Hands-on Gear Review

Celestron Cavalry 15x70 Review

Ceslestron Calvary 15x70
Price:  $130 List | $70.66 at Amazon
Pros:  Crisp and clear viewing, perfect for star gazing, powerful magnification
Cons:  Heavy, need to use a steadying device
Editors' Rating:   
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Focusing System:  Central Focus
Magnification:  15x
Field of View:  246 ft / 1000 yds
Manufacturer:   Ceslestron

Our Verdict

The Celestron Cavalry 15x70 is a giant, weighing over 3 pounds and reaching nearly a foot long. Its large size draws from Celestron's design to allow the user to see objects incredibly far away, from a herd of elk to a constellation. For this reason, the Cavalry is a powerhouse when looking at the night sky and zooming in on galaxies far, far away.

All of the minor complaints that arose from testing this pair of binoculars are trade-offs for what makes this binocular specialized. Celestron markets the Cavalry 15x70 as designed for "long-range observations, " and indeed, they are not ideal for the casual outdoor enthusiast. Their weight and size make it difficult and uncomfortable to hike with the Cavalry far from the car. Celestron is known for their SkyMaster series and designing binoculars to be used for astronomy. The Cavalry 15x70 seems like an upgrade from the popular Celestron SkyMaster 15x70, with a few additional features: waterproofness, fog-proofness, as well as a higher price tag. At the end of the day, the Cavalry is a great binocular for star gazing, but we would suggest something such as the Bushnell NatureView 6x30 or the Nikon Monarch 3 8x42 ATB if you plan on doing any hiking with your binoculars.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Stephanie Bennett

Last Updated:
Tuesday
June 2, 2015

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A large and navy binocular built for long-range viewing, such as star-gazing, this model has a specialized use.

Performance Comparison


The high-powered Celestron Calvary is not built to see objects closer then 70 feet  but excels at bringing into view objects that are very far away  such as planets and stars.
The high-powered Celestron Calvary is not built to see objects closer then 70 feet, but excels at bringing into view objects that are very far away, such as planets and stars.

Clarity


If you are peering into the eyepiece in order to see the Milky Way or the craters on the Moon, be prepared to be blown away. The clarity provided by the Calvary for star gazing is unparalleled by any other binocular tested. However, if you are trying to use the Cavalry for every day purposes, be prepared to be disappointed. Anything less then 70 feet away will be noticeably blurry. Please remember, the Cavalry is not built for viewing objects close-up, and is a powerhouse for viewing objects incredibly far away.

The Celestron Cavalry 15x70 is a large binocular  and is difficult to hold one-handed.
The Celestron Cavalry 15x70 is a large binocular, and is difficult to hold one-handed.
Because of their significant weight (3.3 lbs) and size (11 inches long), it's difficult to hold the binoculars steady while trying to focus on the stars, or any object far away. Due to the size plus the magnification and optical lens combo (15x70), any shakiness from holding the binoculars in your hand will be amplified. It is worth the extra cost to purchase a tripod, or come up with a creative alternative, such as a stack of books.

Magnification


The magnification power of the Calvary 15x70 is breath-taking, especially when you focus in on the milky way. With a magnification power of 15, it's hard to dispute! This is the strongest binocular included in our review.

Ease of Adjustment


Th focus knob on the Celestron Cavalry 15x70.
Th focus knob on the Celestron Cavalry 15x70.
For the size and weight, the Calvary is incredibly easy to adjust. However, be prepared that depending on your arm strength, you may need to lower the binoculars slightly to adjust the focus knob comfortably. This is avoided if you are using a tripod, or a home-made steadying device.

Durability


The Celestron Cavalry is built to be the long-range "outdoors man's" binoculars. As a result, the Cavalry has been upgraded from its cousin the SkyMaster to be waterproof, fog proof and comes with a tougher plastic coating.

Portability


Simply put, the Cavalry is not a compact pair of binoculars. Once in their case, they are nearly 1 foot long by 5 inches wide and over 3 pounds; this is a beast to carry around. If planning to hike with them, a larger backpack is needed to ensure that the binoculars fit comfortably along with other hiking supplies. During testing, this giant was lugged into the North Cascades for a 5-mile round trip hike, and it's safe to say our tester's back was a little sorer then usual upon returning to the car. However, viewing the stars from a remote peak in the wilderness with the Celestron Cavalry 15x70 was well worth the added weight and space.

Best Application


Celestron advertises that the Cavalry is "designed for hunters, boaters, law enforcement, and military personnel," however, keep in mind that this pair is designed specifically for far away viewing and is not ideal to hike with. Consider your end-use and identify if the size and weight will really impede on your sport of choice.

Value


At $130, the Celstron Cavalry 15x70 is more expensive then its star-gazing cousin, the Celestron SkyMaster 15x70, sold for $90. Depending on your end-use, and if you need the additional durability that the Cavalry provides, you may prefer the less expensive SkyMaster. A tripod adapter is also included in the accessories kit.
Stephanie Bennett

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Most recent review: June 2, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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