Best marine binoculars
With the number of models that exist on the market today, it is not always easy to choose marine binoculars.
The choice is really huge that you have to be selective to get the right pair.
Indeed, it is not enough to put in your basket the first pair of marine binoculars you see.
Caution is really essential before clicking on order.
No one would want to invest in a pair of binoculars only to complain about some detail and regret their purchase.
To prevent this from happening to you, we’ll give you some tips for selecting the best binoculars for marine activities.
Before we get into the criteria for selecting binoculars for boating, here are a few smart tips to consider.
The first thing to do if you come across a product is to check out the reviews on the internet.
Reading user reviews of the item is great because it allows you to filter out the positive and negative reviews.
Obviously, the second criterion before you buy marine binoculars is your budget.
So you have to know how to find a model that suits both your preference and your budget.
As for the price, you have a range of 100 to over 1000 euros.
After the price, you should also collect opinions about the brand that made the pair of binoculars.
What about its reputation?
But one of the most important elements is in the product description.
If you are not a person who has a good knowledge of optics, you will have a hard time.
But to avoid getting lost in all the technical details, don’t hesitate to follow this guide to buying the best binoculars.
First, here are three pairs of marine binoculars as an overview of the best models on the market today.
Below, we’ll show you some products with all the information you need to know.
Table of contents
- 1 How to choose your marine binoculars?
- 2 Detailed tests and reviews
How to choose your marine binoculars?
The destination has a lot to do with the choice of binoculars.
From opera glasses to hunting binoculars, the environment dictates the details to consider before buying a pair.
Since marine binoculars are used on a boat, for boating, they require quite a few essential qualities.
That’s why we’re taking the time to explain all the buying criteria before presenting you with the best marine binoculars.
So here are the 9 features to consider when buying a pair of marine binoculars, it’s up to you to note what you need most.
For the most part, binoculars for water activities are 7×50.
The 50 represents the diameter of the lens, and the 7 is the magnification value.
The higher the magnification, the better you can see the lenses, and the better your binoculars catch light.
This is quite true, but marine binoculars are a bit of an exception.
With the wrong magnification for the environment, you risk getting blurry, inaccurate images.
Remember that a boat is often in motion, and a high magnification needs stability to capture the image well.
So for your activities at sea, there is no need to take a high magnification factor.
We recommend that you choose a pair of marine binoculars with a magnification between 7 and 10.
A value of 7 is ideal for boats under 50 feet.
For a boat over 50 feet, with some stability, you can still get a pair with a magnification value of 10.
After magnification, the waterproofing of marine binoculars is never to be taken lightly.
This is really one of the most important details if you want to buy this equipment.
On a boat, the environment is not always favorable.
You’re exposed to the humidity of the nautical environment all the time, not to mention the weather conditions.
You need to find a pair of binoculars that can withstand the cold, humidity, sea spray, rain, snow, etc.
All of which can make your views less clear.
If you want to have weatherproof binoculars in your hands, you need to choose a pair with a good degree of water resistance.
These binoculars are designed to withstand water and temperature changes.
Waterproof marine binoculars are often equipped with hydrophobic coated lenses and O-rings to seal the housing.
Most models are even filled with inert gases such as nitrogen, argon and nitrogen to keep outside air out.
This makes waterproof binoculars robust, resistant to dirt, corrosion, and even the effects of salt.
The field of view
By simple definition, the field of view of binoculars is the widest dimension that can be seen with the device.
And in a more technical explanation, the field of view is the width of the area covered by binoculars at a distance of 1000 m.
The unit of measurement of the field of view can be in degrees or in meters (1° = 14.7 m).
The higher the value, the wider the view.
For a pair of 7×50 binoculars, the field of view is between 110 and 130 m.
A rather low value, but the main thing at sea is to have comfortable binoculars, offering you a clear image.
Brightness is one of the most important criteria for determining the best marine binoculars.
Your ability to use your binoculars in a dark or dim environment depends on the brightness.
To get an idea of what the brightness level of binoculars is, it’s in relation to the diameter of the lens.
For the 7×50 model, for example, the diameter is 50 mm.
The larger this value is, the better your lens captures light.
For marine binoculars, it is recommended to choose lenses between 30 and 50 mm in diameter.
Models that allow you to see sharper details at dusk, in the twilight or even at night, without tiring your eyes.
For nautical activities, it is especially recommended to buy monoculars with light intensifier.
Even if the magnification is low and prevents you from seeing at long distances, you can easily maneuver in the middle of the night.
Choosing the weight of a pair of binoculars is quite tricky because the heavier it is the better it is.
So you have to choose between heavy but powerful marine binoculars and light ones.
Although heavy binoculars are more exhausting, they are more advantageous.
A good pair of binoculars can weigh up to 1 kg or more.
This weight is often influenced by the type and amount of glass.
The larger the objective lens, the heavier your marine binoculars.
But if this heaviness takes up a lot of your time, you always have the choice of more compact binocular models.
But since it’s recommended that you choose a lower magnification for binoculars intended for marine recreation, there’s not much to worry about.
For these optical devices, we talk more about focusing.
First, there is the automatic adjustment system, i.e. the focusing of your binoculars is done without your intervention.
It’s very fast, because when you pick up your binoculars, the image automatically takes its sharp, clear form.
It’s especially effective in bad weather or in less unstable boats, because your binoculars automatically and quickly readjust its viewing distance.
The second type of focusing is manual, and can also have different options.
The first one consists in an independent focusing of the two telescopes.
You proceed to the adjustment of the telescope one after the other.
The second option is to be able to adjust the telescopes at the same time thanks to a central focus.
This type of model is accompanied by a large wheel placed between the two telescopes.
Marine binoculars with manual adjustment are very practical when wearing corrective glasses.
You don’t have to wear glasses anymore, because you only have to adjust the focus to your optical correction.
Finally, if you use your marine binoculars for medium distances, say 20 m to infinity, there are models that provide a clear view without requiring adjustment.
However, this type of binocular is not suitable for long or short distances.
Binoculars for water sports are even better if they are accompanied by a compass (analog or digital).
The compass is indeed very useful when you are on the open sea because it allows you to make the bearing of the object in view even from a distance.
With a reticle, you can calculate the distance and size of the object.
Most compasses have a reddish, battery-powered light.
Binoculars with a compass are highly recommended for recreational boating.
Without the prisms, the landscape you see through your binoculars would be upside down.
But this system has a lot to do with the weight of your binoculars.
But what we can remember is that there are two types of prisms, including the Porro prism and the roof prism.
The most often used is the Porro system for technical and practical reasons.
The Porro prism is indeed less complicated in the realization.
Also, for the user, the adjustment is more convenient.
However, the Porro prism binoculars are very heavy.
This is because the body contains two prisms on the right and left.
Despite this lack of lightness, this model is highly recommended for boating because of its stability.
As for the marine binoculars with roof prism, the body contains only two prisms on the left.
The manufacturing process is more delicate, which explains its cost on the market.
However, roof prism binoculars are more compact and lighter.
If you can’t handle heavy binoculars, consider this model.
Even if you’re not a pro with optical equipment, you know how much reflection can interfere with seeing through glass.
On a sunny day, the sun’s rays can reflect off the glass lenses of your marine binoculars, preventing you from seeing your targets clearly.
The best marine binoculars for avoiding these effects are those with special coatings on the glass surface.
These coatings are designed to reduce glare or light loss.
Lenses aren’t the only part of a pair of binoculars that need good coatings.
For a good grip, the best binoculars are made with rubber coatings.
This prevents your binoculars from slipping out of your hand easily.
Some models even have buoyancy, in case your binoculars fall into the water.
Detailed tests and reviews
Hooway 7 x 50 Porro
The Hoaway 7×50 Porro binoculars are certainly sold at the most affordable prices on the market.
However, even though this is a cheaper model suitable for the smaller budget, its performance should not be underestimated.
This pair of Hoaway nautical binoculars has everything that is needed in boating.
These Hooway binoculars are waterproof, fogproof, buoyant, and equipped with a compass and internal rangefinder.
Its 50 mm diameter offers a good image quality that is both sharp and bright.
Its 7x magnification level is ideal for activities at sea.
This allows you to always see through the lenses of your binoculars even in bad weather conditions.
And with this magnification, your binoculars are easy to handle even when the boat is moving.
As for the field of view, the Hoaway Porro marine binoculars offer a view of 132 m/1000 m, a lower value but the most adequate at sea.
Since it is almost impossible to have good stability at sea, choosing a pair of binoculars with high magnification and field of view is very risky.
With high value models, it is indeed almost impossible to get a clear image due to the lack of stability for focusing.
So this model offers you the most comfort despite these small details and is in a wide enough field of view for water sports.
The “Porro” designation is not a random inclusion in the name of these Hoaway marine binoculars.
In fact, they feature a high-quality Porro BaK4 prism system, which is known to be the most suitable for use at sea due to its stability.
As an added bonus, the optics of this pair are equipped with an integral multi-coating that influences the brightness and sharpness of the image.
Rated for military standard, Hoaway Porro marine binoculars are super tough.
They are fully waterproof and buoyant, and can withstand the most extreme environments.
Their nitrogen fogging system keeps them strong, preventing them from getting wet.
They also give you a firm, comfortable grip with a non-slip, impact-resistant rubber coating.
All of these features are complemented by illuminated compasses for direction, as well as an internal rangefinder that shows the size of an object and the distance to it.
This pair of marine binoculars comes with kits including a tripod adapter, carrying bag, foam float strap and lens cloth.
In the comments sections, one can find several positive remarks about the Hoaway Porro binoculars.
They are mostly admired for the many options available and the perceived image quality.
Some users even describe them as compact.
The only problem is the English language manual.
Bresser Nautic 7 x 50 WD
In our selection of the best marine binoculars, the Bresser Nautic 7×50 WD is the one that has an excellent price/performance ratio.
They are perfect for water sports and sailing.
Indeed, this jewel offers a better field of vision, sharp and bright images no matter what the weather.
They weigh only 856 g, so they are very comfortable even if you need to explore for a long time.
During times when there is a lack of light or even for your night-time boating trips, the Bresser Nautic WD binoculars remain very effective.
This is mainly due to an integrated compass with a light for better visibility in the dark or in the shadows.
A detail that ensures your safety because you can always consult data even if you lack light.
They are also equipped with a reticle to calculate the distance and size of an object in view.
They allow you to better see obstacles and dangers as well as the approach of a shoreline.
The Brasser Nautic 7×50 is also a type of waterproof binoculars, therefore resistant to the environmental conditions of boating.
Its nitrogen filling ensures that it is water and moisture resistant.
So even if you’re sailing in a rainy or foggy environment, you don’t need to store these binoculars in a safe place.
This water resistance is further enhanced by its rugged rubber housing.
The eyepieces of this pair of marine binoculars are individually adjustable.
This easy-to-handle adjustment is done by a single focus on a large field of view.
And as far as user reviews go, the Brasser Nautic binoculars earn stars for their anti-glare RED lenses, image quality and compass readability, not to mention their very affordable price.
When you buy this optical tool for marine activities, you get other equipment including a pouch, a binocular strap and a cleaning wipe.
The Commander binoculars prove that the Steiner brand has lost none of its reputation for producing binoculars that deliver sharp, clear, high-contrast images.
The STEINER Commander binoculars stand up to everything, and maintain their performance under all circumstances.
The weather has no effect on these binoculars for marine activities.
Commander 7×50 fulfills the requirements for a pair of high definition optical binoculars.
Its 50 mm diameter gives you clear, sharp, bright images with a large field of view of 145m/1000m.
And thanks to its optical coating, your views are not likely to be spoiled by glare.
The brightness is reduced to the maximum if there is too much light, to keep your contours sharp and visible.
The SPEINER Commander 7×50 marine binoculars are also equipped with a Sports-Auto-Focus system that includes automatic focusing.
This means that when you are sailing on a moving boat, the focus on your target is automatically adjusted without your intervention.
With this model, you can enjoy sharpness from 20 m to infinity, an ideal magnification of 7x, as well as 3D images.
You don’t have to worry about the sea being too rough, the reticle of these binoculars allows you to properly assess the smallest details.
STEINER Commander marine binoculars are also equipped with digital HD compasses with electronic magnetic measurement.
This allows automatic correction of tilt angles.
These large, illuminated compasses give you fast and accurate information about an object even under extreme conditions.
The quality of this pair of marine binoculars also lies in their waterproofing, up to 10 m.
Thanks to nitrogen pressure, there is no risk of fogging or condensation inside the STEINER Commander binoculars.
There is no risk of moisture forming on the lenses even if you are exposed to temperatures ranging from -40°C to 80°C.
With this type of marine binoculars, you’re sure to have good company on board for years to come.
This is because the STEINER Commander binoculars have a hydrophobic protective coating.
So you can run drops of water over the surface to clean them.
At the same time, this armature repels dirt, snow and dust.
These binoculars are also very sturdy, with a polycarbonate frame that can withstand 11G of shock thanks to a flexible silicone that absorbs shocks.
In addition to this is a floating prism suspension system.
In terms of equipment, this model comes with a floating strap with very comfortable padding, a rain cap, lens caps and a carrying case.
Although the price is quite exorbitant, the STEINER Commander binoculars have won over many users.
Its weight of 1.19 kg already says a lot about its quality.
In the reviews we have collected, there is a testimony that the image remains better even in thick fog, and the use is not a problem.
However, some users have testified that they are not recommended for those who have a problem with shaky hands.
Canon 18 x 50 IS
Are you looking for a pair of binoculars that are both powerful and stable for your boat trips?
The Canon 18×50 IS binoculars are for you!
And as always, the Canon brand never ceases to impress with the quality of its products.
This magnificent optical tool for nautical activities promises you a beautiful vision, by providing you a clear and precise image.
Its field of view of 65 m / 1000 m offers a rather large visual space.
If you’re exposed to harsh weather conditions, the Canon 18×50 Marine Binoculars help you stay on course.
This product is fully waterproof to JIS 4 standard.
All of its parts have been meticulously designed and installed to withstand the elements, preventing it from getting wet or foggy.
This brand-name pair of marine binoculars features a high magnification of 18x.
Its ultra-high optical precision adds even more value to the quality of vision obtained.
Its ultra-low dispersion objective ensures a better rendering of color bands.
In fact, this model stays true to the natural colors of your landscape and keeps the image bright and sharp.
This is also thanks to its large 50mm diameter lens and Porro prism.
Finally, in the comments section, many users are at the mercy of these binoculars.
The most appreciated qualities are mainly related to its bright optics, the neutrality of colors, the focus.
Its stabilization against shaking was also noted several times.
However, they consume quite a lot of electrical energy, so it would be best to have a spare battery.
In addition, many people have complained about its weight of 1.2 kg and the lack of equipment such as lens protectors or the attachment cord.
Swarovski EL 42
The Swarovski EL 42 marine binoculars are among the best binoculars on the market and stand out for their quality and design.
If you’re willing to spend a lot of money on water activities, this ultra-high-end pair is for you.
Swarovski binoculars are ergonomic, lightweight and technical.
Versatile, they are also suitable for land-based activities.
The Swarovski EL 42 binoculars are very popular for their light weight.
Indeed, they weigh only 795 g.
You can carry or hold them at arm’s length comfortably for hours without getting tired.
This lightness is due to its compact lenses and roof prism system.
The optical performance remains top-notch, as its 8.5 magnification keeps the image clear and sharp.
The Swarovski EL 42 binoculars are completely waterproof.
You don’t have to worry about it even if you are sailing during rainy seasons, or even in a northern temperature environment.
As with the best binoculars, this waterproofing is provided by a nitrogen system.
They can withstand temperatures from -25°C to +55°C without the risk of fogging up the eyepieces and objectives.
These beautiful binoculars from Swarovski are just perfect for providing crisp, clear images.
They offer you a great vision with a depth of field of 130 m / 1000 m, and keep your images of quality, whether you are in glare or in the shade.
They also come in handy when operating in semi-dark conditions such as dusk, moonlight, or early morning.
These marine binoculars are also very comfortable.
Its rubber coating ensures a good grip, and its retractable eyecup keeps your eyes comfortable.
Besides, you can always mount them on a tripod if you need to.
As for cleaning, these binoculars are very easy to maintain.
They come with protective caps for the eyepieces and objectives, a case and an adjustable strap.
If we take a quick look at the users’ opinions, this model of binoculars has more advantages than disadvantages.
They even say that despite its high price, the tool is worth every penny.
The images are described as plastic, rich in contrast and with incredible sharpness to the edges.
According to the reviews, the colors are reproduced in a natural way.
Ergonomics and eye relief are not left out in all this.
But some users do not recommend them for night trips in total darkness.