Most women will tell you they have an “everyday” pair of shoes, purse, earrings or other accessory for which they reach more than any other when no special occasion is involved. These items typically see a lot of wear, so they need to be reliable and of decent quality, without carrying the burden of being so costly one would need months of therapy if they were inadvertently ruined or lost.
Recently I added an everyday binocular to my repertoire. A binocular doesn’t usually qualify as an average everyday item, but it is now on this NRA Woman's list. The just-released Bushnell PowerView 2 10x50 mm is priced at under $60—hard to believe for a brand whose name carries with it a reputation of quality. The return on these binoculars for the frequency I will be using them is incredible, and my perspective on how I see daily life is about to change.
Because my neighborhood is situated in a nature preserve, I am often both distracted and captivated by the many woodland critters that pass through the neighborhood on food missions. This is to say nothing of the birdwatching prospects, which include the tiniest of finches to three varieties of woodpeckers to impressive and opportunistic birds of prey. An eagle once actually landed on my deck rail. So rich is the variety of feathered friends that populate these woods, David Sibley could use it as a platform from which to illustrate his next Field Guide of eastern birds.
In March 2020, I silently celebrated the bittersweet work-from-home orders as I replaced my arduous commute with an activity normally reserved for weekends and holidays: early morning walks, just after dawn, around the trails and pond. It’s the time of day that the preserve is largely devoid of humans, save for a few dog walkers and runners, but still lively, noisy and colorful in the world of wildlife. Beavers—yes, busy—splash their tails as a warning for me to back off. Geese, honking frantically, dive from the banks to teach their goslings “stranger danger.” And there are herons, fishing for breakfast to take back to the rookery. The scenario is different each day, but mid-spring offers the most opportunity to observe new life.
Even with this abundance of nature at my feet, I haven’t been compelled to carry my super-expensive binocular, which is reserved for the occasions of deer or other big-game hunting. It just seems like overkill for a walk around the pond.
But whitetail does are now appearing with spotted fawns, and bucks are boasting large and velvet-covered racks. The spots will soon disappear, and bucks will be engaging in bachelor antics, and I want to see as much of it as I can while it lasts.
I am very much looking forward to observing the rituals of various wildlife this fall through the lenses of the PowerView 2. At only 6.69" long, this 10x50 mm optic uses a porro prism—which inherently is less expensive to produce and purchase than roof prism binoculars, but allows in a large amount of light through its massive objective lens, giving me an incredibly crisp image. The lightweight bino is built on an all-metal chassis, which keeps the weight distribution well-balanced, and makes it durable in the elements. On the east coast, we experience the gamut of temperature extremes—sub-zero snowy winters and stifling hot, humid summers. So far the binocular has only endured the heat, but has nicely kept its form. Another great feature I love is its textured rubber armor casing, which lets me hold on to a dog leash in one hand and glass with the other without losing grip. However, for years I have owned Bushnell’s binocular harness, which I have used for hunting, so if I really get serious about some fall hikes, it’s compatible with the PowerView 2.
Although I chose the 10x50 mm porro prism model, the binos are available in multiple configurations from compact to full size, in roof prism and other power options. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly worry-free everyday optic to accompany you on your outdoor excursions or, like me, have the opportunity to birdwatch and gaze at wildlife in your neighborhood, give the Bushnell PowerView2 strong consideration. For more, visit Bushnell.com.