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Top 5 Best Nikon Hunting Binoculars • (2024 Reviews & Guide)

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If you’re not ready to fork out a bundle for alpha binos from Swaro or Leica, then choosing the best Nikon hunting binoculars is a wise move. Many of us know Nikon cameras well but might not know that the company also has an optics department. Nikon binos are popular among hunters because of the quality they deliver for the money. Whether you’re a newcomer or shopping for a good budget pair of bins, you’re in the right place.

In this guide, I carefully put together a mix of Nikon models for every type of hunting, including bowhunting, deer hunting, big game hunting out West, and more. You’ll undoubtedly land on the right pair for your needs after spending a few minutes going over my reviews below.

Before we get started, let’s take a peek at what makes the Nikon optics department tick.

About Nikon Sport Optics

Unlike brands dedicated to Optics, e.g. Vortex or Leupold, Nikon has more of a corporate feel to it. Koyata Iwasaki founded Nikon all the way back in 1917 in Tokyo, Japan. The company is still headquartered in Japan to this day with offices in America.

Currently, Nikon manufactures optics in its “Sports Optics” category rather than having a separate division like Swarovski Optik. In its Sports Optics category, Nikon offers binoculars, rangefinders, and field scopes. Overall, the corporate feel isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but the quality of Nikon glass for the money is.

Lastly, similar to Vortex and Leupold, Nikon manufactures its top-tier binos in Japan, while its budget models are made in China. Additionally, Nikon offers a competitive limited lifetime warranty on its binoculars, however, it’s not on the same level as Vortex’s or Leupold’s.

Nikon Hunting Binocular Reviews

Now that you know a bit about Nikon’s Sport Optics, it’s time to check out the glass. I ranked my picks starting with the best. In each review, you’ll find the highlights & features, hunting recommendations, and the pros & cons.

#1) Nikon Monarch HG Binoculars (8×42 and 10×42)

Nikon Monarch HG 10x42mm Roof Prism Binoculars, Rubber, Black, 16028

The only binoculars in the Nikon collection that are comparable to Swaro or Leica glass are the Monarch HGs. Presently, the Monarch HG is made in Japan and available in 8×42 and 10×42 sizes. For this reason, the Monarch HG is an excellent choice for bowhunting in the 8×42 size and general hunting in the 10×42 size. Unfortunately, this model is not yet available with 12x magnification or larger objective lens sizes.

First, I like how light these are. Second, the 10×42 model offers a generous FOV of 362 ft at 1000 yards to cover more ground in less time. Third, field flattener lenses are the gold standard for edge-to-edge clarity and capturing every little detail during your glassing sessions. With the Monarch HG, you’ll make out every little ear twitch and movement that can make or break your hunt.

Several final highlights are the locking diopter, 4.2 mm exit pupil & dielectric coating for excellent performance in low-light conditions, and these are built like a tank. The durable magnesium alloy waterproof construction and rubberized panels guarantee many, many years of use from the Monarch HG.

Pros

  • Largest field of view
  • Edge-to-edge clarity with no chromatic aberration
  • Excellent color fidelity
  • Lightweight (10×42 model weighs 24 oz)
  • Available in 8×42 and 10×42
  • Locking diopter
  • Made in Japan

Cons

  • The focus wheel might feel stiff to you
  • No 12×50 available
  • The carrying case should be better quality

#2) Nikon Monarch 7 10×42 ATB Binoculars

Nikon Monarch 7 10x30 Binoculars, Black 7580

Now, for about half the price of the HB model lies the Monarch 7. Of the Monarch 7 variants, I prefer the 10×42 ATB for hunting. Comparatively, the Monarch 7 just about matches all the key specs offered by the Monarch HG. The 4.2 mm exit pupil, 23.6 oz weight, and FOV of 351 ft at 1000 yards are all impressive numbers. All in all, the Monarch 7 is a bit lighter than the HG with a slightly narrower FOV of 351 ft compared to 362 ft offered by the HG model.

The main difference that explains the narrower FOV is the field flattener lenses featured in the HG. Instead of field flattener lenses, the Monarch 7 features Nikon’s ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass. However, the Monarch 7 does feature the same dielectric multi-prism coatings for enhanced light transmittance. In other words, the Monarch 7s provide clear, bright glassing sessions.

One downside to choosing the Monarch 7 over the HD is that the 7s are made in China rather than Japan. Overall, the Monarch 7 is good glass for the money that performs well in low-light conditions. They’re a great choice for deer hunting, including mule deer, though, you might prefer my next pick for hunting out West.

Pros

  • Best quality for the money, especially when compared to other brands’ models with similar features & coatings
  • Exceptional clarity in this price range
  • Even lighter than the HGs
  • Good low-light performers for dusk and dawn
  • Extra-wide FOV
  • Quick & easy adjustments
  • Rugged build quality

Cons

  • Made in China instead of Japan
  • The fit of the eyepiece covers should be better
  • Same problem with the quality of the included case

#3) Nikon Action Extreme 12×50 ATB Binoculars

Of the available Nikon models, the 12×50 Action Extreme bins are the best binoculars for western hunting. The extra magnification helps you to catch more details from higher altitudes without sacrificing too much FOV. The rating of 288 ft at 1000 yards is similar to what Vortex and Leupold offer in their 12×50 models, yet not as wide as the impressive numbers Swaro and Leica put out.

However, considering the price of the Action Extreme compared to the aforementioned brands, these are a really solid pair of budget 12×50 binoculars. Next, the Action Extreme features a tripod mounting socket, which is another reason these are suited for long tripod glassing sessions from up high.

Regarding resolution and brightness, the Action Extreme features BAK 4 prisms for clear image resolution in this price category. A few final highlights are the long eye relief for eyeglass wearers, waterproof & fog-proof construction, and rubber non-slip armor. Finally, keep in mind that these are heavier and larger than my top two picks.

Pros

  • Tripod mounting socket for tripod glassing
  • The best budget pair of 12x50s by Nikon for hunting
  • Rugged waterproof construction
  • My top pick in the Nikon collection for western hunting (mule deer, antelope, elk)
  • Good long-range binoculars that can cut down on the need to use a spotting scope

Cons

  • Heavier than my other picks at 36.8 oz
  • Made in China
  • You might not like the twist-out eyecups

#4) Nikon LaserForce Rangefinder Binoculars

Nikon LaserForce 10x42mm Rangefinder Binocular, Black 16212

Coming in at number four on my list is Nikon’s LaserFroce rangefinder binos. If you’re unfamiliar with rangefinder binoculars, the title says it all. With these optics, you get the convenience of a rangefinder and binocular in one device. At the time of this writing, the LaserForce is the best set of rangefinder binoculars on a budget, especially when compared to the steep price of what Swaro has to offer.

Currently, the LaserForce is available in 10×42 and gives readings up to 1100 yards for deer, 1400 for trees, and 1900 for reflective targets. Regarding weight, they aren’t too heavy for a set of rangefinder binos at 30.9 oz and fairly compact at 5.8″ long. The power source is a single CR2 lithium battery with an okay battery life of 2 to 4 months depending on how much you use them.

A couple of features that make these popular among hunters are the clear OLED display and ID tech. With the ID tech (aka angle compensation), the LaserForce provides the horizontal distance to your target even when ranging from extreme angles up to 89º. Lastly, the LaserForce features the same premium ED glass found in the Monarch 7 model. Essentially, the LaserForce is the Monarch 7 combined with a rangefinder.

Pros

  • The same high-quality ED lenses as the Monarch 7
  • A good budget alternative to Swaro and Vortex Fury HD rangefinder binos
  • Quick and accurate ranging
  • Angle compensation to give horizontal readings

Cons

  • Finding the ranging button without looking at it
  • The coating can attract dust
  • Heavier than standard binoculars
  • Not the best low-light performance

#5) Nikon Prostaff 7S 10×42 TrueTimber Kanati Binoculars

Last up is an excellent pair of budget camo binoculars for hunting. Nikon specifically designed the TrueTimber Kanati to be hunt-ready. First, I like how lightweight this model is at just 22.8 oz. Second, the 4.2 mm exit pupil size and FOV of 325 ft at 1000 yards are both acceptable specs for hunting. However, these are a bit longer than you might like at 6.5″, so keep that in mind.

As for the lenses, Nikon fitted these with its Phase-Correction Coated Roof Prisms, which are good quality in this price range, yet not quite on par with the ED lenses in the Monarch 7 or LaserForce models. Expect good brightness and resolution from the Prostaff 7S TrueTimber, just don’t expect alpha bino quality.

Lastly, the Prostaff 7 shines in the ergonomics and durability department. The ergonomic shape and low weight make the Prostaff 7S bino easy to hold for long periods. Additionally, the full non-slip rubber armor ensures they hold up for years of use in tough conditions. Plus, they are both waterproof and fog-proof.

Pros

  • Better-than-acceptable resolution for the price
  • Bright, crisp image quality
  • Waterproof & fog-proof construction
  • Lightweight at 22.8 oz
  • Durable camo rubber armor

Cons

  • Phase-Correction Coated Roof Prisms rather than the ED lens
  • Low-quality lens covers
  • The included strap

Bottom Line

In the mid-range glass aisle, Nikon does shine. The best Nikon hunting binoculars aren’t quite on a Vortex level, yet they are better than most of the competition. Depending on your expectations, needs, hunting methods, and the game you hunt, there are definitely models in this guide that get the job done.

A couple of Nikon’s biggest shortcomings are that most of the binos are made in China despite the company being Japanese, and almost no one likes the included accessories for good reason. If I had to choose just one pair of Nikon binos for hunting, I would go with the Monarch 7.

When put up against other competing glass in the same price range, the Monarch 7 is certainly one of the leaders. The ED lenses are premium quality for the price. After the Monarch 7, the LaserForce rangefinder binos are my second favorite simply because they’re the best budget rangefinder binoculars on the market at about one-third the price of top brands.

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