Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 binoculars review

Can the Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 compete with the best binoculars and telescopes available? Absolutely. Binoculars have been a hit in recent years, as aspiring astronomers eager to spend some of their unexpected time at home are getting to know the night sky, and there are many reasons why the TrailSeeker 8×42 are suitable for the amateur astronomer. With the mind of traveling to find dark skies.

Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 – Key Specs

Magnification: 8x
Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
Angular field of view: 8.1 °
Eye Relief: 17mm
Weight: 23.1 oz

A pair of roof prism binoculars positioned above mass market low prices, the Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 combines premium design and build quality with excellent optics designed to make the most of the night sky. Waterproof with 8x magnification and 42mm objectives, amateur astronomers seeking wide-field views of star clusters, double stars, and lunar views will love its flexibility. However, we believe that the 8×42 specifications of these binoculars are the minimum to look for in astronomy binoculars; Its 8º field of view means you get a noticeably smaller image of deep sky objects compared to a pair of 10×50 binoculars, which offer approximately 6.5º.

The inclusion of a good quality carrying case and an additional harness strap keeps them from being a pain in the neck, although the real attraction of the TrailSeeker 8×42 is its sleek and lightweight design despite the use of high-end magnesium alloy.

The TrailSeeker 8×42 are roof prism binoculars, which astronomers often ignore after getting the best views in favor of Porro prisms. However, Celestron has equipped the TrailSeeker 8×42 with high-value, high-density barium crown BaK-4 glass that immediately elevates this product above the mainstream. It also has multilayer optics to maximize light transmission through its 42mm objective lenses. Together they let in enough light to ensure sharp, colorful, contrasting, and enormously enjoyable views of the night sky in one surprisingly compact, astrotravel-friendly package.

Today’s Best Celestron 8×42 TrailSeeker Binoculars Deals

Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 Review: Design

  • Luxury magnesium alloy chassis
  • Waterproof and fog-proof design with nitrogen purge
  • BaK-4 Glass Roof Prisms

While telescopes are large and fiddly to set up, and many pairs of binoculars are too heavy, the TrailSeeker 8x42s are easy to use and surprisingly light. Considering that binoculars are available at a much higher price than their price, the TrailSeeker 8×42 should not be considered more than mid-range binoculars and yet they boast the kind of build quality that would be hard to fault in a pair. which is sold at a much higher price. The chassis weighs 23.1 oz and comes complete with a rubberized magnesium frame that has a high-end feel. It is easy to grip and is also completely waterproof, with the optical housing purged of any moisture with high pressure inert nitrogen gas, thus avoiding any risk of fogging on the lens surface.

Additional kit

Neck strap

Rear vented harness strap

Carrying case

Lens cloth

As with most roof prism binoculars, these consist of two barrels that are connected via a bridge in the middle. However, that bridge is quite small, giving the user a bit more room to grip the barrels near the objective lenses. That means, hopefully, a stable view without shaking.

About the only part of these 5.5 x 5.1 x 2-inch binoculars that is not rubberized is the diopter ring, which allows the user to calibrate the binoculars to fit their left and right eyes. It’s a bit stiff, but that also keeps it from slipping out of position.

Image shows harness strap and neck strap that come with the Celestron TrailSeeker 8x42 binoculars.

A harness strap adjusts to the user’s back and transfers the weight of the binoculars from the neck to the shoulders. (Image credit: Jamie Carter)

We were also impressed by the extras in the box. In addition to a thick, strong and comfortable neck strap that bears the Celestron logo, the TrailSeeker 8×42 also comes with a padded carrying case complete with an adjustable shoulder strap and an interior zippered mesh pocket for storing a cloth. for lenses. However, the highlight is an innovative harness strap, a contraption in which the user must slide the arms and wear on the shoulders. It is then possible to attach the small straps on each side of the TrailSeeker 8×42 to a clip on each side of the harness. Why bother with all this? It takes the weight of the Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 off your neck and onto your shoulders, making it easy to carry and wear for extended periods.

It’s also worth noting that Celestron’s TrailSeeker range of roof prisms also includes 8×32, 10×32, and 10×42 binoculars. Crucially, for anyone looking for even better views of the night sky, and who doesn’t mind paying for the privilege, the Trailseeker range also comes with the (expensive) option of ‘extra low dispersion’ (ED) glass, whose optical properties impede Any chromatic aberration, also known as a purple fringe, around bright objects such as the Moon and bright stars.

Picture shows the Celestron TrailSeeker 8x42 binoculars carrying case

(Image credit: Jamie Carter)

Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 review: performance

  • Good quality optics
  • Useful harness strap
  • Light colored stripes

The key reason the Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 is good for navigating the night sky on the go is its balance of low 8x magnification with the 42mm diameter of its objective lenses. That means a nice, wide-eyed view of the night sky – great for looking inside constellations and scanning the Milky Way without going too deep. Meanwhile, its objective lenses let in enough light for brilliant views.

How can that be if they use a ceiling prism optical system? Although that system is sometimes frowned upon in astronomy, Celestron here makes use of high-end phase and dielectric-coated BaK-4 glass to increase light transmission. It seems to work well, with bright and sharp images in the dark. While scanning the autumn night sky, we had crisp, sharp images of the open clusters of the Hyades and the Pleiades, while the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) looked well defined, albeit a bit small at 8x magnification. The central field of view is exceptional, although there is a slight deviation towards the edges. However, we do notice a hint of chromatic aberration when looking at the moon, with a large, bright “Hunter’s Moon” appearing fabulously clear but with a small purple stripe at its tip. Could it be worth upgrading to a pair of Celestron TrailSeeker 8x42s with ED glass? Maybe yes, although the additional outlay is significant.

The usability of the TrailSeeker 8×42 is further boosted by significant eye relief. Anyone who wears glasses, and indeed anyone looking for maximum comfort and immersive views, will love the rotating eyepieces that offer up to 0.67 inches / 17mm of eye relief, although they can be placed in three separate positions. .

Image shows Celestron TrailSeeker 8x42 binoculars on a grassy background.

The Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 offers generous 17mm eye relief with eyepieces that have four separate positions. (Image credit: Jamie Carter)

On those eyepieces, a figure of a style eight lens cap is provided. It is better to fasten it to the neck strap to avoid getting lost. Some may not like the front lens caps, which are mounted to the cylinders by a simple rubber ring. Although in theory the flip-up design makes them difficult to lose, they actually wobble in front of the lenses, and in any case, they fall off too easily. These are best removed and stored in a pocket when using the Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42.

If you are going to be star gazing for long periods, and even for short periods if your celestial targets are towards the zenith (that is, directly above your head or around there), then the harness strap in the box is worth wearing. It takes a bit of practice to get in and isn’t particularly comfortable when you first wear it, but it does make stargazing sessions less stressful on your neck. There’s not much of a difference in neck tension when you’re stargazing per se, but having your shoulders support the weight of the Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 at any other time means your neck will take longer to hurt than normal.

Image is close-up of Celestron TrailSeeker 8x42 binocular lenses.

The objective lens caps of the Celestron Trailseeker 8×42 binoculars are loose and can be easily lost. (Image credit: Jamie Carter)

The harness itself works well, even if you don’t expect superb build quality; We’re talking elastic straps and a basic mesh design that at least keeps your back ventilated during long stargazing sessions. It comes in a small full zip bag with a wrist strap, but it would be useful if there was an area in the TrailSeeker 8×42 carrying case for it.

Should you buy the Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 binoculars?

The Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 is a good option for anyone who wants to go stargazing, but is particularly suitable for anyone who wants to travel to dark skies. Astronomical travel is best done in the lightest possible way, as the TrailSeeker 8×42’s minimalist design makes it a much more attractive option than large and heavy astronomy-focused deep-sky binoculars (such as tempting, but very heavy, Celestron SkyMaster 25×100 Binoculars) or a telescope.

Aside from a small purple border when looking at particularly bright objects, such as a full moon, the Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42 is still optically impressive. However, their specs make them an entry-level option in some way; you won’t want to go lower than its 8x magnification and 42mm objective lens size. While the TrailSeeker 8x42s are good all-rounders, the 10×50 binoculars are still the ideal spot for stargazing.

Image shows Celestron TrailSeeker 8x42 binoculars leaning against a brick wall.

The Celestron TrailSeeker 8×42’s rugged, rubberized magnesium alloy chassis features a slim bridge and lightweight construction. (Image credit: Jamie Carter)

If this product is not for you

For something a bit larger but less expensive in the roof prism category, try the Opticron Adventurer II WP 10×50, which has larger objective lenses, 10x magnification, and high-quality optics. For a slightly more expensive option, consider the Nikon Prostaff 5, which comes in 8×42, 10×42, and 10×50 specifications.

If you want a stereo view of the skies and don’t mind mounting them on a tripod, then Celestron’s SkyMaster 25×100 Deep Sky Binoculars are highly recommended. Best viewed as an alternative to a telescope, the 25x magnification and 100x objective lens of these large astronomy binoculars brings objects closer together, although you will need really dark skies to get the best of them.

Today’s Best Celestron 8×42 TrailSeeker Binoculars Deals

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