At A Glance
- Light and comfortable feel in the hands
- Open bridge design especially good for smaller hands
- Good color, sharpness, and brightness
- Soft textured grip
- Large easy-moving focus wheel
- Not quite as bright or sharp as top-rated binoculars
- Touchy focus can be tricky to fine tune
- Square-sided eyecups can be uncomfortable for some
- Price: $270 MSRP at press time. Prices often fluctuate, so check with retailers
- Close focus: 89 in (218 cm)
- Field of view: 7.2° (378 feet an 1,000 yards). More about field of view
- Weight: 19.5 oz (552 g)—that’s about 1.8 oz (50 g) lighter than the average for compact binoculars in our review. Compare binocular sizes and weights
Viewing Experience: The Vanguard Endeavor is a very comfortable binocular with optics that are very good, but not perfect. On a sunny day, the Vanguard Endeavors provide crispness and color even at a distance: from all the way across a pond we could study the colorful blue and green lores and bobbing plumes of a Great Blue Heron in breeding plumage. They were sharp enough to pick out the slight band of red peeking out from the black shoulder of a male Red-winged Blackbird doing its best to hide its bright colors. Still, they were not as bright or sharp as top-rated models like the Nikon M7, and the field of view is narrower than many competitors. Compared with the similarly rated Zeiss Terra ED, we found the Zeiss to be slightly brighter and sharper, while the Vanguard was more comfortable to carry and hold. The focus wheel moves easily and quickly, though we noticed a slight hesitation in the wheel when switching directions. For some users, the quickness of adjustment made it hard to dial in fine adjustments and get a perfect image.
Feel and Build: The Vanguard Endeavor was among the most comfortable binoculars in this test, with plenty of attention to detail in the design. The open-bridge design allows the fingers to wrap around the slender barrels, making for a secure hold even with small hands. A slight flare at the top of the barrel, a couple of shallow thumb indents, and a soft pebbly texture combine for a solid grip and comfortable feel against the hand. The locking diopter adjuster was a little tricky to move but secure once set. The eyecups glided through four solid settings, but their squared-off shape and the small lens size were off-putting to some testers. The neck strap was medium width and comfortably padded.
Comments From Testers:
- Comfortable to hold
- Focus wheel too quick
- Good image
- Not good for someone with glasses
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 compact binoculars.
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