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Binoculars for kids (1 Viewer)

spatialyst

New member
Does anyone have recommendations for decent binoculars for kids? My kids are 7 and 9 and are capable of using and caring for something that is a step up from a toy. I want to get something that is decent quality and functional, maybe in the $75 to $100 range. A couple options I am looking at are Carson compact 8x26 and Celestron Outland 8x25.

Does anyone have experience with these models or have something in that range that might be a better option?

Thanks,
Martin
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
I’m a big fan of the 6x30 compact porros like Kowa YF or Leupold Yosemite for kids. They are small, can go very narrow with IPD (good for small faces), and have very bright clear optics (much better than a budget 7x26 or 8x28 roof). The lower magnification and wide field is also good for kids since they have superior visual acuity and it will be easier to find birds and hold the binoculars steady at 6x.
 

CMB

Well-known member
+1 on Eitan's response.

Also, both the Kowa YF and Leupold Yosemite are nitrogen filled making them fogproof and waterproof (to a degree). [edit added: splash proof, drizzle resistant]


Edit added:

Kowa lists the YF as being JIS-7. Don't see a JIS rating for Leupold or Vortex - just a statement that they are waterproof.

See the very helpful JIS rating chart that WJC included below.
 
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WJC

Well-known member
+1 on Eitan's response.

Also, both the Kowa YF and Leupold Yosemite are nitrogen filled making them fogproof and waterproof (to a degree).

All that glitters is not gold. :cat:

Bill
 

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fotbg

Member
My 8 year old twins have been using my kowa bdII 6.5x32 periodically but sometimes ask me to mount it on a tripod or try to brace it themselves. They also use my vortex 6.5x32 raptor which is a porro. I think they find this one easier to hold as the barrels are wider. Either way, I agree with everyone that a 6x would be ideal for kids. I have not looked through a Yosemite but have only read good things.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
This is interesting, I was googling a bit and noticed the Opticron 6.5x32 Adventurer T WP for $99.

Their spec shows a whopping 9 degree FOV (483' at 1000 yards), which is significantly larger than that of the Kowa YF and Leupold Yosemite which have an 8 deg FOV which feels narrow for a 6x.

The downside is that they appear to be drop larger and about 75g heavier (2-3oz), but the specs are much more appealing. Anyone have experience with these? I'm tempted to try them because I find my Yosemite 6x30 to have too restricted a FOV for the low magnification.
 

PhilR.

Well-known member
You might also consider the Pentax Papilio reverse-porros. They are small enough for kids to handle. The neat thing about them is their ability to focus down to extremely close distances. Something like three feet or thereabouts. This makes them fun for looking at bugs at your feet. They are a lot of fun, so check them out and see if they are in your budget.
 

spatialyst

New member
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions! I will focus on 6x porros rather than the compact 8x's I was originally considering. It sounds like the Kowa YF/Leupold Yosemite and clones are a popular choice so that is where I may end up. Is there anything a little less expensive that anyone can recommend?
 

normjackson

Well-known member
This is interesting, I was googling a bit and noticed the Opticron 6.5x32 Adventurer T WP for $99.

Anyone have experience with these?

I believe there are a few reviews around indicating that the outer field performance of Opticron 6.5x32 Adventurer T WP is (as expected at the price) not great even if the overall package is liked eg. :
https://translate.google.com/transl...ron-65x32t-wp-%E2%80%93-trzeci-bli%C5%BAniak/

Not sure if the comparison with the Levenhuk Sherman Pro at the bottom of that review is a bit shakey; it does rather look like it is from a different product line even if it does provide a similar FOV :
https://www.allbinos.com/index.html?test=lornetki&test_l=308

That line might include the cheaper Levenhuk Sherman Plus model featuring supposedly simpler eyepieces. Other possible versions of this wider field 6.5x include the Atlas Strike Eagle stocks of which were sold off as Eagle Optics was taken over. Maybe the Vixen Foresta 8x32 Yarrellii reviews here could be another but again he finds the fall off in performance from centre field an issue under the night sky :
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=391696
 

normjackson

Well-known member
Is there anything a little less expensive that anyone can recommend?

Not available in 6.5x but maybe the Levenhuk Sherman Base 8x32 could be worth a look?
https://www.amazon.com/Levenhuk-Wat...words=Levenhuk&qid=1598565934&s=photo&sr=1-52

P.S. In the UK there are/have been alternative brands offering binoculars that look very much like those in the list mentioned in post #4 that are cheaper. Helios Aquila 6.5x32 and Hawke Nature Trek 7x30 are examples but I couldn't find any such in a quick look at the US Amazon site. My guess is that they are less expensive for a reason perhaps shifting a greater proportion of quality control onto the end user.
 
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Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
My best advice is that you should measure your kids' IPDs.

If one or both of your kids can use a binocular with 56 mm minimum IPD you will have many inexpensive and kid-friendly options. The Pentax Papilio (which has 56 mm minimum IPD) are outside your price range but their super close focus is really fun for most kids, and they fit kids' hands well. Other reverse-porros will be cheaper and will be a good fit to kids' hands, but keep in mind that with rare exception they will only fit kids' eyes at 56 mm or more. Some inexpensive regular porros like the Nikon 7x35 Action or Aculon might be a good choice.

If your kids' IPDs are under 56 mm, you will be limited to some regular porro-prism binoculars like the recommended Leupold/Kowa models or to pocket roof binoculars (not good enough quality at low price). The down-side of the Leupold/Kowa is that they don't do close focus (Kids often appreciate close focus) and they are big in the hands with respect to the reach to the focus. You may find some other regular porro models with good minimum IPD if you actually check them and don't rely on manufacturer specs, which are often wrong (Many traditional porros will go down to 52, 53, 54, or so mm but will be listed as 56 mm minimum). Some of those may be less expensive than the Leupold/Kowa choices.

--AP
 

Foss

Well-known member
Oberwerk 6.5x30 accommodates a very narrow IPD. I had one at the same time as the Leupold 6x30 and it compared favorably. They are both great glass for the money.
 

normjackson

Well-known member
Oberwerk 6.5x30 accommodates a very narrow IPD. I had one at the same time as the Leupold 6x30 and it compared favorably. They are both great glass for the money.
:t: That looks ideal backed up with with their renowned customer support.
https://oberwerk.com/product/65x32mm-lightweight-binoculars/
Must have been on that page recently 'cos I was actually looking for that photo of the youngster using this size binocular. He's been really smart about eyepiece shielding too.
 

PhilR.

Well-known member
:t: That looks ideal backed up with with their renowned customer support.
https://oberwerk.com/product/65x32mm-lightweight-binoculars/
Must have been on that page recently 'cos I was actually looking for that photo of the youngster using this size binocular. He's been really smart about eyepiece shielding too.

Those look like an exact copy of the Vortex Raptor, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they came off the same assembly line. The Raptor is a decent starter bino, so the $30 cheaper Oberwerk seems to be a good buy.
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
@Alexis - Although they are above the OPs budget, we do have a selection of roof prism models with minimum IPD down to 52mm:

https://www.opticronusa.com/our-products/binoculars/savanna-r-pc-binoculars

https://www.opticronusa.com/our-products/binoculars/discovery-wp-pc-binoculars

HTH

Cheers, Pete

Hey Pete, I'm _really_ glad to learn of these x32 and x42 roofs with minimum IPD down to 52 or 53 mm. For the longest time, the Zeiss FL were the only x32 roof option for achieving 52 mm and they and the Conquest were the only x42 roof options for 54 mm.

I'll be glad to be able to recommend these to kids and adults who need tight IPD but who can't spend on Zeiss.

--AP
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
Celestron Cypress

Aside from the Kowa YF 6x30 and the Leupold, there is a similarly built 7x30 model by Celestron (Cypress) that also has a minimum IPD of 52. All of these models can be highly recommended. I bought them for my grandkids a few years ago. Got the different ones depending on the special offers at the time. It is definitely worth it looking for such possibilities.
 

eitanaltman

Well-known member
For the longest time, the Zeiss FL were the only x32 roof option for achieving 52 mm and they and the Conquest were the only x42 roof options for 54 mm.

Although we are now well outside the scope of the OP's budget or any child-appropriate binocular, since you mentioned the FL.... I was very surprised to discover that the 32mm Nikon EDG has a very narrow minimum IPD that easily beats Nikon's 54mm spec and appears to be ~52mm.

I've attached a couple of photos, one showing how ridiculously close the barrels come together, and another comparing the EDG 32 to the Leica UV 32 at minimum IPD (and, yes, I had to stand the Leica on a book to get the oculars level because the EDG is an inch longer).

The 32mm UV minimum IPD is in the 53mm or a hair better, and the EDG is at least 1mm better.
 

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