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Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 10x25 Review

Compact with decent clarity for budget-tier optics, and a good option for backpackers
nikon trailblazer atb waterproof 10x25 binocular review
Our testers used the same system for all sets of binoculars, to ensure accurate, and comparable, results.
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $100 List
Manufacturer:   Nikon
By Benjamin Hickok ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 6, 2022
51
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 16
  • Clarity - 45% 5.0
  • Brightness - 25% 3.9
  • Comfort - 10% 6.4
  • Field of View - 10% 6.0
  • Ease of Adjustment - 5% 4.9
  • Close Focus Range - 5% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 10x25 offers lower-end performance at a lower-end price. It didn't outperform other models in the same budget price tier across any metric, with one exception, and was unimpressive compared to the much more capable models. What it is though, is a compact model that may be okay for backpacking, and offers greater clarity than other similarly priced models. It's also a very budget-friendly option for those that don't need binoculars for highly specialized reasons.
REASONS TO BUY
Good clarity
Compact
Light
REASONS TO AVOID
Below average light transmission
Eye covers fall off easily

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $100 List
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$95 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Good clarity, compact, lightGood clarity and brightness, smooth focus knobInexpensive, good clarity and brightnessGreat light transmission, relatively inexpensiveLight, good grip, very comfortable
Cons Below average light transmission, eye covers fall off easilyMediocre close focus range, mediocre field of viewAverage construction quality, mediocre low-light performancePoor eye cups, minimal ergonomics, large porro-prism design, poor close focus rangePoor light transmission, poor close range focus, no eye covers
Bottom Line Compact with decent clarity for budget-tier optics, and a good option for backpackersThese perform well for the price, offering a smooth focus knob and decent brightness and clarityThe most budget-friendly option we've found that offers a good introduction to birdwatchingAn affordable pair of binoculars that excels in light transmissionBudget friendly, with high scores in comfort and above average in field of view, but otherwise a below-average performer
Rating Categories Nikon Trailblazer A... Nikon Monarch M5 8x42 Celestron Nature DX... Nikon Aculon A211 8x42 Nocs Provisions 8x2...
Clarity (45%)
5.0
7.1
5.8
3.3
2.9
Brightness (25%)
3.9
8.6
7.7
7.7
3.2
Comfort (10%)
6.4
8.1
5.6
3.2
7.0
Field of View (10%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Ease of Adjustment (5%)
4.9
8.0
7.0
4.5
4.5
Close Focus Range (5%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
4.0
Specs Nikon Trailblazer A... Nikon Monarch M5 8x42 Celestron Nature DX... Nikon Aculon A211 8x42 Nocs Provisions 8x2...
Glass Type Eco-Glass ED Bak-4 Eco-Glass ED
Multi - Coating FMC FMC FMC FMC FMC
Magnification 10 8 8 8 8
Field of View (at 1000 yards) 342 ft 335 ft 388 ft 420 ft 357 ft
Close Focus 11.5 ft 8.2 ft 6.5 ft 16.4 ft 13.0 ft
Eye Relief 10 mm 19.5 mm 17.5 mm 12 mm 10 mm
Prism Roof Roof Roof Porro Roof
Waterproof/Fog Resistant? Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes
Measured Size (Length x Width) 4.1 x 2.9 in 5.7 x 5.1 in 5.3 x 4.9 in 7 x 5.9 in 4.3 x 4.0 in
Measured Weight 12 oz 22 oz 22 oz 26 oz 12 oz
Tripod Adapter No Yes Yes Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

nikon trailblazer atb waterproof 10x25 binocular review - the nikon trailblazer atb waterproof 10x25 offers some of the best...
The Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 10x25 offers some of the best clarity in the budget tier of compact optics.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Performance Comparison



Clarity


In the realm of ultra-affordable binoculars, the Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 10x25 is marginally better than other models. However, better is a relative term, and should not be interpreted as great. While the clarity of this model stands up to ultra-budget compact models, it doesn't hold a candle to full-sized binos, especially more premium ones, which is to be expected. What you can expect though, is a usable pair of compact binoculars that allows hues to bleed at the bottom of the lens.

nikon trailblazer atb waterproof 10x25 binocular review - this level of clarity is slightly better than comparable models.
This level of clarity is slightly better than comparable models.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Brightness


In our second metric, brightness, the Trailblazer ATB didn't perform as well as we had hoped it would against the competition. It was easily outperformed by the bulk of very average full-sized models we tested, as well as by other low-priced compact models.

This is a compact model, so it's understandably not going to be as bright as full-sized models, but the observed and the measurable brightness are a distinct step back from almost any other model we tested. As aforementioned, the lackluster performance is likely due to a compact size and the 2.5mm exit pupil, but it is dark nonetheless, and it's fair to say you won't be trailblazing in low-light conditions.

nikon trailblazer atb waterproof 10x25 binocular review - the nikon trailblazers offer good brightness for the price point.
The Nikon Trailblazers offer good brightness for the price point.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Comfort


The Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 10x25 falls in the bottom half of products tested when it comes to our comfort tests and evaluations. It is actually a very light and ergonomic model that is easy to grip, with softer, fairly comfortable eye cups, but the included strap felt to our testers to be cheap, and was rather raw and uncomfortable. These two points negatively impacted what could have been a better score for the metric.

nikon trailblazer atb waterproof 10x25 binocular review - this compact model is easy to tuck into a pocket for backpacking...
This compact model is easy to tuck into a pocket for backpacking trips.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Field of View


With a field of view of 342 feet at 1000 yards, the Nikon Trailblazers are above average. This is actually an impressive achievement with the higher 10x magnification, and they performed similarly to well-regarded 8x magnification models that you would expect to have a larger field of view.

nikon trailblazer atb waterproof 10x25 binocular review - testing the nikon trailblazer atb waterproof 10x25.
Testing the Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 10x25.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Adjustment


Compared to many easy-to-operate models our team tested, the Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 10x25 left our team wanting just a little more when it came down to ease of adjustment. Adjusting focus is fairly easy, and in reach of almost all hands, but this model lacks a lock on the diopter, and getting proper eye relief is difficult. The eye relief does not lock into place. In fact, the eyepieces move with light pressure, hindering your ability to get the proper eye relief. The lack of a locking diopter, and the insecure eye relief, have room for improvement, and it earned a commensurate score.

nikon trailblazer atb waterproof 10x25 binocular review - while focusing is okay, eyepieces move with the slightest pressure...
While focusing is okay, eyepieces move with the slightest pressure making adjustments an annoying task.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Close Focus Range


The Nikon Trailblazer ATB offers a slightly above average close range focus of 7 feet, measured by our test team, then re-measured and confirmed by our test team. The actual close focus range of 7 feet is 4.5 feet less than the manufacturer's specification of 11.5 feet, and places it in the middle of the pack for the metric.

nikon trailblazer atb waterproof 10x25 binocular review - the measured close focus range on this model was better than the...
The measured close focus range on this model was better than the manufacturer's specifications but still fairly average overall.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 10x25?


While there are better performers, and better values than the Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 10x25, you might consider them for the impressive field of view at 10x magnification, or the above-average close focus range of 7 feet. However, after testing many comparable models, we believe there are better options that are worth considering, at a comparable price point, over this one.

nikon trailblazer atb waterproof 10x25 binocular review - the nikon trailblazers are a decent option for hitting the trails...
The Nikon Trailblazers are a decent option for hitting the trails without breaking the bank.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

What Other Binoculars Should You Consider?


If you are on a budget and don't want to move north from the hundred-dollar mark, we believe it's worth taking a look at a model like the Celestron Nature DX 8x42. It is a significant bump up in overall performance, and while it is more expensive, it is about the bare minimum for what our team would consider a good pair of binoculars that won't leave you broke or completely disappointed.

Benjamin Hickok
 
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