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Last updated: April 14, 2021
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Heading out to the sea? Then you certainly need all the gear that would make your time enjoyable. One of the pieces of equipment that you must pay attention to is the marine binoculars. The best marine binoculars allow you to see far distances with minimal fuss while also ensuring safe navigation.
Now, there are just so many options on the market, and that can make it tricky to find the best one for your needs. In this post, we consider the top-rated marine binoculars that you can buy right now and discuss each one’s key features and drawbacks. In creating our list, we checked the objective lens diameter, magnification, eye relief, exit pupil, length, and weight of the models. This article aims to provide you with a clearer picture of these models’ performance and how convenient they are. Do you like to find out more? Let’s now look at the top options!
"These waterproof binoculars feature an illuminated compass, range finder, and rubber armor. They work well in low light conditions.BaK-4 prisms.Multi-coated optics.Carry bag, strap, and lens cover included."
"Apart from the double-focusing system and non-slip rubber design, this model is also convenient to carry.O-ring sealed and nitrogen filled.Rangefinder and compass with illumination.Comes with carrying bag."
f you are a fan of binoculars and similar products and devices, then we strongly believe that you would have heard of the Bushnell brand. This company is responsible for some of the best and most popular binoculars on the market right now. Their products are noted for their excellent performance and quality.
There is plenty to like about this model. It is a 7×50 model, which is made of high-quality materials. Therefore, you have a unit that is resistant to wear and tear and is waterproof as well. If you stay in a harsh environment, then you’ll certainly have this as a useful set of binoculars. Apart from the body, the device also features individual focus, which improves usability.
There is a prism glass technology that has been noted to give the best range and clarity in a pair of binoculars. This is excellent for open seas.
Why are we impressed? This is the best 7×50 marine binoculars right now. It comes in a durable, compact form and is available at a reasonable price.
What negatives must you be aware of? Unlike some of the more expensive units, this model does not come with image stabilization.
The Barska Floatmaster 7×50 Binoculars are a contender for the best marine binoculars on the market. At first glance, you might be a bit confused about the model, but after a couple of uses, you’ll fall in love with the device. It works really well, and many users recommend it highly.
It comes with specifications and performance that are attractive for the price. As such, the pair comes with a large center-focus knob that is really easy to adjust and use.
The construction is the only downside here. It does not feel as sturdy as some of the others on the market. However, it is still quite durable. It comes at an affordable price that will have you thinking about all the money wasted on more expensive options.
What makes it special? This model comes with a variable focus, rangefinder, and useful accessories that you usually expect to get from pricier models.
What cons did we find? The build is not as robust as what you’d find in other models.
There are several types of binoculars on the market, and this model stands out from the rest because it is specifically designed to be used in marine conditions.
If you want a model that is dedicated to such activities, then you likely cannot go wrong with the Steiner 7×50 binoculars, thanks to its useful features. For example, the model comes with autofocus and a floating design.
With these, you can see for miles and have a good viewing experience. Additionally, the product has improved durability and is easy to use.
In view of the unique challenges that come with using binoculars on the high sea, these binoculars are fog and water-resistant. Thus, you will enjoy their performance in various conditions. The body of the unit is made of polycarbonate, which makes them not only strong but also one of the lightweight options.
What makes it stand out? This model is made of durable material that is lightweight and easy to use. This makes it shock and waterproof.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? While this unit is lightweight, it feels a bit bulky and lacks a compass.
There are certain brands on the market that come with a record of making top-notch products. Another of these brands is Barska. Due to its combination of durability, quality, and price, it is a rival to the most successful binocular brands. The Barska Deep Sea 7×50 is an excellent option that showcases the virtues of the brand.
It comes at an affordable price and is cheaper than many of the others on this list. Still, it manages to offer excellent performance despite the cost. At this price, you will be hard-pressed to find a pair of binoculars providing similar performance to this model.
Aside from a good build, this device is designed with such advanced features as a rangefinder and compass. Therefore, you will find that it offers a quite excellent usability over time. On top of that, it is water and fog-proof. The result is a device that will last for a long time. Additionally, it is a floatable device.
Why is it special? While being an affordable model, this one features everything that you might need, including a rangefinder, compass, and floating design.
What are the flaws? The lens caps are poorly attached, so attaching them takes a lot of effort.
The Konus Tornado 7×50 Binoculars are one of the most durable models that you can find on the market. The model has the ability to provide waterproof performance.
It also comes with 7x magnification, which is the recommended magnification range for units of this price range. Along with a 50 mm lens, this combination results in a unit that gives you very clear and distinct images. It is filled with nitrogen, which will prevent fogging and moisture from affecting your viewing experience. The lenses are coated to improve image clarity.
If you use glasses, you will find this useful as the eyecups are adjustable.
Why did it make our list? This floating model is rubber covered so that it can withstand harsh conditions effortlessly.
What is not ideal about it? This unit is not very efficient when used at night.
While there are several types of prisms used in binoculars, many users have reported that the Porro prism binoculars are the best options. This type of prism is also what you find in the Fujinon Mariner 7×50.
This is an excellent model that offers some really impressive features. For instance, apart from the sharp prisms, it also comes with a reticle and an in-built compass.
Another thing that makes it stand out from the others is the presence of compass illumination. This is very handy when you are in a low light situation.
Binoculars might come with a waterproof design, and this is really useful. Being a waterproof option will do no good if the unit drops into the sea and is irretrievable. That is why we love the floating neck strap of this model. With this accessory that is included, your binoculars will stay afloat even if they go overboard.
Why did it make our list? The floating strap allows you to grab the binoculars if you occasionally drop them in water, and lightweight construction makes them easy to carry.
What is not ideal about it? The field of view could be wider.
The Bushnell H2O is a reasonably-priced model from this giant maker, and it offers excellent performance.
For this price, you will get a unique option that boasts of features not found in several more expensive models. Here, you get a waterproof pair of binoculars that you will enjoy using. Due to the design, it is fog-resistant and comes with a center focus knob. This comes in very handy and makes it easy to make adjustments to the eyepiece.
For this price, you get a sturdy body that will resist impacts. The ribbed design also makes the binoculars more comfortable to grip, even in wet conditions.
What stands out? The rubber housing ensures that it is easy to handle in all situations, and clear optics ensure a better image.
What cons did we manage to find? This is a heavy model that does not have a rangefinder or compass.
While the Hooway brand is not as famous as the Bushnell or other brands, it is still one of the best manufacturers that we have come across. The Hooway 7×50 is an excellent pair of binoculars that gives you almost everything that you might desire for marine use.
Like some of the best models on the market, this unit is designed with a Porro prism system. This particular type of prism is found in high-grade binoculars and is great because of the broad field of view that you will get. This is undoubtedly a feature that you will find really useful on a large body of water.
The design of the model also reveals that it is a high-quality option. The body is rubberized and has grooves that prevent slipping. Therefore, you will enjoy a firm grip even in wet conditions. The binoculars are weather-resistant and survive in deep waters thanks to a floating design.
What are our favorite features? This product comes with a built-in rangefinder and compass scale. As if it’s not enough, the fully multi-coated optics make it suitable for all conditions.
What could be better? A few users found it a bit difficult to focus. But once you do, you will enjoy the performance of this product.
If a waterproof design is what you are after, then the Aomekie 7X50 has got you covered. These are highly rated by all that have handled them because of the water and fog-proof design. Apart from that, it is one of the best binoculars to use in low light conditions.
A BaK-4 prism system is included in the design of the device. This particular prism has a coating that reduces light reflection. Thus, the result is an image that is sharper to see.
The product can survive in depths of up to 1 meter for half an hour.
Interestingly, it is also designed with an in-built compass and handy rangefinder. These two extra features have illumination that makes the unit very useful when light conditions are not optimal.
Why are we impressed? It has a design that makes it easy to carry and features an illuminated compass.
What negatives must you be aware of? While it comes with rubber eyecups, they don’t last long.
The last model on our list is the ESSLNB 7X50 Marine Binoculars. As with the model just discussed above, this model comes with a rangefinder and compass, both of which are illuminated and can be used in low light conditions.
These do not need a floating strap as they are made to stay on the water surface. They are also fog and waterproof, so this is a really durable option that you will likely enjoy using.
Inside the model is a BaK-4 prism system that will improve the image you see. The prism is coated with a green wideband film that will ensure minimal distortion and lower light reflection.
The body is covered in rubber. This will offer you a better grip.
What makes it special? This unit is a water-resistant model that offers you an excellent grip. It is floating and somewhat easy to use.
What cons did we find? It might be too heavy for some.
Things to Consider
In this buying guide, we provide useful information that will assist you in making an informed decision on your own. You will also find more facts about the essential features to look out for when buying binoculars. Additionally, there is a FAQ section that aims to give you the answers that you might have.
How to pick the best marine binoculars
Since there are so many models of marine binoculars on the market, it can be challenging to select the best one for you. These devices are available in a wide range of prices and come with so many features. To make things easier, you can find some features that you must check below.
Some of the things that you ought to consider include the magnification, lens diameter, focus, field of view, and weather resistance.
Before you make a buying choice, it is these that you must first consider. In this section, we will discuss these in detail and help you to understand them better.
Magnification and lens diameter
Most of the binoculars that you will find on the market are 7×50 type. Also, there are others like 8×25, 7×35, and so on. The first number stands for the magnification power, while the other number denotes the lens’ diameter.
As you travel the sea, you will require a binocular with a higher magnification level. The higher the magnification is, the more things that you will be able to see.
While it will increase what you can see, you need to be careful with choosing the highest magnification. Why? Well, if the binoculars come with a high magnification level, it would be more difficult to keep an object in view. An increased magnification can turn the image or object blurry, especially in low light conditions.
With this in mind, not only do you need to choose a good magnification level, but you also need higher quality lenses. These will help to improve the brightness of what you are viewing. An increase in the size of the lens comes with its downsides. For instance, larger lenses mean larger binoculars, which can be unwieldy.
With all of these in mind, we recommend that the marine binoculars you buy come with a magnification of not over 7x and a lens size of 50 mm. The Bushnell Marine 7×50 Waterproof Binoculars, Konus Tornado, and several of the other binoculars that we have reviewed come with this size and magnification level.
As for the amount of light the binoculars allow to pass through, a larger objective diameter along with the increased exit pupil will ensure better performance in low light conditions.
The next thing to consider is the focus. To this end, you have to determine which of the two types of focus that you want the unit to have. The marine binoculars are available with center-focus or fixed\individual focus.
Center-focus models are so named because there is a knob in the middle that changes focus on the eyepieces. You can use this to determine the focus level of the binoculars. Most of the binoculars come with this type of focus, and it is the traditional type.
It is a useful type, especially if you share your binoculars with others. People can adjust the focus depending on their eyesight.
Fixed focus is not as common on the market. As the name implies, the focus of the eyepieces is independently adjusted. With this type, you don’t have to adjust your binoculars whenever you want to use them.
Advantages of fixed focus:
You only need to focus once;
The eyepieces automatically adjust depending on the distance;
The field of view refers to the distance from a fixed point and shows how much you can see of an object horizontally without moving.
This feature is essential and is measured per 1000 yards. One of the things that you should note is that this feature and the magnification are opposite. Thus, if the magnification is high, the field of view becomes smaller, and the image will look narrower through the binoculars.
The eye relief is another essential consideration when buying a pair of marine binoculars. The eye relief is described as the distance between your eye and the eyepiece. To get the best experience and for safety, it is crucial to have proper eye relief. Without adequate eye relief, you will find it hard to see the image correctly.
In most cases, the eye relief is affected by the installation of the eyecups.
Eye relief is significant if the user is wearing glasses. The binoculars must remain comfortable to the viewer while ensuring that they still give an excellent view.
Many of the best marine binoculars that you find on the market are available with adjustable eyecups. As the name implies, these eyecups are designed to be movable. Therefore, you can push them back inside the binoculars. This will let the lens move closer and will help to maintain good eye relief.
Since your binoculars are going to be exposed to water, it is essential that they are protected.
When choosing your marine binoculars, look for models that have O-rings. These are used to seal all the openings of the binoculars and work to eliminate the occurrence of water damage. It will keep out not just water but other stuff like dust and moisture. Thus, this will boost the durability of the product.
Another thing that you find in high quality and durable binoculars is nitrogen gas. They are usually filled with this gas at a higher pressure than the regular pressure.
Why is that important? Well, the difference in pressure will stop moisture from entering your marine binoculars. Additionally, nitrogen is a gas that repels water. For instance, the Bushnell Marine 7×50 Waterproof Binoculars are nitrogen purged.
Apart from resistance to water, you should also consider buying binoculars that are fog-proof.
While many binoculars are waterproof, not all of them can be immersed in water completely. Only a few products actually have the ability to be submerged in water to a certain depth and period without getting damaged.
Apart from the features that we have listed above, there are other vital factors to consider. These will make the binoculars easier to use and make your experience far more enjoyable. Some of the factors that you should keep in mind include:
Some of the models on the market are fitted with a floating strap. Even if the model that you buy does not come with this feature, you could always buy it from other makers. The floating strap will ensure that even when your binoculars go overboard, it will still float on the water.
Another feature found in the best marine binoculars is a compass. The built-in compass it will help you observe other vessels on the sea and know the direction it is traveling.
Having a rangefinder is excellent in marine binoculars. The technology helps the viewer to know the distance of objects. The distance is measured in feet or meters.
Although this is a feature best known in smartphones and cameras, some of the best marine binoculars also come with it. The technology assists the viewer to be able to view objects even when they are on a moving or swaying boat. The binoculars are fitted with a gyroscope, which will work to reduce movements.
It is possible to get marine binoculars somewhere between $80 and $250. On the lower end of the scale, you will find budget models, such as the Barska Floatmaster. This one comes with a variable focus, a BaK-4 Porro prism system, and a bunch of accessories. For those looking for premium models, the Steiner 7×50 Marine Binoculars are great for those who need to achieve a sharper image.
Other options can be found at around $150 while offering you all features of high-end products, including a built-in compass with illumination, rangefinder scale, rubberized housing, and excellent waterproofing.
You can see everything your eyes see with 7×50 marine binoculars. Each object appears 7 times bigger. Thanks to the large objective diameter, you get approximately 360 ft. at 1000 yds. field of view, so you can observe multiple objects at the same time.
Maintaining your marine binoculars involves cleaning them. It is easy to do. With compressed air, de-ionized water, or reagent-grade alcohol, you can clean the optics of your binoculars. Use the water to clean the optics so that you do not damage the coating of the optics.
The lens coating reduces the reflection of light and increases light transmission. This will make the image clearer and sharper. Above, you can find products with fully multi-coated optics that show excellent performance in low light conditions.
In this guide to the best marine binoculars, we have reviewed the top-rated options. The Bushnell Marine 7×50 Waterproof Binoculars appeared to be our favorite pick. They come in a durable, compact form and are available at a bargain price.
Next up, we have the Barska Floatmaster 7×50 Binoculars for those on a budget. This product comes with a variable focus that makes it easier to see the target. It also has a built-in rangefinder.
Lastly, the Steiner 7×50 Marine Binoculars is the premium pick and is made of durable material to make it easier to carry and use. On top of that, the product is water and impact-proof.
We hope our guide helped you find the best marine binoculars, and now, you are ready for your next journey!