Binoculars were invented many years ago and have been an essential device for many specific tasks, such as hunting, bird watching, astronomy, and much more. Marine binoculars are one of the many types of binoculars you can find and are an essential asset to every boat owner.
These units provide actual size, high magnification and will make your sailing a lot easier. To find the best marine binoculars you will need to look out for some specific features. When it comes to developing new technologies and making new and improved binoculars, manufacturers tend to outdo each other constantly. Therefore, the market is flooded with various types of units, and after doing our research, we made a list with the reviews on the top marine binoculars available nowadays.
In this buying guide, we will also give you a lot of useful information and tips, and once you have finished reading, we are sure that you will be pleased with the result.
Best Marine Binoculars Comparison Chart
Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binoculars
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Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars
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ZoomX 10×42 Waterproof Lightweight Compact Binoculars
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Binoteck 12×42 Binoculars
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Hooway 7×50 Waterproof Fogproof Marine Binoculars
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Steiner Model 575 Marine 7×50 Binoculars
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Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Porro Prism Binocular
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Our Reviews on the Best Marine Binoculars
These are the most reliable units you will find on the market these days. They all have advantages and disadvantages, but we are sure that you won’t be disappointed with any of them- that’s why they are not arranged in any particular order, and you have to decide for yourself!
1. Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binoculars
These Bushnell binoculars do not only look good but are also made of quality materials. The optics these Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binoculars offer will give your stunning HD clarity. The exit pupil these binoculars have is 4.2mm / 0.165in, and the field of view is 305/102 feet@1000yds/m@1000m.
The unit features BaK-4 prisms and multi-coated optics that will offer you crisp, clear images with improved light transmission. The biggest issue with these binoculars is that they are roof ones and when in dark light, the photos will be sharp and clear but not as bright as you would like.
Waterproofing is one of the most critical characteristics binoculars must-have, and this pair is 100% waterproof and will offer you fog-free performance. The twist-up eyecups this unit features will allow you to use it with or without glasses, with the only problem being the fact that the rubber eyepiece collars may feel a bit hard. With their 10x magnification and 42mm objective diameter, 17mm eye relief, and 12-foot close focus distance, these binoculars are undoubtedly an excellent investment.
- Bak-4 Prisms
- 17mm eye relief
- The rubber eyepiece collars are a little bit hard
- In poor lighting, the brightness is not that good
2. Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars
These binoculars have 25mm objective lens, 12x magnification, and 273ft/1000yds field of you that will let you look further and see more full. The unit features BaK-4 prism and is coated with FMC Broadband coating.
Even if you wear glasses, you should not be worried since these binoculars have adjustable eyecups. These little binoculars are great for a hike, a walk along the shoreline, bird watching, cruise, and other outside activities. They have good eye relief and a large eyepiece – 15mm. You will like the fact that they are compactable, and have 25mm objective lens diameter and 20mm exit pupil distance.
Keep in mind, that even though it is said they have a low light night vision, this is not their strongest side. Something else, the Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars are made of ABS plastic and are waterproof. The unit comes with a binocular cruise strap that unfortunately is too thin and may rub your neck. The focus system of these binoculars is Center & Right eye, and they are suitable not only for adults but for kids as well.
- Can be used for many things
- BaK-4 prism
- No low light night vision
- The carrying strap is thin and may rub your neck
3. ZoomX 10×42 Waterproof Lightweight Compact Binoculars
Bird-watching, whale-watching, traveling, hiking, you name it… these ZoomX 10×42 Waterproof Lightweight Compact Binoculars are suitable for pretty much everything. They are made bu IPX standards and are sealed and filled with nitrogen, which means they are 100% waterproof and your lenses will be protected from fogging.
The Bak-4 prism with ultra-Phase color correction ensures a bright and clear image, even when it is dark outside. The body of the unit is rubberized and won’t slip away while walking or being in the sea. These roof binoculars are compact, light-weighted and fit in a small bag. Some of the most important characteristics are the field of view- 305 FT / 1000YDS, the objective diameter- 18mm, and the magnification power- 10x.
The most significant advantage this unit has to offer is the phone adapter it features. It is compatible with a lot of smartphones but taking pictures with the phone attached to the product is still a bit hard, and you may need an assistant.
- BaK-4 prism and rubberized body
- Phone Adapter
- taking pictures from the cell phone attached to the binoculars is hard
- The telephone holder does not fit in the carrying case
4. Binoteck 12×42 Binoculars
These binoculars will provide you clear vision and great photos. Yes, they have a smartphone adapter, and you can use them for hunting, wildlife watching, hiking, and marine activities. The Binoteck 12×42 Binoculars have 12x power magnification, 42mm objective lens, and a 374ft/ 1000yds field of view.
These Binoteck binoculars are not a toy, and they guarantee clear and crisp images with HD vision due to the premium sizeable Bak4 Prism. The objective lens and the 18mm eyepiece have fully multi-layered FMC green film coatings. That means that you will get increased contrast and improved brightness. However, their night vision is not that good, and you may encounter some difficulties while using them in weak light conditions.
Weather conditions will not be a problem, as this unit is IP55 life water-resistant and fog proof. The body cover of the binoculars is made of leather and rubber, so there is no risk of slipping and accidental falling. Other essential characteristics are the eyepiece diameter- 18mm, the exit pupil distance-10mm, and the focus system- Center and Right eye.
- Waterproof and fog-resistant
- No risk of slipping
- Fully multi-layered FMC green film coatings.
- These are not night vision capable
- Badly written manual
5. Hooway 7×50 Waterproof Fogproof Marine Binoculars
The Hooway 7×50 Waterproof Fogproof Marine Binoculars are a high-quality product suitable for extreme environment. They are completely waterproof and even float in water. These binoculars are comfortable to hold, however to some may feel a bit heavy.
With their 50mm objective lens and 7x magnification, these are perfect for marines. They have 22m eye relief and 6.8mm exit pupil. You will also be able to see far distances receiving a clear and bright image due to the field of view that is 396 feet and 1000 yards. The Porro prism system and the fully multi-coated optics will also ensure the clearness and brightness of your images.
These Hooway binoculars are really durable, however, like any other thing, they have their weak spot- the eyecups. Not only do these binocular have quickly rotting eyecups, but they also have no adjustment knob. On the other hand, this product features a built-in Illuminated Compass with an internal rangefinder for determining the distance and the size of the objects. For its price, this product is a great catch.
- Built-in Compass with an internal rangefinder
- Clear image
- Float in water
- No adjustment knob
- The eyecups are not durable
6. Steiner Model 575 Marine 7×50 Binoculars
These marine binoculars do not only look great but will also give you sharp and clear images. They are incredibly durable, and it is safe to say that they are built like a tank and are great for harsh environments, where they can get knocked around or get wet, like on a ship or a boat. With that being said, it is merely logical that they are also heavy and bulky and may not be suitable for some uses.
The Steiner Model 575 Marine 7×50 Binoculars have 7x magnification and 1000YD- 356FT field of view. Due to the true-to-life color reproduction, they will give you high-contrast, bright images, without refocusing. They feature flexible silicone lens mounts that can absorb severe shock and impact. Besides that, they are also waterproof and rubber armored.
The fact that they are heavy does not mean that you won’t be able to get a comfortable grip. The binoculars’ objective lens size is 50mm, and on top of that they also have a warranty, so if you get a defective product, it will be repaired or replaced.
- Sharp and clear images
- Really durable
- True-to-life color reproduction
- Perfect for harsh environment
- No compass
- No rangefinder
- Heavy and bulky
7. Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Porro Prism Binocular
These Porro Prism Binoculars are perfect for sea and marine environment as they are one hundred percent waterproof and will give your bright and sharp images. As they are durable and can absorb shock, they are also a bit heavy and hard to hold, while on a boat. However, this is something typical when you want a heavy-duty unit that will last through the harshest environments.
These binoculars have a large center-focus knob that should make the adjustment easy; however, they still tend to be a little hard to focus. On the other hand, they have many other advantages, so they are still one of the most reliable units on the market.
The Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Porro Prism Binoculars are O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged. They feature multi-coated optics and Bak4 prisms which improve the light transmission. The unit also has a 42mm objective diameter, a 15mm eye relief, a 12x magnification, and a 15-foot close focus distance.
- Nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed
- Offer bright and clear images
- Good light transmission
- Heavy and do not float
- A bit hard to focus
- Hard to hold still when on a boat
8. RONHAN 20×50 High Power Military Binoculars
The greatest thing about these RONHAN 20×50 High Power Military Binoculars is the fact that you can use them for many activities and still be pleased with the result. They are suitable for hiking, bird watching, hunting, sports competitions, concerts, etc. The multilayer-coated aspherical lenses they feature, provide excellent light transmission, even though the image itself isn’t as razor-sharp as one would desire.
For the price these have, they are a great option. They have BaK4 prisms and are waterproof. However, the eyepieces are made of plastic that is not really durable. Another advantage is the fact that there are no adjustable eye relief caps.
On the other hand, the unit is easy to focus on and to carry. It is suitable for hostile environments as it features a waterproof body with rubber-coated finish. However, this unit has one extremely significant disadvantage. Even though it is said that it has a 20x magnification, in reality, it is a 10x one.
- Waterproof body with a rubber coated finish
- BaK4 prisms
- Multilayer-coated prisms
- Suitable for various tasks
- The eyepieces are made of cheap and unreliable plastic
- No adjustable eye relief cups
- The magnification is not really 20
9. Steiner 210 MM1050 Military-Marine 10×50 Binocular
These Steiner 210 MM1050 Military-Marine 10×50 Tactical Binoculars have a 10x magnification and 50mm objective lens. They are based on military binoculars and are adapted for rugged all-around use. This unit is ideal for low-light conditions, open terrain and hilly country.
These binoculars feature a sports-auto-focus that has to ensure that everything from 20 yards to infinity is kept in focus. In reality, though, the situation is a bit different as you will still have to refocus everywhere you look. However, once you do that, you will see that the Prisms are flawless and your images are indeed 3D.
These binoculars are built with a Makrolon housing and durable polycarbonate chassis that can withstand 11 G’s of impact. The only problem is the rubber armoring because it is not that reliable as it should be. On the other hand, the long 17mm eye relief is an advantage we cannot miss to mention. The binoculars are also waterproof and fog-resistant and come with a carry case.
- Porro prism design
- Includes neck strap, carry case and other accessories
- 17mm eye relief
- Withstand 11 G’s of impact
- The “rubber armoring” is not durable
- The sports-auto-focus does not work as advertised
10. Canon 10×42 L Image Stabilization Waterproof Binoculars
Canon is a brand that everybody knows, and we cannot say that they don’t know what their customers look for. These Canon 10×42 L Image Stabilization Waterproof Binoculars are the first waterproof model to incorporate Canon’s exclusive Image Stabilizer technology. As a result, you get a steady, shake-free viewing. For this reason, these binoculars are perfect for marine use.
The eyecups of the unit may feel a bit uncomfortable but even so, the high-quality L series optics that have ultra-low dispersion lens elements on each side deliver perfect correction for chromatic aberration. With its 4.2mm exit pupil diameter and large lens diameter, this Canon model offers a bright and clear view. Even though it may be a bit heavy, the unit is easy to use.
Another significant advantage is the fact that these binoculars are waterproof and the body components feature a metallic coating that prevents fogging. With these binoculars, you also get a 3-year warranty.
- They feature Canon’s exclusive Image Stabilizer technology
- Shake-free, steady viewing
- L series optics with ultra-low dispersion lens elements on each side
- Bright and sharp images
- The eyecups may be a bit uncomfortable
- The eyepieces are oversized
Types of Focus
There are two main types of focus: fixed focus (individual eyepiece focus), and center focus. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
Fixed Focus Binoculars
Once you have set these binoculars to your eyesight, there is no need to focus them again. Fixed Focus Binoculars are also known as autofocus or self-focusing binoculars. This type of focus is often used on marine binoculars since they have less moving parts than center focus binoculars making them completely waterproof. Besides, the advantage of not having to focus your unit, while on a moving boat is visible.
Center Focus Binoculars
These have to be focused on a particular object in the distance using a central barrel. Center focus Binoculars are more versatile than fixed ones and are more suitable for viewing objects at closer ranges.
Types of Prisms
The prisms are the small angular bits of glass inside your binocular that turn the image upright. Without them, you will see everything inverted or upside down. Many astronomical telescopes do not have prisms, because “down” or “up” are not that important words when looking at celestial objects. However, marine binoculars are used for observing “earthly” things; therefore the function of prisms in binoculars is essential.
There are two main types of prisms:
Their shape is what gives them away. The barrels are not straight but a bit stepped, and the front lenses are separated. Most marine binoculars are of this type, as Porro prisms tend to offer better light transmission. Also, when using Porro prisms, it is easier to make binoculars with better depth of field and big objective lenses.
On the downside, binoculars with Porro prisms are weighty and are not very ergonomic.
Roof prisms allow for more compact construction, and therefore such binoculars have more-or-less straight barrels. Binoculars with Roof prisms are lighter and smaller, and for that, most “general use” binoculars have roof prisms. Hunters, hikers, and birders tend to prefer this type.
Traditionally, it is believed that Porro prisms offer better light transmission because of the fewer times light needs to cross air-to-glass boundaries or to be reflected. However, nowadays optics experience substantial technological progress and the situation has slightly changed.
That, plus the easy use and compact construction, are the main reasons why Roof prisms are becoming more popular amongst sailors, boaters, and yachtsmen.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Marine Binoculars
When choosing marine accessories and tools you need to think about different factors and marine binoculars that are no exception. These are the most important things you need to bear in mind when looking for such a unit:
Magnification of a lens is one of the most critical characteristics binoculars have. Thanks to it, we can determine how powerful a binocular is. For example, a 6x magnification indicates that the object you look at will be 6 times larger.
When looking for marine binoculars, the recommended value is 7 or 8 times magnification. However, choosing a higher number is not the right decision, as you won’t be able to get a solid, steady vision when your boat is shaking. This will be tough even if you are sitting in a great boat seat. Also, when you go higher on magnification, you usually lose a lot of peripheral vision.
Image Stabilization (IS)
If you really want binoculars with higher magnification, our advice is to look for a unit that has a built-in Image Stabilization.
The Size of the Objective Lenses
There is a direct correlation between the objective lens size and the amount of light that you take. See, these lenses are located at the front of your binoculars. The wider they are, the more light will make its way inside.
Because of that, you will get brighter images. This will be especially important while boating. You always want to see brightly and clearly while you are out there on the water. Imagine the tough challenge you will face if you have to look through your binoculars in bad weather.
This rating shows how well your binoculars will act in dim light. The advantages of a large exit pupil are many, but the main is the fact that you will get a brighter image.
You can compute the exit pupil by dividing the lens diameter by the magnification factor. Our team advises you to buy a unit with at least a 5mm exit pupil.
This is a significant trait especially for people who wear glasses or contacts. Eye relief shows us how far away from the eyes you can hold the binoculars and still maintain a broad field of vision. We recommend going for a product with at least 16mm of eye relief.
This will allow you to hold the unit far enough from your glasses (so you don’t scratch them) or from your contacts. An excellent accessory here are the eyecups. You have surely seen them in movies. All you have to do is push those cups in or out to get the right distance.
You got 2 options when it comes to eyecups – rubber and twist-up cups.
If you have binoculars that are filled with natural air, then they will also contain oxygen and a small level of water. When there is a change in pressure, your lens might fog up, and your binoculars will be useless. Therefore, always look for binoculars that are nitrogen-purged. This will ensure that your unit does not fog up and your inner working won’t succumb to corrosion.
When it comes to marine binoculars, this is the feature that matters the most. If you are going to be in and around water, then this is an essential factor to consider. Just think how you would feel if you have spent a considerable amount of money on binoculars and then you accidentally drop them in the water. You can also take a look at some other waterproof marine supplies that we’ve outlined. For instance, quality submersible trailer lights are also a plausible choice.
Lens Coating and Glass Quality
Do we even need to clarify that big-time brands will likely give you high-quality binoculars. While this is true, it still won’t hurt if you knew what makes each component a quality one. Here goes:
In a few words, this is a glass which will reduce the amount of light loss because of internal reflections. BaK-4 is a better choice than BK-7. BK7 is an optical glass that is used when the properties of fused silica are not needed.
The extra-low dispersion glass will decrease the levels of ‘chromatic aberration.’ This is when you see little rainbows in the edges. It’s usually something you do not want to experience. Binoculars that feature ED glass are often more expensive than others. However, if you search correctly, you may be able to find some nice middle-of-the-pack units which feature ED glass.
Fully multi-coated lenses
Such lenses will limit the amount of light you lose because of reflection. This way you will get clearer images with plenty of brightness. Getting binoculars with multi-coated lenses is a big deal for people who love boating.
This is an additional feature that not all binoculars have. However, it is beneficial when you need to look in a specific direction.
Useful Facts and Tips
- Unless you decide on marine binoculars with image stabilization, search for modes magnification of eight or less.
- To have better clarity, brightness, and low-light performance, look for a large objective lens (not less than 25mm)
- Lens coating will improve the quantity and quality of light reaching your eye.
- If you wear glasses, you should look for an eye relief of at least 13mm. This way you can see the whole image without removing your lenses.
- Like any other marine supply, such as boat carpet, boat anchor, boat cover, etc., binoculars need to be cleaned and maintained regularly.
Well, you have successfully arrived at the end of our buying guide to finding the best marine binoculars. We are positive that even though there are many things you need to keep in mind before choosing a product, our reviews on the top marine binoculars have helped you find what you looked for.
If you have enjoyed our article, don’t waste any more time and show it to others, they may find it useful as well. Also, should there be anything you would like to tell us? Don’t hesitate to send us an email or leave us a comment.
We have many other articles that will help you find the most suitable product for your needs. If you like this one, be sure that you will read the others as well. Thanks so much for reading, and as always- stay put!