January 12, 2021
By Taylor Pardue
The annual Archery Trade Association expo isn’t being held in person this year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of great archery optics coming to market in 2021. From new technologies to major upgrades to more features at lower prices, the industry’s optics manufacturers didn’t let the challenging working conditions of 2020 keep them from innovating to the extreme — take that, COVID-19.
Here are some of the highlights from this year’s virtual ATA event, and here’s to hopefully meeting in person again in 2022!
Leupold RX-1400i TBR/W with DNA
Leupold’s RX-1400i TBR/W with DNA is being called the most feature-rich rangefinder in its class, and with good reason. This 5X magnification rangefinder is powered by a Digitally eNhanced Accuracy (DNA) engine, which is capable of ranging reflective targets out to 1,400 yards and trees to 1,200 yards (+/- half a yard to 125 yards). True Ballistic Range/Wind technology allows for exact readings at extreme angles and in windy conditions, with the results displayed in red via a high-light-transmission TOLED display. All this comes in a lightweight, waterproof, rubber-armored design that’s easy to grip in even the worst weather conditions.
MSRP: $199.99 | leupold.com
SIG-SAUER Electro-Optics ZULU6
SIG’s ZULU6 binoculars feature Optical Image Stabilization — a two-axis gimbal that cancels out vibrations caused by wind, waves and whatever else — to electronically stabilize your view. This incredible technology proved indispensable in SIG’s OSCAR3 spotting scope several years ago, prompting the company to include it in these new 10x30mm or 16x42mm binos. These amazing optics weigh in at 16.8 ounces and 20 ounces, respectively, and also feature SPECTRACOAT, LENSHIELD and LENSARMOR coatings, MOTAC (motion-activated) illumination and an IPX4 waterproof rating. The 10x30mm ZULU6s are powered by a single CR2 battery, while the 16x42mm ZULU6s run off a single AA battery.
MSRP: $799.99 | sigsauer.com
Vortex Summit Carbon II Tripod Kit
The Vortex Summit Carbon II tripod kit is built to go farther and carry easier for a more productive hunting experience. This carbon-fiber tripod sports a two-way pan head with an Arca-Swiss quick-release system. This results in an adaptable, dependable, maneuverable tripod that also weighs just 2.5 pounds and stands 53.3 inches tall fully extended. Perfect for the backcountry, the Summit Carbon II folds to just 18.1x3 inches and can hold up to 22 pounds — perfect for big glass. The tripod’s legs feature four sections, three-angle leg-pivot locks, quarter-turn leg locks and rubber feet. A counterweight hook is also included.
MSRP: $399.99 | vortexoptics.com
Bushnell Bone Collector 850
Bushnell’s Bone Collector 850 uses fully multicoated optics with an ultra-wide-band coating to provide ranges out to its namesake 850 yards. The rangefinder’s all-glass optical system, paired with a large objective lens, is perfect for bowhunters because it allows for sharp imaging and high light transmission in all lighting conditions. The Bone Collector 850 features Bushnell’s proven ARC (angle range compensation) technology for true shot distance regardless of the terrain or shot angle, an ergonomic design for a firm, comfortable grip, an adjustable diopter for accurately adjusting the reticle to the shooter’s eye and Realtree Edge camo for optimal concealment.
MSRP: $139.99 | bushnell.com
Tactacam Spotter LR
Tactacam’s Spotter LR is a lightweight (just nine ounces) and easily portable camera that allows for 4K video recording through your spotting scope. The Spotter LR comes with multiple sizing shims and a quick-snap adapter to fit any spotting scope on the market today. It also uses a flip-up LCD screen to alleviate the eye strain Western bowhunters commonly suffer after hours of glassing, and its 4X digital zoom adds even more range to the abilities of your chosen spotting scope. The Spotter LR runs on rechargeable/replaceable lithium ion batteries and accepts micro SD memory cards of up to 128GB.
MSRP: $299.99 | tactacam.com
The Leica Calonox is a thermal imaging camera — or, more accurately, two thermal imaging cameras. The Calonox “View” (shown) is a handheld observation tool perfect for bowhunters following up on game animals at night or in other challenging conditions. The Calonox “Sight” can clip to a crossbow scope, is equipped with a 1X magnification and can also be used like the “View.” Both devices feature Leica’s new LIO (Leica Image Optimization) technology, which builds on the company’s celebrated camera lineup. Both models also sport 42mm lenses and weigh roughly 500 grams/17.637 ounces — perfectly sized for the packs of backcountry bowhunters.
MSRP: $3,999.00 | us.leica-camera.com/sport-optics
TRACT Optics TORIC UHD 27-55x80 Angled Spotting Scope
TRACT’s ultra-high definition TORIC 27-55x80 angled spotting scope is designed to give bowhunters performance rivaling that of other spotting scopes in its class at a great value. The TORIC uses SCHOTT HT (high-transmission) glass with flat multicoating, phase-correction coating and oil-phobic coating to provide superior resolution, detail, light transmission and edge-to-edge clarity. A wide field of view and long eye relief are staples of this spotting scope, and it is filled with argon gas for fogproofing. TRACT’s Simple Locking Diopter system also allows for strain-free glassing by eliminating the inadvertent movements that can occur when using other spotting scope models.
MSRP: $1,349.00 | tractoptics.com
Maven CS.1 – 15-45X65
The Maven CS.1 is a lightweight (just 40.4 ounces) 15-45x65mm spotting scope designed to pair well with the company’s award-winning C-Series binoculars. The two product lines share Maven’s extra-low-dispersion ED Glass, with the CS.1 also sporting a magnesium and aluminum frame. This waterproof/fogproof spotting scope measures 11.4 inches long for packing it into the backcountry with the greatest of ease. Add it all up and you have a solid, dependable spotting scope capable of reaching out where the biggest big game live. Best of all, the CS.1 comes at a fraction of the cost of comparable models from other brands.
MSRP: $650.00 | mavenbuilt.com