In my humble opinion, a house, a pickup, or a hunting setup is not complete without a good set of binoculars.
I’ve had dozens of different binoculars in all shapes, sizes, configurations and price ranges. I use them in the morning while making coffee to see if that thing I see in the neighbor’s distant pasture is an Elk. (Nope, it was a horse.) I keep a pair in my work van in case I see something distant and fascinating in my travels. I use them at work to read data plates on equipment that is in a hazardous location, hard to get to, or I’m just too lazy to grab a ladder and climb up to it. And, most importantly, I use them during hunting season to help my feeble eyes spot game across open country, and to peer through underbrush in the woods to what lies beyond.
Today I’m going to tell you about one particular pair of binoculars that I really like.
I’m talking about the Leupld BX-3 Mojave binoculars in the 10x42 configuration, as sold by Webyshops.
I’m not a ‘brand’ guy. You won’t find me wearing clothes just because of a logo, or insisting on buying an item based on if it’s ‘cool’ or not. I am, however, a ‘Value’ guy, and I’ve never regretted any cent spent on a Leupold product. Leupold makes fine optics, and their stellar warranty and customer service seal the deal for me. When I’m shopping for optics, I’m thinking Leupold, and everything else compares to that standard.
The BX-3 Mojave binoculars live up to Leupolds’ reputation for fine optics, and while there are a few minor cosmetic and preference things I would change, these binoculars are some darn good glass and a great value.
I’ll note now that these binoculars are also available in Black, which I prefer.
Let’s open the box and see what’s inside.
Starting Clockwise from 12:00, we have the purdy box, a neck strap, the binoculars, a cleaning cloth, a product registration card for their excellent warranty, an instruction manual, a padded case, and lens covers in the center.
Below are the binoculars with the lens covers on.
This picture illustrates my only little gripes about these binoculars, one’s a silly cosmetic one, and the other could be fixed with a piece of string or a ziptie: The scope covers are black, not camouflage, and you can see the black body underneath when the eyecups are extended. There is no provided or described way to secure they eyepiece cover to the body or the strap. Those two minor details are the only thing that detracts from these fine binoculars.
Now, let’s talk about what’s great about these. The 10x42 configuration is the perfect compromise, I think. 8 power is too low for scanning distant hillsides for deer, and 12 power is too much for using the binoculars to ‘x-ray’ through underbrush to see what’s on the other side of the thicket. A 50mm objective would be too large for me to comfortably carry around in the woods all day. This 10x42 combination works well in all situations I find myself in.
The glass is very, very clear and bright, in the center clear to the edges. I compared these side by side with a $2000+ pair of Swarovski binoculars a friend has. Frankly, I couldn’t see any imrovements that justified the additional $1600.
The adjuster that compensates for eye to eye variances (they call it a ‘diopter adjustment) is simple to use, and has a positive lock that prevents it from shifting in use. Other binoculars often have the adjustment on one eyepiece, with no lock. This allows the setting to move during handling and transport, requiring constant resetting. Leupold figured it out with this setup, and it works excellent.
The center focus knob is intuitively positioned right where it should be, and the ‘gear ratio’ of the focus mechanism is just right. It’s fast enough to quickly shift from far to near, yet slow enough to allow fine, precise adjustments.
The eyepieces adjust from very close together, allowing very young children or those with small heads or close set eyes to use them. They also go wide enough for all but the most wide eyed folks.
The eyecups twist out easily and stay in place for those without glasses, conversely, they twist back in and stay in position for those that wear eyeglasses.
They binoculars are waterproof, but it’s recommended that if you drop them in the water, you retrieve them as quickly as possible. I don’t often drop my binoculars in the water, but I do hunt in the rain, so a well-sealed set of binoculars is a must.
Another cool feature you won’t find on most binoculars is the ability to focus on items very near. I was able to focus on items within 8’ with these. This comes in very handy for me, when trying to read equipment data plates in tiny print that I just can’t reach without a ladder or scaffolding. Bird watchers also enjoy this close focus for examining birds on the feeder outside their window.
These are not the lightest binoculars, nor are they the heaviest at 686 grams. If you’re like me, you don’t know how much a gram is, so I converted it, and they weigh 24.2 ounces, which is about two of your favorite 12oz beverages. The weight is about the most I would want to carry around all day hunting. I would recommend a harness type of binocular strap if they are to be worn during extended hunts in rough terrain. I carry these binoculars with a bino buddy harness while mule deer hunting in North Central Washington. The weight is noticeable, but the extra clarity and power of the binoculars over compact models is worth it when it counts.
In summary, these are an excellent pair of binoculars, and worth every penny. If you use these for work, for hunting or watching birds, you won’t be disappointed in the quality, clarity, or value of the Leupold BX-3 Mojave binoculars.
Mark Spreadborough writes from his family homestead in Kalama, Washington, where he lives with his wife, son, daughter, dog and cat. When not writing, shooting, hunting, fishing or working on his property, he goes to his day job as a HVAC repair mechanic.