A couple years back, Brunton bagged its first Gear of the Year award with the burly, waterproof, scalpel-sharp Epochs. For 2005, greatness gets an upgrade. The new Brunton Epoch Zoom invites you to view the whole horizon, then drill in tight with the touch of a lever. Result? Another trophy for the mantel.
1. The gunmetal-gray synthetic-rubber coating is simultaneously supple and grippy, and helps these big barrels stand apart from the competition you'll find at the local wildlife refuge.
2. Most zoom binoculars are gimmicks, with the required extra glass and adjustment lever contributing little more than weight. But the Brunton Epochs are a serious high-performance tool; they allow you to optimize magnificationfrom 8x to 15xfor the task at hand.
3. A burly but light magnesium-alloy frame keeps the weight of these feature-rich magnifiers at a respectable 32 ounces, while also providing a stout chassis to rebuff the knocks and dings of heavy field use. Oops, backed the Land Rover over your Epochs? The company will resupply anywhere in the world at no charge.
4. The view through these binocs is bright and true: no fogging, color aberration, or distortion on the edges, thanks to nitrogen-filled barrels and fully multicoated lenses and prisms.
5. A supersize, center focus wheel hooked to a variable-speed focusing systemoffering fine-tuning close in and lightning-quick target acquisition farther outmakes for smooth transitions from that warbler in the willows to the hawk on the horizon.