We’re almost half way through 2019, and I still haven’t seen anything new that’s worth telling you about in the field of binoculars. (If you think I’ve missed something significant, let me know.) As far as I can tell, the best 8×42 binoculars includes models like the Swarovski EL Range, the Vortex Diamondback, and the Nikon Monarch, which are all still at the top of their class in 2019.
So, let’s review, shall we?
But first, if you’d just like to check the current pricing and availability of the best 8×42 binoculars at Amazon, you can click (tap) the links in the list below. Otherwise, you can scroll (swipe) past them and look at each (rather brief) model summary in this article.
- Swarovski 8×42 EL Range Binoculars
- Vortex Diamondback 8×42 Binoculars
- Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 Binoculars
Swarovski 8×42 EL Range Binoculars
Pricey, but worth it
Okay, it’s true that the EL Range binos, which are actually also rangefinders, aren’t really in the same class as the Vortex and Nikon models we’re looking at here.
But these really are at the top of the 8×42 class and thus have the corresponding price tag to show it. So they deserve to be in this discussion of the best 8×42 binoculars available.
The 8×42 EL Range binos do everything very well. They give you a clear picture of your target, whether it be a bird or a deer or a golf ball.
These are probably not the best rangefinders in the world, but they do a decent job out to about 1000 yards. If you need to go beyond that, you’re getting into really specialized territory.
For more details, check out a complete review in this article.
Vortex Diamondback 8×42 Binoculars
Tops in many categories
If you’re looking for the best binoculars in clarity, brightness, accuracy, contrast, and resolution, look no further than the Vortex Optics Diamondback 8×42 binoculars.
These binos have it all for a price that won’t send you to the bank asking for a loan. Weighing in at just over 2 pounds, you can take these out in any weather or across any terrain and feel assured that they’ll perform their duty well.
For all the nitty-gritty on the Diamondbacks, check out the full review here.
Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 Binoculars
Top-notch, with a neat name
There’s something I personally just like about the name “Monarch”. I guess it reminds me, not of a regal figure, but of the orange butterfly. I mostly use binoculars for watching birds and butterflies and such.
The Nikon Monarch 5 series, which includes more sizes than just the 8×42 we’re looking at here, are on par with the Vortex Diamondbacks described above. They too are known for clarity, accuracy, and so on.
In fact, if you had to choose between the two, it might just come down to overall style, though some say the Diamondbacks do win on clarity. You be the judge.
Again, you can find more details in this article.
Best 8×42 Binoculars in Summary
If you’re looking for a great pair, perhaps even the best 8×42 binos, you can’t go wrong with the Vortex Diamondback or the Nikon Monarch.
If you also need a built-in rangefinder with your binoculars, give serious consideration to the Swarovski EL Range 8×42. If you can afford them, I think you’ll be pleased with what you find.
If none of these trip your trigger, check out my impressions of virtually all the 8×42 binoculars I could find (in 2023) in this review.