Living up to an illustrious predecessor can be a daunting task – how do you improve on the Bynolyt Searanger II, a product purchased by the RNLI for over 20 years?
Well, it would appear that minimal change is the order of the day and with good reason – Chris Marlow of CFM Services, the UK distributor of this Dutch binoculars brand reports that the RNLI has recently approved and purchased the Searanger III.
The Bynolyt Searanger III marine binoculars offer larger eyepieces compared to its predecessor, as well as larger individual focus adjusters.
Arriving in a modest cardboard box, the carry case is also plain and simple: branded but with no extra pockets. The lens caps are fixed to the frame behind the tripod mount and the eyepiece cover has two eyelets for attaching to the neck strap provided.
The binoculars are waterproof and buoyant but one of the neck straps is also buoyant and comfortably well padded. The test set arrived with two different neck straps. The other strap was much lower profile, but features sewn leather tabs connecting the different grades of webbing.
Batteries for the compass light are included in the box as is a cleaning cloth.
The reticle rangefinder isn’t the clearest of all the products on test, but it’s not the weakest either. There are no numerals to aid the user though, and nor is there a sliding scale printed on the outer body to help convert measurements into heights or distances. I found the image quality to be a match for the Konus/Plastimo products.
Take care with the battery compartment lid. The rubberised surface looks smart but will chew up easily if you don’t use a suitable tool in the slot to open it. A ‘thin coin’ is advised and it does work. Metallic battery caps are a lot more versatile.
The pair we tested arrived with a photocopied set of ‘special instructions’ on how to use the compass and reticle, which seemed comprehensive. The printed booklet in multiple languages filled in some of the gaps, but not all.
This product is the heaviest in this group test, but brings reputation and quality, using a Suunto branded compass, for example. It won’t be the best for everyone but there is no doubting its pedigree.