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Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 Binoculars: Our Review

An excellent image and feel, just slightly less bright and crisp than the ED version of the Trailseeker. This is one of our Top Picks.

At A Glance

Celestron TrailSeeker 8x42 binoculars.
Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 binoculars. Image by Hugh Powell.


  • Crisp, bright image in the center
  • Smooth focus wheel
  • Compact and comfortable
  • Wide field of view
  • Very close focus


  • Some blurring at the edges of view
  • Not as bright as same model with ED coating


  • Price: $300 MSRP at press time. Prices often fluctuate, so check with retailers
  • Close focus: Listed as 6.6 feet (200 cm). In tests, we could focus these binoculars down to about 5.5 feet (168 cm)
  • Field of view: 8.1° (425 feet at 1,000 yards). More about field of view 
  • Weight: 25.5 oz (722 g)—that’s about 0.3 oz (7 g) lighter than the average for 8×42 binoculars in our review
  • Eye relief: 17 mm

Viewing Experience: The Celestron Trailseekers performed well in our field tests, with nearly all positive comments from reviewers. They performed similarly to our overall top pick, the Trailseeker ED, with this pair having just a touch less brightness overall, a touch less sharpness at the edges, and a slightly stiffer focus wheel. On a bright sunny day, these binoculars did a nice job of picking up the iridescence of the heads of male Mallards about 200 meters away on a shimmering lake, and the contrast was similarly good in low light when reading the detailed markings on the head of a White-throated Sparrow scratching at the ground. It was easy to pan along with a skein of Canada Geese as they made their approach and landing nearby, with no disorienting distortion. When viewing heavily backlit American Robins, there was a slight red-green fringing along the outline of the bird and branches, but the color and contrast of the different body and head feathers was still rendered well.

Feel and Build: These binoculars have a solid feel, comfortable grip, and locking eyecups. Average size and weight make it an appealing choice to an average-sized birder. The focus wheel is smooth, just slightly stiffer than average, which may appeal to some birders. The objective lens covers were tethered, but did have a tendency to shift position at the ends of the barrels when the covers were off the lenses. The package includes a harness, cloth, and medium-weight neckstrap—comfortable during extended outings.

More on Binoculars

Comments From Testers: 

  • Compact, good feel 
  • Easy to focus, nice and bright
  • They were comfortable, bright, with a good focus wheel
  • Very good at close focus  
  • Blurry at edges of view  
  • I was quickly able to get a crystal clear image with these, at multiple ranges
  • Bright crisp, easy to handle  

This article is one in a series of mini-reviews. To see how these binoculars compare to others we’ve tested, see our full review of affordable 8×42 binoculars.  

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