It’s hard to argue with the unbelievably great performance delivered by a high-end full-size binocular. The problem is that due to weight and bulk, a full-size bino is often the first thing left behind at camp or in the truck because you simply don’t want the hassle of lugging it around all day.
I’m not going to lie to you: I prefer a full-size binocular for most of my big-game hunting. But that said, there are many days per year (especially during turkey season and thick-cover deer hunting) that a compact bino such as the 8X22 Steiner Predator Pro is my No. 1 choice. Let me explain.
When I’m pursuing turkeys, I have a lot to carry, including calls, decoys, ground blind and chair (the latter two items for bowhunting primarily). With all this gear, I try to lessen my load whenever possible, and one of the best ways is to carry a compact bino instead of a full-size model. My reason for carrying an optic for turkey hunting is simple: I want to distinguish toms from jakes and hens. And the 8X22 Predator Pro is perfect for this task. I’m not interested in trying to decipher whether a tom has an 8-inch beard or a 10-inch beard from long range; doing so would require larger glass.
Likewise, when hunting whitetails in thick cover, I need an optic to tell me if a buck is a shooter or not. If it’s a shooter, then I immediately grab my bow or gun and get ready for a shot. Because the buck is already fairly close, I don’t need large glass to pick apart a buck’s rack.
The 8X22 Steiner Predator Pro is lightweight (about 10 ounces), waterproof and features PC-5 coatings on every lens surface. I can tell you from experience that this tiny bino will blow you away with its clear and bright view. It’s tough, too, with an all-aluminum body covered with a rugged armor coating.
I think of my binoculars as tools to assist me in putting meat on the table, and the compact 8X22 Steiner Predator Pro is often the best one for the job.