It's hard to believe Swarovski can pack its renowned optical excellence into a compact 25mm binocular, but they did! A surprisingly wide field of view and generous eye relief provides easy viewing of the bright, sharp, edge-to-edge images. Take a look through the CL binocular and it will become your constant companion. Swarovski provides a limited lifetime warranty for the CL Companion.
|Fully Multi-coated Lenses
||Increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces.
||Enhances resolution and contrast through roof prisms.
||Optimize light transmission.
||Appreciated for a streamlined shape and durability.
||Provides a secure, non-slip grip.
||Twist up and down for comfortable viewing with or without eyeglasses.
|Center Focus Wheel
||Adjusts both binocular barrels at the same time.
|Right Eye Diopter
||Adjusts for differences in a user's eyes. Located between the objective lenses.
||Optics are sealed with O-rings to prevent moisture, dust, and debris from getting inside the binocular.
||Barrels are filled with nitrogen gas to inhibit internal fogging.
Demo products do not always include the same accessories as new products. Contact us with questions.
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3 Stars for Swarovski - 5 stars for Eagle Optics
Dusty from Mid-coast Maine
I had nothing but the best expectations when purchasing the Swarovski CL Pocket 8x25 binoculars - item # COM-SK-46201. They have received nothing but excellent reviews - certainly for the exceptional quality of the optics and for this package in particular - binoculars and case. Some people review that the included strap is uncomfortable and that the lack of protective covers for the lens is a disappointment though not a deal breaker. These binoculars are excellent.
My impression of the binoculars - perfectly sized for carrying everywhere that I am inclined. Adjustments required for viewing back and forth with my wife who wears glasses (bi-focals for her, no glasses for me) is easy for both of us though of course it would be better if we each had our own pair. (Not any time soon - $$s don't 'cha know - yikes :) - buying these was a big deal for us). Anyway, looking through the lens you are rewarded with a crystal (pun here) clear image that far surpasses any binos I have ever used. The image is bright and sharp and the color rendition is extraordinary. Very very nice and all that I hoped for and expected for the price.
The 3 stars come in to play because of the utterly useless carrying case. This current version of the case IS NOT THE ORIGINAL VERSION. It is ridiculously - even stupidly too small. What was Swarovski thinking? The binos barely fit. I understood, from reviews here and from a great and detailed online review, that there would be a nice padded pouch with a very accessible interior including a mesh pocket with room to store more than the basic binoculars. There are two zippers on the top but they ONLY open across the top and not down the side at all. The binoculars need to be stuffed into the case. To remove them requires a struggle of pulling which is done by grasping the very top (eye pieces) of the binoculars or yanking on the small strap until you can get better purchase on the body. Here from a February 2016 review on this site - "I like the case because it provides enough room to substitute a more comfortable larger strap as well as ocular and objective lens covers." This is absolutely NOT THE CASE that I received. I need to twist down the eye cups and to cram the included little strap on top. You almost need the strap as an aid to pull the binoculars out. This pushing and pulling will certainly result in scratched lenses in short order even as I will try mightily to be careful and a case that will have a short life from the abuse described. As I expected there are no protective caps - all the more reason to need to carry a lens cloth in the case BUT there is absolutely no room to add that too. Now put yourself out doors on a trail with these binoculars in their pouch on your belt and consider how readily usable these binoculars will be - NOT. If they aren't hanging around your neck you won't be pulling them into action without alerting any bird or creature you hope to bring into focus.
I, of course, complained to Eagle Optics. I exchanged 6 to 7 emails with Jodie who was very willing to help including communicating with Swarovski. I was offered a few substitute cases from Eagle Optics but I declined because the only choices were too large for these small binoculars.
We learned that in fact Swarovski had changed their case style for these CL 8X25s (this is a decision that they will surely have to reconsider). I was unhappy enough that the use of these binoculars would be so severely compromised by this "shrink wrap" case that I intended to return them. I had accepted the need to downgrade the optics to upgrade the carry ability otherwise these binoculars would need to stay on a windowsill. Jodie saved the day. Swarovski will be sending me a case from their "old stock". This can't be an every purchase solution so please be aware that if portability and ready access is important - you will likely need to get a custom pouch for these unless Swarovski does another redesign.
In conclusion I repeat my review title. Swarovski = 3 stars, Eagle Optics = 5 stars. Thanks Eagle Optics (Jodie) for a happy shopping experience.
A Fantastic Compact Choice
Jason from Payson, IL
I bought these little Gems a couple of years ago. I already own a pair of 8.5x42 EL Swarovision binos but wanted a compact version because sometimes I do not feel like lugging full size binoculars. These CLs are truly the way to go. I tied a cell phone wrist strap to these binos for added protection just in case I get bumped into or accidentally drop them. As with all Swarovski products, they are crystal clear, easy to focus and provide good eye relief. They even out perform some full size pairs. Obviously your field of view is lessened due to the size and might have some problems with low light conditions, BUT, these are terrific and I highly recommend them for portability, clarity and craftsmanship.
Best Dual Hinge Compacts
Michael from Houston TX
Overall the best choice in a dual hinge compact for all the reasons other reviewers mention. More eye relief, easier eye placement, wider FOV, and the slightly larger size and weight vs an 8x20 helps hold the bin steadier and make all adjustments easier. I own half a dozen pairs of dual hinge compacts, including these 8x25s, Swarovski 8x20 and Leica 8x20 Ultravid as well a three less expensive pair for casual/glove compartment use. This Swarovski 8x25 gives more of the feel, handling characteristics and viewing experience of a much larger binocular. With the others, the overall feeling is that you are using a great but very small binocular. Assuming that most people would only want one such binocular I would only downsize to an 8x20 if you need a true "shirt pocket" binocular. In that case go with the superb Leica Ultravid 8x20. Otherwise the extra size and weight of the this 8x25 are not significant in actual use and again are in fact an advantage. As with all Swarovski bins, all mechanical/optical features function exceptionally well and deliver the signature spectacular Swarovski image.
I like the case because it provides enough room to substitute a more comfortable larger strap as well as ocular and objective lens covers. While not detracting from the overall five star rating, Swarovski really should provide lens covers. Both the Vortex extra small ocular covers and objective lens covers will work ok out of the box and if modified, they work very well. Cut the gapped strap attachment point off the one side of the ocular cover. Cut the two pieces in half at the point where they are bent. Carefully glue one piece inside each of the four lens covers at the three o'clock position and the covers will stay put very well. A couple of astute reviewers noted that the included high quality strap is not very comfortable. I had not noticed this and for such a small light bin this may seem to be overkill, but they are absolutely right, especially if you plan to carry around the neck for any length of time. I have now substituted the excellent Eagle Optics strap and believe it or not, the difference is noticeable. Note that you will have to use small zip ties to attach the EO strap to the bin because of its larger size but this works very well. The bin equipped with all these extra accessories will fit into the slightly oversized case if arranged with reasonable care. Admittedly, many people complain about Swarovski cases. For me however they are hands down the best for actual use in the field to the point that there simply is no second place finisher. Odds are if you will experiment a bit and figure out how to take advantage of their industry leading features for your own use, you will be pleasantly surprised. Thank you for your indulgence of that venting and buy a pair of these 8x25s. You will love them.
Scott from L.A.
I'm amazed by these Swarovskis. The FOV is impressive for pockets. Its greater weight is due to its solid build quality and larger 25mm objective size, but it's still a true compact. Diopter dial is easy and out of the way. The optics are insanely good, and CA is not disturbing. And the view is crystal clear. Truly brilliant!
But these models excel for two other, far more important reasons: the added 2 or 3mm's of eye relief that these pocket Swarovskis afford over other alpha pocket models (and 4mm more than their old pocket model) may not seem like much but it has made all the difference for some eyeglass wearers like me. Secondly, the new, lower magnification option for the 25mm model (8x) is a super smart move, and about time, too, for the alpha pocket group. The lower power-to-objective-lens ratio means wider, brighter FOV and better eye relief with less shakiness. I hope this becomes a trend. For me, the 7x binocular that once ruled as the birding standard still makes the most sense and I would love to see more elite 7x models again. Despite what people have been led to believe, the binocular's power isn't everything. Clarity is. Elite binoculars mean nothing if you can't see well out the other side. Birders, especially, need to re-think their priorities in this regard, and opt for bright, clear glass over murky power.
A few petty cons: The close focus distance on the 8x25 is not great; the case, never a Swarovski strongpoint IMO, is overly fiddly and, for the money, it ought to be a hardshell case; and there really is no convincing reason not to provide a rain guard and objective lens covers for glass that costs this much; lastly, the black you see on the front of the binoculars is metal, not rubber coating or plastic, and even on a cool California morning they were quite cold to the touch. Can't imagine what they feel like in cold weather without gloves. But these are small concerns and don't take away at all from the overall 5-star quality.
I'm happy to say that after twenty years of making various, sometimes expensive pocket binocular purchases, I've finally found truly first-rate, really enjoyable compacts. Such a treat! Highly recommended.
Great small pair
Steve T from San Ramon CA
Brought these about a year ago after trying a lot of different brands to find something in a small size which fit my eyes. I have not been disappointed in any way. I take them hiking and walking and they just fit in my shirt pocket. Hence they are always with me. They are extremely sharp and are close to the EL's in fact it is often hard to see any difference. They are easy to hold, focus quickly, and a pleasure to use. When carrying a scope having these in your pocket really comes in handy. I can not rate them highly enough. A great pair of bins which you always have with you what more can one ask for.
Best Binoculars on a Salmon River
Ridgerunner from Maine
Having recently purchased the Swarovski CL 8x25 binoculars, my use is principally for navigating Atlantic salmon rivers - where travelling down a rapids-infested river requires examining the state of flow, the river edges for walking, as well as scanning pools for telltale ripples of aggressive salmon. One handed use, waterproofing, easy placement in front of the eyes, with compactness are all needed. These passed - in fact I believe they are the best compacts out there for such explorations. I compared them directly with Zeiss Victory 8x32s, and found these Swarovski bins were indistinguishable in clarity. The downside is a narrower field of field, and slightly more care needed in placing the binoculars in front of the eyes, so for birding they could work, but the Zeiss would be preferred. That is it. They were crisp and sharp edge to edge in my estimation. If one were going to the Himalayas (I spent 24 months hiking there many years ago) I would take these Swarovski 8x25s. Same for kayaking in Maine and Nova Scotia. Also, if one is principally into photography, on foot, the Swarovski bins would be the ones to take, weighing less while being razor sharp. These...are...the...ones. Period.
Best Compact Binocular on the market
Earl D. from Westerville, Oh
If you need a compact binocular or if you just want a lightweight binocular, I highly recommend these. They are much easier to use and outperform any 8x20 premium binocular I've owned or tried. They fold up compactly and easily fit into my bike bag and car storage compartments, etc. The focus wheel is very easy to turn and very smooth. The optics are of course excellent, with edge to edge sharpness.
Pretty decent binoculars
Rick from Florida
I recently purchased these bins. They are compact, and pretty bright for their size.
I think they are a little over priced, but very good just the same.
499 would be a better price. One thing i do not like is that the focus wheel is loose.
I do not know if it's supposed to be this way, or if its a defect. I prefer it to be tighter.
I am not sure how to tighten up myself.
A new favorite
Mark from PA
I use compact binoculars often, including the Leica 8x20 Ultravid and the Bushnell 7x26 Elite. Both of those are excellent, but the Swarovski is my new favorite. It's bigger and heavier than the Leica and calling it a "pocket" binocular might be a stretch for some users. But it's also considerably brighter than the Leica and has an easier view because of the larger exit pupil. Folded, the Swarovski is more compact than the Bushnell and the color seems more neutral. It works really well with glasses, the focus is very light and smooth, and the overall quality can't be beat. All three are excellent compacts, but the Swaro is my new favorite.
Excellent pocket binocular
Craig T from Tucson AZ
Optical quality of these pocket binoculars is excellent . Eye relief (17mm) is good if you wear glasses. Focus wheel works well
Weight is greater than competitors ..whether this is an issue depends on personal preference. The strap is a bit uncomfortable
These optics cannot replace a larger birding binocular but can serve as a useful very portable backup pair