The Hawke Endurance ED binoculars are a mid-priced set of binoculars. Hawke have become one of the leading names in British binoculars over the last few years, building a solid reputation for high-quality optics at a more affordable price than other brands. Does the Endurance range live up to that reputation? We put them to the test in another of our in-depth reviews.
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Design & build
These binoculars are actually just the latest iteration in Hawke's Endurance binoculars, which are one of their most popular lines. As with a lot of Hawke models, these binoculars come in either black or green, and in several different magnifications.
The binoculars themselves are made from magnesium alloy. At this price point and spec, many binoculars would still be made from cheaper polycarbonate. This is a good sign, then, as it makes the binoculars that much more durable. It does add a little bit of weight compared to polycarbonate, but not enough to really affect the user experience.
True to its name, the Endurance feels good and solid. And it's worth noting that any Hawke binoculars bought after 2018 are covered by the brand's no-fault lifetime guarantee. Under this, if there's any damage to the optics which affects performance, Hawke will repair or replace them. You wouldn't be able to claim for purely cosmetic damage, or if you'd lost the binoculars. But it's good to know that everything else is covered!
On either side, there are ridged bits on the side for added grip. On the whole they are nice and comfortable to hold, and easy to grip with gloves on or in wet conditions. The focus wheel strikes a nice midpoint between being easy to adjust, but staying in place while you're using the binoculars. And lastly
Quality of optics
Design is one thing, but with binoculars, what really matters is the optics. The Endurance ED sit roughly in the middle of Hawke's range- below their flagship Frontier models, but above the Vantage and Nature-Trek. At this price point, optical quality is the main difference between models.
As the name suggests, the Endurance ED comes with ED (or extra-low dispersion) lenses. If you're not familiar with the term, ED glass does a better job of focusing the light that passes through them. This means that the image that hits your eye is clearer and brighter, and it means the binoculars perform better in low-light conditions than non-ED models.
We tested the 8x42 model, which offers a 7.8 degree field-of-view. This means that if you were looking 1km away, you'd see 126m from left to right. This is slightly less than typical 8x42 binoculars, but what you lose in FOV, you gain in superior edge-to-edge clarity.
Stats on paper are one thing- but how do they actually perform in practise? On a sunny day, even the cheapest binoculars will give a bright image. The real test of quality binoculars is how they perform on a grey, drizzly day- and we certainly get plenty of those up here in Scotland! We're pleased to report that the Hawke Endurance ED met up to our high standards, giving excellent colours and contrast.
The sun did briefly come out while we were using the binoculars- long enough for us to test for chromatic aberration. This is where, when you're looking at a bright object, it looks as if there's a coloured outline around that object. Thankfully, this was barely noticeable with the Endurance EDs- we'd say that most users likely won't notice any at all unless you're specifically looking for it.
Lastly, the close focus on the Endurance ED 8x42s is just under 2m. This is fairly standard for binoculars of this magnification, but it does mean you can use them for looking at things a little more close-up, such as insects.
Hawke Endurance ED: The Verdict
The Hawke Endurance EDs are a fantastic pair of binoculars, offering high-end performance at a mid-range price. If you're looking to spend around £200-£300 on a pair of binoculars, these would be our first choice!