If you are a bird watcher or nature lover and have children who are starting to take an interest themselves, then you may be considering buying a binocular for them to use when they accompany mom or dad on trips into the countryside or to a nature reserve. But binoculars for children need careful consideration, both in terms of design choices and also budget. In this short article, I hope to outline some of the things that you need to look out for.
I will deal with budget first. The very low cost of modern binoculars, particularly in micro and ultralight varieties, has put many kids off ever getting a real pair of binoculars for children. So the first thing to think about is how young are your children. A good way of avoiding this is to buy one that is a bit older. Yourself, or your partner, can decide on the price. If you are a beginner yourself, you should find that buying a compact binocular like the entry level Crystal Clear 7×25 is ideal, and you can find compact binoculars over the internet. Especially current products are marked as ‘best buy’, so you are likely to get a good deal.
Consumers have long been told that novice bird watchers often lack the skills to do ‘proper’ bird watching, but it seems thatolo many people are satisfied with a pair of binoculars and a set of field guides, despite not really understanding birdwatching. Take this as an example. If you don’t understand why a species is on the list of ‘not found’ in a particular list ofbird watchers, it is not that big a deal. It is like learning a foreign language. Once you have learned a few languages, you tend to have a deep cultural understanding, even without knowing it.
However, lack of skills is not the only reason to avoid child-sized binoculars. Many quality brands of binoculars have stopped the production of binoculars over the years, including Bushnell, Pentax, and Nikon. And although ‘antique’ binoculars are very much aimed at adults, it seems that younger children are also interested in these items.
So what are we to do? Well, one approach seems to be to buy children’s binoculars that are aimed at an adult a bit older than yourself. If you are over the age of five then don’t try to wear glasses, or you will surely end up losing them! Alternatively, you can try binoculars folded down to a small size. These give a better view without considering how the image is magnified and apart from the bulk and weight, they also don’t make you feel confined in using them.
Look for compact binoculars that use objective lenses. These are larger than garden binoculars and also better able to withstand the elements. Soft rubber eye cups are also better. It is surprisingly common for manufacturers to use the same brand name on their binoculars. It makes it easier to identify a set of binoculars as being Nikon or Cannon between theonymphs.
There are some designs that seem to be more suited to children than others. The Leonflex Xtra flex binoculars are one example. Even though it doesn’t fold down to the size of a regular binocular, it is still a very good choice, especially if your child is wearing glasses. The reason being that it has a features which make it very comfortable for children. It has a twist lock eyecups, and long eye relief. The plus is that it also has a very powerful built in infrared illuminator. The result is that even if your child doesn’t wear glasses, they will still be able to see the world with the help of this great binocular.
Another example is the Alpen 10×25 compact binocular. if you are a hunters or avid fisher, or even if you just want to see the world from a great distance, this binocular will help you. It is a high-end, professional-quality binocular, with a compact diger with an easy focus feature. As with the other examples, this binocular is also waterproof and fog proof, and its extra wide optics feature helps people to see the world even in the harshest of conditions.
People now expect quality when they choose theiroculars, and it is good to see that this is still the case. If you buy at the beginning of the year, you will be able to see better prices in the coming months. Always spend a little more than you think you need to, and quality binoculars are very difficult to manufacture.