I Can See For Miles And Miles'¦

Alpen Optics - Rainier 8x32 Binocular

Being primarily a whitetail hunter who occasionally makes forays into western territory (often unsuccessfully) I have a strict criteria for the binoculars I carry. Basically, they need to be rugged, lightweight and provide ultra-clear viewing. The Rainier 8x32's (Model 67) from Alpen Optics met and surpassed my criteria.

Contact: Alpen Optics, 10329 Dorset St. Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730; (877) 987-8370; www.alpenoptics.com

Totally waterproof and featuring a magnesium body, the Rainier's can withstand the bumps and jostles delivered by archer's that are far more worried about closing the distance to a game animal than they are with babying their gear. Weighing in at only 25 ounces, the Rainier series provides quality in a weight that is extremely manageable no matter what type of hunting or scouting they are used for. Lastly, sharp and clear viewing is achieved through the BAK 4 Prisms, which are coated with over 60 layers of SHR metallic and PXA phase coatings. Simply put, the quality of the lenses and prisms combined with the long eye relief (18 mm) and size of the exit pupil (4 mm) result in optimal viewing even in low light. In addition to the lenses and prisms, the Rainiers are also nitrogen filled and o-ring sealed to prevent fogging.

I tested the Alpen 8x32s on an early summer scouting trip. Even as the light faded on the hayfield I glassed, I could still distinguish the barely-there antlers of the bucks that fed in the late evening. It was impressive to be able to judge potential antler size at over 250 yards away considering the bucks had only been growing them for a month at the most in my neck of the woods.

Contact: Alpen Optics, 10329 Dorset St. Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730; (877) 987-8370; www.alpenoptics.com.

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