Vortex Diamondback 10x42mm Binocular Review

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Vortex Optics makes a variety of optics for the hunting and shooting market. From rifle scopes, to spotting scopes, to binoculars Vortex has a diverse lineup of offerings. For instance, currently the company has 11 unique models of binoculars spread out across a variety of price points. Even within each model line there are several variations in objective size and magnification power. For this review we decided to take a look at the Vortex Diamondback binoculars in 10x42mm (that is shorthand for 10 power magnification with a 42mm objective lens diameter).

The Diamondback series is squarely within the midrange of Vortex's offerings, with our review model in 10x42mm coming in at a street price of $229. A consumer has numerous options in the low $200 to high $300 range today and it's important to evaluate all your options when considering a new binocular purchase in this price range.

The Diamondback has a well-made body housing using rubberized and textured molding material. While it is a single piece molding for each ocular the good texturing and grip make it easy to hold on to in a variety of conditions. The grip and size make the binoculars feel more like comparable models in the high $300 dollar range. The objective lens and eye pieces use over-molded rubber to protect the glass in the event of a drop on the sides of the optics which will hopefully prevent a shattered lens.

Overall view of the binoculars.

Side view of the Diamondback binoculars. The textured rubber grip offers good ergonomics.

Optic quality overall is very good even under low light conditions. Color separation is minimal and the images are as sharp as one could expect with non-ED glass. In comparing the Diamondback with a higher end model using ED glass, one will notice that the Diamondback is not quite as sharp. However considering the asking price of $229 the optical quality is a good value.

The eyes cups both rotate outward and have a mid-notch position. Rotating the cups outward into the first notch allows the viewer to consistently put the eye cups back at the same position if they are rotated all the way out or in. The binoculars use an adjustable diopter on the right eye which is common with most binoculars today.

Eye cups in the mid position.

Vortex also includes a zippered carry case along with a wrist strap and basic neck strap with the binoculars. The carrying case is of high quality and a nice bonus considering the asking price is toward the lower end of mid-ranged binoculars.

The included zippered carrying case.

Perhaps one of the best features of the binoculars is Vortex's VIP warranty. In short the warranty is lifetime and transferable. Warranty claims can be filed through Vortex's website and is available here: http://www.vortexoptics.com/content/vip_warranty

Overall the Diamondback 10x42mm are worth considering if you're in the market for a new pair of mid-range binoculars. They offer an excellent value considering the ergonomics, optical quality, and cost.

For more information visit Vortex Optics.


BikerRN's picture


I just bought a pair to combine with a pair of Minox 15 x 56 binoculars that reside on a tripod.

numbnutz's picture

I have really good things

I have really good things about the Vortex line of optics. Right now I'm in the market for a decent quailty set of binoculars. My current pair is is a big bulky pair of Nikons. They work great but I would like a more compoact size that fits my hunting style better.  From the review they seem to be made very well and light weight. I like the rubberized housing that would make them easy to hold on to in the damp hunting conditions I hunt in. The price doesn't seem all the bad either. Thanks for another great gear review.

Patch1010's picture


I own the Vortex Viper 10X42 binoculars, and the Sky line scope. i have found the Vortex line of optics to be my go to line of optics when looking and comparing optics. I have found my Vipers to be as clear or clearer than the top end Nikon and Leupold optics. The best thing is their VIP warranty and customer service. I believe that the Diamondback for the money will be at the top of their class in that price range.

hunter25's picture

I have read many good reports

I have read many good reports now on the Vortex line of optics. Mostly everything I have read has been about the scopes that they produce but the reviews have all been very good. I am not currently in the market for a new pair of binoculars but if I was I would sure check out these and the rest of what the company has to offer. I have 2 pair of binos now with the Leupold name on them and have been very happy with them and the service I have recieved. They cost a little more than these but it sounds like the features and warranty of the Votex line could put them in the same category performance wise with a little less money gone from you pocket.

Thanks for the great review.