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Field Test: Covert Optics 10x42 Binocular

This well-balanced offering provides performance beyond its price tag.

Field Test: Covert Optics 10x42 Binocular

The Covert Optics bino sports excellent glass and a durable aluminum housing covered with a rubberized exterior. In addition to the 10x42 version, an 8x42 model is also available. (Photo courtesy of Covert Optics)

I'm a skeptical guy. I don't know if it's my Show-Me State upbringing or just the experiences of my life, but usually when I hear a claim made, I find that I need to see it for myself to believe it. So, this past summer when Teri Quinn, marketing director for FeraDyne Outdoors, started talking up the new Covert Optics 10x42 binocular, I was somewhat reserved.

It was the middle of June, and we were in Texas hunting exotics—aoudad, axis deer, blackbuck and the like. We were between morning and evening sits, and the temperature was hovering right about 100 degrees. In all honesty, maybe I wasn’t reserved so much as too lethargic to speak. In any case, Quinn described the bino as one of the best value-for-the-money offerings in Covert's line of new products. (You may be familiar with Covert Scouting Cameras; the Covert Optics line is an offshoot. FeraDyne is the parent company of both brands.)

Drew Warden Axis Deer
The 10x42 bino performed well in Texas, helping the author find axis deer in the shadows and during low light. (Photo by Drew Warden)

As an editor for an outdoor magazine, I hear this or something similar quite often. As someone who likes having good glass, though, I was immediately interested, even in the absurd Texas heat. I'd just need to get my hands on the binoculars myself.

Thankfully, I'd have a few more days of hunting in Texas—and ample time afterward—to do just that. And in that time, I'd come to see that Quinn was right. The new Covert Optics 10x42 bino offers quality, durable glass that any hunter can appreciate.

Featuring a closed-bridge, roof-prism design and a simple yet ergonomic rubberized exterior, the Covert Optics 10x42 seems unassuming. There's no flashy or over-the-top branding as on some binoculars, just a small brand name along the left side. The bino even comes in a nondescript gray color. But, as with most good optics, what's inside is what ultimately counts.

Internally, the bino features high-contrast BAK-4 phase-corrected, dielectric-coated roof prisms and high-quality extra-low dispersion (ED) glass, as well as Diamond Bright multicoating. All combine to create an excellent viewing experience for the user. The BAK-4 prism system limits light dispersion and minimizes diffraction, and the ED glass provides great color and clarity. This makes the bino perfect for spotting game in a variety of environments, including the mixed brush, plains and rolling hills of Texas' Hill Country. Meanwhile, the Diamond Bright multicoating helps maximize light transmission while reducing glare. This is critical for first-light and last-light scenarios when you need an optic to transmit as much light as possible for visibility, especially since game animals usually move more at these times.

Light transmission was key for our hunt in Texas. With the high temps, game was loathe to move in the brighter, hotter portions of the day. We needed to see well in less-than-ideal light conditions as animals attempted to beat the heat by moving early and late, and the Covert Optics 10x42 bino proved up to the task. I had an easy time spotting and gauging the size and characteristics of animals with this binocular, even in low light.

Of course, the bino also worked quite well in broad daylight, too. Each morning, we'd sit in a ground blind until about 8:30 or 9. After that we'd devote the next couple hours to driving and glassing in the hopes of catching something moving in the open and putting a stalk on it. Here, the binocular did not disappoint either. The Covert Optics 10x42 offered clear, crisp viewing, which made it easy to pick out game animals in the Hill Country, and I experienced no eye strain during extended glassing sessions.

The binocular has adjustable eyecups, a straightforward but effective focus wheel, a diopter adjustment, two points for attaching a strap, a 1/4-20 threaded tripod adapter with a cover and—naturally—covers for both ocular and objective lenses. While the included neck strap attaches easily and works just fine, I opted to place the bino in a harness for the hunt. I also did not use the tripod adapter in Texas, or in the time since, but it is a welcome feature for hunters who spend long hours behind a bino and want a stable field of view.




I had no problem tailoring the Covert Optics bino to my eyes; the eyecups and the diopter were both simple to adjust. The focus wheel rotated easily as well—almost too easily. I was impressed with how close the bino was able to focus: down to 2 yards.

The 10x42 binocular measures 5.35 inches long, 5 inches wide and 2.2 inches tall. It weighs 24 ounces. This combination feels well balanced. The Covert Optics 10x42 seems to run a bit smaller than other 10x42 binoculars I've used, which suits my hands just fine. Weight wise, it's comparable to other quality 10x42 binos; it's not the absolute lightest but it weighs quite a bit less than some options. Overall, it's a great size whether you're playing the spot-and-stalk game, or sitting in a treestand or ground blind. If you prefer a wider field of view, Covert offers an 8x42 model as well.

Durability is another key consideration for binoculars, and the Covert 10x42 seems capable here, too. Between the rugged rubberized exterior and the durable aluminum housing, the Covert Optics 10x42 should stand up to abuse. The bino withstood a couple short falls during my hunting trip and came out no worse for the wear. In addition to being shock resistant, the bino is also waterproof and fog-proof. It comes with a 3-year warranty.

Recommended


With a price point around $500, there's a lot to like about Covert Optics' 10x42 bino. The glass is very good for the money, rivaling optics costing quite a bit more, and the optical system is housed in a durable body that meets the demands of the field. The bino comes with a semi-hard case for protection, a neck strap and a lens cloth. Budget-conscious hunters looking for a workhorse binocular will find it in the Covert Optics 10x42.

Covert Optics 10x42 Binocular
Covert Optics 10x42 Binocular

Covert Optics 10x42 Facts

  • Info: feradyne.com
  • Field of View (@ 1,000 Yds): 330'
  • Eye Relief: 17 mm
  • Focus Range: 2 yds. to infinity
  • Lenses: fully multicoated ED glass
  • Prisms: roof; phase-corrected BAK-4
  • Length: 5.35"
  • Width: 5"
  • Height: 2.2"
  • Weight: 24 oz.
  • MSRP: $499.99

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