Important Update: According to the STYRKA website, “Due to unprecedented business challenges, we were forced to close our doors at Styrka in late 2020. Unfortunately, since we have completely gone out of business, neither Styrka nor any other company is able to support product and warranty claims moving forward. We thank you for your support of our brand during the years we were able to serve you.”
STYRKA, which means “strength” in Swedish, makes several lines of binoculars. What makes them different or special enough that you would select a pair of STYRKA 8×42 binoculars over those of any other brand?
Spoiler alert: Nothing much.
Nothing within the binoculars themselves, that is. There is another “feature” of these optics that is seriously worth considering though. That’s the warranty.
More on that later. First I’ll review for you the 4 styles of 8×42 binoculars that STYRKA offers.
If you’re in a hurry and just need to check the pricing and availability of each of these at Amazon, you can click (tap) the links below. Otherwise, you can scroll (swipe) to see the rest of the article first.
- STYRKA S3 Series ST-33310 8×42 Binoculars
- STYRKA S5 Series ST-35501 8×42 Binoculars
- STYRKA S7 Series ST-35521 8×42 Binoculars
- STYRKA S9 Series ST-39910 8×42 Binoculars
If you want to skip ahead to a certain section of this review, you can click a link in the box below.
- 1 How Do the STYRKA 8×42 Binoculars Compare to Each Other?
- 2 Which Features Do All of These STYRKA Binoculars Share?
- 3 What Is So Special About the STYRKA Warranty?
- 4 Conclusions about the STYRKA 8×42 Binoculars
How Do the STYRKA 8×42 Binoculars Compare to Each Other?
When making comparisons, it’s always nice to do so side by side. So let’s take a look at these four models in the table below.
|Line||S3 Series||S5 Series||S7 Series||S9 Series|
|Lens Coatings||Fully multi-coated;|
|Field of View @ 1000 yds. (ft.)||425||341||409||394|
|Close Focus (ft.)||6.5||8.2||6.5||6.5|
|Eye Relief (mm)||17.2||19.5||18.0||18.0|
|Exit Pupil (mm)||5.25||5.25||5.25||5.25|
|Prism Coatings||Phase & Dielectric||Phase & Dielectric||Phase & Dielectric||Phase & Dielectric|
|ED Glass Objectives||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Interpupillary Distance (mm)||56-75||58-72||58-72||58-74|
|Size LxWxH (in.)||5.62 x 5.04 x 2.15||5.69 x 5.06 x 2.13||5.5 x 5.06 x 2.06||6.0 x 5.36 x 2.37|
The model number shown for the S7 Series set is not an error. I don’t know why STYRKA didn’t choose to call this one something like ST-37701, thus putting the series number in the middle of the model number like they did with the other three. Having a pair of fives there, just like in the S5 Series model is just plain confusing.
All of these models have fully multi-coated lenses, which is technically the best you can get. STYRKA attempts to go beyond that by adding their proprietary SXL (not sure what that stands for) anti-reflective coatings “for maximum brightness and optimal color, sharpness and image contrast”.
The S7 and S9 models apparently have this coating applied several times, thus resulting in SXL-MAX coating.
The field of view (FOV) and close focus vary somewhat from model to model. The S5 Series wanders the most from the norm with an FOV of just 341 feet and close focus of over 8 feet. Those figures aren’t awful, but they’re just not as good as the rest. You’ll have to decide how important the extra 50 (or so) feet for FOV and the roughly foot and a half of close focus matters for your purposes.
The prism material is the best available for the three less expensive models. When choosing prism material, manufacturers can pick from BAK4, BK7, or SK15. STYRKA chose SK15 for the S9 series. This material is considered the second best of the three in overall quality. It still gives you a very clear, high contrast view of your target image.
STYRKA specifically mentions ED (extra low dispersion) glass for the S7 and S9 models. I couldn’t find any reference to it for the S3 or S5, so I am assuming these objective lenses are not made of it.
The IPX7 rating for the waterproof feature allows you to submerge these binoculars in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes without damage. STYRKA tests each pair to see that they maintain this quality level.
You’ll note that the S3 and S5 models offer a range of 4 (plus or minus) for the diopter whereas the other only have 3. I’m not sure if the 4 actually gives you a wider range or if it’s the same range with more granularity. In all cases, these settings do not “click” into place. Thus there is a chance that they could more easily stray from where you originally set them. This isn’t really a big deal, but it could become annoying, especially if a diopter becomes loose after a while.
An important item to remember here is that the S9, the heaviest of the bunch, does not have a tripod adapter. This seems unusual because heavier binoculars are harder to keep steady. You usually want a tripod with larger models.
Part of the reason for this may be the overall design of the S9. It is the only pair of these four to have the open bridge design; that is, it’s open in the middle between the tubes. You can grab onto them a little more easily. Perhaps this is supposed to offset the need for a tripod.
Here is a list of the features (in additions to those mentioned in the table) common to all four of these binoculars.
- Rubber armor
- Twist eyecups
- Tethered lens covers
- Neoprene neck strap
- Spudz brand lens cloth
- Carrying case
- Instruction manual
You can wear the custom carrying case on your chest with the harness straps the STYRKA provides.
You can also get 10×42 models in each series.
What Is So Special About the STYRKA Warranty?
Here is what differentiates these binoculars from the rest of the pack. This is what the manufacturer says about its warranty.
“It’s more than a warranty, really. Not only will we take care of your STYRKA product if you ever have a problem, we’ll take care of it for you even if you don’t. That’s right, once a year, on our dime, you can send us your STYRKA product and we’ll clean it, tune it as needed and send it back to you virtually as good as new. Forever. Yes, we’re that serious.”
I can already hear some of you saying, “But what would I use while my binos are away at the factory?”
Most people don’t need their binoculars every day. I would plan on sending mine in during a time when I’m pretty sure I won’t be using them anyway.
For those who do actually use them daily, you have a couple of options. The first is simply not to send them in for maintenance. Another is to have a second pair on hand. My guess is that, if you are that serious about your binoculars, you already have another pair anyway.
Conclusions about the STYRKA 8×42 Binoculars
As I mentioned at the top, there is really nothing too special about these binoculars (which are made in China, in case that matters to you) themselves, unless you count the SXL coatings, compared to others in the same price range.
It’s really the warranty that makes them stand out. If that unusual warranty is enough to make them really attractive to you, then I wouldn’t hesitate to get any one of these four 8×42 models. But, considering the important update above, even though you can still purchase these binoculars, the warranty is virtually meaningless now.
So if you want to look into other 8×42 binoculars, check out these models instead.