Leupold SX-2 Kenai 25-60X80 Spotting Scope (Upgraded to Kenai-2)

sx-2-kenai-30x-25-60x80mmViewing Configuration: Angled
Magnification: 25-60X
Power Variability: Variable
Adjustable Eyepieces: Yes
Eyepiece included: Yes
Objective Diameter: 80 mm
Close Focus Distance: 11.8 feet
Length: 14 inches
Weight: 58.5 ounces
Field of View: 94-52 feet/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 17.9-17.4mm/ 3.1-1.3mm
Optics Coatings: Fully Multi-Coated
Glass: BAK4
Focus System: Collar/Single Focus
Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
Digiscope adaptable: Yes

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

Our Rating: 4.8 Stars

View Updated Kenai-2 Kit on Amazon

 

Leupold SX-2 Kenai Spotting Scope Review

The SX-2 Kenai has Leupold’s Index Matched Lens System, High Definition Lenses, and is Synergy Built with fully multi-coated optics. It’s also fully weatherproof, has a built-in sunshade, and an ergonomic and balanced Kenai design.

Online, this particular Kenai Kit has a very satisfying near perfect rating. Although the reviewer base is only made up of a handful of votes, it’s still a $1000 purchase, so that’s fair enough to base a buying decision on.

I was tossing up between featuring this Kenai and the new Kenai 2, but in the end, the differences are minimal, and the original Kenai won out because there’s a track record to follow.

But, if you’re curious to see why I’ve featured the kit instead of just the scope, here’s the Q&A.

Update - 2017.07.19The SX-2 Ventana is no longer available (new) but its successor the, SX-2 Kenai 2, is following the positive rating trends of the original Kenai. For more information about both scopes and the difference between the two read our Q&A below.

 

PROs:
  • Fully weatherproof
  • Digiscope adaptable
  • Interchangeable eyepiece
  • 2 eyepieces included
  • Complete accessories kit
CONs:
  • No stay on cover

 

SX-2 Kenai 25-60×80 Q&A:

What is the Index Matched Lens System?

Leupold takes coatings seriously, and that’s why the outstanding clarity of their scopes have such a well-rooted reputation among the hunting fraternity. And, the Index Matched Lens System has a lot to do with that.

They create specific coatings for each type of lens in the spotter depending on many factors including, light reflectiveness, position in the spotter, and what its primary function is.

By making lens-specific coatings, the results will be unprecedented brightness, sharpness, contrast, and clarity.

 

What does Synergy Built mean?

This means that every component that went into making the spotter was specifically designed, engineered, made, and tested to ensure that as a whole, it will perform better than expected by the average user.

 

What comes in the Kenai 2 kit?

There’s quite the bargain to be had if you buy Leupold spotting scopes in the kit versions. In this specific Kenai kit, you get the 80 mm Kenai spotting scope, a reinforced hard-shell carrying case, a soft carry case, and a compact tripod.

The tripod has adjustable legs for level set-ups when the ground is uneven, and it allows for multi-directional glassing with a tilting head. And, it’s also lightweight which is important if you’re constantly on the move.

 

Does the Leupold SX-2 Kenai 30X, 25-60X80 come with the eyepieces?

Yes! This is one thing that I left out of the last question because it’s deserving of its own little section.

The original Kenai spotters, not just the kit, come with two eyepieces.

Update - 2017.07.19The original Kenai spotting scopes are no longer available (new).

The first is the fixed 30X eyepiece and the other is the variable 25-60X eyepiece. Put it on the 80 mm Kenai and you have the 30X80 and the 25-60X80 eyepieces.

The Kenai 2 only comes with the one 25-60X eyepiece.

 

What is the little knob on the side of the spotting scope?

It’s easy to get confused when there seems to be an extra little knob or two that you’re not quite sure what it’s for. And, throwing you off would be the little knob in the middle of the body of the spotter.

This is a locking ring or locking knob. By turning it to loosen it, it will release the scope to move freely for multi-directional angles and tilting.

Tighten it, and you will lock that position in place or return it to its original position.

 

What are the differences between the Kenai and the Kenai 2?

The only differences that I can spot are in the lens coatings. The Kenai 2 has the GuardION coatings and the Advanced HD lens coating system, but it only has fully coated optics. Well, at least that’s what Leupold says in their features about it.

The Kenai doesn’t have the GuardION, but it does have the calcium-fluoride, High Definition lenses and fully multi-coated optics.

 

What are GuardION coatings?

The Kenai 2 has the new GuardION lens coating that’s equivalent to Zeiss’ LotuTec and Meopta’s MeoDrop.

It’s basically the external coating that protects the objective lens of the spotting scope from elements and particles that can obstruct your view such was raindrops and spray residues by repelling them.

And, whatever doesn’t bead off the lens can be easily swiped away with a quick clean. Maintenance is low and minimal and glassing is sharp and clear.

 

Does the Kenai come with a stay-on cover?

No, it comes with everything else but a stay-on cover.

Leupold neither sells one on the side for the Kenai and it’ll actually prove to be an unbeatable feat to find a stay-on cover that fits the Kenai from another seller.

If you’re handy with needle and thread, this might be your only option if you want to further protect it from the elements when in use in the field.

 

How much is the kit versus the scope?

The kit is an excellent buy, especially when you see how much the scope costs alone.

Since prices online can be conflicting for the same product, I’ll just list the round-about, lowest price that you can find it for online.

The SX-1 Kenai alone will cost you about $800 and the retail price from Leupold is $1125.

The SX-1 Kenai kit will cost you about $1000 and the retail price from Leupold is $1250.

The new SX-1 Kenai 2 spotting scope will cost you around $900 with a retail price of $1300.

The new SX-1 Kenai 2 kit will cost you about $1000.

 

Noteworthy Features:

  • Two eyepieces included in purchase, 30X and 25-60X
  • Index Matched System for lens-specific coatings
  • Fully multi-coated optics with HD and calcium-fluoride elements for maximum brightness, contrast, and resolution
  • Fully fog-proof and waterproof to endure all types of weather
  • Synergy Built
  • Backed by Leupold’s Limited Lifetime Warranty

 

Our Verdict

The scoop on the scope is, the Leupold SX-2 Kenai 2 25-60X80 HD Angled Spotting Scope Kit is a great buy. This new to 2016 Kenai kit includes both soft and hard cases, a tripod and digscoping adaptor.

Alternatively the Kenai 2 25-60x80mm HD Angled spotter is available without the rest of the kit (it still comes with a protective, soft-side case). But since the price difference between the two options is marginal, you might decide the extra 50 bucks or so is worth it for the extra accessories that come in the kit version.

However, in this price range, you may as well stretch your budget a little more and go with the Swarovski ATX/STX 65 spotter. You will have to push your budget even further to buy the eyepiece, but at retail cost for the Kenai, you could land yourself a Swaro. For real, check it out!

The bottom line is, Leupold caters to a variety of budgets with a mix-match of features and optics to suit every hunter. Whether it’s the flat lands or black bear hunting you plan on doing, the Kenai will be your spotting pro!

 

Check Price on Amazon

 

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