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Binocular recommendation for young kids

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#1 Dadoo


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Posted 06 August 2022 - 07:31 AM

What opinions does this group have on binoculars that would best for a young child? My older son could find the moon or a bright star in a 50x10 monocular when he was 4 years old, but that was actually a 50x10 bino that had been broken in half, so I have a mind to buy something better, now that my middle son is showing some interest.

Ideally they would be lightweight, with a high apparent FOV and true FOV, so it’s easy to find things. So, generally a low objective size and low magnification. There are some 5x30mm options marketed to kids for 20ish USD, but I’m wary that those might have the FOV limited by the eyepieces or prisms or have something else wrong with them. So, what is a pretty good quality binocular in the low mag / lightweight category?

#2 HoundDog



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Posted 06 August 2022 - 07:48 AM

Vortex Raptor 8.5x32 porro. Wide pupil adjustment goes inward to 50mm for kids and lifetime no fault warranty. $99 is fairly easy on the wallet.

They're good for adults too!

#3 Tom Graham

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Posted 06 August 2022 - 07:51 AM

I chose to buy the “Pentax Papilio II 6.5x21 Binoculars” as a family gift for our young grandson (and his parents.) They are expensive if only for a young child, but they checked all the boxes for me: They are small and light enough for young hands, great quality, very well protected for the inevitable drop or rough handling — and I loved the extra benefit that (unlike almost any others) they can be used for very close-up viewing (like bugs, worms, etc.) while on a daytime walk. 

I believe these binoculars are the perfect gift for nighttime and daytime exploration.

Good luck. 
[edit for typo]

Edited by Tom Graham, 06 August 2022 - 07:57 AM.

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#4 DeanD


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Posted 06 August 2022 - 08:01 AM

I agree that the Pentax Papilio would be a great option: kids love the extreme close-up, and the IPD is great for kids.


IPD is a major issue for children, and most "adult" binoculars don't have a small enough IPD. Other options would be something like the Olympus 8x21 RC II, or the Nikon Aculon T02 8x21. Lots of great colours for kids too!


Another option with a wider fov could be the Bresser 6x21's. A positive review here: https://www.bestbino...rs-for-kids-10/


I think if you go too low on price you get what you pay for. I got some Tasco 8x21's for my granddaughter for Christmas, mainly because there was nothing else available locally on short notice: but they are very poor optically: having a sharp(ish) "sweet spot" only about 30%... very disappointing.


Good luck!


- Dean

Edited by DeanD, 06 August 2022 - 08:15 AM.

#5 ihf


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Posted 06 August 2022 - 08:50 AM

Low resolution and larger exit pupil are better.


I tried the Bresser Elfin "7x20 Compact High Resolution Shockproof Binoculars for Kids" for USD 26 on Amazon. They are reverse Porro and shockingly seem to be FMC. They have a slightly weird bokeh. I got them because they looked similar to the 5x21 Sightron reverse Porros that I like a lot, but those seem unobtanium from Japan right now. Finally there is the Vixen 4x18 which at USD 100 is starting to get spendy but has good optics (meant as museum glasses like the 6.5x Papilio). The Vixen has a narrow AFOV, but it is easy to use.

#6 gene 4181

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Posted 06 August 2022 - 08:57 AM

 Opticron 6.5 x 32  Adventurer T porros are nice, IPD of 53 -74 , Oberwerk has a nice  6.5x32  thats rubber armored and WP also with a smaller initial IPD of 51-70 , a favorite among  children and adults too.   

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#7 Foss



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Posted 06 August 2022 - 09:04 AM

Oberwerk's 6.5x32 has an 8° FOV and the IPD goes down to 51 to fit the younger kids. Plus, it's only $85.


I had one and was blown away by the view. Ultimately gave it to a friend's son who expressed interest in astronomy and nature.

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#8 Dadoo


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Posted 07 August 2022 - 01:16 PM

Thanks all for the replies. I ended up ordering the Bresser 7x20’s, hoping they are a good compromise, above the cheapy $10 pairs out there, but still a lot cheaper than the premium options. Read the reviews and they advertise a pretty good 120m at 1000m FOV and BAK4 prisms. Good to know what the premium options are now, like the Pentax, Oberwerk, etc. Thanks!

#9 ihf


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Posted 07 August 2022 - 02:34 PM

One thing that is difficult for a lot of people is to set the correct interpupillary distance (IPD). Measure the distance between the center of their eyes with a ruler, then set the distance between the centers of the eyepieces with the same before handing it to them. Similarly set it to infinity first. Show them how to stabilize them by resting thumb and index finger against your face. Youtube has some good tutorials, here is one. Remind them that they can never drop the optics!


If the 7x20 doesn't work out for some reason, try to find one of the 6x30s mentioned or even consider the Roxant 6x30 monocular on Amazon for USD 35-40. That removes the IPD setting problem. IMO the Roxant is a bit too big and heavy for an adult monocular, but I have seen two young kids use and fight over it during a walk a few years back. The optics was pretty decent as long as it was not used against strong light.

Edited by ihf, 07 August 2022 - 11:12 PM.

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