Is the built design of binoculars merely a matter of liking, or are there genuine advantages to this type of device? When picking the right pair of binoculars, considering the type of bridge might be worth it. The type of bridge is of utmost importance when it comes to holding the binoculars regarding the comfort, weight, or it could merely help you when choosing the more aesthetically appealing pair of optics.
The open-bridge design is a newer design, mostly in the last two decades. First, the manufacturers producing this type of optics only produced the more expensive models that way, such as Swarovski's EL model. Now, as time has moved forward, the very affordable binoculars from entry-level classes can also feature the open bridge.
However, not all pairs of binoculars are built this way, as the open-bridge ones are mostly used with roof prism binoculars. These binoculars feature a two joint construction and are always used with central focusing. The barrels provide an open space in the middle, between the barrels, which makes the space wide enough for the user's hand. This is one of the advantages, but let us take a look at more:
An advantage of binoculars having an open bridge design is, firstly, a better grip, so they feel more secure – which is the most obvious one. Simultaneously, a better grip means a construction that is sturdier, as well as easier to use with one hand. Another advantage would be, in some cases, smaller weight. Consequently, open-bridge binoculars are easier to use with smaller hands, and there is an added bonus: the design is nicer and the binoculars (for most) look more aesthetically pleasing than single bridge binoculars.
With that many advantages, there are also some disadvantages, but not as plenty, except if the price of the binoculars is your main concern, as these optics can be on the pricier side. The binoculars are built in a way that they are longer, which may pose a problem for some, and the focusing knob position on some models is positioned too towards the face, which makes it difficult to reach.
If you are seeking to figure out if the positive advertised open-bridge binoculars are an instance of a publicity stunt in the optics world, or if the design truly has its benefits, we can confidently confirm it is the latter. True, in some instances, these binoculars are more expensive, like in the case of all the best premium binoculars from the higher classes, like Swarovski EL, Zeiss Victory SF, and Leica Noctivid. However, in this case, getting a great deal should not be your priority – open-bridge binoculars are worth paying extra for.