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Vortex Viper HD 10×42 Binoculars Review

Last Updated: 29.11.21

Main advantage 


Apart from the optical specifications, what you have to look for in a reliable pair of binoculars is the overall design. The product should be sturdy and reliable, made of high-quality materials that won’t break, chip or scratch after a couple of uses. The sturdy design will ensure long-lasting life for your device and will maintain the same image quality year after year, without having to worry about scratched lenses or stains. 

The new Vortex Viper HD falls into this category, as its durable body is specifically designed for heavy use in your outdoor adventures.

If you want a product that you can rely on in all weather conditions to help you hunt your favorite game, the Vortex Viper HD is the right one. Although we are talking about a full-size pair of binoculars, the item doesn’t feel too heavy in your hands and can even be operated with just one hand, should you have to. 

The lightweight design will prevent hand fatigue and wrist pain when carrying and holding it for hours during your hunting session. And, should you need both your hands for something else, you can always carry the binoculars around your neck with the help of a detachable strap or even mount a tripod for improved hunting or birdwatching experiences.

The rugged construction of the binoculars absorbs shocks and protects the lenses even if you happen to drop them or carry them in unfitted conditions. Thus, you will enjoy the same high-quality image with no scratches or marks on the lenses or the body of this device. 

We would also like to mention the protective coating that makes it fog-proof and waterproof, becoming a trustworthy partner almost all year-round, no matter the temperatures outside. Besides, it provides a secure and comfortable grip, preventing your hands from slipping even if they are sweaty. 

Another aspect worth mentioning when it comes to the design of this pair of binoculars is the camouflage green color. It is perfect for outdoor activities that require maximum discretion and blending in with the environment. These binoculars won’t be noticed from afar or from a close distance, helping you conceal your presence when you are hunting or watching birds in their natural habitat. 


Main disadvantage


While most customers appreciated the overall quality of this Vortex Viper HD and praised it for its lack of chromatic aberration, some were not pleased with the lens flaps. They feel flimsy and too large to cover the lenses or snap into place. 

They should be easy to attach without having to force them into place which could cause severe damage to the lenses in time. Given that this product is marketed for experienced and professional hunters, we feel like paying more attention to the covers that protect the lenses from dust, debris, water, and scratches would definitely improve the overall quality of the design.

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Main features explained 


10x magnification and 42mm aperture 

Magnification rate is, perhaps, the most important feature you need to take into account when searching for a pair of binoculars. In this case, the 10x means the image can be magnified for up to 10 times without losing its clarity, so you can easily see objects from afar. 

If you want a pair of binoculars for a specific primary purpose such as whale watching, astronomy, hunting or bird watching, you need to pay close attention to the lens diameter and the magnification rate. 

The Vortex Viper HD is a full-size product specifically designed for whale watching, wildlife viewing, safaris, and certain types of hunting. Since you are likely to be far from the animals you wish to hunt or watch, the bigger magnification rate will better suit your needs. While an 8x pair of binoculars will deliver a wider field of view, allowing you to even see moving targets, 10x binoculars provide a closer, more detailed look. 

Keep in mind that a high magnification rate is not always the best choice, especially if you are on a moving platform such as a boat or a car. Magnification also amplifies the movement of your hands, meaning binoculars with over 10x magnification make steady viewing more difficult. 

Keep in mind that the Vortex Viper HD is a full-size model which means it can be heavy and hard to handle with just one hand. This is why we recommend using the product for hunting or birdwatching, activities that are usually conducted on solid grounds and that require you to stay steady for a long time. 

Optical performance

The main purpose of binoculars is to help you see far objects as if they were right in front of you. You may argue that this is the main purpose of the magnification rate but there is more than meets the eye (pun intended) to a clear and crisp image. 

The magnification rate is only a part of the complicated process of delivering a high-quality imagine when you put on your binoculars. The new Vortex Viper HD is equipped with a high-density optical system to ensure exceptional resolution and edge clarity. 

The lenses capture enough light to deliver bright and clear images, while the XR anti-reflective coatings ensure full views in all lighting conditions. Thanks to the unique features and technologies used for the lenses on these binoculars, you will be able to see steady or moving objects (including birds) in low-light conditions such as the ones you experience in the woods or at certain times of the day. 

In other words, the Vortex Viper HD is perfect for early morning trips or catching a glimpse of that beautiful sunset. 

Many customers who purchased the product also praised the lack of chromatic aberration. Chromatic aberration is responsible for halos of green or purple on certain objects when you’re looking through the lenses of some binoculars and can make objects in front of you look blurry or impossible to see. This can interfere with your hunting skills as you need to have a clear shot on your prey at all times.


Weatherproof design 

Not all outdoor adventures start with perfect, sunny weather, and warm temperatures. In many places, the hunting season also covers fall, together with its moody days, rain, fog, mud, and cold wind. Not even all your favorite birds will show off on a day with clear skies, so you need to be prepared for all situations.

A full waterproof gear will end up costing close to a fortune but hunting is not a cheap thrill. Apart from investing in clothes that will keep you warm and boots that will keep your feet dry, you should also consider opting for accessories that are specifically designed for all weather conditions. 

The Vortex Optics Viper HD 2018 is one of these items, allowing you to hunt or enjoy other outdoor activities almost all year-round. The argon purging and O-ring seals are created to provide a lifetime of waterproof and fog-proof performance. In other words, hunting has never been easier with the help of this pair of binoculars. 

The lenses are also made of quality glass and won’t allow condensed water to obstruct the quality of the image you are getting. We are talking about a professional pair of binoculars, and this feature is a must for passionate hunters and wildlife admirers. 

So, whether you wake up early in the morning to catch your favorite birds or spend an entire afternoon waiting for your prey to show up, these binoculars will provide a clear, vivid image, even if it’s rainy, windy, snowy or foggy outside. 



There is an entire list of accessories that you will require for your binoculars if you want to keep them in good shape and working perfectly season after season. Some items like tripods are purchased separately and are extremely helpful during long hunting or birdwatching sessions. 

Keep in mind that full-size binoculars can be heavy and will cause hand fatigue or wrist pains if operated for a long while. Tripods allow you to see everything through the lens of your binoculars without having to keep them in your hands. 

Some other accessories like neck-straps, carrying pouches, eye caps, and cleaning cloths are delivered together with the binoculars. 

The new Vortex Viper HD 2018 comes with a Glass Pak harness that provides comfortable, strain-free carrying throughout the day. The wide harness is not adjustable but is long enough to allow you to carry the binoculars on your shoulder or across your body to reduce tension and prevent pain.

In addition, you will also get a soft pouch with pockets for all extra accessories. The bag is supposed to protect your item from shocks, scratches, dirt, debris, and water that can damage the lenses and lower the quality of the images you get. 

We do recommend searching for a sturdier bag if you are going to use your binoculars extensively. The one that is included in the pack offers soft padding that might not be enough to protect your product from scratches and shocks, especially if you carry it in a backpack, alongside all other hunting gear. 


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Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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