My Favorite 10x42 Binoculars at 4 Different Price Points

Len Backus

Staff member
May 2, 2001
I use my 10x42 binoculars more than any other piece of hunting gear each season so their quality and performance is extremely important to me. I have tried many different brands and models over the years and below are four of my favorites at four different price points.

Over the years I have upgraded several times and I now use what I believe are the best 10x42 binoculars on the market today - Swarovski's EL 10x42 with Swarovision. At $2599 they are expensive, but you get what you pay for, and they are an absolute pleasure to glass with. I feel that in very challenging lighting conditions they could make the difference between spotting an animal or not. Swarovskis hold their value very well and when I decide to uprgade next time (probably many years from now) I will get much of my investment back.

Several years ago I decided to give Vortex's Razor HD 10x42 Binoculars a try and I fell in love with them. At $1199 I think they are quite a value considering their excellent optical quality and lifetime unlimited warranty. I have to admit that in most lighting conditions I would have to really focus to notice the small differences between them and my Swarovskis. I wrote a detailed review article about the Razor HD's several years ago that you can read HERE.

One binocular model that I consider a real sleeper is the Kahles 10x42. Kahles is a sister company to Swarovski and their Austrian glass is second to none. At $850 for fine European glass they might be the best value I have seen.

At $599 Vortex's Viper HD 10x42 Binoculars are a worthwhile step up from binoculars in the $300-$400 price range. The HD stands for high density, extra-low dispersion glass. You won't find that in $350 binoculars and it is the key to higher resolution and better color fidelity.

If you'd like more information about binoculars or any other hunting optics please give us a call at the LRH Store at (920) 376-2010. Optics purchases over $300 always SHIP FREE.