Binoculars are very much a personal choice, no two pairs of eyes or hands are the same. Our reviews are designed to give the potential customer a more in depth assessment of a binocular, so they can use this information against their own particular requirements.
Hawke Nature-Trek – Re-design of this classic - is it still as good or better ?
Model reviewed – Hawke Nature-Trek 8x42
Price as reviewed - £129.99 our price (srp £149.99)
Hawke Optics has emerged as one of the leading manufacturers of budget binoculars, From the Vanguard to the Nature-Trek at around £100.00. In addition to these they make some excellent mid-range binoculars such as the Frontier EDX 8x42 and 10x42 priced around £350 and often seen as the best binocular under £400.
This model, the recently re vamped Nature-Trek 8x42, sits at the top end of their “budget” range.There is a huge amount of choice in the £100 plus market but there are a lot of binoculars that are simply not worth the money. Here we will see if the Hawke Nature-Trek 8x42 makes the grade.
The closed hinge design keeps the Hawke Nature-Trek 8x42 compact, even when compared to binoculars with smaller objective lenses. It is also a lightweight binocular that feels comfortable to hold for prolonged periods.
The materials used are as you would expect, as is the build quality. It is important to remember that this is a binocular costing around £150.00 and therefore materials and build quality aren’t up to the standard of models costing 3 or 4 times as much. However the quality is good for the price bracket this binocular is in. The rubber armouring isn’t as thick as on more expensive models and the focus wheel and eye cups rubber feels slightly on the cheap side but there are far worse binoculars out there that cost this much.
While the materials used reflect the price the build quality is far better than you would expect. This binocular feels solid and well built, it is a rugged thing that is built for the purpose of resisting the effects of time and high usage. They new version is both lihghtweight at just 638 gms and the re3 designed body casing and rubber armouring are a big improvement on the previous model.
So far so good but now we get to optics, and we are pleased to report that Hawke have done a very good job with the Nature-Trek. The image is clear, bright and colours are very true to life with little hue away from the natural colours of the image you see.
The field of view is also good, giving the user a flexible binocular for a variety of situations. There are models with a wider field of view but not at this price point.
It’s difficult to be too critical of a binocular at this price point. There is a touch of barrel reflection when looking through the Nature-Trek but it is not so bad that it distracts from the viewing experience.
Overall the optics on this binocular are well above what you would expect at this price point.
When reviewing a binocular costing around£150 it is important to not compare it to models costing more. For the price the Hawke Nature-Trek 8x42 is a superb binocular. It may lack the overall quality of binoculars costing more but compared to its direct competition it is a very capable piece of equipment and quite possibly the best in class.
It is pleasant to use and at £129.99 (our price) is excellent value for money. Whether bought as a main binocular or as a spare pair for the car the Hawke Nature-Trek 8x42 is dependable and you will not be disappointed.