I’ve recently been on the hunt for a set of good binos. Since I have no dominate eye, I have trouble using most of those on the market in a “reasonable” price range. I’ve been stuck just closing one eye, thus losing about half the magnification power, making it very hard for me to use binoculars past very close range. Previously, I didn’t think it was a huge deal for me on a competition level, as I use a spotting scope for outdoor tournaments, and indoors we are only shooting 3 arrows at a time and I can usually get a general feel for where they are just by looking downrange (since only 18M). However, as I indicated in my post about the First Dakota Classic, it became apparent that I NEEDED a pair of binoculars that would work for me, especially with the Redding tournament coming up (no way I could lug around a tripod and scope on that course).
So my search began. Until I tried Vortex brand binoculars, the only ones that would allow me to keep both eyes open and still be able to see just as clearly, were VERY expensive ones. We are talking $1500 plus for a pair of binos. Now, obviously, I am not in a position where I can spend that kind of money on a pair of binoculars, which is why I was thrilled when I tried a friend’s Vortex binos.
Right off the bat I thought I was using a pair of binoculars that cost mucho dinero bc I could tell they were just as good of quality as some of the other pricey ones I had tried. I was blown away when I was told their price (model I tried was $750, less than half the price of what I would consider equal quality binos). Now I was intrigued. I actually was able to speak with one of the Vortex Reps, and he continued to impress me.
Vortex was the first in the industry to offer an UNCONDITIONAL, UNLIMITED, LIFETIME guarantee on their products. Other optics companies now offer lifetime warranties, but I haven’t found one that matches the level of Vortex’s warranty. Their binos are waterproof, fog proof, and overall rugged without the extra weight. I also was impressed with the selection of binoculars available, including a 15×50 option in their midrange bino. This is again, something I never saw from other companies under a grand.
After some research and thinking about where I would be using my binoculars, I settled on the Vortex Viper HD 12×50. Personally, I think the Viper(HD) line is THE line for 95% of people out there. With 7 different models (6×32 up to that 15×50), separately adjustable eye pieces and 15mm of eye relief, there really is something for every one.
So how have my binos performed in the field? They were great at Redding, however, I knew the real test would be on a 3d course with thick brush and hard to see scoring rings (vs the bring orange dot used in Redding).
The first 3d tournament I went to with these binoculars I was literally blown away. I knew they were good, but I had no idea how good until I used them to look at the first target of the day (deep in the woods). I could not only make out the scoring rings, but I could see the definition on the animal. I now knew where I should be aiming, which meant one less thing for me to be worried about learning.
After falling in love with these binoculars (and the company behind them), I decided to partner with Vortex moving forward. I’ve now had the opportunity to look through some of their spotting scopes, and I can tell you that the same quality optics that are used in their binoculars, are used in their spotting scopes as well. Compared to the spotting scope I was using, Vortex scopes are less bulky in size and weight, which is great for flying with them (or just trekking through the woods on a big hunt).
They also offer different eye pieces for those looking for something a little different (R needs a spotting scope with HUGE eye relief). Much like their binoculars, I also found the price of Vortex spotting scopes to be roughly half that of similar quality products. A $2000 Vortex spotting scope for example is on par with a $3700 scope I’ve had the chance to play with from another brand. Finally, Vortex also makes other optics products such as rangefinders, rifle scopes and monoculars, I’ve just not yet had the opportunity to try these products out.
In the end, you don’t have to take MY word for it. Get out there and check out Vortex products for yourself. And if you can’t find some to try in person, check out the literally hundreds of thousands of reviews online raving about their quality.