National Geographic 6x21 Children's Binoculars by Bresser Review

Bresser 6 x 21 Children's Binoculars
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Buy & Compare Prices for the Bresser Children's 6x21 Binoculars
Price Range: (1/6) Cheap Binoculars       

Ideal Uses:

General Use Rating for General Use Binoculars
Birdwatching Rating as Birdwatching Binoculars
Outdoor Sports Rating asOutdoor Sports Binoculars
Safari & Travel Rating as Safari Binoculars
General Wildlife Rating as Wildlife Observation Binoculars
Marine Use Rating as Marine Binoculars
Astronomy Rating as Binoculars for Astronomy
Opera/Theatre Rating as Opera Binoculars

Like your kid's first bicycle, buying binoculars for young children can be a little tricky as there are a number of important things to consider:

Firstly, you want the instrument to be appealing to them so that they will actually want to use them, but at the same time you need them to actually work and be more than just a toy.

However, as this is probably their first pair of optics, you will not be sure if they will actually take to the hobby and use them more than once. Add to this the fact that they grow up and thus grow out of things really fast and then lastly add into the mix that at a young age kids have a tendency to drop or shall we say not be as kind to objects as you may wish!

Thus what you need is a real, working pair of binoculars, with good quality (but delicate) optics. They also need to be super tough and just in case the worst happens and because they will grow out of them, you probably don't want to spend too money much on them.

Then there are also a number of other factors to get right, like the size and weight of the instrument as well as the right amount of magnification to make the instrument suitable and above all, easily used by a young child. You can read more about these in my article on Choosing the Best Binoculars for Children.

For the parent and the manufacturer, getting this balancing act right is not easy. If you do a quick search on eBay or Amazon for "Kids binoculars", you will be presented with a list of thousands of options. Most of them extremely cheap optics and many of them, apart from the colorful exterior are completely unsuitable.

Bresser 6x21 Kids Binoculars Review

I have been a fan of the Bresser Junior 6x21 Binoculars for Kids for many years as I think for young children they really do have the answer to this difficult equation just about right. The first pair I reviewed from this German optics company was over 10 years ago now and I did it purely from an adulst perspective, so I thought it was high time that I revisited them to give them a fresh look over and to see what has been updated.

Reviewd & Tested with the Help of a Child

What is more, I now have had a daughter of my own. She is now 7 years old and has begun taking an interest in what I do for a living. So for this review, I had Kara help me with the testing and photography. So whilst she does not yet understand all the technical aspects, I feel her feedback on the usability of these binoculars is invaluable and hopefully will be of help to you.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 6x21 Kids Binoculars

Since 2012, the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 6x21 Children's Binoculars have been made under license by Bresser and are based on their own 6x21 Junior binoculars.

Main Specs & Features at a Glance:

  • Very Low Cost - approx $30 / £30
  • Body
    • Lightweight Compact Design
    • Dimensions: 3.5in (8.9cm) x 4.3in (10.9cm) x 1.4in (3.6cm)
    • Weight 5.9ozs (167g)
    • Material: Polycarbonate
    • Central Focus Wheel
    • Right Eye Diopter
    • Foldable Rubber Eyecups
  • Optics
    • 6x Magnification
    • Multi-Coated Optics
    • 21mm Objective Lenses
    • BK-7 Roof Prisms
  • Optical Stats
    • Field of View: 360ft at 1000yds
    • Min Focus Distance: 2.4m (7.9ft)
  • Comparisons
  • Conclusions

Snypex Knight D-ED 10x32 Binoculars

The Body

The underside of the Snypex Knight D-ED 10x32 BinocularsThe soft rubber exterior on these National Geographic kids binoculars is excellent. Slightly thicker than what you find on most full-sized adult instruments, this exterior offers a good level of protection to the chassis and optics underneath and when combined with the small size makes them comfortable to hold, which is something my daughter concurs with me.

Under this rubber armor the chassis is, I believe, made from a polycarbonate plastic. For an instrument at this price, this is perfectly normal. Indeed many mid-range binoculars (under $300) will use this material.

Whilst not as robust as magnesium or aluminum bodies used on high-end instruments, they are cheaper to make and much more lightweight which for a compact binocular designed for kids is really important. So whilst there is a slight trade-off in terms of the strength, I think on such a small, lightweight instrument this is nominal. Besides, if you want a magnesium chassis, you will need to spend a whole lot more.

Snypex Knight D-ED 10x32 Binoculars

Not Sealed
By the fact that Bresser does not highlight it in their marketing, we can assume that the chassis is not sealed and thus these binoculars are not waterproof. At this price level, this is typical, but it is a slight pity as I know from experience that my daughter thinks nothing of going out in the wet!

Eyecups on the Snypex Knight D-ED 10x32 BinocularsEye-cups

Made from a soft rubber, the eyecups on these Bresser children's binoculars are very comfortable and great for young faces.

To adjust the amount of eye-relief, they have the simple fold-down design that is commonly found on lower cost instruments. Whilst this design means they cannot be finely adjusted like a good twist-up/down eyecup, they usually work well enough.

However, I found that on my sample because the eye relief is so short, they would just spring back up after trying to fold them down.

For most kids like Kara who do not wear glasses, this is not a problem. But if your child wears glasses and needs to keep them on whilst using the binoculars, you will need to have the rubber folded down to help them take in the full image without black rings on the edges.

If this is a concern for you and your set also does not stay down, you could always just cut away the rubber to resolve this issue.

Inter-Pupillary Distance (IPD)
As with any "normal" binocular, you can adjust the distance inbetween the eyecups to match that of the distance between the eyes of your child by opening and closing the central hinge.

These National Geographic Children's binoculars have a range of between 5cm and 6.3cm with the hinges fully open. An average adult binoculars will usually start at around 6cm and go up to 7.5cm, so for a kid's binocular, this particular Inter-Pupillary Distance (IPD) range is ideal and takes into account that most children's eyes are set more closely together.

Another point to mention is the amount of resistance to movement when you open and close the hinge is at what I would say was the perfect amount on our sample. Tight enough so that it does not change too easily by accident, but at the same time it was not too tight so that Kara found it difficult to adjust.

Focus Wheel on the Snypex Knight D-ED 10x32 Binoculars

Focus Wheel & Focusing
We have mixed feelings about the focus wheel on Bresser's Children's Binoculars:

As you can see from the photos we took, the central and prominent position makes them very easy to reach, even with small hands. This is perfect. We also like the soft rubber coating that certainly improves the level of grip.

However, it is their thin disc shape that we feel makes it just a little more difficult to turn than if it had been more cylindrical as is the norm. This is a minor issue and I am sure it has been made this way mostly for aesthetic reasons, but we feel that it would be better if it was more like those used on a standard instrument.

Focus Wheel on the Snypex Knight D-ED 10x32 Binoculars

Diopter Adjustment on the Snypex Knight D-ED 10x32 BinocularsDiopter Adjustment
Many so called "kid's binoculars" are little more than cheap toys abd thus are extremely basic, so it is good to see that these "real" binoculars have a fully functional optical system that includes a diopter. Located on the right eyepiece, it enables you adjust one side of the binocular independently of the other to match the particular vision of your child.

It was actualy quite fun and educational explaining to Kara that some people have a slightly different stength of vision in each of their eyes and thus the diopter alows you to compensate for this.

We then went through the process of calibrating the binoculars and discovered that both her eyes were even and thus we could set the diopter to the neutral position.

Rating for Body Construction Quality: 6/10

Weight & Dimensions
As you can see from the comparisons below, when compared to standard compact instruments, these are considerably smaller and more lightweight, which for a childs binocular is ideal:

  National Geographic 6x21 Children's Binoculars by Bresser Steiner Safari Pro 10x26 Binoculars Levenhuk Energy PLUS 8x25 Binoculars Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 Binoculars Vanguard Orros 10x25 Binoculars
  National Geographic 6x21 Levenhuk Rainbow 8x25 Levenhuk Energy PLUS 8x25 Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 Vanguard Orros 10x25
Approx Price: $30 / £30 / €30 $60 / £55 $70 / £80 $200 / £180 $90 / £90
Weight: 167g / 5.9oz 280g / 9.9oz 369g 289g 280g
Length: 8.9cm /3.5in 9.9cm / 3.9in 11.2cm 11.7cm 10.4cm
Width: 10.9cm / 4.3in 11cm (6.6cm folded) 11.7cm 10.9cm 11.4cm
Hinge Design Singal Central Duel Hinge Single Central Single Central Single Offset
Prism Type Roof Roof Roof Porro Roof

BBR Rating for Body Stats compared to Compact Bins: 10/10


21mm Objective Lenses on the Snypex Knight D-ED 10x32 Binoculars

The Optics

6x Magnification
Whilst most standard binoculars have 8x or 10x magnifications, these and most other good children's binoculars are considerably less powerful and this is for a number of very good reasons.

Probably the most important aspect is that a low power makes it much easier to keep the image still as any movement you make is magnified as you look through your binoculars. So higher magnifications exaggerate any movement much more than lower ones. For kids with unsteady hands, this is of vital importance in ensuring that they get a good steady image to view.

Next is the fact that a low power also equates to a wider field of view as you are less zoomed in. This makes it far easier for your child to locate the object they wish to view through the binocular and then in the case of something like a bird or even a butterfly at close range, much easier to follow it.

Objective Lenses
Like the Bresser Junior binoculars and most other child specific instruments, these have tiny 21mm objective lenses. The advantage of this is their small size greatly contributes to the low weight and compact dimensions of the device.

However like the windows in your house, the disadvantage is that these small "windows" let in less light and thus deliver an image that is less bright than those with larger lenses.

During the day and in good ambient light conditions when the pupils in the eyes of your child are small, this is not a problem and you cannot notice it. However, these are certainly not an ideal instument to use in low light situations like just before sunset.

Prisms
The National Geographic 6x21 Children's binoculars have Roof prisms made from BK-7 glass. Whilst BK-7 optical glass is perfectly acceptable, it is considered less desirable than the more expensive BaK-4 alternative, but at this price level it is to be expected.

Optical Coatings

Anti-Reflection
The optics on this instrument is described as being multi-coated. This tells us that some (but not all) of the glass surfaces on the optical pathway have multiple layers of an Anti-reflection material added to them.

It is usually the outer objective and ocular lenses that are treated. This is much better than optics that are untreated or even those that are singular coated. However, Fully multi-coated binoculars have every single glass surface treated which is ideal as it improves image brightness and quality even further by ensuring that as much light passes through the system and with as little unwanted reflections as possible.

Once again, this level of treatment is actually not bad when you consider the price. Many binoculars at this level will just have a single layer coating.

Optics Comparison Table
To put their optical level into perspective, below is a tavle comparing a few lower cost compacts to these binoculars for kids. Keep in mind that these Bresser binoculars are still considerably less expensive than all of the comparisons:

  National Geographic 6x21 Children's Binoculars by Bresser Steiner Safari Pro 10x26 Binoculars Levenhuk Energy PLUS 8x25 Binoculars Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 Binoculars Vanguard Orros 10x25 Binoculars
  National Geographic 6x21 Levenhuk Rainbow 8x25 Levenhuk Energy PLUS 8x25 Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 Vanguard Orros 10x25
Approx Price: $30 / £30 / €30 $60 / £55 $70 / £80 $120 / £100 $90 / £90
Prism Type Roof Roof Roof Porro Roof
Prism Glass BK-7 BaK-4 BaK-4 BaK-4 BaK-4
Phase Correction No No No No No
Lens Coatings Multi-Coated Multi-Coated Fully Multi-Coated Fully Multi-Coated Multi-Coated

Optical Components Quality Rating: 5/10

Optical Stats

Field Of View (FOV)
At a distance of 1000 meters, these 6x binoculars offer you a view that is 120m wide / 360ft wide at 1000 yards.

As you can see from the comparison table below, this is pretty good and is an important number to take note of as a wide view offers a number of benefits that are especially important when children are using binoculars.

Firstly, a wide view makes it much easier to locate an object when looking through the device. This is one of the biggest hurdles children face when they first begin using binoculars and so a wide view is important and is once of the reasons why a lower magnification (or more zoomed out) image is preferred over a high powere (or more zoomed in) binocular.

Then it also makes it easier to follow and object if it is moving. In the case of something like a bird or butterfly at close range this is extremely important.

  National Geographic 6x21 Children's Binoculars by Bresser Steiner Safari Pro 10x26 Binoculars Levenhuk Energy PLUS 8x25 Binoculars Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 Binoculars Vanguard Orros 10x25 Binoculars
  National Geographic 6x21 Levenhuk Rainbow 8x25 Levenhuk Energy PLUS 8x25 Pentax Papilio 8.5x21 Vanguard Orros 10x25
FOV at 1000m: 120m 133m 126m 105m 110m
Min Focusing Dist: 2.4m / 7.9ft 4.8m / 16ft 2m 0.5m / 1.6ft 2.5m

Close Focus
Bresser do not give an official figure, but I measure the minimum focusing distance on these Bresser 6x21 Children's Binoculars to be 2.4m (7.9ft).

This is not to bad, but it would have been great if it was a little nearer as I know for sure that Kara likes to study things like flowers, butterflies and frogs from very close range.

Optical Stats Rating: 7/10

Image Quality

Image Brightness
As we have discussed, the very small lenses on optical devices like these are not the best at collecting light.

In bright conditions, these binoculars produce a perfectly acceptable view in terms of its brightness. So whilst I cannot by any means describe the view as brilliantly bright, it is reasonably good for a compact device and very good when you consider others at this low, low price.

It is in low light however where the fewer anti-reflection coatings and the smaller lenses really hinder them. So, to sum up, I would say they are perfectly fine for use during the day, but not the ideal solution for use at twilight or exploring deep dark forests.

Contrast & Color Reproduction
As with many cheap binoculars and especially those that use BK-7 prisms, these have a slight yellowish tinge to the image. It is not bad and most people probably won't even notice it, but it is something to keep in mind when buying cheaper instruments like these.

Whilst the image is not completely flat, but the amount of contrast you get through these is also not quite at the same level of high-end devices. This is perhaps largely a result of the view not being quite as bright as which you get through a device with larger lenses. Once again, for a device at this level, this is perfectly acceptable, but also itis important to keep in mind that compared to a high-end instrument these do fall short.

Color Fringing
Color FringingEven though these binoculars do not employ things like ED glass lenses like which you would get on a high-end instrument that is designed to reduce chromatic aberrations, the level of color fringing that you see through these binoculars is very minimal.

This is mainly due to the fact that the magnification is fairly low and thus errors like this are amplified less which is another advantage of the lower power.

Image Flatness & Softening
No other image distortions where the image can appear to bend inwards, outwards or are wavy were observable through the sample that we were testing. At this price level, some sort of distortion is quite common, so it was good to discover that there were none on these.

Most impressive was just how sharp the image remained right to the edges of the view. many cheap binoculars will have a large area on the edges which are fuzzy and thus unusable.

Conclusion
As with the standard Bresser children's binoculars that I tested many years ago, I was very pleasantly surprised by how good the view actually is through these very cheap binoculars. Sure they don't come anywhere near in comparison to larger, much more expensive instruments, but it is not at all bad and these are perfectly usable. For the price and considering how small the lenses are these really are not bad at all.

Image Quality Rating for a compact: 6/10

Accessories for the Snypex Knight D-ED 10x32 Binoculars

Included Accessories:

The included accessories are best described as functional, but pretty basic:

Carry Case for the Snypex Knight D-ED 10x32 BinocularsCarry Case / Belt Bag
The included case is typical for a low cost compact in that it has a soft construction and is only very lightly padded. For such a small lightweight device, this should suffice.

The flip over lid is held closed with a strip of Velcro, which does not make for the most secure closure but is ideal for kids.

On the rear is a belt loop which can be used to fix the bag to your child's waist. As there is no neck strap this would make a good way to carry the device on longer outings.

Strap
Instead of a neck strap, Bresser have included a simple, completely unpadded wrist strap.

For us, this was a little bit of a shame as it would have been nice to have a full neck strap which would have made it easier for Karra to carry when not in use when out on our walks.

Lens Covers
No cover are included either for the objectives or the oculars. This is fairly typical for a low cost compact and I think for children perfectly fine as I know in our case these would invariably not get replaced and probably get lost fairly quickly.

Cleaning Cloth
I am glad that Bresser includes a cleaning cloth as Kara enjoyed copying her dad and making sure that her optics were kept clean before and after use!

Also included is a basic and rather generic manual as well as a 'find-the-way safari game' and coloring sheet. This is obviously aimed at the younger end of the spectrum, but a nice inclusion nonetheless.

Extras Rating: 5/10

Snypex Knight D-ED 10x32 Binoculars

Review Conclusions:

Strong Points:
Bresser Optics have really hit the nail on the head in terms of the low 6x magnification and extremely small, lightweight body on their National Geographic Children's Binoculars.

The shape of the body is also perfect for small hands and the focus wheel was well within reach.

My daughter found it much easier to use these than a standard compact and so even though these may not match a higher specification device in terms of image brightness and quality, the fact that she could use them more easily meant she actually got a better view of the desired object.

I like the fact that the objective lenses are set well back from the ends of the barrels. This offers them plenty of protection and thus they are far less likely to get sticky fingerprints on them or get scratched.

Weak points:
For a binocular at this very low price, it is hard to be too critical as you cannot expect it to compare against an instrument that costs five or six times as much. However, there are a few areas where I think they could be improved which would not increase their cost:

Firstly my daughter found the shape of the focus wheel and the tightness of the mechanism made it a little difficult to adjust. This tightness did improve with usage and even more once I sprayed on a little WD40 on it. But I really should not have needed to do this and I do believe a more standard cylindrical shape would be better.

Secondly, whilst the eyecups and eye-relief are perfectly adequate for most kids, should they have to wear eyeglasses, it will most probably not be enough to ensure that they can see the entire image without any black rings forming on the edges.

I also wish that the minimum focusing distance was a little nearer. Kara and I am sure many other kids love looking at things like frogs and butterflies from close range and whilst 2.4m (7.9ft) is not terrible, to be able to get under 2 meters would have been much better.

Final Thoughts

As a binocular for young kids (about 4 - 10 years old), these really are a great option. Whilst they may not match the scores and stats of many of the "adult" binoculars I have reviewed on Best Binocular Reviews, you must remember that they are in most cases a fraction of the cost and I believe offer a good compromise between price and quality.

Because of what I do for a living, we have a large selection of compact binoculars designed for adults at the house, but even so, my seven-year-old daughter who has used many of them still prefers these over all the others.

I guess as a child she is attracted to the bright colors and the best bit is she actually gets to see more through them than many of the adult bins. this is mainly due to the size, weight and low 6x magnification and wide field of view that we have already spoken about.

For parents, this is great news as these binoculars are not too expensive and so are a great option to see if your child will enjoy the hobby without having to outlay too much cash. Also if they do happen to lose or break them, it is not the end of the world.

Then once your child has outgrown these binoculars, you can then move onto to a more expensive "adults" compact binocular secure in the knowledge that they will be more experienced and so know how to use them, be able to enjoy it and (hopefully) be better at looking after them!

So overall, I do recommend the National Geographic version, or indeed any of the Bresser 6x21 Children's Binoculars for kids of between 4 and 10 years old as a fun, but a perfectly usable first pair of binoculars.

Snypex Knight D-ED 10x32 Binoculars and accessories plus packaging

Reviewed by

Best Binocular Reviews Ratings:

Body Construction Quality: 6/10 65%
Very Good
Body Stats: 10/10
Optical Components Quality: 5/10
Optical Stats: 7/10
Image Quality 6/10
Extras & Attention to Detail: 5/10

Compare Prices & Where to Buy the Bresser Binoculars

Main Specifications & Features:

  • Size: Compact Binoculars
  • [explain prism types]Prism Type: Roof Binoculars
  • Magnification: 6x
  • [explain objective lens]Objective Lens Diameter: 21mm
  • [explain waterproofing]Waterproof: No
  • [about fogproofing]Fogproof: No

  • [explain exit pupil]Exit Pupil: 3.5
  • [explain twilight factor]Twilight Factor: 11.22
  • [explain IPD]IPD Max: 6.3cm
  • IPD Min: 5.0cm
  • Close Focus Distance: 7.9ft

  • Weight: 5.9ozs (167g)
  • Length: 3.5in (8.9cm)
  • Height: 1.4in (3.6cm)
  • Width: 4.3in (10.9cm)

  • [explain field of view]Field of View: 120m at 1,000 meters
  • [explain field of view]Field of View: 360ft at 1,000 yards

  • Chassis Material: Polycarbonate
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • [about Lens Coatings]Lens Coatings: Multi-Coated
  • [about Phase Correction]Phase Correction Coatings: No
  • [about ED Glass]Extra Low Dispersion Glass: No
  • [about tripod adapters]Tripod Adaptable: No
  • Auto Focus: No
 

More Information:



About Bresser | View all Bresser products I have written reviews on

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Compact Binoculars | Roof Binoculars | General Use Binoculars | Safari Binoculars | Birdwatching Binoculars | Outdoor Sports Binoculars | Cheap Binoculars


Similar Binoculars:

Below are similar pairs of Binoculars that you may also want to have a look at:

Levenhuk Rainbow 8x25 Binoculars

7 different bright colors, a very compact double hinge design, fully water and fog proof shell, BaK-4 roof prisms, twist-up eye-cups and multi-coated


Binocular Price Comparison
Where to buy the National Geographic 6x21 Children's Binoculars by Bresser

General Price Range: (1/6) Cheap Binoculars

Below is a link that will take you to a page with online retailers in both the US and UK that sell Bresser 6x21 Children's Binoculars this page makes it easy to compare prices and then to buy from your preferred option:

 
 
 
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