The Best Entry-level Binoculars: Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 Binoculars Full Review

For those who revel in the beauty of the great outdoors and the fascinating world of bird-watching, a reliable pair of binoculars is essential. Among the options available, the Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 Binoculars are a top choice for both seasoned birdwatchers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. With its remarkable features and outstanding performance, these binoculars are one of the best entry-level binoculars and have secured their place as a favorite among professionals and experienced users.

The Diamondback® HD shatters the price-performance barrier by providing a rock-solid optic that optically outperforms its class. The included GlassPakTM binocular harness keeps your optics close at hand and ready for use at a moment’s notice. It offers protection and is noticeably more comfortable than conventional neck straps.

Optical Clarity and Brightness

One of the standout features of the Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 binoculars is their exceptional optical clarity and brightness. These binoculars boast high-definition optics with fully multi-coated lenses that deliver stunning image quality, even in challenging lighting conditions. Whether you’re peering through them at dawn or dusk, the Diamondback HDs provide vivid and sharp images. It makes bird identification a breeze. The 8x magnification brings distant birds up close without compromising image stability.

Vortex 8x42 diamondback

Main Specification and Features

Objective Lens Diameter42 mm
Linear Field of View393 feet/1000 yards
Angular Field of View7.5 degrees
Eye Relief17 mm
Height5.7 inches
Width5.1 inches
Weight21.8 oz
Exit Pupil5.25 mm
Interpupillary Distance55-73 mm
Close Focus feet
ArmorTek®Ultra-hard, scratch-resistant coating protects exterior lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt.
Multi-CoatedFully Multi-Coated
HD Lens ElementsHD
Phase CorrectionThe coating on roof prism models enhances resolution and contrast.
Rubber ArmorProvides a secure, non-slip grip, and durable external protection.
ShockproofRugged construction withstands recoil and impact.

Durability and Build Quality

In this full review, high attention was put on the durability and build quality of Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 binoculars. Built to endure the rigors of outdoor adventures, the binoculars feature a rugged and durable rubber armor casing. The ArmorTek exterior provides a secure grip while protecting the binoculars from damage due to drops and impacts. They are also waterproof and fog-proof, ensuring they can withstand unexpected weather changes during your hikes and camping trips. This durability is a significant advantage for those who want to use their binoculars in various terrains and conditions.

Comfort and Ergonomics

The Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 binoculars are designed with user comfort in mind. The ergonomic open-hinge design and thumb indents offer a secure and comfortable grip, reducing hand fatigue during extended bird-watching sessions. The adjustable eyecups twist up and down, accommodating eyeglass wearers and ensuring everyone can enjoy a full field of view. The balanced weight makes holding them easy for extended periods. Some users may perceive them as slightly heavy for prolonged use.

Vortex Diamondback HD 8x42 binoculars

Field of View

The 8×42 configuration provides a generous field of view, allowing you to spot and track birds effortlessly. This is especially useful for birdwatchers who want to observe birds in flight or their natural habitats. The field of view measures 393 feet at 1000 yards, which is impressive for binoculars in this price range.

Value for Money

Considering the exceptional optical quality, durability, and overall performance of the Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 binoculars, they offer excellent value for money. While they are not the cheapest binoculars on the market, they certainly outperform many more expensive models. With Vortex’s VIP Warranty, which covers all repairs and damages, you can confidently invest in these binoculars.

Lifetime Warranty

On site they have a Very Important Promise for customers. If your Vortex® product is damaged or malfunctions, they will replace it or repair it at no cost to you. If they are unable to fix your product, they will exchange it for one that is in just as good of a physical condition if not better.

In my point of view, it is a very promising deal.

Pros of Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 Binoculars

  1. Exceptional Optical Clarity and Brightness: High-definition optics with fully multi-coated lenses deliver vivid and sharp images even in challenging lighting conditions.
  2. Durability and Build Quality: Rugged rubber armor and waterproof, fog-proof construction make these binoculars suitable for various terrains and weather conditions.
  3. Comfort and Ergonomics: Ergonomic design with thumb indents and adjustable eyecups ensure a secure grip and reduced hand fatigue during extended use.
  4. Generous Field of View: The 8×42 configuration provides a wide field of view, ideal for spotting and tracking birds in flight or their natural habitats.
  5. Value for Money: These binoculars offer excellent value with their exceptional performance and Vortex’s VIP Warranty covering repairs and damages.


  1. Weight: Some users may find these binoculars slightly heavy for prolonged use, particularly during extended birdwatching sessions.

Comparison with the competitors

The Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 Binoculars are a popular choice in their price range, but they do have competitors with similar features and price points. Let’s compare them to some of their main competitors:

  1. Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 Binoculars:
    • Optical Performance: Both the Vortex Diamondback HD and Nikon Monarch 5 offer excellent optical clarity and brightness with fully multi-coated lenses.
    • Durability: Both models are rugged and built to withstand outdoor conditions, with waterproof and fog-proof capabilities.
    • Comfort: Ergonomics may vary depending on personal preference, so it’s advisable to try both models to see which feels more comfortable in your hands.
    • Field of View: The Nikon Monarch 5 also offers a wide field of view, comparable to the Vortex Diamondback HD.
    • Warranty: Vortex offers a VIP Warranty, which is known for its excellent coverage. Nikon’s warranty is good but may not be as comprehensive.
  2. Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars:
    • Optical Performance: The Celestron Nature DX provides good optical performance in its price range but may not be on par with the Vortex Diamondback HD.
    • Durability: While the Celestron Nature DX is durable, it may not be as rugged as the Vortex Diamondback HD in terms of build quality.
    • Comfort: Comfort and ergonomics can vary, and personal preference plays a significant role.
    • Field of View: The field of view of the Celestron Nature DX is competitive but may not be as wide as the Vortex Diamondback HD.
    • Warranty: Vortex’s VIP Warranty is generally considered more robust than Celestron’s warranty.
  3. Bushnell Prime 8×42 Binoculars:
    • Optical Performance: Bushnell Prime offers good optical performance at a similar price point, but the Vortex Diamondback HD is known for its superior image quality.
    • Durability: Both models are durable and can handle outdoor conditions well.
    • Comfort: Ergonomics can vary, so personal preference is essential.
    • Field of View: The field of view of the Bushnell Prime is competitive, although the Vortex Diamondback HD may have a slightly wider field of view.
    • Warranty: Vortex’s VIP Warranty is often considered more comprehensive than Bushnell’s warranty.

Stand out of Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42

The Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 Binoculars stand out in their price range due to their exceptional optical quality, rugged build, and the added value of the VIP Warranty. While there are other solid options in the same price range, the Diamondback HD offers a well-rounded package that appeals to many birdwatchers and outdoor enthusiasts. However, personal preferences, such as comfort and ergonomics, may vary, so it’s a good idea to try out different models before making a final decision.


In summary, the Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 Binoculars are a top choice for birdwatching and outdoor activities. It offers exceptional optical performance and durability. While their weight may be a minor drawback for some users, their overall value for money and positive reviews from experienced users make them a worthwhile investment for nature enthusiasts.

In birdwatching and outdoor activities, the Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 binoculars have earned their reputation as top-tier equipment. Their optical clarity, durability, and user-friendly design make them a valuable tool for both seasoned birdwatchers and outdoor enthusiasts. The positive reviews and high rankings from experienced and professional users are a testament to their exceptional performance. If you’re in the market for binoculars that deliver outstanding results without breaking the bank, the Vortex Diamondback HD 8×42 binoculars should be at the top of your list. Get ready to embark on unforgettable birdwatching adventures and enjoy the wonders of the great outdoors like never before.

Read reviews of other entry-level binoculars HERE

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