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Binocular recommendations


Well-Known Member
What is a good middle of the road, probably under $300 or so, binocular for hunting whitetails in Iowa? I know a lot of guys like Vortex for their customer service/warranty but do they have the best glass for the money? I see Bushnell, Leupold, and Nikon all have fairly similar warranties. I'll likely run out to Scheels in the near future to look through some to compare. My $99 Bushnells have done the job for 10+ years but they finally gave out.

I'm sure it is mainly personal preference but what do you guys like magnification wise? 8x42, 10x42, 10x50?


Well-Known Member
My recent binos have been a set of Leupold Acadias and Vortex Diamondbacks, both in the price range you stated. The Leupolds are the older pair and were replaced by the Vortexs a few years ago. I kept the Leupolds as a backup bino.

I would say the glass in the Leupolds is clearer but the Diamondbacks seem to be built in a more durable manner (heavier and sturdier). Overall, I have been satisfied with both of these binos in the low-mid price category. I went with 8x42s in both so don't have much input on other options of magnification.

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Wi transplant

PMA Member
If box blind hunting with gun i would recommend 10x50 if gonna use bowhunting in timber. 8x42 work great . I personally like luepold for the money!

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The vortex UHD's are a pretty good binocular also you might want to check out Maven. I'm only running Swaros out here as you really can tell the difference when you glass all day at distance. But you're not giving up a ton with the UHD's. I've never used the mavens, but lots of guys out here swear by them for the $$ and I assume they would be more than adequate for Iowa.


New Member
I have a set of Maven B2's and a set of Maven B3's. If your bio is correct and you are from Norwalk, I live 5 miles South of town, you are welcome to stop by and look through them firsthand - tough to do with Mavens, as they are not sold anywhere locally.


PMA Member
I'd get a 12x50 if I had to do over and probably go Leupold or an upper tier vortex. I have Vortex diamondback 10x42's right now. With the Vortex stuff, unless you get a razor or viper, the glass is just ok, warranty is outstanding, but the entry stuff is heavy and cheap Chinese glass. Optics planet has 10% off right now too.


Active Member
Haven't used Vortex binocs but I love my Vortex Ranger 1000 rangefinder. Super clear and great in low light as well.

Very intrigued by Maven as well, they look to have some neat stuff.


Well-Known Member
I've got 2 vortex. Glass is "ok" but the eyepieces have fallen off both. Warranty or not, that's piss poor?
I went on ebay and got a pair of used Nikon Monarcks.
Very happy.


Active Member
FWIW I have a set of Leupold McKenzie 10 X 42 binoc's. I use them for 3D all summer and then obviously hunting. For what they cost $200 ish they are very clear and gather light well. Are they as clear as a high end Vortex? Nope. However they are as clear as the lower end Vortex by a head to head comparison. They also have a great warranty.
My thoughts....
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