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12 Best 8X42 Binoculars Worth the Money (2022)

The 8X42 binocular “size” offers a perfect balance between portability and power. For a range of on-the-go outdoor activities, the 8X42 is the perfect optics companion. From birdwatching to hiking, to taking in scenery, 8X42 binoculars should be relatively lightweight and easy to use, crystal clear and bright, and durable enough to withstand the outdoors. The following is a list of some of our favorites!

We Recommend

Best 8×42 binos

Nikon Monarch 7

Best that money can get

Zeiss Conquest HD

Best budget option

Vortex Diamondback HD

Best 8X42 Binoculars

1. Nikon Monarch 7 8X42 Binocular

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The Nikon Monarch 7 is an ergonomically constructed set of 8X42 binoculars which strikes a solid balance between value and affordability. The Monarch 7 has a nice wide field of view of 420 feet at 1,000 yards and is durable and well-constructed.

With a close focus distance of 8.2 feet, the Monarch 7 is versatile enough for watching close up objects like birdfeeders and distant objects like big game.

The Monarch 7 delivers Nikon quality into a petite weather-proof package complete with phase coated and dielectric coated optics.


What we liked

  • Nikon quality
  • Ergonomic case design
  • Rugged for better outdoor performance
  • Phase-correction technology
  • Uses a roof prism
  • Anti-reflective lens coating
  • Nitrogen filled design
  • Waterproof construction

What we didn’t like

  • Warranty has limitations
  • Diopter ring sturdiness can be improved

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 420 feet at 1000 yards
Eye relief: 17.1mm
Prism: Roof prism
Weatherproof: Waterproof
Weight: 1.3 lbs

2. Zeiss Conquest HD 8X42 Binocular

zeiss conquest hd binoculars

The Conquest HD by Zeiss is a nice high end investment for the birder, hunter, hiker, or nature enthusiast in need of a lifelong trail companion. For a slightly larger investment, the Zeiss Conquest HD brings picture perfect optical clarity into a well-balanced and ergonomic body.

The Conquest HD uses a Schmidt-Pechan prism configuration which offers a nice balance between precision and bulk. The lenses feature a unique Zeiss T multi-layer coating system.

This enhances vision in low-light conditions allows these binoculars to function well in the dark. For dusk, dawn, and even nighttime viewing, the Zeiss Conquest HD brings truly HD views.


What we liked

  • Best that money can get
  • HD lenses
  • Enhanced color rendition
  • Comes in different sizes
  • External lens coating
  • Resistant to moisture
  • Increases scene brightness
  • Comes with a warranty

What we didn’t like

  • High price tag
  • Eye cups are somewhat hard to adjust

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 128 m (420 ft)
Eye relief: 18 mm
Prism: Schmidt-Pechan
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 2 lbs

3. Vortex Optics 8X42 Diamondback HD Binocular

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The Vortex Diamondback is a fantastic choice for an optics enthusiast who wants high quality with less financial commitment. The Diamondback is lightweight but sturdy and provides Vortex-quality optics for a retail price of less than 300 dollars.

One of the things that stands out about the Diamondback is its miniscule close focus distance of just 5 feet. This means that the Diamondback can focus on distant objects of course, but it can also magnify nearby targets. For birdwatching, a short close focus distance can be really helpful.

With a sturdy but lightweight magnesium chassis, the Diamondback is well equipped to face the demands of the great outdoors.


What we liked

  • Fantastic budget option
  • Durable construction
  • Shell made from aluminum
  • Glass elements
  • Reduces chromatic aberration
  • Improves color fidelity
  • Superior sharpness
  • Very good value for the price

What we didn’t like

  • No zoom settings

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 7.5-degrees
Eye relief: 17mm
Prism: Roof
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 21.8 ounces

4. Swarovski SLC 8X42 Binoculars

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Using extra-low dispersion glass, the Swarovski SLC delivers razor sharp optics in line with the expectations of the Swarovski name.

From contrast to vibrancy, Swarovski’s use of fluorite-containing optical components delivers impossibly crisp 3D views of the environment.The binoculars come with the original SWAROCLEAN technology, further enhancing clarity.

The Swarovski SLC is a high-precision professional tool that is best suited to serious optics enthusiasts. Its price is a significant investment, however when it comes ot quality optics it is true that you “get what you pay for.”


What we liked

  • Waterproof body
  • Uses original Swarovski Optik technology
  • Fluorite glass components
  • Enhances your scene brightness
  • Provides improved color fidelity
  • Built-in SWAROCLEAN technology
  • Field bag included

What we didn’t like

  • Very high price tag

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 61 degrees
Eye relief: 18.5mm
Prism: Roof
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 29.3 ounces

5. Steiner Predator 8X42 Binocular

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The Steiner Predator 8X42 is one of the best options on the market for an all-around solid set of 8X42 binoculars that is both compact and sturdy. The Predator weighs just 26.1 ounces and uses every ounce of that weight to supply quality optics and a build that can take a beating.

The Steiner Predator features Steiner’s “Fast Close Focus” technology and has a close focus distance of just six feet for viewing nearby objects with absolute clarity.

The Steiner Predator is waterproof for up to three feet of submersion and features a Makrolon housing with rubber armoring for grip and impact-resistance. While the Predator can’t stand up against more high-end brands like Swarovski, there is almost nothing bad that can be said about it in terms of balance and performance within its price range.


What we liked

  • Made for hunting
  • Waterproof exterior
  • Fogproof design
  • Color Adjusted Transmission technology
  • Superfast focus
  • 14 PSI nitrogen body
  • Clicloc system construction

What we didn’t like

  • Lenses prone to a bit of scratching

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 381 feet at 1000 yards
Eye relief: 18.5 mm
Prism: Roof
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 26.1 ounces

6. Vortex Viper HD 8X42 Binoculars

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The Viper HD by Vortex is another solid choice for moderately priced 8X42 binoculars. Vortex is a reliable brand whose optical quality is solid. Furthermore, Vortex products tend to be durable and long-lasting. This is shown by the fact that the Viper, like many other Vortex products, is backed by Vortex’s “VIP lifetime warranty.”

Very clearly built with serious outdoorsmen in mind, the Viper has a nice wide field of view of 409 feet at 1,000 yards. Furthermore, it has a close focus distance of just six feet, allowing for nearby objects to be brought into sharp detail.

Overall, the Viper is a strong contender and a good entry point into the higher priced realm of professional-quality optics.


What we liked

  • Waterproof construction
  • High-density optics
  • Bright view
  • Coating to bounce reflections
  • O-ring seal used
  • Scratch-resistant casing
  • Resistant to oil

What we didn’t like

  • Does not come with a case

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 7.8 degrees
Eye relief: 18mm
Prism: Roof
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 24.5 ounces

7. Zeiss 8X42 Terra ED Binoculars

zeiss terra ed binoculars

The Zeiss Terra ED 8X42 Binocular is great for hunting, hiking, birding, and exploring. With Zeiss’s extra-low dispersion glass, the Terra ED brings high light transmission, vibrant color recreation, and sharp contrast.

The Terra ED has a respectable field of view of 375 feet at 1,000 yards. This is less than some of the more robust options on our list, but still more than enough for most applications.

The Terra ED is nitrogen filled, however its waterproof score is quite a bit lower than the previous set of Zeiss binoculars that we looked at. If lots of moisture is an ex[ectation for you, then consider other options.


What we liked

  • Multipurpose binoculars
  • Three color options
  • Ergonomic design
  • Side grips
  • High light transmission
  • ED glass components
  • Fast focus system

What we didn’t like

  • Slightly smaller field of view (but enough for most applications)
  • Lower waterproof rating

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 52 degrees
Eye relief: 18.0mm
Prism: ED Prism
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 25.6 ounces

8. Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8X42 Binoculars

Vanguard Endeavor ED II binoculars

The Vanguard Endeavor ED is a slightly heavier option thanks to its rugged body and robust construction. The Endeavor ED uses a magnesium-alloy housing with pebbled rubber armor for grip and impact-resistance.

The binoculars feature extra-low dispersion glass elements with a top quality phase-corrected BaK4 Roof prism system.

Ergonomic and easy to use, the Endeavor ED is tripod compatible. If that extra weight is an issue, then a tripod can alleviate this problem and hold the weight of the Endeavor. The Endeavor ED is water and fog-proof.


What we liked

  • Long eye relief
  • ED glass elements
  • BAK4 prism
  • Phase-coated lenses
  • Twist eyecups
  • Locking diopter ring
  • Lightweight body

What we didn’t like

  • Somewhat heavy
  • Chromatic aberration after 300 yards

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 7 degrees
Eye relief: 19mm
Prism: Roof prism
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 25.8 oz

9. Celestron Nature DX Binoculars 8X42

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Built for the outdoor enthusiast on a budget, the Celestron Nature DX is the ideal set of binoculars for birdwatchers who don’t want to invest more than 175 dollars.

The Celestron Nature DX 8X42 Binocular is engineered locally in the US to provide better control over the quality that goes into its manufacturing process. A main priority of the binocular is to provide enhanced clarity when viewing smaller subjects. This is great for birdwatching.

The Celestron Nature DX 8X42 binoculars come with an additional accessory kit, included at no extra charge. The accessory kit includes eyecups and a soft carrying bag.

The Celestron Nature DX is very lightweight, waterproof, and capable of handling the outdoors.


What we liked

  • Inexpensive
  • Carry bag included
  • Made for outdoor use
  • Great for bird watching
  • Multiple coatings on lenses
  • Rubber armor construction
  • Waterproof exterior

What we didn’t like

  • Focus wheel is a bit clumsy

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 7.4 degrees
Eye relief: 18mm
Prism: Roof prism
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 22.2 ounces

10. Celestron Trailseeker 8X42 Waterproof Binoculars

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The Celestron Trailseeker has a lot in common with the Nature DX, but the Trailseeker is better for landscape viewing because of its wider field of view.

With a field of view of 426 feet at 1,000 yards, the Trailseeker is great for tracking moving objects at long distances, for viewing wide swathes of territory, and for general sightseeing purposes.

The Trailseeker features strong optics with high clarity and light transmission at a price that is less than 300 dollars.


What we liked

  • Great for hiking trips
  • Rubber armor construction
  • Sealed waterproofing system
  • Fogproof design
  • Phase coating
  • Dielectric coated prisms
  • Compatible with smartphone adapter

What we didn’t like

  • Slightly heavy
  • Clumsy focus wheel

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 8.1°
Eye relief: 17mm (.67″)
Prism: BAK-4
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 1.45 lbs

11. Athlon Midas G2 8X42 UHD Binocular

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The Athlon Midas G2 8X42 Binocular uses a UHD lens design to create a high definition viewing experience.

The binocular itself is constructed to provide improved comfort for people who will be using it during extended periods of time. The eye sockets are great for people who wear glasses.

The binocular features an argon purging design. Like the more common practice of nitrogen purging, the Athlon Midas has been filled with inert gas to prevent the intrusion of moisture.

ESP dielectric coated lenses and a reflective mirror coating provide exceptional light transmission. The Athlon Midas has a wide field of view of 426 feet at 1,000 yards.


What we liked

  • Features UHD lens technology
  • Waterproof case
  • ED lens component
  • ESP dielectric coating
  • 99% light reflection
  • Argon purged construction
  • Great performance in a low-light environment

What we didn’t like

  • Limited durability 

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 8.1 degrees
Eye relief: 17.2mm
Prism: Roof prism
Weatherproof: Yes
Weight: 23.3 ounces

12. Nikon Prostaff 3S 8X42 Binoculars

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The Nikon Prostaff 3S is a fantastic foray into high end binoculars which costs less than 150 dollars. For beginners looking to experience Nikon-quality optics, the Prostaff 3S is a total bargain.

Weighing in at just 19.9 ounces, the Prostaff 3S is a very compact option which is perfect for adventuring on the go. Birders, hikers, backpackers, and explorers will love how the lightweight Prostaff 3S fits easily in a backpack or large jacket pocket.

Waterproof and multi-coated, the main weakness of the Prostaff 3S is that it has a slightly narrower field of view than some competitors and that its close focus distance is a bit long. Able to focus on objects beginning at a distance of 9.8 feet, nearby observations can be tricky with the Prostaff 3S. Its field of view of 377 feet at 1,000 yards is absolutely more than enough for most uses, but still small in comparison to competitors with fields of view exceeding 420 feet at 1,000 yards.


What we liked

  • Multiple coatings on lenses
  • Enhances image brightness
  • Built-in eyecups
  • Waterproof design
  • Fogproof lenses
  • Mirror coating on front lenses
  • Compact size

What we didn’t like

  • Large close focus distance
  • Slightly small FoV

Magnification: 8x
Lens diameter: 42mm
Field of view: 53.4 degree
Eye relief: 20.2 mm
Prism: Roof
Weatherproof: Waterproof, fog-proof
Weight: 19.9 ounces

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