Binoculars can dramatically enhance the game-viewing experience, which is why we’re always encouraging safari-goers to pack a pair.
As it is with cameras, a wide range of binoculars are available from numerous brands, varying in lens quality, size and, of course, price. As a general rule, the better the quality, the more expensive they may be; and the more you use them, the more it is worth investing in better quality.
Regardless of your budget or how often you might use them, though, we urge you to find a pair that you’re comfortable with.
While we don’t endorse specific products, we are proud of our relationship with Swarovski Optiks, and have been looking at two of their entry-level pairs to better understand some of the factors to think about when buying a new pair.
CL Pocket 8×25
As its name suggests, the CL is small enough to fit into a jacket pocket or small bag, or even hung on a belt for easy access. Weighing jut 345g, its ergonomic design, large field of view and individually adjustable twist-in eyecups make it comfortable to use, even for spectacle wearers. With a lens size of 8×25, the optical quality is good for a small binocular. It’s field of view of 124m is excellent, while it’s close focus of 2.5 metres allows insects to be observed in fantastic detail.
CL Companion 8×30
The CL Companion is a mid-size option, updated in November 2017, which features a brand new optical and mechanical concept housed in a solid magnesium body. The field of view is 132m at 1000m, the close focus distance is three metres, and the 30mm objective lens gives you a slightly brighter image. Weighing 490g, it is easy to carry around and can also be attached to a belt.
The take-away considerations when looking for a pair of binos? Comfort, weight, focal field of view, close focus, vision quality. Happy hunting!