5 Best 10×42 Binoculars Worth the Money (2020)

We have just stepped into 2020, and the markets are already flooded with a stream of the best 10X42 binoculars. This makes it even trickier to land our hands on the best model possible because, to be honest, it is quite baffling to choose the perfect one when there are so many models to sway you. 

To make the right choice when buying yourself the best binoculars, you must first determine your specific application, consider how often, when, and where you plan to use it and also work out the correct combination of features you have in mind to suit your needs. Read detailed reviews of the product, and only after you have done all of this should you set out to buy your perfect set.

We Recommend

Best value/price ratio

Vortex Optics Viper
HD Binocular

Best for the money

Leica Ultravid
HD Plus

Best image stabilized

Canon 10×42
L Binocular

Is 10x42 Better than 8x42 or 10x50?

To say which one is best would be somewhat of prejudice since every model serves its specific purpose. If you are, let us suppose, a bird watcher, a hunter, or an expeditionist, you would naturally lean more towards the binocular with a 10x magnification factor. We do not mean to imply here that there is anything wrong in doing so, but one should not dismiss the 8x or the 50 just out of hand yet.

The 8x binoculars offer better image stability; the field of view is wider, and also the exit pupil is larger than a 10x model. But just because it has these features, we cannot rule out the qualities of the 10x binoculars. Let us consider the best and worst of each model to help you better understand the functions of each:

8×42 Binocular

PROS:

  • Wider field of view
  • Less costly than 10x
  • Exit pupil is larger
  • High powered
  • Improved image stability
  • Ideal for close distance glassing.

CONS:

  • Lower powered for identification and details.
  • Not very practical for open field glassing.

10×42 Binoculars

PROS:

  • Better twilight factor
  • Good for wide-field and open glassing
  • High powered
  • Better identification image quality
  • Further distance reach

CONS:

  • Smaller exit pupil
  • The field of view is narrower.

10×50 Binoculars

PROS:

  • Allows extra minutes
  • Same field of view as 10×42

CONS:

  • 50mm binoculars come with extra weight

10×42 is perfect for rifle hunting applications. 8×42 is the best for bow hunting. All models of 8×42, 10×42, and 10x 50 are good for bird watching.
For safari and expeditions, the 10×42 model works best.

Overall, the most versatile binoculars of all are the 10×42 and certainly a safe buy always. Binoculars with 10x magnify your subject by a factor of 10. While higher levels of magnification are available, anything beyond 12x will require an image stabilization or tripod.

You Get What You Pay for

When you set out to buy the best 10X42 binoculars, you need first to determine what your maximum budget is. The price ranger determines what you get in a model. Some top of the line binoculars offers you durable, comfortable packages with pristine images. However, that is not to say that a lower range will not provide you a good option. Thanks to the technological advancements made in the last decade, you get the best features too in a smaller budget.

Enlisted below are a few price ranges and what features you can expect in them:

Starters up to 100$

In this range, you can easily get a 10×42 pair. Models under this price range will be lightweight and ergonomic. These binoculars are ideal for purposes including traveling, hunting, wildlife viewing, bird watching, and sports event watching. Some sets under this budget will also provide you rubber eyecups, an armored rubber coating for durability, and a central knob. A great option for beginners and average users!

Bargain $100-$150

A bargain range will offer you 10×42 and even 8×42 models. These would include choices ideal for outdoor activities. The features available would be fog-proof and waterproof binos. Certain products within this budget also come complete with multi-coated optics and Bak-4 prisms.

Budget $150-$250

This price range offers ED glass. Most models will also have adjustable eyecups. Binoculars in this category are mostly not lightweight. But you can surely get a large FOV, a fog-proof and waterproof set, variable zoom options, very close minimum distance with specifics up to 22x 50mm. 

Mid-range $250-$500

This price range has it all. From dependability to a high quality to durability, magnifications, and an objective lens of 10x 42, 8x 42, 8x 20, and 10x 50, everything. You will find an upgrade in quality, especially the build, image, and coating quality. Additionally, you will also most certainly find an Eco- glass, ED glass, High point design, and Dielectric coatings in a model within this range. This category is the most preferred among hunters.

Advanced $500 to $1000

In this budget, you get some serious optics and glassing options, the best of roof prisms, multilayer coating and HD objective Lens system, aluminum protective coating, apparent angle view of 66 degrees, twist-up eyecups and large focusing wheels, fog-proof and waterproof elements and comfortable, enhanced designs. This is the top tier binocular price range, which offers ample eye relief elements additionally.

Don’t Forget the Additional Features

Low Light Performance

  • Many professions and hobbies require the ability to see objects in dim light.
  • Hunters and naturalists most specifically work during dawn or dusk, when most animal activity is taking place. Sailors, too, most often, navigate in the twilight.
  • This is why low light performance is an essential factor in binoculars. For this reason, the best value of binoculars is 8x and 56mm.

Image Stabilization

  • If you are looking for binoculars to assist with your astronomy activities, you will need image stabilization.
  • Activities such as hiking do not require image stabilization.
  • The best value for this feature is 12×36.

Night Vision

  • Night vision binoculars enhance the images using a particular technology to collect all the available light. It includes infrared light to amplify the object in focus and makes vision possible and clear in the dark.
  • A good model must have a powerful infrared spotlight. An absence of this feature will make the vision in a low ambient light difficult. With this feature, it is also important to have a good viewing range.
  • Night vision binoculars are used by the military for surveillance and targeting and also navigation purposes.
  • The best values for night vision binoculars are 10×25, 7x31mm

Waterproof

  • Waterproof is an important feature. Whether it is filled with a noble gas or just air, waterproof prevents moisture from entering and causing internal fogginess in the binoculars.
  • It also keeps fungus and mold from growing on the glass surface.
  • Waterproof binoculars are especially important for those who work outdoors and with nature. 
  • The best advantage is that it keeps people from having to worry about the binoculars getting wet. The waterproof and fog sealing also gives protection against sand, dust, and dirt.
  • You will find the best waterproof binoculars in 10×42 models.

How to Choose the Right 10X42 Binoculars?

If you are actively searching for the best 10X42 binoculars, you must be aware of the basics, but there is no harm in going through them once more.

Prism Type

The prism type determines the size and physical appearance of the binoculars. Prisms are important for correcting the view’s orientation both vertically and horizontally to make the scene look natural.

The materials used for the prisms in the binoculars have a great effect on the image quality. Barium Crown Glass or BAK4 is the most suitable material. It has a lower critical angle and a high refractive index. 

BK7 is also the most widely used material for prisms. It is slightly less good than BAK4 but is still optical. It has tremendous properties for light transmission.

Lens Coating

These are firmly applied to the objective lens surface to decrease the reflections and glare, enhance the contrast and light transmission, and make colors more vivid. Terms such as coated, fully-coated, and multi-coated refer to the coating process type and the location.

Simple coated are the most basic. They denote that at least one coating is applied on one lens surface.

Multi-coated means that multiple layers of coating are applied on multiple surfaces. 

Fully-coated means that every surface, inside and out, of the binocular, has multiple coatings applied to it. This treatment offers the most color rendition, contrast, clarity, and high light transmission.

Eye Relief

This feature means the optimal distance from your eye to the focal point of the eyepiece. Manufacturers create eyecups so that the user’s eye is at an appropriate distance from the eyepieces. 

Several binoculars have dioptric adjustments on the eyepieces that users can secure the focusing system as per their eye prescriptions.

Eyecups should be adjustable to accommodate a difficult prescription or binocular sharing. Basic eyecups can be merely folded back to place the eyeglass lens closer to the ocular lens.

Then there are adjustable eyecups to twist in and out for proper distance setting for each individual. Models providing longer eye relief generally have a smaller field of view than similarly priced models.

Materials

Materials make up the chassis of the binocular, which is basically the frame around which the entire optic is created. Aluminum material is the most popular of all. It is light, strong, inexpensive, and naturally resistant to corrosion.

Magnesium is used for a high ration of strength-to-weight. If you plan to hold up your binoculars for longer periods, choose aluminum, which is a lighter optic. If you want something solid to stand against abuse, use magnesium.

Field of View

FOV is denoted in feet at a 100 yards distance or 1000 meters. It refers to the width of the entire area visible without moving the binoculars.

The greater your magnification and lesser the objective, the narrower your field of view will be. One degree= 52.5 feet at 1000 yards. Begin calculating from here.

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Best 10X42 Binoculars

1. Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars

These 10×42 Diamondback binoculars are known as the workhorse of the Vortex lineup. They have impressive durability and optical quality. 

The binoculars are dielectric, with fully-coated lenses. They have high levels of light transmission and provide brighter and clearer images.

The field of view on these binoculars is something you rarely find on other similar units. This FOV enables the user to glass his/her surroundings efficiently and identify your target like a pro. 

The model has a short and sleek hinge design, equipped with thumb indents and rubber armor. This leaves you sufficient room for your hands and creates a non-slippery, secure grip. 

The multi-position eyecups are easily twistable for eye relief adjustments. There is also a right eye diopter to adjust the focal differences in your eye. 

The rubber armor and the argon purging in the set provide improved fog-proof and waterproof performance under fierce conditions. The nitrogen gas purging keeps away internal fogging over a range of temperatures. 

Check the price of Vortex Optics Diamondback Binoculars here

What we liked

  • Comes with a case, objective lens cover, and a neckstrap.
  • The product includes a lifetime VIP warranty.
  • They provide better, lighter, clearer images.
  • Lightweight
  • Good for traveling
  • Very sharp glass quality.
  • Lighting quality works well in dim light conditions.

What we didn’t like

  • The clamshell case is slightly oversized
  • Works best for bird watchers and expeditions like safaris 

2. Nikon 7549 Monarch 7 10x42 Binocular

The Monarch 7 10x 42 binocular make it exceptionally to spot your subjects easily with the tremendously wide field of view. 

The model comes complete with dielectric multilayer coatings of high-reflective prisms. 

They are applied to all prism coatings and lenses to offer the users high-contrast images and also an accurate reproduction of color. 

The Monarch 7 model makes for comfortable holding thanks to its durable coating of rubber armor. 

The set is also rugged sufficiently to withstand strongly under any extreme conditions. The size of the model is 5.6 x 5.1 inches (length into width).

The hallmark of this particular model is its optical system. It is a seamless carrier of light that employs the premium ED glass Nikon also uses and the same prism coatings and proprietary objective lens.

Check the price of Nikon 7549 Monarch 7 10×42 Binocular here

What we liked

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Waterproof, fog-proof, and shock-proof.
  • Comes with a strap
  • Clean, bright and clear images
  • Excellent in twilight
  • Razors are at par excellence
  • Consistent view from edge to the center

What we didn’t like

  • There is a little shake when using for farthest distances
  • The eyepiece covers appear to fit loosely

3. Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars

The model is 10×42 with an advanced, high-density optical system. This involves an improved anti-reflective lens quality for stunning images and top tier light transmission.

The model is equipped with dielectric, multilayer prism coatings that provide clear, bright, and color-accurate images. 

The coatings on the models of roof prism serve to enhance the contrast and resolution. 

The viper HD comes complete with a compact, rubber-armored chassis, which makes it ideal for hunting activities.

The eyecups are multi-position adjustable, which maximizes the custom fitting per user. The Viper HD is o-ring sealed and argon purged, which helps it to defy elements and ensures fog-proof and waterproof performance under all conditions. 

Check the price of Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars here

What we liked

  • Well balanced
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Unlimited warranty
  • Best value binoculars for the money
  • Excellent image
  • Fantastic quality of the unit
  • Provides a shoulder harness to hold the case easily

What we didn’t like

  • Eye relief is on borderline

4. Leica Ultravid HD Plus 10x42 Binocular

Leica Ultravid HD comes with a Cordura nylon case. It has a contoured neoprene strap. An eyepiece rainguard. The model comes with a 2x object lens caps.  

It is as compact as the 32mm models. Leica HD allows for ergonomic and comfortable handling with a steady and non-slippery grip. 

This model is also available in magnifications of 7x, 8x, or 10x. 

It has an enhanced optical performance and prisms made with specially formulated SCHOTT glasses. 

It provides exceptional transmission characteristics, light transmissions, especially in the blue-violet band. It offers not only higher levels of image brightness but also better transmission of colors and also enhanced levels of twilight vision.

Check the price of Leica Ultravid HD Plus 10×42 Binocular here

What we liked

  • Lightweight
  • Better image quality
  • Compact model
  • Increased contrast performance
  • Consists of new coating methods
  • Performances exceptionally even in an unfavorable light
  • Shock absorbent

What we didn’t like

  • Limited warranty

5. Canon 10x 42 Image Stabilization Binoculars

The Canon 10X 42 comes with a padded case plus straps. The strap is made with neoprene. 

This model also consists of a rainguard eyepiece and an objectives consisting of a single push-on piece. The binoculars contain Alkaline batteries of two 1.5 Volts ‘AA’ power. 

This is the first waterproof model which incorporates the technology of stabilizing image which is Canon’s exclusive feature. 

The model provides a shake-free steady viewing experience. This set consists of L series optics made of premium quality and also feature two ultra-low UD lens on each side. The viewers receive flawless correction delivery for chromatic aberration. 

These binoculars have a huge lens diameter and exit pupil with 4.2 mm diameter. This helps the model to deliver a tremendously bright view even under low-light conditions. It has waterproof and brightness capabilities at par with the expectations. The set is ideal for activities including stargazing, marine and wildlife viewing. 

Check the price of Canon 10x 42 Image Stabilization Binoculars here

What we liked

  • Addition of lens hoods
  • Protection from glare
  • Good battery saving features
  • Right eyepiece offers adjustments to make for differences between the eyes
  • Case is well made with two layers padding inside.
  • Stunning image both with and without stabilization
  • Image remains accurately and precisely sharp from edge to edge.

What we didn’t like

  • Binoculars are long which sometimes make it difficult to zip up the case completely.
  • Higher pricepoint
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