If you’re like most folks that hunt, when you get the opportunity to go, you go rain or shine. Therefore your gear better be able to keep up, especially when it comes to optics. I recently had the opportunity to test Nikon’s Monarch 3 10×42 binocular.
The Monarch 3 is part of the All Terrain Binocular series with a body built for toughness. It has fully multicoated lenses and prisms, phase-correction-coated roof prisms, high-reflective silver alloy prism coating, long eye relief, turn-and-slide rubber eyecups for use with glasses or without, and is waterproof and fogproof with O-ring seals and nitrogen filled gas. The body is also coated in a no-slip rubber grip, which was very nice in the field.
While we hear many things are waterproof we rarely test it, so I submerged my test set in water for the afternoon—their Nikon’s binoculars not mine! Then to torture them a little more, I placed them directly in the freezer. When I pulled them out later there were icicles hanging from the body. I took them outside to make sure everything was working right and the neighbor’s house 500 yards across the valley was still sharp and crisp. I’ll admit that the quick temperature change did fog the lenses a bit, but with a couple minutes to adjust they cleared right up.
I was also able to use the Monarch 3s on a whitetail hunt in the prairies of South Dakota. The hunts started at dawn as I traversed the high ground glassing for bucks heading off the prairie and into the creek drainages. The temperatures were anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees at dawn, but had I had little issue with fogging. Sometimes my warm breath would cause some fogging, but it disappeared quickly. While I glassed plenty of bucks this way, the 10X also let me evaluate the size of the antlers—saving me some footsteps on wasted stalks to get close enough to tell if a buck was a shooter or not. These binoculars have great light transmission, too. I was glassing bucks well into twilight and at first light, too. I didn’t end up scoring on a buck, but the comfortable twist-up eyecups and bright, clear glass of the Monarch 3 binos made the many hours of glassing pleasant. I continued to use the Monarch 3s throughout the remainder of the deer season in my home state of Alabama. Having spent a lot of time behind the glass, I’m keeping this test pair! The Monarch 3 10×42 binos sell for under $250. For more information, visit www.nikonhunting.com.
• Magnification x10
• Objective Diameter (mm) 42
• Angular Field of View (Real) 5.7
• Angular Field of View (Apparent) 52.9
• FOV @ 1000 yds. (ft.) 299
• Close Focus Distance (ft.) 9.8
• Exit Pupil (mm) 4.2
• Relative Brightness 17.6
• Eye Relief (mm) 17.4
• Size (L&W – inches) 6.0 x 5.1
• Weight (oz.) 24.7