Both of these binoculars from Hawke Optics provide quality optics, solid frames and compact designs at different price points.
Both of these binoculars from Hawke Optics provide quality optics, solid frames and compact designs at different price points.
 Comment(s)

There has been a lot said about the benefits of getting the drop on somebody. Clandestinely peering over a wall at a distance and secretly observing the cautious approach of a potential threat can give you time to formulate a plan of defense as well as the opportunity to make notes about how best to classify the threat before it is upon you. The best way to achieve these results is with a pair of tried-and-true field glasses. Ideally, they will be binoculars that can not only bring the horizon right into your hands but that can also tuck neatly under a jacket or into a pack pocket, always at the ready. These two binoculars from Hawke Optics fit the bill nicely.

Hawke Optics Binoculars

Hawke Optics offers several lines of binoculars in its Nature category, whereas its Sport line features their scopes and sights. A couple of quality examples of their binoculars come from the high-end Frontier line and the more affordable Nature-Trek line. Each of these are powered at 8x42mm and come in green (shown) and gray, and both show the quality of materials (BAK-4 glass) and durability that anyone would expect in field binoculars designed to survive the rugged terrain of a wilderness or urban setting.

Frontier ED X 8×42

As a compact binocular, the Frontier ED X features a rubber exterior coating meant to absorb light scuffs and small bumps while providing a sure grip, even when wet. The outer texture on both the Frontier and the Nature-Trek are less reflective if secrecy is paramount.

While more expensive than its counterpart and heavier, the Frontier’s magnesium-alloy body (over the polycarbonate of the Nature-Trek) is undeniably stronger and more resistant to temperature fluctuations. The body is also fully sealed, which means that not only is it waterproof, but it’s dust-proof as well. Inside, all of the air is replaced with nitrogen, which prevents moisture from forming on the lenses, making them fog-proof.

The focus wheel is smooth, and the single hinge opens and closes fluidly without accidentally changing your desired setting.

The Hawke Frontier ED X 8X42 binoculars focus knob.
The Frontier ED X 8X42.

Frontier ED X 8×42 Specs

Height: 5 inches
Width: 4.1 to 4.8 inches
Weight: 25.6 ounces
Eye Relief: 0.7 inches
Field of View: 426 feet at 1,000 yards
Close Focus: 6 feet
Field of View: 8.1 degrees
Field of View (Apparent): 65 degrees
Exit Pupil: 0.21 inches
Interpupillary Distance: 2.2 to 2.9 inches
Power x Objective: 8x42mm
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Prism Type: BAK4—Dielectric Mirror Coating
Dioptre System: Right Eye
Eye Cups: Twist-up
MSRP: $519

Nature-Trek 8×42

Like the Frontier, the Nature-Trek is a single top-hinge model that allows for a solid grip around one of the barrels. The thin layer of rubber doesn’t offer as much protection as the Frontier, but it will still keep the dings and dents at bay. The heavy protection is around the eyepieces and the lens ends.

The Nature-Trek has twist-up eyecups, which turn smoothly and without any free play. The actual lens casing seems to be made from plastic, which is obviously not as strong as most metal ones, but it’s cheaper to make, allowing these to be economical. There are also two fixed, intermediate click stop points between the two extremes of completely twisted in and out.

Overall, these are quality binoculars in this price point, and not only do they look more expensive than they are, but they feel it as well.

The Hawke Nature-Trek 8X42 binoculars focus knob.
The Nature-Trek 8X42.

Nature-Trek 8×42 Specs

Height: 5.6 inches
Width: 4.2 to 4.9 inches
Weight: 22.5 ounces
Eye Relief: 0.7 inches
Field of View: 388 feet at 1,000 yards
Close Focus: 6.6 feet
Field of View: 7.4 degrees
Field of View (apparent): 59 degrees
Exit Pupil: 0.21 inches
Interpupillary Distance: 2.2 to 3 inches
Power x Objective: 8x42mm
Lens Coating: Fully Multi-Coated
Prism Type: BAK4—Roof
Dioptre System: Right Eye
Eye Cups: Twist-up
MSRP: $179

For more information, please visit HawkeOptics.com.

This article was originally published in the Survivor’s Edge Spring 2021 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions at OutdoorGroupStore.com. Or call 1-800-284-5668, or email [email protected]

The author uses a pair of Hawke binoculars in the field.

Up Next

The Two-Pound Wilderness Survival Kit Contains Life Saving Essentials

Carry everything you need to survive an unplanned night —or two—in the woods with...