The Very Best Premium Binoculars for Xmas
In the final part of my Xmas buyers guides, we are looking at some of the very best, premium grade binoculars on the market that cost over $500 / £500.
When you are looking at this end of the market, you are pretty much guaranteed to get a very high spec binocular that uses premium grade optics and coatings, but not all of them will gives you good value for your money.
Very Select List
As you will see there are only a few choices below, but this is intentional as I only wanted to recommend you binoculars that I have reviewed within this class that really impressed me with both their optical performance, build and components quality and also still give you really good value for your money.
In this way I hope that I can save you time and hope that you can feel confident in what you are purchasing is one cracking Christmas present that is worth every dime or penny that you spend on it.
High End (over $500 / £500)
The Dream Christmas Gift
Make no mistake at around $1800 / £1200, these are not a cheap pair of optics, but then as you would expect the Swarovski SLC is really one of the very finest pairs of bins that you could ever possibly own.
Absolutely everything about them oozes quality and the attention to detail is unparalleled. If you want the very best for Christmas, then you really should have this pair on your very short list.
- Swarobright & Swaroclean Coatings
- Fully multi-coated HD Optics
- Phase Coated Prisms
- Magnesium Housing
- Waterproof to a depth of 4 meters in water
- FOV: 330ft @ 1000 yards
- 16mm Eye Relief
- Lockable diopter located on the focus wheel
- Metal Eyecup Housings
Whilst these Vortex binoculars may not have the rich heritage of the Swarovski’s above,that is the only area where these are inferior. So if you still want the very best and prefer to buy from a family owned and run American brand, then I highly recommend you take a close look at these:
Features like the use of apochromatic lenses which contain three elements one of which uses ED glass helped them achieve an incredible 90% on my scorecard.
This score ranks them up there with the the very best in every department and included what is a very rare 10/10 for the quality of their optical components.
So not only is this Vortex Razor HD one of the very best binoculars that I have ever used, costing just over $1100 / £1000, it also in my opinion offers you really good value for money within this premium grade class.
Perfect as birding, wildlife observation, hunting and general used bins they were for me an obvious choice as winner of the best overall Binocular in the 2012 Annual Binocular Awards.
Best High End Mid-Sized Binocular
Below is my recommendation for a more compact binocular premium grade binocular for Christmas:
The Dream Christmas Gift
The Swarovski CL Companion is definitely not your average mid-sized binocular. Most binoculars in this class use objectives that are about 32mm in diameter, but these have smaller 30mm ones, which help to ensure that they are smaller and lighter than just about all their competitors.
However due to the use of their premium grade optics and coatings these smaller lenses have not meant a significant drop in performance (if at all) – I found that even in low light they were as good as or better than any similar binoculars that I have ever used.
Costing just over $900 / £700, the incredible bit is that Swarovski have managed to keep the price down on these to well below their other products and so you get the Swarovski name, their renowned quality at a price that is a lot less than what you or indeed the recipient of your gift would assume!
Their compact size and relatively high performance make them ideal for a number of uses including: General Use, Travel, Safaris Holidays, Hiking, Birding, Hunting, Camping, Wildlife, Horse racing and most other outdoor sporting events.
This latest version of the Swarovski EL binocular has as you would expect extremely high end glass and optical coatings that make up what is known as "Swarovision" which includes the use of field flattener lenses to correct field curvature, phase correction and dielectric prism coatings on the prisms as well as being fully-multi coated with their Swarobright lens coatings for the best light transmission possible.
What is more, Swarovski Optik have added their non-stick Swaroclean lens coatings to the exterior surfaces, keeping them cleaner for longer and when you do have to clean them making them easier to do so. In this way they will remain in pristine condition for longer with less chance of you damaging the coatings when you do have to clean them.
These Swarovski binoculars use a whole host of the very best components and coatings available, so it is no wonder they scored a chart toping 97% on the BBR Ratings Scale. This score included perfect 10’s for their Image Quality, Optical Components Quality, Optical Stats, Body Quality and for their Extras and Attention to Detail, which to me also confirms that it is indeed a worth winner of this years award.
Also included is the Swarovski Snap Shot Camera Adapter, which effectively turns the bin into a telephoto camera lens for your compact camera as it allows you to connect it to the right eyepiece.
Best High End Compact Binocular
The bin below is my choice as the very best compact binocular for Christmas:
With many features, optical components and coatings that match high end full sized bins and scoring an 87% when I tested them, it is easy to see why these Swarovski binoculars won this years award for the best compact binocular.
These new 8x25 CL’s also use a twin hinge design and roof prisms so that they can fold up into an incredibly small shape, making them a true pocket binocular that can quite easily be carried wherever you go.
However don’t let this small size deceive you into thinking that they lack in other areas: With many features, optical components and coatings that match high end full sized bins and scoring an 87% when I tested them, it is easy to see why these Swarovski binoculars won this years award for the best compact binocular.
Costing about $800 / £600, they are not cheap, but they really are up there with the very best compact binoculars on the market, so will make a perfect gift for somebody that you really wish to spoil rotten this Christmas!
- Double Hinge Design – True Pocket Binoculars
- Waterproof & Fogproof
- 17mm Eye Relief
- Wide Field of View: 357ft @ 1000 yards
- BaK-4, Phase Coated Roof Prisms
- Swarovski Swarobright Coatings
- Fully Multi-Coated Optics
Their very compact size, wide field of view and really great performance make them ideal travel binoculars, perfect for taking on any safari, hike or camping trip. They will also perform very well in most outdoor sporting arenas including horse racing, tennis, football, motorsports, golf and cricket.
Further Reading & More Xmas Gift Ideas:
- Main Binoculars for Christmas Page
- Part 1: Best Low Cost Binoculars for Xmas
- Part 2: Best Mid Range Binoculars for Xmas
- Part 3: Mid-High End Binoculars for Christmas
Also Check out:
- The Best Value For Money Premium Binoculars
- 2014 BBR Annual Award Winners – for the very best bins in a variety of classes
- Best Value Bird Watching Binoculars