By: David Conrad - Sr Field Evaluator

You will never catch me in the woods without what I believe is an essential piece of equipment, what I refer to as my second set of eyes, my binoculars. And this year is no different, as I put the Vanguard Spirit ED to the test. I am partial to a pair that offers ample light gathering abilities in the early morning and late evening hours of the day. This is the time when trophy whitetails spend most of their time moving about between bedding and feeding area.


Vanguard Spirit ED

The Vanguard Spirit ED model allows for great light transmission, excellent field of view and the right amount of magnification for the rolling terrain. When hunting whitetail in the Midwest, I feel that 10X42 fits the bill best.

First impression
What I like about these Vanguard binoculars is the grip and feel. The armor frame has a semi rough texture and the thumb pads aid in utilizing a one handed grip. This is important, because most of the time in a treestand I have one hand on my bow, while the other is scanning with the binoculars.

The most important aspect of any binoculars is the vision capabilities. The coated optics offers a clear and crisp view no matter what the distance. Long scanning episodes do not cause eye fatigue or vision problems that occur with less quality optics. I hate at the end of a long day coming home and popping a few aspirin. It only took a few times in my early hunting career to dispose of the cheap binoculars and go with something dependable and quality glass.

The Spirit EDs have a nice sized focus wheel which doesn’t take much effort to turn and focus. With one finger the large wheel brings the lenses into focus rather quickly, which is a plus since most of my favorite perches are on ridges which overlook crop fields. I can focus on animals in the below fields and then quickly focus on movement approaching from intersecting fields.

The overall size of the Spirit EDs are perfect for the type of feel I am looking for. The overall weight is not overbearing for hours hanging from my neck. Although I have to admit that I immediately replaced the neck strap with the ever popular game type strap system. The two position eyecups are adjustable and are flexible, which aids in blocking out unwanted glare or light.

Two position Eyecups.

Features of the Vanguard Spirit ED
When it comes to binoculars the best glass available is the basis. From that point on Vanguard utilizes advanced lens coating to enhance the most important element of the glass, which is light transmission. Here are several ways Vanguard accomplishes greater light transmission.


  • ED Glass – Extra low Dispersion – The ED glass eliminates color dispersion from different light wavelengths (Chromatic Aberration) and focuses them to the same point after passing the prism. This will enhance and sharpen the image the user is viewing.
  • P2 Phase coating – the Vanguard signature BaK4 prisms are treated with P2 phase coating. The enhancement coating produces crystal clear images no matter what the outdoor situation.
  • V-Max Silver coating improves light reflection on lenses, offering not only brighter but crisper, sharper contrast images.
  • Anti-reflection – the Advanced Anti-Reflection coating minimizes the reflection of light, which translates into a higher rate of light transmission.
  • Emerald Coating- applied to objective lenses to filter color separations resulting in brighter and clearer images.
  • Waterproof and Fogproof – The Spirit EDs are sealed for dependability. No need to worry about issues during damp or temperature changing mornings. These binos are solid and built for the outdoor extremes.

Like I mentioned earlier, the best glasses should start out with the best in class glass. Imperfections like small microscopic bubbles can wreak havoc on quality, not to mention the end result of blurred vision and headaches! Vanguard has taken the glass to a best in class level with the ED quality and added special attention with lens coatings. Viewing compared to other binoculars in the same class will leave you wondering why you didn’t try them before.

For more go to: Vanguard World