Product warranties can be a funny thing. You have to read the fine print of a warranty (sometimes a law degree helps) to actually figure out what is or isn't covered. Unlike those complicated warranties, the Eagle Optics Ranger binocular and the Vortex Optics binoculars come with a straightforward, no-charge, lifetime, unconditional and transferable warranty. Some other optics company's warranties are becoming more consumer friendly by offering a fixed fee to repair anything on their binoculars or spotting scopes. Bushnell has added a new twist to the warranty game. Bushnell customers can now take advantage of a "No Questions Asked-One Year Warranty Replacement Policy" on the Bushnell Elite, Bushnell Elite e2, and the Bushnell Infinity binoculars.
There isn't any fine print on this warranty. According to Bushnell, they are so convinced you will find the Elite Precision Optics by Bushnell Binoculars to be the best you have ever used, Bushnell will let you try an Elite, Elite e2, or Infinity with a one year free trial. If you are not convinced the Elite Series Binocular is the best binocular you have ever owned, simply return the product to Bushnell, with the purchase receipt within one year of purchase for a full refund of the purchase price. As with all warranties there are limitations. Bushnell limits their offer to the original purchaser and only one refund per address. If you are a Bushnell Binocular fan already, this is a great way to try out one of these binoculars. Not a Bushnell user? Let me give you some idea of the products you can expect to receive.
The open bridge styling of a Swarovski EL 8.5x42 or the Vortex Razor 8x42 can be very pleasing for a lot of users and Bushnell has incorporated that design feature into their Infinity and Elite binoculars. The Infinity sports a mostly smooth exterior armoring with barrels that seem somewhat chunky for my hands. The distance between the double hinges where three fingers fit when wrapping a hand around each barrel measured at slightly less than two inches. A perfect fit for my fingers but possibly a challenge for others. The focus wheel offers very smooth turning with the travel from close focus to infinity at a little over one and one-half revolutions. While watching several Tree Swallows catching insects by swooping across the field in front of our showroom, I had no trouble following their flight with the Infinity's 314 ft./1000 yds. field of view. The optics were bright, the depth of view was pretty good and in general I enjoyed looking through these.
Next I took the Bushnell Elite e2 binocular out and noticed not only the bright view but even crisper detail, depth of color and field depth. The e2 made the Monarch Butterflies flying in the same field pop as they skimmed along. At a cost of $100 more than the Infinity, you will notice not only better optical quality, but a more pleasing exterior design. The single hinge design with indentations for the thumbs, seemed to be an easier fit for my hands. The focus wheel was again smooth and had only slightly less than one and one-half revolutions from close focus to infinity. Both the Infinity and Elite e2 are priced under $500.
Bushnell's top of the line Elite 8x43 is the lightest weight binocular in this series at a very comfortable 23 oz. The lightly textured rubber armoring, comfortable eyecups, smooth focus wheel, field depth, edge to edge sharpness, and bright view make this a pleasure to use while watching the action in the field. I sincerely doubt that Bushnell will have to honor its "No Questions Asked-One Year Replacement Policy" on very many of these binoculars and especially the Elites.
No matter which binocular you purchase, be sure to pay attention to the warranty and ask questions. Even though binoculars and spotting scopes are more durable than we sometimes think, accidents will happen (yes, dogs do chew up binoculars). A great warranty will repair or replace at a reasonable cost---saving you the expense of having to buy brand new.
Wishing all of our customers a relaxing and happy Father's Day!
Eagle Optics Staff