Back in 2014, space.com requested that we send two binoculars to them for an upcoming binocular review. They requested the 8×40 Mariner and 15×70 Ultra.
We were very pleased when they proclaimed the 8×40 Mariner “Editor’s Choice” in the “Best Small Binocular for Astronomy” category, and the 15×70 Ultra a runner-up in the “Best Astronomy Binocular” category (the Ultra came in second only because of its high cost). While we generally agree with their reviews, and what they reported was accurate- keep in mind they only looked at 2 of our 30+ models.
In 2018, they requested an 8×42 Sport ED for review. They absolutely loved it, and the subheading of the review was “These are the best binoculars to buy, if you can buy only one“. We totally agree with that as well. While the Sport ED’s are our finest bird-watching binoculars, due to the excellent image quality and perfect color rendition from the ED objectives, they’re also great for astronomy.
But back to the 8×40 Mariner. Thanks to the space.com review, the 8×40 Mariner is our second-most-popular model (the 8×42 Sport ED is #1 – thanks again space.com!). While the 8×40 Mariner may be just what you’re looking for, keep in mind that we have many other models that may be more appropriate for your usage. Most of the LW Series models gather significantly more light, are less expensive- and for many of our customers, are the ideal entry-level astronomy binoculars. The newer 10×50 Deluxe, at just $20 more than the Mariner, is frankly a much better binocular- assuming you can hold the higher 10x magnification still enough for a steady view. If you need a binocular that needs to do double-duty as a daylight binocular, then the already mentioned Sport ED is best, followed by the more affordable Sport HD II models, that also have ED objectives.