The editor shows us why we should all own a pair of compact bin’s
The editor gets his hands on a superbinocular - at a great price
A s a countryman and a hunter, I’m never far from a pair of binoculars, for the simple reason that I love to see what’s happening around me. My eyes are constantly caught by a red kite soaring past my study window, or perhaps the delightful redpoll I saw in a hedge top as I set off to walk the dogs this morning. Each of these sightings was made that much better because I had a pair of Hawke Vantage 8 x 25 folding binoculars to hand. It’s a fact that bigger bin’s offer even better performance, but they often get left at home because they’re a hassle to carry, but the folding 8 x 25s slip into a pocket or can be carried on my belt in the padded case supplied.
Their design allows the two ‘barrels’ to fold together making them truly compact, but when opened up they have a substantial feel, and the textured rubber casing offers a good purchase, even when wet. For glasses wearers, the soft rubber eye cups twist down so that you can get the full field of view, although, as with all binoculars, I prefer to take my glasses off and use them with the cups at full height. Whilst hunting, they can be carried around the neck and inside your jacket, so that they don’t swing and bash against your rifle. They’re so incredibly light at just 295 grammes that you hardly know that they’re there.
SEEING THE BENEFIT
Hunters who aren’t used to binoculars need to take time to learn just how impressively helpful they are. Stand back and slowly examine the areas in front for any signs of life. You’ll be amazed at just how often the flick of an ear reveals a rabbit you hadn’t seen, and how the shake of a branch takes your eye to a grey squirrel searching for hazelnuts in the canopy. They have a second benefit, which is to make you slow down, rather then rushing in and spooking your quarry before you have any chance of a shot.
Inexpensive binoculars used to be truly terrible, but things move on and the 8 x 25 Vantage on test was bright and clear, with pretty sharp image quality. I watched rabbits in the hay rows, and a fox cub sunning itself that had not seen me, in fine detail. They’re just the thing to keep in the car so that you always have the pleasure of seeing in detail what’s going on around you. Highly recommended.
ABOVE: Having bin’s at hand at every moment is such a joy
LEFT: Folded up, they fit in your pocket easily