Home » Binoculars » Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 10x42mm Binocular Review

Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 10x42mm Binocular Review

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bx-1 mckenzie 10x42
Image Credit - Leupold

Magnification: 10X
Power Variability: Fixed
Objective Diameter: 42 mm
Close Focus Distance: 10 feet
Dimensions: 5.80 (L) inches
Weight: 22 ounces
Field of View: 305 feet/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 13.7/4.2 mm
Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
Glass: BAK-4
Prism System: Roof
Focus System: Center
Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
Eye cups: Twist up
Tripod adaptable: Yes
Rangefinder: No

Best Uses: Hunting, For the Range, Birdwatching, Wildlife Observation

Update: Leupold have discontinued the BX-1 McKenzie binoculars and replaced them with the Leupold BX-1 McKenzie HD version. Check them out at Amazon and Optics Planet.

Leupold BX-1 McKenzie Binoculars

This roof prism Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 10X42 binocular is fully waterproof, fog-proof, and tripod adaptable. It has fully multi-coated lenses with phase coated BAK-4 prisms in a light chassis body of 22 ounces on the ideal 10X42 platform.

There is a great size review base online for this affordable unit. It has a strong rating with dozens of people reporting in a positive light on the all-purpose hunting binocular. With these kind of ratings, this BX-1 can obviously hold its own.

As one of the more affordable Leupold products and one of the most popular ones available, this McKenzie didn't have to fight hard for a spot among our hunting binocular reviews.

Let's take a more detailed look into what sets this roof prism binocular apart from Leupold's porro prism models in the Q&A.


  • Price
  • Fully weatherproof
  • Tripod adaptable
  • Wide IPD range


  • Quality control issues

BX-1 McKenzie 10X42 Binocular Q&A:

What are the advantages of the roof prism design?

The aligned oculars and objective lenses of this McKenzie binocular is a tell-tale mark of the roof prism design and is more aesthetically pleasing, at least to me. However, they're more complicated to make and they need specially-made coatings. But, this limitation can be overcome to turn roof prism binoculars into first-rate and high-caliber optics.

First of all, an advantage includes its lighter weight and much more rugged build versus a porro prism. The extra detail needed to make the prisms require a robust and sturdy build. They're often lighter than a porro prism, although, sometimes the half ounce to ounce difference is negligible.

Secondly, since light is split into two and then combined again in roof prisms, light loss is more significant than with porro prisms. But, with phase corrected coatings, they can still be superior optics that can maintain color fidelity, improve light transmission, and reduce chromatic aberrations. Unfortunately, this does raise the cost of the binocular.

How do I attach a tripod to the BX 1 binocular?

This binocular is tripod adaptable, however, it seems people get lost trying to figure this process out. Here's a quick step-by-step to wash away all the confusion online.

» Locate the "L" symbol on the front of the binocular; it's in between the objective bells
» Unscrew this cap that's attached to the body of the binocular
» This reveals the bushing or the threading for an L angle adapter
» Thread the adapter onto the binocular
» Attach the tripod to the adapter

While this McKenzie is tripod adaptable, it doesn't come with the L adapter or the tripod in the binocular purchase. You'll need to purchase these things separately in order to mount it.

Where are these McKenzie BX 1's made?

Let me preface this by saying, Leupold has strict quality control measurements in place to ensure that every single aspect that goes into the making of their optics meets their incredibly high standards. While Leupold's story is that of achieving the American Dream, this McKenzie is made in China.

Don't be disappointed. Because of Leupold's Synergy Built Project and high business standards, each binocular is kept under Leupold's watchful eye, whether it's been made in China, Japan, or America. The outsourcing of Leupold's manufacturing process is also what keeps their binoculars within the realistic price range for many of us hunters who are counting our pennies.

Are there any extra accessories that come with the McKenzie BX 1 binocular?

Yes! For an entry level binocular with an entry level price tag, you won't be disappointed to know there are some freebies when your package finally arrives. Although it comes with the standard accessories, it's still a delight to get them.

Don't try to tell me I'm wrong. If you bought your brand new McKenzie and if you didn't get your extra accessories with it, I can guarantee that you'd be right back at the store asking for the bonus items, and maybe some extras for your inconvenience... am I right?

The extra accessories are a black binocular case, eyepiece caps, objective lens caps, lens cleaning cloth, neck strap, and binocular user's guide.

Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 10x42 Binoculars, Shadow Gray
  • Leupold model #173788 Bx-1 McKenzie 10x42mm in shadow Gray
  • 100% waterproof, Fog proof, & shockproof

How do I attach the BX 1 binoculars to the included neck strap?

For the sake of clarity and to provide simple step-by-step guide, here is the "how-to".

The first way is to use the key-ring attachment that comes with the neck strap. This is also known as the quick release buckle attachment.

» Take the swivel off the neck strap to get easy access to the key-ring piece.
» Turn the binocular to the side and attach the key-ring piece this way.
» Working from the top will give you an awkward angle that will make this step difficult.
» You can open the key-ring piece with the blade of a small pocket-knife, finger-nail or something similar.
» Open the first ring of the key-ring piece, attach it to the binocular anchor, keep circling it until it's completely made the round and it's on.
» Attach the swivel to the key ring piece and back on the neck strap.

The other method is simple as well but it's not a quick release set up.

» Take the quick release buckle and the swivel off the neck strap.
» Simply insert the strap through the binocular anchor.
» Thread the strap through until you have enough length to use the standard buckle that connects both ends of the strap.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Twist up eye cups and wide IPD range provides a true custom fit for any user
  • BAK-4 prisms for leading-industry glass quality with phase coatings for ultimate prism performance
  • Fully multi-coated lenses provide maximum light transmission for bright, clear images
  • Fully waterproof and fog-proof with Leupold's proprietary Nitrogen fill process
  • Manufactured under the Synergy Built project
  • Armored body for heavy use and easy gripping
  • Backed by Leupold's Full or Limited Lifetime Guarantee

Our Verdict on the Leupold McKenzie 10x42 Binoculars

To glass it up, the Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 10x42 binoculars are excellent little optics which is why we gave them a spot on our list of the best binoculars under $200.

However, there's been a few complaints about quality from stiff focus rings to lens assemblies popping out and only being able to glass close range. Despite this, the complaints seem to be the exception to the rule. A few duds here and there don’t define the McKenzie line. A quick complaint in to customer service, and your warranty should cover the dud.

You could upgrade your objective lens size for the 50 mm with the Leupold Rogue 10x50 mm to get more bang for your buck. Granted, you are moving from a roof prism binocular to a porro prism binocular that isn't very attractive - well, we are being honest! However, it's cheaper, fully weatherproof, and it's still got Leupold's notorious glass quality.

Leupold has a passion for their optics and they love what they do - so do their loyal fans. Are you ready to get on the Leupold band wagon? You might never go anywhere else!

Update: Leupold have discontinued the BX-1 McKenzie binoculars and replaced them with the Leupold BX-1 McKenzie HD version. Check them out at Amazon and Optics Planet.

Further Reading

Photo of author

Simon Cuthbert - Founder

Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the founder of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. Simon has contributed to notable publications online and teaches beginners the technical side of optics through his extensive library of optics guides.

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