“Hi, I’m Daniel from liGo.co.uk, and
these are the Viking Kestrel binoculars!

The Viking Kestrels are a mid-range set
of binoculars, and they come in several

different sizes. I’ve got the 8×42 version here,
but there’s also an 8×32 and 10×42 version.

Obviously the specifics I’ll be talking
about in this video only refer to this model,

but they’re all roughly about the
same. The 8x32s just have a slightly

smaller objective lens, and the 10x42s
have a little bit more magnification.

Viking may not be one of the biggest names in
optics, but they’ve built a solid reputation

for themselves over the last 30 years, and
they’re very well-regarded here at liGo.

The Kestrels all come in at around the £200
mark- not exactly the cheapest binoculars around,

but for models of this spec with ED glass,
they actually offer incredible value for money.

So how do they stack up? Let’s take a look!

Let’s start out by talking about the design of
the Kestrels. They’re roof prism binoculars,

and they feature an open hinge design,

which means they’re easy to adjust to suit
the spacing of your own particular eyes.

The focus wheel is comfortably within
reach while you’re using the binoculars,

and it’s metal and textured so even if you’ve got
gloves on or it’s wet, it’s still easy to adjust.

That means you can quickly switch it up
on the fly to track an object in movement,

such as a bird in flight.

There’s also a metal diopter ring
as well, so if you’ve got one eye

that’s stronger or weaker than the other,
you can comfortably adjust it to suit.

The build quality of the Kestrels
is truly impressive. The materials

used are comparable with much
more expensive binoculars.

For a full-sized pair of bins, the Kestrels are
relatively lightweight. The model I’ve got here

weighs in at 629g, which is about average
for a model of this size and magnification.

Obviously they’re not as lightweight as
a compact pair of binoculars like these,

but for something to wear around your neck for a
full day of birdwatching, they’re not too heavy.

As you can see, the Kestrels have a
rubber-armoured casing. This helps

give it a little bit of protection
if they’re getting knocked about,

but the primary purpose is to make them
easy to grip even in wet conditions.

And while I’m on the subject, they’re
also fully waterproof and nitrogen purged

to prevent fogging- which is just what
you need for the fickle British weather.

It’s also worth mentioning that they have
twist-down eyecups. For most people that just

means that you can make them more comfortable
to use, but if you wear glasses this feature

is a real life-saver, as it means you can still
use the binoculars even with your glasses on,

and enjoy the full field of view that they
offer. And the fact that they’re twist-down

also means that they stay in place nicely
when you push them up against your eyes.

All in all, the Viking Kestrel
binoculars are really well-made.

Obviously they’re a world above
cheaper ones, as you’d expect,

but even compared to more expensive
binoculars, these still hold up very strongly.

Build quality is one thing, but what really
matters with binoculars is the quality of optics.

Viking have decades of experience both producing
their own binoculars and repairing other models

from some of the bigger brands out there, so
it’s safe to say that they’ve got pedigree.

All the Viking Kestrels come with ED glass,
which stands for extra-low dispersion,

which is rare to find in a pair of
binoculars around this price point.

What this basically means is, whenever light
passes through a lens, it refracts a little,

so what you see isn’t quite as true-to-life as
what you’d get with the naked eye. With ED glass,

that refraction is kept to a minimum, so the image
you see is brighter, clearer, and more colourful.

Even better, the lenses are also multi-coated,
too. This helps increase the rate of light

transmission. The faster that rate, the
brighter the image that hits your eye.

Many brands only coat the top and bottom
lenses, but Viking coat the lenses all

the way through the Kestrels, which
results in a noticeably brighter image,

so they’re great for use at dawn
or dusk as well as in the daytime.

That’s all the technical stuff out the way, but
I’m sure what you really want to know is: what

are these binoculars actually like to use? Well,
the short answer is we think they’re brilliant.

For around £200, these are extremely good value
for money, and the image clarity is excellent.

We tested the Kestrels on a hill walk
in the Mamores up here in Scotland,

and that light weight was certainly
appreciated when lugging them up a mountain.

We actually managed to spot a couple of golden
eagles while we were up there, and the Kestrel’s

wide field of view and well-placed focus wheel
made it really simple to track them in flight.

The 8×42 model that I’ve got here
has an 8.1-degree field-of-view,

nice and wide which is just what you want
for birdwatching, but it also makes them good

all-purpose binoculars too, as you can quickly
find whatever it is that you’re looking for.

Finally, the Kestrels, as with all binoculars
from Viking and indeed most brands nowadays,

also come with a little nylon carry case.
We’ve had a few customers say that it’s a

bit of a snug fit, and if you’re going to be
bashing the binoculars about you might want to

upgrade to something with a bit more protection.
But for casual use, it does the job just fine.

There’s also a strap for the binoculars themselves
included as well. This was a little bit fiddly

to attach the first time, but when it’s on the
padding makes it nice and comfortable to wear.

So there we have it, the Viking Kestrel,

a fantastic pair of ED binoculars that
offers outstanding value for money.

To find out more, or to get your hands
on some for yourself, go to liGo.co.uk!