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Recently, I had the opportunity to go birding during a trip to SW Louisiana’s Gulf Coast. A few months before that, I was in rural Alberta, and coming up, I have a trip to spot wildlife in Costa Rica and Panama. For all of these trips, I like to bring my own binoculars. Of course, quality binoculars can be heavy and bulky (not to mention fragile), and the extremely portable type are usually flimsy or low quality.
Eyeskey’s waterproof binoculars hits a nice middle ground. The 32mm objective lens give you wide angle, which makes it easy to spot birds and other wildlife even as a novice, and the 21 mm eyepiece makes using the binoculars more comfortable than smaller models. The waterproof feature is essential for a pair of travel binoculars, and as a bonus, you get a night vision function, which helps immensely, even if there’s a light in the background or behind you (like a lit window).
The Eyeskey model weighs in at 23 ounces. Can you find a lighter pair of binoculars for travel? Of course, but in my search, I haven’t found a pair this portable that still packs the features I need. You get a high transmittance lens coated with FMC film, with 10×42 magnification. (This is 8x magnification.) In addition to being waterproof, the lens is fog proof, which makes it possible to use the binoculars in any weather situation (including drizzle).
Three features I love: the Eyeskey is extremely adaptable: you can use this pair of binoculars with your smart phone, and you can mount it on a tripod. To use with a smart phone, you do need a connector, which is sold separately through many retailers for around $15. Attach this plastic connector to the binoculars, and you can use your phone to take photos through the lens. I tried this out while birding, and while my go-to camera is a DSLR with a powerful wildlife lens, it was really nice to have some zoomed in photos on my phone too, for social media sharing. The tripod adaptability means you can insert a tripod adaptor for a more stable viewing experience. Lastly, you get rubber eye cups, which are often left off of smaller travel binoculars. I am usually wearing polarized sunglasses when using binoculars, so this eyewear protection is welcome. You’ll enjoy this feature if you wear any type of eyewear while traveling.
You can pick up the Eyeskey binoculars in a festive pink color or understated black for under $70, a deal for quality binoculars that still travel well.