2023: Vortex Crossfire binoculars: Diamondback’s alternative?

Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10x42 review The Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10×42 is the lower tier option of Vortex Optics. It is usually considered as an alternative for the Diamondback because of the lower price. In this article, we discuss even if it is just an alternative, is it worth, outperform and overhyped compared to the price tag.

Review of Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10×42:

Basic specs

8X42 10X42 10X50 12X50
Magnification 8X 10X 10X 12X
Objective lens diameter 42 mm 42 mm 50 mm 50 mm
Field of view (linear) 393 feet 325 feet 320 feet 273 feet
Angular field of view 7.5 degrees 6.2 degrees 6.5 degrees 5.3 degrees
Close focus distance 7.5 feet 6 feet 9 feet 9 feet
Dimension (H*W) 6.3*5.2 (inches) 6*5.2 (inches) 6.7*5.3 (inches) 6.6*5.3 (inches)
Weight 23.8 oz 23 oz 30.4 oz 29.5 oz
Eye relief 17 mm 15 mm 17 mm 15 mm
Glass type HD HD HD HD
Lens coating Fully-multicoated Fully-multicoated Fully-multicoated Fully-multicoated
Prism Roof Roof Roof Roof
Outer cover Rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber
Waterproof Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tripod Adaptable Yes Yes Yes Yes
Price Around $140 Around $150 Around $170 Around $180
vortex crossfire binoculars 10x42 product view
vortex crossfire binoculars 10×42 product view

We will provide clear product information of 4 models of Vortex Crossfire HD binoculars. Hence, you can check out many options and find the best suitable one following your most frequent use purposes.

At first glance, the Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10×42 is produced with the standard design of Vortex Optics. For the sake of transparency, all the data we mentioned above were extracted from Vortex official website.

Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10×42 – The good

Optics quality

The Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10×42 is produced with standard offerings from Vortex: BAK-4 roof prism and fully multicoated lens. Like other binoculars from Vortex, this ensures more than enough brightness delivered during normal conditions.

The image is presented in a sharp and clean field of view as well. Apparently, this is the most basic requirement of any binoculars and this Vortex has served well. Well, we can guest it initially by the ED glass.

  • For this feature, we rate 9/10

Image quality

vortex crossfire binoculars 10x42 deer watching image quality
vortex crossfire binoculars 10×42 deer watching image quality

We expected this to have a good image quality as it is an alternative for the Vortex Diamondback, which is famous with hunters. So, we tried watching animals with these Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10×42.

Deers observations were a pleased experience. The contrast is enough to well distinguish the brown animal and the yellow-green leaves. We couldn’t find a spotted deer to truly test the resolution, however, images of the landscape were presented in rich resolution.

Views at the center were absolutely sharp for sure. On the other hand, color rendering was vibrant and natural enough. Moreover, all of those good features come with sharp focus ability.

  • For this feature, we rate 8.5/10

Low-light performance

vortex crossfire binoculars 10x42 sunset view low light performance
vortex crossfire binoculars 10×42 sunset view low light performance

Tests for this pair of binoculars in dim light conditions gave promising results. The resolution won’t remain the same for sure, but overall, the brightness captured allow you to keep track of animals in the wild for decent manners.

  • For this feature, we rate 8/10

Compactness and construction

The Vortex Crossfire HD is one of the lightest 10×42 binoculars in the market (with 23 oz only). Plus, it feels very handy but tough in the palm. Even for birding, with a long duration of high holding hand action, you still will find it comfortable.

Outer cover is never a problem with Vortex Optics at all. The rubber cover is thick, textured and waterproof to have a good durability.

  • For this feature, we rate 8.5/10


Having tried these Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10×42 for both daylight and night sky conditions, they both perform well. Specifically, we tried stargazing with this Vortex, watching regular stars were nice. The light gathering and resolution for the stars are decent enough to enjoy. However, we still don’t think this is a specialized nightlife binoculars, occasional use would be better.

  • For this feature, we rate 8.5/10

Close focus distance

There is not much to talk about it, 6 feet for close focus distance is good enough.

  • For this feature, we rate 8.5/10

Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10×42 – Neutral factors

We are very impressed with the angular field of view, however, not up to annoyance level.

  • For this feature, we rate 7/10

Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10×42 – The considerations

  • Flimsy lens cover: Of course, this is the cons for most low tier or even mid tier options. But it’s worth mentioning.
  • Diopter adjustment: Although the image of sharp focus status is fast, we feel that modifying diopter adjustment action is not that smooth.

Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10×42 vs Vortex Diamondback 10×42

FYI, we already had a thorough review of the Vortex Diamondback 8×42 right over here. Click if you want to have a more in-depth comparison.

Comparison Points

Field of view Vortex Diamondback 10×42 8
Vortex Crossfire HD 10×42 7
Durability Vortex Diamondback 10×42 9.5
Vortex Crossfire HD 10×42 9
Compactness Vortex Diamondback 10×42 9.5
Vortex Crossfire HD 10×42 8.5
Optics Vortex Diamondback 10×42 9
Vortex Crossfire HD 10×42 9
Image quality Vortex Diamondback 10×42 9
Vortex Crossfire HD 10×42 8.5
Low-light performance Vortex Diamondback 10×42 9
Vortex Crossfire HD 10×42 8

Explanations for comparison

The field of view figures speak for the marks already, 330 feet of Diamondback is slightly better. They all are strong enough to endure sudden shock and textured to avoid slipping, however, Diamondback is argon purging, so it wins. For compactness, the Crossfire 10×42 HD is heavier for sure and a tiny bit larger.

For optics, we might be wrong but we hardly see any differences, they are all great. Image quality while, is also tough to define the result. However, the Vortex Diamondback 10×42 provides better image sharpness at the edge, so it’s a close win.

In terms of low-light performance, although the Crossfire provides good performance, we still feel a clear superiority from the Diamondback.

Which should you choose?

vortex diamondback 10x42
vortex diamondback 10×42

Well, the answer is depending on your financial comfort. The Vortex Diamondback 10×42 is $100-$150 more expensive, not too pricey but worth considering.

The clearest gaps are the lightweightness and low-light performance. The Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10×42 proved good performances on those criteria for sure. Nonetheless, that’s where the price speaks for difference. Apparently, those differences are enough to consider whether you would want to pay more to enjoy even more.

But in general, you can totally feel comfortable with the lower tier option if you can’t reach the more expensive one.

Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10×42 alternatives

Besides the Vortex Diamondback, which is considerably more expensive, we have other similar tier options as well. But first, take a look at the specs:

Field of view (feet at 1,000 yards) 316 330 309
Angular field of view (degrees) 6.2 7 5.9
Weight (ounces) 16.8 17.6 17.1
Product dimension (HxW) 5.5 x 5 inches 5.5 x 5 inches 5.5 x 4.8 inches
Eye relief 16mm 17mm 15mm
Exit pupil 4.2 mm 4.2 mm 4.2 mm
Prism type Roof Roof Porro
Prism Phase corrected No phase corrected Phase corrected
Glass coating Fully multi-coated Fully multi-coated Fully multi-coated
Outer cover Rubber Rubber Rubber
Price Around $140 Around $100 Around $110

Vortex Crossfire vs Nikon Prostaff 3S vs Celestron Nature DX ED
Vortex Crossfire vs Nikon Prostaff 3S vs Celestron Nature DX ED

So, in which case would you choose which?

In terms of physical figures, there is not much difference. The Celestron one is a tiny bit more knit in your luggages, but we wouldn’t take that into account.

Well, the Vortex Crossfire HD is a bit tougher in the palm as we feel. The Celestron Nature DX ED, on the other hand, is made of rubber and plastic in combined, is more endured against weather. But all of them are strong and waterproof for sure.

If you are glasses wearers, we suggest to go for the Nikon Prostaff 3S 10×42. All of them should be good enough. However, just to make sure, take the Nikon one.

Now, into more worth considering factors. If you care about the far viewing ability, Nikon Prostaff 3S is the winner. It has even farther and wider field of view. So, if you’re birders or hunters, the Nikon one should be considered seriously. The Vortex Crossfire is good as well, but not at that amazing comparing to the Nikon one.

Meanwhile, we feel that the Celestron Nature DX ED produced a bit crispier, more contrasted images. For beginners, you might hardly realize, so this might not be too big deal with entry level. The brightness delivered is nearly the same. You will view everything with good brightness in normal conditions, nearly the same.

But in darker conditions, the Vortex Crossfire feel a bit better. Definitely, it’s not a huge gap. However, if we really have to choose, we will pick the Vortex Crossfire HD with it phase corrected prism for sure. Well, that explains why the Vortex Crossfire is a bit more expensive. But sure, it’s worth the price tag.

Vortex Crossfire binoculars 10×42 – The verdict

After all, it’s not so well-credited in the Vortex Optics line up. However, we are sure that you wouldn’t be disappointed with this Vortex, at least when comparing price vs value.

If you want more comparison, we recommend checking the review of Bushnell Legend L-Series 10×42 over here. The Celestron Trailseeker 10×42 is also a very close competitor, though we only have the review of 8×42 version over here.

Last but not least, should you have any comment, feel free to leave below.