The last time I saw moon with binoculars, it was not only nearer, but alive. It had mountains, craters, and shadows.’ Such is the rich experience binoculars give to the human race, to view distant things vividly without getting close enough! These outdoor field glasses are designed such that two different telescopes are mounted parallelly and aligned to point in the same direction allowing the user to use both his eyes equally and to at-most efficiency, gathering more light, wider view range and hence better image quality. These specially designed devices provide three-dimensional view unlike the monocular and hence foster life in inarticulate objects. The objects viewed through these field lenses are as clear and vivid as when they are seen through the naked eye. Now that you know a thing or two about the best marine binoculars, let us look into the use cases of these devices.
The binoculars have various applications apart from the typical use. These are as follows:
- Land Surveys and Geographical data collection
- Bird watching
- Range finding
- Military purposes
- Astronomical use
Since life these days is not restricted to land and advancements have been made underwater and over the heads, there certainly was a need to view and experience things there equally clearly as on the land, may it then be for leisure or for work. As they say, ‘Necessity is the need of invention’, so did the need for better view and safety under water brought about manufacturing the best marine binoculars.
As the name suggests, the marine binoculars are the binoculars that are designed specifically for working on and under the water. These are no different from the regular binoculars except for the fact that they are designed to withstand the rigors and elements of life under water. Just like the regular binoculars, the marine binoculars also have similar applications.
What to look for while buying marine binoculars?
For using equipments in the vicinity of water, they must be designed with distinctive features so that they may not only withstand the pangs of watery environment but may also function well, emerging fruitful and excelling in their field of work.
For devices that are designed to work on the water surface and beneath it, there are certain specific features based on the working environment and fundamentals of optics that lay the foundation of binoculars that you must look for and understand while buying one to ensure that you have the best buy at affordable price. Additionally, you must also lay down your needs clearly before jumping onto any conclusion of buying the best marine binocular. This would help you to filter out the best suited options of many available from various manufactures in the market, for because of much competition, there are numerous products often from the same manufacturer differing in specifications. Here are some features you need to look for while choosing a binocular,
Fog and Waterproofing
For anything related to water, it is important that it is waterproof so that the environment does not have any harmful effect on the product. Similarly, for the best binoculars for boating, it is important that they remain waterproof, allowing them to excel under waters. Waterproofing of the device ensures that the device and all its parts remain resistant to harmful effects of water and that the water may not cause any hindrance in object viewing. One thing that you must check thoroughly is that the binocular is waterproof in true sense. Most of the manufacturers misguide the customers by stating their products to be waterproof when most of them are just protected against water.
One should always look for binoculars that are completely O-ring sealed as well as nitrogen-purged. This means that the air inside the binocular body should be replaced by dry nitrogen gas. This prevents the internal optical instruments from fogging up and hence ensures unobstructed vision thereby keeping the device waterproof and fog proof. The internal fogging up arises due to change in water temperature, the moisture free environment inside your optics because of dry nitrogen ensures that the device can be used in all waters and in all seasons. It also has the secondary benefit of protecting the inner workings and making them resilient to any corrosion, which is especially important to those using binoculars on the sea.
Often, under water the objects to be viewed are further than they are at land. This generally would mean that the marine binoculars should have high magnification power. But the truth remains exact opposite of this perception. With binoculars of higher power, the image obtained of the object is least stable because with higher power, the disruptions due to ripples and movements get enlarged. Therefore, to obtain a stable image, it is advised to use marine binoculars with sufficiently high magnification power.
Therefore, most of the best marine binoculars have magnification power up to 7 times and yet give enough power so that the images are not to blurred and are of superior quality.
Unlike the laser rangefinders in binoculars for hunting, the marine binoculars use recticle rangefinders often called as grid rangefinders. This is mainly because the ranges covered in water are much larger than the distance covered on land and therefore laser rangefinders do not work efficiently.
Most of the marine binoculars have a compass attached to their main body. The compass can be either analog or digital depending on the model of the binocular. These compasses attached, help in finding the right directions by pointing towards the bearing of the object. Moreover, these compasses can range from being extremely useful to just an additional feature depending on the type of use the binocular is put to. If the compasses are to be used during the night time, look for marine binoculars which have compasses that have a light attached to them making visibility clear during the dark hours. However, compasses with lights would require a battery assistance.
Objective Lens Size
The objective lens is the lens that is present at the end of the binoculars. These lenses are responsible for controlling the amount of light entering the binocular and hence control the range of use. Larger the size of the objective lens, more amount of light from the surrounding areas is directed into the binoculars. The binoculars with large objective lenses are typically useful for low light areas as they allow better vision. However, the size of the objective lens affects the overall size of the binoculars. The larger the size of the objective lens, the larger is the size of the binocular.
The objective lens used in a particular binocular is specified in the name of the binocular and is measured in millimeters. Most of the efficient binoculars have objective lenses of size varying in between 30mm and 50 mm.
Field of View
The width of the scene that is in the view when seen through a binocular is known as the field of view.
A wide field of view brings a wider perspective and makes locating objects an easier task as a larger area can be viewed at a time.
The negative point of wider field of view is that there is potential loss of details in the objects. Magnification power and field of view of a binocular are inversely proportional to each other. The larger the field of view, lesser is the magnification power of the binocular and hence lower is the detailing ability.
Size and Weight
The size and weight factor does not play a significant role and is therefore not of much importance for marine binoculars. The major reason being, these marine binoculars are majorly used onboard unlike to the field binoculars that are used for wildlife and birdwatching, due to which the size factor does not count in.
However, balance plays a key role. Unfortunately, the balance of a binocular cannot be compared without using the binocular. Generally, all well-built binoculars are also well balanced. A well-balanced binocular should cause minimum stress on arms, wrists and elbows when put near the face for viewing.
Eye relief on a set of binoculars comes into play when glasses are being used by the user. Eye relief, basically is the distance behind the ocular lenses of the binoculars where the image of the object is in focus. Glasses come into the way of eyes getting closer to the ocular lenses as compared to normal eyes. Therefore, a longer eye relief is required that will focus the image of the object behind the ocular lenses. Normally, binoculars with eye relief of either 15mm or 16mm are recommended for unobstructed vision.
The negative of larger eye relief is that it compensates with the field of view. For those who wonder if wearing glasses is needed at all while using binoculars, here is a quick tip.
The binoculars compensate and make for both near and far sightedness and therefore the vision remains unaffected. Hence, there is no need of wearing glasses in such cases. Whereas, if the eye suffers from astigmatism, the user needs to wear glasses.
If there is one thing that is often overlooked in marine binoculars is what when the binoculars fall off board? Though few of these binoculars are designed to float on the surface but many don’t. In such a case, the safest alternative is using a floating strap. These floating straps are attached to the binoculars and ensure that the binoculars float for long enough to be rescued.
Top 11 Best Marine Binoculars 2018
Known for making durable and extensive binoculars, this Bushnell binocular is every man’s go to marine binocular. Designed especially for those who love water viewing, this Bushnell binocular is a perfect companion for all water adventures. Designed sophistically and reliably with exemplary features, this binocular fails no man’s needs.
The extensive soft grip apart from adding on to the support ensures that the binocular can be used with utmost ease and comfort even under unfavorable and challenging conditions. The grip is provided with shock absorbents that increase the life and durability of the binoculars.
The device has a sealed O-ring and an interior purged with dry nitrogen making it 100% waterproof, water resistant and corrosion resistant. Long eye relief and twist-up eyecups make for comfortable viewing, even over long periods. The H2O model guarantees high-quality imaging along with exceptional light transmitting capabilities in all kinds of weather thanks to the multicoated optics and high-quality BAK-4 prisms. It gives you all the features that you expect from a high-end binocular and adds the waterproof, fog proof and dust proof features to its list.
- Porro Prism System
- 100% waterproof
- Long eye relief
- Water, Fog, and Dust Resistant
- Multicoated lenses
- Superb light transmission efficiency
- Nonslippery rubber armor body
- Neck strap and case
- Too heavy to float on water surface
- Flimsy neck strap material
- Lack of tripod adapter
- No warranty with the product
- Poor low light performance
With peak light transmission of over 80%, this Steiner marine binocular works best in low lighting. For voyages in places deep and dark as forests of Amazon, this binocular comes handy and performs the best in the low-lit areas.
The multicoated optics provide an effective and efficient view in dim light. The Sports Autofocus System ensures that everything that is in a range of 20 yards is focused and calibrated to best fit the user’s eyes.
Additionally, the device has a firm and steady design material which provides a strong exterior grip. This external sheath covering around the binocular provides strong grip to the hands and prevents slipping of the binoculars. It also ensures that the binocular can be used with ease and with minimum stress to arms, elbows and wrists. The outer coating of the binocular is padded with shock absorbents which prevent damage to the delicate intricate structures and ensures durability and prolonged life of the device.
The binoculars also have a long eye relief which provides wider field of view. The optical lenses and eye caps are so designed that viewing is strain free to the eyes. The lenses also provide the much-needed protection to the eyes even when the user opts against the use of sunglasses.
- High performance in dim light
- Strong grip
- Long eye relief
- Good eye clearance
- Comes with a spray guard for the optical lenses
- No built-in compass
- Lacks rangefinder feature
- Difficult to handle as it has a generous size and is heavy over 2 pounds
- Small neck strap makes handling even more difficult.
Designed and produced by a company that deals majorly in professional binoculars, these devices are designed to focus on producing new generation of optic viewing.
This binocular has a robust and versatile design that makes it usable in all conditions. Also, the military compactness and tough design makes the device durable and with a prolonged life. The device provides plenty of magnification and auto-focus even on moving objects every time the device is put to use. The binocular has a rubber housing armor similar to military equipment that ensure strong and non-slippery grip with least strain on arms and wrists.
The manufacturers have taken all glass wearers into consideration while designing this gear, for it is provided with a long eye relief which suits in for all glass wearers and provides a clear view.
The binoculars are rain-proof, fog-resistant, dust- proof which makes it adaptable and usable for severe conditions.
- Small and compact design
- Durable material
- Unique auto-focusing
- Wide field of view
- Long eye relief
- Low magnification power
- Does not come with a tripod stand
Known for its design and excel in the making of binoculars, this Bushnell Marine Binocular is a game changer in the field of binoculars. This binocular, just like all other from the same company, is impressively durable and comes with a guaranteed durability as an add on.
Designed with a waterproof design, this marine model is designed to resist and withstand all weather conditions prevailing in the nautical environment. Designed for up to 7x magnifying power, the binocular is provided with an objective lens of 50mm which ensures wide field of view at one thousand yards or three hundred and fifty yards.
With an impressive lighting transmission, the binocular works closely with the multi-coated optics. This gives crystal clear view and protection. Since the objective lens is UV-protected, the image is, therefore, brightened up from dawn to dusk.
- Guaranteed waterproof protection
- Best fog-proof performance
- Easier grip and armoring floats
- Built-in compass
- Carrying case
- Too heavy to float
- Short straps
- No center focusing rings
Designed and built especially for marine and nautical enthusiasts, this marine binocular is every enthusiast’s go to binocular before any adventure.
With 7x magnification and superior optical lenses, the device provides clear and unobstructed vision during all hours of the day. Using this device enriches the experience of using the binoculars.
The BARSKA binocular provides the most valuable tool that is required during a voyage, rangefinder. The devices come with an exceptionally well built-in range finder that determines the distance and size of the subject. On the other hand, the compass ensures that one can always trace back his way out of a situation if lost on the way.
The BARSKA binoculars come with fully multi-coated lenses and BAK4 prism. These two prime and noteworthy features ensure that the user has a guaranteed clear, crisp and an unclouded vision.
The inner, delicate credentials of the binocular is protected by a tough and resilient outer rubber covering. This rubber armor provides a non-slippery grip to the hands while holding and using the binoculars. Additionally, this ergonomic rubber covering protects the inner details against the potentially harsh weather conditions of the environment. The binoculars are so designed that if in case they slip off-board, one does not lose them. They are devised to float on the surface of the water for sufficiently long time for the user to take back the possession.
- It comes with a lifetime warranty
- It uses Porro prism system
- Optics used within is astonishing
- The in-built compass often fails to work in certain areas of the southern hemisphere
Designed to meet the best with the military standards, this Hooway binocular has a design hardware that works exceptionally well in all severe and unwelcoming weather conditions- rainstorms, high humidity and even in extremely cool temperatures. Despite of an extensive list of available features, the performance of the device is not compensated.
This binocular has an individual eye focus. This system offers the freedom and joy of focusing at objects that are either at a longer distance or at a short distance from the viewer. The device also has an excellent magnifying power that allows the viewers to get the best viewing even for distant objects. The magnification of the objects creates no hindrance in the image quality as the stabilization process is also exceptionally well crafted. Apart from the features provided, the binoculars are very comfortable and easy to use. The design material ensures that this device remains durable, stable and its service life remains desirable to all Marine enthusiasts. The optics used are fully coated, and this ensures the protection of the device as well as the viewer’s eye.
- Built-in directional compass
- Excellent focus system
- It comes with a Floating foam strap
- Purged in dry nitrogen for fog-free vision
- It cannot be used at night
Often nicknamed and compared to the power of an ocean, this binocular has outstanding features and strength. The device has an amazingly well in-built rangefinder and a directional compass. Both features come handy when on any nautical adventure or on a voyage. Since accuracy is one thing taken care of, these features are totally reliable and work in all conditions, situations, and locations. The mechanically inbuilt compass and rangefinder are easy to use and easy to read.
The design of this binocular is also something to gear up to. The device is designed with an ergonomic rubber outer coating. This provides a non-slippery grip while holding and using the binoculars. The overall design of the device is shock resistant due to the extensive outer rubber coating. The lenses used are multi-coated and contain BAK-4 prisms which give a crisp and clear image.
Dry Nitrogen gas is purged into the binocular which prevents fogging and molding on the internal lens surface even when used under very harsh circumstances. These features prolong the life service and durability of this binocular.
- Durable and waterproof
- Long eye relief
- Tough outer coating
- Multi-coated lens for clear vision
- It can be used in all weather conditions
- It comes with a tripod adapter
- It does not come with a warranty
- The material used for the tripod is flimsy
The Aomekie Floating Marine binocular is designed best for marine adventures. With a magnification of 10x this binocular is a shout out for all adventure maniacs who have been in search for a device that would help them see the minutest details at a distant without getting any closer to them. Designed with a 50-mm objective lens and a 24-millimeter eye relief, the binocular ensures maximum light capturing hence making it functions equally well in dim light, maximum eye protection and ease of use even for glass wearers.
The binocular is designed well to meet the high military standards. The designing details include the non-slippery rubber armor used for absorbing shocks and providing the desired firm grip. It also ensures a prolonged life and durability to the binocular. The binocular is also encompassed with an illuminated compass that helps to trace the direction and a rangefinder that determines the size and distance between objects. With a Porro prism system, the device efficiently offers a wide field of view. Since the binocular uses a premium BAK4 prism and coated optics, it provides clear and crisp, bright images at all times.
This device with all its exceptionally well-crafted features never fails to make viewers feel like one of the Marine Special Forces merely by using it.
- It offers 10x magnification
- It provides supreme protection for eyes
- It adapts to any environment
- It is durable and stable
- The tripod stand that comes along with the device is very weak
- The neck strap is made up of very flimsy material
9. Bushnell 138005 H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Compact Roof Prism Binocular
If you are on a budget, then this Bushnell binocular is something that you should keep your eyes on, as it is one of the better, budget binoculars. Compared to other binoculars in the same price range, this binocular excels in quality, magnification, and features. Its sight is clear because of the special optics and the magnification that you get can let you see anything that’s quite far away. If you’re on a budget, don’t go for a cheaper one but invest in this, as you’ll see the value when you use it for a while.
The waterproof feature of this product is quite good for this price range, as the product is entirely waterproof. This is made possible because it is O-ring sealed and is also nitrogen purged, so that there are no seams where water can get through and so that you can drop it inside a river or lake without facing the consequences. This binocular also comes with multi-coated optics and BaK-4 prisms to allow light to enter for darker environments and to allow a clearer viewing experience. We especially loved the multi-coating of this product because it is easy to get into a dark environment while hunting or exploring and with the help of the multi-coated optics, your binoculars will be able to gather all the light around you to transmit into your binoculars for use in the dark.
The quality of this product isn’t the best, but Bushnell tried its best to let you use the binoculars for as long as possible. This binocular comes with rubber armor, so that if you do happen to drop it, it won’t break since the rubber armor will absorb all the shock. The rubber armor will also absorb minor scratches as without it, scratches might create seams for water to enter your binoculars. However, the rubber armor won’t be able to protect your binoculars from fatal drops or hard scratches, so you still must be careful if you want to keep your binoculars lasting as long as possible.
The price of this product is one of the best things about this product. If you are on a budget then this binocular will be one of the better value purchases you can make as you’ll have to spend less money replacing your binoculars since this one will last a long time compared to other binoculars in this price range. However, if you are looking for better quality, then you will have to increase your budget as this binocular has great features, but lacks in certain aspects when it comes to the quality such as the optic lens and the focusing knob. Overall, this binocular is highly suggested for those on a budget that still want quality binoculars to view with on their wet trip.
If you have a bigger budget and you are looking for better quality, then you have come to the right place. This binocular is not only better in terms of quality, but in terms of value and features as well. This binocular is suitable for close to all activities and is durable enough to last through major drops without causing a dent on the product. If you aren’t on a budget, then we recommend that you read our review of this product, so that you can get a better value product for the long term.
The features of this binoculars are astounding. First, the optics are designed to give you the best clarity and contrasting view as possible, so that the colors stand out for you to enjoy without any vision loss. The optics are also multi-coated, allowing light to be transmitted to binoculars for a clearer view. Another feature about this binocular that we liked was how compact it was. The compact size of this binocular will allow you to keep it inside your pocket or inside a small compartment inside of your backpack without feeling it there at all. Lastly, the waterproof feature is present on this binocular, letting you dunk your binoculars inside water without fearing that water will get in because of the way it was designed.
The quality of this binocular is definitely on the top compared to the rest of the products, primarily because of how expensive it is compared to the rest. However, the price is worth paying because the quality that you get is worth that much more value. The outer layer of the binoculars is coated with rubber armor to help absorb shocks from drops and the interior build is also laced with material that will help keep the binoculars from denting from high drops. The quality can also be seen through the optics and the focusing knobs, as they are both made from high quality materials and perform very well.
The only downside to this product is that it’s a lot more expensive compared to the rest of the products. However, if you would rather go for value than quantity, then it is recommended that you invest a bit more upfront rather than having to spend more money overtime to replace the cheap binoculars that broke with just a few uses. Overall, we highly recommend this binocular if you can afford it because it is arguable one of the best waterproof binoculars that you can get because of the variety of the features you receive as well as the quality that you get along with the waterproof feature.
If you are looking for the average priced product that isn’t low quality or too high priced, then this product is the one for you. With high magnification and a wide FOV, you’ll be able to use these binoculars for whatever activity you will be involved in, whether it be whale watching, sports spectating, or whale watching.
One feature about this product that makes it decent is the multi-coated optics. Without it, you’ll only be able to see a blurry outline of your target, but with the multi-coated optics, you’ll be able to see your target clearly in the dark. This binocular also comes with BaK-4 prisms, so that your view will be a lot more brighter and crisp for you to enjoy and experience. This clearer display alongside the x10 magnification will allow you to see everything in closer detail, making your experience that much better. The wide FOV is another feature that we liked because it will allow you to have a wider range of view to find the target you are trying to find. With a tighter view, you’ll feel more restricted and it will also be harder for you to track down the object you are trying to find.
The quality of this binocular isn’t as good as the Polaris binoculars above, but it is good enough to last through drops, water dunks, minor scratches, and a few years of use if handled properly. Although you may not be able to see it, the internal components are of decent quality which will increase the length of time in which you will be able to use this product. Most low-quality products try to use high quality materials for the outside and low quality materials for the inside, explaining why they look good, but break quite easily unlike these binoculars which will last you a long time.
The price of this product isn’t too expensive, but it isn’t cheap either. This product is a good average product and if you want something above the low budget range, but don’t want to get anything too expensive, then this binocular is highly recommended as the price is right in the middle for those looking to increase their budget by a bit to get better quality. As this binocular is built to last awhile, the value that you will get out of this product will be a lot higher than a budget binocular, so we recommend that you keep that in mind as you are deciding as this product is recommended for its great features, quality, and price.
The increased competition in the market has paved way for more and more companies to get into the manufacturing of the binoculars. Each differing model has different features most of which may seem alluring at the first go especially for the prices at which they are offered, but are not always fruitful. Therefore, it is always advised to list down the needs and areas of use beforehand and then hunt for the right binocular. It also advised to never compromise with the quality of the product no matter how tempting the buy may seem. Also, the final discretionary power vests in the buyer himself and therefore make the most use of it.