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Nocs Provisions Pro Issue 42mm Binoculars

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

A very good basic pair of binoculars for the general user. Excellent build quality and sturdiness, decent optics, and a well thought out design. A bit on the heavy side compared to similar models, and the ridged grip is something you either like or don't.

Reasons to Buy

  • Very sturdy construction
  • Easy to grip
  • Good optics compared to similar models
  • Water and fog proof
  • Lens caps convenient
  • Lifetime warranty

Reasons to Avoid

  • Heavier than similar brand
  • Grip is either like or dislike
  • Basic neck strap
  • Lens covers can come off

The NOCS Pro 8x42 binoculars are a good fit as optics for folks who like to do some birdwatching and other general usage. They compare favorably to my current go to general use binoculars (Nikon Pro 8x42) for both fun and work. While I still prefer my Nikon as they are a bit lighter, I carry the NOCS for work due to their sturdiness, and my wife prefers them over the Nikon for their grip (see below). Surveying for bald eagles Description The NOCS come in three ranges (standard, field, and pro versions), a variety of colors, and two magnifications in the pro series I tested (8x42 and 10x42).  My particular pair is an alpine green 8x42.

Read more: Nocs Provisions Pro Issue 42mm Binoculars review (1)

Celestron SkyMaster 15x70 Binoculars

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

When you want to bring nature up close and personal you need good binoculars and Celestron fills this need nicely. Their 15 x 70 Binoculars are an economical choice for stargazing as well as viewing wildlife at a safe distance.

Reasons to Buy

  • Powerful
  • Wide field of view
  • Clear
  • Water resistant
  • Great warranty service

Reasons to Avoid

  • Bulky and heavy (but expected in a 15 x 70 binocular)
  • Neck strap could be better

I was given my original Celestron 15 x 70 binoculars four years ago as a present. I wanted them for stargazing when using a telescope was impractical. They were great for locating comets and even viewing distant objects such as the Orion Nebula. While bulky and heavy (48oz. 1.36kg) they were still transportable when bike-packing into the wide open, dark sky areas for some night time stargazing as well as scanning distant vistas for wildlife during the day. For stargazing I used the tripod mount supplied with the binoculars to hold them steady enough for viewing deep sky objects and planets.

Read more: Celestron SkyMaster 15x70 Binoculars review (1)

Bushnell PowerView 12x 25mm Folding Binoculars

user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1 review)

A good choice for a lightweight compact pair of binoculars. They are durable, easily adjustable, and have relatively good optics for the price. I don’t carry them every trip but miss them on trips with good views or lots of leisure time for wildlife watching.

Reasons to Buy

  • Durable
  • Good magnification/objective for use
  • Decent optics for price
  • Easy wheel focus
  • Adjustable diopter
  • Compact and light
  • Rubber eyecups fold back for glasses
  • Light carrying case with belt strap

Reasons to Avoid

  • Some clouding over time (10 years)
  • Low light/distance clarity
  • Some rusting of screws after 5 years
  • Thin neck lanyard
  • Magnification makes it a bit shaky
  • Eye relief could be better for glasses

I guess you could say I have a love-hate relationship with binoculars on backpacking trips. I looked back through my notes from many trips since I bought the Bushnell Powerview 12x25's on a whim (Target around 2005 for $20), and see almost an equal number of notes saying I shouldn’t have lugged along binoc’s and ones saying glad I took them or regret leaving them behind.First the specs, for those interested: Dimensions Closed:   4.5" x 2.5" x 1.75" Open:     4.5" x 4.25" x 1.5" 9.2 ounces 12x25 magnification x objective (240 ft at 1000 yds) Fully coated optics Non-slip rubber coating Adjustable diopter Roof prism optics Usage/Testing As mentioned above, I have carried these off and on for almost 10 years.

Read more: Bushnell PowerView 12x 25mm Folding Binoculars review (1)

Bushnell Ensign Binoculars

user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1 review)

A packable light enough compact binocular

Reasons to Buy

  • Good optics
  • tough enough
  • adjustable focus
  • adjustable diopter
  • 9.4 0z
  • 7.1degree field of view
  • 1 oz carry case with belt loop
  • eye cups
  • lens caps

Reasons to Avoid

  • discontinued but available
  • not as compact as others
  • plastic lanyard

I was given these as a present back in the 90s. They have been in whatever packs I've had since then. They are 7x25 power. Not the best at low light transmission but great during the day. Made in Japan and of good or great quality so have no need to get bigger ones. I've owned large 40-50mm objective lens binoculars but those were much larger and heavier.   Bushnell Ensign 7x25    These are what I consider a perfect size for hiking or travel and will fit easily in a pack, console or glovebox.

Read more: Bushnell Ensign Binoculars review (1)

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