Vortex Optics 10x42 Diamondback Classic Binocular Review - D241 (a Target Tamers Favorite)

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Vortex Diamondback Classic 10x42 Binoculars
Image Credit - Vortex

Magnification: 10X
Power Variability: Fixed
Objective Diameter: 42 mm
Close Focus Distance: 5 feet
Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.6 inches
Weight: 24.4 ounces
Field of View: 345 feet/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 16 mm/4.2 mm
Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
Glass: BAK-4
Prism System: Roof
Focus System: Center
Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
Eye cups: Twist up
Tripod adaptable: Yes
Rangefinder: No

Best Uses: Hunting, For the Range, Birdwatching, Wildlife Observation

Update: Both these classic Diamondbacks (D241) and the 2016 Diamondback binoculars (DB-205) have been discontinued by Vortex Optics. The newest version of this popular classic is the Diamondback HD 10x42 which you can check out at Optics Planet and Amazon.

Vortex Diamondback Classic Binoculars

This Vortex Diamondback 10X42 binocular has fully multi-coated lenses with phase corrected coatings on the roof prism assembly binocular. It's also fully waterproof, fog-proof, and tripod adaptable. Not only is it a hit in independent online forums, it has a 4.9 star rating on Vortex's website with hundreds of people posting their opinion.

It also has an incredible customer satisfaction rate.

Never mind that it's not the new Diamondback 10X42, it has done extremely well for itself. But, we'll get into the new model later.

To see what hundreds of other hunters see in this optic, let's examine the pros, cons & Q&A.

These Diamondback binoculars have been updated and the new model offers real bang for your buck. For the same price, you are getting some sweet upgrades which you can read about further down this page, or you can check out the new model here.


  • Price
  • Very close focus distance
  • Fully weatherproof
  • Tripod adaptable


  • Glass quality

Diamondback 10X42 Classic Binocular Q&A:

What are the advantages of a roof prism binocular?

This Diamondback has the modern roof prism design that allows it to be smaller and lighter-weight than the traditional porro prism binoculars.

Although roof prisms are suspect of being optically inferior to porro prisms, with the right mirror and phase corrected coatings applied to the prism assemblies, they can prove to be much better.

This Vortex binocular is praised for its quality glass, excellent clarity, and brightness it provides the user.

While Vortex is no low budget brand, they've certainly nailed it when it comes to knowing what hunters what from an affordable set of eyes.

What is the close focus distance of this 10x42 Classic binocular?

The close focus distance on this 10X42 is an impressive 5 feet.

This means you're going to have optimum clarity and superb, sharp images whether you're viewing that elk from 1500 yards away, the mule deer from 250 yards, or the warbler that left its tree perch to come say hi just mere feet from you.

What is the difference between this Diamondback 10X42 and the new Diamondback 10X42?

The new Diamondback 10X42 is the epitome of getting "more bang for your buck", which is why it earned the top spot in our 'Best Binoculars Under $300' category.

It's the same low price as this older 10X42, but it has more than a few upgrades. In fact, if you look online, it's actually a few bucks cheaper!

The new Diamondback has a more streamlined and sleek look with a two-tone finish, green and black, on a magnesium chassis.

It's also slightly smaller in size and is only a few ounces lighter. The newer one also has a slightly wider interpupillary distance of 55-75 mm while the older one has 57-73 mm.

Optically, they're different too. The newer Diamondback has multi-layer dielectric coatings on the prisms to improve image clarity, brightness, and resolution.

But, there's no need to rag on the now "older" Diamondback 10X42. It was and is still so popular that it set the stage for the latest Diamondback 10X42 to take the spot light.

Although it's new to 2016, it already has reviews about it online. And, with such a low budget price of around $200, there's still plenty of room for that reviewer base to grow.

Are there any other binoculars in the Diamondback series?

This 10X42 is only one of nine binoculars in the Diamondback series and the Diamondback line has eight.

The most expensive one of the lot is going to be the 12X50 and the most affordable binocular will be the 8X28.

Here's the list of the other available magnification plus objective lens size binocular combos.

8X28, 10X28
8X32, 10X32
8X42, 10X42
8.5X50, 10X50, 12X50

The new Diamondback line has the exact same models available except for the 8.5X50. There is only 10X and 12X magnifications available in the 50 mm objective lens size.

What is the warranty on this Diamondback Classic?

This low-budget binocular has Vortex's VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty. Let me just say that I've never seen a warranty of this caliber offered on a low budget binocular before - ever. Score for Vortex!

Although Vortex treats you like a Very Important Person, their warranty actually stands for Very Important Promise.

They promise to take care of you and your Vortex product no matter what. No questions asked, no proof of purchase needed, and no warranty paperwork to deal with. And the best part about it? It won't cost you a penny - it's all on them.

You see, they believe in the quality of their binoculars and they value their customers - that's just the American way. If you have something that needs to be repaired, they'll repair it for free. If it can't be repaired, they'll replace it for free. Now, that's some heck of a warranty for a $200 binocular!

Just make sure you don't do anything stupid like purposely trash your binocular just to see if they'll replace it, leave it somewhere where it will be stolen, or even if you left it behind three miles ago on that lone trail, sorry it's a goner.

But, for all other issues like accidentally dropping it out of your tree blind, which we've all done, or losing grip of it while on the edges of a steep drop, again I'm sure we've all done it, Vortex has your back.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Twist up eye cups and wider than average IPD range for a custom fit for any user
  • Fully multi-coated lenses provide maximum light transmission for bright, clear images
  • Impressively close focus distance of 5 feet for all types of glassing
  • Fully waterproof and fog-proof for ultimate weatherproof-ability
  • Rubber armor body for easy gripping and external protection
  • Backed by Vortex's VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty

Our Verdict on the Diamondback Classic Binoculars

To glass it up, the Vortex Diamondback 10X42 binoculars are by far the best buy for any hunter on a budget. The only reason glass quality was listed as a drawback is because some reviewers are trying to compare German glass to this Vortex. It's not fair, since it's like comparing apples to oranges. After personally handling the Diamondback, we can 100 percent recommend these as a high quality, exceptional, and high-performing pair of binoculars.

If you have a little bit more cash to play around with, the Vortex Viper HD 10x42 binoculars have a few more glass perks that are worth checking out.

If your budget doesn't even realistically stretch to the Diamondback, check out the Redfield Rebel 10X42 binocular right here. There's no additional bells and whistles, and it's about as reliable as you can get when you need basic functions to perform reliably.

Vortex is top-notch in the optics field. Rarely do you have to go anywhere else for a better price for the quality they pump out. It's Vortex all the way for us, can you say the same?

Update: Both these classic Diamondbacks (D241) and the 2016 Diamondback binoculars (DB-205) have been discontinued by Vortex Optics. The newest version of this popular classic is the Diamondback HD 10x42 which you can check out at Optics Planet and Amazon.

Further Reading

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