Glassing day in and day will earn you a degree in the fact that all optics are not created equal. The unforgiving backcountry demands details that few optic companies can deliver. Functionality and dependability are not just added luxuries – they are a necessity!
With that said its no secret that most high-end optics cost a bundle. Expect to pay a couple thousand dollars for a pair of high-end binoculars. As a glass fanatic I will admit to having owned models from all three companies. Until recently introduced to Hawke Optics Frontier binoculars, I was unconvinced that vision and value could be delivered in the same optics package.
Introducing the Hawke Frontier ED 10×43 Binocular
Having owned the Swarovski EL 10×42 Series binocular, my first hands on impression of the Hawke Frontier ED binoculars was “feels like the Swarovski EL.” With its ‘open hinge’ and rubber armored coating the ergonomic design is flawless. The Hawke Frontier ED is also engineered with a magnesium body, this not only gives extreme strength but reduces weight for long periods of glassing. Overall, the fit and feel of this binocular is pleasingly comfortable.
The biggest surprise that awaited us was the clarity of the ED glass. Having had opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison with several other binoculars, the extra-low dispersion glass truly delivered. Images through the Hawke Frontier ED multi-coated lenses are sharp and extremely bright. With almost all other binoculars in this price range there is definite “chromatic aberration.” Hawke’s proprietary technology keeps edges sharp and colors true. Through the entire field of view images were high-resolution and contrast remained consistent. Eye fatigue was little to none, which could not be said for some other optics we compared. Considering the price of the Hawke Frontier ED, its overall optical quality is down right astounding.
The center focus knob on the Frontier ED is very user friendly. Its ambidextrous location makes it easy to use either hand for operation. Adjustment is slow and smooth with just enough tension to retain your desired focus. The Hawke Frontier ED’s ability to focus on objects as close as 6 feet away was a definite and pleasant surprise.
The diopter adjustment is located on the right ocular. You will notice immediately that Hawke has incorporated more than enough adjustment in the diopter to suit a broad range of users. The diopter adjustment also has definite ‘clicks’ to secure the diopter ring in the desired position. The Frontier ED also features very comfortable, three position, twist-up eye cups. I found a full field of view was possible with the cups in any given position. As with binoculars costing a whole lot more, the functionality of the ED is flawless.
Weighing in at just 26oz qualifies the Hawke Frontier ED for any backcountry or treestand hunt. To prevent the lenses from fogging in nasty weather, the Frontier ED is Nitrogen purged. Guaranteed to be water-proof and fog-proof are definitely features that qualify these bino’s for any environment. Given their life-time warranty I would not have a problem taking these bino’s anywhere.
Another nifty feature of Hawke Frontier binoculars is hidden under the front hinge cap. Unscrew the hinge-cap and you will find the Frontier ED’s are threaded for a binocular tri-pod adapter. This is a great asset when glassing on all day excursions. The integrated lens covers are another though-out feature of the Frontier ED. No more lost lens covers in the woods or weeds. If you have a color preference; the Frontier ED is available in green or black. Hawke Optics also include a neoprene neck strap, micro-fiber cloth, lens covers and soft case upon purchase.
Having owned binoculars that cost significantly more, I suggest that for the money, you will be dollars ahead with Hawke. The Hawke Frontier ED 10×43 binoculars which cost 60-80% less than some premier optics, is the obvious antidote for “if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.” After spending time comparing the Hawke Frontier binoculars I am thoroughly impressed. I am now convinced that Hawke has met the demand for vision and value … and I’m not just seeing things. Visit your nearest Hawke Optics dealer today.