Best Value for Money 10x42 Binoculars for Hunting between $500 and $1000

This BinoWizard question was sent to me by Brandon, a new BBR Patreon supporter, who has a healthy budget of between $500 and $1000 and is looking to get the best value 10x42 binocular for hunting at this level:


I am most interested in the western USA and Alaska hunting. You seem to focus mostly on 8x binoculars, but for this region, 10x42 binoculars seem to be the most popular.

From your website and others, Athlon, Hawke, Maven, and GPO binoculars seem to be the most popular brands in the $500 to $1000 price bracket.

If you focused only on optical quality and low-light performance, which pair of binoculars would you recommend as the best value for money in this price category? Thank you.


8x10 vs 10x42
Yes, you are right, hunters often tend to favor a slightly higher magnification in general, but this only makes sense if you are hunting in more open countryside and over medium to longer distances.

If on the other hand, you mostly operate in something like a forest and at closer ranges, I personally would still opt for an 8x binocular over 10x.

This is because as well as giving you a wider view that makes it easier to track wildlife, an 8x42 has a larger exit pupil than a 10x42, which is important for low light performance, which in a forest can be important (for more, check my complete guide to the exit pupil). So it just depends on your particular area and terrain.

Healthy Budget
Between $500 to $1000, means you have a nice healthy budget and other is plenty of very high-quality instruments within this range to choose from:

Mavin B1.2 10x42 Binoculars

Maven B1.2 10x42 Binoculars

An instrument that immediately springs to mind for me is the 10x42 Maven B1.2 which I recently tested, achieving an outstanding BBR score of 88% and then ultimately went on to win my award as Best Binoculars Under $1000 / £1000 / €1000 I reviewed that year.

Thus for the price, I do think they are really tough to beat and you most certainly won’t go wrong with them.

High-End Optics
Assembled in the US using Japanese components, the main highlights for me include a Fully Multi-Coated Optical System with dielectrically coated roof prisms and ED glass lenses, which deliver exceptional view quality and brightness for a 10x42.

Wide FOV
Then very important for most hunters is the very wide field of view. At 362ft wide at a distance of 1000 yards they compare very well against many 8x42 binoculars! As I say in my review of them: This is not only very impressive, but means you get the best of both worlds: A slightly higher 10x power to give you more reach/image detail (than an 8x), but at the same time the width of view is not compromised.

Buy & Compare Prices: Maven B1.2 Binoculars

Alternative Options

I recently answered a somewhat similar question from another reader who had a similar budget to you, also wanted a 10x42 (or similar), and had already made a shortlist of binoculars and wanted me to decide between them. See: GPO vs Maven vs Zeiss vs Leica Binoculars for wildlife viewing

In that article, I made up a table to compare his shortlist, which I have included below as I feel it has a number of alternatives that would most certainly be of interest to you and your needs.

Please note that I have also added the Opticron DBA VHD 10x42  and Alpen Teton 10x42 to the table. The latter I especially feel could make an excellent lower-cost option for you:

highlighted in green are the features or specifications that I feel are either strong points or aspects that are above and beyond what I would expect to find in this price range.
highlighted in red are weaker aspects when compared to the others on the list. Note: this does not mean that this is bad, only that in this area they are not quite as good as the best.

GPO Passion HD 10x42 Binoculars

GPO Passion HD 10x42 Binoculars

As I mentioned in that previous article, these 10x42 GPO binoculars are very evenly matched to the Maven B1.2s above. Indeed they won the same award: the best binocular under $1000, but for the previous year.

But if I had to split them, I perhaps would give these a very, very slight edge in terms of the view, but then the Maven B1.2, is more lightweight, a little smaller, and has a wider field of view, which as I have already mentioned could be of great importance depending on your normal terrain.

Either way, I am certain whichever you choose you will be more than happy and often it can just come down to which one you can get the best deal on, or indeed which you prefer the look of.

This last point is not as frivolous as it may at first seem as I find it to be very important to like the look of the instrument that I am using as it makes me want to use and take them out more often.

Buy & Compare Prices: GPO Passion HD Binoculars

Something Different

Mavin B.2 11x45 Binoculars

Mavin B.2 11x45 Binoculars

At just over $1000, the Maven B2, is admittedly a little above your budget, but I thought it was worth throwing into the mix as it offers something a little different for you to consider, and even if not, I think it is worth looking at just to see how they compare against the other options on this page and in particular the less expensive maven B1.2.

11x Magnification
First of all, there is the slightly higher 11x magnification which is unusual but does offer you a little more in terms of image detail. Once again, if you are out in the open this is great, but because of the reduced field of view (314ft @ 100 yards), they will not be ideal for quickly locking onto and then following faster-moving targets at closer ranges.

Exit Pupil
Maven has slightly increased the size of the objective lens to 45mm which is smart as it compensates for the potential of a smaller exit pupil and would have meant a reduced low-light performance had they kept the more traditional 42mm lenses.

Then in terms of the optics, the Maven B.2 steps up the quality by using Abbe-Koenig roof prisms. The downside to this and the larger lenses is that these binoculars are somewhat larger and heavier than the others on this page.

Thus if the image quality is the most important aspect to you, you want a little more detail and you can stretch your budget and live with the extra bulk and lower FOV, then the Mavin B.2 11x45 could also be a good option for you.

Buy & Compare Prices: Maven B2 Binoculars

Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42  and the Leica Trinovid 10x42

From their reputations and my brief trials of them in shops and at trade shows, I can say that both the Zeiss Conquest HD 10x42  and the Leica Trinovid 10x42 are excellent binoculars, but unfortunately, I can’t go much further than that in terms of personal experience as I have as of yet not been given the chance to fully test and review them.

I can, however, say that after going through their features and specifications, nothing really jumps out at me to say that they will be any better than the Maven or GPO binoculars above.

If you are interested in them, I suggest you take a look at my article on 5 of the Best 10x42 Binoculars Compared where I discuss them both in a little more detail.

Something Less Expensive

Alpen Teton 10x42 Binoculars

Alpen Teton 10x42 Binoculars

As you can see in my review of them, these Alpen binoculars really surprised me when I tested them and I do feel they offer incredibly good value for money.

Made in China, they don’t quite match the Maven or GPO binoculars above, but they come very close and currently retailing at about $500 / £600, you will end up with a little more left in your wallet.

Highlights include:

  • Magnesium Chassis
  • Fully Multi-Coated Optical System
  • ED Glass Lens Elements
  • Abbe-Koenig Prisms
  • Phase Correction Coatings
  • Wide FOV: 340ft @ 1000 yards
  • Excellent Close Focal Distance: approx 3ft – 4.3ft (0.9m – 1.3m)

For me, the only slight negative is the 15mm of eye relief, which is not bad, but will not be ideal if you do need or want to wear glasses whilst using them.

Buy & Compare Prices: Alpen Teton Binoculars

I hope this helps and gives you some food for thought. If you have any other alternatives that you would like me to look at or any other ideas, please just let me know.

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