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Last updated by Craig McInally 6 days ago
Viking Optical have been manufacturing premium optics for over 30 years and are the brand who make RSPB Binoculars. We are huge fans of Viking at liGo with two of their models taking the top spot on our list of Best Buy Binoculars:
As market leaders in optics, Viking has an extensive range of binoculars so it can be a bit of a minefield trying to figure out the advantages and disadvantages of one over the other. To help make that process a little easier, we’ve put together the following list of the Top 10 Best Viking Binoculars on the market. From budget-friendly compact models to premium optics with ED glass, whichever model you choose, you can be sure of reliable optical performance and durable build. At liGo, we know Binoculars like no one else does. If you need any help in choosing the right pair to suit your needs, we’re always happy to help. Simply get in touch via email, phone, or live chat, and our friendly customer service team will be happy to assist!
Simply the best bird watching binoculars - fantastic quality, incredible value!
Our Best Buy Binoculars for Bird Watching in 2023! Equipped with high quality extra-low dispersion ED Glass they offered comparative performance as even far more expensive ED models we’ve tested, which is why they've topped our list. We'd recommend the larger 42mm lens with 8x magnification as the perfect companion for bird enthusiasts for a brilliantly wide field of view, however, there is a 10x42 variant (if you have steady hands) and an 8x32 if you prefer something more compact. Viking Binoculars are backed by a 10-year warranty and the Vistron ED feels solidly built with a nice tactile finish and easily adjustable metal focus ring with smooth action. They are also suitable for glasses wearers too thanks to the adjustable twist down eyecups and generous eye relief. Nitrogen-filled to stop internal fogging, they are also fully waterproof so should stand up to anything the Great British weather can throw at them. We were blown away by the quality of these binoculars and don't think you'll get a better quality pair of binoculars for birdwatching at this price!
Affordable quality - an excellent pair of binoculars for beginners
Next up is another entry from Viking Optical. The Badger range are designed for the casual or birdwatching beginner and the 8x42 offers an excellent viewing experience for the price. Still manufactured with excellent optics including fully multi-coated lenses and twist-up rubber eyecups for complete comfort with or without glasses. Their armouring provides a secure and comfortable grip, and they are nitrogen purged so completely waterproof. Overall, we loved the Badgers and they’ve received numerous 5-star reviews from our customers. If you’re looking for an affordable pair of high-quality binoculars for under £100, then you won’t get much better than these!
Seriously impressive optics - if money is no object then this is our top choice!
The Viking Osprey ED are the most expensive binoculars in our round-up of Best Buys and if money were no object then these would be our choice for No.1. They are flat-field binoculars and best suited for enthusiasts looking for a premium set of optics. The sharpness and colour of images is superior to anything else we’ve tested (included even pricier models), meaning they're a joy to use out in the wild. There is a nice weight to them, and the action of the focus wheel and eyecups is excellent. As you might expect from such a high-end pair of birdwatching binoculars the Osprey are equipped with ED glass and high-quality dielectric coatings on the prisms. They are also nitrogen-filled and waterproof up to 1 metre. At nearly £500 these aren’t for casual use, but for an optics enthusiast looking for a trusty pair of high-end optics that will last for many years to come, these will not disappoint!
Premium lightweight binoculars with ED glass for exceptional clarity
The Viking Peregrine ED are essentially a more premium version of our pick for Best Buy, and were a close contender for the top spot. Comparing the spec of each you’d be hard pressed to tell them apart; perhaps the only noticeable difference is that the 8x42 Peregrines are lighter (only 600g) compared to the Kestrels (694g). However, although on paper both these models are pretty much identical the Peregrines are equipped with higher quality Extra Low Dispersion glass and dielectric coated, phase corrected BAK 4 Prisms. This means that you get a slightly sharper image (we struggled to pick up any aberration at all) along with all the other benefits present in our Best Buy: rugged armouring, fully waterproof and nitrogen purged, eye-cups, etc. At over £300 they’re not exactly cheap but you are paying a premium for quality and they hold their own against even pricier models in terms of optical quality.
Excellent binoculars combining high-quality optics and convenient size
This compact pair of binoculars from Viking really impressed us with their excellent optical clarity and value for money. The Viking Badger 8x25 weighs only 298g, which makes them light enough for children to hold for an extended period of time, but they still feel sturdy and well-built enough to endure any bumps and scratches. Overall, these compact Badgers are a lovely pair of binoculars (available in 8x25 and 10x25 options), which would be perfect for anyone who likes to enjoy bird watching without having to lug a full-size pair around.
Bright and clear compact binoculars and excellent value for ED glass!
Our Best Buy Compact Binoculars for 2023 are the Kestrel Compact ED. Building on the success of their larger Kestrel series, Viking have just released this compact version, which distils everything that our experts loved about its larger sibling into a more pocket-friendly package: ED glass for superior colour and clarity, lightweight yet durable build, and waterproof design to help them cope with all weather conditions. What’s more, their dual-hinge design helps them fold down smaller, so you can always keep them with you in your coat pocket for when you need them most. As with our No. 1 model the Kestrel compacts are superb value for money!
Heralded by Viking as the perfect all-rounder and we think they might be right. Compact and comfortable enough to take along on longer hikes, birdwatching and nature trails; the Navigo 8x32 is an excellent choice if you’re put off by the size and weight of full-size binos but worried about sacrificing some of the optical quality. Thanks to the 32mm lens we found the Navigo performed much better in low light conditions than 8x25 and 10x25 compact binoculars. Colour and brightness are pretty impressive, especially considering they are not equipped with ED lenses. They are nitrogen filled so fully water and fog proof; and I found the generous eye relief comfortable to use whilst wearing glasses. An excellent compromise between compact and full-size binoculars offering excellent optical quality at a decent price!
These are the mid-range choice in Viking’s range of ED Binoculars, sitting comfortably between our pick for Best Buy and their top-range Peregrines. Slightly larger and heavier than the Kestrels the Viking Merlin Binoculars are solidly built and ooze quality. We loved the clarity of the 10x model, which was sharper than the Kestrel and outperformed more expensive binoculars of a similar spec. Equipped with high-grade dielectric coated BaK-4 prisms and fully multi-coated ED glass vastly reduces chromatic aberration for crystal clear views. Brightness and colour are true to life and the focus is impressive. All in all, these are a great pair of premium binoculars if you want some more oomph than our pick for Best Buy and the Peregrines are out of reach price-wise!
Perfect entry-level binoculars for kids - excellent optics, excellent value!
Our top pick for children are the Viking Otter Binoculars. A perfect entry-level Binocular combining quality BAK-4 prisms and rubber armouring. The fully coated optics provide a bright crisp image and a wide field of view make it easy to find birds. And the lightweight construction makes them more comfortable for children that need an easy to carry binocular. A neck strap, rainguard, lens caps and carry case are all included.
A recent and welcome addition to the Viking Badger range is this pair of 10x50 Binoculars. Personally, I prefer a 10x42 as I often find 10x50’s too large and heavy as they have to accommodate the larger 50mm objective lenses, however, I think Viking have done a decent job with the Badger 10x50. They do feel solidly built weighing in at 820g (for comparison the 10x42 is only 590g) but were comfortable enough to use handheld. I can’t say that I noticed a huge difference between this and the 10x42 Badger in daylight, however, in low light conditions the 10x50 excelled. I also compared them against a pair of Nikon Action EX 10x50 and found the Viking to be far superior; lighter, clearer, and just generally preferred the look and feel of them. If you like to do your birding from dusk until dawn and want a powerful pair of binos to take with you then the Badger 10x50 is an excellent choice!
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