Last month we showed you the new BX-5 Santiam HD Binoculars from Leupold in 15x56mm. These amazing binos provide superb optical performance but might be a bit larger than most outdoorsmen and women want to carry in the field. Fortunately, Leupold also offers the Santiam binos in an 8×42 and a 10×42.
Our test model is a 10 magnification and having used these on a doe hunt at first light, I can attest to their superpower to see in very minimal light.
At 10 minutes before legal shooting light, I could make out trees and bushes easily, and at one minute after it was legal to shoot, they showed me a deer at 100 yards as clearly as if it was early evening. When I brought up my rifle scope, not a Leupold, I couldn’t even see the deer in the scope. It was another 10 minutes of sunrise before the deer was visible in my scope.
The Santiam is named for a forest on the western slope of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains and is ideal for use in deep and dark arboreal forests where animals may be concealed in speckled light or completely in shadow.
Using state of the art high definition lead free glass with phase coating, multi-coated lenses with BAK 4 Open Bridge roof prisms with their Twilight Max HD Light Management System and Xtended Twilight Lens System, the Santiam binoculars have exceptional low-light gathering capability, which in the case of my deer hunt was literally night and day.
DiamondCoat 2 protects your lenses from scratching, muck, dust, and moisture, and a proprietary nitrogen fill process keeps out any nastiness that might get inside or thermal shock that may create condensation and occlude your view.
Available in either Shadow Gray or Sitka Subalpine camo pattern, the rubberized housing not only protects your binos from dings and bumps, but gives you an ergonomic, sure grip without fatiguing your hands. Twist up eyecups provide you an ample depth of view and adjust for those wearing glasses. A smooth center focus dial is easy to adjust with a single finger. They can be hand-held or use a center tripod adapter for glassing over longer periods, so these binos are excellent for both hiking long distances or glassing from a stationary position.
The BX-5 Santiam HD binoculars provide everything you would expect from their premium German counterparts at half the price. But if anything should ever go wrong with them, they come with the Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee, which means they will be repaired or replaced without question no matter if you sell them or give them away. Based on our testing, I can assure you that you will still own these binoculars for a very long time.