Trijicon HD Binocular Review
By Justin Hyer
I am a gear junkie. In a perfect world I would make my living testing and evaluating guns, optics, and hunting gear, so when I got the chance to review the HD Binocular from Trijicon I jumped at the opportunity.
The Trijicon HD Binocular in its case.
I received the binoculars in early October, just in time for the Utah general season spike elk hunt. Trijicon ships these binoculars out in an extremely nice carrying case. The case is built with molded in pockets for the optics and accessories that keep everything secured nicely when the cases are zipped shut. As nice as the cases was, I found myself not using it very often just due to its sheer size, but on the occasions I transported the binoculars in them I never worried about them being damaged.
As I took the binoculars out and handled them for the first time, I felt that they looked and felt like quality optics should. The focus knobs were smooth and the binoculars balanced easy and felt comfortable in my hands. The gray and black armor looks very sharp and the binoculars are etched with “Proverbs 4:25” on them. I looked up the verse: “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” Pretty good advice for observation optics and I hoped they’d help me find an elk to put in the freezer.
I had a few days before I needed to leave for my hunt so I ventured outside to get a first peek through the binoculars and gather some initial impressions. I easily adjusted the diopter on the 10X binos for my eyes and began to do some glassing. After a few minutes of glassing around the neighborhood I decided the binos would be plenty good enough to take hunting and I would not feel under-glassed if I left my personal binos at home.
Before leaving for the hunt a good friend of mine asked to accompany me, and I was very excited to have him along for an extra set of eyes as we searched for the often-elusive spikes. I asked if he would be willing to carry the Trijicon binoculars in the field and we could switch between optics throughout the hunt and compare both of our observations. My friend is fairly new to the optics world and I thought his opinion would provide valuable input from someone looking to purchase his first set of optics. The binoculars did a great job. My friend was easily spotting game and was thoroughly enjoying using them. The binos come with a nice shoulder harness and it did a great job of keeping the binoculars secured as we hiked around looking for elk.
One of our morning glassing spots.
Halfway through the second day we switched binoculars and he took my 8x32 Swarovski EL’s and I took the Trijicons. The image through the Trijicons was very pleasant to look through with good resolution and color rendition in the center of the image. As I spent more time with them I did discover that the focus knob was much faster than I am used to. It did not take much movement at all to focus from very close to very far; while I was not a huge fan of how fast it was, my friend loved it. Even though the focus was faster than I preferred, it was still very easy to get the image into focus and my friend actually liked the Trijicon’s better overall than my EL’s.
After a few days in the field we did have a problem with both rubber eyecups falling off of the binocular eyepieces. A quick call to Trijicon got me a return shipping label and they sent me a replacement pair to continue my review. Throughout the few days we hunted we experienced all sorts of weather from sunny and warm to cold and rainy, and even some spurts of very wet snow. The nitrogen purging of the binos worked as intended and prevented both optics from having any internal fogging.
Figure 3. Eye chart used to compare resolution
I conducted a resolution test with the Trijicon HD Binoculars and compared them to a Vortex Viper 10x42HD and a first generation Vortex Razor 10x42. For this test I put all the binoculars on top of a sand bag rest and tried not to touch the binoculars as I looked through them. I used the above eye chart and set it up at 20 feet. The results can be seen in Table 2. The Razor performed the best by being able to read some of the size 5 text even though it could not read all of the characters in size 6. The Trijicon took second place by performing slightly better than the Viper HD by being able to distinguish a few more characters of the size 6 text.
Binocular resolution results
For a field comparison I took all three of the binoculars outside on a bright snowy afternoon and glassed with them until the sun was setting. During full daylight, the Trijicon had an image that appeared to be the brightest of the three with a slight blueish hue. Chromatic aberration was pretty well controlled for most of the image and did not distract me even when looking at high contrast objects in the snow. The Viper and Razor had more of a yellow hue and as it got dark the Razor seemed to maintain a slightly brighter image than the others and allowed for a little longer glassing, but the Trijicon and Viper were nipping at its heels.
Trijicon HD Binocular (left) vs. Vortex Viper HD (right).
While comparing all three binoculars I also noticed that I liked the balance and the size of the Trijicons the best while glassing unsupported. While I prefer to do most of my glassing with 10x binoculars off of a tripod, the advantages of a binocular that are easy to handhold should definitely be taken into consideration when you look to purchase an optic.
Overall I was impressed with the Trijicon HD binoculars. Their small size, good balance, and nice image appear to be in line with their price point. For someone looking for a midrange 10x42 binocular I’d include them on your list of optics to get your hands on as you consider which ones will work best for you.
Justin Hyer began reloading during high school and developed a passion for making precision shots that quickly blossomed into a love for long range shooting. He has spent his whole life living in the shadow of the Utah mountains and enjoys being minutes away from excellent shooting, hunting and fishing locations. He currently works as a product development engineer designing medical implants and instruments.