Gear Review: Vanguard Spirit XF 10X42 Binoculars

Vanguard Spirit XF 10X42 Binoculars
By: Trevon Stoltzfus

There are a lot of factors that lead to success in bowhunting. For me, primarily a western hunter, research, scouting, physical preparation, and archery proficiency through hours of practice come quickly to mind. One thing that should always be high on the list is wisely choosing quality gear and out west where a bowhunter might spend 40 to 70 percent of their time glassing for trophy bucks or bulls, a good set of binoculars might just top the list.

Over the years I have used a wide variety of optics in the field, from the most expensive German glass to bargain basement close out specials that offer little in the way of eye relief but guarantee huge eye strain induced headaches.

Vanguard, perhaps known more for their tripods, has a full line of outdoor and hunting optics. A self proclaimed optic snob, I was at first skeptical of their economically priced Spirit XF 10X42 binoculars. My first surprise came when I first pulled the comfortably midsized binos out of the box. The Vanguard Spirit XF’s had a good solid feel. They were not too heavy and yet not too light unlike other low priced binoculars that have lightweight “cheap” feel to them.

The textured rubber exterior offers a comfortable shock resistance feel with a confidence building 100% waterproof and fogproof performance. I was also impressed with the Spirit XF’s exceptional image quality. My skepticism continued to diminish the longer I used them as Vanguard’s attention to details shown  through on features such as their easy to adjust focus ring and eye cups.

As I said before, I have spent countless hours picking apart distant ridge lines, rock slides and timber pockets in search of an antler tine, an ear flick, or any small movement that gives away a hidden trophy buck’s location, but the true test comes in that last 10-15 minutes of fleeting light.  This is the time when hunters understand that all optics “Are NOT created equal.” The Spirit XF’s performed admirably in low light conditions and I was once again impressed by these 10X42’s edge-to-edge clarity, high-contrast images and brilliant color which I can only attribute to its BaK4 roof prisms and lens coatings.
With the Spirit XF’s unique open bridge body design, these lightweight, compact and comfortable binoculars quickly made me rethink my position on this affordable optic line.

I have always been a firm believer that a good rule of thumb for purchasing optics is to buy the best glass you can afford and Vanguard has raised the bar for budget conscious bowhunters with their Spirit XF 10X42 Binoculars!

For more information on Vanguard’s Spirit XF 10×42 or its full line of hunting optics visit Vanguard World

Trevon Stoltzfus
Outback Outdoors