The RV 826 is a lightweight, low-cost binocular that’s perfect for many uses
By Todd Horne
While the Carson optical Raven RV-826 binocular is lightweight and great for watching outdoor sporting events, it can also change your day hike and backpacking experiences by providing you with views that you normally couldn’t appreciate with the naked eye.
The Carson Optical RV-826 is a powerful 8×26 binocular that’s waterproof and provides an extremely sharp image. This fixed focus, roof prism binocular measures 4.5 x 4.25 x 1.5-inches and has a field of view measuring 330 feet at 1000 yards.
It weighs only 9.8 ounces, making it perfect to take on backpacking excursions and day hikes. But with a suggested retail price under $80, the RV-826 is also far superior to other “low-buck” binoculars, in that its optics provide a clear image that you would normally find on higher priced units.
Carson outfitted the RV-826 with fully multi-coated lenses and high quality BAK-4 prisms to provide a crisp and clear image. Because it’s a fixed-focus binocular, it’s also easy to use. Reaching and operating the focus wheel can be done with one finger, but the right eye diopter adjustment was a little sticky, due to the waterproof seals and rubberized outer grip.
Another nice feature on the RV-826 binocular is the twist-adjust eye cups that help shield glare from the side. The case that comes with the binocular, doesn’t have any padding and features a Velcro close, but Carson Optical also provided us with its BinoArmor BA-03 neoprene case which features easy access and protection from shock.
While the case does provide greater shock resistance and a “quick-draw” from your belt to view the blue-tailed whippoorwill or those girls at the other end of the river, it didn’t seem secure enough for the RV-826. The BinoArmor is meant to fit 42mm binoculars and we thought the RV-826 was just a tad too small for it and we felt it would fall out of the case.
Nevertheless, we did like the Stuff-It SN-50BK lens cleaning system that was also provided for us to try. The Stuff-It is a soft microfiber cloth that retracts into a small pouch. It provided easy and very effective cleaning for the binocular as well as our camera equipment.
Despite the fact that we wished the RV-826 would have also included some lens covers, we never had any problems focusing or adjusting the binoculars during a variety of uses. The anti-fog coating on the lenses performs well when bringing the binoculars out from a warm backpack out into the cold morning air. The rubberized outer cover gives you a firm grip and although we didn’t submerge the binoculars under water, they didn’t allow any surface moisture from getting into the binocular’s optics.
The Carson Optical RV-826 binocular should be in your “must have” list for your outdoor gear. It’s great to have with you on any occasion and the quality is far superior over other binoculars at the same price point. For more information, visit www.carson-optical.com
After discussing the fitment of the BinoArmor with the RV-826 binocular, Carson Optical indicated that indeed, the RV-826 is a bit too small for the BinoArmor carrying case. The BinoArmor is intended to fit 42mm binoculars and was sent to us to experience the features of the case, including its neoprene shock resistant shell and magnetic closure. In trying out the BinoArmor with a larger pair of binoculars, it does feel more secure when you’re walking with it attached to your belt. In addition, the neoprene shell protects the binoculars from shocks and bumping that will undoubtedly happen when walking or hiking. It also makes it quick to pull out the binoculars to help you see wildlife or watch your kid make her first goal.