Gear Review: Leupold BX-5 Santiam HD 15X56mm

June 16, 2021
Tom Harrison

Depending on the hunting or spotting situation you’re faced with, having the spotting scope might be the best bet, or perhaps binoculars are ideal. Regardless, there are many situations where having both is required—but that means more cumbersome gear to carry. Not anymore. The Leupold BX-5 Santiam HD 15X56mm combine the best of both worlds providing a power optic that literally reaches out to extreme distances to put the hunter or shooter in control of what’s occurring down range.

Designed for harsh environments, the BX-5 Santiam binocs will stand up the abuse a hunter can dish out and handle the conditions Mother Nature is known for bestowing. These glasses are ideal for the hunter or shooter who demands professional-grade optics, and the 15X56 fit the bill. The binoculars come standard with a generous and durable eye box designed for long glassing sessions with no eye fatigue and the ergonomically friendly body is easy and comfortable to hold for extended periods of time.

Built around the company’s Professional-Grade Optical System, the binoculars offer tremendous light transmission producing extreme detail, even in low-light conditions. They come equipped with a Binocular Tray Tripod Adapter for use in the field, a GO Afield shoulder strap, durable case, lens covers and lens cloth.

Like all Leupold binocs, they are waterproof, fog proof and guaranteed for life.


I spend a great deal of time scouting from the driver’s seat of my pickup; living and hunting in farm county demands a long-reaching set of optics to adequately seek out and effectively hunt whitetails or turkeys. I keep two sets of binoculars handy, the 15X56mm model is my go-to for scouting, and I lean on the Leupold Santiam 12X50s (Link to that review) for most hunting scenarios. I absolutely love both sets, but the 15X56s do occasionally go with me to the field when I’m set up on, watching and hunting extended open terrain.

The 15X56mm binoculars are larger and heavier (45 ounces)than your average low-profile hunting binocular, so they are not ideal for all spot-and-stalk or belly-crawling situations for turkeys, but when chasing antelope, mule deer or whitetails in the Great Plains, they are the right choice. There have been numerous situations this past spring that demanded long-range scouting, and if not for these glasses, I likely would not have found and killed a particular turkey on one of my properties. The only vantage point to see said field was over a mile away, and the detail these binocs provided was critical.

I love how they feel in my hand and I appreciate the durability of the eye cups—most binocs that feature eye cups seem to break within the first year of use. Not these, I can tell they were over-engineered for intense application. I can also tell they were designed by hunters who use them as intended, and that gives me absolute confidence.

They aren’t cheap, but you get what you pay for when it comes to good glass, and I’d not hesitate to spend the money.

MSRP: $1,399.99
Find them at Amazon, Cabela's, or OpticsPlanet today!