Steiner XC Nature and Travel Binoculars Review: Take Your Pick

Steiner XC 10x42
Steiner XC 10×42

Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

In this article, I will be looking at all 4 models of the Steiner XC binoculars as a group, since their quality is virtually the same from one to the next.

If you already know which magnification and size you want, you can click the matching link below to check the current pricing and availability at Amazon.

If you want more details about the differences and quality of these binoculars, read on. You can click a link in the box below to skip right to a particular section of interest.

What Are the Differences among the Steiner XC Models of Binoculars?

As I noted above, there are 4 models in the Steiner XC line. Other than the obvious magnification differences – either 8x or 10x – and the objective lens size – either 32 millimeters or 42 millimeters – you probably want to know what else distinguishes one from the other.

Practically speaking, there isn’t much.

It’s mainly the size, weight, and field of view (FOV) that matter here. Also, all 4 pair are waterproof to a depth of at least 10 feet, with the 8×32 model being a little better in that it goes down to 16 feet.

The table below shows those figures and highlights the other differences as well.

Model FOV (ft.) Waterproof Depth (ft.) Weight (oz.) L x W x H (in.)
XC 8×32 436 16 20.5 5 x 4.8 x 2.3
XC 10×32 387 10 21.2 5 x 4.8 x 2.3
XC 8×42 410 10 26.1 5.8 x 5 x 2.4
XC 10×42 354 10 26.5 5.8 x 5 x 2.4

You can see that it is the size of the objective lens and corresponding changes needed throughout the binoculars that makes the most difference in weight.

If you need an extremely wide FOV, you’ll want the XC 8×32 binoculars. Any of these models have a decent FOV, so if that isn’t a huge concern, you should be happy with any of them.

The main reason for wanting a good FOV is to quickly spot and track a distant, quickly moving target, such as a bird in flight. The field of view of the XC models is greater than that of the Steiner Champs.

In the video below, the narrator calls these entry level binoculars. I would disagree and call them midrange, based on quality and pricing.

Get your Steiner XC binoculars at Amazon now.

Where Would I Use the XC Binoculars?

Various makes and models of binoculars often are more suited to one application or area of use than another. The Steiner XC binoculars have a wide ranges of uses, but you wouldn’t want them for just any purpose.

Steiner itself recommends their XC line for use when hiking, camping, traveling, bird watching (birding), and spectating as sporting events. In other words, they are good binoculars for locations where there is sufficient ambient light.

With objective lenses (the ones that are responsible for gathering light) of just 32 and 42 millimeters, these binoculars are not optimal for nighttime viewing and probably are not the best for deep shadows either. There are others with bigger objectives that would work better for astronomy and for dense forests and jungles.

One feature that seems to emphasize that you should use these in bright light is the flares on the outsides of the eyecups. They are there to prevent light from getting in your way at the eyepiece end of the tubes. If you were supposed to use these in darker, dimmer areas, those flares wouldn’t be needed, would they?

What Are XC Binoculars Made Of?

The outer shell of these binoculars is Makrolon® which is a polycarbonate material. They are coated with NBR (Nitrile butadiene rubber) Long Life armoring, so they should last a long time and be able to take quite a beating, should you accidentally give them one.

They are all nitrogen-filled, so you get tubes that are both waterproof (see above) and fogproof. You can take them to wet and damp and cold and hot places and not be concerned about those conditions.

Where Are Steiner Binoculars Made?

Most binoculars are constructed in China or Japan or the United States, but not Steiner binoculars.

These have always been and continue to be made in Germany. You can be certain that the glass in these tubes in high quality and engineered to give you the best possible views.

What Accessories Do You Get with the XC Binoculars?

You might not initially consider lens caps to be accessories, but they really are. (Not all binoculars come with them.) The XC line has individual tethered objective lens caps. Sometimes referred to as a rainguard, you also get caps for the eyepiece lenses. These are a single piece, removable cap that covers both lenses.

Other accessories include a carrying case and neck strap. The strap (and optional harness) use a ClicLoc® system developed by Steiner that lets you easily and quickly attach and release the binoculars at the push of a button.

I should mention here too that you get Steiner’s Heritage™ limited lifetime warranty on all these models. Steiner spells it out like this.

“For the lifetime of the product, we will repair or replace the product at no charge to you. The Steiner Heritage Warranty does not cover loss, theft, deliberate damage or cosmetic damage that does not hinder the performance of the product.”

You don’t even need a warranty card or receipt, and the warranty is fully transferrable.

Nice.

Conclusions about the XC Line

Steiner makes very good binoculars (and other optics), and the XC line of binoculars is no exception. When deciding with of the 4 XC models you should get, it simply comes down to a matter of personal preference.

The field of view may turn out to be the biggest factor in your decision. Or it might be the weight. Maybe the size and storage considerations.

In the end, you really can’t go wrong with whichever model you pick.

If none of these Steiner binoculars tickles your fancy, check out this article that reviews more of the same brand. Steiner makes many models other than the XC line. There is probably one that you will like.

But if you did decide you prefer one of the XC models, you can check Amazon for them here.

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