Viking Badger 8x42 Binoculars Review

Viking Badger 8x42 Binoculars Review

Available for £100-120 the Viking Badger 8x42 Binoculars are at a great price point if you're looking for your first pair of birdwatching binoculars or wanting to upgrade from an older or cheaper pair. Whilst you can still send considerably more on a pair of optics and indeed some serious enthusiasts do, the Viking Badger 8x42 excel at offering a superior optical experience at a more affordable level so we were excited to take them out to test for this in-depth review.

Related: Top 10 Binoculars for Birdwatching

Design & Build

What’s striking about the Viking Badger Binoculars when you compare them to other similarly priced optics is the build quality. At just over 600g they feel robust and solid yet are comfortable enough to wear around your neck for a leisurely amble. The chassis is protected with a durable rubber armour that provides a nice tactile grip as well has providing some protection against impacts. We compared to a pair of Hontry Binoculars, which felt cheap and plasticky in comparison.

Close Up of Viking Badger 8x42 Binoculars

The central focusing wheel and diopter adjustment ring offer smooth and precise control (for details on how to properly set your diopter – see here). The ridges on the focus wheel offer the perfect amount of purchase so you can make minute adjustments easily.

As with most roof prism binoculars nowadays the Viking Badger also feature twist-up eyecups, which enable people (like me) who wear glasses to use the binoculars without taking them off. I tend not to wear my glasses when outdoors but tested for the purposes of this review and found the eye relief to be generous so they should afford most glasses wearers a full field of view without any discomfort. Additionally, the binoculars are nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed, which means they’re completely waterproof and fogproof, which is a must for outdoor use and often where cheaper binoculars fall down. Overall, the design and build quality of the Viking Badger 8x42 Binoculars is pretty impressive for the price.

Optical Quality

When it comes to optical quality, the Viking Badger 8x42 Binoculars are a dependable choice. They are equipped with fully multi-coated lenses and BaK-4 roof prisms, which provide crisp, bright, and clear images with excellent contrast and colour fidelity. The 42mm objective lenses gather ample light, ensuring bright and detailed views even in low-light conditions.

Viking Badger Binoculars being focussed

The 8x magnification provides a wide field of view, which is perfectly suited for bird and wildlife watching. There is a 10x42 Badger available as well for anyone who prefers getting slightly closer to their subject at the expense of field of view. The 8x42 Badger offers a 6.44 degree field-of-view, which means that if you were looking 1km away, you'd see 113m from left to right, which is slightly less than some other 8x42 binoculars but greater than you’d experience on the 10x42s (102m). 


It’s all well and good looking at the specifications of various binoculars but there is no substitute for first-hand experience when evaluating whether they’re any good. So, how did the Viking Badger 8x42s do? Overall, their optical quality translated into exceptional performance in real-world scenarios, whether observing wildlife, birdwatching, or enjoying outdoor sporting events. During our field tests, they consistently impressed us with their optical quality and image clarity across various lighting conditions. Whether using in bright sun, overcast and dull, to the fading light of dusk, these binoculars delivered a crystal-clear viewing experience. 


Black binoculars being worn with neckstrap

I experienced a little chromatic aberration when using them on the bright sunny day of testing but the colour fringing was only really perceptible when I was actively trying to look for it and offered a similar viewing experience to some even pricier models we’ve tested.

Our Verdict

In conclusion, the Viking Badger 8x42 Binoculars offer affordable quality and are an excellent pair of binoculars for birdwatching especially for casual users or those just starting their hobby. They offer superior optical performance when compared to similarly priced and cheaper models with a robust design, range of accessories, and are a reliable choice!

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