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Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 10x25
Check Price at REI
Check Price at REI
$85.49 at Amazon
$85.84 at Amazon
$95.00 at REI
|Pros||Good clarity, compact, light||Good clarity and brightness, smooth focus knob||Inexpensive, good clarity and brightness||Great light transmission, relatively inexpensive||Light, good grip, very comfortable|
|Cons||Below average light transmission, eye covers fall off easily||Mediocre close focus range, mediocre field of view||Average construction quality, mediocre low-light performance||Poor eye cups, minimal ergonomics, large porro-prism design, poor close focus range||Poor light transmission, poor close range focus, no eye covers|
|Bottom Line||Compact with decent clarity for budget-tier optics, and a good option for backpackers||These perform well for the price, offering a smooth focus knob and decent brightness and clarity||The most budget-friendly option we've found that offers a good introduction to birdwatching||An affordable pair of binoculars that excels in light transmission||Budget 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...|
|Field of View (10%)|
|Ease of Adjustment (5%)|
|Close Focus Range (5%)|
|Specs||Nikon Trailblazer A...||Nikon Monarch M5 8x42||Celestron Nature DX...||Nikon Aculon A211 8x42||Nocs Provisions 8x2...|
|Multi - Coating||FMC||FMC||FMC||FMC||FMC|
|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|
|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|
Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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