Alpen Scope Review

Originally published June6, 2013

Could this be your best friend in the backcountry?

One of the challenges of hunting deep in the mountains is making sure you bring all the right gear to make your hunt a success.  Regardless of where you hunt or hike, weight and space are never far from your mind.  Specifically as sportsmen and women begin to gather gear and consider purchases for the upcoming season, weight, size and quality is always considered.

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Someday, I will use this scope to glass up a giant bull or mule deer in the back country. For now, this shot will have to suffice.

If you have listened to western hunters, they tell you, having quality optics, and specifically a spotting scope,for glassing long distances in the mountains, is the key to unlocking the hideouts of big animals.  However, for many of us, the highest of quality optics are often beyond our price range.

Did you know Alpen optics has won 7 Great Buy Awards from Outdoor Life?  That is more than any other optics company.

Blue collar hunters can save on money but not sacrifice on quality with Alpen Optics.

  When I met Owner Vickie Gardner at the POMA conference in March, I naturally gravitated to the  Model 711, 20×50 Mini Spotting Scope on her display table.   understood why.  Over the past few months of testing and using the 711 I could only think of one thing, backcountry, hardcore mountain hunting.  With a  rugged rubber water proof coating, the Model 711 lives up to its name, mini.  The entire scope fits in my hand.  For those needing to save on space and weight in their backpacks but not wanting to sacrifice on quality, this scope fills the need perfectly.  The model 711 weighs a scant 10 ounces and gives an immaculate view for 20x. It also has the ability to attach to a tripod.   The lens is a multi coated BK7 Porro design lens, I barely feel the scope in my pack.

A few weeks ago while on my solo multi-day turkey hunt, I was driving past a giant field which sits just across our property line.  Catching a faint glint of sunlight bouncing off the middle of the field, I threw my truck into park and reached for the Model 711.  From over 500 yards away I could clearly make out the distinguishable features of a boss gobbler strutting mid afternoon for his hen. From beard length, to his patriotic colored head, I was throughly impressed by the details of the bird I could pick up through the  lens.  The best words to describe the Alpen 711 Mini Spotting Scope:  Maneuverable, rugged, efficient and cost effective.  The scope handles well and balances easily giving a great field of view.

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Now you may be thinking the cost of an award winning  mini scope with a stellar lens would run thousands of dollars.  This is part of why I titled the piece Best Friend in the back country,  You spend enough money just to get into good hunting country, the Model 711 MSRP is $112 and on the Alpen website runs for $71.  At POMA I asked Vickie why it cost so little for such a great product and she told me, “It was built with the hard working, blue collar hunter in mind.”  They purposely keep the price low!  I guess just because you don’t have all the money in the world doesn’t mean you can’t have great gear.  Right then I understood why so many think the world of Alpen Optics.

I reached out to friend, colleague and award winning outdoor writer Kevin Reese and asked him his take on Alpen.  He responded

“I began using Alpen alongside another major brand in early 2008 then gave the others away and kept my Alpen binos. As an outdoor writer, photographer and videographer, I depend on optics as an integral part of my work… and my play. I am demanding and hard on my equipment. As a blue-collard hunter that sticks to a budget, I love that Alpen offers premium optics at Average Joe prices! More than that, the small company, family-style feeling I get when I call, along with Alpen’s unmatched lifetime warranty, assures me that I truly have the best for less. In 2009, I was blessed to join Alpen’s pro staff. Being an ambassador of a product, company and group of people is something I take seriously. I have to faith in all of it… and, with Alpen I really do.”

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