In this review, I want to present you the top 10 8×42 binoculars under 600 Euros, which I sorted depending on their features, build quality, field of view, weight differences, and some other special features.
The 8×42 range of binoculars are designed for all-round use and are very popular among hunters, bird watchers, hikers and so on. The 8×42 binoculars offer a bright picture for using the binoculars even in darker areas such as forests, but are not bright enough for dusk and dawn because of the smaller objective lens diameter.
Because this is a very low price point of binoculars, most of these binoculars are made in China, but one in my top 10 list is made in Japan and one in Europe. All of these binoculars have a very good field of view for the price, and 7 of them have a central bridge design and only 3 of them an open bridge design.
Most of those listed binoculars have a warranty period of 10 years, but 2 models have less, 5 years or even only 2 years.
And here is the list of top 10 8×42 binoculars that cost under 600 Euros that are available in 2018:
10. Vortex Diamondback 8×42
9. Nikon Monarch 5 8×42
8. Delta Optical Chase 8×42 ED
7. Athlon Midas 8×42
6. Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42
5. Vanguard Endeavor ED IV 8×42
4. Hawke Sapphire ED 8×42
3. Meopta MeoPro 8×42 HD
2. Bushnell Legend M 8×42
1. Vortex Viper HD 8×42
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Vortex Diamondback 8×42 is an amazing piece of optics since it is the cheapest binocular in my top 10 list, but it still competes very well against much more expensive binoculars on the market. The Vortex Diamondback 8×42 offers a very nice design in green color, so it is very suitable for hunters, but also for bird watching and all other activities. The armoring is made of thick rubber for great protection. Optically the Diamondback is great if you consider the low price, thanks to the fully multi-coated lenses. Also the brightness of the picture is very good, so it is possible to observe an object even in not so good lighting conditions. And what is the best at Vortex, is the lifetime warranty no matter what happens to the device, the company will replace it with no additional costs for the end consumer.
Nikon Monarch 8×42 is the lightest in weight from all 10 binoculars in this list, and also one of the shortest. Only 2 binoculars of these 10 are shorter, what is definitely a big benefit when using. The Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 is 80 Euros more expensive than the Vortex, and for this extra money, you get a little bit better image, especially on the edge. The one big drawback of the Nikon is whatsoever the small field of view, which is with 110 meters the smallest between all top 10 binoculars. The Nikon has also a very good eye-relief with 19.5 millimeters, what is perfect for users that wear glasses. The armoring is made of thick rubber, which isn’t the best in class, but it protects the housing very well. What I didn’t like was the central bridge, which isn’t in the perfect position, so it is a little bit disturbing when using.
Delta Optical Chase 8×42 ED was first introduced on IWA Outdoors Classics in the year 2017. These series of binoculars won the Red Dot Award 2018 for their high-quality design, and are one of the shortest binoculars in this top 10 list. The design is made really elegant, and the armoring is made of rubber of grey color. The rubber isn’t very thick, but Delta Optical claims that these binoculars are resistant to hits, falls, and more. Even if these binoculars are one of the shortest on this list, they are far away from being the lightest. Only 2 of these 10 are heavier, and also this for only a few grams. The shortest focusing distance is up to 2 meters, so the user can easily look at very close distance animals such as butterflies, birds and many more. The lenses are fully multi-coated for a very crisp and color-true picture, and these Delta Optical binoculars have also a wide field of view of 135 meters on 1000 meters.
Athlon is a fairly new company, but the popularity of their products is constantly growing because their price-quality ratio is very high. Athlon Midas 8×42 binoculars are on the market since 2017. The armoring is made of thick rubber that has a gray-blue color, and on both barrels is a surface with small spikes for a better grip when using. These binoculars feature a central bridge, what is a little bit less comfortable to use, especially with one hand. The diopter is adjustable on the right barrel. The image quality is astonishing for this price, from central sharpness to the edge. The focusing distance is up to 2 meters, and the eye-relief is 17.2 millimeters what isn’t so much, but it should be enough for users that wear glasses. The Athlon Midas 8×42 has a very good field of view of 130 meters on 1000 meters, what is very important for hunters and bird-watchers. With its weight of 709 grams, it is somewhere in the middle of all binoculars in this top 10 list. The warranty of the Athlon Midas binoculars is 10 years, what is a lot for this price and quality.
Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 was selected for the ‘Best Wildlife Observation Binocular of 2014‘ by Best Binocular Reviews. For such a title, the Vanguard Endeavor ED II 8×42 had to have a great image quality and be very bright, but still be light-weight for easier carrying. The armoring on the Vanguard is made of black rubber, which has a design similar to real leather. The open-bridge design makes these binoculars easy to use and hold even with one hand. The closest focus is 2 meters, and the field of view is 126 meters on 1000 meters. The eye-relief is 19.5 millimeters, so also users that wear glasses can easily use these binoculars. The only 2 downsides are the weight because they are the second heaviest binoculars on this top 10 list with 770 grams, and the very short warranty of only 2 years.
Vanguard Endeavor ED IV 8×42 binoculars are made of magnesium alloy, what makes them very durable. They have a really nice design with its open-bridge, what makes them easier to use especially with one hand. The armoring is made of dark-grey rubber, with some grey metal inserts. The diopter setting is on the bridge between both barrels, what is, in my opinion, a very nice and comfortable design. The Vanguard Endeavor IV 8×42 features a thumb rest for easier holding and has a long enough eye-relief for eyeglass wearers. The Vanguard can focus up to 1.8 meters, what is very near for perfect observation of small animals. The field of view is 126 meters on 1000 meters. Even if these binoculars are not the longest or the widest, they are very heavy. With 790 grams these binoculars are the heaviest ones on my top 10 list, what makes them uncomfortable to carry around for a longer time. But even if they are heavy, they feature ED (extra-low dispersion) glass elements, what increases the image quality and light transmission. The warranty for this product is 10 years.
Hawke was founded in the United Kingdom and is already a well-known optics manufacturer thanks to very affordable but still high-quality products. The Hawke Sapphire ED 8×42 binoculars have a nice rubber armoring, which is smooth and has a nice feel. It has a single bridge design, and on the right barrel, there is a ring to adjust the diopter. From all 10 binoculars in this test, the Hawke Sapphire is the shortest for at least 10 millimeters. Also in the width, there are only 2 binoculars that are narrower. With 730 grams these binoculars are somewhere in the middle compared to other 9, and thanks to these compact sizes, it very easy to find a place in a bag when you go on a trip. The image quality is excellent and bright, thanks to the ED glass that is used in these Sapphire binoculars. With 18 millimeters eye-relief also users that wear glasses can easily look through these binoculars. The biggest advantage of the Hawke Sapphire ED 8×42 binoculars is whatsoever the big field of view, which is 142 meters on 1000 meters. This is really a lot, and also many much more expensive binoculars have less. And for the last, these great binoculars come with a 10 years long warranty.
The Meopta MeoPro 8×42 HD was already on the list I have made a couple of months ago, where I’ve presented the top 10 8×42 binoculars under 1000 Euros. Last time the Meopta got it on the 10th place, but now, on the test where more cheaper binoculars are, the Meopta got it to the 3rd place. These are the only binoculars that are made in Europe, in Czech Republic. The design is very modern and slim, but these binoculars are one of the largest among other 9 competitors. Optically they are great for this price point, and they come with a nice green rubber finish for great protection. The eye-piece is very big with 22 millimeters, so it is great for users that wear glasses. The field of view is a little bit small with 126 meters on 1000 meters even for this price point.
Bushnell Legend binoculars are sorted in 3 series. The E series is the cheapest with only the most needed features, the L series are more expensive but have more features, and finally, the M series, which have the most features and that’s why they are the most expensive. On the second place on my list is the Bushnell Legend M 8×42, which is in production since 2015. These binoculars feature ED-prime glass which has dielectric coatings for maximum resolution and light transmission. The eye-relief is 18 millimeters, so also users that wear glasses can easily use these binoculars. The Bushnell Legend M 8×42 has an open-bridge design for a more comfortable use, and the armoring on this Bushnell is made of very nice black rubber. The diopter setting is located on the right barrel and is lockable after the adjustment. With 722 grams the Bushnell isn’t too heavy to carry, but with 165 millimeters it is the longest binocular on this list. Another big benefit of the Bushnell Legend M 8×42 binocular is the extremely wide field of view of 142 meters on 1000 meters. From all 10 on this list, only the Hawke has the same FOV, all other binoculars have less than that. And the least the warranty, which is 10 years for this product.
We started with Vortex in the last place, and we finish with Vortex in the first place. The new Vortex Viper HD 8×42 binoculars are a big improvement compared to their older generation binoculars in many ways. First of all, the new Viper binoculars feature HD (High-Density) lens elements which improve the resolution and color fidelity of the image. All lenses are also fully multi-coated with their special XR anti-reflective coatings for an even better picture and more light transmission. With the improvement of the older Viper binoculars, you get also a much wider field of view, which is now 136 meter on 1000 meters. The armoring on the new Viper HD binoculars is made of green rubber, which has a really nice finish for enough grip in any situation. It has a single-bridge design on which also the focusing wheel is. On the right barrel is a diopter ring for easy adjustment, and the eye-relief is 20 millimeters so it can be easily used by eye-wear users. The Viper HD weights 697 grams, what is on the more lighter-weight compared to other 9 binoculars on the list. Only 2 of them are lighter. Also from the dimensions, the Viper HD is very compact, what makes it a perfect companion on a trip or a hunt. With 569 Eur it is the most expensive 8×42 binocular on this list, but the great build quality and the exceptional image quality are worth the few extra Euros. What is worth to mention is also the Vortex VIP Warranty, which is the best on the market, because Vortex will replace the device if it gets damaged or defect with no additional cost for the customer.
This review is not sponsored and it’s completely unbiased. It is made simply out of our own interest in the optics and provides an objective opinion of tested binoculars. Big thanks to Optics-Trade who kindly offered us their products to review and test.