Vortex Binoculars: A Review of the Triumph 10x42mm Binos

Founded in 2002, Vortex Optics is a trusted manufacturer of quality and affordable optics. At first, the company only offered binoculars to bird watchers, but hunters quickly caught on as well. As their popularity grew, Vortex expanded its product line to include spotting scopes, tripods, rangefinders, rifle scopes, and more.

From its humble beginnings, Vortex now employs more than 300 people. Not satisfied to rest on its laurels, the Vortex team is constantly evaluating and improving its products. The more experience it gains, the better it can make its products.

I’ve been fairly loyal to Vortex for a couple of years and have always been impressed with their products. They are durable and do their job efficiently.

Vortex Binoculars: The Triumph HD Binos

Recently, I had the opportunity to check out Vortex’s Triumph HD 10x42mm binoculars. The miles of farm fields in the back of my house offer a perfect proving ground to wring out optics, and that’s just what I did with these binoculars.

There is a town a few miles away, and with quality optics, I can see the town’s buildings – the stores, the university, the homes. It has become a yardstick by which I measure optical quality, so one of the first things I do when testing an optic is to view the town. If the optic is of higher quality, I can make out specific details on buildings at this distance.

In another opportunity, as I was at my desk typing, a large hawk decided to grace me with his presence, landing in a tree at the end of my yard. I could see him well enough without binoculars but decided to grab the Vortex Triumph HD 10x42mm binoculars to check out the finer details of the bird. What a magnificent sight I was treated to! Thanks to the optics, details such as the raptor’s eyes, beak, and feathers jumped out at me. You never know what Mother Nature is going to send your way.

Specs and Features

As the name implies, these have 10x magnification and a field of view of 334 feet at 100 yards. Eye relief is 17mm, which is fairly generous and makes using the binoculars easier.

The binoculars are 6.1 inches high and 5 inches wide. They weigh 22.9 ounces. Overall, they’re not tiny, but also not huge. It’s easy to carry them, as they’re not heavy.

Regarding the HD optical system, Vortex states, “Optimized glass elements deliver exceptional resolution, cut chromatic aberration, and provide outstanding color fidelity, edge-to-edge sharpness, and light transmission.” To me, it sounds like they’re saying the optics are awesome. They do deliver a clear, crisp picture.

The lenses are fully multi-coated to maximize performance. They’re nitrogen gas-purged and sealed with O-rings to make them fogproof and waterproof, keeping debris and dust out. The binoculars are also shockproof.

They can be adapted to use on a tripod for added stability.


One of the things I really like about these Vortex binoculars is the fact that they have adjustable eyecups. They twist up and down, so you can use them with or without eyeglasses. Since I wear eyeglasses, this is of particular interest to me. When the eyecups are twisted out, they stay put well, so you won’t have to worry about them collapsing if you put pressure on them. At the same time, they’re easy to collapse if you intend to; all you do is twist them down, and they click into place.

Focus Wheel

The center focus wheel is easy to reach with either hand. There is enough tension on the wheel to prevent it from moving unintentionally, yet it is easy to adjust when you want to.

Vortex Triumph HD side view.
The center focus wheel can be seen here – it’s easy to operate. The ocular lens cap assembly can also be seen. The rubber armor coating is grippy and protects against shock. Photo: Jim Davis.

To focus the binoculars, the right eye is closed, and the center focus wheel is turned until the left eye can clearly focus on an object about 20 yards away. Then, the left eye is closed, and the right diopter is turned until the right eye can focus. The binoculars are now all set and can be focused using the center focus wheel. You’re all ready to use the binoculars.

Rubber Armor

The Triumph HD binoculars are covered in a dark-colored rubber armor, which protects them from shock and provides a sure gripping surface that gives the hands a good purchase. It’s unlikely that these optics will slip out of your grasp during use. I like the armor coating a lot; it feels great in the hand.


Vortex’s warranty is absolutely outstanding. If the optics fail for any reason, they will make things right, no questions asked. And they will do it quickly; there’s no waiting for weeks while they sort things out. I once had to use their warranty service, and it was fast and reliable. Before I knew it, I had a new scope arriving by mail, and I really can’t say enough about how quick and efficient the process was.

Lens Caps

I commend Vortex for including lens caps for both the ocular and objective lenses. The caps for the ocular lenses are a one-piece unit that slips over the eyecups when not in use. As for the objective lenses, each lens has a flip-down cap. When you want to use the optic, just push the tab on each cap, and it will pop down and uncover the lens. To cover them, just flip up the cap and press it to the lens. They’re easy to apply and remove.

Vortex Triumph objective lens caps.
Bravo to Vortex for attaching excellent lens caps to the objective lenses – they’ll never be lost! To use them, flip the tabs, and the lenses pop down. Photo: Jim Davis.

These lens caps help keep the lenses clean and protected. The fact that the objective covers are attached to the binoculars means they’ll never get lost. Outstanding job, Vortex!

Putting the Vortex Binoculars to the Test

As I mentioned, these Vortex binoculars are easy to use. They are extremely clear and bright, allowing lots of light in. I can make out details on buildings a couple miles away. And for closer bird watching and other missions, the colors are quite brilliant and true.

At the shooting range, these binoculars can be useful for spotting bullet impacts easily at 50 yards and beyond.

At the range, Savage FV-SR .22 rifle.
The Triumph HD 10x42mm binoculars were good for spotting bullet hits on targets at shorter ranges. Here, a Savage 112 FV-SR in .22 Long Rifle is being used. Photo: Jim Davis.

They’d also be great for sporting events, concerts, and other venues where you want to feel a bit closer without actually being there. For law enforcement use, they’d really shine on stakeouts or other observation duties.

Obviously, they’d be perfect for glassing game in the fields while out hunting. There are endless possibilities!

The Case

The Triumph HD binoculars include a nice case. It’s tan with black trim and looks attractive. It’s also padded very well, which will further protect the binoculars. On both sides of the case, there are mesh pockets secured at the top with elastic. On the back, there is a larger mesh pocket secured via a zipper.

Vortex binoculars in their case.
The thickly padded case protects the binoculars well. Its tan color keeps a low profile. Note the side mesh pockets. Photo: Jim Davis.

The lid of the case is secured with an elastic loop that goes over a metal hook to keep the binoculars securely inside the case.

However, I do have one complaint.

The harness that attaches to the case is quite involved and, in my opinion, overly complex. It took a few tries to attach it to the case, and I felt as though I should have a PhD to even attempt it. For me, a simple carry strap is sufficient.

The case for the binoculars, complete with harness.
While the harness system tightly secures the case to the torso, the author found it to be a bit “busy.” He’d prefer a simple carry strap. Photo: Jim Davis.

However, if you were taking the binoculars on a ride on an ATV or other bouncy vehicle, it would be good to hold them tightly to the torso so they would not bounce around a lot.

Personally, though, I’d rather use a simple carry strap. Incidentally, there is a simple carry strap that attaches to the binoculars for those wishing to carry them around the neck.

A cleaning cloth is also included in the package, and I placed it into one of the mesh pockets on the case so it will always be handy.

Overall Thoughts

To sum things up, these are a fine pair of Vortex binoculars that deliver great color, light, and clarity. But then, I’d have expected no less from Vortex, having come to know their products over the years. They never disappoint.

These optics are light enough to be carried anywhere and compact enough not to be in the way.

Vortex’s Triumph HD 10x42mm binoculars currently sell for $99.99 at Gunmag Warehouse. In addition to that great price, there is a 15% off coupon as this is being written. For that price, you cannot possibly beat these binoculars! In the end, they may not be fancy, but they sure do get the job done.

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities. He is a dedicated Christian and attributes any skills that he has to the glory of God.

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