Getting yourself an amazing pair of binoculars is like searching for a water reservoir in Sahara desert, a tough job, right? And when you are a brand conscious person (like most of us), the mission becomes tougher.
I have listed down 9 best American made binoculars (plus American based) to help you in narrowing down your binoculars’ search. Because being well informed about the brand, can help you in making a well-sorted decision.
Imagine you spent a hefty amount on binoculars and came to know that the brand was selling cheap second-hand pairs. Such a nuisance, I know!
So, if you want to invest wisely and smartly, keep reading and let us explore 9 best American binocular brands.
Disclaimer: The brands mentioned here are in no particular order just like German made binocular brands and this list is in no way a ranking of these brands. All of the binocular brands listed here are great and our favourite ones.
Table of Contents
Top American Made/Based Binoculars Brands
Bushnell is a brand well-admired by binocular enthusiasts due to its quality products which are affordable too.
It is an American based company who imports optics from Japan and sells them worldwide.
The company has been serving outdoor sports lovers, birdwatchers, hunters, and wildlife viewers since 1948.
This was the year when the founder of Bushnell, David P. Bushnell, was returning from his Japan tour with a new ambition. During the time David spent in Japan, he noticed that optics were being manufactured at cheap costs and were more precise in Japan, than the U.S.
This compelled him to import some binoculars from Japan and sell them in America.
He founded his company Bushnell Optics Corporation which was based in Overland Park, Kansas.
However, the manufacturing units were in Hong Kong and Japan.
The aim behind assembling their optics in Asia was the availability of cheap labour and raw material.
As WWII had left Asia in chaos, people were ready to work on lower costs than labourers from the U.S.
Bushnell is admired for its high-end binoculars which cater to the needs of almost everyone. Whether you are a sports lover or a birdwatcher, you can get a fabulous pair from Bushnell as per your budget. I personally like Bushnell Legend Ultra HD.
An Interesting Read: Binoculars Jargons and Everything You Need to Know [with Infographic]
When we hear the terms “military equipment” and “military optics,” we start assuming how great those gadgets would be. The perfection in making and precision in assembling binocular parts has always been on the credit of Leupold optics.
History of Leupold optics started in the year 1907 when brothers-in-law Fred Leupold and Adam Voelpel laid the foundation of a repairing company whose headquarter is now in Beaverton, Oregon.
Leupold optics specialized in repairing survey equipment in the beginning. And later in the year 1914, the company started manufacturing water-level testing equipment when John Cyprian Stevens, a hydrologist who had served in U.S. geological survey, joined them.
This was a kick-start for Leupold & Voelpel Corporation, as the demand for water testing gadget used to be high back then.
However, in 1941, they shifted their attention from gadget repairing to scope and optic making. The Leupold Corporation kept struggling due to unfavourable conditions WWII had left behind.
And fast forward to 1985, Leupold optics became first Optics Company to make rifle scopes for the U.S. Army.
In 1986 they made first compact, waterproof and lightweight scope for hunters, and it was a smashing hit.
Manufacturing and assembling of the parts are done in the U.S. However, the lens glass they use is imported from Germany and sometimes from Japan.
Their world-famous binocular line is called “gold ring binoculars,” and it is specially designed for high-end secretive missions and hunts.
Today, “nitrogen purging” is a common term. However, only a few people know that the brand which started using this technology is none other than Leupold Optics.
If you are curious to know the best binocular for hunting, I will recommend none other than Leupold BX-2 Acadia. It’s a mid-priced binocular, best in class and is worth every buck.
3. Vortex Optics
Vortex optics are undoubtedly one of the most famous optic brands. Their attention to small details and coming up with unique and quality products is matchless.
When we reverse the calendar, we can see a couple running a retail store in Central Wisconsin in the year 1984. Their emphasis was on providing their customers with care and solving their problems after detailed discussions.
In 2002 the husband and wife, i.e., Daniel and Margie Hamilton moved to Middleton and started their small optics company called Vortex optics.
The next generation founders have shifted the company’s location and the headquarters of vortex optics in now in Barneveld, Wisconsin, USA.
Few great binocular ranges of vortex binoculars are razor, viper and Diamondback binoculars. These ranges are divided based on their price range. For example, the vortex razor H.D. series is their most expensive product which is extensively preferred by hunters and expeditors. While the Viper series is mid-ranged, most suitable for sports lovers and concert-goers.
And if you want to get the premium quality pair, that’s compact, lightweight, rugged, with extra-low dispersion glass – in fact, an all in one – the Vortex Optics Viper HD binocular should be your only choice, then.
Most of the vortex binoculars are produced and assembled outside the U.S. Their leading partner companies are in China, Japan, and the Philippines. Even though the number of employees in vortex headquarters is around 200, they still hold a significant share in optics markets across the globe.
4. Athlon Optics
Athlon optics was established in 2014, in Kansas City USA. Although Athlon is the youngest brand in the optics market, it has developed a strong consumer base all around the world. With having retail shops and dealers in all continents, accessing Athlon binoculars is quite easy for people,
The thing which makes Athlon binoculars standout is their wide range of optics, each with distinct features. Either you want a rifle scope or a pair of binoculars, Athlon has a wide variety to offer you.
From start to end, most of their processing is done in China and Japan. The binoculars are re-inspected in Athlon headquarters before dispatch, but they are not made in America.
And as most people have a notion that products made in Asia are low-quality or sub-standard, Athlon has helped in defying it.
They have 10 different binoculars ranges, which vary according to the intensity of tasks the user will be doing. Athlon Optics Ares UHD is my favourite one as it is light in weight and has a very large field of view (426 ft. @ 1000 yards).
Being a newbie in the market meant Maven had to struggle a lot for reaching the status of best binoculars made in the USA.
Maven optics was an initiative taken by 3 friends Brendon, Mike, and Cade, who used to work in an outdoor-equipment company around the year 2000.
After leaving the company, they started their own business of making outdoor gears in 2008, but that wasn’t enough. As all of them are outdoor enthusiasts, they had a plan to make a breakthrough in the optics market.
In 2014, they launched their company Maven in Lander, USA. And within this short period, Maven has become one of the fierce competitors for veteran binoculars brands. They’ve launched 3 series of high-end binoculars named B1, B2, and B3 until now.
And the cherry on top, Maven optics is the only brand which manufactures its products in the U.S. They design in Wyoming, import lens glass from Japan, and all the assembly process is done in San Diego.
However, their C-series binoculars (which are a great mid-range line series) are typically assembled in the Philippines.
One unique feature of Maven is that it offers you get a customized pair as per your need. Let me make it easier, you can visit their website and select the magnification, lens type, prism coating, and other essential features. And their designers will gather those features in one pair.
Making binos with different prints and specs is a new trait, and Maven is undoubtedly its founder.
Maven’s direct-to-customer approach has made its products considerably affordable for masses. You can easily get a great, customized pair of binoculars under 1000$, and that too with a guarantee of “made in U.S.” tag. Have a look at the Maven C1 ED binocular, a supreme quality pair at an affordable price tag.
6. Tract Optics
Having vast experience in outdoor gadgetry and scopes, and then incorporating the knowledge in developing a new brand makes Tract optics different.
The founder Jon Allen started his optics’ career when he joined another famous brand called Redfield, during his stay in Denver.
Later he moved to one of the leading binocular manufacturers Nikon, and served there as sales manager and then got promoted to the seat of General Manager.
Once he realized that he wants to make his name a brand in the world of binoculars, he joined hands with Jon LaCorte who had 15 years’ experience of working in Nikon.
Their brand, i.e., Tract optics, is probably the newest in the field, but it is well-accepted and admired amongst the hunters and shooters.
Tract optics has launched 2 series of binoculars by now, namely Toric and Tekoa. Both series are high-end and well-sorted ones. Schott HT glass that gives a superior low light performance, edge to edge sharpness, excellent eye relief (19mm) and wide field of view, makes Tract Toric 8×42 and 10×42 the best in class.
The headquarters of tract optics is in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. Re-inspection and assembling (sometimes) are done here. The main manufacturing plant of tract optics is located in Japan, while the raw materials, engineers, and designers all are from Asia.
The founder, Jon Allen has used his vast knowledge of hunting and outdoor ventures (which he gained from the Rocky Mountains Colorado) in crafting these high-end binoculars which are compact and durable.
7. Burris Optics
Burris Optics has been in the business since 1971. The main building is in Greeley, Colorado.
Burris optics’ founder had served in Redfield optics for 15 years when he conceived the idea of developing his own binocular company.
With his immense experience in binocular designing and innovating different features, it wasn’t tough for Don Burris to make his young company a strong competitor for others.
Initially, all products were made in the USA, but, later, when the founders realized that same quality standard can be acquired at much cheaper costs, they shifted their manufacturing plants to Philippines and China.
And today, all products which are sold under the name of Burris are China or Philippines based. Their strict policy for quality maintenance has helped them in building a good repo amongst the customers, and their customer base has now expanded worldwide.
Burris optics launched their binocular line in 1992, as they were more focused on spotting scopes before that. The binoculars Burris produces are ergonomic, phase-corrected, fully multi-coated, and water-resistant.
Burris has made their binoculars compact and durable, keeping in mind the rough-tough condition outdoor lovers’ face.
Meopta sports optics was a joint venture of Czech-American founders in the year 1933. The founders were more focused on making lenses and condensers initially. Their customer base started to expand, and soon, Meopta became a well-known brand for lenses.
In WWII, the company was forced to produce military equipment, and it had to shut down the average production of civilian goods.
This was the time when they thought of opening a sister-company in America. A migrated Czech family laid the foundation of Meopta U.S.A in 1960.
Their headquarters are in New York and Prerov, Czech Republic and they hold over 2500 employees in both Czech and American companies. Meopta has specialized in various types of optics with time. However, their most popular products are binoculars.
In my list of 9 best American made binoculars (plus American based), Meopta is the only one which is working in alliance with a European country, as most of them have partners in Asia.
Until now, Meopta has launched 2 series of binoculars. MeoStar B1 series and MeoPro series are the 2 high-end, carefully crafted binocular series which made Meopta a famous American based brand.
Most manufacturing and crafting is done in Meopta’s Czech manufacturing unit located in Prerov, Czech Republic.
9. ATN Corp
Night and low-light vision optics, when the gadget enthusiasts hear these terms, the first names which pop up in their minds is American Technology Network Corp. i.e. ATN Corps.
Their priority of making the optics usable under all conditions make them stand out from the rest.
ATN Corporation is a San Francisco based optics company which was founded in 1993 and is currently being run by up to 50 employees.
By 2018, ATN has introduced 200 products, mainly binoculars, and scopes. Providing the customer with the perk of night hunting. They are well equipped in making thermal imagery, night visions, and H.D. optics.
As ATN has prioritized the hunters, the precision in their binos is excellent. If you are in search of a marvellous pair that’s designed specifically for a perfect hunting experience, ATN BinoX HD is what you need to get your hands on. It provides HD imagery both in day and night and has a 1080 HD video recording feature as well.
ATN’s main manufacturing plant is in China, and most of their products come with a tag of “made in China.”
For more than 20 years, ATN has been one of the biggest brands to produce optics for military and other law-enforcement agencies. Their rifle-scopes are much adored by sniper shooters and hunters, alike.
One feature which has increased ATN’s popularity worldwide is their customer handling strategy. At ATN, the customer is treated with great respect, and if a problem arises in the optics, they try to repair them at their earliest.
The United States is undoubtedly the hub of many manufacturing industries and is one of the biggest exporters of gadgetry.
However, in the case of binoculars and optics, the U.S. has been quite unlucky. Because the 9 Best American made binoculars (also American based) which I discussed are mostly manufactured in Asian countries, all thanks to the cheaper labour available there.
Bushnell is based in Kansas, but most of its manufacturing is done in Japan. Leupold binoculars’ parts are mostly made in America, but the lens glass and other material they use is imported from Germany and Japan.
Vortex optics are crafted in China, Japan, and the Philippines, and this fact excludes them from the list of “American made” instead they are “American based.”
China, Japan, and the Philippines are manufacturing hub of Athlon, Burris, Tract, and ATN optics. Meopta optics, on the other hand, are made in the Czech Republic and are re-inspected in New York.
From the best 9 binoculars made in the USA, only Maven optics are entirely American. From designing the product to selling it, all steps are completed on the American soil.
So, how was my round-up? I am sure it must have answered most of your question related to your preferred optics brand, and if you have come this far with me, you’ll definitely make a wise choice while buying your new pair of binos.