Bushnell Excursion EX 8x36 Binocular
Glenda H. from Baltimore, MD
Purchased these for a friend for a Christmas gift. She is extremely pleased with the Excursions so far. She plans a visit to Deal Island, MD to observe the many birds and other wildlife. She likes the light weight and how nicely they fit in her hands.
Bushnell Excursion EX 8x36 Binoculars
Jeffrey from Round Rock, Tx
Overall, an excellent pair of binoculars available for $150 - $200. Waterproof, fogproof, nitrogen purged, should be worry free.
The first thing I noticed was how heavy the box weighed when UPS delivered it.The mid size binoculars are solidly built and have the feel of quality.
The optics are very clear and quite bright. I used them for bird watching in the back yard as soon as I received them. As expected, they perform well in daylight. I recently took them to an indoor concert and they were excellent for a bright clear image in poor lighting.
The eye relief is generous and accommodate glasses wearers.
The locking focus is not much use for birding as they are usually never in the same place. I did however find it quite handy at the concert - I got the binoculars fine tuned in on the stage, locked the focus, and was able to later just raise up the binoculars and everything was clear.
The focus knob is smooth and fairly easy to use with one hand.
The right eye diopter stiff but smooth and the twist out eye cups easy to operate.
The neck strap is wide and padded. this makes it a little bulkier, but more comfortable.
The carrying case is semi rigid and "double wide". It is almost square.
The biggest shortcoming - the lens covers. They were designed to be lost. They are better left in the case and used for protection in storage only.
Optics - 5 stars / Overall - 4 stars
Latest Excursion EX from Bushnell
Larry Mendoza from Northern California
I recently had the opportunity to recommend and purchase a pair of Bushnell Excursion EX's for a senior citizen neighbor of mine, who has just picked up the hobby of birding. She had a few explicit criteria which were necessary for a binocular pair to incorporate into her travels:
- waterproof, fogproof
- long eye relief (she's a glasses wearer)
- very light weight
- large as possible optics (brightness was a factor due to her glasses, and "elderly eyes", i.e. smaller aperture openings)
- reasonable cost
We settled on a $150 price point, as I had much experience with "value optics" (i.e. >$200). As I performed my homework, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the Excursion 8x36's, which met virtually all of the above criteria, at least on paper. We agreed to order a pair for her, and performa a basic hands-on checkout. Comparison point for this discussion was/is my current value leader/"jack of all trades" binoculars du jour, my Browning 8x32's (rebadged Legends), well critique'd on multiple related sites.
Upon arrival of the Excursion EXs, immediate comparisons with the Brownings fell out:
- the Excursion EX's were substantially lighter "in the hand" than the Brownings, despite the larger primary optics
- the binoculars were virtually identical in "hand-hold" sizing; one very nice distinguishing feature of the Excursion EXs was the soft "thumb gel" placed at the bottom of the barrels, to spread the weight beyond the point of contact on the thumbs
- another very nice feature was the "slip & click" attachment points on the neckstrap - very simple and easy to use, especially for my neighbor
- a tricky feature was the new (to me) primary focus lock - the primary focus knob comes "locked" closed and must be pulled outward with a click in order to free the mechanism for turning - we almost broke the binoculars while figuring this out! Fortunately, they are pretty tough, and once free, they turn with a buttery smooth freedom, with faster ratios than my Brownings
- very nice feature is that the Excursions come with tethered primary covers, far superior to the "leave 'em & lose 'em" lens covers which are standard fare, and not well suited for newbies
- Finally the optics - very bright, nice quality view, with excellent eye relief; my neighbor had no problems immediately using the binoculars with her glasses (and a bit of focus help from me); in direct comparison to the Brownings, they are not quite in the Browning optical category, as they exhibit a less-even FOV, and less on-center sharpness - however, they are equally as bright, and the lighter weight and abundance of features puts them ahead of the Brownings in useability.
(one other note for experienced users; the Brownings are Japanese, while the Excursion EXs are Chinese - that may well be as much of the difference in optical quality as anything; the Brownings also have a pronounced "jewelled" feel over the Excursions EXs in mechanisms and weightiness, but it must be said that the Excursion EXs are close...)
Overall, my neighbor has been very pleased with the purchase - it must also be said that it is amazing how much binocular can be had for the $150 price point these days - the Excursion EXs have very good optics, gobs of effective features, and above-average build quality for the price. Strongly recommended for the first-time user, older users, or users with the above criteria set.