Outdoor Life - - GEAR -

Hawke Fron­tier ED X • 8x32 • $429

Tight and bal­anced, this is a priced-right, ver­sa­tile binoc­u­lar that has the good looks to ac­com­pany a traveler. But it also has enough dura­bil­ity to han­dle most of a hunter’s field duty.

Athlon Midas • 10x25 • $170

The Midas was the dou­ble-hinge runt of the binoc­u­lar test. It would be right at home in a tur­key vest, a tree­stand, or a shirt pocket. The glass is pretty good, but the con­trols, as you might ex­pect, are tiny.

Van­guard Vesta • 8x42 • $130

Po­si­tioned as an en­try-level binoc­u­lar, the Vesta feels pla­s­ticky and is crudely fin­ished. But the rel­a­tively low price, de­cent glass, and the lifetime war­ranty earned it high value scores.

Steiner Preda­tor AF • 8x30 • $350

The auto-fo­cus ca­pa­bil­ity and porro-prism de­sign are both a lit­tle dated, but the Steiner’s light­weight poly­mer chas­sis and good glass and coat­ings give it enough field cred to live up to its name.

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