Thursday, May 12, 2011

Kids + Binoculars x Possibilities= A Lifetime of Unlimited FUN!

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When I see a kid looking through binoculars for the first time, I see a whole new world opening up to that child. Combine a child’s natural curiosity with the breadth and depth of what Mother Nature has to offer, and the possibilities are nearly endless! Who wouldn’t want to help facilitate such discovery and wonder? Here are some important things to consider when choosing a binocular for that special child in your life.

Small hands, small faces
Because children’s features are smaller, the binocular needs to fit proportionately and be easy to hold and view through. A binocular that is too big or too heavy will quickly cause frustration and loss of interest. The center focus wheel should be easy to reach, and the ocular lenses should line up with the child’s eyes.

A word about compacts: While it may seem logical to choose a compact binocular for a child, the view through a compact binocular, with its small (20-26 mm.) objective lens, will not be as bright as, say, a mid-sized (30-32 mm.) binocular. Also, many younger children have trouble lining double-hinged compacts up to their eyes. While we do list some compact models in the Binoculars for Kids area of our website, a mid-sized binocular may be more useful now and as your child gets older. For a greater understanding of relative size and brightness in a binocular, check out this short video: Understanding Binoculars: Aperture

Low Magnification and Wide Field of View
A binocular with low magnification (7x or less) is much easier for kids to handle: low magnifications afford wide fields of view and are easy to hold steady. Also, a wide field of view enables kids to find a bird or animal, and follow it as it is moving. This short video illustrates the concept of magnification: Understanding Binoculars: Magnification

Durability
Select a binocular that is fogproof and waterproof, and one that has rubber armoring and a good warranty.

Eyeglass wearers
In the binocular’s specifications, look for a minimum of 15 mm of eye relief to accommodate eyeglass wearers. Most binoculars have eyecups that adjust to the individual user (child or adult).

For years, Eagle Optics has been the go-to place for binoculars for many parks, conservancies, and nature education classes and groups. We know how to outfit kids with binoculars! Here are some of the more popular models we recommend for youngsters:

Eagle Optics Kingbird 6.5x32
Vortex Optics Raptor 6.5x32
Eagle Optics Triumph 7x35
Leupold BX-1 Yosemite 6x30

Check out our selection of  Binoculars for Kids! If you have questions, our friendly staff is always happy to assist you. And remember, with any binocular you buy from Eagle Optics, you have 30 days to try it out. If it isn’t just right, return it to us for a full refund.

Summer is almost here. Give a kid a binocular, and let them see the possibilities for themselves!

Nina Cheney
Eagle Optics Staff
Binoculars: Bring them. See what they bring you.

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