When it comes to binoculars, price point is usually the best indication of the quality of materials and care that has gone into the design. With the Trailseeker range, Celestron have aimed to reduce the price point while still maintaining design and optic quality. But have they managed? We took the Celestron Trailseeker 10x32 for a test to find out for ourselves! Read on below to see how we got on.
Related: Top 10 Best Binoculars 2023
Design and Build
With regards to material and build quality Celestron have not skimped. With a magnesium alloy frame and metal twist down eye pieces, they have really pushed the boat out for such a reasonably budgeted model. The metal eyepiece in particular is a nice touch, as most similar models would use plastic as a way to cut costs. The adjustment for the eyepiece is smooth and most importantly resistant. This means that even when your press your face up to it, it will not go straight back down. With a generous 14.4mm eye relief, Celestron have made this comfortable to use for glasses wearers as well. Another design feature to mention is objective lens setting. Set at 9mm deep, it offers protection for the lens, helping to avoid interference from water and dust. On top of this the lenses are nitrogen purged. This is standard for most quality binoculars; however, the value cannot be underestimated. The Trailseekers are waterproof and with nitrogen filled lenses this reduces fogging to make sure your view is always clear.
The focus wheel is receptive and holds its position well once set. It is plastic, which does feel slightly disappointing as the rest of the components ooze more quality. However, we cannot be too hard on Celestron. Offering the binocular at such a reasonable price there must be areas where they cannot offer premium components. We think that they have chosen well making the eyepiece and general body superior. The 10x32 model is also tripod compatible. This is an extra feature which tends not to be as popular on mid-size models. Although not used by most customers, this is still a handy option to have if you prefer not holding the binocular for long periods.
Quality of Optics
Again, we think Celestron have invested extremely well in the important aspects of what makes a good binocular. With any model, it really is the care and quality that has been put into the glass and optics, which makes it a pleasure to use. With BaK-4 prisms, phase correction prism coating and a reflective dielectric prism coating, they have really pulled out all the stops for a binocular at this price point. Using such high-quality glass and coatings, it makes for an extremely clear and bright image. Truly competing with more expensive models. This also helps to nullify standard issues such as colour fringing, which we found it did well.
As we headed out for testing, we had high hopes for the Trailseeker. Firstly, we were impressed by the 6.2 degrees field of view which it offers. This equates to around 108m at 1000m. This is notably wide for a mid-size model. Preferred field of view depends on what you are using the binocular for. If you are looking for a wider view, we recommend lowering the magnification, so you could potentially look at the 8x32 model (link) if this was a concern.
The image brightness the Trailseeker offered was excellent and extremely true. We tested the binoculars during the afternoon. These performed well during peak daylight, however even as the sun went down, we did find it to be a little more of a struggle in lower light. However, this can be expected from a mid-size binocular. If you’re looking to use the binoculars more often in lowlight conditions, we would always recommend a 42mm model and above. An area where it surprised us was the close-up detail. Although not designed for up close focus we found it to be more than adequate and surpassing the 8.2ft focus Celestron suggest. So, if you like to turn your hand every now and again to the more minute animals and insects, the Trailseeker has got you covered.
At 453g this is a lightweight model which is comfortable when took this out for a full afternoon. The accessories include a neck strap to make for more comfortable day trips, binocular harness, carry case, lens cover and cloth. We did find the lens caps to be a little loose and easy to come off. Once more, it is hard to be too critical as they have upgraded in the key areas. However, lens caps slipping off can leave the lens exposed to dirt and damage so this is something that must be highlighted. Nevertheless, you can easily pick up some more secure lens caps to put your mind at rest.
Celestron Trailseeker 10x32 : The Verdict
Celestron have really hit a binocular that punches well above its weight. In terms of comparisons to similarly priced models it rises to the top. So, if you’re looking for a mid-size model that truly excels image and design quality, look no further!