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- Category Hunting Gear Reviews
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- Prostaff Member Steve Johnson
I personally own a pair of binoculars which I purchased for well over $300. Those binoculars are my favorite piece of hunting gear and I do not hunt without them. Vanguard recently asked me to review a very similar featured set of binoculars that retail in the $200 range. My thought process usually works like this; if it costs more it has to be better (yes I know not the best thought process, but its mine). That thought process couldn't have proven to be more wrong in this case.
The first thing I noticed was the soft rubberized coating. The coating feels great in your hands and gives you a great non-slip surface. After adjusting the binoculars for my eyes I focused on a tree line about 150 yards away. Vanguard has this P2 Phase Coating on their prisms which makes the images crystal clear. I’m not exactly sure about the how or why, but what I can tell you is these binoculars are sharp! I was actually amazed at how clear and bright objects were, so much so I went downstairs and got my $300+ binoculars to compare.
After I got back outside with both pairs of binoculars I began looking at objects close and far, trying to see minor details that the other pair couldn't. I was looking at newly budding leaves on that tree line 150 yards away. What I found was the vanguard binoculars were every bit as clear and bright as the $300+ pair that I personally own. If anything the color in the Vanguard binoculars seems sharper. Again, being of the mine set, it costs more so it must be better I was very surprised.
Most binoculars work well with great light conditions, it's the low-light conditions where the best binoculars shine. So my next test was to take both pairs of binoculars out in the evening and compare their low-light abilities. I knew what my binoculars were capable of and I was happy with their performance over the past 2 years, the question was would the Vanguard Spirits provide the same level of performance in the less than ideal conditions of fading light. To really test these binoculars I waited until I could only see about 30 yards in the woods and then I used the binoculars to look at objects about 35-40 yards away. I’ve used my binoculars many times in this situation to see deer coming through just after last light that I was not able to see with my naked eyes. In my low-light test I wasn't able to see anything with my $300+ binoculars that I couldn't see just as well with the Vanguard Spirits, period. The Vanguard Spirit binoculars worked every bit as well as my personal pair which cost nearly twice as much!
After all this testing I can honestly say that if I had viewed the Vanguard Spirit Binoculars when I decided to purchase my binoculars, I would have saved myself $100. The Vanguard binoculars do everything my $300+ set does, and they do some things a little better. At half the cost, it's really a no brainer which pair I would have purchased. When you’re in the market for your next pair of Binoculars, be sure to check out the Vanguard Spirit Binoculars, they really are a great set of binoculars at an even better price point!