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If you’ve ever researched binoculars, you have undoubtedly come across Bushnell. They’re a household name by now, and they have an extensive range of binoculars that are field tested and proven to be incredibly high quality. We’re talking both optically, and build quality, as they’re both spot on. These binoculars do however command a premium, which is often very well worth it when it’s Bushnell we’re discussing. Over the past 65 years, they have produced plenty quality binoculars, they have even been awarded “Binoculars of the Year”, every year from 2011 through to 2014. Bushnell are well known for departing from the norm of things and strive to produce items that are made with the same type of quality as 50 years ago. None of their binoculars feel cheap, or low quality.
In this review we’ll be talking about one of their rangefinder binoculars, specifically the Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile ARC. This pair of rangefinder binoculars are meant to be the ultimate binoculars in terms of efficiency, as they are a combination of Bushnell’s optics with some of the best rangefinder technology available today. They’re available in a couple of configurations, but the one we’ll be focusing on today is the 8×32. You can also get them in 10×42, or 12×50, if that’s your choice. Let’s take a look at the details. At the end, if you do think that you might want to take a look at a few others before you buy, there’s a great list of the best rangefinder binoculars here, make sure to give it a read.
Why are they so good?
The initial Fusion laser rangefinder binoculars gave a weird blue-green cast to everything that reduced brightness a bit. This was actually necessary, so that you could see the red distance readouts more clearly. The new model, the one we’re talking about, doesn’t have this issue anymore. You have a bright, orange LED display that you can read against almost anything. The images are color neutral, and as the name suggests, you get impressive ranging performance. What Bushnell has succeeded in doing, and where others have failed, is to combine good, high performance glass, with an accurate rangefinder, that doesn’t compromise the quality of either of them.
The binoculars, even though not that necessary, look gorgeous. The shape might remind you of a porro-prism unit, but they’re actually a roof-prism design. They’re extremely comfortable to hold, and fit well with various hand sizes and shapes. The only potential gripe here is that the focus knob is a bit stiff, and for smaller hands, it may be a bit difficult to reach. Each eyepiece has its diopter, where the right eye one focuses the display, and the left eye one will adapt the binocular if the vision in your eyes isn’t the same.
Their main usage is hunting ,but they’re far from made only for that. You can use them for various things, such as outdoor sports, traveling, wildlife observation etc. This makes them a great all-round pair of binoculars. What you’re looking for with laser rangefinder binoculars is the ability to sit on a hillside and scout the surroundings for a long time, without any eye strain. The Bushnells will over deliver on this, as the optics are incredible. They’re much better than many of their competitors, and will easily replace any observation glass you might be using already.
As far as the rangefinder goes, it is great, and it performs admirably even in tricky conditions. For example, a sunny day will introduce a lot of electromagnetic radiation which may cause the rangefinder to make a mistake. With the Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile ARC, this isn’t a problem. You can easily range man-sized targets at up to 600 yards in difficult conditions, and this range extends to 1,200 yards if you’re ranging a tree line. If conditions are ideal, this means that the 1 mile claim by Bushnell is more than accurate. You also get a “bullseye mode” and a “brush mode”, which let you target smaller objects in the foreground, and larger objects in the background, respectively. The display is adjustable in terms of brightness, and you can utilize this depending on the environment and amount of light you’re dealing with.
Are they worth it?
If you’re working with a limited budget, you might want to look elsewhere, such as this list of the best rangefinder binoculars, so you can find something a bit more budget-oriented. The Bushnell Fusion 1 Mile ARC 8×32 is a pair of binoculars that are at the beginning of the premium price range, but they’re very deserving of that price range.
In various conditions, they’ll work great. Even though you might not be able to hit that one mile in all kinds of conditions, the ranging functionality is amazing. Honestly, even Bushnell themselves mention that specific testing circumstances were necessary for that range. Aside from that, you can easily determine how far objects are, and the additional ranging modes mentioned above might be able to give you a hand with that as well.
The fact that you’re working with an 8×32 pair of binoculars means that you have a fairly wide field of view, something that’s always welcome while hunting. Even though this isn’t a 50mm lens, you still get plenty of light inside the binoculars, so yes, you can use them when it’s getting dark outside.
All in all, the Fusion 1 Mile ARC is an amazing pair of premium rangefinder binoculars. The construction is very good, you have extremely high quality optics, and the ranging capabilities are accurate. If you’re looking for something to replace your current observation glass and rangefinder combination, or you just want one pair to do everything, you pretty much can’t go wrong with them.