Best Athlon Optics Binoculars
About Athlon Optics
Athlon Optics was established in 2014 in Olathe, Kansas. By selling their rugged, high-quality optics at surprisingly affordable price points, they’ve taken the hunting world by storm. Besides binoculars, they offer spotting scopes, riflescopes, and rangefinders.
Athlon has discontinued many of its products in favor of pushing forward with its second generation of optics. All the models in this next generation are classified as either High Definition or Ultra High Definition. You can expect to see the same visual clarity that you would see in high-definition television.
You can also expect to see an impressive pair of binoculars. Most models come with a carrying case, a lens cleaner, neck strap, and protective objective lens covers held that won’t get lost as they’re connected to the chassis by a strong band.
You can still find many of their binoculars online and through authorized dealers. It doesn’t matter if the model has been discontinued or not, as all of their optics are backed by a lifetime warranty. All the second-generation optics can be identified by the “G2” in their name.
Top Athlon Optics Binoculars
Neos are the lowest-priced offering from Athlon. Even these binoculars are made with a surprising amount of thought and care.
The first-generation Neos roof prisms are only multi-coated on the surfaces of the outer lens. They have silver coatings but lack the Dielectric coatings featured on the higher-end models. Athlon discontinued models with a roof prism, but they are still available.
Neos are good for beginners and general situations in daylight settings. The low price point and ruggedness make them the perfect first pair of binoculars for kids. They’re also very useful in stadium settings for sporting events or concert venues.
Neos G2 HD
The Neos Generation 2 binoculars are made with fully coated Bak-4 prisms. They have twist-up eyecups, long eye relief, and close focus for watching butterflies and other insects.
The Neos G2 HD line is available in two configurations:
Whichever model you choose, you’ll still get the same rugged character and waterproof chassis that Athlon brings to all of its optics. The Neos’ chassis is built with polycarbonate materials. To achieve a fog-proof and waterproof seal, the chassis is nitrogen purged and sealed with O-rings.
Athlon reconfigured the second generation of their Argos line. The first generation is an open bridge design and the second generation is a single bridge design. The Argos model is better suited to hunters than bird watchers. It’s still a superb choice for many outdoor enthusiasts on a budget, especially if the Neos aren’t quite bright enough for any nighttime activities.
Most of the features on the UHD and HD models are the same. Both are built with Bak-4 prisms and have ESP Dielectric coating and phase correction, and Athlon had both lenses fully multicoated. Water and fog proofing is accomplished by purging Argon gas. The XPL protective coating is standard on Argos binoculars.
The Argos HD series is available in four configurations:
The Argos UHD Series is a step up from the HD as the lenses are made from Extra-Low Dispersion glass. This option wasn’t available on the first generation of Argos binoculars.
Currently, only two configurations are available in the Argos G2 UHD segment:
The Midas series really set the stage for Athlon. The quality of the optics has been compared to binocular brands that are nearly ten times the price. Athlon probably saw the opportunity to streamline their product line when the popularity of these binoculars soared.
The features of these binoculars are comparable to the top-of-the-line Cronus series. The optics are housed in a magnesium alloy chassis. At this price point, most competitors will use material made from polycarbonates. Score one for the stronger chassis built by Athlon. They also have a nice rubber grip so you can hang onto them in the wettest of conditions.
The prisms are made from Bak-4 glass and are fully multi-coated. ESP Dielectric mirror coatings are the same as used on the high-end range of the Athlon line. This is a welcome surprise at this price range and why so many buyers are quick to call this the best value line of binoculars. The Midas series is built with Extra-Low Dispersion lenses. These lenses prevent color aberrations.
The one thing that’s missing is the Athlon E2ES field flattening lens system. Even without the E2ES lens system, many users report that the UHD technology gives an almost three-dimensional look through the lenses. Many people love these binoculars for stargazing.
The Midas G2 UHD is available in five configurations:
Athlon’s top-of-the-line series showcases their dedication to detail and bringing quality products to the market. All the prisms are manufactured from phase corrected Bak-4, which reflects more light. The prisms are treated with an E.S.P. Dielectric multilayer coating.
Field Curvature is mitigated by the E2ES lens system. This is the term Athlon uses to describe its field flattener lens system. The E2ES lens system is a game changer as it corrects blurry side-to-side vision that can be found on their lower-priced models. The optics are protected in a magnesium chassis. The chassis is treated by argon purging, which makes the housing both waterproof and fog proof.
Images show virtually no chromatic aberrations because of the Extra-Low Dispersion lens. The “Ultra” in UHD is built-in with the E.D. glass. This Extra-Low Dispersion glass creates a near three-dimensional look. Built with the outdoorsmen in mind, Athlon adds an X.P.L. coating to help protect the lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt.
The Cronus G2 UHD series is available in 10×42 and 15×56 configurations.
Cronus 10×50 UHD Laser Range-Finding Binoculars
The Cronus line of first-generation UHD models is still in production. The Cronus Laser Range-Finding binoculars are a step up from carrying a pair of binoculars and a rangefinder separately. The package includes a carrying case, a neoprene neck strap, and a cleaning cloth. Eye Relief is measured at 19.3 mm. The interpupillary distance ranges from 56 mm to 73 mm.
Integral Laser Rangefinder Specs
- 800 yards non-reflective targets.
- 2000 yards reflective targets.
You would be hard-pressed to find another rangefinder and binoculars combination with this kind of precision and clarity at this price point. These are highly recommended.
The Ares line compares as a very close runner-up to the Cronus series. Some high-end features found on the Cronus were left off of the Ares in order to make the series more accessible to a broader market. What they lack in high-end details, they make up for with an expanded range of configurations.
You’ll still find fully multi-coated optics, Bak-4 Prisms, and phase correction coatings. Notably missing from the Ares model is the field flattening E2ES system.
Athlon uses the same magnesium material for the Ares that houses the Cronus. The Ares line is designed with an open bridge system, making them lighter and easier to use.
A favorite of the line is the 10×36 configuration. The 36 mm objective lens has a wide field of view. It’s great for hunters and bird watchers. The downside of this is a loss of focus at closer distances.
The Ares series has been discontinued by Athlon, but you can still find them online and through authorized dealers.
The Talos models are all single bridge, roof prism types. They have twist-up eye-cups and a central focus wheel. The diopter adjustment is on the right eye-piece. They are also tripod-adaptable. Athlon sells a tripod adapter and it’s probably best to use theirs as it’s a little thinner than many adapters to accommodate the smaller interpupillary distance in some models.
The optics are housed in polycarbonate material. They’re all fully fog-proof and waterproof. The chassis weighs less than the higher-priced models which are housed in magnesium. The optics are all multi-coated and made with Bak-4 phase-corrected roof prisms. The biggest differences between the Talos series and higher-end models are a lack of extra coatings that provide more clarity and protection. Significantly, the Dielectric coatings are absent from the Talos series. The lightweight chassis makes this an ideal binocular for casual birdwatching and travelers.
The Talos series has been discontinued by Athlon, but they can still be purchased online and through authorized dealers. Athlon will continue to honor the lifetime warranty. The 8×32 Talos offers a very wide field of view, which is great for wildlife enthusiasts.