Monday, March 12, 2012

Product Review: Vortex Viper HD Binoculars

I am excited today to share another great Vortex Optics product with you!  As many of you already know, I am a BIG fan of Vortex Optics and brag up there products here regularly.  I want to note that I am not receiving any compensation from Vortex for these reviews...I am simply that "sold" on their products!  Crystal clear optics, a great warranty, more affordable than other optics of similar quality, and very durable.  I just can't say enough with how impressed I am of their quality.

Let me give you a little background of my exposure to today's product, the Vortex Viper 10X42 binoculars.  This was the first Vortex product I became acquainted with.  In 2009 we ordered a couple of pairs of these binoculars to aid us in locating wildfires for our crews.  It was a new product for us all, which we chose based on price, warranty, and reviews.  I was skeptical at first, in fact I was pushing for a pair of Nikons that I really liked at my previous duty station.  Well, when you aren't the man at the top of the totem-pole you don't always get what you want!  So whatever, I rolled with it, and I'm glad I did.

Vortex has bounced around the dash of this old truck in some pretty rough county!
We bought 3 pair of these binoculars and nearly 4 years later all of them are still in use, all of them are in perfect condition.  Now, I know what you may be thinking...big deal, it's ONLY 3-4 years!  That can be a lifetime for a lot of products from the abuse we put them through as a part of our wildland firefighting gear!  These things have ridden on the dash, flown from the dash and slammed on the floor, bounced around under seats, been banged around in our backpacks, and survived intense heat, rain, snow and so on.  I can't believe the abuse they have taken, and are still as focused and clear as ever!  We have placed these binos in our packs, hiked into fires, and worked the firelines with these in our packs.  I have also seen them go along for some rough rides as crewmembers have tumbled down steep slopes or tipped over in thick brush.  They can take a beating for sure!

Fire discovered: 19.2 miles!
I think I was most impressed with the Vortex Viper 10X42 this past summer, as I set on a high ridge on the Escalante Mountains glassing an area that was just about as far as I could see, that was being pounded by lightning (I guessed the distance to be about 10 miles at the time).  As I glassed, I discovered a small "puff" of smoke rise on the horizon.  From that distance with these binoculars I could determine that it was just one or 2 trees that were torching.  I started glassing other features to plot the fire on a map to report it to dispatch.  I was amazed at what I could pick up and how easy it was to plot.  The distance?  Well, it turned out to be 19.2 miles!  Amazing for a pair of binoculars!
Vortex performed a major upgrade to to the Viper series binoculars in 2011.  Now, the 10X42 (as well as a range of other powers) are available in an HD model, which I am eying to own for myself!  Vortex has a great line of options to choose from in their new Viper HD series binoculars.  These roof-prism binoculars offer crystal clear vision that is very comfortable on the eye!  I have trouble with a lot of binoculars or spotting scopes if I look through them to eyes get tired.  I can look through these for a long time without fatigue.  Rugged, compact, and lightweight, with twist out eye cups to fit your comfort.  Premium, award winning binoculars that features all you need for a successful hunt...or fire season!  I look forward to trying out more Vortex products in the future!

Check out the Vortex website for more information on all of their products, gear, supplies, and more!

For more information on the Vortex Viper HD binoculars, check out this short video!

You will find Vortex product at most of your major sporting goods stores!