminishes. Make sure to preserve battery life whenever possible by turning the sight off when it is not being used. Shooing in cold weather can also be a factor of how long the battery life will last, so make sure to always carry a backup just in case.

Tips for Choosing a Red Dot Sight

• Higher Price does not mean Better Quality

Spending a lot on a sight is not always going to guarantee that the quality is better than the cheaper models. Sometimes advertising will suck you into a more expensive red dot sight that is missing key features, like being able to change the shape or color of the reticle to something that allows your eyes to focus at a faster rate.

• Compatible with Gun

Not all sights are able to be mounted to just any gun. Sights are designed to go with certain types of guns, and they will only fit properly on those styles. Make sure the sight that you are looking to purchase is compatible with the gun you own or are looking to own.

• A Comfortable Size and Weight

Make sure the sight is an appropriate size for your gun and the area where it will be stored. The weight of the red dot sight will affect the overall weight of the gun. Make sure that the gun can still be handled effectively with the sight attached to make assure that the accuracy of your aim is not diminished.

• Mounting the Sight

Mounting the sight to the gun is an extremely important step. If the sight is slightly off, then your whole aim will be off as well. Take your time when mounting and adjusting the sight to assure that it is straight. Your precision when mounting the sight will help you nail the target every time.

Overall, there are multiple features to take into consideration when making your red dot sight purchase. A sight equipped with all of the right features fit for you will take your recreational hunting or target shooting to the next level.