Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 Binoculars Review (XR Plus Coating)

  • By: Sana Ijaz

Vortex Kaibab 20×56 binoculars were launched in 2014 in the S.H.O.T show, Las Vegas, which enthused the glassers’ for the kaibab series even more. This world-famous HD 20×56 bino has numerous superb features that are enough to declare it the best-from-the-lot. My Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 binoculars review will thoroughly analyze the techniques that Vortex Optics has incorporated in it to help you make a prudent decision. If you aren’t much familiar with this top-rated glass yet, read on!

From HD imagery to excellent ergonomics, this bino has all!

Vortex Kaibab binoculars are smartly designed to facilitate the glassers from all fields. Whether you hunt or gaze at the stars, a Kaibab binocular makes you a pro at what you do.

Vortex Optics Kaibab HD Binoculars 18×56
  • 18x magnification and 56mm objective lenses, when serious patience and superior optics are required to locate tough to spot game at extreme distances, the Kaibab HD gets the job done with premium quality, high-powered optical performance.
  • The APO optical system features premium, high density, extra-low dispersion lenses that provide long range clarity. Lenses are fully multi-coated with XR plus anti-reflective coating, that deliver exceptional light transmission and color accurate views.

This 20×56 binocular has incredible HD optical clarity that helps you hunt successfully and scout a terrain keenly. The experienced craftsmen at Vortex Optics have applied exclusive ArmorTek and plasma tech coatings on Kaibab 20×56 binocular, which protect its interiors and make the views brighter, respectively.

Apochromatic lenses are admired for their effect at chromatic aberration and focal distortions. Henceforth, with a Kaibab HD 20×56 binocular, you’d never face edge-distortion as its superior APO lenses reduce light reflection and amazingly enhances color-differentiation.

During lowlight hunts, having an exceptional focus is inevitable for hunters. Similarly, to observe wild animals in their natural habitat, one needs extraordinary magnifying capacity.

Fortunately enough, Vortex Kaibab HD binocular has both a brilliant twilight factor and 20x power. Regardless of your adventure, Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 binocular impeccably assists you and makes glassing a treasured experience.

If you are in a hurry, click here to check Kaibab 20X56 price on Amazon.

Vortex Kaibab 20×56 binoculars are adorned with various exclusive features ranging from a robust body to handy accessories. Therefore, to get a good look at this glass, let’s evaluate its positive and negative aspects in detail and rate its usability.

Vortex Kaibab 20×56 binoculars at a Glance

Technical Features

  • Magnification: 20x
  • Lens size: 56mm
  • FOV: 168ft at 1000 yards
  • Eye relief distance: 15mm
  • Close focus distance: 23ft
  • Exit pupil diameter: 2.8mm
  • Twilight factor: 33.4mm
  • Inter-pupillary distance: 60-76mm


  • XR plus anti-reflective coating
  • ED low-dispersion glass
  • APO system
  • Entirely weatherproof
  • Fully weatherproof
  • HD optical quality
  • Locking right diopter
  • Multi-position eyecups


  • Limited FOV
  • Heavy body

What’s in the box?

  • Vortex Kaibab 20×56 binocular
  • Padded carry case
  • Tethered lens covers
  • Neck strap
  • Rain cover

Vortex 20×56 Kaibab Binoculars Technical Features


This excellent Kaibab binocular has 20x magnification, which makes it one of those seamless, high-end binos that never disappoint. Even the microscopic details of your subject become visible when you glance through your Vortex Kaibab 20×56 binocular.

This superb 20x magnification lets you scout vast regions and quickly spot your subject without moving one bit. If you like looking at the sky, this 20x magnification will turn this hobby into a passion by showing you various planets and galaxies in one glance.

No matter which activity you like to master, this binocular is ideal for it. From target practice to stargazing and from photography to hunting, this HD 20x binocular helps you learn all.

Also, read my review of Razor HD 10×50 binoculars.

Lens size

The larger the lenses, the brighter the imagery; by following this motive, Vortex developed this full-sized binocular with 56mm large ED lenses that make it a genuinely peerless glass.

Its high-density ED lenses are coated with XR plus anti-reflective coating (an improvised version of XR coating), which prevents aberration and optical distortion.

Moreover, these lenses have high-quality roof prisms that halt the light derivation and ensure vivid imagery. These massive APO lenses produce crystal clear HD imagery, which surely enhances the fun of glassing. You won’t find such remarkable 56mm APO lenses elsewhere, that’s Vortex’s promise


You’ll get a 168ft wide field of view in this 20×56 binocular. Although this number doesn’t sound impressive (I know), it isn’t much of a down point. Since this Kaibab HD binocular has 20x magnification, the glasser doesn’t need to worry about the region.

The 20x magnification compensates for this limited FOV and lets you scrutinize a wide area in one go. You can easily observe the far-off objects with your Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 binocular without even moving. Whether you enjoy searching for animal hideouts or looking at the birds, this binocular is ideal everywhere.

Exit relief distance

High-power binoculars can detect even the minor movements i.e., vibration, which exerts pressure on the glasser’s eyes. Especially if you wear glasses and use a high-power binocular, you must be aware that it’s hard for the eyes.

The solution in such a situation is a suitable eye relief distance. Fortunately, Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 binocular offers 15mm ERD, which makes glassing more convenient.

This 15mm eye relief distance works impressively during long glassing hours; it allows the enthusiastic glassers to rest a bit while keeping their favorite view locked.

ERD comes in handy during broad daylight as well. When you’re bound to wear sunglasses but can’t abandon a thrilling activity, just move the eyecups a bit and enjoy your adventure.

Close focus distance

This 20×56 binocular isn’t great for up-close activities, unlike the smaller Kaibab binoculars. The reason is its 23ft close focus distance that doesn’t allow you to observe nearby objects attentively.

Since this is a full-sized astronomy binocular, it was already expected. The smaller close focus distance is something you’ll find in most 10x or 12x binos; this one is made for more significant purposes.

Even if your try close-distance glassing with it, you’ll feel stress on your eyes as it shows the slightest movements in air/light.

Exit pupil diameter

Due to an enormous difference between its magnification and lenses’ size, the exit pupil diameter is only 2.8mm (remember lens/magnification = EPD?). This EPD is neither best nor worst; it’s in-between.

The 2.8mm aperture lets in an ample amount of light and shows vivid imagery. But, you have to slightly contract your eyes while looking through your Kaibab 20×56.

As these premium binoculars are specifically designed for high-end missions, glassers don’t mind this EPD.

The outstanding light transmission and supreme lens glass brighten the imagery anyway, so you shouldn’t worry about the comparatively narrower exit pupil diameter.

Twilight factor

This is the biggest plus point of Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 binoculars, the 33.4 twilight factor. No matter how low the light is, you can always enjoy your passion/hobby with this Vortex bino, all thanks to its impressive twilight factor.

This is the ideal twilight factor for astronomers and hunters as they enjoy lowlight activities more.

When you’re out for trophy hunting after the sun has set, worry not. Your Vortex Kaibab 20×56 binocular will incredibly enhance color fidelity and make your adventures unforgettable.

It shows well-differentiated true color imagery even when the light transmission is low and never produces a false-color composite.

Similarly, this twilight factor will make the night sky even brighter and help you find your favorite planet in the absence of moonlight.

Inter-pupillary distance

Hefty binoculars are easily tagged as uncomfortable ones due to their size, but that’s not true with Vortex Kaibabs. These massive binoculars are thoughtfully designed and packed with helpful features so that glassers never hassle while using them.

A 60-76mm adjustable inter-pupillary distance is also one of those helpful features. You can easily set the binocular’s barrels parallel to your eyes and glass peacefully.

If a full-sized binocular doesn’t offer this feature, you’ll have to struggle while balancing it. Especially if it’s a family binocular, the inter-pupillary distance must be relaxed. This way, everyone can use a glass and enjoy various activities with one investment i.e., hunting, stargazing, cruising, etc. 


The notably ergonomic design is another stamp on this Kaibab binocular’s quality. The craftsmen at Vortex Optics have ensured glassers’ comfort and binocular’s safety with its top-notch design.

Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 binocular has a robust magnesium chassis, which is lightweight and reliable simultaneously. Even if you drop your Kaibab binocular accidentally, this chassis will shelter the lenses and prisms. Moreover, the non-slip rubber armor also plays its part in protecting the binocular’s interiors and doesn’t let your grip shake in humid conditions.

Similarly, the large focus knob in its center increases your comfort and doesn’t affect your grip while you adjust the focus. The knob’s slightly grooved surface moves it slowly and lets you get a good look at the object.

This roof prism binocular is adaptable with all tripods, and despite being full-sized, its body is compact. You can easily pack and haul your Vortex Kaibab 20×56 in the carry bag.

You’ll get a soft neck strap and carry case in the package. These accessories make it portable binocular. When you’re tired of walking, use the neck strap, and free your hands for a while.


Sheltering the binoculars from harsh weather and other harms in one of Vortex’s priorities. Therefore, Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 binocular is fully purged with compressed argon so that water doesn’t harm its interiors.

Moreover, the 56mm large ED lenses are sealed with rubber O-rings that prevent rust and corrosion. If you use your binocular in humid/wet conditions, these two features incredibly protect it.

Additionally, the durable scratch-resistant ArmorTek coating around its lenses maintains the glass’s shine and doesn’t let the weather affect it.

When you frequently glass, preserving the bino’s safety gets tough. With these coatings, however, your Vortex Kaibab 20×56 will stay unharmed for a long span.

The resilient lens covers and a rain cover also help in sheltering this bino from the weather.

All in all, Vortex has made this binocular entirely weatherproof, which indicates its adaptability with all ventures.

But, to know which activity you can enjoy the most with it, let’s evaluate this bino on the scale of different adventures. So, let’s take this Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 binoculars review a step ahead:

Also Read: Can I take Binoculars in my hand luggage?

Vortex Kaibab 20×56 binocular: Worthwhile or worthless, let’s check!

Glassers are keen observers; they do not get a random binocular believing it to be suitable for every adventure. Instead, a wise glasser always testifies if a binocular is ideal for his planned activity before bringing it home.

And that’s exactly what we’ll do next. We’ll check the compatibility of Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 binocular with different long-range and short-range activities and rate it accordingly. Let’s jump right into it then:


Vortex Kaibab 20×56 is unquestionably the best binocular for hunters. Its extraordinary image quality, edge-to-edge clarity, and 20x power will make your hunts enjoyable.

When you are running behind an elk or scouting a broad region to spot your favorite trophy, Vortex Kaibab 20×56 binocular will assist you impeccably.

You can quickly spot and lock the view of your target with this astounding binocular and ensure your shot is a success.

Also, with its exclusive ER plus anti-reflective coating, a hunter can glass during the broad daylight. As most binoculars show focal distortion and annoying light reflection during the day, glassing through them is challenging.

But with a vortex Kaibab 20×56 in hand, you can enjoy daylight and lowlight hunts alike, thanks to its 33.4 twilight factor and superb lens coatings.


20x power is perfect for astronomers and sky lovers; they can explore the day and night sky in detail with this high-end binocular. Its APO lenses made from extra-low dispersion glass produce unmatched color sharpness and make astronomy a brilliant experience.

With vortex Kaibab 20×56 binocular, you can watch stars, planets, galaxies, and comets in HD quality. Its edge correcting technology removes chromatic aberrations, and its XR plus coating prevents reflection during the day; both make your astronomy ventures outstanding.

Also, since astronomy binoculars need the utmost stability, Vortex has made its body compact to assist you thoroughly. You can mount it on the tripod, and with the right diopter, lock your favorite sight. You won’t be struggling to balance it; its ergonomic body is solicitously designed.

Its movable eyecups keep your eyes relaxed when you gaze at the sky for hours. Similarly, its rubber armor doesn’t make your grip shaky when you hold your Kaibab 20×56 for long.


Watching the birds while they hover around or fly up in the sky is relaxing, no doubt about that. But we cannot watch that many birds without an excellent binocular, right? Therefore, if you are a birder, this binocular is a brilliant choice.

Its color-corrected lenses and multi-coated prisms show you beautiful birds without any edge-distortion. Also, the coatings enhance light transmission so that you can spot birds even in low light. 

Light is insufficient when the birds move in the morning or return to their nests in the evening. At those times, Vortex Kaibab 20×56 binocular shows you up-close views of feathered beauty with incredible color-differentiation.

However, due to its 23ft close focus distance, you cannot focus on nearby birds. If you like looking at the birds in your proximity, I’d suggest Vortex Razor HD 10×42 binocular that has an impressive 6ft close focus distance.

Wildlife photography

Just like hunters, wildlife lovers shouldn’t look any further than Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 binocular. With its peerless image quality and magnification capacity, this premium binocular immaculately serves the passionate wildlife lovers.

Whether you go on a safari or look at the deer when they visit your feeding plot, this bino will help you track their movement with ease. Vortex Kaibab 20×56 binocular produces razor-sharp imagery, which never disappoints wildlife photographers.

If you wish to click some jaw-dropping wildlife snaps, don’t forget to use Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 along with your camera.

A binocular not only helps you click superb pictures but also shelters you somehow. Imagine you’re busy looking at one animal, and another appears out of nowhere; this can be dangerous, right?

To ensure that you’re safe around these wild beings, Vortex Kaibab 20×56 comes to the rescue. It will let you analyze a vast region and set up your camera in a safe spot (and at a considerable distance, of course).


Cruisers are mostly doubtful about taking their glass with them; bad weatherproofing, hefty body, and lousy grip are a few reasons. However, with your Vortex Kaibab binocular, you can enjoy every adventure comfortably.

As this binocular is entirely purged with compressed argon, water cannot harm it. Plus, the rubber O-rings that seal its lenses do not let moisture and debris enter inside it ensuring that the prisms are always guarded.

Moreover, its rubber armor ensures that your grip is steady while the cruise/boat moves. You can maintain a good posture with this enormous binocular and look at the beautiful gigantic waves.

However, as this binocular is heavy, you must take a good tripod along to stay relaxed.


Guarding your valuables and protecting yourself is more comfortable with a helpful binocular. The Vortex Kaibab 20×56 binocular amazingly assists vigilance missions and never expose your stealth mode.

Its powerful magnification lets you zoom on the minutest details of your subject and decipher what’s going on around you. Also, with its 33.4 twilight factor, you can peep/spy on your surroundings in the absence of significant light.

The Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 binocular allows the glasser to see beyond his eyes’ limit and stay a step ahead of the competitor/enemy. So, regardless of your planned mission, don’t doubt the capability of this top-class binocular.


Does it work in dim light?

Yes, it does. Vortex 20×56 binocular has a 33.4 twilight factor, which helps the glassers in low light. A TF above 30 is excellent for early morning or evening time glassing.

Is it convenient to use?

Yes, despite being heavy, it is convenient. This 20×56 binocular weighs over 4lbs, which isn’t something one can hold for long. However, due to its soft neck strap and tripod adaptability, you can use it quite comfortably. If you don’t have a tripod, you will get tired by standing in one position with this heavy glass though.

How do I adjust its IPD?

You can alter the inter-pupillary distance by stretching or compressing this bino’s two barrels. As it is a full-sized binocular, people with small faces always have to adjust its inter-pupillary distance.

Which accessories will I get?

This package has a rain cover, lens covers, neck strap, carry case, and a user manual along with the binocular. All accessories are quality-tested and compatible with the bino.

Vortex Kaibab hd 20×56 binocular summary

And it’s time to sum up my Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 binoculars review. Vortex Optics has never disappointed its customers, the same is with the Kaibab HD binoculars. This 20×56 peerless binocular is ideal for every glasser, no matter if he is a birder or an astronomer.

Its HD imagery is the accurate depiction of high-end glassing, and its APO lenses are yet another specialty of Vortex Optics. The marvelous 20x magnification is the biggest gem in Vortex’s crown.

Moreover, the elite XR plus coating shows you the brightest views, regardless of the object’s size.

And last but not the least, its tremendous 33.4 twilight factor; when you glass with the Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 in extremely low light, the image clarity will amaze you.

Its ergonomics are 10/10, its color-differentiation is beyond amazing, and most importantly, its price is unbelievable. With all these positives on-board, Vortex Kaibab HD 20×56 binocular is THE BEST, hands down!

Image credit: Vortex Optics

Last update on 2024-05-30 at 03:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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