The Nikon 8218 Trailblazer hunting binoculars are compact binoculars that weigh just one pound. They’re so small you can easily stash them in your hunting vest, glove compartment or backpack. These binoculars come with everything you need to get started, including objective lens covers, neck strap, eyepiece covers, and a carrying case.
They have a great reputation for being the perfect pair of binoculars for scouting, which is why they received such great feedback from hikers and hunters.
Nikon Compact Binoculars Overview and Features
These binoculars feature 10x magnification, which is perfect for scouting or hunting purposes. You’ll be able to focus on objects as close as eleven feet away, and they’re perfect for long distance viewing. With the smaller twenty-five-millimeter objective lenses, you actually get a decent field of view, which came as a surprise for most users.
The Trailblazer binoculars come with BAK4 roof prism lenses that are multi-coated. They feature an interpupillary distance of fifty-six-millimeters to seventy-two-millimeters, which is adequate. The twist-up eyecup design provides up to ten millimeters of eye relief, which is great for eyeglass wearers.
The central focus knob moves easily and smoothly, making it possible to quickly change the range of focus. Unfortunately, there’s no way to lock the diopter adjustment, which is a big drawback for some considering how easily it can move when you’re taking off the eyepiece covers.
These binoculars are a great choice for watching sporting events or scouting terrain, as long as you have decent lighting conditions.
These binoculars are also a hundred percent fog-proof and waterproof. They also come equipped with sealed O-rings and nitrogen filled chambers so you won’t need to worry about heat damage or mold growth.
As we have mentioned, these are lightweight binoculars, which makes them easier to lug around. The body is covered with a rubber armored coating that’s very durable. They also feature a closed bridge design, however, the design itself can significantly impact the overall grip-ability they offer, making it tough to adequately grip them around the lenses if it’s raining.
Trailblazer Hunting and Scouting Binoculars Pros and Cons
Pros: Under normal use, you’ll quickly find that these binoculars are pretty much indestructible. The thick rubber coating does an excellent job of protecting the lenses and other components.
These binoculars feature a range of a thousand yard. Considering the 10x magnification and the compact lenses, this type of range is pretty impressive. This is one of the reasons many consumers felt they were perfect for sporting events.
Because of the sealed O-rings, these binoculars are very resilient. You won’t have to worry about heat damage, or fungus or mold growth.
Cons: Many consumers reported that the binocular’s light gathering capabilities are very limited, offering a relative brightness of 6.3. While most users can agree that the binoculars work incredibly well during the day in bright sunlight, on overcast days or other types of low light conditions, the viewing experience is dramatically affected, negatively impacting the binocular’s clarity and contrast. This is the biggest issue with these binoculars, but it’s pretty common with twenty-five-millimeter lenses. There simply isn’t enough glass to gather available light.
If you’re looking for a pair of compact binoculars that are more designed for birding and have better light capturing abilities then we recommend the Vanguard Orros compact binoculars. They’re reasonably priced and versatile enough to be used for a wide range of outdoor adventures.
Are These Hunting Binoculars Worth a Second Look?
However, these binoculars are not designed or marketed as birding binoculars. They’re designed for scouting purposes, which is why they offer such an impressively long range. They’re also a good choice for scouting because they feature a lightweight, compact design. If you’re out in the woods for a day of hunting, you’ll want to make sure you pack as light as you can, considering the amount of gear you have to take with you. These binoculars can also be a perfect choice if you love attending live sporting events but you can’t afford those better seats.
Overall, these binoculars did receive some pretty mixed feedback, but ultimately, their performance is heavily going to depend on what you use them for. If you’re heading out for a hike, they’re a great buy, but if you plan on using them for whaling on a cloudy day, you won’t enjoy much in terms of sharpness and clarity.
The rubberized exterior does a great job of protecting the binoculars, further indicating that they’re the perfect set for the avid outdoor enthusiast.
The lenses, while they may struggle to capture light, do offer impressive range and clarity in the right conditions.
The free components and accessories that come in this package really aren’t anything to brag about. The eye covers are pretty difficult to put on or take off, so most consumers don’t even bother using them. The included carry case provides only minimal protection, but it will come in handy if you decide to forego the eye covers.
The included neck strap is very uncomfortable and is definitely an accessory you’ll want to ditch and opt for an upgrade instead.
For the price, and of course, for the right activity, we feel that these compact binoculars can be a great choice.
Nikon Binoculars Conclusion and Rating
The Nikon Trailblazer hunting binoculars are a great choice for the outdoorsman or sports enthusiast on a tight budget. We wouldn’t recommend them for bird watching since their relative brightness is very low, however, they work great for those times when you need to do a little scouting. They can be a real asset outdoors, especially if you’re looking for a pair of compact binoculars that are highly durable.
Consumers who purchased these binoculars gave it a rating of four out of five stars.
- Best Compact Binoculars