Adventuring outdoors has never been more fulfilling than in these times. Being able to see that scenery through the right binoculars can reset your mood from the busy day-to-day grind.
Sometimes we all need a little break from being stuck inside. Going out to see the sights, hike, or bird-watch can be great stress relievers and help us reconnect with the world around us. But having a bit better idea of what you’re looking at never hurt anyone. With the Carson 3D ED 10×42 Binoculars, you can get the best views possible whether you’re just looking, hunting, or shooting photography to capture the world around you.
Carson Optical has been in operation since 1990, founded by Richard Cameron, and has had an excellent track record over the last near thirty years of being in operation. Originally named Copitar USA, Cameron was a former banker that wanted a change of career instead of spending his days on Wall Street fighting tooth and nail over market shares.
In 1991, he found a unique electronically styled binocular from a Japanese company that had gone under due to a rocky economy. He started cold-calling to get his foot in the door with mail-order catalogs like Sharper Image and Orvis that are now household names. Eventually, he was published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Popular Science, and many others.
Renamed Carson Optical later, his company grew on the idealism to always improve the customer’s experience in the wilderness- and that continues to drive the company today. Their products have expanded rapidly in the last few years and now are not only a staple of your hunting gear, but also used by our troops overseas and by our children trying to identify if the bird in the back yard is a blue jay or a cardinal.
The Carson binoculars are made from ED glass that reduces color obscuration and works toward you having the best and brightest image possible. With an excellent zoom feature of 10x the normal magnifications, these 42mm lenses help you see exactly what you need to when you need it. Also included are the carrying case, shoulder harness, lens covers, cloth, and neck strap. Some retailers, like the Carson website, include specific cleaning kits with purchase. The lens cloth and covers are excellent for long hikes to reduce any potential scratches or damage that could happen. Though these binoculars are armor coated, waterproof and fog proof just in case for those times when accidents might be unavoidable.
These can be used for a wide variety of purposes such as backpacking, sporting events, bird watching, or just plain spying on your neighbor down the street! These provide a lightweight alternative that is barely over a pound and a half and can expand your field of view by a little over 300 feet. Glasses wearer? No problem, because these include twist down eyecups that won’t impede your vision in the slightest. These binoculars are also tripod mountable, though that and the adapter is not included within the original purchase. They come in a variety of lens sizes if the Carson 3D ED 10×42 Binoculars doesn’t meet your specific needs, like the 32 and 50 mm. All weight less than two pounds with at least 8x magnification across all the different colors and styles.
This product also can be used in extreme temperatures (below freezing) changes from our average walk in the park. Other customers have tested its use while stargazing, on vacation trying to capture the perfect view of the Aurora Borealis and other activities usually seen as artic events with no issue. On the other side of the spectrum, these binoculars have seemingly no issue with extreme heat that can often warp or even melt lesser brands. Though it’s still not recommended you test them in the Arizona heat on your dashboard.
Though they are shockproof as well, and they are backed by America’s best warranty. If something does happen to your pair, you can get it repaired or replaced at no charge for you regardless of the reason! Any manufacturer issues are also covered under this warranty and will even be returned by the company for free as well.
Brand Vs. Brand
The market has no shortages of brands of binoculars- like Vortex Vipers, Zeiss, Nikon, and the top of the line, Swarovskis. Carson ranks among the highest, like Swarovski, that have dominated the market for the last 20 years. Some reviewers have commented that the focus knobs are smoother, sharpness clearer, and lightweight feel put it at the forefront despite owning a pair from the other competitors for several years already.
All manufacturing, like many if not all other brands, is still overseas. But the corporate office and several customer service centers are all based out of Ronkonkoma, New York. This often leads to quick turnaround times and assistance when you need it- which is unfortunately not something that is offered by many companies anymore. Customers have switched to Carson because of the excellent warranty and swap policies that brands like Nikon or Zeiss don’t have- or pricy replacement plans offer by Swarovski.
Quality over quantity has been one of Carson’s objectives since the business started and it reflects in multiple areas. Customers have been extremely satisfied with the packaging, delivery, and overall feel of the binoculars. Many have commented on the color and specialized gripping on the sides of the units to prevent accidental slips even after being in the water. Some brands develop odd smells off the plastic and coatings, but Carson is completely devoid of that while putting for solid, high-quality instruments that can withstand the drop while white water rafting or mountain biking over a steep trail.
The case is extremely well designed and easy to fit into any backpack or side-saddle on a bike to make sure they won’t be forgotten on the ride back to civilization. Keep in mind that these are standard-sized binoculars and not compact, so they won’t easily fit in your pocket if you need to store them quickly. They do come with a handy neck strap that is extremely durable and well-made with triple stitching.
They do include warnings inside the case after purchasing about health-related information that you may need to know about before buying! This product doesn’t outwardly announce that it may cause issues with certain people with heart problems. The case does include magnets that can interfere with pacemakers under certain circumstances. Though most don’t have issues, you might want to keep an eye out for this aspect of the purchase. And of course, if you have questions about the product, the company encourages you to give them a call and often get back to you within twenty-four hours.
While there are several ‘cheaper’ options, they seem to lack the overall quality that the Carson series has brought to the table. Ranging from roughly $250 to over $400, the Carson 3D ED 10×42 Binoculars is the lowest cost for the best quality of binocular.
While Carson sells most of its product from their website, they do sell off of Amazon and via several other retailers. If you were to buy from Amazon, you can apply for a store card if you wanted to slice the payments up if you’re on a budget to a little under $45 a month. Making this a great cost-effective product that you can use time and time again for many years to come.
Differences Within Carson
How do you know which of these Carsons will be the best for you and your specific needs? Comparing this brand’s top five binoculars on Amazon, there are few differences while still maintaining quality. Besides obvious color differences, there are some minor variations. The 10×42 is the ‘middle’ ground of the five, with two lower models that sit at 8×32 and 8×42. The ‘8’ stands for the magnification while the 32/42 is for the lens diameter. While these two are considered to be lesser models, they have a much larger field of view and larger eye relief while using them. Though, on the other hand, they have less close focus and are recommended more often for bird watching or sports than actual hunting or tracking game through the woods.
Meanwhile, the two that are a grade above the 10×42; the 10×50 and the camo-10×42 are slightly different. The 10×50 has less field of view, but have the highest close focus and eye relief. This also sits at the heaviest of the five, but don’t worry- it’s still less than two pounds in total without the case. The camo-10×42 is the same with just a slight color difference. These two ‘upgraded’ versions are recommended for hunting and stargazing.
- Though we all love to explore the wilderness or our backyards, please keep in mind that if you do decide to go bird-watching and hunting there are specific or better seasons to participate with. Either way, these binoculars can go with you to the arctic and back again before making a trip to the Sahara.
- If a polar bear decides to take a bite out of your pair, you can get them replaced no questions asked. Regardless of fall, manufacturer defect, act of God, or more.
- Some retailers will not sell the complete package and split it up now you would pay for multiple items instead of paying one complete price. Carson and Amazon both have options to report sellers if you come across this. Make sure you research your purchase and verify that you are buying an authentic Carson brand. When it doubt, you can always purchase from their website.
- Remember to look out for health warnings; you never want to buy grandpa a gift for his bird-watching club that has a few surprises inside.
- Some retailers will allow you a free cleaning kit package included with your purchase. Never use a standard or random cleaner on your binoculars. This can lead to discoloration and the lens being unrepairable.
- Come in a wide range of sizes and colors now you can find the perfect one for your needs. If they don’t fit, you can swap them!
- May not be the perfect fit for those with narrower pupil dilation but Carson does offer alternatives like the monocular or smaller variations of binocular on their website.
- Heat, cold, waterproof, fog-proof, shockproof, rubberized anti-break coating, and standard gripping are all common features that don’t always come with other brands.
These binoculars have a lot going for them in multiple areas. Whether it be an excellent warranty, a fair price, or just a sleek protective finish- these Carson 3D ED 10×42 Binoculars are an excellent addition to anyone looking for something to see further in the great outdoors! With all of these options and ideas about when and how to use them, we hope you’re going out into the great beyond and taking the path less traveled. You never know what you might find out there.